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Shutdown of Independent Radio Station Should Trigger EU Action

A Hungarian court this week forced the embattled independent radio station Klubradio off air, likely for good. The court upheld a September decision by the country’s media regulator to revoke Klubradio’s license for alleged breaches of the country’s…
Klubradio's director and CEO Andras Arato, right, talks to colleague Milhaly Hardy in the studio of Klubradio in Budapest, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.
News

EU Action Needed to Reverse Rule of Law Breakdown

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week ruled the Hungarian government’s 2017 law on higher education violated European Union law. The law put onerous requirements on all foreign universities that operate in Hungary but so…
People in Budapest protest a draft law targeting Central European University, Hungary, April 4, 2017.
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EU Should Act on Latest Blow to Press Freedom

In the most recent attack on media freedom in Hungary, the country’s Media Council last week unexpectedly announced it would revoke Klubradio’s frequency as of February 2021. It justified its decision by referring to the independent, commercial station’s…
Klubradio’s president, Andras Arato, is seen on air in Klubradio's studio in Budapest, Hungary, March 2020. 
News

Trial Postponed Over His Poor Health, But He Remains in Detention

(Beirut) – Algerian Authorities have brought charges against an activist for his peaceful support for the pro-reform Hirak protest movement and for boycotting the December 2019 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today. The activist,…
An Algerian demonstrator holds the Algerian national flag as he stage a protest against the government in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Nov.29, 2019. 
News

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)
News

End Pressure on Media; Respect, Protect Independent Journalism

(Budapest) – The firing of Szabolcs Dull, the editor-in-chief of Hungary’s biggest independent news website, Index, on July 22, 2020 has political interference written all over it, Human Rights Watch said today. The dismissal is a blow to media…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addresses supporters after the announcement of partial results of the parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018.
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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
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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.
News

Arrests, Roadblocks Curbing Peaceful Marches

Algeria’s authorities have jailed dozens of people for peaceful protests in the six months since the beginning of a wave of street demonstrations that forced the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Human Rights Watch said…
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
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New Law Underscores Importance of EU Political Sanctions Process

Academic freedom in Hungary suffered a fresh blow Tuesday, when the parliament, where ruling party Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, adopted a controversial bill undermining the independence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The…
Protesters gather in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) headquarters to protest against the planned reorganisation of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest,
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EU Should Act on Curbs to Media Freedom in Hungary and other EU States

The Austrian populist rightwing Freedom Party (FPÖ), until Monday part of the country’s governing coalition, has suffered after its attempt to take over a leading newspaper became public. FPÖ leader and Austrian vice-chancellor Heinz-…
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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.
News

Uphold Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Beirut, April 19, 2019) ­ Algerian authorities have resumed forcibly dispersing peaceful demonstrations and arbitrarily detaining protesters in the capital, Algiers, Human Rights Watch said today. The government crackdown is an…
Protesters confront police officers during a demonstration against the country's leadership, in Algiers, Friday, April 12, 2019.
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Demonstrators Opposing 5th Term for President

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities should allow Algerians to assemble peacefully and refrain from using excessive force against demonstrators opposing a fifth term for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Protesters march in a cloud of tear gas fired by riot police as they denounce President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term, March 1, 2019.
News

Foreign Ministers Should Invoke Article 7 to Support Rule of Law

(Budapest) – European Union (EU) foreign ministers should adopt a clear roadmap to declaring Hungary in serious breach of EU values, Human Rights Watch said today. Ministers meeting in the General Affairs Council session on October 16,…
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