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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

Hundreds of Thousands Prevented from Returning to Japan

An historic court hearing is set to begin next week in Tokyo as five North Korean escapees in Japan seek compensation for human rights abuses they suffered in North Korea after joining a resettlement program based on the false premise that North Korea…
Escapees from North Korea and their supporters march to the Tokyo District Court to file a lawsuit against the North Korean government for violating their human rights, August 20, 2018. 
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

Expands Demands of Work to Shore Up Flagging Economy

North Korea’s economy has taken a hit as the country’s borders remain sealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed appreciation to the country’s youth for “volunteering” to do hard labor to compensate for “…
2021년 5월 25일 평양의 락랑구역에서 농부들이 벼를 심고 있다. ©2021 전철진/AP
News

At Least 1,170 North Koreans Face Torture, Sexual Abuse if Sent Back

For months, North Koreans living in South Korea who have relatives detained in China have been imploring government officials, foreign diplomats, United Nations agencies, and others for help. They hope international pressure can dissuade Chinese…
Photos of the North Korean refugees helped by the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea are displayed in Seoul, South Korea on June 11, 2019.
News

Pyongyang Blames Problems on Everything but Own Abusive Policies

  Hypocrisy is commonplace at the United Nations. Delegates routinely stand at UN podiums and blame everyone and everything but their own governments for their countries’ problems. North Korea took this practice to new level on Tuesday at a…
Visitors pay homage to the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il ahead of the 27th anniversary of the death of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2021. 
News

Border to Remain Closed, Blocking Essential Trade and Food

Kim Jong Un made an extraordinary admission this week about North Korea’s food crisis, warning the situation is “getting tense,” in part as a result of damage from typhoons and floods last year. Kim’s surprising admission follows his call in April…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, June 15, 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

Kim Jong Un May Be Tightening Already Firm Grip on Power

Speaking at a ruling Workers’ Party of Korea conference on Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was surprisingly candid about the country’s dire economic situation, calling on the country to “wage another more difficult ‘Arduous March’” – a…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a closing speech at the Sixth Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 8, 2021. 
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

UN Human Rights Council Should Press for Accountability

Last week, the United Nations published a new report concluding that the North Korean government continues to commit rights violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. The report, by the UN Office of the High…
A North Korean soldier stands guard at the entrance of a women’s prison near Chongsong, North Korea, May 31, 2009.
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

Lethal Force at Border Needs to Comply with Human Rights Law

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea has locked down and created buffer zones on its borders, preventing citizens from transiting without tightly regulated permission from the government. North Korea-focused media outlets have…
A North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post seen from the South Korean city of Paju, at the border with North Korea, May 3, 2020. 
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

Kim Jong Un Announces Rare Workers’ Party Congress

On August 20, Kim Jong Un offered a rare public acknowledgement of several crises North Korea is currently facing. Citing “severe internal and external situations” and “unexpected … challenges,” he conceded government failures to improve the country’s…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, August 19, 2020. 
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