Human Rights Watch takes this opportunity to comment on the EBRD’s technical assessments for Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. Below, we highlight omissions and developments since the drafting of the assessments, which we encourage you to reflect in drafting the upcoming country assessments and operational priorities for these countries.

1. Egypt

The technical assessment rightly points out that “the political transition in Egypt is at an early stage.” However, it fails to note the serious deterioration in the state of rights protection in the country and the escalation of violence against protesters which took place between October 2011 and February 2012 in particular.

In section 2.5, where you describe the commitments to democratization and reform, you include “beginning to dismantle the repressive system in place before the uprising and transfer of power.” Overall, Human Rights Watch has seen no significant improvement in the legal framework, policies and practices that determine human rights protections in Egypt. In our report The Road Ahead: A Human Rights Agenda for Egypt’s New Parliament Human Rights Watch described the repressive legal framework that Mubarak used to limit political space and accountability.[1] This legal framework remains in place to this day and there have been no attempts at significant legal reform with the exception of the electoral laws.

Gender equality

It is inaccurate to say that “under President Mubarak, women enjoyed firm protections under the law and efforts were made to promote gender equality” as stated in the technical assessment. Under Mubarak, Egyptian law discriminated against women in a number of areas, most significantly in the personal status law. These laws remain in place. There is currently a real risk of regression on women’s rights as some members of parliament have proposed to repeal the khul’ law, which grants women the right to initiate a no-fault divorce, to de-criminalize female genital mutilation and to lower the legal marriage age to 16 from 18. Egypt still lacks a legal environment that protects girls and women from violence, encourages them to report attacks, and deters perpetrators from committing abuses against them.

2011 was a year marked by an increase in cases of violence against women by both police and military security officials, since a number of women protesters were beaten and sexually assaulted in connection with demonstrations. On March 9, 2011 military police arrested 20 women as they broke up a sit-in in Tahrir Square and beat them on the grounds of the nearby Egyptian Museum. Military officers took 17 of the group to a military prison and the next day conducted virginity tests on seven of the women who identified themselves as unmarried.[2] It was not until December that a case was finally brought to trial after months of inaction and in February, after a fundamentally flawed trial, the only officer charged was acquitted.[3] On December 16, 2011, security forces attacked and beat demonstrators protesting in front of the Egyptian Cabinet. News outlets broadcast footage of Egyptian military police beating, stomping on, and hitting protesters with bars, including a veiled woman whose clothes had been torn off, exposing her torso.[4]

Rule of law

Despite several promises to end the state of emergency, to date the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has refused to do so insisting that it will remain in effect until the current period expires on May 31, 2012. On January 24, 2012, the SCAF announced that it would limit the use of the emergency law to cases of “thuggery.” This is a meaningless limitation since authorities are not required to present evidence to a judicial authority and therefore have broad discretion to detain without charge or trial. From February 2011 onwards, military officers arrested and military tribunals wrongfully convicted hundreds of peaceful protesters for alleged “thuggery,” only releasing them after months of campaigning on their behalf.[5] The Interior Ministry is holding at least 180 detainees under the Emergency Law and prosecuting at least six cases before Emergency State Security Courts, which do not provide the right to an appeal.[6]

An end to the state of emergency was a long-standing demand of the Egyptian opposition and a primary demand of protesters during Egypt’s January 2011 uprising. The Emergency Law allows Interior Ministry officials to detain people without charge or trial for indefinite periods. In addition, both the Emergency Law and the Code of Military Justice allow for the trial of civilians before military courts, which do not meet fair trial standards.

The technical assessment states that: “The SCAF was under pressure to review this policy, and in early October indicated that henceforth detainees who are not accused of violating military laws – such as assaulting servicemen or damaging military property – would be referred to civilian courts.”

