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The US Military's Shameful Failure to Protect Civilians

Eight years ago, it looked like the U.S. military was making progress in reducing the harm its operations caused to civilians. The counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan meant winning the hearts and minds of the population. Lessons from the Vietnam…
Pentagon building
News
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

A New York Times exposé on a previously undisclosed attack on dozens of noncombatants in Syria is indicative of DOD’s impunity.

Pentagon leadership cannot – or will not – fix its civilian casualties problem. It’s long past time for Congress to step in. On November 17, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “we are committed to protecting civilians and getting this right...We have…
A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.
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

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
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
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

New evidence of torture and inhumane treatment of civilians by Azerbaijani forces emerges

During last autumn’s six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the ethnic-Armenian majority enclave Nagorno-Karabakh, as Azerbaijani forces took control of areas in and around the region, they rounded up local civilians. Most younger civilians…
A portrait of Eduard Shakhkeldyan  at the apartment in Stepanakert where his family is temporarily staying.
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
The Russian military marked the fifth anniversary of its intervention in the armed conflict in Syria on September 30. The consequences have been devastating for many Syrian civilians, with hundreds of thousands killed and millions more forced to flee…
Woman and child in rubble in Idlib
News
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is making the most of this period of global turmoil to entrench the relentless repression that has been his trademark. His seven-year rule has seen tens of thousands of political detentions in often horrendous…
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attend a joint press conference at the Elysee palace, December 7, 2020 in Paris.
News
Earlier this month, the US government announced it had "brought back every American supporter of ISIS known to be held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against whom we have charges" from northeast Syria. The US is calling on "responsible…
A girl walks through a tented area at Roj camp.