The simple act of defending their cultures or religions can lead to devastating consequences for religious minorities and indigenous groups. During times of conflict or economic downturn minority groups will then become scapegoats, with laws and justice systems weaponized against them.

60 + "Insulting religion”, otherwise known as blasphemy, can lead to imprisonment in more than 60 countries.

7 In seven countries, blasphemy is punishable by execution.

Server Mustafayev in court speaking to a woman in headscarf

Governments bring prosecutions for blasphemy against members of minority religions, who have often done nothing more than express critical opinions or even just practice their faith.

Meanwhile, indigenous groups worldwide have been unfairly targeted with criminal prosecutions as they try to preserve their way of life in the face of relentless pressure, often from political leaders or corporate interests seeking to take their land. Prosecutions of minority groups legitimize larger campaigns of persecution and mob violence, making stopping criminal cases and reforming laws all the more important.

TrialWatch monitors these trials, exposing sham prosecutions aimed at stripping religious or ethnic minorities of power and stifling any criticism of the majority. We use findings from our monitoring to free unjustly imprisoned minorities through advocacy and litigation and to reform the unfair laws that enable discrimination and persecution.