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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

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

Displaced Call Security Officials’ Response ‘Apathetic’

Hundreds of Egyptian Coptic Christian families have fled their homes in the northern Sinai Peninsula since late February, fearing for their lives in the wake of seven murders between January 30 and February 23.
 No group claimed responsibility for…
A nun cries as she stands at the scene inside Cairo's Coptic cathedral, following a bombing, in Egypt December 11, 2016.
News

Authorities Fail to Prevent, Punish Violent Attacks

(Tunis) – A long-awaited new law maintains restrictions over the construction and renovation of churches and discriminates against the Christian minority in Egypt. The law, passed by Egypt’s parliament on August 30, 2016, applies only to Christian houses…
MENA EGYPT churches christians Sept 2016 photo-2
News

Convicted Under Blasphemy Laws

***The below news release was updated to correct that four people were sentenced for blasphemy in Luxor governorate in June 2014. (New York) – An Egyptian minor offenses court on January 10, 2015, sentenced a student accused of writing Facebook posts that…
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Blasphemy Rules Harm Free Expression

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should stop prosecuting writers and repeal laws violating freedom of expression, including those banning “contempt of religion.” Egypt’s 2014 constitution guarantees freedom of belief. A criminal court in the central…
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Scant Protection As Christians Attacked in Several Cities

(New York) – Egyptian Christians have been targeted in several attacks since the military’s ouster of former President Mohamed Morsy. The authorities should urgently investigate the attacks, hold the perpetrators to account, and determine whether the…
News

Sectarianism in the Muslim world is dividing people who have lived together for centuries.

The last month hasn't been a good one for religious tolerance. As Egypt teetered on the edge of chaos following the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, unknown assailants killed a Coptic Christian priest in Sinai and Muslim extremists…
News

Police Fail to Protect Muslim Minority

Update: On June 13, 2015, an Egyptian court sentenced 23 people to 14 years in prison for the fatal lynching of four Shia men in the village of Abu Musallim. The court acquitted eight other defendants. (New York) – The lynching of four Shia by a mob…
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Ensure Effective Investigation, Amend Discriminatory Laws

(New York) – Egyptian authorities should bring to justice those responsible for the sectarian violence that left five Christians and one Muslim dead on April 5, 2013, in the town of Khosus, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also…
News

Provisions Inconsistent With International Law

(New York) – The Egyptian Constituent Assembly should amend articles in the draft constitution that undermine human rights in post-Mubarak Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to members of the Constituent Assembly. The draft provides for some…
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Dear Members of the Constituent Assembly, Human Rights Watch, an independent nongovernmental organization, is writing to urge you to amend those articles of the draft constitution made public that conflict with Egypt’s obligations under international…
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Emergency Court Trials Unfair, ‘Reconciliation’ Punishes Victims

(New York) – The new administration of President Mohamed Morsy should take urgent steps to address sectarian violence. The administration should ensure that those responsible for the violence are identified, investigated, and prosecuted in courts that…
News
Elections alone don’t mean democracy. Rights for women and religious groups matter too As millions of Egyptians queued to vote in the first free presidential elections in the country’s history, they continued the conversations that have dominated coffee…
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Official Denials Suggest Investigation Will be Flawed

(New York) – The Egyptian military’s intention to control the investigation of the use of force against unarmed Coptic Christian demonstrators during a night of clashes on October 9, 2011, raises fears of a cover-up, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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Better Protections for Community Needed

(New York) – The inquiry announced by Egypt’s military authorities into sectarian violence in Cairo on October 9, 2011 – that resulted in some two dozen dead –should be prompt, thorough, and impartial, Human Rights Watch said today. The investigation…
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Fully Prosecute Those Responsible for Sectarian Violence that Killed Six Coptic Christians

Egyptian authorities should immediately release at least 29 young activists who were arrested yesterday in Nag’ Hammadai while on their way to pay their condolences to the families of six Coptic Christians shot and killed on the Coptic Christmas Eve,…
News

But US Needs Stronger Message for Repressive Regional Allies

(Cairo) – President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated June 4, 2009, speech to the Muslim world avoided confronting authoritarian governments directly, but sent a welcome message that Washington would not let the prospect of empowering Islamist parties deter…
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Halts Official Discrimination Against ‘Non-Recognized' Religion

(Cairo) - The new decree from Egypt's Interior Ministry recognizing the right of adherents of "non-recognized" religions to obtain necessary identification documents and access to basic services is an overdue and positive step, Human Rights Watch and the…
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Human Rights Watch Highlights Abuses in Pakistan, Kenya, China, Somalia

The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and…