In October, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi said that the military would limit the use of military tribunals to that stipulated in the Code of Military Justice, a misleading statement which some took to mean an end to the practice, but which only reaffirmed the broad jurisdiction granted under that law. On May 6, the Egyptian parliament approved amendments to the Code of Military Justice which would end the president’s power to refer civilians to military trials but did not alter the military’s power to continue to try civilians as set out in Article 5, 7 and 8.[7]

In 2011 alone, military courts tried over 12,000 civilians.[8]

The technical assessment states that: “the Interior Ministry and police forces have been purged of elements guilty of the worst excesses during the previous administration and the revolution” after rightly stating that there has been no systematic process of institutional reform. There has in fact been no process to investigate and hold ministry of interior officials accountable for the of human rights violations they allegedly perpetrated during the three decades of Mubarak’s rule, most significantly systematic torture and enforced disappearances. There has been no investigation of the systematic practice of torture as a means of extracting confessions and of punishing political detainees. Accountability for crimes of the Mubarak era is limited to the period between January 25 and January 31, 2011 when police officers killed protesters.[9]Further, there is no evidence that a proper vetting process has been instituted within the ministry of interior that has examined involvement in human rights abuses.

Freedom of speech, media, association and assembly

It is inaccurate to say that freedom of speech, media, association and assembly “are being respected far more today than under the previous regime, but there are some clear limitations still in place.”

There has been a marked deterioration in respect for freedom of association with regards to the NGO community compared to under Mubarak. In July 2011, the government conducted an unprecedented criminal investigation of all NGOs not registered under Mubarak’s repressive association’s law which was designed to exclude and control civil society and produced a fact-finding report that named the vast majority of independent human rights organizations in Egypt.[10] The technical assessment was written before the escalation of this campaign against civil society organizations. In late December 2011, military and police officers raided Egyptian and international NGOs and in February the trial of Egyptian and international NGO workers opened on charges of operating without registration and receiving and giving funding without authorization. Dozens of Egyptian NGOs remain at risk of criminal prosecution.[11]

While media expression has expanded, violations of free speech against journalists, bloggers and activists have remained high. Violations of the right to freedom of expression have included military trials of protesters and bloggers, interrogations of journalists and activists for criticizing the military, the suspension of new satellite television licenses, and the closure of an Al Jazeera television outlet.[12] In two high-profile cases, the telecommunications entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris and the veteran film comedian Adel Imam have faced charges of insulting religion under vague and arbitrary laws dating from the Mubarak administration. Human Rights Watch has documented a number of assaults on journalists by security forces during demonstrations and destruction of news media property since the SCAF took power.[13] These efforts to hinder broadcasts of demonstrations follow several months of efforts to curb activities of independent media outlets.

Military prosecutors have sentenced or summoned dozens of activists and journalists for “insulting the military” or “spreading false information.”[14] Criminal prosecutions for legitimate expression have continued with sentences issued against high-profile individuals such as actor Adel Imam, revolution leader Asmaa Mahfouz and labor rights advocate Kamal Abbas.[15]

The military used excessive force and carried out arbitrary mass arrests in various cities to disperse demonstrations and sit-ins on numerous occasions—February 25, March 9, March 23, May 16, July 22, and August 1—beating those arrested and assaulting them with Taser weapons.[16] On April 9, military officers used rubber bullets and live ammunition to break up a sit-in opposing SCAF’s rule, wounding at least 71 protesters, one fatally.[17] On October 9, during the dispersal by military police and riot police of a protest of mainly Coptic Christians in front of the state TV building in Cairo, at least two military vehicles ran over and killed 13 protesters and a further 24 were killed by live ammunition.[18]

Central Security Forces, Egypt’s riot police, continued to use excessive force when policing demonstrations.

  • On June 28 and 29, riot police clashed with protesters outside the ministry of interior for 16 hours. The police fired tear gas into the crowd and used rubber bullets and pellet guns injuring 1,114 persons according to the Ministry of Health. [19]
  • In November riot police shot live ammunition and rubber bullets into the crowd, beat protesters and otherwise used excessive force killing at least 45 protesters.[20]
  • On December 16, 2011, security forces attacked and beat demonstrators protesting in front of the Egyptian Cabinet. The Health Ministry said on December 19 that 500 protesters or bystanders had been injured since December 16, and 12 were killed.[21]

Freedom of conscience and religion

The section on freedom of conscience and religion in the technical assessment understates the seriousness of the problem of sectarian violence in stating, “However, there have been instances of sectarian strife, mainly between Islamists and Christian Copts.”

