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Security Force Raid That Killed 20 Blamed on False Information

On December 31, Iraqi security forces killed 20 people from a single family in a raid on a home in Jableh district in Babil governorate, south of Baghdad. Security forces carried out the raid after reportedly receiving false information about a…
Exterior of a building
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Extrajudicial Killings, Enforced Disappearances Go Unpunished

(Beirut) – The Iraqi government failed in 2021 to deliver on promises to hold to account those responsible for the abuse of protesters, activists, journalists, and critics of political elites and the Popular Mobilization Forces, Human Rights Watch…
A woman casts her vote in the general elections on October 10, 2021 at a polling place in Baghdad.
News

Deepening Systematic Repression Creates Humanitarian Crisis

(New York) – North Korea’s unnecessary and extreme restrictions to contain the Covid-19 pandemic helped tighten government control while creating a humanitarian crisis, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. “North Korea used Covid…
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Kim Dynasty’s Legacy of Brutal Repression, Starvation

(Seoul) – The 10th anniversary of the death of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Il should focus global attention on the brutal rule of his son Kim Jong Un, Human Rights Watch said today. Kim Jong Il died on December 17, 2011. During the 10…
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“Armed groups,” “paramilitary forces,” “groups following the orders of another country.” Human rights advocates in Iraq use these descriptions all the time when we refer to the men with guns behind so many of the killings, abductions, and torture of…
Iraqi soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Nineveh, Iraq. Friday Dec. 4, 2020.
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
News

Acquittals and Sentences Served Ignored

(Beirut, October 28, 2021) – Dozens of Sunni Arab men who served prison time or were acquitted in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region for Islamic State (ISIS) connections risk rearrest or retaliation if they try to reunite with their families in areas controlled…
Iraqi soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Nineveh, Iraq. Friday Dec. 4, 2020.
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…
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(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

Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
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
October 10, 2021   Dear United Nations Member States, The people of North Korea have suffered under the brutal rule of the Kim family regime since 1948. Every year on October 10th, people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (…
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Hundreds of Thousands Prevented from Returning to Japan

An historic court hearing is set to begin next week in Tokyo as five North Korean escapees in Japan seek compensation for human rights abuses they suffered in North Korea after joining a resettlement program based on the false premise that North Korea…
Escapees from North Korea and their supporters march to the Tokyo District Court to file a lawsuit against the North Korean government for violating their human rights, August 20, 2018. 
News

Clearer Standards and Vetting Can Help Protect Survivors

Controversy swirled last week around the award-winning film Sabaya, which covers the dramatic rescue of abused Yezidi women abducted and enslaved by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. At the heart of the issue is how to obtain informed…
A 22-year-old Iraqi Yezidi woman carries her 2-year-old son at her home in al-Hasakeh, northeastern Syria, on November 23, 2020.
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018.
Report
Summary Iraq is holding parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021. Without change, hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities will face barriers to participation and some of them may not be able to vote. The exact number of people with…
News

Urgent Need to Improve Accessibility Before Upcoming Elections

(Beirut) – People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018. 
News

Expands Demands of Work to Shore Up Flagging Economy

North Korea’s economy has taken a hit as the country’s borders remain sealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed appreciation to the country’s youth for “volunteering” to do hard labor to compensate for “…
2021년 5월 25일 평양의 락랑구역에서 농부들이 벼를 심고 있다. ©2021 전철진/AP
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On July 12, Jordan's infamous State Security Court, which routinely runs roughshod over defendants' due process rights, convicted a former high-level official and a little-known royal family member of "sowing discord" and "inciting opposition to the…
Silhouettes are cast on a Jordanian national flag in Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2016. 
News

Displaced Iraqis’ Rights Trampled Repeatedly

(Beirut) – The Iraqi army has unlawfully evicted dozens of families from a village north of Baghdad since July 2021 in an apparent family feud involving a government minister, Human Rights Watch said today. The 91 families from al-Aetha, a village in…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch