human rights watch

The Malaysian authorities should immediately drop charges against a rights activist accused of showing a film about Sri Lanka’s civil war without Censorship Board approval, Human Rights Watch said today. Lena Hendry, of the human rights group Pusat KOMAS, was charged under the Film Censorship Act for organizing a screening of “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” on July 3, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur. Hendry, whose trial starts on October 21, faces up to three years in prison and a fine of RM30,000 (US$9,500).

It seems to have taken an apparent chemical weapons attack killing hundreds in Syria to bring human rights into the foreign policy debate of the Australian elections. Until these horrific events in Syria, human rights have been a glaring omission from the foreign policy agendas of both the Labor Party and the Coalition.

urkmenistan’s recent economic gains have not translated into equitable benefits to the population. Despite Turkmenistan’s vast oil and gas wealth, poverty persists. According to the United Nations Development Program’s human development indicators, Turkmenistan has the lowest life expectancy at birth in the region, at 65, and this rate has remained stagnant since 2006. Turkmenistan also has the second highest mortality rate under age 5 in the region, at 45 per 1,000 live births.

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced seven cyber activists to between five to 10 years in prison for inciting protests, mainly by using Facebook. The men were arrested in September last year, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), and their trial began in April.

Burmese President Thein Sein told a group of about 30 Burmese living in the United States that the development of democracy in his homeland must go hand in hand with economic development and that economic growth must come first.

Starting in early March 2013 the Russian government launched a nationwide campaign of inspections of nongovernmental organizations, unprecedented in its scale and scope. The inspections were highly extensive, disruptive, invasive, and often intimidating...It is clear that the main objective of these inspections is to identify organizations the government deems “foreign agents” and force advocacy groups to either assume this false, misleading, and demonizing label or suspend their work.