The chronic government denial and mishandling of sectarian violence that marked Mubarak’s rule continues. Protests by Muslim groups over church construction and renovation have been a particular source of tension and violence. Egyptian law continues to discriminate against the right of Christians to worship. Christians must get approval from the president and endorsement of the local Muslim community before they can renovate or build churches.

Egyptian authorities have continued the Mubarak policy of failing to investigate incidents of sectarian violence where Christians have been the victims of assault and attacks on property, instead resorting to reconciliation, which deprives victims of the right to a remedy and fails to insist on accountability and respect for the rule of law. Human Rights Watch has examined three incidents of sectarian violence involving Muslim attacks on Christians and Christian churches since the February 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak that have gone entirely unpunished. A September 30 attack on the Mar Girgis (St. George) church in Marinab, in Aswan governorate, prompted the march on October 9. As in previous incidents, police and public prosecutors failed to investigate and insisted that differences be resolved in informal reconciliation deals between suspects and aggrieved parties.[22]

The technical assessment in particular fails to give an accurate account of the events on October 9, 2011 at Maspero in Cairo by stating: “The authorities’ actions in dealing with the unrest raised many questions on the use of lethal force.”

Describing the crushing of 13 protesters by military Armored Personnel Carriers— which was clearly captured on video footage and confirmed by state autopsies, the National Council for Human Rights as well as multiple credible human rights NGOs— simply as an incident that “raises many questions” is highly problematic and fails to address the core issues of the brutality and massive policing failure on the part of the military and the subsequent impunity which challenges respect for the rule of law.

The right to form trade unions and strike

Despite the minister of labor and manpower’s March 2011 statement that Egypt would recognize the right to establish independent trade unions based on its obligations under International Labor Organization treaties, the SCAF failed to issue the proposed new trade unions law submitted by the cabinet after consultation with unions.[23]

In addition, the SCAF passed new laws violating the right to strike, such as Law 34 “On the Criminalization of Attacks on Freedom of Work and the Destruction of Facilities,” which criminalizes and imposes financial penalties for strikes and demonstrations that “obstruct public works.”[24] The sweeping provisions of this law provide for punishment "with imprisonment or a fine … for those who during the state of emergency call for demonstrations, strikes, sit-ins, or gatherings, or participate in any of the above, leading to the impediment or the obstruction of any of the state institutions or public authorities from performing their role." The law also penalizes incitement, calls, writings, or any other public advertisements for a protest or strike with the same penalties as in the last provision. It provides for imprisonment of not less than one year for using violence during a protest or strike, or if the protest or strike results in any destruction of property, "harm to national unity, societal peace or public order," or "harm to public funds, buildings or public or private property."

2. Jordan

The EBRD’s Technical Assessment for Jordan concludes that “Jordan is moving in a direction of more democratic governance within the framework of a constitutional monarchy … [a] process [that] has been accelerated” in 2011. But its description of a number of key developments is incomplete in ways that leave room for regrettable misperceptions that we believe need to be remedied in order to ensure an objective and accurate assessment. The assessment paints an optimistic picture of reform without adequately reflecting ongoing human rights violations. For example:

