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Would Allow Unchecked Powers to Punish News Outlets, Journalists

The Pakistani government is seeking broad new powers to control the media as part of its crackdown on freedom of expression. Journalists, human rights activists, and political leaders across that country have raised the alarm about proposed…
Pakistani journalists and activists at a demonstration called by the journalists union to condemn attacks on the media, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on May 28, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Stop Stifling Dissent, Protect the Media

(New York) – A recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those…
 Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, center, speaks during a demonstration to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Bénédicte Jeannerod is France director at Human Rights Watch. Lorena Cotza is communications lead at Coalition for Human Rights in Development. As it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary on April 15, the European Bank for Reconstruction and…
Odile Renaud-Basso, former head of the French treasury who was elected president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in November 2020.
News

Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
News

Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
News

Government Should Protect Journalists, Not Suppress Free Speech

As part of its crackdown on freedom of expression, the Pakistani government is seeking sweeping new powers to control the media. Journalists across Pakistan have raised the alarm about proposed legislation that would augment the powers of the Pakistan…
Pakistani journalists hold nationwide protests to denounce rampant censorship, and hold a banner that reads: "black day," in Karachi, Pakistan, July 16, 2019.
News

Authorities Punish Critics, Close Civic Space with Impunity

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities intensified their repression of peaceful government critics and ordinary people during 2020, virtually obliterating any space for peaceful assembly, association or expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Relatives, Witnesses, Journalists Detained

Update: On the morning of October 6, Prosecutor General Hamada al-Sawi said in an official statement that he ordered journalist Basma Mostafa released pending investigation. Lawyers said she was ordered to pay bail of 2,000 EGP (US$128). Her release has…
Islam al-Australi, 26, who died in police custody.
News

Editor’s Jailing Shows Reality of Media Crackdown

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted there is no media crackdown in Pakistan, and that he and his government are far more “unprotected” than the media. Mir Shakilur Rehman, editor-in-chief of the Jang group, the largest media organization in…
Pakistani police escort Mir Shakilur Rehman to court following his arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2020.
News

Anti-Corruption Laws Abused to Silence Critics

Pakistani authorities should immediately drop politically motivated charges and release Mir Shakilur Rehman, an editor with Pakistan’s largest media group, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also stop harassing Rehman’s…
Pakistani police escort Mir Shakilur Rehman to court following his arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2020.
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Egyptian police, National Security Agency, and military officials arbitrarily arrested, forcibly disappeared, and tortured children as young as 12 while prosecutors and judges turned a blind eye, Human Rights Watch and the rights group Belady: An Island…
News

Security Forces Raid Mada Masr Headquarters, Arrest Journalists

(Beirut) – Egyptian security forces raided the headquarters of the Cairo-based independent news website Mada Masr on November 24, 2019, as part of the government’s suppression of media freedom in Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A screenshot of Mada Masr's homepage on November 26, 2019.
News

Disproportionately Huge Fines; Ban on Links with Foreign Groups

(Beirut) – Egypt’s parliament approved a new law governing nongovernment organizations on July 14, 2019 that would maintain many of the existing restrictions on their work, Human Rights Watch said today. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi…
Prominent rights activist and journalist Hossam Baghat, center, leaves a courtroom at the Cairo Criminal Court on March 24, 2016. In recent years, Egyptian authorities have relentlessly prosecuted leading human rights and civil society activists for their
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Commission Should Loudly Sound the Alarm

(Beirut) – Egypt is hosting an Africa human rights session beginning April 24, 2019, while its government is presiding over the worst human rights crisis in the country in recent decades, 15 African, Egyptian, and international…
The 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Union’s top rights body, will take place from April 24 to May 14 in Sharm al-Sheikh. (c) 2019 Private.
News

Referendum Set in Grossly Unfree, Rights-Abusive Environment

(Beirut) – The Egyptian government should withdraw proposed constitutional amendments that will consolidate authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today. The amendments will…
People walk past a banner supporting proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution with a poster of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. © 2019 AP Images/Amr Nabil
News

Accelerating Measures to Enshrine Authoritarian Rule

(Beirut, January 17) – Egyptian authorities increasingly relied on counterterrorism and state of emergency laws to crush peaceful dissent during 2018, including by prosecuting journalists and human rights activists, Human Rights Watch…
A picture taken on July 26, 2018 shows Egyptian policemen stand guarding a street in the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish. With fruit and vegetables aplenty in the markets, public transport back on the roads and universities reopened, life is re
News

Hundreds of Cases of ‘Disappearances’ and Torture Reported Under al-Sisi’s Government

Instead of protecting its citizens from torture and forced disappearances, the Egyptian government prefers to criticize and attack groups calling for investigations. Human Rights Watch published evidence several weeks ago…
Khaled Hassan