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An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
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Would Allow Unchecked Powers to Punish News Outlets, Journalists

The Pakistani government is seeking broad new powers to control the media as part of its crackdown on freedom of expression. Journalists, human rights activists, and political leaders across that country have raised the alarm about proposed…
Pakistani journalists and activists at a demonstration called by the journalists union to condemn attacks on the media, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on May 28, 2021.
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Over 420 Civilians Killed During Attacks, Massacres in 2021

(Bamako) – Islamist armed groups have killed over 420 civilians and driven tens of thousands from their homes during attacks in western Niger since January 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed Islamist groups should cease all abuses against…
Villagers at a mass grave containing the remains of civilians killed during the March 21, 2021 attack by armed Islamist groups on villages in Tahoua region, Niger. More than 170 Tuareg villagers were killed in the attack, Niger’s worst atrocity in recent history.
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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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Creating a Criminal Offense Essential to Police Reform

(New York) – Pakistan’s National Assembly should urgently pass a bill that would make torture a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch and Justice Project Pakistan said today. The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019, which…
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Authorities Should Stop Stifling Dissent, Protect the Media

(New York) – A recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those…
 Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, center, speaks during a demonstration to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Bazoum Administration Should Make Justice a Priority

(Nairobi) – Niger’s first democratic transition since independence provides President Mohamed Bazoum’s new administration with an opportunity to prioritize accountability for alleged war crimes committed by all sides in Niger’s armed conflict, Human…
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Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, China, Myanmar Win Women’s Rights Posts

When the United Nations General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council last October, five countries in the Asia regional group vied for four open seats, including two of the world’s most notorious rights abusers, Saudi…
U.N. headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
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I.A. Rehman’s Struggle for a Progressive, Tolerant Pakistan Lives On

Many years ago, I.A. Rehman said to my young, overconfident, and impatient self, “This [struggle for human rights] is a marathon, not a sprint.” Rehman’s long, victorious marathon came to an end on April 12. Three generations of Pakistani human rights…
I.A. Rehman, center, addresses a news conference, in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 16, 2018.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan Should Back Promises with Accountability

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting last week with families of people who had been forcibly disappeared was an important step toward addressing this serious and longstanding issue. He now needs to follow up on his pledge to end this abuse…
People hold placards and portraits of their missing family members during a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, February 20, 2021. 
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International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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Government Should Restore Internet, Respect Protesters’ Rights

This was meant to be Niger’s first peaceful and democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960. But contested results and disruptions to internet access now threaten this process. Local media sources in Niger and members of the internet…
Election officials count votes by flashlight inside a school used as a polling station during elections in Niamey, Niger, Sunday, March 20, 2016.
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Government Should Protect Journalists, Not Suppress Free Speech

As part of its crackdown on freedom of expression, the Pakistani government is seeking sweeping new powers to control the media. Journalists across Pakistan have raised the alarm about proposed legislation that would augment the powers of the Pakistan…
Pakistani journalists hold nationwide protests to denounce rampant censorship, and hold a banner that reads: "black day," in Karachi, Pakistan, July 16, 2019.
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Minorities, Women Face Increased Risks

(New York) – Pakistan’s government intensified its crackdown on the media, political opponents, and civil society in 2020, while failing to stem violence against women and minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Members of civil society groups take part in a rally to condemn a recent gang rape of a woman on a highway, Karachi, Pakistan, September 12, 2020.
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Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Promptly Investigate All Attacks, Prosecute Those Responsible

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should urgently and impartially investigate a surge in violent attacks on members of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists…
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11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium

(Bangkok) – Eleven countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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In 2016, Pakistan’s parliament passed the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), a set of laws which supporters contended would restrict online extremist content, prosecute hate speech, and curb harassment of women on the internet. Four years on, has…