  • Since the start of 2012, the government has jailed and charged, and in one case convicted, at least 22 individuals for peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and assembly.[25]
  • ‘Uday Abu Issa, arrested on January 11, 2012, and sentenced to prison for burning an image of King Abdullah. He has since been pardoned;[26]
  • Former Member of Parliament, Ahmad Oweidi al-‘Abbadi, arrested on February 2, and charged with insulting the king. He has since been released on bail;[27]
  • Seven members of the Free Tafila Movement, arrested on March 6, and charged with insulting the king;[28]
  • 13 demonstrators arrested in front of the prime minister’s office on March 31, 2012, and charged with insulting the king.[29]
  • The assessment claims that “The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, which is mainly upheld in practice.” In 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the use, which continues today, of the Crime Prevention Law to arbitrarily put suspects in administrative detention. Every year, more than 10,000 Jordanians and some foreigners fall victim to such arbitrary detention.[30]
  • The assessment points out the strengthened constitutional safeguard against torture, yet fails to note that torture remains a significant problem in Jordan that occurs with near-total impunity.[31] Human Rights Watch has documented allegations of ill treatment by security forces in five separate incidents over the past 15 months.[32] As yet, the police and prosecutorshave not published any investigation into these incidents. While the regular courts have heard civil cases for compensation for torture, the Police Court, which is not independent, continues to hear criminal cases against members of the security forces.[33]
  • The analysis relies heavily on positively evaluating two royal initiatives in 2011, the National Dialogue Committee (NDC), tasked with revisiting electoral and political parties’ laws, and the Royal Committee for Constitutional Revisions (RCCR). The RCCR and NDC proposals have so far fallen short of expectations and leave open the question of whether they represent a significant shift toward pluralism and multiparty democracy. The assessment positively evaluates the creation under the RCCR of a constitutional court. However, senior Jordanian legal experts have seen this as a setback as the RCCR only affords government officials with standing for constitutional challenges, whereas at present any citizen can challenge the constitutionality of government laws, decrees, policies, and decisions in any regular court. The government should provide the judiciary with financial and administrative autonomy to enable it to become fully independent. The constitutional revisions also limited the jurisdiction of the military-dominated and non-independent State Security Court. However, the court continues to exercise jurisdiction over civilians by in a limited number of crimes, and the reform fell short of expectations to abolish this court.
  • The assessment fails to address the government’s practice of arbitrarily depriving citizens of Palestinian origin of Jordanian nationality in violation of Jordan’s human rights obligations. In April 2012, the Jordanian daily Al-Arab al-Yawm cited a Jordanian official as saying that the government was resuming and stepping up this practice.

3. Morocco

The EBRD assessment of Morocco overstates the progress that has been made in the realm of human rights and democratizing its government. The assessment is right to focus on the many positive articles in the 2011 constitution but does not emphasize the considerable reforms in laws and in practices that must now be carried out if the constitution’s promise is to be fulfilled.[34]

Rule of Law

For example, the assessment notes the many admirable articles in favor of judicial independence. This is indeed a priority area if Morocco is to be governed by the rule of law. However, in practice, the courts have failed to guarantee fair trials particularly when trying critics of the government, including journalists or human rights activists.[35] The authorities have made liberal use of pre-trial detention, in violation of the right to be presumed innocent.[36] The courts rarely investigate complaints filed by defendants alleging torture or that their police statement is false, and often convict defendants mainly on the basis of contested police statements.

Freedom of speech, media, association and assembly

The assessment overstates press freedom in saying “the independent media operates freely.” Morocco’s independent media is subject to repressive articles of the penal and criminal code that have been used to imprison journalists and government critics. For example, Morocco’s best-known columnist, Rachid Nini, served his full one-year term for “gravely offending” state institutions and other speech offenses, regaining his freedom on April 28, 2012.[37] On May 11, a court sentenced rap music artist Mouad Belghouat to one year in prison on charges of insulting the police in a rap song and music video.[38] The real significance of the 2011 constitution for human rights can be measured by whether it accelerates the elimination of prison terms for nonviolent speech offenses.

