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Activists, Critics Targeted; Growing Attacks on Muslims, Groups at Risk

(New York) – Indian authorities intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Tens of thousands of…
Women farmers attend a gathering to mark the first anniversary of their protests against controversial farm reforms at Haryana's Bahadurgarh, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, November 26, 2021.
News

Protect Hindus, Sikhs in Muslim-Majority Region

(New York) – Indian authorities should take urgent steps to protect minority communities that are being targeted by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to address serious allegations of human…
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard next to teachers at a government school where suspected militants fatally shot two teachers on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, October 7, 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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Violators Unpunished; Crackdown on Activists

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities held a tight grip on peaceful activism during 2020, jailing lawyers, human rights defenders, and those who protested government corruption, mismanagement, and repression, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash, at the gate of Amri Kabir University where some of the victims of the crash were former students, on January 11th, 2020 in Tehran, Iran.
News

Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Sedition, Counterterrorism Laws Used to Silence Dissent

(New York) – The Indian authorities are increasingly bringing politically motivated cases, including under severe sedition and terrorism laws, against critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop…
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Discrimination Will Affect the Country’s Fight Against the Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 10,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on April 14 to announce an extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3. He acknowledged the hardship, particularly for…
Men wait for a bus that will take them to a quarantine facility in the Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, India, March 31, 2020.
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Possible Excessive Use of Police Force Against Citizenship Law Protesters

(New York) – The Indian authorities should immediately order all police to abide by international standards on policing assemblies, Human Rights Watch said today. The police may have used excessive force against demonstrators across the…
A man is arrested during a protest against the new citizenship law in Gauhati, India, December 16, 2019.
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  In 2020, you should be watching for a growing trend of national legislatures requiring companies to live up to their responsibilities to workers, communities, and the environment. Millions of adults and children around the world suffer…
Children pan for gold
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Draft Law Favors Hindus, Other Non-Muslim Immigrants

Update: On December 11, India’s upper house of parliament also passed the bill. It will now become law after the president of India gives his assent. (New York) – The Indian government’s proposed law to grant citizenship…
A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Gauhati, India, Dec 10, 2019.
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Judiciary Instrumental in Crackdown on Dissent

(Beirut) – Iran’s judiciary is dramatically increasing the costs of peaceful dissent in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Since July 31, 2019 alone, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 13 activists to prison…
Iranian workers chant slogans during a May Day demonstration in front of the former US embassy in Tehran, May 1, 2006, protesting against the labor resolutions and their delayed payments. @2006 Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
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Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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Lengthy Prison Terms Shows Effort to Deter Rights Advocacy

(Beirut) – The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran’s revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights…
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Public Official Arrested for Speaking Out Against Repression

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence officials have increased the arrests of the country’s Baha’i religious minority over the past two months, with no clear charges, Human Rights Watch said today. In August and September 2018, authorities…
Members of the Baha'i religion demonstrate in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach on June 19, 2011 asking Iranian authorities to release seven Baha'i prisoners accused of spying for Israel and sentenced to 20 years in jail. © 2011 Ana Carolina Fernandes/AFP
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Superficial reforms leave religious minorities behind—and that's dangerous

After generating some positive press earlier this summer by lifting the ban on women driving, Saudi Arabia is once more the target of reproach. In August, the country’s notorious terrorism court sought the death penalty against Israa al…
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Stop Prosecuting Dissent; Repeal Abusive Counterterrorism Law

(New York) – Indian authorities detained five activists and raided the homes of several others on August 28, 2018, for allegedly inciting caste-based violence in January, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International India said today. The government…
Police try to stop people belonging to the Dalit community as they take part in a protest during a nationwide strike called by Dalit organisations, in Chandigarh, India, April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
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Trials Violate Rights to Legal Defense, Basic Liberties

(Beirut) – Since May 2018, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 208 members of the religious minority to prison terms and other punishments in trials that violate their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Relatives of detained Dervishes outside Evin prison in Tehran, January 2018. © 2018 Center for Human Rights in Iran
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Halt Death Penalty; Free Others Arbitrarily Held

(Beirut) – The Iranian judiciary should immediately halt the looming execution of a member of the Gonabadi Dervish community, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should also release all Dervish members arbitrarily detained since February 2018. …
Police Forces at the scene of the clashes, Tehran, Iran February 19, 2018. © 2018 Majzooban-e-Noor