Bangladesh: End Wave of COVID-19 ‘Rumor’ Arrests

Expand Police members wear protective equipment as they patrol the streets during the nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Coronavirus outbreak, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 2, 2020.  © 2020 Photo by Zabed Hasnain Chowdhury/Sipa USA via AP Images   (New York) – The Bangladesh government appears to be cracking down on free speech […]

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 […]

Algeria: One Year On, Activists Languish in Jail

Expand Algerians demonstrate to protest against the government, in Algiers Friday, Jan.3, 2020. © AP Photo/Fateh Guidoum (Beirut) – Dozens of protesters and activists remain in jail a year after pro-democracy protests began in Algeria, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing trial hearings in February and March 2020. Following presidential elections in December […]

Exiled Tajik Activist Brutally Attacked in Lithuania

This week, two men attacked and injured a Tajik activist living in exile in Lithuania, the latest in a long line of what appear to be politically-motivated attacks on critics of the Tajikistan government. Expand Ilhomjon Yakubov after the attack on March 16, 2020, Kaunas, Lithuania. © 2020 Private The victim, Ilhomjon Yakubov, is the […]

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 […]

Mauritania: Prison Terms for Men Celebrating Birthday

Expand View of Mauritania’s capital city, Nouakchott. © Eric Goldstein/Human Rights Watch (Beirut) – A Mauritanian court on January 30, 2020, convicted eight men of “committing indecent acts” and “inciting debauchery,” after a video showing them celebrating a birthday party in a restaurant led to their arrest, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced all […]

China: Respect Rights in Coronavirus Response

Expand People line up to buy face masks from a medical supply company in Nanning, southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.   © 2020 Chinatopix via AP (New York) – The Chinese government should ensure that human rights are protected while responding to the coronavirus outbreak, Human Rights Watch said today. […]

Lebanon: Police Violence Against Protesters

Expand Riot police arrest a protester outside a police station in Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Hussein Malla   (Beirut) – Lebanon’s riot police beat and violently arrested largely peaceful protesters and media workers during demonstrations on January 15, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The Interior Ministry should promptly […]

Russian Authorities’ Bad Cheer to Environmental Defenders

Expand Rashid Alimov’s protest in St. Petersburg against nuclear waste import, December 17, 2019. © 2019 © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace As 2019 draws to a close, Russian authorities have spent the holiday season harassing environmental defenders taking part in protests across the country. On December 16, police dispersed a protest camp near the city of […]