Certain forms of speech are criminalized under Moroccan law, beyond the limits allowed at international law, including:

  • Article 442 of the penal code (for defamation)
  • Various articles of the press code:
  • Article 44 (for defamation against individuals);
  • Articles45 and 46 (for defamation of courts and state institutions and officials);
  • Article 41(which punishes any offense or insult directed at the king, any of the princes or princesses, the Islamic religion, the monarchical system, or the national territorial integrity);
  • Article 42 (which punishes publication of false information when done in bad faith and when it disturbs the public order or stokes fear in the population); and
  • Article 52 (which punishes any offensive speech directed toward heads of state, prime ministers, and foreign ministers).
  • Article 218.2 of the Counterterrorism Law of 2003, which punishes expression that seeks “to justify terrorism” and has been used to imprison journalists.
    On freedom of association, the assessment states, “NGOs participate actively in political and civic life, though they can be subject to harassment if they touch on sensitive subjects.” It is important to stress that the most common form of harassment is so widespread that it is fair to conclude that national authorities encourage it. That harassment consists of extralegal practices to prevent associations that work on sensitive subjects to complete the registration process, thus keeping them in a fragile legal situation.[39] Affected associations include, for example, Sahrawi human rights groups that are considered hostile to Moroccan rule. Thus, while Morocco’s law on association is good in many respects and civil society is thriving, the administration fails to abide by its own laws in this regard.
     

Religious freedom

The assessment states that the new Constitution guarantees religious freedom and freedom of conscience. This is inaccurate. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion but does not mention “freedom of conscience.” The distinction is significant. Judaism enjoys a protected status that other religions and non-majority forms of Islam do not. For example, Moroccans who have converted from the majority Sunni sect to the Shia sect have faced persecution, as did a group of Moroccans who in 2009 chose to exercise their freedom of conscience to eat in public during the fasting month of Ramadan.[40] In addition, police closely monitor the small community of Moroccans who have converted to Protestant Christianity.[41]

Western Sahara

The assessment devotes a subsection to the Western Sahara; it should note that Moroccan laws prevent any activity or speech deemed harmful to Morocco’s “territorial integrity,” understood to mean Morocco’s claim to sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Within this legal context, security forces are quick to prevent, often with violence, any street demonstrations that they consider pro-independence.[42] In addition, Moroccan courts have imprisoned pro-independence activists after often-unjust trials on politically motivated charges.

The assessment states, “The new Constitution enshrines fundamental human rights as they are universally recognized and provides for the supremacy of international covenants (those ratified by Morocco) over national legislation.” However, it neglects what appears to be a condition that the constitution imposes when it states that international covenants shall take precedence “while respecting [Morocco’s] national immutable identity” – presumably a reference that includes Islam and the monarchical system of government. It remains to be seen if and to what extent this condition will undermine the primacy of international treaties over domestic legislation. In that sense, this affirmation in the new constitution is like the many others that are positive but whose significance depends on the reforms in the law and practices that flow from it.[43]

4. Tunisia

The EBRD assessment praises the progress made by Tunisia towards the democratization of political life and the reforms of the repressive Ben Ali era laws. Tunisia has made important strides toward enhancing respect for human rights. However, public freedoms have come under renewed pressure since the Constituent Assembly elections and the Tunisian government needs to continue to take steps to protect its fragile new institutions and guarantee public freedoms.[44] The future of human rights in Tunisia hinges on strong safeguards in the constitution for public and individual freedoms—ending a trend of impunity for abuses committed by extremist religious groups, and repealing some old laws that are still on the books. The EBRD should support Tunisia on a path toward enhanced respect for and protection of human rights.

Freedom of expression

The assessment notes that restrictions on basic freedoms, which were axiomatic before the revolution, were substantially lifted following the ouster of President Ben Ali and that censorship in the media has been abolished. However, the assessment fails to recognize that during the transition period, there were frequent attacks against journalists, artists and intellectuals. These attacks dramatically escalated after the elections of the constituent assembly on October 23, 2011, which was after the assessment was drafted. Salafist groups have been using various methods of intimidation and have not hesitated to harass media and academics.[45] In addition, public prosecutors have brought charges against media directors for speech deemed offensive. For example:

  • Nabil Karoui, the Director of Nessma TV, was fined 2,400 Tunisian Dinar ($US 1,500) after his station broadcasted the animated French film Persepolis, deemed blasphemous because of a scene showing a representation of God.[46]
  • The editor of the Arabic daily Attounissia spent one week in jail and was found guilty of ‘spreading information which can disturb the public order” on March 8, 2012 and fined 1000 Tunisian Dinar ($US 650) for publishing a photograph of a German-Tunisian football player and his girlfriend, who appears half-naked. [47]

