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Need for Urgent Protection, Assistance; Thousands Still Missing

(Nairobi) – Eritrean government forces and Tigrayan militias have committed killings, rape, and other grave abuses against Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Human Rights Watch said today. All warring parties should cease attacks against…
Aerial satellite graphic
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Congress Ousts Dozens of Judges

(Washington DC) – Two laws passed by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2021, threaten judicial independence by allowing authorities to dismiss all judges and prosecutors who are 60 years old or older, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 1.
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“Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them”

Women’s Month in South Africa is celebrated in August. It commemorates the significant role held by women in South African society and celebrates the accomplishments of the 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in August of 1956. The march…
A memorial sign surrounded with ribbons and flowers
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Fighting in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is entering its ninth month, and it may intensify after leaders in several of Ethiopia’s regions as well as its capital, Addis Ababa, called on residents, including youth, to mobilize against the Tigray…
Tigrayans who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region stand on a hilltop overlooking Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, November 26, 2020
News

Security Forces Should Observe International Law Enforcement Standards

(Johannesburg) – South African authorities should ensure that security forces deployed to police escalating riots and looting respect rights and observe international law enforcement standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The riots, which are…
A man suspected of looting is arrested at a shopping mall in Soweto, near Johannesburg, Tuesday July 13, 2021.
News

Sentencing of Former President Sends Clear Message That No One Is Above the Law

Just before midnight last night, South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, reported to a prison facility in his home province KwaZulu Natal to comply with an incarceration order handed down by the Constitutional Court on June 29. The court had…
Former South Africa President, Jacob Zuma sits in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on November 30, 2018, charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering. 
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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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HRW Statement - Item 2 ID with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea

We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and share his assessment that there have been no tangible improvements in the dire rights situation in Eritrea, including against the bench­marks which the…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
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June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
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Protect Students, Teachers in Region; Endorse Safe Schools Declaration

(Nairobi) – All warring parties in Tigray have been implicated in the attacking, pillaging, and occupying of schools since the conflict started, Human Rights Watch said today. On just one example, government forces used the historic Atse Yohannes…
Children look at books in an elementary school in the village of Bisober, Tigray on December 9, 2020. The school was occupied by Tigray Special Forces and also damaged after fighting broke out between Ethiopian and Tigray forces in November 2020.
News

Environmental Groups Hope Case Will Force Government Action on Emissions

When you approach the town of Secunda in the coal-rich province of Mpumalanga in eastern South Africa, the toxic smell of air emanating from the cluster of coal-fired power stations hits you long-before before you see the town. I spent last week in…
Fence line communities near Duvha Power Station, Mpumalanga, South Africa. 
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Draft Official Identity Management Policy

Introduction Human Rights Watch is an independent non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting and defending human rights around the world, including those related to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI)…
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Nobody should be fooled by bromides like the one that Salvadoran Vice President Félix Ulloa offered this week on television. Ulloa said the government was trying to “promote” free speech in a context of “an avalanche of negative campaigns aimed…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
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Investigate Mama Fikile’s Murder and Bring Those Responsible to Justice

It is almost five months since an environmental activist, Mama Fikile Ntshangase, was gunned down in her home in Somkhele in KwaZulu-Natal province, after raising concerns about a coal mine in the area. No arrests have been made. Mama Fikile had received…
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Punish Officers Responsible; Improve Training; Halt Use of Rubber Bullets

(Johannesburg) – The South African police unlawfully used excessive and disproportionate force to disperse student protesters at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) on March 10, 2021, killing a bystander, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Three protesters were arrested and taken to the Hillbrow police station on Wednesday.
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The Zimbabwe government’s plans to evict 13,840 Indigenous Shanganipeople from their communal land in Chilonga, Chiredzi district, southeastern Zimbabwe is problematic for many reasons, not least for its failure to uphold human rights. On…
people. gathered. outside. chilonga.