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Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
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Encouraging Signs They Are Set to Take More Leading Role

The Nordic countries proudly express steadfast commitment to human rights as a priority in foreign policy, but have been disappointingly inconsistent in practice. Sweden launched a feminist foreign policy in 2014 – a laudable approach that failed…
An Icelandic flag hangs outside a shop in Reykjavik, October 27, 2016.
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Mkhaitir, Bibi Not Yet Free Despite Court Rulings

Thanks to inhumane blasphemy laws, two former death row inmates living at distant ends of the Muslim world have much in common. Aasia Bibi spent eight years on Pakistan’s death row after a court sentenced her to death for “…
201901asia_mena_pakistan_mauritania_bibi_mkhaitir
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Plan Would Link EU Funds to Rule of Law, Functioning Judiciary

It’s not every day the European Commission proposes something truly ground-breaking. But yesterday, when the EU announced a new plan to link EU funds given to member states to the health of their judiciary, it did just that.…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Local Activists Addressing Discrimination, Slavery Also Face Government Obstacles

“You said human rights? You need to get the OK elsewhere,” said the hakim (a municipal officer) after we asked him to hold a press conference earlier this month in a hotel in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott. Normally, the hakim decides…
Human Rights Watch press conference in Nouakchott, Mauritania, February 12, 2018.
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Arrested Mauritanian Senator Mohamed Ould Ghadda Demands Fair Trial

Mohamed Ould Ghadda, the former Mauritanian senator, was sitting on the floor outside of a cell shared with eight other co-prisoners when I met him in Mauritania’s Nouakchott Prison about a week ago. “I refused to ask the…
Mauritanian authorities detained opposition leader, Mohamed Ould Ghadda, for two months on vague corruption charges. © 2016 Mohamed Ould Ghadda (Official Facebook Page)
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Santiago Maldonado Last Seen on August 1, When Police Broke Up Protest

Pressure is building on Argentina to find 28-year-old Santiago Maldonado, who has been missing, possibly the victim of an enforced disappearance, since security forces broke up a protest in southern Argentina on August 1. …
A man poses for a photo with a portrait of Santiago Maldonado, during a demonstration to demand actions to find him in Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 11, 2017.
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Other Council of Europe Countries Should Back LGBT Rights

As of March 1, Finland will allow same-sex couples to marry, bringing to thirteen the number of European countries with marriage equality laws.Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, in a statement on February 21, affirmed…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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On March 24, United States President Barack Obama finishes a two-day visit to Argentina. The visit  coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Argentine military coup, which ushered in an era of brutal attacks on people perceived as dissidents, including…
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Newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri took the floor at the Mercosur meeting today in Asunción, Paraguay, and called on Venezuela to “free political prisoners,” saying “there can be no space for political persecution based on ideological…
Argentina's President Mauricio Macri attends a session of the Summit of Heads of State of MERCOSUR and Associated States and 49th Meeting of the Common Market Council in Luque, Paraguay, December 21, 2015.
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On Monday, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri filled two vacancies on the Supreme Court (one open since January 2015), arguing that missing 40 percent of its members made it difficult for the five-member body to operate. The court – which has in recent…