The assessment praises the interim government for promulgating a new Press Code in August 2011, which strengthens the rights of journalists and enhances access to information. Although the new press code is considerably more liberal than its predecessor, interim authorities before and after the constituent assembly elections have drawn on provisions of the penal code in order to bring charges against various persons for their exercise of free speech.[48] The editor of Attounisia, the Director of Nessma and two atheists sentenced to 7 years in jail for mocking Islam were all convicted on the basis of a surviving article in the penal code that make it an offence to “cause harm to the public order or public morals”.[49]

Freedom of Assembly

The assessment states that public demonstrations are frequent and address a wide range of issues. It considers that security forces generally respect people’s right to protest peacefully. While it is true that there has been an opening of public space and greater freedom of assembly enjoyed by Tunisians, there have been recent incidents of excessive use of violence by police during demonstrations. For example, on April 9, police attacked a primarily peaceful demonstration, injuring at least 10 persons. [50]

Prosecuting abuses by former ruling elites

The assessment notes that the authorities have begun prosecuting the former regime figures and ensuring accountability for the crimes of the past. This is an overstatement. Very few former government officials have been arrested and only security force abuses committed during the uprising and one torture case are being prosecuted, all in military tribunals rather than civilian courts.[51] Tunisian authorities have failed to press for the extradition of former president Ben Ali, who has been tried in absentia and has other cases pending at the military courts for killing protesters during the uprising.[52]




[1]Human Rights Watch, EgyptThe Road Ahead: A Human Rights Agenda for Egypt’s New Parliament, January 16, 2012 https://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/01/16/road-ahead-0.

[2]“Egypt: End Torture, Military Trials of Civilians,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 11, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/11/egypt-end-torture-military-trials-civilians; “Egypt: Human Rights Reform an Urgent Priority,” Human Rights Watch news release, June 7, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/06/07/egypt-human-rights-reform-urgent-priority.

[3]“Egypt: Military ‘Virginity Test’ Investigation a Sham,” Human Rights Watch news release, November 9, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/09/egypt-military-virginity-test-investigation-sham; “Egypt: Military Impunity for Violence Against Women,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 7, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/07/egypt-military-impunity-violence-against-women.

[4], “Egypt: Prosecute Sexual Assaults on Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 27, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/22/egypt-prosecute-sexual-assaults-protesters.

[5]“Egypt: Military Trials Usurp Justice System,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 27, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/04/29/egypt-military-trials-usurp-justice-system.

[6]“Egypt: Exceptions to Ending Emergency Law Invite Abuse,” Human Rights Watch news release, January 24, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/24/egypt-exceptions-ending-emergency-law-invite-abuse.

[7]“Egypt: New Law Keeps Military Trials of Civilians,” Human Rights Watch news release, May 7, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/07/egypt-new-law-keeps-military-trials-civilians.

[8]In a September 5 news conference Gen. Adel Morsy of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said that between January 28 and August 29, military tribunals tried 11,879 civilians. Since then there were further trials of civilians, most recently in April 2012.

“Egypt: Retry or Free 12,000 After Unfair Military Trials,” Human Rights Watch news release, September 10, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/09/10/egypt-retry-or-free-12000-after-unfair-military-trials.

[9]The prosecution has referred to trial at least 20 criminal cases involving more than 30 Ministry of Interior officers suspects charged for their alleged roles in killing and injuring peaceful protestors around the country. The most high-profile of these is the trial of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, his former minister of interior, Habib al-Adly, and six of the minister’s deputies. The presiding judge in the Mubarak trial has announced that he will deliver a verdict on June 2.“Egypt: Mubarak Trial Opens,” Human Rights Watch news release, August 2, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/03/egypt-mubarak-trial-opens.

[10]“Egypt: Government Moves to Restrict Rights and Democracy Groups,” Human Rights Watch news release, September 26, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/09/26/egypt-government-moves-restrict-rights-and-democracy-groups.

