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International human rights groups demand release of Viasna members on first anniversary of crackdown

On the first anniversary of the unprecedented crackdown on the Human Rights Center Viasna ("Viasna") in Belarus, 23 international and Belarusian human rights organizations are launching a campaign to demand the release of seven detained Viasna members,…
In The Hague, Netherlands, on August 7, a demonstrator holds a placard showing the names of some of those arbitrarily detained in Belarus for protesting against President Alexander Lukashenko, and calling for their release.
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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.
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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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Belarusian Association of Journalists Continues its Work despite the Crackdown

On August 27, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the appeal by the Justice Ministry to strip the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) of its official registration. Formal “liquidation” of the prominent group, which has worked tirelessly for 25…
 The door of the Belarusian Association of Journalists main office in Minsk, Belarus on June 2021
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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.
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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…
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Solidarity and Support Needed for Independent Belarusian Voices

One year ago, the center of Minsk was teaming with people protesting stolen presidential elections and asserting their voices matter. On that first evening, the mood was festive: women in bright summer dresses, some wearing heels, as if on their way…
A woman wearing white stands in front of riot police during a Belarusian opposition rally protesting the official presidential election results in Minsk, Belarus, September 13, 2020. 
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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.
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International Olympic Committee Should Adopt Human Rights Policy

On Sunday, Belarusian track and field athlete Krystsina Timanovskaya refused to let government authorities forcibly return her to Belarus from the Olympics, seeking instead protection at Tokyo’s international airport.  She has since reportedly…
A female athlete sprinting in a race
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Crowded Camp Conditions, Lack of Permanent Shelters

Heavy rains over the past week have displaced more than 21,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The resulting flooding and mudslides have destroyed about 6,418 shelters. With months of monsoon season still ahead, the refugees face heightened risks…
Rohingya refugees repair a shelter damaged following heavy rains at the refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on July 28, 2021.
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6 Months After Takeover, Urgent Need for Targeted Sanctions, Arms Ban

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta has committed numerous abuses against the population that amount to crimes against humanity in the six months since the February 1, 2021 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. Since the military takeover, millions…
Women cry after seeing the body of their relative killed on March 14th by security forces during a peaceful protest in Yangon, Myanmar.
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Release Hejaaz Hizbullah and Others Denied Due Process under Abusive Law

Joint Statement  July 28, 2021 (New York) – Human Rights Watch joined 10 other organizations on July 28, 2021 in issuing the following statement seeking the release of the lawyer and activist Hejaaz Hizbullah and others held under Sri Lanka’s…
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Ensure Prompt Access to UN Refugee Agency for Protection

(New York) – Indian authorities should immediately free all detained Myanmar asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate the deaths of two women who had fled Myanmar and died in custody in Manipur state from Covid…
A Myanmarese man looks towards the Indian side at the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram, India, Saturday, March 20, 2021. 
News

Release Journalists Wrongfully Detained, Sentenced

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta should stop prosecuting journalists and end its assault on independent media, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the media crackdown. Since the February 1, 2021 coup, Myanmar’s junta has…
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

Forced Closure of Dozens of Human Rights Organizations

The Belarusian government is moving to close dozens of organizations that were the backbone of the country’s once vibrant civil society. These groups work on issues such as disability rights, the environment, media freedoms, pensioners’ rights,…
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a cabinet meeting in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, July 23, 2021, announcing a "purge" on civil society.