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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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 Gambia’s government commits serious human rights violations against perceived critics and political opponents, perpetuating a climate of fear and repression. 
 
 The human rights situation in Gambia has deteriorated since President Yahya Jammeh…
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Condemn Official’s Anti-Gay Statements

(New York) – Burma’s government should publicly condemn grossly discriminatory remarks by a regional official about gay men and transgender women, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to senior Burmese officials. The Burmese government is obligated…
Participant Mummy Sein, 79, attends an event celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Rangoon, Burma on May 17, 2013.
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In the past few months, the West African nation of Gambia, not much bigger than Connecticut, has received an unusual amount of international media coverage. After an alleged coup attempt in December against President Yahya Jammeh, several Gambian…
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There is much to be skeptical of in Burma’s plan for nationwide elections in October. But today one small, yet important, first step toward making Burma a genuine rights-respecting democracy took place. As part of a national process to update voter lists…
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Outside Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh is often the subject of satire. He recently claimed to have found a cure for Ebola. In 2007, he announced his home-grown herbal cure for AIDS.  He also claims to cure hypertension, asthma, epilepsy and infertility. …
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New Law Threatens LGBTI Community

(Dakar) – Gambia’s recent passage of a homophobic law puts the already persecuted lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community at even greater risk of abuse, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The new crime of…
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Life Sentence for ‘Aggravated Homosexuality’

(Dakar) – President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia should not sign a new Criminal Code amendment that would increase the punishment for “aggravated homosexuality” to life in prison, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. The measure would…
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2013 brought many grim setbacks, yet there were still some important signs of progress

With the slaughter of civilians in Syria still horribly unrestrained, it is easy to be discouraged about human rights. There is, of course, every reason for outrage about Syria, and about the international community's narrow focus on peace talks, unlikely…
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Dangerous Remarks Fuel Tension and Promote Violence

(New York, June 11, 2008) – President Yahya Jammeh’s reported threats to expel or kill lesbian and gay people not only encourage hatred, but also contribute to a climate in which basic rights can be assaulted with impunity, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…