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Australia Should Press for Greater Scrutiny of Beijing at UN Rights Council

The Australian government helped two Australian journalists living in China leave the country yesterday after a five-day diplomatic standoff.  Amid fears for their safety, Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation sheltered in…
In this image made from a video, Australian Broadcasting Corp. journalist Bill Birtles speaks to the media on his arrival at Sydney airport, Australia, September 8, 2020.
News
The Hong Kong government has wasted no time in using its new national security law to arrest critics and attack press freedom. Monday’s arrest of 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including 71-year-old Jimmy Lai, founder and owner of the pro-…
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Two Prosecutions Highlight Threats to Press Freedom

Morocco and Algeria are neighbors and rivals, sharing one of the world’s longest closed-land borders, vying for diplomatic supremacy in the Maghreb region, sparring over Western Sahara, and insulting each other’s governments daily via state-influenced…
Journalists Khaled Drareni (Left) and Omar Radi (Right)
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Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News

Arrested While Covering Hirak Protests

(Beirut) – Khaled Drareni, a prominent journalist, was arrested on March 7, 2020 while covering the pro-democracy demonstrations in Algiers, Human Rights Watch said today. He was jailed for four days and then provisionally released,…
Journalist Khaled Drareni filming street protests in Algiers, December 2019.
News

Free Anyone Detained for Peaceful Protest, Criticizing Authorities

(Beirut) – The Algerian authorities continue to arbitrarily arrest and prosecute activists from the pro-democracy movement “Hirak” despite the president’s promise to initiate a dialogue with the group, Human Rights Watch said today. …
On July 5 2019, thousands of people protested for a twentieth consecutive week in Algeria's capital, defying a major police presence just days before the mandate of interim president Bensalah expires. © AFP/Getty Images
News

Prison Sentences for Protesters

(Beirut) - Algerian authorities are cracking down on the protest movement known as “the Hirak,” which opposes holding the presidential elections scheduled for December 12, 2019, arresting hundreds of activists and imprisoning scores for…
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Leaders Arrested Ahead of Disputed Presidential Elections

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have arrested scores of pro-democracy movement activists since September 2019. Many remain detained on vague charges such as “harming national unity” and “undermining the morale of the army.” The…
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Churches Sealed; Worshipers Beaten

(Beirut) – The recent closure of three Protestant churches and a police assault on worshipers at one church are the latest examples of the repression of this tiny religious minority in Algeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
A Protestant Berber boy attends a weekly mass at a church in Tizi-Ouzou, 100 kilometers east of Algeria's capital, Algiers, October 2, 2010.
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Prosecution, Judicial Control for Criticizing Courts on Facebook

(Beirut) – An Algerian human rights lawyer is facing charges and restrictions on his activities, apparently for exercising his right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. Salah Dabouz, a former president of the Algerian League…
Lawyer, Mr. Salah Dabouz, former president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH).
News

Journalists Face Unjustifiable Restrictions, Threats

Many Kenyan journalists and rights activists travelled this week to Ethiopia for a summit to mark the World Press Freedom Day celebrations. It’s a sign of how things have changed that some Kenyan journalists told us how impressed they…
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.
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Last month, I visited Meliana, an Indonesian woman jailed for blasphemy, in a prison in Medan, North Sumatra. The security was tight. No mobile phones. No pens. No money. We could only bring some cakes. I went there with Musdah Mulia, a…
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama after the sentencing in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on May 9, 2017.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting Indonesia this week on his first international trip as Australia’s leader. The two governments will announce a new trade deal and Australia is keen to show this as a deepening of ties between the two…
A police officer stands guard during a protest by supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, outside Cipinang Prison where he was taken following his conviction of blasphemy in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 May 2017.
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Authorities Should Allow Open Reporting on Issues of Public Interest

Kenya joined the rest of the world to celebrate freedom of the press this week under a hostile and uncertain environment for the media. Despite numerous public promises by President Uhuru Kenyatta to safeguard press freedom, the…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
News

More Than 50 Tried in December on Charges Relating to Religion

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have stepped up trials of members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority on charges related to the exercise of their religion, Human Rights Watch said today. Sentences range from fines to a year in prison. …
Mohamed Fali.
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

286 Prosecutions of Ahmadis

Update: On September 13, 2017, the court of First Instance in Ain Tedles, Mostaganem, sentenced Mohamed Fali to a term of six months in prison, suspended, and a fine.    (Beirut) – The arrest of Mohamed Fali, president of Algeria’s…
Mohamed Fali.
News

Journalists Face Intimidation Around Election

Duncan Khaemba, a television journalist in Kenya, was reporting on cases of violence in Kibera, a low-income neighborhood in Nairobi, when he was arrested with his colleague Otieno Willis on August 12, and subsequently released. Media…
An anti-riot police officer aims a teargas canister while journalists cover an anti-corruption protest in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. November 3, 2016.
News

Urge Hanoi at Talks to Address Assaults on, Jailing of Activists

(Sydney) – Australia should press for significant progress on human rights at its August 10, 2017 bilateral human rights dialogue with Vietnam in Canberra in light of sharply worsening conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights…
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Beatings, Harassment of Journalists and Bloggers Go Uninvestigated

(Nairobi) – Authorities in Kenya have committed a range of abuses against journalists reporting on sensitive issues, threatening freedom of expression ahead of elections slated for August 8, 2017, Human Rights Watch and ARTICLE 19…
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.