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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

Ahmed Mansoor Accused of ‘Harming Reputation of State’

(Beirut) – Authorities in the United Arab Emirates should immediately release leading human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, Human Rights Watch said today. He was arrested in the early morning hours of March 20, 2017, and accused of alleged crimes that…
Ahmed Mansoor speaks to Reuters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 30, 2011.
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.
News
The eighth edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature drew to a close in Dubai last Saturday and provoked some debate among writers (see here and here and here) about the rights and wrongs of hosting a celebration of the written word in a…
UAE literature graphic
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(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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 Summary
 
 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

Credible Allegations of Torture in Custody

(Dubai) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2013 stifled free expression, and subjected dissidents to manifestly unfair trials marred by credible allegations of torture, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. A court sentenced 69…
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

Harassment, Arrests, Criminal Prosecutions

(Dubai) – The United Arab Emirates during 2011 muzzled the right of its citizens to express themselves and to form independent associations, Human Rights Watch said today in issuing its World Report 2012 at a news conference in Dubai. UAE authorities…