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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

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

Governments Should Bolster Respect for Landmark Arms Ban

Governments should reinforce the global ban on chemical weapons by suspending the rights and privileges of Syria, a party to the treaty that has violated it with impunity for years.  This week, states that are parties to the Chemical Weapons…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.
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

All Countries Should Urgently Repatriate Citizens

On the surface, it seems like a happy ending: a 4-year-old Canadian girl is flown home to Canada on Sunday after living the first half of her life under the Islamic State (ISIS) and the second in a squalid detention camp in northeast Syria. But her…
A 4-year-old Canadian girl after her rescue from a detention camp
News

Limited Community Outreach Blunts Impact of Accountability Efforts

A German court in the town of Koblenz this week will render its first verdict in a historic trial of two former Syrian officials for atrocities during Syria’s decade-long brutal armed conflict. The two accused in the case are an alleged former…
Photos of Syrians who have been detained or disappeared set up by Families for Freedom, as part of a protest in front of the court in Koblenz, July 2, 2020. 
News

Floundering Government Finds New Ways to Confiscate Wealth of Syrian Citizens

On February 2, Syria’s Ministry for Media and Information posted a video in which Colonel Elias al-Bitar, head of the army’s Exemptions and Reserves Branch, informed the country of an amendment that allows authorities to seize the property of “…
A Syrian flag flies in the city of Maarat al-Numan, near Idlib, Syria, February 12, 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

A Positive Step, but Thousands Still Held Incommunicado

On November 4, local news outlets reported that the Syrian government had released over 60 individuals from detention facilities in southern Syria and Damascus. While not the first such release, the news is a positive development in an area where…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
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

Ottawa Should Repatriate 46 Others Held in Northeast Syria

After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

New Government Policy Prevents Syrians from Returning Home

The Syrian government insists that each Syrian national entering Syria must exchange US$100 for Syrian pounds at the official rate. The policy was put in place in July, ostensibly to help the government replete its foreign currency reserves amid an…
Members of the Lebanese General Security Directorate oversee Syrian refugees boarding a bus to take them home to Syria, in the northern Beirut suburb of Burj Hammoud, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Bilal Hussein
News

Education Not Prioritized at Annual Donor Conference

June 30 was possibly the most important day of 2020 for Syrian refugee children. At the annual pledging conference for the “Future of Syria and the Region,” dozens of governments and multilateral donors pledged US$7.7 billion in humanitarian aid for…
Hanan, a Syrian refugee in Jordan, created learning ‘blocks’ for her children from discarded cigarette cases.
News

Ensure EU Donor Relief Reaches Vulnerable Communities

Today, the ministerial phase of the fourth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” begins, presenting an important opportunity for donor countries to support humanitarian efforts in Syria and neighboring countries. But…
Medical workers oversee the disinfection of streets to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Qamishli, Syria, March 24, 2020.
News

Government Should Bring Home All Children and their Mothers from ISIS Camps

The French government this week announced it had returned 10 children from camps for families of Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in Northeast Syria. The children were reportedly handed over to officials from the French foreign ministry who traveled to…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence