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Human Rights Watch 425 people working as part of a global movement to defend human rights. We investigate abuses, expose the truth, and advocate for meaningful change.

Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year. Security officers tortured four of the men, denied lawyers access to search sites, planted evidence, and later briefly detained two activists who spoke out on behalf of the arrested men. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula. Many openly oppose Russia’s occupation, which began in 2014. The crackdown in the spring of 2019 is the latest in a pattern of repression to smear peaceful activists as terrorists and to stifle dissent in occupied Crimea. Russian authorities should release the activists and stop misusing the country’s overly broad counterterrorism legislation to stifle freedom of opinion, expression, and religion. #russia #ukraine #crimea #tatar #humanrights (📷: © 2019 Alexandra Krylenkova; 2019 Taras Ibraghimov, Belogorsk; 2019 Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch; 2019 Crimean Solidarity)
Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year. Security officers tortured four of the men, denied lawyers access to search sites, planted evidence, and later briefly detained two activists who spoke out on behalf of the arrested men. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula. Many openly oppose Russia’s occupation, which began in 2014. The crackdown in the spring of 2019 is the latest in a pattern of repression to smear peaceful activists as terrorists and to stifle dissent in occupied Crimea. Russian authorities should release the activists and stop misusing the country’s overly broad counterterrorism legislation to stifle freedom of opinion, expression, and religion. #russia #ukraine #crimea #tatar #humanrights (📷: © 2019 Alexandra Krylenkova; 2019 Taras Ibraghimov, Belogorsk; 2019 Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch; 2019 Crimean Solidarity)
The Lebanese Armed Forces demolished about 20 Syrian refugee shelters on July 1, 2019, contending they did not comply with long-existing, but largely unenforced, housing codes. The armed forces also have been forcing refugees living in semi-permanent shelters on agricultural land to dismantle their own shelters’ concrete walls and roofs and replace them with less protective materials, or face army demolition of their homes. This crackdown on housing code violations should be seen for what it is, which is illegitimate pressure on Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon. But many of those affected have real reasons to fear returning to Syria, including arrests, torture, and ill-treatment by Syrian intelligence branches. Read more at HRW.org: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/05/lebanon-syrian-refugee-shelters-demolished
The Lebanese Armed Forces demolished about 20 Syrian refugee shelters on July 1, 2019, contending they did not comply with long-existing, but largely unenforced, housing codes. The armed forces also have been forcing refugees living in semi-permanent shelters on agricultural land to dismantle their own shelters’ concrete walls and roofs and replace them with less protective materials, or face army demolition of their homes. This crackdown on housing code violations should be seen for what it is, which is illegitimate pressure on Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon. But many of those affected have real reasons to fear returning to Syria, including arrests, torture, and ill-treatment by Syrian intelligence branches. Read more at HRW.org: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/05/lebanon-syrian-refugee-shelters-demolished
On July 5, 2019, a coalition of opposition groups in Sudan and the Transitional Military Council, which took power on April 11 when former president Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power, signed a power-sharing deal that paves the way for a transitional government. With hundreds killed since protests began in December 2018 and many more injured, the Sudanese people are entitled to demand answers and justice. In June alone, government forces including the Rapid Support Forces killed over 130 protesters. The single deadliest day was June 3, when government forces led by RSF opened fire on protesters and burned down their sit-in camp. Video evidence shows the heavy deployment of security forces using heavy gunfire, and many victims of gunshot wounds. Local monitors reported that 128 people were killed in that attack. Witnesses, including many victims, provided to Human Rights Watch accounts of soldiers arbitrarily arresting and beating protesters. Local monitors reported that troops raped many protesters or threatened them with rape. Sudan’s new leaders should make investigating these alleged abuses and bringing their perpetrators to justice its first priority. (📷: © 2019 AP Photo) #sudan #humanrights
On July 5, 2019, a coalition of opposition groups in Sudan and the Transitional Military Council, which took power on April 11 when former president Omar al-Bashir was ousted from power, signed a power-sharing deal that paves the way for a transitional government. With hundreds killed since protests began in December 2018 and many more injured, the Sudanese people are entitled to demand answers and justice. In June alone, government forces including the Rapid Support Forces killed over 130 protesters. The single deadliest day was June 3, when government forces led by RSF opened fire on protesters and burned down their sit-in camp. Video evidence shows the heavy deployment of security forces using heavy gunfire, and many victims of gunshot wounds. Local monitors reported that 128 people were killed in that attack. Witnesses, including many victims, provided to Human Rights Watch accounts of soldiers arbitrarily arresting and beating protesters. Local monitors reported that troops raped many protesters or threatened them with rape. Sudan’s new leaders should make investigating these alleged abuses and bringing their perpetrators to justice its first priority. (📷: © 2019 AP Photo) #sudan #humanrights
A new report finds thousands of asylum seekers from Central America and elsewhere, including more than 4,780 children, are facing potentially dangerous and unlivable conditions after US authorities return them to Mexico. The US and Mexico agreed on June 7, 2019 to dramatically expand the returns program. The US government has advanced a dangerous fiction that asylum seekers returned to Mexico will have access to work and shelter and a fair chance in US immigration courts. Instead, US border officials are stranding mothers with small children and other vulnerable migrants in Mexican border cities where their safety and security are at risk. “Carmen S.” said that she was returned to Mexico in May to await an asylum adjudication with her 6 and 3-year-old sons. However, her first immigration court hearing is not scheduled until October. Back in Mexico, local officials told her there was no shelter space for her family. “We took to the street with nowhere to go,” Carmen said. She eventually found a shelter that would take her family for seven days, but she had no idea what they would do next. Read more at HRW.org. #humanrights #unitedstates #mexico
A new report finds thousands of asylum seekers from Central America and elsewhere, including more than 4,780 children, are facing potentially dangerous and unlivable conditions after US authorities return them to Mexico. The US and Mexico agreed on June 7, 2019 to dramatically expand the returns program. The US government has advanced a dangerous fiction that asylum seekers returned to Mexico will have access to work and shelter and a fair chance in US immigration courts. Instead, US border officials are stranding mothers with small children and other vulnerable migrants in Mexican border cities where their safety and security are at risk. “Carmen S.” said that she was returned to Mexico in May to await an asylum adjudication with her 6 and 3-year-old sons. However, her first immigration court hearing is not scheduled until October. Back in Mexico, local officials told her there was no shelter space for her family. “We took to the street with nowhere to go,” Carmen said. She eventually found a shelter that would take her family for seven days, but she had no idea what they would do next. Read more at HRW.org. #humanrights #unitedstates #mexico
Three women have accused Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh, of rape and sexual assault while he was in office. Fatou "Toufah" Jallow is the first survivor to tell her story publicly. 
Former Gambian officials said that presidential aides regularly pressured women to visit or work for Jammeh, who then sexually abused many of them.

