01/02/2013 01:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Most Popular Human Rights Topics on Twitter in 2012

Top Ten Tweets

In 2012, @hrw sent over 2,000 tweets and a quarter of a million new people started following the feed. Human Rights Watch has over 100 staff actively tweeting human rights developments around the world. In the past year these researchers, advocates and directors tweeted developing human rights stories such as the drafting of the Egyptian constitution, the first trial and conviction by the International Criminal Court and the first women to represent Saudi Arabia in the Olympic games.

Here are the top ten most-clicked stories of the year.

10. Today is Int'l Day of People w/ Disabilities. Show your support, call on US Senators to vote YES to #CRPD


The United States missed an opportunity to display global leadership on disability rights on December 4, 2012, as the Senate failed to approve ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


9. Burma: Government Forces Targeting Rohingya Muslims


Burmese security forces failed to protect the Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims from each other and then unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya.


8. US Supreme Court shouldn't let #Georgia #execute a man with intellectual disabilities #warrenhill


The issue in the case is the standard Georgia uses for proving intellectual disability. Georgia is the only state that requires defendants to prove their disability beyond a reasonable doubt.

7. Bulgaria: Denounce Call to Stone Gays

On June 6, Father Evgeni Yanakiev of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was quoted in the Bulgarian Standard newspaper as saying: “Our whole society must in every possible way oppose the gay parade that is being planned. For this reason today I appeal to all those who consider themselves Christians and Bulgarians. Throwing stones at gays is an appropriate way.”


6. Syria: Sexual Assault in Detention


Human Rights Watch reported in June that Syrian government forces have used sexual violence to torture men, women, and boys detained during the current conflict. Witnesses and victims also told Human Rights Watch that soldiers and pro-government armed militias have sexually abused women and girls as young as 12 during home raids and military sweeps of residential areas.


5. The #protesters carried flowers. #Bahrain police lobbed concussion grenades. Several injured, one critically


Bahrain’s human rights situation remains critical in the wake of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. 

Why are the #Bahrain police tossing stungrenades at journalists covering protests?  #pressfreedom


4. Which country tried more than 12,000 civilians, including children, by military tribunal in 2011?

Egypt’s newly elected parliament failed to end the onerous practice of military trial of civilians.

3. Growing Up Locked Down - Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States

US teens in solitary confinement, joint investigative project by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU. Locking kids in solitary confinement with little or no contact with other people is cruel, harmful, and unnecessary.

2. #Saudi women went to the Olympics, but still can’t participate in sports at home


For the first time, after considerable international pressure and sustained advocacy by Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia sent two women to the Olympics.

IOC @Olympics should ban #Saudi Arabia if women can't play @London2012 Games!


1. #PussyRiot case shocking, image of rights lawyer #Markelov, on the sidewalk w back of his head blown off was worse


The trial of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot highlighted the deteriorating state of the rule of law and freedom of expression in Russia.

HRW researchers were at the #PussyRiot verdict. Guess what the judge said about feminists?