[11]“Egypt: National and International Human Rights Organizations are Under Attack,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 29, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/29/egypt-national-and-international-human-rights-organizations-are-under-attack; “Egypt: Rights Activists at Risk of Prison,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 5, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/05/egypt-rights-activists-risk-prison.

[12]“Egypt: A Year of Attacks on Free Expression,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 11, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/11/egypt-year-attacks-free-expression.

[13]“Egypt: A Year of Attacks on Free Expression,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 11, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/11/egypt-year-attacks-free-expression.

[14]“Egypt: Blogger’s 3-Year Sentence a Blow to Free Speech,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 11, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/04/11/egypt-blogger-s-3-year-sentence-blow-free-speech; “Egypt: Military Intensifies Clampdown on Free Expression,” Human Rights Watch news release, August17, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/17/egypt-military-intensifies-clampdown-free-expression.

[16]“Egypt: End Attacks, Abuse of Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 9, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/09/egypt-end-attacks-abuse-protesters; “Egypt: Investigate Arrests of Activists, Journalists,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 9, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/02/09/egypt-investigate-arrests-activists-journalists; Human Rights Watch , World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012),Egypt, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-egypt.

[17]Human Rights Watch , World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012),Egypt, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-egypt.

[18]“Egypt: Don’t Cover Up Military Killing of Copt Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, October 25, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/25/egypt-don-t-cover-military-killing-copt-protesters.

[19]“Egypt: Cairo Violence Highlights Need to Reform Riot Police,” Human Rights Watch news release, July 8, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/07/08/egypt-cairo-violence-highlights-need-reform-riot-police.

[20]“Egypt: Protesters’ Blood on the Military Leadership’s Hands,” Human Rights Watch news release, November 22, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/22/egypt-protesters-blood-military-leadership-s-hands.

[21]“Egypt: Prosecute Sexual Assaults on Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 27, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/22/egypt-prosecute-sexual-assaults-protesters.

[22]“Egypt: Don’t Cover Up Military Killing of Copt Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, October 25, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/25/egypt-don-t-cover-military-killing-copt-protesters.

[23]Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012), Egypt, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-egypt.

[24]Government of Egypt, Cabinet of Ministers, “The 3rd meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers”, March 23, 2011, http://www.egyptiancabinet.gov.eg/Media/NewsDetails.aspx?id=2260 (accessed April 6, 2001).

[25]“Jordan: Advocate of a Republic Jailed,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 26, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/26/jordan-advocate-republic-jailed.

[26]“Jordan: Publisher, Journalist Charged in State Security Court,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 25, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/25/jordan-publisher-journalist-charged-state-security-court; “Jordan: Drop Charges for ‘Undermining Royal Dignity,’” Human Rights Watch news release, January 19, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/19/jordan-drop-charges-undermining-royal-dignity.

[27]“Jordan: Publisher, Journalist Charged in State Security Court,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 25, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/25/jordan-publisher-journalist-charged-state-security-court;

[28]“Jordan: Publisher, Journalist Charged in State Security Court,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 25, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/25/jordan-publisher-journalist-charged-state-security-court;

[29]“Jordan: Demonstrators Beaten in Custody,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 3, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/03/jordan-demonstrators-beaten-custody.

[30]Human Rights Watch, Jordan—Guests of the Governor: Administrative Detention Undermines the Rule of Law in Jordannews release, May 26, 2009, https://www.hrw.org/node/b83255.

[31]Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012), Jordan, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-jordan.

[32]“Jordan: Demonstrators Beaten in Custody,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 3, 2012, [32]https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/03/jordan-demonstrators-beaten-custody;“Jordan/EU: Torture Prevention Insufficient,” Human Rights Watch news release, May 5, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/11/jordaneu-torture-prevention-insufficient; Christoph Wilcke (Human Rights Watch), “The Flaws of Jordan’s Largest Terrorism Trial,” commentary, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 21, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/21/flaws-jordan-s-largest-terrorism-trial; “Jordan: Set Independent Inquiry in Attacks on Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, March 28, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/28/jordan-set-independent-inquiry-attacks-protesters; Christoph Wilcke (Human Rights Watch), “Jordan's Assault on Free Speech,” Executive Magazine, August 3, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/08/03/jordans-assault-free-speech; Human Rights Watch, “Letter to Prime Minister Urging Inquiry into Death in Custody,” December 20, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/20/letter-prime-minister-urging-inquiry-death-custody.