Jammeh is currently in Equatorial Guinea, where he sought exile after losing the 2016 presidential election to Adama Barrow. A Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is documenting human rights violations committed during Jammeh’s 22 years in power, including sexual violence allegations. The TRRC and the Gambian government should ensure that allegations of rape and sexual violence by Jammeh and other former top officials are fully investigated, and, if warranted, prosecuted.

Read more: hrw.org/news/2019/06/26/gambia-women-accuse-ex-president-sexual-violence

#IamToufah #Jammeh2Justice
Three women have accused Gambia’s former president, Yahya Jammeh, of rape and sexual assault while he was in office. Fatou "Toufah" Jallow is the first survivor to tell her story publicly. Former Gambian officials said that presidential aides regularly pressured women to visit or work for Jammeh, who then sexually abused many of them. Jammeh is currently in Equatorial Guinea, where he sought exile after losing the 2016 presidential election to Adama Barrow. A Gambian Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) is documenting human rights violations committed during Jammeh’s 22 years in power, including sexual violence allegations. The TRRC and the Gambian government should ensure that allegations of rape and sexual violence by Jammeh and other former top officials are fully investigated, and, if warranted, prosecuted. Read more: hrw.org/news/2019/06/26/gambia-women-accuse-ex-president-sexual-violence #IamToufah #Jammeh2Justice
@humanrightswatch is getting ready for the #pride march. Come find our float and tell us what #lgbtpride🌈 means to you and why you’re marching. If you can’t be there today follow along on our story, starting from about 3pm Eastern. #lgbtrights #lgbtq
@humanrightswatch is getting ready for the #pride march. Come find our float and tell us what #lgbtpride🌈 means to you and why you’re marching. If you can’t be there today follow along on our story, starting from about 3pm Eastern. #lgbtrights #lgbtq
”Pocholo,” whose father was killed in a drug raid, admitted to using drugs but dropped the habit after President Rodrigo Duterte launched his “war on drugs.” The police still harassed him, threatening to kill him when he turned 18. Fearing for his life, he decided to seek refuge at a children’s group south of Manila. 
He is among the thousands of kids both victims of, and victimized by, the government’s abusive anti-drug campaign. More than 100 children have been killed over the past three years, either targeted or caught in the crossfire, according to local human rights and children’s monitors. The deaths of parents or guardians have also left many children alone, vulnerable and forced to fend for themselves. 
Some have gone into hiding, fearing for their lives, especially those who witnessed a loved one’s killing. Many suffer from apparent psychological trauma and, despite the role of the police in many of the killings, have received no help from the government. Several have ended up in poorly run detention facilities – some literally in cages – after they were picked up off the streets by the authorities. Many are subjected to mistreatment, including sexual abuse, while in police custody.

