Latest Human Rights Watch News

FILE - In this March 22, 2018, file photo, an honor guard member is covered by the flag of Saudi Arabia, in Washington. Saudi Arabia, for years one of the world's most prolific executioners, dramatically reduced the number of people put to death in 2020, following changes halting executions for non-violent drug-related crimes, according to the government’s tally and independent observers. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Dramatic drop in Saudi executions after laws changed in 2020

Jan. 18, 2021 3:07 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia, for years one of the world's most prolific executioners, dramatically reduced the number of people put to death last year, following changes halting executions for non-violent drug-related crimes, according to the government’s tally and independent...

In this photo taken from video, Alexei Navalny kisses his wife Yulia as he is detained by police at the passport control after arriving at Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Russia's prison service says opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany. (AP)

Kremlin critic Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

Jan. 17, 2021 7:20 PM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the country from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. Navalny's detention at passport control in Moscow’s...

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 file photo, President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., to announce key administration posts. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should bring “fundamental change” to U.S. policy on human rights and allow criminal investigations of President Donald Trump, the head of Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Advocacy group: Biden should revamp US human rights policy

Jan. 13, 2021 3:41 PM EST

GENEVA (AP) — U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should bring “fundamental change” to U.S. policy on human rights and allow criminal investigations of President Donald Trump, the head of Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday. Executive Director Kenneth Roth laid out a long wish-list for the...

Security forces patrol the streets near opposition leader Bobi Wine headquarters in Kampala, Uganda Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.The United States ambassador to Uganda said Wednesday the embassy has canceled plans to observe the country's tense presidential election on Thursday, citing a decision by electoral authorities to deny accreditation to most members of the observation team.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Internet 'blackout' in Uganda on eve of tense election

Jan. 13, 2021 1:12 PM EST

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan authorities appeared to cut off internet access in the country Wednesday night on the eve of a tense presidential election, while a lawyer for leading opposition candidate Bobi Wine said all contact had been lost with him. “Confirmed: Uganda is now in the midst of a...

Rights group: Tripoli should probe town's 338 missing people

Jan. 7, 2021 8:36 AM EST

CAIRO (AP) — A leading rights group on Thursday urged Libya's U.N.-backed government to investigate the fate of hundreds of people missing from a key town near the capital, Tripoli. Dozens of mass graves were found there after the withdrawal of a much-feared militia last summer. In a statement, Human...

In this image taken from a video, Hong Kong's Democratic Party member and former lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, center, is arrested by police officers at his home in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Hong Kong police arrested about 50 pro-democracy figures Wednesday for allegedly violating the new national security law by participating in an unofficial primary election last year held to increase their chances of controlling the legislature, according to political parties and local media. (TVB via AP)

Hong Kong arrests 53 activists under national security law

Jan. 6, 2021 10:27 AM EST

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police arrested 53 former lawmakers and democracy proponents Wednesday for allegedly violating the new national security law by participating in unofficial election primaries for the territory's legislature last year. The mass arrests were the largest move against Hong...

Rights groups urge release of detained Ugandan rights lawyer

Dec. 23, 2020 4:15 AM EST

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Human Rights Watch and other rights groups are urging Ugandan authorities to free a prominent rights attorney who is being held by police over criminal allegations. Nicholas Opiyo, who has represented opposition figures and minority groups, was arrested on Tuesday while eating at a...

Pro-democracy protest fund-raiser Inthira Charoenpura speaks from a makeshift stage outside Bang Khen Metropolitan Police Station, Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Several leaders of protest movement report to the police station to answer the charges of defaming the Thai monarchy, the most serious of many offenses of which they stand accused during recent pro-democracy rallies. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Thai actress aiding protests charged with insulting monarchy

Dec. 21, 2020 3:20 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — A well-known actress who is one of the most high-profile supporters of Thailand’s pro-democracy protest movement answered a police summons Monday charging her with violating the country’s harsh law against defaming the monarchy, even though she is not known to have spoken...

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2015 file photo, a Muslim Brotherhood member waves his hand from a defendants cage in a courtroom in Tora prison, known as Scorpion Prison, southern Cairo, Egypt. A human rights watchdog Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 accused Egyptian authorities of making modifications to a notorious Cairo prison that amount to “collective punishment

Rights group: Egypt imposes collective punishment at prison

Dec. 17, 2020 3:22 PM EST

CAIRO (AP) — A human rights watchdog Thursday accused Egyptian authorities of making modifications to a notorious Cairo prison that amount to “collective punishment" of inmates following an escape attempt that left four policemen dead. Egyptian security agencies last month had construction workers...

South Sudan's spy agency abuses prisoners, says rights group

Dec. 14, 2020 12:23 PM EST

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Jabbing needles in prisoners' genitals, pouring melted plastic on their skin and hanging them upside down for long periods: These are tortures allegedly being perpetrated by South Sudan's National Security Service, according to an international human rights group. Electric shocks,...