Rapid Spread of Virus Further Tests Iranians’ Faith in Government

Iran is currently battling one of the fastest growing outbreaks of the coronavirus outside China – 4,747 confirmed cases and 124 deaths to date. Despite the high toll, many Iranians remain skeptical their government is being fully transparent about the scale of crisis.  Over the past three months, authorities have severely damaged public trust by […]

Qatar: 5-Year Prison Sentence Set for ‘Fake News’

Expand An image of the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on a building in Doha, Qatar. © 2019 Anke Waelischmiller/AP Images (Beirut) – Qatar has amended its penal code to restrict further the already-narrow space for free expression by setting criminal penalties for spreading “fake news” online, Human Rights Watch said today. The […]

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. […]

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 […]

South Sudan Has 100 More Days to Transition to New Government

Expand (From L to R) Former Vice President of South Sudan Riek Machar, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, and Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa pose for a photograph as they meet at State House in Entebbe, Uganda, July 7, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Stephen Wandera, File […]

Lebanon: Access to Information Law Stalled

Expand Lebanese members of parliament attend a general parliament discussion in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 17, 2017 © 2017 Reuters/Mohamed Azakir (Beirut) – Lebanese authorities have largely failed to comply with the country’s Right to Access to Information Law, and the government has not established the body designated to oversee its implementation nearly three years […]

Russia Is Still Penalizing Peaceful Protesters

Expand Konstantin Kotov and his lawyer, Maria Eismont, wait for the verdict in his case at Moscow’s Tverskoi district court, September 5, 2019. © 2019 Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch An appeal court in Moscow has upheld a four-year prison sentence against Konstantin Kotov for repeated violations of Russia’s restrictive rules on public assemblies. Kotov is one of […]

Malaysia: End Use of Sedition Act

Expand Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad listens to questions during an interview with foreign media on the government’s one year anniversary in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Thursday, May 9, 2019.  © 2019 AP Photo/Vincent Thian (New York) – The Malaysian government should reinstate its moratorium on using the Sedition Act pending the law’s repeal, Human Rights […]

The Alarming Rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe

Expand People of different faiths wear the Jewish kippah during a demonstration against antisemitism in Germany in Erfurt, Germany, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. © 2019 AP Photo/Jens Meyer On May 24, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in the city of Bordeaux, France. On May 26, Germany’s government anti-Semitism Commissioner warned Jewish men against wearing the […]

Activists Run Afoul of Kazakhstan’s Zero Tolerance for Protest

Every time authorities in Kazakhstan crack down on peaceful protests, I find myself coming back to the words of Maina Kiai, former United Nations special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The “[g]overnment’s approach to regulating assemblies deprives the right of its meaning,” he said after visiting Kazakhstan in 2015. […]