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Need Better Protection for Holy Sites and Comprehensive Efforts to Combat Rising Hate

The attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, is a terrifying reminder that the scourge of anti-Semitism persists in Europe today. A woman and a man were killed…
People mourn in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
News

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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

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.  Trump…
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.
Report
Summary No one here reports to police because they fear for their lives. . . . There are people who have been missing for more than nine months. Some are taken for a few weeks or days for questioning and then returned, so it is…
News

Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
News

Armed Clashes Cause Mass Displacement of Minorities

(New York) – Armed opposition groups appeared to have deliberately destroyed religious sites in mixed areas of Northern Syria, in November and December 2012, Human Rights Watch said following investigations in Latakia and Idlib governorates. An armed…
News

A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper

Summary Racist and other hate violence is a problem in Germany—as it is in many European Union countries— with hundreds of violent attacks recorded by authorities and civil society groups each year. Germany has made progress in…
News

To Help Women, Leaders Should Dig Deeper than Religious Clothing

President Sarkozy of France has reignited the debate about how Muslim women in Europe should dress by calling for a ban on clothing that, as he puts it, imprisons women and undermines their dignity. But in this burqa debate the voices of Muslim women…
News

Detention of Kurds and Suspected Islamists for Months Raises Grave Concerns

(New York) - Syrian authorities should reveal the fate of at least 17 men held in incommunicado detention by members of the security services since August and September 2008, Human Rights Watch said today. The security services detained 13 men during an…
News

Excluding Muslim women who wear headscarves from the public sphere does nothing for gender equality or peaceful integration

Throughout Europe, over the past decade, there has been a loud - and at times openly xenophobic - debate about whether a Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf while on duty in a government job. Various types of bans have been enacted in…
News

State Restrictions on Religious Dress for Teachers Target Muslim Women

(Berlin) - German state bans on religious symbols and clothing for teachers and other civil servants discriminate against Muslim women who wear the headscarf, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 67-page report, "Discrimination in the…
Report
I. Executive Summary To use the language of sports, the law you put forward essentially says, "Ball games are forbidden in the schoolyard." But then comes the second sentence: "Soccer is not a ball game." …
News

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…