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Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for his thematic report to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the rights of persons with…
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Calamitous Year for Human Rights

(Tunis) – Armed groups that support competing Libyan governments and their international benefactors have been responsible for massive civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction during 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report…
Fighters of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) during clashes at the Ain Zara frontline, in the southern suburbs of capital Tripoli, with the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA).
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Transparent Inquiry Needed into Latest Politically Motivated Killing

(Beirut) – Eastern Libyan authorities should promptly investigate the apparent politically motivated killing of a lawyer, Human Rights Watch said today. Hanan Al-Barassi, an outspoken critic of violations by armed groups in eastern Libya, was shot…
Hanan Al-Barassi, a Benghazi-based lawyer, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen on November 10, 2020, in her hometown.
Report
Summary I would like you to pass on our voice. It’s not a voice. It’s a cry of pain. We have been here in Lebanon because they not only raped us, they also raped our land and dignity. —Male survivor of conflict-related sexual violence in Syria,…
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Survivors in Lebanon Lack Needed Services

(Beirut) – Syrian state and non-state actors have subjected men, boys, transgender women, and nonbinary people to sexual violence during the Syrian conflict, resulting in severe physical and mental health consequences which are compounded by a lack of…
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News

Their Countries of Origin Must Bring Them Home

“They won’t shoot us, my darling. Mummy is right here with you, don’t worry.” The German mother’s words, spoken in almost a whisper, did not stop her young son’s whimpers. Desperate text and voice messages have…
A girl stands in the annex of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where more than 11,000 women and children from nearly 50 nationalities are confined as family members of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects. The Kurdish-led coalition controlling north
News

Allow Aid Access, Disclose Names of People Detained

(Tunis) – Forces allied with one of Libya’s two competing governments who appear to have defeated local fighters in the Old City quarter of Derna, in eastern Libya, should immediately allow aid and medical workers into the area, Human…
A general view of Derna city, Libya, February 9, 2019. © 2019 Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters
News
Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
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

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

Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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I met “Salma” in May at the only maternity clinic in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp. Having already miscarried twice by age 20, she was then five months pregnant and anxious to finally give birth to her first child. Salma was among dozens…
Bara’a, 10, teaching younger children in her informal refugee camp in Mount Lebanon what she remembered from her first grade class in Syria.
News

Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
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

Security Forces, Prisoners, Women, Among Those Executed

(Erbil) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) executed and dumped the bodies of possibly hundreds of detainees at a site near Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the bodies of those killed,…
‘Hammam al-Alil mass grave marked and fenced’ Caption: A marked and fenced ISIS mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, 30 kilometers south of Mosul, discovered in November 2016.
News

Order in Eastern Region Requires Male Guardian for Travel

UPDATE: On February 23, Abdelrazeq al-Nadhouri, chief of staff of the forces known as the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the military governor of the region that extends from Derna to Ben Jawwad, repealed his order requiring women who wish to…
Libyan women celebrate the third anniversary of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi at Freedom Square in Benghazi, February 17, 2014.
News

For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
News

Over 120 Women, Children Held in Misrata Prison

(Tunis) – Libyan authorities should ensure the safety of and urgently provide medical care for more than 120 women and children being held in a Misrata prison after recently fleeing fighting in Sirte, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should…
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…
Report
Summary The final stage of the [2011] revolution was in Sirte. We were filled with hope. Then step by step, Daesh took over. Now we feel we are cursed. -“Ali,” resident who fled ISIS in Sirte In…