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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.
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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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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.
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During Kyrgyzstan Presidential Visit, EU Leaders Should Press for Greater Media Freedom

Six months after being elected president and taking power in the first peaceful transition between democratically elected leaders in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbai Jeenbekov is this week making his first official visit to Europe as head of…
Kyrgyz President-elect Sooronbai Jeenbekov (front) attends an inauguration ceremony at the Ala-Archa state residence outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan November 24, 2017.
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Regional Leaders Should End Repressive Policies

(Berlin) – Political leaders in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should use the window of opportunity offered by political change in their countries to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2018. Leaders of…
People attend the opening ceremony of the new Belarussian-built potash plant in Garlyk, Turkmenistan March 31, 2017.
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Stop Detaining Critics; Respect Independence of Media, Activists

(Brussels) – The European Union should make respect for human rights and an end to decades of repression a core component of its engagement with Central Asian countries, Human Rights Watch said today. In the past year, Central Asia has seen some…
From left to right: Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission; Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Erlan IDRISSOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Mr Erlan ABDYLDAEV
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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.
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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.
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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. Journalists and bloggers reporting on corruption, disputed land…
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Summary On November 3, 2015, Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior and national coordination, appeared before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee to answer questions about millions of dollars his ministry allegedly…
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Drop Lawsuits; Allow Outlets to Do Their Jobs

(Berlin) – Kyrgyzstan’s General Prosecutor has brought a series of cases against two prominent local media outlets that have been critical of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The outlets are accused of discrediting the honor and…
Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev addresses a news conference in Berlin, April 1, 2015.
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It has been a tough year so far for the media in Kenya, with journalists and bloggers bearing the brunt of what seems to be a concerted government effort to silence the press. On January 19, for example, Kenyan blogger Edwin…
Joseph Ole Nkaissery, Secretary for Internal Security and Coordination of National Government, Kenya.
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Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
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Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Regarding the UN Secretary-General's Trip to Central Asia

Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia June 2015 This briefing memorandum highlights Human Rights Watch’s principal areas of concern in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with a view to…
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This week I had expected to be writing about a defamation case brought by Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee against an independent journalist in Osh, in southern Kyrgyzstan. To my surprise, the committee withdrew its complaint, and the court…
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President Barack Obama’s second presidential visit to Africa kicks off in Senegal, with stops in South Africa and Tanzania. This is a good regional mix highlighting the development and governance successes that are likely to be main themes of his trip.…
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Protect Free Speech, Carry Out Reforms

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s new administration should take urgent steps in four key areas to address longstanding human rights challenges, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The administration should ensure that abusive security forces are held…