425 people working as part of a global movement to defend human rights. We investigate abuses, expose the truth, and advocate for meaningful change.
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Senators Cassidy and Graham represent states with some of the worst records on keeping women and moms safe during pregnancy and childbirth. Why should we follow their lead on a healthcare bill? Let’s make some noise to show moms we love them. Tell your Congressional rep to vote NO to keep moms safe: (202) 225-3121
The week in numbers:
400K+ people have been forced to flee to Bangladesh by a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Burma.
69 countries have endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration.
1.4M people have been displaced in the DRC's Kasai region since August 2016.
170+ people have died in immigration detention in the US since 2003
Hasina is a soft-spoken 20-year-old Rohingya woman from Rakhine State in Burma. She asked us to use her picture and tell her story so the world knows what is happening there.
Her village, Tula Toli, was attacked in late Augustby the Burmese army on a rampage of killing and arson after Rohingya militants carried out coordinated strikes on police posts. The villagers ran when the soldiers came, but some were trapped on a river bank. Dozens, Hasina said, were murdered on the beach in front of her eyes, but the nightmare was only beginning.
The army forced Hasina and many other women to stand waist-deep in water and watch while soldiers dug a pit to burn the bodies of those they had killed. She tried to hide her infant daughter under her shawl, but a soldier noticed the baby, snatched her away and tossed her into the fire.
Hours later the soldiers took Hasina, her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and three other relatives, all children, to a nearby house. The soldiers tried to rape the women, knifing the mother-in-law to death when she resisted and beating Hasina and her sister-in-law unconscious. They beat the young children to death with spades.
When Hasina regained consciousness, she found herself inside the house. It was on fire, and she had been left locked inside by the soldiers. Her sister-in-law was alive, too. They managed to escape the flames, but with serious burns. Badly injured, they somehow made their way to Bangladesh. Both still have burn injuries. Hasina’s sister-in-law, who confirmed this horrible incident, showed us a big gash on the back of her head from when she had been beaten unconscious, and that a doctor had stitched.
Hasina insisted we take her picture and show her face to the world. For her, it is a brave act of defiance to those who sought to eliminate her and her family.
Investigation by Peter Bouckaert and photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind for a Human Rights Watch. @anastasiatl#rohingya
Syrian refugees in #Arsal, a border town in northeast #Lebanon, are facing pressure to return to #Syria.
Conditions in Arsal have gotten so bad that many of them have already decided to go back into a war zone.
There are currently an estimated 60,000 Syrians in Arsal, which was recently cleared of ISIS and al-Nusra.
Rather than subjecting these vulnerable refugee settlements to arrests and army raids, Lebanese authorities should provide safety and security.
#Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in Burma shelter monsoon rain at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh.
Tents as far as the eye can see in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, now home to some of the 400 thousand displaced Rohingya. iPhone photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl
Surfornesa's first born son, Mohammed Abdulla,18, was shot dead by the Burmese army before they burned their village, Sho Praned.
When Surfornesa fled with her husband and remaining four children she packed 7kg of rice, I blanket, 2 cooking pots, some clothes and 1 family photo.
A HRW team are in Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh, investigating ethnic cleansing against the #Rohingya in Burma. iPhone photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl
Today marks six months since the arrest of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor.
He is still being held in solitary confinement in the United Arab Emirates. His crime? Exercising his right to free expression.
Many activists, writers, and defenders are harassed or imprisoned in the #UAE and other Arab Gulf States.
It's time these governments stopped assaulting their citizens' right to free speech.
Bangladesh's remote Naf region where hundreds of thousands of #Rohingya refugees have arrived after fleeing ethnic cleansing in Burma, just a few miles away. Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl for HRW. 20th September 2017.
Hassina, 27, a #Rohingya refugee, tells Human Rights Watch of gunning down of dozens of fleeing residents of Min Gyi by #Burma security forces on August 30 2017. Photograph by Peter Bouckaert.
Ethiopia's Irreecha Festival will take place on October 1, and tensions are high.
