The Cruel Irony of Burundi’s Media Awards

Expand From left to right: Térence Mpozenzi, Egide Harerimana, Agnès Ndirubusa, and Christine Kamikazi on their way to their court hearing in Bubanza, western Burundi, on May 6, 2020. © 2020 Iwacu Just when many thought press freedom had hit rock bottom in Burundi, the government-controlled National Communication Council’s (CNC) Media Awards this week have […]

Turkey: Enforced Disappearances, Torture

Expand Wives of six men who went missing in February 2019 join the weekly Saturday Mothers vigil in Istanbul for families of disappeared people in Turkey, July 2019.  © 2019 Private (Istanbul, April 29, 2020) – Turkish authorities should urgently carry out an effective investigation into credible testimony from a man in pretrial detention that […]

Sri Lanka: Security Agencies Shutting Down Civic Space

Expand Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, center attends an event to mark the anniversary of country’s independence from British colonial rule in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena (New York) – Sri Lankan security agencies are stepping up surveillance, harassment, and threats against human rights activists and journalists, Human […]

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 […]

Turkey: Prominent Civic Leader Rearrested After Acquittal

Expand Osman Kavala © 2017 Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul) – An Istanbul court’s order on February 19, 2020 to detain a prominent civic leader, Osman Kavala, demonstrates the extent to which Turkey’s government is abusing its justice system to target perceived critics, Human Rights Watch said today. The order for Kavala’s pretrial detention came the day after […]

CIA Contractor Details Torture of 9/11 Suspects

Expand In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. © 2019 AP Photo/Alex Brandon   In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United […]

Bhutan on Brink of Overturning Same-Sex Conduct Ban

A bill that would repeal parts of Bhutan’s penal code that criminalize same-sex conduct will be introduced in the upper house of Parliament this month. The lower house of Parliament voted in June 2019 to repeal two sections of the country’s 2004 criminal code, which made “unnatural sex” between consenting adults illegal. But before being […]

Morocco: 3 Years in Abusive Solitary Detention

Expand Abdelqader Belliraj, arriving at a courthouse in Salé, Morocco, in 2008. © 2008 Abdelhak Senna/AFP via Getty Images   (Tunis) – A man sentenced to life in prison in one of Morocco’s best-known trials for supposedly plotting terrorism, has apparently been held in abusive solitary detention for more than three years, Human Rights Watch […]

Philippines: 80 Massacre Suspects Remain At Large

Expand People commemorate the 10th anniversary of the gruesome Ampatuan Massacre in Manila, Philippines on November 23, 2019. © 2019 Joseph Dacalanio/Pacific Press/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images) (Manila) – The Philippine authorities’ failure to arrest 80 suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre case puts victims’ families at grave risk, Human Rights Watch said today. […]

Uzbekistan Must Now Live Up to “Country of the Year” Honor

Expand Exterior of Barak-khan Madrasah in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. © Getty Images The year seems to be ending on a positive note for Uzbekistan. The Economist magazine this week declared Uzbekistan its ‘country of the year,’ arguing “no other country travelled as far” as the Central Asian nation in 2019 in terms of economic and other […]