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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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Demonstrate that Undocumented Migrants Won’t Be Arrested

Recent statements by Malaysia’s new health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, that everyone in the country is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine regardless of documentation status, are a welcome nod toward more equitable access to vaccines. But unless the…
A health worker gestures to the next vaccine recipient at Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 31, 2021.
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End Harassment, Prosecutions of Critics

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, should commit to respect the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, which have long been suppressed in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s king appointed Ismail…
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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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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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Policies Undermine Government’s Calls for Global Vaccine Equity

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s raids on irregular migrants are deterring people fearful of arrest and deportation from getting vaccinated for Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. These actions undermine the government’s repeated…
Migrant workers show their passport during a raid in Dengkil, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 21, 2021.
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Gender Recognition Would Help Address Rights Violations

“I have never had official employment,” Aisha (not her real name), a Malaysian trans woman who does sex work, told Human Rights Watch and Justice for Sisters in 2019. “I tried. I applied for a job selling perfume, but the employer said they would only…
Transgender people in Malaysia face discrimination and abuses by government officials and agents, including public sector medical staff, teachers and local government officials. © 2014 Javad Tizmaghz Photography by Human Rights Watch
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The Tuesday (22 June) European Council meeting on Hungary and Poland is a chance for the EU to show that it is finally taking EU values seriously. For too long, Ursula von der Leyen's European Commission has offered few signs of prioritising…
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Concerted Action Needed to Counter Rule of Law Threats in Poland and Hungary

(Brussels) – European Union affairs ministers should put the governments of Hungary and Poland on notice that there is no place for attacks on the rule of law in the EU and step up scrutiny of their human rights-abusive policies, Amnesty International…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Equating Pedophilia with Sexual and Gender Diversity is False, Discriminatory, Stigmatizing

Hungary’s parliament adopted a bill today which effectively bans discussion of sexual and gender diversity in schools, media, advertising, and other public spaces, slapping those who violate it with administrative sanctions that could include fines.…
Thousands protest the anti-LGBT law in Budapest, Hungary, June 14, 2021. 
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Latest Attack on Diversity Could Affect Health Care, Education

(Berlin) – Hungary’s parliament should reject a bill that would prohibit discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation, and violates Hungary’s international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The law targets content “promoting”…
People march with a giant rainbow flag from the parliament building in Budapest during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade on July 6, 2019.
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
News
With GE15 on the horizon, there is a grave risk that arrests will continue to rise. Respect for freedom of speech in Malaysia is in free fall - a decline illustrated by two recent arrests. On the evening of Friday, April 23, seven police…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
News

Government Should End Harassment of Independent Groups

Despite a chorus of international criticism, the Hungarian government has been in no hurry to act on a June 2020 EU Court decision that states a 2017 law forcing civil society organizations receiving more than 20.000 EUR per year in foreign funds to…
People protest in Heroes’ square against a new law that would undermine Central European University, a liberal graduate school of social sciences founded by U.S. financier George Soros in Budapest, Hungary, April 12, 2017.
News
In December, an intensive care doctor was quoted in Hungarian media saying that many of the Covid-19 patient deaths are in fact the result of other infections they picked up during their treatment for the disease in Hungarian public hospitals. That…
Prime Minister Orban in early April visiting the Budapest Korányi Institute of Pulmonology  - a clinic with specific responsibility for Covid-19 patients. In the background are some indications of disrepair including tiles falling off the wall and an “out of order” sign on the elevator.
News

Law Banning Gender Change Still Rife with Discrimination

Transgender and intersex people in Hungary recently won a small victory amid rampant discrimination when the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that a legal ban on changing gender, introduced last year, does not apply retroactively. The ruling…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, center right, speaks during a plenary session in the House of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, March 23, 2020.
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New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
News

Fidesz Departure from European Parliament Group Highlights Party’s Failure to Act

The decision yesterday by Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz to quit the main conservative group in the EU parliament may seem like a decisive step in the power struggle within the European People’s Party (EPP). Yet the truth is it leaves the question…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban takes part in a European People Party (EPP) summit in St Julian's, Malta, March 30, 2017.