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Authorities Continue to Use Repressive Laws to Silence Critics

“I’m not sure whether to laugh, get angry, or feel utter frustration,” Myriam Bribri, a Tunisian activist told Human Rights Watch in response to the fine and four-month prison sentence a court in the city of Sfax gave her on December 21, 2021. Bribri…
A woman in sunglasses at a protest
News

Bloc Should Try to Block Cairo Membership Quest, Not Support It

The European Union (EU) may be about to present a joint bid with Egypt to co-lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, a multilateral platform with far-reaching influence on global counterterrorism policy, according to a recently leaked document. Given…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
News

Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
News

French Authorities Should Immediately Investigate; Stop Arms Sales

A media investigation has alleged that classified documents show that a secret French military intelligence operation may have supported the Egyptian Air Force in targeting civilians under the guise of fighting terrorism. The documents appear to…
Two men in suits shake hands and pose for a photo
News

Authorities Arbitrarily Target Media and Critics

I first met Lotfi Hajji some 15 years ago, after Tunisian authorities under President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali had refused a request by Al Jazeera, the Qatar-funded pan-Arab television station, to accredit the Tunisian journalist as their local…
Al Jazeera correspondent Lotfi Hajji reporting from Tunis after Tunisian authorities evicted the pan-Arab television network from its offices, November 5, 2021. 
News

Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
News

Donors Shouldn’t Engage in Whitewashing Horrendous Rights Record

The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Egypt office issued a press release last week lavishing praise on President al-Sisi’s government’s supposed “good governance and accountability.” This is a very different Egypt from the one Human Rights…
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on September 14, 2021.
News

Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, China, Myanmar Win Women’s Rights Posts

When the United Nations General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council last October, five countries in the Asia regional group vied for four open seats, including two of the world’s most notorious rights abusers, Saudi…
U.N. headquarters Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)
News

Other 3R Commanders Should be Held Accountable for Crimes

The death of one of the most brutal warlords in the Central African Republic was confirmed earlier this month. Sidiki Abbas, the president and founder of Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, leaves a legacy of ruthless violence and abuse in the…
Sidiki Abass (also known as Bi Sidi Souleymane), commander of a group called Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, at the peace deal signing ceremony in Bangui, Central African Republic, on February 6, 2019.
News

Australia Joins 30 Countries in Condemning Abuses

The Australian government has rightly joined 30 other countries in condemning the deteriorating rights situation in Egypt. The statement by the countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva condemned “restrictions on freedom of…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Drop Charges Against Witnesses, Investigate Alleged Perpetrators

Six months after a woman reported that several men had gang-raped her in Cairo’s Fairmont Hotel in 2014, Egyptian authorities have failed to adequately investigate the suspects, four of whom remain in pretrial detention while several others are under…
Women chant slogans as they gather to protest sexual harassment in front of the opera house in Cairo on June 14, 2014. 
News

EU, International Pressure Necessary to Break Cycle of Impunity

After nearly five years of investigations, Italian prosecutors announced yesterday they have collected sufficient evidence to charge four Egyptian security officials, including senior officers from Egypt’s abusive National Security Agency for the 2016…
Giulio Regeni
News

Authorities Ignore Release Orders, Set a Revolving Door of Pretrial Detention

Walid Shawky, a dentist and activist in Egypt, spent nearly two years in pretrial detention over abusive charges of “joining a terrorist organization,” “spreading false news,” and “misusing social media” without ever facing trial. On August 23, a…
News

Men Purportedly Subject to Abuse in Custody, Forced Anal Exams

When Seif Bedour, 21, returned to Egypt this year to visit his family after years studying abroad, he did not expect to end up behind bars. His “crime”? “Suspicion” about his sexual orientation. Bedour was looking forward to his graduation. Now, he…
Seif Bedour, 21 (Left) and Ahmed al-Ganzoury, 40 (Right)
News

Violent State Response No Guarantee of Stability

Egyptians have many reasons to protest and little space to do so. But over several days in late September, something new happened. In villages and towns stretching from Damietta in the north to Luxor and Aswan in the south, small but widespread street…
Protesters chant slogans against the government in Cairo, Egypt, September 21, 2019.
News

Deal Contravenes EU Pledge, Risks Facilitating Further Abuses

Last week, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio responded to outrage over a possible massive arms sale to Egypt by saying the deal hadn’t been finalized. But given serious human rights abuses in Egypt, the potential transfer, worth up to €11…
A house that the Egyptian army demolished in March 2018 in al-Arish as “retaliation” against suspects. © 2018 Private
News

Two Women Face Justice for Covid-19 Jokes

It all started with harmless jokes. But because they chose humor to push back against the Coronavirus and lockdown-generated anxiety, a young Moroccan woman is now in prison, and a Tunisian woman could soon share her fate. In Morocco, the story…
People shop in the Central Market of Tunis during the first days of Ramadan, Tunis, Tunisia April 28, 2020.
News

Ignoring LGBT Rights Endangers People in Time of COVID-19

The Egyptian government is refusing to recognize the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, flouting its responsibility to protect the rights of everyone. On March 12, during its third Universal…
Young people wave a rainbow flag at a Cairo concert featuring the Lebanese Band Mashrou’ Leila. Activist Ahmed Alaa confirmed that he raised a rainbow flag at the concert in a Buzzfeed video including this image prior to his arrest.
News

Questions Remain About Peace Deal’s Promotion of Justice

In the Central African Republic a year after the government and 14 armed groups signed a peace accord, civilians remain at significant risk from serious human rights abuses. The deal, commonly known as the Khartoum Accord, was…
Mahamat Al Khatim, commander of the Central African Patriotic Movement (Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique, MPC), at the peace deal signing ceremony in Bangui on February 6. Fighters from the MPC have committed abuses that could amount to war crim
News

Congress Should Act as Trump Administration Turns Blind Eye to Egypt’s Abuses

The death this week of Mustafa Kassem, an Egyptian-American imprisoned in Egypt after an unfair trial, underscores the Trump administration’s failed approach on human rights in Egypt. Police arrested Kassem in August 2013,…
Mustafa Kassem