Old formula of denying abuses such as torture dies hard in Egypt; former Assad regime officials arrested in Germany; attack on press freedom in Philippines demands a global response; call for an end to Ankara's ban on LGBTI events; an Emirati woman’s ordeal to get protection from abuse; Bahrain: arena for human rights abuses; Martin Ennals Award goes to Sudanese refugee detained on Manus island; how killer robots overran the UN.

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The failure by the regime in Egypt to end or impartially investigate torture and mistreatment in detention facilities reinforces an urgent need for an independent international inquiry, says Human Rights Watch today. As a party to the UN Convention Against Torture, Egypt should also allow the UN special rapporteur on torture and other relevant UN experts to visit the country, including detention sites.

There's positive news on the fight against impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, as suspected former secret service officers of the Assad regime have been arrested in Germany. He is suspected of involvement in torture of detainees.

There's good news from the Philippines, as reporter Maria Ressa, the founding editor of the prominent news website Rappler, has been released, after her arrest on Wednesday caused an international outcry. The arrest marked the latest assault on media freedom by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The ban in Turkey's capital Ankara on public events focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) issues discriminates against LGBTI people and violates their fundamental rights, and should therefore be immediately lifted.

Hind Albolooki fled the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after receiving threats from family members for wanting to divorce an abusive husband. "I am a mother of four children. No mother would leave her children just like this. But I had to leave my kids. I had no other choice."

Bahrain, which hosts the Formula One Grand Prix on March 28, has long used its association with sports to “launder” its international image and cover up its domestic repression. The case of Hakeem Al-Araibi shows, that at least in the sporting realm, global sports organizations can make use of their human rights policies to have a real, positive influence on human rights in countries such as Bahrain.

There's awful news from Hungary, as the Orbán government is again starving people in its custody. Orbán's party is still backed for some reason by the European People's Party and its leader Manfred Weber...

There's killer robot news, and it is not good.

And how long will it take the European Union to answer a very simple question, and say it won't host a meeting in Egypt on February 24-25 if Omar al Bashir (president of Sudan, fugitive of the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide) is coming?