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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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Death Sentences Stand Despite Evidence of Torture

“I am Mohamed Ramadan. I have been sentenced to death.… I want my voice to be heard by those who believe in the principles of justice and equality.… I am innocent of the crime of which I was accused, subjected to a sham trial and sentenced to death.…
Mohamed Ramadan (left) and Hussein Ali Moosa (right).
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Many Prominent Political Prisoners Still Detained

On March 17, the Bahraini Interior Ministry announced it had released 1,486 detainees for “humanitarian reasons, in the backdrop of current circumstances,” a likely reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 900 of them were granted…
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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Bahrain King’s Visit Ideal Opportunity to Urge Release of Nabeel Rajab, Prisoners

French President Emmanuel Macron should not hold back in criticizing Bahrain’s dismal rights record during King Hamad al-Khalifa’s visit to Paris on April 30. Bahrain is approaching a near total shutdown on free speech as…
Demonstrations after the death of a young Bahraini after being shot outside the home of the Shiite leader in Bahrain on March 25, 2017. © 2017 Sayed Baqer AlKamel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Formula 1 Should Urge Bahrain To Free Activist Najah Yusuf

Next week, Formula One returns to Bahrain for its high-octane auto race, the Grand Prix. The race sparks protests year after year in Bahrain, as well as in other repressive host countries like Azerbaijan. Bahraini authorities…
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FIFA, IOC Helped Stop Refugee Footballer’s Forced Return

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the mass protests in Bahrain during the 2011 Arab Uprisings, when thousands demonstrated against the ruling al-Khalifa family’s tight grip on power. The government’s ensuing crackdown left about 30…
#FreeHakeem
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Activists May Look to US Congress for Support

United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo predictably avoided public discussion of human rights concerns during his recent visit to Bahrain, part of a nine-nation Middle East tour. During a meeting with the King, Crown…
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At Risk of Torture If Returned From Thailand

This week Bahraini soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi was taken to Bangkok Criminal Court, where bail was denied and his detention was extended for 60 days so Thailand can prepare his extradition to Bahrain, a country where he has said he was tortured.…
Hakeem Ali Mohamed Ali al-Araibi in detention at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
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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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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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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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UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been called out publicly by rights groups in recent days over the British government’s cosy relationship with the Gulf monarchies. Two days before her appearance as guest of honor at the Gulf…
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) greets Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in front of 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain October 26, 2016.
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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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Prominent Bahraini Rights Activist Faces 15 Years In Prison

In January 2014, Stephen Colbert interviewed Human Rights Watch’s executive director Ken Roth and asked him who the next Nelson Mandela would be. Alongside the Chinese dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, he named Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.…
MENA 2015 Bahrain Nabeel Rajab
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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…
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Bahrainis were given a harsh reminder yesterday that the Bahrain government brooks no criticism. In a statement the Bahraini Ministry of Interior cautioned against criticism of the government’s decision to send eight fighter jets to take part…