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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Paper Still Closed; New Efforts to Silence Media

(Beirut) – Omani authorities should quash the conviction of an editor at Azamn newspaper who was arrested nearly a year ago, free him immediately, and allow the paper to reopen, Human Rights Watch said today. Charges against the editor and the reason…
Yusuf al-Haj. © 2016 Private
News

Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Repeated Harassment of Peaceful Rights Defenders

(Beirut) – Omani authorities have barred the family of Mohammed al-Fazari, a human rights defender and blogger, from traveling outside the country, Human Rights Watch said today.
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Mohammed al-Fazari
News

Region-Wide Crackdown on Social Media Activism

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have attempted to silence peaceful critics in response to a wave of online activism in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in an interactive website that began operating today. The governments have responded to online…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
News

Azamn Newspaper Permanently Closed

(Beirut) – An Omani court sentenced three journalists to prison on September 26, 2016, and ordered the permanent closure of their newspaper, over an article that alleged corruption in the judiciary. Ibrahim al-Ma’mari, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper…
Images of detained journalists Yousef al-Haj, Zaher al-Abri, and Ibrahim al-Ma’mari appearing on Azman's website along with announcement of the paper's closure.
News

3 Journalists Arrested Since Late July

(Beirut, August 14, 2016) – Omani authorities ordered the immediate closure of the Azamnnewspaper and arrested its deputy editor on August 9, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. Yousef al-Haj, the Azamn deputy editor, is the third Azamn journalist…
Images of detained journalists Yousef al-Haj, Zaher al-Abri, and Ibrahim al-Ma’mari appearing on Azman's website along with announcement of the paper's closure.
News

Attempt to Silence Press Critiques

(Beirut) – Omani police have arrested two journalists over a July 26, 2016 article that criticized the country’s judiciary. Ibrahim al-Ma’mari, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Azamn, was arrested on July 28, and Zaher al-Abri, who oversees the…
Following the arrest of editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Ma’mari, Omani Newspaper Azamn published a blank front page in protest, after authorities allegedly threatened the publication to avoid coverage of the arrest.
News

Reform System, Laws to Protect Migrant Women

(Beirut) – Many migrant domestic workers are trapped in abusive employment in Oman, their plight hidden behind closed doors, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Omani authorities should take immediate steps to reform the restrictive…
A migrant domestic worker watches over a child playing in the Magic Planet, City Centre Muscat, a shopping mall in Oman.
News

Courts Criminalize Free Speech

(Beirut) – Omani courts have sentenced online activists to prison in two separate cases in February 2016 for their social media posts. Omani activists said that they are seeing a decline in freedom of expression in Oman.
 On February 8, a court of…
News

Construction Firms Should Adopt New Guidelines

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today issued a set of guidelines to protect migrant construction workers. International and domestic companies operating in Gulf Cooperation Council countries should adopt the standards to ensure that they and their…
Drawn by the promise of jobs, thousands of men from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal are working on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates.