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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

Region-Wide Crackdown on Social Media Activism

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have attempted to silence peaceful critics in response to a wave of online activism in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in an interactive website that began operating today. The governments have responded to online…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
Video
(Brussels, July 15, 2015) – Journalists in the Western Balkans work in a hostile environment that directly affects their ability to do critical, independent reporting essential to a democratic society. Authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,…
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 Vladimir Mitrić, a Serbian journalist, has always been drawn towards unearthing the darker side of life: human and drug smuggling; war crimes; corrupt politicians, war profiteers, tycoons and murders shielded by…
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It’s not easy to be an investigative journalist in the Western Balkans. Besides the inherent challenges of the job, reporters can face physical attacks, intimidation, even death threats. Reporting an attack to the authorities rarely brings justice.…
A cartoon in Serbian Blic satirizing Olja Bećković’s weekly TV show Utisak Nedelje
News
If Kosovo is serious about its European future, whoever forms the next government faces a big job to improve its justice system and human rights record. Kosovo took another step toward this European future on June 8, with its second general election since…
News

Upholds Restrictive Provision Used Against Journalists

(Beirut) – Kuwait’s Constitutional Court dealt a blow to free speech on December 2, 2013, in a case involving a journalist’s Twitter comments.The court rejected a challenge to article 25 of the penal code, which sets prison sentences of up to five years…
News
The Stoic philosopher Epictetus warned of the dangers of casually bad-mouthing the ruler in ancient Rome: “A soldier, dressed like a civilian, sits down by your side, and begins to speak ill of Caesar, and then you too, just as though you had received…
News

Parliament Should Strike Criminal Defamation, Compulsion to Reveal Sources

(Berlin) – Kosovo’s National Assembly should remove provisions from the draft criminal code that criminalize defamation and compel journalists to reveal their sources, Human Rights Watch said yesterday in a letter to members of the National Assembly’s…
News

Void Jail Term for Editor

(Beirut)– Kuwaiti authorities should immediately end the suspension of the daily Al Dar and void the conviction of its editor for alleged incitement, Human Rights Watch said today. This criminal punishment, for articles in which al-Sultan condemned other…
News

Two Held After Criticizing Rulers on Twitter, YouTube

(Beirut) - The Kuwaiti government should immediately release two Kuwaiti men detained over internet postings criticizing the rulers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, Human Rights Watch said today. State security authorities detained and investigated…
News

Some Protections Promised for Non-Citizens

(Kuwait City) - Kuwait carried out a major crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly during 2010, Human Rights Watch said today, in issuing its World Report 2011. The 649-page report, the organization's 21st annual review of human rights…
News

End Criminal Penalties for Libel, Slander

(New York) - Kuwait's prime minister should withdraw charges against a writer accused of libel and slander and free him from prison immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Mohammad al-Jasim was sentenced to a year in jail on November 22, 2010, based…
News

Mohammad al-Jasim Faces September Trial for Criticizing Government and Ruling Family

(New York) - A Kuwaiti judge ordered the release on bail on June 28, 2010, of the journalist and blogger Mohammad al-Jasim, Human Rights Watch said today. Al-Jasim, a well known government critic, faces criminal charges under Kuwait's state security law…
News

Mohammad al-Jasim Charged With Threatening State Security; Ban on Media Coverage

(New York) - Kuwait should stop prosecuting Mohammad al-Jasim, a journalist and blogger, for criticizing public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Kuwait's prosecution office should also lift its ban on media coverage of his case. Al-Jasim, who was…