[33]“Jordan: Set Independent Inquiry in Attacks on Protesters,” Human Rights Watch news release, Manych 28, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/03/28/jordan-set-independent-inquiry-attacks-protesters.

[34]“Morocco: Police Violence a Test for Revised Constitution,” Human Rights Watch news release, July 11, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/07/11/morocco-police-violence-test-revised-constitution.

[35]“US/Morocco: Clinton Should Urge Legal Reform,” Human Rights Watch news release, February 24, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/24/usmorocco-clinton-should-urge-legal-reform.

[36]“Morocco: Sahrawi Activists, Detained 18 Months, Await Verdict,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 9, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/04/08/morocco-sahrawi-activists-detained-18-months-await-verdict.

[37]“Morocco: Free Popular Columnist,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 6, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/06/morocco-free-popular-columnist.

[38]“Morocco: Prison for Rapper Who Criticized Police,” Human Rights Watch news release, May 12, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/12/morocco-prison-rapper-who-criticized-....

[39]“Morocco: Repression Undercuts Reform Pledges,” Human Rights Watch news release, January 22, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/22/morocco-repression-undercuts-reform-pledges.

[40]“Morocco: End Police Actions Against Persons Accused of Breaking Ramadan Fast,” Human Rights Watch news release, September 19, 2009, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/09/19/morocco-end-police-actions-against-persons-accused-breaking-ramadan-fast.

[41]Human Rights Watch, World Report 2011 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2011), Morocco/Western Sahara, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2011/moroccowestern-sahara.

[42]“Morocco: Repression Undercuts Reform Pledges,” Human Rights Watch news release, January 22, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/22/morocco-repression-undercuts-reform-pledges.

[43]Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012), Morocco/Western Sahara, Human Rights Watch news release, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/morocco-and-western-sahara.

[44]“Tunisia: Affirm Human Rights in New Constitution,” Human Rights Watch news release, October 9, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/10/19/tunisia-affirm-human-rights-new-constitution.

[45]“Tunisia: Fundamentalists Disrupting College Campuses,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 9, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/09/tunisia-fundamentalists-disrupting-college-campuses.

[46]Associated Press, “Tunisian court fines TV station boss for airing animated film Persepolis,” May 3, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/03/tunisian-court-tv-station-persepolis; Tunisia: “Persepolis” Trial a Setback for Free Expression, Human Rights Watch news release, January 25, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/25/tunisia-persepolis-trial-setback-free-expression.

[47]“Tunisia: Drop criminal charges against Attounissia journalists,” Amnesty International, news release, Fenruary 23, 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/tunisia-drop-charges-against-attounissia-journalists-2012-02-23, (Accessed May 11, 2011).

[48]“Tunisia: Dismantle Repressive Ben-Ali-Era Laws,” Human Rights Watch news release, December 17, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/12/17/tunisia-dismantle-repressive-ben-ali-era-laws; Human Rights Watch, TunisiaTunisia’s Repressive Laws: The Reform Agenda, December 16, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/reports/2011/12/16/tunisia-s-repressive-laws-0.

[49]“Tunisia: Seven Years in Jail for Mocking Islam,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 6, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/06/tunisia-seven-years-jail-mocking-islam.

[50]“Tunisia: Review Legal Framework for Protests,” Human Rights Watch news release, April 12, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/04/12/tunisia-review-legal-framework-protests.

[51]“Tunisia: Reform Legal Framework to Try Crimes of the Past,” Human Rights Watch news release, May 3, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/03/tunisia-reform-legal-framework-try-crimes-past.

[52]Human Rights Watch, World Report 2012 (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2012), Tunisia, https://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-tunisia