Human Rights

Philippines: Endorse UN Inquiry into ‘Drug War’ Killings

Independent Investigation Needed to Clarify Death Toll, Promote Accountability

The Philippine government should urgently support the creation of a United Nations-led investigation into the thousands of killings linked to its “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said on Feb 01, 2018. A UN-led probe would both help clarify the disparity in official and independent estimates of killings in the anti-drug campaign and facilitate accountability for unlawful deaths.

Vietnam: Drop Charges, Release Democracy Activists

Wave of Repression Spreads as Communist Party Tightens Grip on Power

The Vietnamese government should immediately drop all charges and release rights activists Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien, and Tran Hoang Phuc, Human Rights Watch said on Jan 30, 2018. The first two were arrested in March and the latter in June 2017 for publishing material on the internet critical of the government, and each was charged with conducting propaganda against the state.

Kenya: Media Barred From Opposition Event

Authorities Arbitrarily Shut Down TV, Radio Coverage

Kenyan authorities stopped news outlets from covering a planned public event by a political opposition leader on January 30, 2018, Human Rights Watch said. The Communications Authority of Kenya switched off three television stations and their affiliated radio stations. The television and radio stations were still off air at time of writing.

Sudan: Stop Abuse of Peaceful Demonstrators

Excessive Use of Force, Arbitrary Detention

Sudan’s security forces have arrested scores of people in connection with protests against austerity measures imposed under the January 2018 budget, four Sudanese and international organizations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Al Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development, and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, said on Jan 29, 2018. Sudanese authorities should immediately release or charge them and grant them full due process.

Somalia: Thousands Homeless as Settlements Razed

Government Pledge to Investigate Forced Evictions a Positive Step

Somali security forces using bulldozers have demolished dozens of informal settlements in Mogadishu since late December 2017, leaving thousands homeless. Human Rights Watch analyzed satellite imagery that shows that between December 29 and January 19, 2018, approximately 3,000 shelters were dismantled or destroyed using heavy machinery.

Sri Lanka: Repeal Draconian Security Law

Failure to Meet Pledges on Accountability, Counterterrorism Reforms

The Sri Lankan government has failed to fulfill its pledge to abolish the abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Jan 29, 2018. For decades, the PTA has been used to arbitrarily detain suspects for months and often years without charge or trial, facilitating torture, and other abuse.

Saudi Arabia: Long Prison Terms for Rights Activists

Rights-Group Founder, Deported by Qatar, Was Sent to Trial

Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court convicted two Saudi human rights activists on January 25, 2018, solely for their human rights advocacy, Human Rights Watch said on Jan 28, 2018.

Australia: Espionage Bill Threatens Democratic Values

Amend Draft to Protect Whistleblowers, Journalists, Activists

A proposed Australian espionage law will put whistleblowers, journalists, and human rights activists at risk of prosecution, Human Rights Watch said in a submission to Australia’s Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on Jan 28. The committee’s hearings are scheduled for January 30, 2018, in Canberra.

‘We are all at risk’ when humanity’s values are abandoned; UN honours memory of Holocaust victims

Close-up of a photograph of Anne Frank, part of the exhibit ‘Monument of Good Deeds: Dreams and Hopes of Children During the Holocaust,’ which was held in 2012 at UN Headquarters.

Bangladesh: Investigate Fate of ‘Disappeared’

Secret Detentions, Enforced Disappearances

The Bangladesh government should take urgent steps to confirm the whereabouts and release of men held by its security authorities outside the authority of the courts, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that was made public on Jan 27, 2018.