Human Rights

‘We want justice for these girls’: the Kenyan helpline for victims of gender violence

Kenyan market vendors practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

North Korea: Horrific Pretrial Detention System

Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on October 19, 2020. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic conditions, and unpaid forced labor.

Mauritania: Free Activists Held on Blasphemy Charges

Detained for 8 Months, Facing Possible Death Sentences

Mauritania’s government should drop charges of blasphemy and insulting Islam against eight political activists and release the five held in pretrial detention since February 26, 2020, Human Rights Watch said on October 19, 2020. The Nouakchott West Criminal Court is due to hear the case on October 20.

Rape is wrong but death penalty, castration, not the answer: UN rights chief

Liberian men march with anti-rape posters.

Nigeria: Crackdown on Police Brutality Protests

Prosecute Officers Responsible; Move Toward Systemic Reform

Nigerian security forces have responded to overwhelmingly peaceful protests against police brutality with more violence and abuse.

Thailand: Emergency Decree Pretext for Crackdown

Drop Charges, Release Democracy Activists

The Thai government’s declaration of a state of emergency in Bangkok is a pretext for a crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, Human Rights Watch said on October 15, 2020. Since the declaration of a state of emergency on October 15, 2020, the police have arrested at least 22 activists, including several protest leaders, in front of Bangkok’s Government House.

Indonesia: New Law Hurts Workers, Indigenous Groups

Massive Omnibus Bill Passed With Little Public Consultation

Indonesia’s government should revise a new jobs law to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said on October 15, 2020. The omnibus bill on job creation, which the House of Representatives passed on October 5, 2020, restricts labor rights and dismantles environmental protections, including by threatening Indigenous people’s access to land and the country’s declining rainforests.

Algeria: Mass Convictions for Homosexuality

Arbitrary Arrests; Police Raid Alleged ‘Gay Wedding’

An Algerian court on September 3, 2020 sentenced 2 men to prison terms and 42 others to suspended terms after mass arrests at what the police alleged was a “gay wedding,” Human Rights Watch said on October 15, 2020. The authorities should void the charges and release them immediately.

New report highlights value of UN’s human rights work in the field

UN human rights investigators accompanied by peacekeepers from the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, meet villagers in central Mali after their homes were attacked in February 2019.

India: Women at Risk of Sexual Abuse at Work

Poorly Enforced Laws Leave Informal Workers No Recourse

The Indian government’s failure to properly enforce its sexual harassment law leaves millions of women in the workplace exposed to abuse without remedy, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on October 14, 2020. The government should urgently ensure compliance with its 2013 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, or POSH Act as it is popularly known.