Azerbaijan: Opposition Leader Arrested

Expand Policemen bringing the opposition leader Tofig Yagublu to Nizami District Court of Baku, March 23, 2020. © 2020 Azadliq Radiosu/RFERL (Berlin) – Azerbaijani authorities have arrested a prominent opposition leader and ardent government critic, Tofig Yagublu, on spurious hooliganism charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Yagublu’s arrest comes days after President Ilham Aliyev made comments suggesting […]

Lebanon: Spate of Free Speech Prosecutions

Expand Lebanese protesters wave national flags during demonstrations to demand better living conditions on October 21, 2019 in downtown Beirut. © ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images (Beirut) – A spate of prosecutions since the outbreak of nationwide protests on October 17, 2019 against activists and journalists critical of government policies and corruption is threatening free […]

Kyrgyzstan: Women’s Activists Detained

Expand Kyrgyz policemen detain an activist of the Femen women’s rights movement at Victory Square during celebration of the International Women’s Day in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sunday, March 8, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Vladimir Voroni (Berlin) – Kyrgyzstan police held about 70 activists, most of them women, for hours on March 8, 2020 without telling them […]

More Americans Favor Decriminalizing Sex Work

A new report published today by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Center for Transgender Equality, and 22 other United States-based human rights organizations finds that 52 percent of Americans and two-thirds of voters age 18 to 44 years support decriminalizing sex work. Decriminalizing sex work means ending laws that make it illegal […]

Philippines: Free Senator; End Attacks on Rights Defenders

Expand Jailed Senator Leila de Lima votes during the midterm elections in Paranaque, Philippines, May 13, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo (Manila) – Philippine authorities should immediately release Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained for three years, and drop the politically motivated charges against her, Amnesty International, FORUM-ASIA, and Human Rights Watch said […]

Russia: Court Convicts Journalist for Activism

Expand Maxim Vernikov at his verdict announcement, Yekaterinburg, Russia. February 11, 2020.  © 2020 Private (Moscow) – A Russian court on February 11, 2020 found a journalist criminally responsible for involvement in an “undesirable” organization, Human Rights Watch said today. The journalist, Maxim Vernikov, was the first person convicted under a 2015 law that allows […]

Turkey: Kurdish Mayors’ Removal Violates Voters’ Rights

Expand Dismissed Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) mayors Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk, and Bedia Özgökce Ertan speak at a press conference in Istanbul.  © 2019 HDP (Istanbul,) – The Turkish authorities’ removal and arrest of democratically elected Kurdish mayors across southeastern Turkey violates voters’ rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The Turkish government is intensifying its […]

Burundi: Journalists Convicted in Flawed Trial

Expand From left to right: Christine Kamikazi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Térence Mpozenzi and Egide Harerimana © 2019 Iwacu   (Nairobi) – The conviction of four Burundian journalists in a flawed trial on January 30, 2020 is a clear example of the misuse of the justice system to stifle freedom of expression, Human Rights watch said today. The […]

Kazakhstan: Improper Prosecution of Asylum Seekers from China

Expand Kazakhstan is prosecuting Kaster Musakhanuly (left) and Murager Alimuly (right), two ethnic Kazakh, Chinese citizens from Xinjiang, who are seeking asylum and at risk of torture if returned to China. Zaysan, January 6, 2020.  © 2020 Khadisha Akaeva RFE/RL (Berlin) – Kazakhstan should not forcibly return two Chinese citizens fleeing ill-treatment in Xinjiang or […]

South Korea Shouldn’t Backslide on LGBT Rights

Expand Participants march with a rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Seoul © AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon   Conservative lawmakers in South Korea have already blocked the passage of nondiscrimination laws that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and other minorities. Now, they’re trying to defang one of the few watchdogs […]