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Release All Kidnapped and Detained Peaceful Activists

(Beirut) – Eight organizations released the following statement today calling on the Iraqi government to investigate the detention of activists and others since the start of the 2019 protests and to free all those held arbitrarily for peaceful…
Protesters marching in Al-Tahrir Square Tunnel in Baghdad, Iraq.
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has been in office only a month, but he has wasted no time in taking on some of Iraq’s most serious human rights issues more earnestly than many of his predecessors. While these moves are a positive sign, Al-…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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Defending against right-wing populism requires standing up for democratic values

It has been a bad few weeks for the populists and others who attack human rights. Emmanuel Macron trounced Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections, then his party collected a parliamentary majority of 350 seats against her National…
British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 22, 2017.
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My country feels unmoored since the EU referendum decision. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, the main political parties are internally divided, the markets volatile. What will happen next is unclear and people are anxious about…
2016-6-eca-brexit-flag
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The systems of surveillance that Edward Snowden revealed in both the UK and US depend on law for their justification, and are facing legal challenges in both countries’ legislatures. This might give the impression that, whatever the merits of these…
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How Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki plans to defeat the horribly abusive Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other Sunni groups that have seized control of large swathes of Iraq remains unclear. And under his government’s new media regulations,…
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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Imagine the following scenario. A young man is arrested by security forces during a street protest. A few days later Ali Saqer dies in custody, his body covered in "blunt force contusions". Two security officers are convicted to ten years in prison for…
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Allegations of mass, indiscriminate government surveillance have sparked a global spat about its proper limits. In defending their programs, the United States and Britain have exposed a troubling, two-tiered approach to the right to privacy in the digital…
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Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
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The Iraqi government has hurled the country to the brink of a new civil war. In under a month, Baghdad launched a vicious assault on a Sunni protest camp, resulting in 44 deaths; executed 21 alleged Sunni terrorists in one day, and suspended the licenses…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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Traditions like Speakers' Corner protect free speech on the street, so why can't we do it on the internet?

(London) — Visitors to Hyde Park on a Sunday can see people standing on stepladders engaged in passionate debate with groups clustered around them. Speakers’ Corner is a symbol of Britain’s centuries old commitment to freedom of speech. When it comes to…
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Iraqi Leaders Revive Repression

Eight years have passed since the United States-led invasion ended Saddam Hussein's totalitarian reign and promised Iraq a democratically elected alternative respectful of its citizens' rights. Today, Iraqis are still waiting. The country is at a…
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When my colleague and I sat down last April with Hamid, an Iraqi man from Baghdad, his trauma-induced stutter said as much as the words he spoke. Huddled inconspicuously in a dingy restaurant, Hamid recounted how militia members killed his partner along…