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Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

Decision Likely to Have Chilling Effect on Civil Society in France and Beyond

On September 24, France’s top administrative court, the Council of State, approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group. The court’s decision…
Protesters hold a banner at a demonstration against a bill dubbed as "anti-separatism" and islamophobic in Paris, France on March 21, 2021.
News

Humanitarian Organization Warns Weapons Threaten ‘Our Shared Humanity’

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on governments to ban fully autonomous weapons. ICRC President Peter Maurer said yesterday that he hopes the humanitarian organization’s public backing for new legally…
An ambulance covered in bullet holes
News

Both Sides Should Abide by Laws of War

Update: On May 3, 2021, Tajik authorities reported that 14 houses were fully destroyed, 4 buildings including a secondary school were damaged, and 15,000 people were evacuated from the three districts of Isfara, in Tajikistan’s Sughd region,…
Cars damaged during a firefight on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border are seen near the settlement of Koi-Tash, Batken region, Kyrgyzstan, April 30, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Release Tofig Yagublu, Quash His Conviction

In another mockery of justice, a court in Azerbaijan today convicted Tofig Yagublu, one of Azerbaijan’s few alternative political voices, on spurious “hooliganism” charges and sentenced him to four years and three months in prison. The verdict did not…
Tofig Yagublu holds a sign calling for freedom at an unsanctioned opposition protest, November 3, 2017. 
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
News

Authorities Should Investigate Beating of Abdulloh Ghurbati

8 June 2020 Update: Abdullo Ghurbati was the victim of a further attack in late May. According to Asia Plus, a Tajik media outlet, on May 29, in the southern village Uyali, Ghurbati was approached by three men who alighted from a car as he was…
Abdulloh Ghurbati receives medical help after an attack on May 11, 2020, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
News

Afgan Mukhtarli Reunited with His Family in Exile

Afgan Mukhtarli, a prominent investigative journalist and a political activist, was freed yesterday – a rare bit of good news from Azerbaijan. Mukhtarli had been serving a 6-year prison sentence handed down in 2017 on bogus,…
Journalist Afgan Mukhtarli rejoins his daughter in a Berlin airport following his release from prison in Azerbaijan, March 17, 2020.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
News

Libya Could Have Used Ships to Commit Abuses Against Migrants and Asylum Seekers

France’s decision last week to withdraw its offer of six boats to the Libyan Coast Guard is good news, as Libya could have used this “gift” to subject even more migrants and refugees to serious abuses in Libya. In February,…
Migrants on a boat that they tried to take to Italy, after being detained at a Libyan Navy base in Tripoli on September 20, 2015.
News

Controversial tests to determine age of unaccompanied migrant children should go

France’s highest court recently ruled that controversial bone tests to assess the age of unaccompanied migrant children are flawed, but nevertheless comply with France’s Constitution. The Constitutional Council acknowledged that such…
Unaccompanied teens queue outside the Paris evaluation facility (Dispositif d’evaluation des mineurs isolés étrangers, DEMIE) to seek formal recognition as unaccompanied migrant children, October 3, 2018.
News

French Assistance Could Lead to Gross Rights Violations

People shackled, beaten, burned, crushed, hung upside down, threatened, and detained in horrendous conditions: the images broadcast recently by Channel 4 News apparently showing the torture and inhumane conditions suffered by some…
201903mena_libya_migrants
News

Authorities Should Release Mehman Huseynov and Drop All Charges

Azerbaijan authorities know no limits when it comes to silencing government critics. As everyone was celebrating the New Year, Azerbaijan authorities were busy pressing new charges against one of the country’s most popular anti-…
Mehman Huseynov.
News

New provisions risk undermining asylum seekers’ rights while not solving ongoing issues

In France, asylum seekers are sleeping rough, and flawed procedures often leave unaccompanied migrant children adrift, homeless, and excluded from the care they need. But instead of addressing these challenges or correcting…
Tents are seen at a makeshift migrant camp on a street near the metro stations of Jaures and Stalingrad in Paris, France, October 28, 2016
News

‘Fraternity’ Ruling Offers Wider Lessons for Europe

France’s highest court has just ruled that helping others in need, including undocumented migrants, is protected by the country’s constitution. The decision comes at a time when people and groups trying to help undocumented migrants – in…
Migrants rest after having crossed part of the Alps mountain range from Italy into France, near the town of Nevache in southeastern France, December 21, 2017.
News

At Least 10 Other Journalists or Bloggers Still Behind Bars Should Also Be Freed

There was rare good news from Baku today – Azerbaijan’s supreme court partially reversed the conviction of a journalist, Aziz Orujov, and released him on a suspended three-year sentence. Granted, he should have never been…
Jailed journalist Aziz Orujov released from prison, Baku, Azerbaijan, April 5, 2018.
News

Free Political Activist Ilgar Mammadov

It’s unfathomable that Ilgar Mammadov, a prominent political analyst and one of Azerbaijan’s few alternative political voices, has been in prison for five years now. Ilgar was arrested shortly after he announced plans to challenge…
Ilgar Mammadov
News

Authorities Should End Abuse of Migrants, Open Shelters for Winter

Shortly after he became president of France last year, Emmanuel Macron had a hopeful vision for humanely addressing the country’s asylum crisis. “By the end of the year, I do not want to have men and women on the streets, in the woods. I want…
A migrant walks past the slogans which read "refugees welcome" written on a wall near the former "jungle" in Calais, France, August 23, 2017.
News

Court Ruled Provision Was Too Restrictive of Freedoms

France’s legislators have again been reminded that imprisoning people who look at websites perceived as glorifying or inciting terrorism is not acceptable in a democratic society – not least because France already has an extensive legal…
A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016.
News

Bogus Tax Investigation Threatens to Close Turan News Agency

Just last month, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev gave more than 200 apartments away free to journalists and accepted a “friend of journalists” award in return. He claimed that thousands of press agencies operate in Azerbaijan.…
Journalists at Turan News Agency in Azerbaijan while tax police raided their office earlier this month.