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Digital Targeting of LGBT People by Middle East/North Africa Governments

Sarah Hegazy, an Egyptian queer feminist, raised a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. Rania Amdouni, a Tunisian queer activist, protested deteriorating economic conditions and police brutality in Tunis. Mohamad al-Bokari, a Yemeni blogger in Saudi…
Sarah Hegazy, Egyptian LGBTQ activist, photographed by a friend who wished to remain anonymous, at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo in 2017 © 2020 anonymous.
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Arrests, Jail for Violating ‘Family Values'

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities have since late April 2020 carried out an abusive campaign targeting female social media influencers on charges that violate their rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and nondiscrimination, Human Rights Watch said…
Egyptian influencers Hanin Hossam and Mawadda al-Adham, who were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of violating public morals, on the video-sharing app TikTok in Egypt's capital Cairo.
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Disproportionately Huge Fines; Ban on Links with Foreign Groups

(Beirut) – Egypt’s parliament approved a new law governing nongovernment organizations on July 14, 2019 that would maintain many of the existing restrictions on their work, Human Rights Watch said today. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi…
Prominent rights activist and journalist Hossam Baghat, center, leaves a courtroom at the Cairo Criminal Court on March 24, 2016. In recent years, Egyptian authorities have relentlessly prosecuted leading human rights and civil society activists for their
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Commission Should Loudly Sound the Alarm

(Beirut) – Egypt is hosting an Africa human rights session beginning April 24, 2019, while its government is presiding over the worst human rights crisis in the country in recent decades, 15 African, Egyptian, and international…
The 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Union’s top rights body, will take place from April 24 to May 14 in Sharm al-Sheikh. (c) 2019 Private.
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Referendum Set in Grossly Unfree, Rights-Abusive Environment

(Beirut) – The Egyptian government should withdraw proposed constitutional amendments that will consolidate authoritarian rule, Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) said today. The amendments will…
People walk past a banner supporting proposed amendments to the Egyptian constitution with a poster of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi  in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. © 2019 AP Images/Amr Nabil
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Accelerating Measures to Enshrine Authoritarian Rule

(Beirut, January 17) – Egyptian authorities increasingly relied on counterterrorism and state of emergency laws to crush peaceful dissent during 2018, including by prosecuting journalists and human rights activists, Human Rights Watch…
A picture taken on July 26, 2018 shows Egyptian policemen stand guarding a street in the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish. With fruit and vegetables aplenty in the markets, public transport back on the roads and universities reopened, life is re
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Release Everyone Unfairly Detained

(Beirut) – Egyptian police and National Security forces have carried out a wave of arrests of critics of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in dawn raids since early May 2018, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges against them appear to be…
Wael Abbas (top left), Haitham Mohamadeen (top right), Shady Abu Zaid (bottom left), and Amal Fathy (bottom right), were all arrested this month for charges such as joining “a banned group” or “terrorist organization” and spreading “false news.”
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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.
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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.
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Canada’s Supreme Court on June 28, 2017 upheld a lower court’s injunction to require Google to delist web pages from a company that had been copying and selling a product belonging to Equustek Solutions Inc.. Google had already delisted all the company’s…
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Websites Blocked, Activists Charged with Terrorism

  UPDATE: As of June 20, 2017, Egyptian security forces had arrested 190 political activists over the course of two major campaigns that began in April, according to a report by the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms…
Egyptian lawyer and ex-Presidential candidate Khaled Ali with supporters celebrating a ruling against the Egypt-Saudi border demarcation agreement, January 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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We, the undersigned organisations, call upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance…
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Delivered Under Item 2, Interactive Dialogue of HRC 25

We thank the High Commissioner for her statement. We share her concerns today on arbitrary detention, unfair trial and restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Egypt. The situation has grown increasingly dire over the past eight…
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Restore Web and Phone Networks for Egypt’s Citizens

(Cairo) - ­The Egyptian government's unprecedented blackout of the nation's internet and most cell phone networks poses a major threat to basic human rights, and should be reversed immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. The shutdown of the web is an…
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In a groundbreaking speech at the Newseum on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reset U.S. policy on Internet freedom, emphasizing the vital need for governments, companies and technology providers to ensure that the World Wide Web is a force…
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Testimony to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law

Written Testimony of Arvind Ganesan Director, Business and Human Rights Program, Human Rights Watch Mr. Chairman: I welcome the opportunity to speak on the important matter of global internet freedom. I would also like to thank Senator Coburn, the…
Report
False Freedom Online Censorship in the Middle East and North Africa About this Report Summary Regional Overview.. Recommendations Note on Methodology Legal Standards Pertaining to Online Freedom of Expression Right to Freedom of Expression and Exchange…