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A Tale of Brutal Repression and Extraordinary Resilience

Many have been arbitrarily detained, imprisoned, or forcibly disappeared. Some died while in state custody. Some live with permanent physical ailments and mental trauma as a result of torture by the authorities. Some, after suffering years of unrelenting…
Liu Xiaobo addresses the crowd at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, May 1, 1989.
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Civilians Brutally Treated by Egypt’s Military and ISIS-Affiliate in North Sinai Conflict

  By a Middle East and North Africa Staff Member* When asked why he left Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, “Odeh” could only laugh, then pause. He struggles to answer any question that reminds him of his former life. Then, he told me the…
A woman yells as a neighbor’s house is destroyed. © 2014 Private
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Indonesia Helps People With Mental Health Conditions Find New Lives

Sodikin There used to be a hut next to a family’s home in Cianjur, West Java. In it, a man named Sodikin lived locked up and unable to stand. He ate, slept, and went to the bathroom in the hut, which had one window no bigger than the palms of…
Man working in a clothing factory in Indonesia, stitching buttons
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Winners Named for the 2012 Alison Des Forges Award

Update: Because Salah Marghani was appointed Libya's justice minister on October 31 he is unable to accept the Alison Des Forges Award. (New York) - Two courageous and tireless advocates for human rights have been selected as recipients of the prestigious…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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Anis Hidayah Receives the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Anis Hidayah was literally going into labor with her second child when she answered her phone, suspecting it would be a migrant worker needing her help. She was right. The woman had recently returned to Indonesia and said she was being extorted before…
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Maikel Nabil, a 25-year imprisoned for blogging, has been on hunger strike at Marg prison since August 23 to protest his unjust imprisonment. The strike is of extra concern because he has low blood pressure and is taking medication for a heart condition.…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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During the weeks of protests that led to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall, you saw Egyptian men and women standing together, side-by-side in the crowds. Across the Middle East, women have taken to the streets. In Egypt and Tunisia, women…
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Reprint of Liu Xiaobo's chapter in the anthology China's Great Leap (2008)

This essay is a reprint of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's chapter in the anthology China's Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges, edited by Minky Worden (Seven Stories Press, 2008), pp. 263-272. This text was translated from…