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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.
News

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.
News

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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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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Saudi Arabia Should Stop Deporting Tigrayan Migrants to Ethiopia

(Beirut) – Ethiopian authorities have arbitrarily detained, mistreated, and forcibly disappeared thousands of ethnic Tigrayans recently deported from Saudi Arabia, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi Arabia should stop holding Tigrayans in abhorrent…
Ethiopian migrants returned from Saudi Arabia arrive at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 7, 2021. © 2021 Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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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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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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International Investigations, Access to Detainees Key to Deter Further

(Nairobi, December 16, 2021) – Amhara security forces are responsible for a surge of mass detentions, killings, and forced expulsions of ethnic Tigrayans in the Western Tigray territory of northern Ethiopia, Amnesty International and Human Rights…
Refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region arrive on the banks of the Tekeze River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, November 21, 2020.
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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
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Donors Should Channel Assistance Via Local and Cross-Border Efforts

(New York) –Myanmar’s military junta is blocking desperately needed humanitarian aid from reaching millions of displaced people and others at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN…
A man sits at a makeshift displacement site in Demoso township, Karenni State, June 17, 2021.
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UN Rights Body Should Create International Inquiry into War Crimes

(Nairobi) – Tigrayan forces summarily executed dozens of civilians in two towns they controlled in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region between August 31 and September 9, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. These killings highlight the urgent need for…
The shallow grave of an unidentified person killed during fighting in the village of Chenna, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Residents said it was dug in early September 2021 after Tigrayan fighters left the area. © 2021 Tom Gardner
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‘The lack of consequences for the crimes committed in Tigray has made it easier for warring parties to commit further atrocities.’

A full year has passed since Eritrean government forces massacred Tigrayan civilians in Ethiopia’s historical town of Axum. But survivors of the massacre and of other atrocities in Tigray are still no closer to accessing justice and redress – an…
Priest on his way to church in Axum, Tigray region, Ethiopia on January 25, 2011.
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Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.