Photo 1: “Pocholo”
Photo 2: Children cover their noses from the smell during a mass burial on January 24, 2017, of unclaimed bodies in a cemetery in Navotas City in Metro Manila that has been hard hit in the “drug war.” #warondrugs #philippines
”Pocholo,” whose father was killed in a drug raid, admitted to using drugs but dropped the habit after President Rodrigo Duterte launched his “war on drugs.” The police still harassed him, threatening to kill him when he turned 18. Fearing for his life, he decided to seek refuge at a children’s group south of Manila. He is among the thousands of kids both victims of, and victimized by, the government’s abusive anti-drug campaign. More than 100 children have been killed over the past three years, either targeted or caught in the crossfire, according to local human rights and children’s monitors. The deaths of parents or guardians have also left many children alone, vulnerable and forced to fend for themselves. Some have gone into hiding, fearing for their lives, especially those who witnessed a loved one’s killing. Many suffer from apparent psychological trauma and, despite the role of the police in many of the killings, have received no help from the government. Several have ended up in poorly run detention facilities – some literally in cages – after they were picked up off the streets by the authorities. Many are subjected to mistreatment, including sexual abuse, while in police custody. Photo 1: “Pocholo” Photo 2: Children cover their noses from the smell during a mass burial on January 24, 2017, of unclaimed bodies in a cemetery in Navotas City in Metro Manila that has been hard hit in the “drug war.” #warondrugs #philippines
“Jennifer” remembers the day police shot her father dead during a drug sweep of the neighborhood in December 2016. The police claim he was a drug dealer and resisted arrest. Jennifer has a different version. She said that about seven men in civilian clothes barged into their small home that day, looking for him. .
“He was told to lie face down but he held his ID up behind him. All the while, one of the men had a gun to his head,” Jennifer recalls. She said she tried to shield her father by hugging him, and covering him with her small body. The men ordered everyone but her father to leave the house; on her way out, Jennifer saw her father continue to beg for his life. Moments later, when Jennifer and all the others were in the small alley outside the house, three gunshots rang out. .
Uniformed police officers arrived minutes later; the men in civilian clothes were still inside the home. When the medics came, Jennifer strained to look inside and saw blood all over the floor, her father now lying face up beside the couch. “That’s when I saw the gun beside his hand,” Jennifer said. She swore her father did not have a gun, that she never saw one in their home. Police say they shot him because he fought back. .
Witnessing what happened to her father was traumatic enough for Jennifer and her family. But the consequence of his death only added to their suffering. They lost their breadwinner. Since his death, there have been days the children have had nothing to eat. They rely mainly on the generosity of their grandmother, who agreed to take care of them. .
Jennifer still grapples with the trauma of her father’s death. “I am confused because I still don’t understand why. Why my Papa? Of all the people here, why did they pick my father?” Jennifer said. “I am so angry.” During these bouts of confusion and anger, Jennifer would find refuge in doodling and drawing scenes of her family, kittens, and sad girls on her notepad or on the plywood walls of her home. But she could never finish her drawings. “It’s because something is missing in the drawing,” she said. “It’s incomplete.”
“Jennifer” remembers the day police shot her father dead during a drug sweep of the neighborhood in December 2016. The police claim he was a drug dealer and resisted arrest. Jennifer has a different version. She said that about seven men in civilian clothes barged into their small home that day, looking for him. . “He was told to lie face down but he held his ID up behind him. All the while, one of the men had a gun to his head,” Jennifer recalls. She said she tried to shield her father by hugging him, and covering him with her small body. The men ordered everyone but her father to leave the house; on her way out, Jennifer saw her father continue to beg for his life. Moments later, when Jennifer and all the others were in the small alley outside the house, three gunshots rang out. . Uniformed police officers arrived minutes later; the men in civilian clothes were still inside the home. When the medics came, Jennifer strained to look inside and saw blood all over the floor, her father now lying face up beside the couch. “That’s when I saw the gun beside his hand,” Jennifer said. She swore her father did not have a gun, that she never saw one in their home. Police say they shot him because he fought back. . Witnessing what happened to her father was traumatic enough for Jennifer and her family. But the consequence of his death only added to their suffering. They lost their breadwinner. Since his death, there have been days the children have had nothing to eat. They rely mainly on the generosity of their grandmother, who agreed to take care of them. . Jennifer still grapples with the trauma of her father’s death. “I am confused because I still don’t understand why. Why my Papa? Of all the people here, why did they pick my father?” Jennifer said. “I am so angry.” During these bouts of confusion and anger, Jennifer would find refuge in doodling and drawing scenes of her family, kittens, and sad girls on her notepad or on the plywood walls of her home. But she could never finish her drawings. “It’s because something is missing in the drawing,” she said. “It’s incomplete.”
“Kyle” was shouting as he bounced around the cramped living room of his family’s home in Delpan, Tondo, one of the poorest, most crowded and crime-prone districts of Manila. He jabbed his middle finger in the air, shouting as he jumped around, oblivious to the perplexed reactions of the people in the room. He was only 5. While it might not be unusual for children his age in the slums of the Philippines to use foul language or act out among friends, there was something profoundly unsettling about the intensity of Kyle’s aggressiveness. “I don’t know what’s happening,” Kyle’s mother “Zeny" said, shaking her head and close to tears. “I don’t know how this happened.” .
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In November 2016, “Kyle’s” father, a 39-year-old driver, disappeared. He was found dead two days later on the Delpan overpass, not far from their home. His death turned Kyle’s world upside down. His mother Zeny was forced to look for a job. When she found one, she started spending less time with Kyle. And when she entered into a relationship with her current boyfriend, Kyle became more aggressive and violent.

