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Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
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United States Congressional Briefing “Religious Freedom in India,” September 22, 2021

Thank you for inviting me to testify today. Among India’s most pressing human rights concerns today is the worsening situation with respect to religious freedom. The facts are clear: attacks against religious minorities in India, especially Muslims…
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News

European Union Should Be Clear That Systemic Violations, Impunity Have Consequences

(Brussels) –  The European Union should publicly set out a clear framework with short timelines for Sri Lanka to comply with its human rights commitments and retain tariff-free access to the EU market, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the…
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Listing Achievements at UN Won’t Hide Failures to Protect Rights

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week, to address global issues and list his government’s “achievements on the domestic front.” But back home, authorities are targeting…
Farmers participate in a protest against farm laws in Haryana, India on September 7, 2021. 
News

Stop Harassment of Activists, Journalists, Peaceful Protesters

(New York) – Indian authorities are using politically motivated allegations of tax evasion and financial irregularities to silence human rights activists, journalists, and other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. In September…
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News

Burmese Artists Send Message to France, Global Community to Address Rights

The Myanmar military’s February 1 coup sparked the largest and most widespread protests in the country's recent history, showing people’s determination not to be dragged back into a dark past of military dictatorship. The military responded with…
Installation of the exhibition Fighting Fear #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Place du Palais Royal in Paris
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Incidents Highlight Abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act

As the Sri Lankan government was assuring foreign diplomats of its commitment to human rights, the country’s minister for prisons was on a drunken, armed rampage in two prisons, some 200 kilometers apart.   On Sunday, Lohan Ratwatte reportedly…
Prison guards at the main entrance of Welikada prison in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 2019.
News

Member States Should Disregard Government’s Baseless Claims

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should maintain its rigorous scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s worsening human rights situation and press for genuine improvements, Human Rights Watch said today. At the Council’s upcoming session, which…
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News

Authorities Should End Mistreatment of Prisoners, Allow Investigations

This week, apparently hacked videos of surveillance cameras in Iran’s Evin prison, in the capital Tehran, have confirmed many of the patterns of abusive treatment and violations of due process human rights groups have documented for decades. These…
In this undated frame grab taken from video shared with The Associated Press by a self-identified hacker group called "The Justice of Ali," a guard hits a prisoner, at Evin prison in Tehran, Iran. 
News

Eleven Groups Call for Independent Oversight of State Surveillance

Update: This has been updated to include additional groups in support of this action. (New York) – Indian authorities should immediately, independently, and credibly investigate the government’s alleged use of advanced spyware to target…
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Campaign of Intimidation, Blocking Legal Remedies

As the world prepares to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, justice is further away than ever in Sri Lanka. Despite calls for answers over many years, the government has prevented families of the disappeared from…
A group of women holding black-and-white photos of men
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August 25 is Observed as ‘Genocide Remembrance Day,’ but It Is Not Just the Story of a Single Day

Kabir, a Rohingya refugee, fled his village in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25, 2017. But this was not the first time he had been forced to flee, nor the first time Myanmar soldiers had burned down his home. Nor is Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh…
Rohingya refugees walk through rice fields after crossing the border from Myanmar into Palang Khali, Bangladesh, October 19, 2017.
News

Vaccine Prohibitions, Poor Transparency Undermining Response

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities’ prohibition on procuring US- and UK-produced vaccines, lack of transparency, and mismanagement are exacerbating the already dire impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran is…
An Iranian man wearing a protective face mask looks on as people line-up to receive China's Sinopharm vaccine in central Tehran on July 19, 2021. 
News

Rights Groups Express Concern Over Sri Lankan Police Abuses

(London) – The Scottish government should provide details of a review of Police Scotland training for Sri Lankan police, Human Rights Watch, Freedom from Torture, the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, and Pax Christi Scotland said in a letter…
Sri Lankan police officers patrol a Muslim neighborhood after the Easter Sunday bombings, Colombo, April 26, 2019.
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Junta Packs Jails with Opponents as Virus Thrives

Myanmar’s Covid-19 crisis is spiraling out of control, as the coronavirus spreads among the most marginalized populations, including those in the country’s prisons. The escalation of politically motivated arrests since the February 1 military coup…
People stand outside the gates of a prison
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To Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Scotland

Dear Justice Secretary Brown, We are writing on behalf of four human rights organisations for clarity about the current status of Police Scotland’s longstanding arrangement to train the Sri Lankan police. The situation in Sri Lanka has deteriorated…
News

Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
News

Suspend International Assistance to Abusive Law Enforcement Agencies

(New York) – Sri Lanka’s police are increasingly killing and abusing people under cover of the Covid-19 pandemic measures and an anti-drug campaign, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent police abuses reported in the media include alleged…
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Brave activists in Myanmar are still resisting the coup -- at great cost. An international campaign to ban arms sales and target gas sales could help.

Six months after the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup, some things are now clear. Most apparent is that there is no limit on the violence and repression the military under the commander-in-chief, Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, is willing to use to hold…
Anti-coup protesters hold a banner that reads "What are these? We are Yangon residents!" as they march during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday April 27, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021.