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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
News

Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Displaced Call Security Officials’ Response ‘Apathetic’

Hundreds of Egyptian Coptic Christian families have fled their homes in the northern Sinai Peninsula since late February, fearing for their lives in the wake of seven murders between January 30 and February 23.
 No group claimed responsibility for…
A nun cries as she stands at the scene inside Cairo's Coptic cathedral, following a bombing, in Egypt December 11, 2016.
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February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…
News

Allow Access by Lawyers and Family to Detained Baptist Leaders

Update 1/25/17: On January 24, 2017, presidential spokesperson Zaw Htay told the Democratic Voice of Burma that Langjaw Gam Seng and Dumdaw Nawng Lat had been charged under the Unlawful Associations Act and were being held in the Muse Police Station in…
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Urgently Report on Whereabouts, Well-Being; Allow UN Expert Access

(Rangoon) — Burmese authorities should urgently provide information on the whereabouts and well-being of two ethnic Kachin Baptist leaders who were apparently forcibly disappeared in Northern Shan State, Human Rights Watch and Fortify Rights said today.…
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Video Testimony Matches Satellite Images of Attacks

(New York) – The Burmese military has conducted a campaign of arson, killings, and rape against ethnic Rohingya that has threatened the lives of thousands more, Human Rights Watch said today. Refugees who fled the recent violence told Human Rights Watch…
20161221rohingya 2 PHOTO
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Authorities Fail to Prevent, Punish Violent Attacks

(Tunis) – A long-awaited new law maintains restrictions over the construction and renovation of churches and discriminates against the Christian minority in Egypt. The law, passed by Egypt’s parliament on August 30, 2016, applies only to Christian houses…
MENA EGYPT churches christians Sept 2016 photo-2
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Re: Human Rights Priorities for the New Government

Related Content Download letter to President U Htin Kyaw 
 
 Dear President U Htin Kyaw…
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Plan of Action Needed for Legal Reform, Minority Rights, Accountability

(New York) ­– Burma’s new government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) should signal human rights are a top priority by presenting a plan of action to begin long-needed reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to new president Htin…
Myanmar's first Vice President Myint Swe, President Htin Kyaw, and second Vice President Henry Van Thio attend their swearing-in at parliament in Naypyidaw on March 30, 2016.
News
The new, civilian-led government in Burma under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership could herald a new era for human rights in Burma. But before euphoria breaks out, the United Nations Human Rights Council should take into account the many challenges Burma…
Soldiers parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Armed Forces Day in Burma's capital Naypyidaw, March 27, 2015.
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There is no starker evidence of the ethnic cleansing that rocked the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, in Burma in 2012 than the Rohingya Muslim enclave of Aung Mingalar. Crammed into a couple short blocks in the town center, ringed by police and army…
Aung Mingalar mosque
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The impact of Myanmar's repressive policy toward Rohingya Muslims was made clear in recent weeks with scenes of desperate people crammed into boats, an escalation of a miserable maritime flight in which an estimated 90,000 people have fallen prey to…
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Convicted Under Blasphemy Laws

***The below news release was updated to correct that four people were sentenced for blasphemy in Luxor governorate in June 2014. (New York) – An Egyptian minor offenses court on January 10, 2015, sentenced a student accused of writing Facebook posts that…