Zeny hasn’t taken Kyle to a therapist, mainly because of the expense. The nannies she was able to hire so she could work typically didn’t last long because of Kyle’s aggressiveness. “He misses his father a lot and he takes it out on me.” .
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#warondrugs #philippines
“Kyle” was shouting as he bounced around the cramped living room of his family’s home in Delpan, Tondo, one of the poorest, most crowded and crime-prone districts of Manila. He jabbed his middle finger in the air, shouting as he jumped around, oblivious to the perplexed reactions of the people in the room. He was only 5. While it might not be unusual for children his age in the slums of the Philippines to use foul language or act out among friends, there was something profoundly unsettling about the intensity of Kyle’s aggressiveness. “I don’t know what’s happening,” Kyle’s mother “Zeny" said, shaking her head and close to tears. “I don’t know how this happened.” . . In November 2016, “Kyle’s” father, a 39-year-old driver, disappeared. He was found dead two days later on the Delpan overpass, not far from their home. His death turned Kyle’s world upside down. His mother Zeny was forced to look for a job. When she found one, she started spending less time with Kyle. And when she entered into a relationship with her current boyfriend, Kyle became more aggressive and violent. Zeny hasn’t taken Kyle to a therapist, mainly because of the expense. The nannies she was able to hire so she could work typically didn’t last long because of Kyle’s aggressiveness. “He misses his father a lot and he takes it out on me.” . . #warondrugs #philippines
Four men wearing balaclavas arrived at the funeral wake on two motorcycles. Moments later, shots rang out, sparking panic among the crowd of mourners, who fled or dove for cover. The gunmen’s apparent target, “Renato Aldeguer,” was shot 10 times and died at the scene. His then-13-year-old son “John” was hit in the leg; his daughter “Karla,” 10 at the time, cowered under a table but wasn’t physically injured in the attack. The eldest son, 15-year-old “Robert,” who was right behind one of the gunmen as he fired into the crowd, managed to escape unscathed.

Two years after the murder of their father, the Aldeguer children eke out an existence on the streets of Mandaluyong City in Metro Manila, abandoned by their mother, out of school, dependent on meager wages from menial jobs and the generosity of extended family to get by. Since their hovel was demolished by the government years before, they had been spending more time in the streets. They are familiar faces to neighbors and shop owners, and even to policemen and neighborhood watchmen.

