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Authorities Arbitrarily Target Media and Critics

I first met Lotfi Hajji some 15 years ago, after Tunisian authorities under President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali had refused a request by Al Jazeera, the Qatar-funded pan-Arab television station, to accredit the Tunisian journalist as their local…
Al Jazeera correspondent Lotfi Hajji reporting from Tunis after Tunisian authorities evicted the pan-Arab television network from its offices, November 5, 2021. 
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Two Women Face Justice for Covid-19 Jokes

It all started with harmless jokes. But because they chose humor to push back against the Coronavirus and lockdown-generated anxiety, a young Moroccan woman is now in prison, and a Tunisian woman could soon share her fate. In Morocco, the story…
People shop in the Central Market of Tunis during the first days of Ramadan, Tunis, Tunisia April 28, 2020.
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An Opportunity to Help Victims Obtain Justice

The British government is expected to announce this week whether an independent inquiry will resume into the UK’s involvement in overseas torture and transfers (known as “renditions”) in US-led counterterrorism operations after the 9/11 attacks. If…
A motorboat passes by the MI6 building in London August 25, 2010.
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Parliamentary Reports Underscore Lack of Accountability and Scant Learning from Past Mistakes

Today, the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee confirmed that, while cooperating with US-led post-2001 counterterrorism operations, the UK took and tolerated actions that were “inexcusable”. For those unfamiliar with…
A motorboat passes by the MI6 building in London August 25, 2010.
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UK Home Secretary Suggests Only Bad Guys Want ‘Unbreakable Security’

In a recent op-ed, United Kingdom Home Secretary Amber Rudd argued strong encryption was thwarting the government’s ability to monitor terrorists and criminals. Rudd expressed skepticism about the need for end-to-end encryption,…
WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone in Manchester , Britain March 27, 2017.
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(London) – The attack at the Manchester Arena on the night of May 22, 2017, was a despicable act of violence, Human Rights Watch said today. According to official sources, at least 22 people were killed in the bombing, and 59…
A woman lays flowers for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, in central Manchester, Britain May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Staples
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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who will be in London next week to pitch foreign investment, is mired in political controversy at home. The corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad fund refuses to…
Malaysia's (L-R) Prime Minister Najib Razak and King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah wave Malaysian national flags during National Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2015.
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On January 6, a retired 36-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistleblower, William Binney, cautioned United Kingdom lawmakers against legalizing mass surveillance in the proposed Draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Binney told the…
A man and woman use their mobile phones as commuters walk past the columns of the Bank of England in the City of London, July 3, 2012.
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An arrest and overnight detention for holding up a pro-democracy banner in the middle of a public road, followed by a raid on the home of the “suspect” and seizure of computer equipment. A pair of arrests for waving flags at a motorcade. The apparent…
David Cameron and Xi Jinping
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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“Madame, I hope you will now stop defending the human rights of terrorists.” This comment on my facebook page does indeed reflect the thinking of some Tunisians in the aftermath of the murderous attacks at the Bardo Museum. The same view is being hammered…
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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The prosecution of prominent blogger Yassine Ayari exposes the continuing deficiencies of Tunisia’s legal system in upholding human rights four years after the “Jasmine Revolution” set the country on a path towards democratic rule. On March 3, a military…
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An open Internet offers both benefits and risks for human rights. It has allowed activists anywhere to have global impact and hold institutions accountable. But digital technologies have enabled surveillance on an unprecedented scope and scale. When…
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You might think that, with decades of experience in dealing with the threat of terrorism, the UK would have learned to avoid the obvious mistakes in rushed legislation that abuses rights and alienates the communities whose support is needed to tackle the…
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Counterterrorism proposals aimed at preventing British citizens from becoming foreign fighters with groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) were announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday. Unless accompanied by strict safeguards, these measures…