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One Year After Coup, Global Arms Embargo Urgently Needed

United Nations Security Council member countries should abandon their timid approach to the Myanmar military’s mounting atrocities and replace mealymouthed statements with tough action. A year ago, on February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military ousted the…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
News

Authorities Continue to Use Repressive Laws to Silence Critics

“I’m not sure whether to laugh, get angry, or feel utter frustration,” Myriam Bribri, a Tunisian activist told Human Rights Watch in response to the fine and four-month prison sentence a court in the city of Sfax gave her on December 21, 2021. Bribri…
A woman in sunglasses at a protest
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Energy Companies’ Withdrawal Underscores Need for New Sanctions

(New York) – Myanmar’s military will continue to collect massive revenues from natural gas and other extractive sectors unless new targeted sanctions block foreign currency payments supporting the junta’s abusive rule, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Bloc Should Try to Block Cairo Membership Quest, Not Support It

The European Union (EU) may be about to present a joint bid with Egypt to co-lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, a multilateral platform with far-reaching influence on global counterterrorism policy, according to a recently leaked document. Given…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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Clear Path for US, France, EU to Block Gas Revenue Payments to Junta

(Paris) – The French company TotalEnergies has signaled support for targeted sanctions on Myanmar’s natural gas revenues to block the country’s abusive military junta from profiting from hundreds of millions of dollars in payments, Human Rights Watch…
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Japan’s defence ministry claims the program, which includes combat training, will inspire change from within. That’s not going to happen.

Japan was one of the first governments to issue a statement after the Myanmar military staged a coup on February 1 last year.  Within hours of events unfolding in Naypyitaw, the Japanese leadership expressed “grave concern” and…
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Military Junta’s Abuses Amount to Crimes Against Humanity

(New York) – The February 1, 2021 military coup in Myanmar overthrew democratic rule and plunged the country into steadily worsening rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Security forces under the junta led by Sr. Gen…
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Human Rights Defenders and Ordinary Citizens Targeted, Harassed, Tortured

(Beirut) – Egypt’s superficial attempts to create an impression of human rights progress failed to disguise the government’s brutal repression of all manner of dissent in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite ending…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
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Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
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Immediately Repeal Associations Law

(Beirut) – The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), long one of Egypt’s leading independent human rights organizations, announced on January 10, 2022, that it was ending operations after nearly 18 years, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Human rights activist Gamal Eid is seen at a court in Cairo, March 24, 2016.
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Apparent Negligence Providing Medical Care for Baktash Abtin

(Beirut) – The death of the writer and poet Baktash Abtin in custody is emblematic of the dire situation Iranian authorities have created for imprisoned critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Iranian officials should conduct…
Baktash Abtin.
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Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran The Office of the Supreme Leader Tehran Province, Tehran, District 11 Islamic Republic of Iran   Supreme Leader Khamenei, We, the undersigned free…
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Another Blow to Rights Under President Saied’s Power Grab

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should immediately release a former justice minister, Noureddine Bhiri, from arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Plainclothes police intercepted Bhiri on December 31, 2021 outside his home in Tunis and…
Former Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri (left) and former Interior Ministry employee Fethi Beldi are both in arbitrary detention in Tunisia since December 31, 2021.
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On October 28, Egypt’s Interior Ministry released a slick, heavily produced video showcasing a new state-of-the-art prison mega-complex. The Wadi El Natrun Correctional and Rehabilitation Center complex is supposed to replace 12 prisons that currently…
A satellite photograph of Scorpion Prison taken in September 2016. Inmates suffer abuses in secret and are denied most access to the outside world. Satellite imagery
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Military and Civilian Trials for “Insulting the President”

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are prosecuting citizens in both military and civilian courts and jailing them for public criticism of President Kais Saied and other officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Those prosecuted include members of…
Tunisia’s shuttered parliament. President Saeid suspended the body on July 25 as part of his seizure of extraordinary powers. July 26, 2021, Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia.
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Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
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Tatmadaw Cadets Receive Training at Japanese Defense Academy

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should cut ties with the Myanmar military and immediately suspend a military study-abroad program involving Myanmar cadets, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military, known as the…
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Prosecutions Fast-Tracked Despite End to State of Emergency

Update December 20, 2021:  An emergency court sentenced Alaa Abd al Fattah to five years in prison, and Mohamed al-Baqer and Mohamed “Oxygen” Ibrahim to four years each on charges of “spreading false news.” “The egregious miscarriage of…
Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. During his presidency, Egypt has harassed, prosecuted, arrested and seized the assets of dozens of human rights groups and defenders.
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Tens of Thousands of Students Will Lose Access to Education

(Bangkok) – The Bangladesh government should urgently reverse a decision to close thousands of home-based and community-led schools for Rohingya refugee students, Human Rights Watch said today. Unless the foreign minister or the disaster management…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate against being expelled from Bangladeshi secondary schools in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 6, 2019.
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Sagaing Massacre Latest in Military’s Escalating Terror Campaign

In a year where atrocities by Myanmar’s military have been commonplace, credible reports of a massacre of 11 people, including 5 children, who were bound, shot, and then burned, have sparked revulsion and outrage. Photos and video circulated online…
A person walks by a destroyed village