The three siblings spend their days in Kalentong, their nights in the houses of friends and cousins, and taking long afternoon naps in the parking lot behind Marketplace mall. There, they hang hammocks between delivery vans, wait for their friends who also live in the streets, and spend hours just chatting, gossiping with delivery drivers, and horsing around. Aren’t they afraid the men who killed their father would come back for them? “If they wanted us dead, we would have been dead a long time ago,” Robert said.

While life in Kalentong has not been easy, especially for Karla, the three have no plans to leave. Here, “we have friends, we have each other,” Robert said.

#warondrugs #philippines
Four men wearing balaclavas arrived at the funeral wake on two motorcycles. Moments later, shots rang out, sparking panic among the crowd of mourners, who fled or dove for cover. The gunmen’s apparent target, “Renato Aldeguer,” was shot 10 times and died at the scene. His then-13-year-old son “John” was hit in the leg; his daughter “Karla,” 10 at the time, cowered under a table but wasn’t physically injured in the attack. The eldest son, 15-year-old “Robert,” who was right behind one of the gunmen as he fired into the crowd, managed to escape unscathed. Two years after the murder of their father, the Aldeguer children eke out an existence on the streets of Mandaluyong City in Metro Manila, abandoned by their mother, out of school, dependent on meager wages from menial jobs and the generosity of extended family to get by. Since their hovel was demolished by the government years before, they had been spending more time in the streets. They are familiar faces to neighbors and shop owners, and even to policemen and neighborhood watchmen. The three siblings spend their days in Kalentong, their nights in the houses of friends and cousins, and taking long afternoon naps in the parking lot behind Marketplace mall. There, they hang hammocks between delivery vans, wait for their friends who also live in the streets, and spend hours just chatting, gossiping with delivery drivers, and horsing around. Aren’t they afraid the men who killed their father would come back for them? “If they wanted us dead, we would have been dead a long time ago,” Robert said. While life in Kalentong has not been easy, especially for Karla, the three have no plans to leave. Here, “we have friends, we have each other,” Robert said. #warondrugs #philippines
The Philippine government’s brutal “war on drugs” has devastated the lives of countless children. By the government’s own admission, more than 6,600 people have been killed since the “drug war” began after Duterte’s election three years ago. Other estimates are much higher. Children have been among those who died during police operations, either directly targeted or inadvertently shot by the police. “Collateral Damage: The Children of Duterte’s “War on Drugs” shares the stories and the plight of children who have suffered from the emotional, psychological, and economic impacts of the “drug war” violence. 
We will be featuring some of these children’s stories on Instagram today. 
#warondrugs #philippines
The Philippine government’s brutal “war on drugs” has devastated the lives of countless children. By the government’s own admission, more than 6,600 people have been killed since the “drug war” began after Duterte’s election three years ago. Other estimates are much higher. Children have been among those who died during police operations, either directly targeted or inadvertently shot by the police. “Collateral Damage: The Children of Duterte’s “War on Drugs” shares the stories and the plight of children who have suffered from the emotional, psychological, and economic impacts of the “drug war” violence. We will be featuring some of these children’s stories on Instagram today. #warondrugs #philippines
#Repost @kritisharma_hrw
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Pinned down, stripped naked, locked in a padded cell, and yelling continuously for help – that’s how a 17-year-old Indigenous boy with a cognitive #disability spent 3 days in a police holding cell in #Australia. The horrifying account – cruel and inhuman treatment that may amount to torture – reflects the terrifying reality for children picked up by the police in Australia.
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📷: Still from ABC News Four Corners. © 2019 ABC News #brisbane #abcfourcorners #abcnews #humanrights #humanrightswatch #disabilityrights #indigenous #prison #watchhouse
#Repost @kritisharma_hrw ・・・ Pinned down, stripped naked, locked in a padded cell, and yelling continuously for help – that’s how a 17-year-old Indigenous boy with a cognitive #disability spent 3 days in a police holding cell in #Australia. The horrifying account – cruel and inhuman treatment that may amount to torture – reflects the terrifying reality for children picked up by the police in Australia. . . 📷: Still from ABC News Four Corners. © 2019 ABC News #brisbane #abcfourcorners #abcnews #humanrights #humanrightswatch #disabilityrights #indigenous #prison #watchhouse