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Human Rights Watch calls on Iraqi parliament to set penalties for domestic violence

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With Iraq’s Parliament completing its review of the draft Anti-Domestic Violence Law, Human Rights Watch has called on the parliament to make key amendments to the draft law in order to further protect women’s lives. Despite women’s groups campaigning for years for legislation on domestic violence, only the Kurdistan Region of Iraq currently has legislation on domestic violence in place.  The draft law going through the Iraqi parliament does not annul provisions in the Iraqi Penal Code, HRW also noted. The Iraqi Penal Code has provisions that condones domestic violence in the case of so-called honor-based violence.So-called honor-based violence and honor killings remains a problem in both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, with Zhyan group – a coalition of thirty non-governmental organizations – leading the fight against it in the region.

The UN refugee agency gives 400$ to refugees to send them back to Afghanistan

A human rights group has accused Pakistan of forcing hundreds of thousand afghan refugees back to their homeland. Human Rights Watch said that the UN refugee agency gives 400$ to refugees to convince them to return in Afghanistan. For Human Rights Watch this is a sort of bribe. “The exodus amounts to the world’s largest unlawful mass forced return of refugees in recent times,” the Human Rights Watch report said. In an interview Indrika Ratwatte, Pakistan’s country representative for the UN refugee agency, said there was police harassment and arrests of Afghan refugees in mid-2016, in a Pakistani province. Meanwhile Pakistan affirmed that it has had some problems to repatriate the refugees in relation to the insufficient security in these provinces.

Human Rights Watch: false charges to prosecute political activists in Azerbaijan

The 75-page report, “Harassed, Imprisoned, Exiled: Azerbaijan’s Continuing Crackdown on Government Critics, Lawyers, and Civil Society,” documents the government’s concerted efforts to undermine civil society.

Human Rights Watch found that in 2016, the authorities used false, politically motivated criminal and administrative charges to prosecute political activists, journalists, and others. “With the release of some wrongfully imprisoned activists earlier this year, there were high hopes that Azerbaijan was turning a corner,” said Giorgi Gogia, South Caucasus director at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “But optimism is fading fast as the government relentlessly pursues critics and tries to shut down independent groups.”

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