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Police Handed Enhanced Powers to Infiltrate Phones and Computers

The German parliament amended two laws on June 10th granting enhanced surveillance powers to segments of the federal police and intelligence services. They allow the use of spyware to hack into phones and computers circumventing encryption used by…
The logo of the messenger app Whatsapp is seen on the screen of a smartphone on April 28th, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
News

After eight years, civil society worldwide demands the government establish and reveal Sombath’s fate and whereabouts

15 December 2020: On the eighth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned organizations, reiterate our calls on the government of Laos to reveal his fate and whereabouts, and to investigate…
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Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 2020. 
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Free All Wrongfully Detained; Permit Peaceful Rally

(New York) – The Lao government should immediately release political activists arrested for planning a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Vientiane, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 12, 2019, Lao authorities arrested at least…
Lao people walk past their country flag, in the capital Vientiane, Laos.
News

Need Better Protection for Holy Sites and Comprehensive Efforts to Combat Rising Hate

The attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, is a terrifying reminder that the scourge of anti-Semitism persists in Europe today. A woman and a man were killed…
People mourn in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
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Merkel should Raise Rights Concerns, Call for Activist’s Release

It’s been four years since a Kyrgyz president visited Germany, a period of change and some progress. In October 2017, Kyrgyzstan held competitive, peaceful elections ushering in a new president. The country has started negotiations to upgrade…
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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Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Address Jailed Russian Activists, Attacks on Syrian Civilians

(Berlin) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel should raise critical human rights issues when she meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Meseberg, Germany, on August 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The chancellor’s spokesperson has…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017
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Tech Company Should Disclose Business Dealings with Turkmen Government

(Berlin) – German technology companies should publicly disclose whether they are considering sales to the Turkmenistan government, Human Rights Watch said today. They should also reveal what steps they have taken to assess whether any technology…
A screen showing a portrait of Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov inside the terminal of the newly built airport in Ashgabat
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Chancellor Visiting Amid New Levels of Repression

(Berlin) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 18, 2018 in Sochi is a crucial opportunity to press for the release of a wrongfully detained Russian human rights defender and to raise other key…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, July 7, 2017
News

NetzDG is Wrong Response to Online Abuse

(Berlin) – The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content can lead to unaccountable, overbroad censorship and should be promptly reversed, Human Rights Watch said today. The law sets a…
Session of the German lower house of Parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, February 1, 2018.
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Repeal of Decree on Associations No. 238 of 2017

H.E. Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith Prime Minister Prime Minister's Office, Vientiane Lao People’s Democratic Republic H.E. Mr. Bounnhang Vorachith President President’s Office, Vientiane Lao People’s Democratic…
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Disclose Sombath Somphone’s Fate or Whereabouts

(Bangkok) – The government of Laos should immediately disclose the fate or whereabouts of the prominent civil society leader Sombath Somphone, who was forcibly disappeared in the capital, Vientiane, in December 2012, Human Rights Watch said today…
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News

Armed Men Kidnap Wuthipong Kachathamakul in Vientiane

(New York) – The Lao authorities should urgently investigate the abduction of an exiled Thai activist Wuthipong Kachathamakul, also known as Ko Tee, Human Rights Watch said today. Eyewitnesses stated that a group of unknown armed assailants…
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  Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer should take a stand in defense of European Union values and the rule of law by rejecting a political alliance with the rights-damaging policies of…
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban looks up during a plenary session at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels, Belgium April 26, 2017.
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Australia Should Use Dialogue to Raise Free Speech, ‘Disappearances’

Australian officials should press the government of Laos to respect human rights at the Australian-Laos human rights dialogue, scheduled for July 18-19, 2017, in Vientiane, Human Rights Watch said today in a submission to the Australian government. Key…
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Human Rights Watch Submission

We write on the occasion of the forthcoming 5th Australian-Laos human rights dialogue, scheduled to be held in Vientiane, Laos in July 2017. Australia should raise pressing human rights issues in an unambiguous manner, set clear benchmarks for…
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A Letter to France and Germany from an imprisoned Bahraini activist

By Nabeel Rajab, Director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights - published in le Monde (in french) on 21 december 2016 It took years for the consequences of the west’s failures in the Middle East to be felt, but as the tragedy…
Open letter Nabeel Rajab (French) - Le Monde - 21 dec 2016
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Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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Democracy must be grounded in human rights. To many, that is obvious, but increasingly, we see some in Europe suggesting that democracy is about merely winning elections and then doing whatever the voters are deemed to want.  Democracy, for them, becomes…
Kenneth Roth Headshot