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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Egypt’s activists should be celebrated, not criminalised

As justice remains elusive, celebration of Egyptian civil society can build a strong counter-narrative to criminalisation.

Injustice is the foundation of the new Turkish state

With the media focusing on Erdogan’s April referendum, it is easy to lose sight of, or cover up, the tensions and serious abuses in the Kurdish areas in the south-east of the country.

Egypt: the deep state’s war on journalism

The state is aware that free press means more accountability and their fear of being monitored, exposed, or held accountable indicates how fragile and insecure they are.

Paper tiger law forbidding FGM in Sudan

While the law is a political compromise cleverly designed to please stakeholders, girls at risk of undergoing FGM remain unprotected.

The victims of tyranny and the need for transitional justice in Tunisia

It is important that a law be enacted to criminalize the whitening of dictatorships so that those longing for the past stop their hopeless ventures of trying to falsify history.

Sir Nigel Rodley versus Donald Trump on torture

The novelty and danger posed by the new US president is the fact that he either does not know, or does not care, that the prohibition of torture is one that is considered to be fundamental.

نقطة اللاعودة: كيف غيّرت الحكومة المصرية والرأي العام معالم إرث الألتراس؟

هذا الجزء الأخير من أربعة أجزاء عن هواة كرة القدم في مصر وكيف تحوّلوا من مشجّعين إلى "إرهابيين". English

Crossing the rubicon: how Egypt’s government and public opinion reshaped the Ultras legacy

The final piece in a four-part series on football fandom in Egypt and how the fans are now labelled 'terrorists'. عربي

عالمية حقوق الإنسان ومدى ارتباطها بالثقافة

لو كانت الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان قيماً جماعية، أما كان العالم أكثر انجذاباً إليها؟  English

ما الّذي ارتكبته عزّة؟: عزّة سليمان، نسويّة فريدة من نوعها في خطر

لقد ولّد تصاعد المضايقة ضدّ عزّة سليمان العديد من ردود الفعل الغاضبة والمتفاجئة. ولكن "ما الّذي ارتكبته عزّة؟" هذا سؤال أودّ الإجابة عليه. English

Pain and torture: state violence in Egypt

The root of state violence and torture is not poor police training, nor a political decision that can be reversed, it is the nature of the regime and the political order it has created.

Prosecuting politics: the judicial assault on Bahrain’s opposition

If the government fails to inject real politics back into Bahraini society rather than relentless prosecution, the prognosis looks anything but positive.

Human rights’ universality and correlation with culture

If democracy and human rights were collective values, wouldn’t they have been more appealing to the world? عربي

Attacks on civil society in Turkey, human rights and solidarity

Protests and a show of strength demonstrate the importance of challenging a state that reverts to the arbitrary exercise of power.

The curious case of a Turkish judiciary in a state of emergency

There is strong evidence to conclude that Turkey has gone beyond what is necessary or proportionate.

US drone base in Tunisia: expanding a borderless war against terror to North Africa

By normalising the use of drones, the US might be planting a seed that people in the Arab world reject: the seed of arbitrariness.

10 years on: Jordan’s anti-terrorism law and the crackdown on dissent

It is now time that the authorities stop labelling all those who dare speak their minds as “terrorists”.

Months later, Saudi still silent on stranded migrants

Until Saudi Arabia takes ownership of the crisis, it will remain responsible for the egregious human rights abuses tens of thousands of migrants are forced to endure each day.

Sports diplomacy: Bahrain’s martial arts venture distracts from human rights abuses

While the use of successful sporting events is a persuasive approach to international relations, it is limited in its ability to disguise Bahrain's true nature.

Sudan: the government and its obsession with pornography

"They kept asking me if I have a boyfriend; when I was kissed last …they threatened to take naked pictures of me or create a porn film featuring me." 

The 'Burkini Battle': France’s capitulation to extremism

Reduced to symbols of national identity, women are caught in the center of a tug-of-war in which any amount of violence, of coercion and regulation of their bodies is justified in order to win the battle.

The "Coptic issue" and the cycle of suffering

Mina Fayek

To single out the mistreatment of Copts and the failure of the state to protect them, as a “Coptic issue”, is a wrong diagnosis of the problem.

Egypt: targeting Mozn harmful to MENA regional gender justice struggle

If Mozn Hassan and other activists are not able to continue their work for human rights the road towards gender equality and long-term stability in Egypt is not within reach.    

Defiantly principled: Breivik v Norway

A survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's mass murder supports recent court verdict that the Norwegian state has infringed on the human rights of the terrorist.

Red carpets for everyone? Cameron ought to tackle Sisi on human rights

We can expect the PM to talk to Egypt's president about trade and security—but what about disappearances, detentions, and stifled dissent?

Bahrain’s uprising: resistance and repression in the Gulf

A review of an interdisciplinary book exploring both the contemporary uprising and Bahrain’s lengthy history of contentious politics, exploring postcolonialism, foreign actors, human rights, and social media.

The right to resist in occupied Palestine: denial and suppression

The right of Palestinians to resist their occupation is enshrined in international and customary law, a fact that is denied and violated by Israel and wilfully overlooked by the rest of the world.

Making local ceasefires work in Syria

Any approach to Syria should be judged by its ability to stop the daily abuses against civilians. Advocates of local ceasefires must strive for a balance between immediate relief from the daily suffering and commitment to basic rights and the aspirations of Syrians.

Is justice blind in Egypt?

Yara Sallam might be just one more name to add to the list of people wronged by the Egyptian justice system. But more importantly, she is one more name temporarily taken off an ever shrinking list of those fighting against all odds to correct injustice. 

Interview with imprisoned Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab

Rajab speaks about his experience in a Bahraini prison, the failure of western media and governments to support human rights in the Gulf, and the challenges facing his country's pro-democracy movement.

The meaning of patience: a narrative from Bethlehem

An excerpt from an interview with a Palestinian Christian in Bethlehem, who isn't a politician or a militant, just a normal man trying to live his life under occupation, introduced by the interviewer.

Mob sex attacks and the everyday reality of street children in Egypt

What the revolutionary class are experiencing in Egypt now is only the initiation of what thousands of children on our streets, boys and girls experience.

The return of oppression in Tunisia

The world has been applauding Tunisia for its new progressive constitution and a new caretaker government of technocrats who are running the country until elections later this year. But do we have to accept ex-Ben Ali officials back into politics while the generation of change is being imprisoned? 

Syria: when representational violence is as ruthless as political violence

Our representations of what happens in Syria contribute to the ongoing violence. The rhetoric allows the self-nominated international community to rationalise an ongoing structure of suffering, done with the best of intentions.

The role of Palestinian women in resistance

Despite fighting deeply rooted patriarchal structures, for decades Palestinian women have played an integral role in resistance. Without the prioritization of the emancipation of women, national liberation will not be achieved.  

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