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(Istanbul) – The government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has set back Turkey’s human rights record by decades and flagrantly defies international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. In 2021 Turkey was the first…
On March 20, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, a groundbreaking treaty strongly supported by the women’s rights movement in Turkey. Protesters hold a banner reading "We are not giving up on the Istanbul Convention. It's not over for us." Istanbul/Turkey July 1, 2021
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Failure To Free Rights Defender Osman Kavala Triggers Infringement Process

(Istanbul) – The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers decision notifying Turkey it will start infringement proceedings over its failure to comply with the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) order to free the jailed human rights…
Osman Kavala
News

Supportive Community Response, Rather than Law Enforcement

Kaola Baird experienced intense feelings of depression and sadness. She began noticing that she was feeling drained, with limited energy and motivation. She just stopped engaging with life fully. Her experience is not unique. One in four people around the…
Kaola Baird with teammates at the Dragon Boat Race Festival
News

Needs of Marginalized Groups Should Inform Government Response

Canada’s western province of British Columbia is once again reeling from devastation linked to climate change. Following this summer’s deadly heat and rampant wildfires, record rainfall this month has triggered massive flooding, displacing more than…
A woman and children in boat leaving behind car with floodwaters up to the roof in the background.
News
Shortly after Denmark began telling Syrian refugees that parts of Syria are "safe" and stripped them of their temporary protected status, I talked to a 31-year-old refugee who voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan in December 2020. He told me…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
Report
Summary As the harmful effects of immigration detention become more widely known and the appropriateness of detaining migrants is increasingly questioned, governments are looking at alternatives to detention as more humane and rights-respecting…
News

Pilot Programs Point Way to Rights-Respecting Models

(New York) – Pilot programs testing alternatives to immigration detention in several countries, including the United States, offer governments models for more humane and rights-respecting approaches, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today…
Illustration of a man hugging his family outside of a detention center
News

Their Rights and Freedoms Must Be Secured.

Statement by Nongovernmental Organizations 02 November 2021 We, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, would like to express our grave concern over the deteriorating situation for Turkmen migrants in Turkey – primarily those who…
News
November 1, 2021 The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada The Honourable Sean Fraser Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada The Honourable Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs Urgent Call to…
Afghans from northern provinces who fled their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces take refuge in a public parc in Kabul, August 13, 2021. 
News

Activists at Risk of Persecution, Torture if Returned Home

(Berlin) – The Turkish government should halt any plans to deport two detained Turkmen activists to Turkmenistan, where they will be at grave risk of arbitrary arrest and torture, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish authorities…
A man walks near Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
News
“This place guarantees you lose your sanity, your dignity, your humanity one way or another…It’s exhausting trying to protect myself all day, all night. I can’t do it anymore."  Kimberly Polman, a 49-year-old Canadian woman, wrote these words in…
A woman poses wearing a hijab
Report
Summary Syria is a death country, a kidnapping country. Anyone coming back will lose their money or their life. — Salam, 26, from al-Jeza in Daraa Syrian refugees who voluntarily returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan…
Video
(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
News

Struggle to Survive Amid Devastation, Property Destruction

(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
News

Authorities Deny Afghans Right to Seek Asylum

(New York) – Turkish authorities are summarily pushing Afghan asylum seekers crossing into the country from Iran back to Iran, in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch said today. Six Afghans, five of whom were pushed back, told Human…
A Turkish soldier stands at the Turkish border with Iran