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Bénédicte Jeannerod is France director at Human Rights Watch. Lorena Cotza is communications lead at Coalition for Human Rights in Development. As it prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary on April 15, the European Bank for Reconstruction and…
Odile Renaud-Basso, former head of the French treasury who was elected president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in November 2020.
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Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Monitoring, Tough Message on Dire Rights Situation Long Overdue

(Geneva) – Egypt’s human rights community is facing “annihilation” by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, more than 100 leading human rights organizations from around the world have warned today in a letter to foreign ministers. The groups…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
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Authorities Punish Critics, Close Civic Space with Impunity

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities intensified their repression of peaceful government critics and ordinary people during 2020, virtually obliterating any space for peaceful assembly, association or expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours as prevention measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Teachers’ Syndicate Board Released; Others Still Held

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have exploited the country’s Covid-19 pandemic to forcibly disperse public protests against the arbitrary closure of the country’s Teachers Syndicate and mass arrests of its leadership, Human Rights Watch said today…
 Jordanian police block a road in front of protestors in Irbid, north of Jordan on August 1, 2020.
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Latest Escalation in Media Restrictions

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have used a sweeping gag order, harassment, and arrests to limit media coverage of ongoing protests stemming from the arbitrary closure of the Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate on July 25, 2020, Human Rights Watch said…
Thousands of Jordanian teachers march from the governorship building to the Professional Unions Complex to demand a reversal of the decision to close the Teachers Union, in Irbid, Jordan on August 01, 2020.
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New Penalties for ‘Causing Panic’ About Pandemic

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have arrested media workers and others and issued a vaguely worded emergency decree that could chill online discussion about Jordan’s Covid-19 response, Human Rights Watch said today. Under the…
Jordanian police personnel guard at a checkpoint during the second day of a nationwide curfew, amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan. © 2020 Reuters
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Security Forces Raid Mada Masr Headquarters, Arrest Journalists

(Beirut) – Egyptian security forces raided the headquarters of the Cairo-based independent news website Mada Masr on November 24, 2019, as part of the government’s suppression of media freedom in Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A screenshot of Mada Masr's homepage on November 26, 2019.
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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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Arrested While Visiting Family on Dubious Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian journalist Mahmoud Hussein marks one year in pretrial detention without proper due process on December 22, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Egyptian authorities arrested Hussein, a Doha-based Al Jazeera TV…
Egyptian journalist Mahmoud Hussein marks one year in pretrial detention without proper due process on December 22, 2017
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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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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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Hossam Bahgat Held in Unknown Location

(New York) – Hossam Bahgat, a journalist and one of Egypt’s most prominent human rights figures, could be charged in military court after being detained on November 9, 2015, on military prosecutors’ orders. The prosecutors ordered Bahgat held for…
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Vague Law Being Used to Curb Media Freedom

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities are curtailing media freedom by detaining and bringing charges against journalists under broad and vague provisions of the country’s terrorism law. In the most recent case, on July 8, 2015, authorities detained Ghazi…