Likely hundreds of people were killed at last year's festival, in stampedes triggered by security forces' use of teargas and obstruction of exits.
This year should be different. Ethiopia's security forces should work to protect people and de-escalate tensions, not pour fuel on the fire.
#Rohingya wading through waist-deep waters to save their belongings in flooded Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. Many moving to new locations, misery. Sept 19th 2017. Photograph by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl for HRW.
Forested hills in Bangladesh 3 weeks ago, now home to #Rohingya refugee tents as far as the eye can see, 400K+ victims of ethnic cleansing. Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh, Sept 19th 2017. Photograph by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl for HRW.
Burmese security forces are committing ethnic cleansing against the #Rohingya.
World leaders gathering in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly should make the crisis a priority.
Among other things, governments should impose economic and travel sanctions on Burma's military leaders.
It's time to hit those responsible for ethnic cleansing where it hurts.
The Week in Numbers:
62 villages in Burma’s northern Rakhine State were targeted by arson attacks between August 25 and September 14. #rohingya
Around 5,300 people have been arrested in connection with demonstrations in #Venezuela.
WATCH: Can you imagine having to weather a hurricane with little to no shelter? That was what 50 asylum seekers were up against. Sister Denise’s faith called her to help - and open her doors to families in need.
This month kids go back to school! Sadly some aren’t so lucky. 69 countries have shown their support to stop using schools in conflict. It is now time the #UK did the same and signed the Safe Schools Declaration.
Burma's Rakhine State is facing a humanitarian catastrophe.
Satellite images show mass burnings in the area. In some cases, it appears entire villages have been destroyed.
The violence has caused more than 270,000 Rohingya and other refugees to flee to Bangladesh.
And those who remain are at great risk.
The international community and Burma's leaders should act now to end this abusive campaign that has all the trademarks of ethnic cleansing.
Mean tweets, HRW-style. Hundreds of thousands of 'Dreamers' in the US are threatened with deportation as Trump ends DACA. We can't let this happen. #DefendDACA now!
Egypt’s Torture Assembly Line: Beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and rape – welcome to political detention in Sisi’s Egypt. “I stayed in this police station for 46 days. No matter how much I tell you, I won’t be able to give u a full idea of what happened.” Omar told HRW. Since the 2013 military coup, Egyptian authorities have arrested or charged probably at least 60,000 people forcibly disappeared hundreds for months at a time. This torture by security forces, widespread and systematic, probably amounts to a crime against humanity.
The line of #Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma is miles long. The violent cruelty of Burmese forces there is unfathomable. The silence from Aung San Suu Kyi is deafening. Photo via Matthew Smith of @fortifyrights#Burma#humanrights
Still one of the greatest quotes, and increasingly relevant today...#RESIST
Kendra Williams, 23, struggled with a heroin addiction since she was 15, but stopped after her son (pictured) was born. Her life was saved by naloxone after she overdosed. Kendra is now training to be a nurse and volunteers with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. The US is facing an epidemic of opioid overdose-related deaths. The tragedy is that with a wider availability of life-saving drug naloxone, most of them could be preventable. Photo: 2017 Private
Today we mark the International Day of the Disappeared, remembering the victims of enforced 'disappearances' in countries all over the world. But for many families, not knowing the fate of their loved ones for years - and sometimes decades - after they went missing, is agonizing every day.
Human Rights Watch marched in the equal love marriage equality rally over the weekend. Human rights are for everyone. #HRW#humanrights#australia
Rights in the US are in peril, as vulnerable groups continue to face attacks from the Trump administration. Just this month, President Trump signaled that he is willing to repeal the 'DREAM Act.' This would break a positive campaign promise and harm hundreds of thousands of people who came to the US as children and have established strong ties to the country. Trump has also reinstated a ban on transgender people serving in the military. This despicable move formalizes a pointless, bigoted idea as US policy. Last week, Trump pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a move that has been heavily criticized and effectively endorses racial discrimination by law enforcement. But other recent developments in the administration give a small glimmer of hope. The departure of Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, advisors with links to white nationalists, opens the door for some much needed policy reversals.