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The ostensible assault on LGBT+ rights in Hungary, Poland and Russia has a very big target—anyone who signs up to universal norms.

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, used the visit by the pope to Budapest last month to advance his populist agenda. He said he had been encouraged by his meeting with Frances to advance ‘family values’. Indeed, Orbán claimed to have…
An activist holding the EU flag during a protest in Warsaw against “LGBT ideology free zones”. ©2021 Attila Husejnow / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News

European Union Should Be Clear That Systemic Violations, Impunity Have Consequences

(Brussels) –  The European Union should publicly set out a clear framework with short timelines for Sri Lanka to comply with its human rights commitments and retain tariff-free access to the EU market, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the…
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Incidents Highlight Abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act

As the Sri Lankan government was assuring foreign diplomats of its commitment to human rights, the country’s minister for prisons was on a drunken, armed rampage in two prisons, some 200 kilometers apart.   On Sunday, Lohan Ratwatte reportedly…
Prison guards at the main entrance of Welikada prison in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2019.
News

Member States Should Disregard Government’s Baseless Claims

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should maintain its rigorous scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s worsening human rights situation and press for genuine improvements, Human Rights Watch said today. At the Council’s upcoming session, which…
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Visit Puts Orban Government’s Cruel Migration Policies Under Spotlight

On September 12, Budapest will welcome the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, a Pope whose message constantly called for welcoming migrants and refugees. But Hungary’s treatment of people seeking protection is a far cry from Pope Francis’…
Pope Francis unveils the sculpture on the theme of refugees and migration ' Angels Unawares ' by Canadian sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz, on Migrant and Refugee World Day, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
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Believe or not, there are reasons for both sides to include human rights in the Mexico talks

It’s pretty clear why including a human rights agenda in the ongoing negotiations between Nicolás Maduro’s representatives and the Venezuelan opposition makes political sense for the opposition, which seeks conditions for a transition back to…
Jorge Rodriguez, left, representing the Maduro government, shakes hands with Venezuelan opposition delegate Gerardo Blyde Perez, in Mexico City, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021.
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End Repression, Overhaul Judiciary, Free Political Prisoners, Allow Humanitarian Aid

(New York) – Nicolás Maduro’s representatives should commit to taking basic steps to restore respect for human rights and to holding free and fair elections when they sit down at the negotiating table with the Venezuelan opposition in September 2021,…
Head of the Venezuelan opposition delegation Gerardo Blyde, Kingdom of Norway representative Dag Nylander, Venezuelan National Assembly President Jorge Rodríguez, and Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard during the Inauguration of the Negotiation and Dialogue Process and Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding of Venezuela, at the National Museum of Anthropology on August 13, 2021, in Mexico City.
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Campaign of Intimidation, Blocking Legal Remedies

As the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, justice is further away than ever in Sri Lanka. Despite calls for answers over many years, the government has prevented families of the disappeared from…
A group of women holding black-and-white photos of men
News

Rights Groups Express Concern Over Sri Lankan Police Abuses

(London) – The Scottish government should provide details of a review of Police Scotland training for Sri Lankan police, Human Rights Watch, Freedom from Torture, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, and Pax Christi Scotland said in a letter…
Sri Lankan police officers patrol a Muslim neighborhood after the Easter Sunday bombings, Colombo, April 26, 2019.
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To Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scotland

Dear Justice Secretary Brown, We are writing on behalf of four human rights organisations for clarity about the current status of Police Scotland’s longstanding arrangement to train the Sri Lankan police. The situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated…
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Suspend International Assistance to Abusive Law Enforcement Agencies

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s police are increasingly killing and abusing people under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic measures and an anti-drug campaign, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent police abuses reported in the media include alleged…
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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
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Release Hejaaz Hizbullah and Others Denied Due Process under Abusive Law

Joint Statement  July 28, 2021 (New York) – Human Rights Watch joined 10 other organizations on July 28, 2021 in issuing the following statement seeking the release of the lawyer and activist Hejaaz Hizbullah and others held under Sri Lanka’s…
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End Summary Deportations; Respect Due Process

(Washington, DC) – The Chilean government should stop summary deportations of Venezuelans and ensure that any deportations comply with international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today. A series of rulings by Chile’s Supreme Court and…
Venezuelan migrants board a plane as they are being deported from Chile, at the General Diego Aracena Aguilar International Airport in Iquique, Chile, on February 10, 2021. 
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Reporting Not Matched by Action to Protect Democratic Institutions

The launch of the European Commission’s latest report on the state of rule of law in the European Union should be a milestone. It contains dozens of pages of analysis for each EU country on threats to democratic institutions, covering judicial…
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders delivers the opening statements during a plenary session on the Commissions 2020 Rule of law report at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on June 23, 2021. 
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The situation in Venezuela, an International Criminal Court (ICC) member country, has been under preliminary examination by the court’s Office of the Prosecutor since February 2018. The Office of the Prosecutor carries out preliminary examinations to…
News
We are writing to you on behalf of Brandix to clarify our stance on the article published on Human Rights Watch titled ‘Sri Lanka: Protect Garment Workers’ Rights During Pandemic’. We would like the opportunity to provide clarity for the statements made…
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Compromised Safety, Pay Cuts, Representatives Threatened

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government, factory owners, and the international clothes brands sourcing from Sri Lanka should protect the safety and employment rights of garment workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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