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May 19, 2022 The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A3 Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Human Rights Watch writes to you today to highlight the urgent need for action…
Fighters with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deploy around al-Sina’a prison in the Ghweran district of al-Hasakah, northeast Syria, on January 25, 2022, midway through the 10-day battle to recapture it from the Islamic State (ISIS). © 2022 AFP Photo via Getty Images
News

Missteps Show Need for Congressional Oversight to Catalyze Change

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2022) – The US military’s review of a 2019 airstrike in Syria highlights fundamental and ongoing flaws in US handling of accountability for civilian harm, Human Rights Watch said today. The US Defense Department on May 17,…
Black smoke billows from the last small piece of territory held by Islamic State forces as US-backed fighters attack the area with artillery and airstrikes in Baghouz, Syria, March 3, 2019. © 2019 AP Photo/Andrea Rosa
News

Authorities Chaotic Prisoner Release Punishes Hopeful Relatives

On April 30, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted a general amnesty for “Syrian citizens detained on ‘terrorism-related’ crimes,’” except for crimes that resulted in death. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has documented the release of…
202205mena_syria_prisoner_release
News

Piecemeal Releases Do Not Mean Fundamental Policy Shift

During the last days of Ramadan, on April 24, Egyptian authorities freed around 40 unjustly detained prisoners, among them journalists, activists, and human rights defenders, many of whose families have tirelessly pushed for their release for years…
202205mena_egypt_toraprison
News

Allow Evening Prayers, Eid Celebrations

(Beirut) – Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments should end all arbitrary restrictions on religious gatherings, prayers, and practices during the final days of Ramadan and the upcoming Eid celebrations, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 20,…
People gathering at Al Azhar mosque to break their fast, Cairo, Egypt, April 8, 2022.
News

Prison Terms, Fines Violate Freedom of Expression

(Beirut) – An Egyptian court sentenced two singers to a year in prison and fines on March 28, 2022, on charges that violate their right to freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should announce that it will not enforce…
Youth dance to Mahraganat music at a wedding in Salam City, a suburb of Cairo, March 5, 2015.
News

Economist Died in Custody After Enforced Disappearance

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should urgently release the autopsy report and investigate the suspicious death of economist Ayman Hadhoud, Human Rights Watch said today. Hadhoud was forcibly disappeared on February 5 or 6, 2022, and died in the…
Ayman Hadhoud
News
On March 6, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) published its 202227 Egypt Country Strategy. The undersigned organizations commend the EBRD’s more realistic appraisal of the human rights situation in Egypt compared to the…
Egypt EBRD Strategy
News

90th pre-sessional, 2022

We write in advance of the 90th pre-session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child relating to Canada’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This supplementary submission is primarily based on research conducted from 2019 onward…
News

Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia Should Ensure Access to Legal Gender Recognition

Transgender people, whose assigned gender at birth does not match their gender identity, face a grim reality in much of the Middle East and North Africa region, including daunting obstacles to legal gender recognition. To get a better sense of…
The transgender pride flag.
News

New Rights-Respecting Approach Needed in Any New Agreement

(Beirut) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should ensure that any new loan program with Egypt expands social protection, strengthens judicial independence, and addresses corruption and the need for transparency, including for military-owned…
International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017.
News

Syria Passes Law Criminalizing Torture

This is not an April Fools’ joke. Syria, where torture is routine and pervasive, has passed a law criminalizing the practice. In an announcement that might have appeared as satire, the Syrian State News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian…
Women hold banners with phrases on them. One reads, "Where are they?"
News

Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence
News

Fourth Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, 41st Session

Since Tunisia’s last Universal Period Review (UPR), serious human rights violations, including torture, violence against women, violations of LGBT rights, lack of accountability for past human rights violations, arbitrary house arrests, and travel…
Tunisians take part in a rally marking the ninth anniversary of the 2011 uprising, at Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis on January 14, 2020.
News

Arbitrary Arrests, Beatings, Forced Labor

(Beirut) – Egyptian police arbitrarily arrested at least 30 Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers during raids in December 2021 and January 2022 and subjected some to forced physical labor and beatings, Human Rights Watch said today. Some of the…
Men sitting in a cafe predominantly visited by Sudanese migrants in Cairo, Egypt, 08 August 2017.
News

Journalists Fight to Keep Diverse Voices on Air

Tunisian President Kais Saied has set about dismantling institutional checks on his authority since his July power grab, and state television is an obvious target. Before the 2011 revolution that ousted authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben…
A group of people holding protest signs in Arabic
News

African Committee Should Press Countries to Respect Girls’ Right to Education

Across Africa each year, tens of thousands of adolescent girls drop out of school or suffer discrimination or exclusion from schools because they are pregnant or have become mothers. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, teenage pregnancies have increased…
A female student wearing a school uniform walks out of a building
News

Strong Government Response Needed to Protect the Right to Food

(Beirut) – Governments should ensure that the conflict in Ukraine does not worsen the food crisis in the Middle East and North Africa and protect the right to affordable, adequate food for everyone, Human Rights Watch said today. Both Ukraine and…
A boy is handed a bag of bread
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