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On October 28, Egypt’s Interior Ministry released a slick, heavily produced video showcasing a new state-of-the-art prison mega-complex. The Wadi El Natrun Correctional and Rehabilitation Center complex is supposed to replace 12 prisons that currently…
A satellite photograph of Scorpion Prison taken in September 2016. Inmates suffer abuses in secret and are denied most access to the outside world. Satellite imagery
News

By reforming its own system, Egypt can influence positive changes in other countries in the region and lead the way for clear and accessible legal gender recognition mechanisms.

August 26 should have been a day of celebration for Ezz Eldin, a 26-year-old transgender man, but it ended in tragedy. He bled to death after he was prematurely discharged following a gender-affirmation surgery in an underground clinic…
The transgender pride flag.
News
Shortly after Denmark began telling Syrian refugees that parts of Syria are "safe" and stripped them of their temporary protected status, I talked to a 31-year-old refugee who voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan in December 2020. He told me…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
News

Time may be running out for Washington and its allies to hold the region’s miscreant governments to account

Central American countries are falling like dominoes into authoritarianism. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has intensified his crackdown on political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders in advance of general elections on…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
News
Since mid-September, United States and Mexican authorities have removed thousands of mostly Haitian migrants and asylum seekers from makeshift camps in Del Rio, Texas and Ciudad Acuña, across the border in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The US has…
Haitians deported from the United States leave Toussaint Louverture International Airport under a rain shower in Port au Prince, Haiti on September 19, 2021.
News

The Egyptian government has deliberately let a former presidential candidate languish behind bars without proper medical care.

On July 25, the family of 69-year-old Abd al-Moniem Abu al-Fotouh, the detained leader of the Strong Egypt Party, said he had suffered symptoms resembling a heart attack the night before while in solitary confinement in Cairo’s notorious…
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
On July 12, Jordan's infamous State Security Court, which routinely runs roughshod over defendants' due process rights, convicted a former high-level official and a little-known royal family member of "sowing discord" and "inciting opposition to the…
Silhouettes are cast on a Jordanian national flag in Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2016. 
News
In the Ancient Roman Circus, when a gladiator fell, his fate was decided not by a judge and jury, but by the will of the emperor and the crowd. Now President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is doing something similar with Mexico’s justice system. This…
Commuters walk past an advertisement showing images of several former Mexican presidents, calling for citizens to participate in a referendum on whether ex-presidents should be tried for their alleged crimes during their time in office, in Mexico City, Saturday, July 31, 2021.
News

Digital Targeting of LGBT People by Middle East/North Africa Governments

Sarah Hegazy, an Egyptian queer feminist, raised a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. Rania Amdouni, a Tunisian queer activist, protested deteriorating economic conditions and police brutality in Tunis. Mohamad al-Bokari, a Yemeni blogger in Saudi…
Sarah Hegazy, Egyptian LGBTQ activist, photographed by a friend who wished to remain anonymous, at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo in 2017 © 2020 anonymous.
News
When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose…
LGBT activists in Beirut, Lebanon shout slogans and hold up a rainbow flag as they march to demand equal rights in a country gripped by economic and financial crisis, June 27, 2020.
News
Egypt’s highest appellate court this month confirmed 12 death sentences, including for several high-profile Muslim Brotherhood leaders convicted in an unfair mass trial for participating in the 2013 Rabaa sit-in.  This is the first time…
Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. During his presidency, Egypt has harassed, prosecuted, arrested and seized the assets of dozens of human rights groups and defenders.
News
Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has made clear that he intends to continue leaning heavily on Mexico to prevent migrants from traveling to the US southern border. Former president Donald Trump pushed this policy farther than…
Mexican National Guard members arrest a migrant who tried crossing the Río Bravo in Ciudad Juárez,
News
Mexico’s Congress passed a judicial reform bill on Friday known as the “Zaldívar Law.” The law, supported by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and legislators from his party, Morena, includes a last-minute amendment that would extend the term of…
Justice Arturo Zaldívar attends a Supreme Court hearing in Mexico City on March 21, 2012.
News
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
Hasiba Mahsoob, a 50-year-old Egyptian businesswoman, was at a public place in Alexandria, Egypt, in November 2019 when security forces arrested her. They took her to an undisclosed location, probably one of the National Security Agency’s illegal…
Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. During his presidency, Egypt has harassed, prosecuted, arrested and seized the assets of dozens of human rights groups and defenders.
News
Almost three years ago, the world heard a group of children sobbing in anguish after US border agents forcibly separated them from their parents. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. vowed as a candidate to end abuses of migrant children and pledged to “…
Asylum seeker Yareni, age five, flips through the pages of a book in an encampment where she lives near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico.