This report documents violent abuses in the country’s central provinces between November 2015 and December 2016. These include enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and the destruction of private property by government forces, and political killings, attacks on public transport, and looting of health clinics by the Renamo political party’s armed group.
This report documents the use of alternative explanations for how evidence was found, a practice known as “parallel construction.” This practice could prevent courts from scrutinizing the legality of questionable investigative methods, including surveillance. Such scrutiny can deter misconduct, since judges normally bar illegally obtained evidence from trial.
This report shows how retention of section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, prohibiting and punishing “unnatural carnal knowledge,” and failure to actively address violence and discrimination, relegate LGBT Ghanaians to effective second-class citizenship. Police officials and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have taken some steps to protect LGBT people. But they are still frequent victims of physical violence and psychological abuse, extortion, and discrimination in many aspects of their daily life.
On the morning of August 30, 2017, hundreds of uniformed Burmese soldiers arrived in the village of Tula Toli, in northern Rakhine State, where they carried out a brutal and systematic attack of killings, rape, and arson against the Rohingya Muslim villagers. The massacre at Tula Toli came days after coordinated attacks on police posts by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Following those attacks, the Burmese military launched a largescale campaign of ethnic cleansing, forcing more than 645,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh.
Massacre by the River details the Burmese army’s attack on Tula Toli, based on in-depth interviews with 18 Rohingya survivors conducted in refugee camps in Bangladesh. The report reveals strong evidence of military planning: soldiers rapidly confined villagers on the riverbank, separated men and women, executed the men, and rounded-up groups of women and girls in nearby houses to be raped and killed. Analysis of satellite imagery confirms the village was completely destroyed by arson. The documented abuses contribute to Human Rights Watch’s conclusion that the Burmese military’s atrocities against Rohingya amount to crimes against humanity.
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them raped her vaginally and anally. She is one of the few survivors who sought medical treatment immediately after the rape, but says she continues to experience chronic and incapacitating health problems including back pain, pain when passing stool and injuries to her left ear—that she says does not hear well since the attack. She stopped working and is struggling to provide for herself and her three young children. Her husband, who had abandoned her before the rape, stopped giving financial support after he learned that she was raped.
Singapore promotes itself as a bustling, modern city-state and a great place to do business. Beneath the slick surface of gleaming high-rises, however, it is a repressive place, where the government severely restricts what can be said, published, performed, read, or watched. Those who criticize the government or the judiciary, or publicly discuss race and religion, frequently find themselves facing criminal investigations and charges, or civil defamation suits and crippling damages. Peaceful public demonstrations and other assemblies are severely limited, and failure to comply with detailed restrictions on what can be said and who can participate in public gatherings frequently results in police investigations and the threat of criminal charges.
The 109-page report, “The Deported: Immigrants Uprooted from the Country They Call Home,” along with an interactive website that became live on December 7, documents 43 cases in which immigrants, many of them long-term residents with strong family and other US ties, were deported through proceedings that largely disregard immigrants’ fundamental rights and almost never take due consideration of their US homes and families. Teams of Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed the deportees inside Mexico. The report also analyzes US government data on arrests and deportations in the first seven months of the Trump administration.
The 76-page report, “Flawed Justice: Accountability for ISIS Crimes in Iraq,” examines the screening, detention, investigation, and prosecution of some of the thousands of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects in Iraq. Human Rights Watch found serious legal shortcomings that undermine the efforts to bring ISIS suspects to justice. Most significantly, there is no national strategy to ensure the credible prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes. The broad prosecution under terrorism law of all those affiliated with ISIS in any way, no matter how minimal, could impede future community reconciliation and reintegration, and clog up Iraqi courts and prisons for decades.
The 69-page report, “‘Special Mission’: Recruitment of M23 Rebels to Suppress Protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo ,” documents that Congolese security forces along with recruited M23 fighters from Uganda and Rwanda killed at least 62 people and arrested hundreds more during country-wide protests between December 19 and 22, when Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutionally mandated two-term limit. M23 fighters patrolled the streets of Congo’s main cities, firing on or arresting protesters or anyone else deemed to be a threat to the president.
This report finds that Lebanese authorities’ lack of effective action to address widespread open burning of waste and a lack of adequate monitoring or information about the health effects violate Lebanon’s obligations under international law. Open burning of waste is dangerous and avoidable, a consequence of the government’s decades-long failure to manage solid waste in a way that respects environmental and health laws designed to protect people. Scientific studies have documented the dangers smoke from the open burning of household waste pose to human health. Children and older people are at particular risk. Lebanon should end the open burning of waste and carry out a sustainable national waste management strategy that complies with environmental and public health best practices and international law.