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ISIS Affiliate’s Targeted Killings Amount to Crimes Against Humanity

(New York) –The Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), an armed group affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), is carrying out bombings and other targeted attacks against Afghanistan’s Shia religious minority that amount to crimes against…
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Protect Hindus, Sikhs in Muslim-Majority Region

(New York) – Indian authorities should take urgent steps to protect minority communities that are being targeted by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to address serious allegations of human…
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard next to teachers at a government school where suspected militants fatally shot two teachers on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, October 7, 2021.
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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
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United States Congressional Briefing “Religious Freedom in India,” September 22, 2021

Thank you for inviting me to testify today. Among India’s most pressing human rights concerns today is the worsening situation with respect to religious freedom. The facts are clear: attacks against religious minorities in India, especially Muslims…
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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Sedition, Counterterrorism Laws Used to Silence Dissent

(New York) – The Indian authorities are increasingly bringing politically motivated cases, including under severe sedition and terrorism laws, against critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop…
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Discrimination Will Affect the Country’s Fight Against the Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 10,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on April 14 to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3. He acknowledged the hardship, particularly for…
Men wait for a bus that will take them to a quarantine facility in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, India, March 31, 2020.
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Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
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Possible Excessive Use of Police Force Against Citizenship Law Protesters

(New York) – The Indian authorities should immediately order all police to abide by international standards on policing assemblies, Human Rights Watch said today. The police may have used excessive force against demonstrators across the…
A man is arrested during a protest against the new citizenship law in Gauhati, India, December 16, 2019.
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Draft Law Favors Hindus, Other Non-Muslim Immigrants

Update: On December 11, India’s upper house of parliament also passed the bill. It will now become law after the president of India gives his assent. (New York) – The Indian government’s proposed law to grant citizenship…
A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Gauhati, India, Dec 10, 2019.
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Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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Stop Prosecuting Dissent; Repeal Abusive Counterterrorism Law

(New York) – Indian authorities detained five activists and raided the homes of several others on August 28, 2018, for allegedly inciting caste-based violence in January, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International India said today. The government…
Police try to stop people belonging to the Dalit community as they take part in a protest during a nationwide strike called by Dalit organisations, in Chandigarh, India, April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
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Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
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Slight Fall in Ground Fighting Civilian Casualties by Government Forces

When I was in Kabul a few days ago, I caught up with an old Afghan friend, who remarked that the relentless violence in Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to comprehend. The mounting toll of dead and wounded has become abstract, he said, hard…
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ISIS Affiliates Target Shia Minority

(New York) – The attack on a Shia mosque in Kabul claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) on August 25, 2017, is a serious violation of the laws of war, and an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch…
A man inspects a Shia mosque after an attack claimed by the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2017.
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February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…
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Urge to Press the Government for Action Is Long Gone

“This is not a side event. This is the main event,” several speakers said at the – yes – side event on women’s empowerment the day before the October 5 donor conference on Afghanistan in Brussels. The donor session, for all its warm glow, highlighted the…
DATE IMPORTED:October 05, 2016(Front Row L-R) Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, President Ashraf Ghani, European Council President Donald Tusk, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, U.S.
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The list of activists falling victim to efforts by Indian authorities to curb criticism is growing by the day. On June 17, 2016, the government announced that Sabrang Trust – a group run by activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed…
A police van transports some of those convicted in connection with the 2002 riots in Gujarat, India on June 2, 2016.