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Teachers’ Syndicate Board Released; Others Still Held

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have exploited the country’s Covid-19 pandemic to forcibly disperse public protests against the arbitrary closure of the country’s Teachers Syndicate and mass arrests of its leadership, Human Rights Watch said today…
 Jordanian police block a road in front of protestors in Irbid, north of Jordan on August 1, 2020.
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Latest Escalation in Media Restrictions

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have used a sweeping gag order, harassment, and arrests to limit media coverage of ongoing protests stemming from the arbitrary closure of the Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate on July 25, 2020, Human Rights Watch said…
Thousands of Jordanian teachers march from the governorship building to the Professional Unions Complex to demand a reversal of the decision to close the Teachers Union, in Irbid, Jordan on August 01, 2020.
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New Penalties for ‘Causing Panic’ About Pandemic

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have arrested media workers and others and issued a vaguely worded emergency decree that could chill online discussion about Jordan’s Covid-19 response, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the…
Jordanian police personnel guard at a checkpoint during the second day of a nationwide curfew, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan. © 2020 Reuters
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Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record has regretably deterioriated since its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October 2014. Authorities cracked down on peaceful protests critical of government policies, and in mid-2016 jailed activists Maks Bokaev and…
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New President Should Adopt Reform Agenda

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s new president, Kassym-Jomart Tokaev, should urgently address pressing human rights concerns as part of his mandate, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent to the president that was released today. Tokaev was…
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev takes the oath during his inauguration ceremony in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
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Journalists Questioned, Website Blocked

(Brussels) – Kazakhstan opened a criminal investigation of two prominent independent media outlets on March 30, 2018, for “disseminating knowingly false information,” Human Rights Watch said today. Police on April 2…
Journalists, others gather around Vadim Boreiko, journalist and regular contributor to Ratel.kz, for comment after the April 5 court hearing against Ratel.kz and chief editor Marat Asipov.
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Regional Leaders Should End Repressive Policies

(Berlin) – Political leaders in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should use the window of opportunity offered by political change in their countries to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2018. Leaders of…
People attend the opening ceremony of the new Belarussian-built potash plant in Garlyk, Turkmenistan March 31, 2017.
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Stop Detaining Critics; Respect Independence of Media, Activists

(Brussels) – The European Union should make respect for human rights and an end to decades of repression a core component of its engagement with Central Asian countries, Human Rights Watch said today. In the past year, Central Asia has seen some…
From left to right: Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission; Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Erlan IDRISSOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Mr Erlan ABDYLDAEV
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Barred from Journalism for 3 Years

(Berlin) – An Almaty court on September 7, 2017, convicted the editor of one of Kazakhstan’s few remaining critical newspapers in a politically motivated money laundering trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Medeu District Court barred…
201709eca_kazakhstan_mamay
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End Crackdown on Labor Rights

(Berlin) – A Kazakh court on May 16, 2017, sentenced a trade union leader to two years in prison on politically motivated embezzlement charges, Human Rights Watch said today. In addition, the trade unionist, Amin Yeleusinov, 55, is…
Amin Yeleusinov.
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Nongovernmental Organizations Targeted for Their Work

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s authorities have been abusing tax issues to harass human rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Two prominent human rights organizations, the International Legal Initiative Foundation and Liberty, have had tax audits, and…
A public meeting organized by rights groups in Kazakhstan on January 27, 2017.
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Hundreds Detained, Journalists, Activists Rounded Up

(Berlin) – Law enforcement officers aggressively broke up efforts to hold planned peaceful protests across Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016, detaining hundreds of people, sometimes using force, Human Rights Watch said today. Police also rounded up journalists…
Riot police officer gestures during protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016.
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Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
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Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
2015-10-eca-john-kerry-vienna
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Olympic Committee Should Enforce Its New Rules

(New York) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should ensure that the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics fully respects human rights commitments in preparing for and hosting of the games, Human Rights Watch said today. Both countries in the running…
2015_07_ECA_Kazakhstan_China_Olympics
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Vague Law Being Used to Curb Media Freedom

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities are curtailing media freedom by detaining and bringing charges against journalists under broad and vague provisions of the country’s terrorism law. In the most recent case, on July 8, 2015, authorities detained Ghazi…
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Regarding the UN Secretary-General's Trip to Central Asia

Overview of key human rights concerns in Central Asia June 2015 This briefing memorandum highlights Human Rights Watch’s principal areas of concern in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, with a view to…
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Crackdown on Free Expression, Media Intensifies

(Berlin) – A court on April 21, 2014, ordered the closure of one of Kazakhstan’s few remaining independent newspapers, Human Rights Watch said today. The order compounds other measures in recent weeks to tighten controls over freedom of expression and the…