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Proposal Would Have Upheld Trans, Non-Binary People’s Rights

(Berlin) – Spain’s Congress of Deputies on May 18, 2021, rejected a landmark legislative proposal that would have allowed legal gender recognition based on self-determination, Human Rights Watch said today. The existing process for modifying…
The president of the Trans Platform Federation, Mar Cambrollé seen during a rally to pass the so-called 'Trans Law' in the Congress of Deputies in Madrid.
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Arrests Focus Spotlight on Anti-Free Speech Laws

The arrests of three demonstrators in Singapore who were protesting the plight of transgender students highlights the extent of free speech restrictions in the city-state. Authorities arrested the trio on January 26 as they picketed outside…
201801wr_singapore_human_rights A woman wrapped in the rainbow flag is seen at the Pink Dot rally, Singapore's annual gay pride rally, at a park in Singapore July 1, 2017.
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Mandatory Order to Install Surveillance Software Infringes on Child Privacy, Expression

Singapore’s Education Ministry has made it mandatory for secondary school students to install tracking and remote access software on all laptops issued under a national digital literacy program, and on students’ personal devices that are used to…
A student uses a laptop for schoolwork while participating in remote learning, September 7, 2020.
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Migrant Workers’ Rights Ignored During Covid-19 Pandemic

(Bangkok) – Singapore’s government further restricted free expression and peaceful assembly in the city-state in 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The authorities used harsh and overly broad laws to prosecute speech…
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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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Ensure Adequate Reception Conditions, Access to Information and Asylum

(Milan) – Spanish authorities should immediately alleviate overcrowded and unsanitary conditions on the Arguineguín pier, Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, Human Rights Watch said today. Since November 7, 2020, when Human Rights Watch…
Men disembark from a wooden boat at the Arguineguín pier, on Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, after a dangerous journey in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Halt Imminent Execution of Syed Suhail Bin Syed Zin; Abolish Death Penalty

The Singapore authorities should immediately halt the planned execution of Syed Suhail Bin Syed Zin this Friday, September 18 for drug trafficking offenses dating back to August 2011. Singapore’s High Court found Syed guilty of drug trafficking in…
People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.
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Jailing of Jolovan Wham Violates Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Bangkok) – Singapore authorities should immediately quash the conviction of the human rights activist Jolovan Wham in violation of his right to peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said today. On August 20, 2020, the Court of Appeal upheld the…
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Juan Carlos I Moves to a Country Where Human Rights Conditions Are Dire

After two weeks of official silence and media speculation, the whereabouts of former Spanish king Juan Carlos I were confirmed this week. The king, who left Spain earlier this month amid accusations of financial wrongdoing – which include allegedly…
Juan Carlos I
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Use of Capital Punishment Out of Step with Global Standards

Using Zoom video conferencing, a Singaporean judge on May 15 remotely sentenced a man to death by hanging. Punithan Genasan, 37, was found complicit in drug trafficking by coordinating 2 couriers to move 28.5 grams of heroin in 2011. Genasan denied…
People walk past the Supreme Court in Singapore January 22, 2014.
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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Keeping a Law on the Books Just to Demonize a Minority is Clearly Wrong

  On March 30, 2020, the Singapore High Court has dismissed three cases seeking to strike down a colonial-era law that makes consensual gay sex a crime. With a highly technical reading of the law, High Court Justice…
Participants at the annual Pink Dot Singapore event, in Singapore on June 28 2014.
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  What are your main concerns about the coronavirus in Asia? Because testing is so poor in most of Asia, we have no visibility about how widespread infections are. Overcrowded cities where social distancing is challenging or impossible also…
Factory workers wearing protective masks return to Dhaka from northern and southern districts in Bangladesh amid the government’s shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, April 4, 2020.
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Community Action a Beacon of Hope During Lockdown

Amid the bleak reality of a third week in lockdown for residents of Barcelona, including my family, community-based solidarity offers glimmers of hope and dignity. The COVID-19 virus killed more than 8,000 people across Spain…
A woman from Barcelona’s street vendors union sews protective face masks for the use of health care workers whose supplies are running low, March 2020
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Health Risks and International Law Require Safer Alternatives

(Brussels) – People in immigration detention in European countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. “While entire societies learn to live under…
Women in the Ponte Galeria immigration detention center near Rome, Italy May 6, 2017.
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New ‘Online Falsehoods’ Law Further Curbs Rights

(Bangkok) – Singapore’s government placed greater restrictions on the country’s already sharply curtailed free expression rights in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.  The Protection from Online…
Participants of Pink Dot, an annual event organized in support of the LGBT community, call for the repeal of Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, June 29, 2019.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
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People with Intellectual Disabilities May Face Arbitrary Scrutiny As They Vote

People with disabilities may experience discrimination as they vote in Spain’s general election this weekend, despite a law which guarantees equal voting rights.  Last year, Spain reformed its existing law on the general…
A man is helped to cast a symbolic vote during an event organized by The Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Friday, June 17, 2016.