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Many Excluded from Running, Voting in First Legislative Elections

(Beirut) – New laws approved in late July 2021 to regulate Qatar’s first legislative elections will effectively disenfranchise thousands of Qataris from voting or running, Human Rights Watch said today. The new laws highlight the country’s…
A Qatari candidate registers to run in the country's upcoming election as a member of its top advisory panel, known as the Shura Council, in the capital Doha, on August 22, 2021.
News

Allow Expert Access to Kazakhstan; Lift Ban

(Berlin) – Kazakh authorities have banned a Russian-American researcher from the country for five years in apparent efforts to stymy his work documenting abuses of ethnic minorities in neighboring China, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Gene Bunin
News
With the conclusion this summer of both UEFA Euro 2020 and CONMEBOL Copa America, qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar during November-December 2022, are set to resume next month. To a greater extent than previous tournaments…
202008mena_qatar_fifa_main
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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
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Over 130 Targeted for Alleged Membership in Groups Deemed ‘Extremist’

(Berlin) – Authorities in Kazakhstan have targeted at least 135 people across the country with criminal investigations and prosecutions for alleged participation in banned “extremist” political opposition groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Over…
Koshe Party activists handing out information leaflets in Nursultan, Kazakhstan’s capital, before the unregistered group was banned by court order. February 18, 2020.
News

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding Children’s Rights and Alternative Care June 30, 2021 Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Committee on the Rights of the Child ahead of its upcoming Day…
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Government Urged to Fully Implement Reforms

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has slammed Kazakhstan – again – for harassing union leaders. At the ILO’s annual conference, earlier this June, Kazakhstan drew the ire of the Committee on the Application of Standards, which reviews…
A worker prepares pipes to service an oil well on oil fields operated by a subsidiary of the KazMunayGas Exploration Production JSC in Kyzylorda region, southern Kazakhstan on January 21, 2016.
News

Leaders Show Little Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Last week, an appeals panel of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) upheld the 2017 genocide conviction of Bosnian Serb wartime military commander Ratko Mladić. Chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz said of Mladić, “His name…
A woman among the graves of victims of the Srebrenica genocide, at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Tuesday, June 8, 2021.
News

Feminist Activists Attacked and Threatened

On May 29, Zhanar Sekerbaeva and Gulzada Serzhan, co-leaders of the feminist group Feminita, were holding a private event to discuss gender equality in Shymkent, a city in southern Kazakhstan, when unidentified men tried to break up the gathering by…
Feminita Kazakstan Activist Arrested
News

Subjected to Enforced Disappearance, Denied a Lawyer

UPDATE (May 30, 2021):  Qatar's Government Communications Office stated that the Public Prosecution charged Malcolm Bidali with offenses related to “payments received by a foreign agent for the creation and distribution of disinformation within the…
News

Instagrammer Faces Criminal Prosecution for Satirical News

Temirlan Ensebek, a 25-year-old from Almaty, Kazakhstan, is under criminal investigation on charges of “disseminating knowingly false information” in connection with the satirical Instagram account Qaznews24, which he ran for a few weeks in April. If…
Temirlan Ensebek Kazakhstan Free Speech Detained
News

Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
Report
Summary For girls - you are [constantly] in quarantine. What the whole world experiences now, this is the normal life for girls [in Qatar]. I wanted to study abroad but it was a no from my parents, even though I had a scholarship. —“Asma,” a 40-…
News

Discriminatory Restrictions Affect Independence to Marry, Study, Work, Travel

(Beirut, March 29, 2021) – Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 94-page report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is…
Women fly a kite in a park next to a body of water
News

Activists Demand Equality, Better Protection

By Vika Kim International Women’s Day 2021, on Monday, was the first time authorities in Almaty, Kazakhstan allowed a march celebrating the day to proceed. I joined the five-kilometer march along one of the city’s main roads, with hundreds of…
International Women’s Day march in Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 8, 2021.