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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

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

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

Muslim and Christian Preachers Face Prison Under Abusive Law

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges. On August 25 Muhammad Kece, a Christian preacher, was arrested at his friend’s house in Bali for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Among other…
(L-R) Muhammed Kece, Yahya Waoni
News

Female Recruits Subjected to Abusive, Discriminatory Practice for Decades

Indonesian Army Chief Gen. Andika Perkasa told army commanders in July that the required medical check-up in the recruitment process for female officers should be similar to the male medical test, signaling the end of the so-called “virginity test…
Female national army officers and police officers escort hundreds of women who packed the area in front of the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 8, 2020, in commemoration of International Women's Day.
News

Government Should Uphold Right of Muslim Girls, Women to Choose

A recent ruling by Indonesia’s Supreme Court canceled a government regulation issued in February that allowed millions of girls and women in thousands of state schools a basic freedom: to choose whether or not to wear a jilbab (Muslim apparel that…
A primary state school in Solok, West Sumatra, where girls and teachers are required to wear the jilbab --Muslim apparel that covers the head, neck, and chest.
News

Amend Discriminatory Regulation That Blocks New Houses of Worship

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia this week demanded that the local government in Sraten village, East Java, stop the Muhammadiyah congregation from building a mosque. The protest prompted the village head to order the construction halted until the…
Indonesia's religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis, Buddhists and native faith believers, celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day outside the State Palace in Jakarta
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

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

‘Magnificent 7’ Urge Schools to Follow New Ruling Making Jilbab Voluntary

This week I moderated a discussion with seven courageous Indonesian women – a teacher, a lawyer, an ombudswoman, two psychologists, and two activists. They were holding a news conference to support a new government decree that allows schoolgirls and…
billboard indonesia
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

Troubling Trend of Anti-LGBT Actions

Authorities in Indonesia’s Aceh province publicly flogged two gay men 77 times each on Thursday after a vigilante mob raided their apartment in November, allegedly caught them having sex, and handed them over to the police. The whipping—recognized as…
A Shariah law official uses a rattan cane to whip one of two men convicted of gay sex in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia, January 28, 2021. 
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

Arrest Assailants, Protect Religious Minorities

On November 27, Islamist militants attacked the Christian-majority village of Lembantongoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing the village elder and three other Christian farmers. The attackers burned a Salvation Army church and six houses, prompting…
Villagers and police officers clean up debris at the site of suspected militant attack in Lembantongoa village in Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 30, 2020. 
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

Authorities Should Seek Releases, Alternatives for At-Risk Detainees

At least 17 prisons in Indonesia have Covid-19 cases, with 120 inmates and 18 officials infected with the coronavirus, according to a joint report from human rights groups. While testing rates are very low, seven inmates are suspected to have died…
An Indonesian Red Cross worker wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant at a prison in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, March 23, 2020.