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Nujeen Mustafa is First Person with a Disability to Brief Security Council

“It was surreal.” That’s how 20-year-old Nujeen Mustafa described the experience Wednesday of being the first person with a disability to brief the United Nations Security Council in New York. In her address,…
A young woman speaking at the UN Security Council
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While Saudi Arabia Fights Yemen War Crimes Investigation

This week Saudi Arabia and its allies in Geneva are blustering and threatening other countries to try to defeat a UN Human Rights Council resolution that would set up an independent investigation into war crimes by all parties –…
MENA 2015 Bahrain Nabeel Rajab
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Death of Detained Activist Puts Spotlight on Syria’s Ghastly Prison System

Yesterday Noura Safadi said that she had received confirmation that the Syrian authorities executed her husband, Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil, two years ago. Noura had been looking for Bassel since he disappeared from a Syrian prison in…
Bassel Khartabil
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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Aiding People With Disabilities in Wartime Syria

Amidst the desolation of the Syrian civil war, there they were – 148 people, trapped for days inside a former home for older people named Dar Al-Safaa in Aleppo’s Old City. Most of them had disabilities, ranging from physical…
Aleppo wheelchair
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“Every day is getting worse,” Rajaa Mosaabi, the chairwoman of the Arab Human Rights Foundation, based in Sanaa, told me by phone this morning about the deteriorating situation in Yemen. “Today alone I heard 20 to 25 bombs explode all around my home.”…
A neighbor, Ayed Ayed Kamil, stands amid the rubble of the destroyed al-Ibbi family home. © 2015 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…