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Human Rights Observatory
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand Oyub Titiev stands in front of a portrait of his murdered colleague, Natalia Estemirova, in Memorial's Grozny office, Grozny, Chechnya, Russia.  © 2011 Maria Chichtchenkova (Moscow) – The Russian government relentlessly reduced space for peaceful dissent, political opposition, and civic activism in Russia during 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The authorities used the rhetoric of “traditional values” and countering extremism to justify limiting free speech. Many human rights defenders, civic activists, lawyers, opposition activists, and average citizens… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand Migrants are seen on board a fiberglass boat in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan Coast, August 12, 2018. © 2018 Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters (Berlin) – Influential leaders in European Union states used migration to stoke fear, justify abusive policies, and block meaningful reform in 2018, even as arrivals at borders decreased, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. But during 2018, EU institutions, with backing from some EU states, demonstrated a greater commitment to address attacks on democratic institutions and the rule of law in Hungary and Poland. In its European… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand Anti-corruption activist Vitaliy Shabunin.  © 2016 Private (Kyiv) – Attacks on activists and government critics proliferated in Ukraine during 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The Ukrainian government did little to prevent or punish the attacks or to stem rising violence against minority communities, including Roma and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. It continued restrictions on freedom of expression and information, and on the media, invoking as justification a need to counter Russia’s military aggression in eastern Ukraine and anti-Ukraine… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand A Turkmen choir dressed in green, the national flag color, sings the national anthem at the opening ceremony of the world weightlifting championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on Nov. 1, 2018.  © 2018 Kyodo News via Getty Images (Berlin) – Central Asian leaders who are seeking greater regional cooperation and international investment to bolster economic growth should place human rights at the top of their agenda, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. In recent years, some of Central Asia’s leaders have focused on the need to improve infrastructure and education and… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand People celebrating Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan’s resignation after days of protests. Yerevan, Armenia, April 23, 2018. © 2018 Hayk Baghdasaryan/Photolure (Berlin) – Armenia’s new government has inherited a country plagued with corruption and myriad human rights problems, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. As the new leadership embarks on rebuilding the institutions and responding to accumulated public grievances, they should ensure respect for due process and fundamental human rights. Weeks of popular protests in 2018 forced the outgoing president, Serzh… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand A picture taken on December 4, 2018, shows workers at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, a city in northeastern Qatar.  © 2018 David Harding/AFP (Beirut) – Qatar made some important progress on human rights in 2018 but failed to deliver on several key promised reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. Among the promises not yet kept is the full repeal of the exploitative kafala (sponsorship) system, which gives employers excessive power over migrant workers. “While Qatar has taken some important steps to protect human rights, there is still a long way to go before… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand Anti-government protestors in Venezuela take to the streets for a candlelight vigil in honor of protesters killed in clashes with security forces. © 2017 Associated Press (Berlin) – There is a growing global trend to confront the abuses of headline-grabbing autocrats, Human Rights Watch said today in launching its World Report 2019. Within the European Union, at the United Nations, and around the world, coalitions of states, often backed by civic groups and popular protests, are pushing back against anti-rights populists. In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29th edition, Human Rights… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand An election official shows a ballot with colors of political parties participating in the parliamentary election shortly after the polling stations closed in Beirut, Lebanon on May 6, 2018.  © 2018 Bilal Hussein/AP Photo (Beirut) – Lebanon made legislative progress on the waste management crisis and the status of the disappeared in 2018, but parliament failed to follow through on legislation in other key areas, including women’s and sexual minority rights and freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. “Lebanon’s new parliament has not delivered on… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand Candles lit by activists protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are placed outside Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul.  © 2018 Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman faced scrutiny over the country’s human rights record in 2018 following the murder of a prominent journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, by Saudi agents at the country’s Istanbul consulate on October 2, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The scrutiny shed additional light on ongoing abuses, including unlawful attacks in Yemen that may amount… (Full Story)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Expand A convoy of UAE military vehicles and personnel travels from Al Hamra Military Base to Zayed Military City, marking the return of the first batch of UAE Armed Forces military personnel from Yemen, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. © 2015 AP Images (Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates in 2018 handed down draconian prison sentences to an Emirati activist and a British academic following deeply flawed trials, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The UAE also played a prominent role in the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen. In May, after security forces… (Full Story)
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