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In December 2021, I had the chance to talk with a bright 14-year-old girl named Maria Tunbonat, a fifth-grader in a state school in Tarakan, North Kalimantan. Her father, Ayub, also joined the video call as we spoke about her school and her…
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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
“Nothing about us without us” – that was the call from the indigenous rights advocate Ghazali Ohorella from the Alifuru people in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia during a panel at the climate summit in Glasgow.  This plea was echoed by many…
Georgina Wabano and her mother cooking traditional food for school children in Peawanuck, ON, December 18, 2019. : © 2019 Daron Donahue
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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
On September 3, at least 130 Malay Sunni vigilantes attacked an Ahmadiyah mosque in Balai Harapan village, Sintang regency, West Kalimantan. The attack occurred after Friday prayers, during which the imam at a nearby Sunni mosque, Mochammad Hedi…
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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

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
In August 2005, I visited Carmel Budiardjo, then an 80-year-old human rights campaigner, in her London townhouse. We talked on the second floor, which was also the office for Tapol, the human rights organization that she helped set up in…
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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.
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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

Climate action plans have to include measures to redress women disproportionately affected by deforestation and plantation expansion.

On a rainy day in April 2018, I rode a small speedboat along the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia, headed for three tidal swamp villages, whose residents had protested against the expansion of oil palm plantations on their farmland and…
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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.
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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
Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a…