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Adds to Severe Restrictions on the Internet, Media

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta added a ban on satellite television to existing restrictions on the internet and media, tightening its grip over information in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2021, the ruling State Administration…
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-finger sign of defiance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on April 23, 2021.
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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
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Washington Needs to Offer an Alternative

Nearly every week, the international news media reports on the Chinese government’s troubling use of technology to spy on its own citizens and those of other countries. China’s tech giants, Foreign Policy reported late last year, work hand…
Chinese paramilitary police wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand guard near the portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
News

If you’re looking for proof that Big Tech never stood a chance against the Chinese Communist Party, here it is.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the country’s regulators to ramp up control on the internet economy in a speech on Monday, spelling more trouble for Chinese tech giants that have already been in the government’s crosshairs for their…
Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News

Internet, Mobile Shutdowns Violate Rights, Hinder Access to Information

Streets throughout Myanmar were stained again on Sunday with the blood of dozens of protesters gunned down by government security forces. Local media reports indicate it was the deadliest day since the February 1 coup, with many of the killings taking…
Protesters surround an injured man in Hlaing Tharyar township in Yangon, Myanmar, March 14, 2021.
News

Camera Surveillance, Mass Data Collection Bolsters Abusive Junta

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar military junta’s access to a new public camera system equipped with facial recognition and license plate recognition technology poses a serious threat to basic rights in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Increased…
A police officer takes visuals of protesters close to the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. 
News

Beijing Blocks Clubhouse App to Stop ‘Political’ Conversations

On Monday night, Clubhouse, the red-hot app where people can create chatrooms that disappear after use, became inaccessible in China, presumably blocked by the authorities. Many had expected this to happen, but some were still surprised by how fast…
Logos of social media platforms including Clubhouse, center, are seen on an iPhone 12.
News

Leaked List of Over 2,000 Detainees Demonstrates Automated Repression

(New York) – A big data program for policing in China’s Xinjiang region arbitrarily selects Turkic Muslims for possible detention, Human Rights Watch said today. A leaked list of over 2,000 detainees from Aksu prefecture provided to Human Rights Watch…
2020 Badiucao for Human Rights Watch
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Technical Difficulties - A ChinaFile Conversation

The U.S. and other governments should make decisions about Chinese tech companies based on human rights considerations, including the companies’ impact on the rights of people around the world—not just their own citizens. The Chinese companies…
A logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
News

Once it seemed inevitable that the internet would create a more open society. Now it’s fostering young nationalists.

In May, Wuhan Diary, the Chinese writer Fang Fang’s account of the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, was released in English by HarperCollins. Fang is no radical. She’s the former chairwoman of the Hubei Provincial Writers…
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Armed Group’s Landmine Use Doesn’t Justify Ban in Rakhine, Chin States

Myanmar’s government should immediately lift internet restrictions in Rakhine and Chin States that have put civilians at added risk, Human Rights Watch said today. Government restrictions on the internet have hampered the coordination of aid,…
Three people walk along a road close to the surge of fighting between the Arakan Army and Myanmar military in Rakhine State, January 25, 2019.
News

Inside Terminus 2049: The Young Idealists Risking Everything to Beat Chinese Censorship

Readers of online materials from sources in China are often frustrated when they click on an interesting article—only to find it has been deleted by government censors. Sometimes only a few minutes elapse after an article is published before it…
Cai Wei and Chen Mei.
News

Lift Restrictions in Embattled Rakhine, Chin States

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar government should immediately lift all internet restrictions in eight townships in Rakhine and Chin States, Human Rights Watch said today. The mobile internet shutdown, which began on June 21, 2019, is affecting more than a…
A telecommunications tower in Mrauk U township, Rakhine State, where the Myanmar government has imposed an internet blackout. 
News
Zoom apparently has no qualms about censoring critics in China. In a statement, the company said, “We shut down the meetings instead of blocking the participants by country.” The company apologized for not doing a good job censoring international…
Signage at the headquarters of videoconferencing, remote work, and webinar technology company Zoom (ZM) in the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, March 28, 2020.
News
  We used to worry about Terminator-type artificial intelligence robots dominating the human race, but what we are moving toward is more the opposite: humans are being turned into automatons with little freedom to decide what we do. Across…
A Chinese national flag flutters near surveillance cameras mounted on a lamp post in Beijing, March 15, 2019.
News

Counter-Terrorism Law Threatens Press Freedom, Freedom of Information

(Bangkok) – Myanmar authorities should immediately drop all charges against an editor for broadcasting an interview with an armed group representative, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 30, police arrested and charged Nay Myo Lin, the editor-…
Myanmar press freedom and youth activists demonstrate for the release of two jailed Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, in Yangon, Myanmar, September 16, 2018.
News

Government Response Hinged on Invasive New Surveillance Methods

“I thought the days when humans are ruled by machines and algorithms won’t happen for at least another 50 years. [But] this coronavirus epidemic has suddenly brought it on early,” a blogger on the popular Chinese forum Zhihu wrote. The blogger was…
A security guard monitors people through his augmented reality eyewear equipped with an infrared temperature detector in Hangzhou, China, March 24, 2020.
News

Blocking Access Could Cost Lives

UPDATE: Ethiopia announced that it would restore phone and internet service to western Oromia after a three-month shutdown. (New York) – Intentionally shutting down or restricting access to the internet violates multiple rights and can be…
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News

But Little Action Holding Beijing Accountable

“His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.” These are some of the reasons people in Karakax County in Xinjiang, northwestern China, are being detained in “political…
Government social media post in April 2017 shows detainees in a political education camp in Lop County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang.
News

Restore Telecommunications, Allow Aid to Conflict Areas

Myanmar authorities have issued a surprise order reinstating the shutdown of mobile internet traffic in five townships in Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine and Chin States. Added to four other Rakhine State townships where mobile internet…
A telecommunications tower in Mrauk U township, Rakhine State, Myanmar. The township is one of nine where the government has imposed an internet blackout since June 21, 2019.