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Time may be running out for Washington and its allies to hold the region’s miscreant governments to account

Central American countries are falling like dominoes into authoritarianism. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has intensified his crackdown on political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders in advance of general elections on…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 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

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

Hazardous Detention Conditions, No Due Process, Arbitrary Prosecutions

(Washington, DC) – New evidence indicates that dozens of critics the Nicaraguan government arbitrarily detained for months, most of them accused of “treason,” are being held incommunicado and are often subjected to repeated interrogations and abusive…
Lesbia Alfaro, mother of student leader Lester Alemán, who went into exile after participating in protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's government in 2018, holds a portrait of her son during an interview with AFP in Managua, on September 14, 2021.
News

Concerted, Global Pressure Needed to Stem Regime Abuses

On August 2, the European Union (EU) imposed targeted sanctions on eight Nicaraguans accused of “serious human rights violations” and undermining democracy, including Vice President Rosario Murillo. The sanctions include freezing assets, forbidding…
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua on September 5, 2018.
News

A wave of arrests of President Daniel Ortega’s critics threatens Nicaragua’s democracy

The warning came by radio. On June 11, the host of a Nicaraguan radio show that receives substantial government funding said Elton Ortega, a lawyer who had been representing two of Nicaragua’s jailed presidential candidates, was on a list of people…
In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, lead a rally in Managua, Nicaragua.
News

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.
News

Russia Should Allow Full Year of UN-Led Aid Delivery from Turkey, Iraq

(New York) – Russia should not block the United Nations Security Council from reauthorizing and expanding cross-border humanitarian aid operations across northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Millions of people in northeast and northwest…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
Report
Summary As Nicaragua prepares for presidential elections scheduled for November 7, 2021, the administration of President Daniel Ortega has launched a campaign of arbitrary detention and harassment of government critics, including human rights…
News

United Nations Should Escalate Pressure to Protect Rights, Ensure Free Elections

(Washington, DC) – The Ortega government’s intensifying campaign of violence and repression against the opposition and civil society in Nicaragua requires escalating involvement by the United Nations to address the situation, Human Rights Watch said…
National police officers beat opposition member Valeska Valle and other demonstrators taking part in a "National sit-in" protest against President Daniel Ortega's government in Managua on March 30, 2019.
News

UN Should Reauthorize Crucial Help from Neighboring Countries

Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
News
June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
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Millions of Syrians risk losing access to lifesaving aid, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, if Russia vetoes reauthorizing the only remaining UN aid corridor from Turkey into opposition-held northwest Syria, Human Rights Watch…
News

Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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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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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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Al-Hasani at Risk of Unfair Trial After Wrongful Deportation From Morocco

(Beirut) – Saudi officials should immediately make public the whereabouts and condition of a Saudi-Australian man forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia in March 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. No information has emerged about the situation of Osama al…
201911MENA_SaudiArabia_Repression_main
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Governments Should Bolster Respect for Landmark Arms Ban

Governments should reinforce the global ban on chemical weapons by suspending the rights and privileges of Syria, a party to the treaty that has violated it with impunity for years.  This week, states that are parties to the Chemical Weapons…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.