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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

UNESCO’s normative failure: the case of Gülmen and Özakça

In the face of institutional failure in defending democracy and basic rights, civil society action is the last line of defence.

Devastating verdicts issued after a sham trial in Morocco

At dawn on July 19th, after hours of deliberation, the verdicts were finally delivered in the contentious retrial in Morocco related to the violence in the Gdeim Izik protests of 2010.

Mental help: the story of Gaza’s trauma unit

Palestine has the highest rate of mental health disorders in the MENA region. Even though resources are limited, there are incredible people fighting for mental health in Gaza. 

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

Who will defend Egypt’s human rights defenders?

NGOs play an essential role in local communities; the government’s reckless, repressive actions will jeopardize the country’s future.

The Egyptian Army’s violent trail of breadcrumbs

Supporting Egypt’s particular brand of fighting terrorism is equivalent to supporting a climate of expedited radicalization.

Blogging at the time of dictatorship

The Tunisian Internet Agency is responsible for harming national memory. Questions need to be answered and those responsible need to be held accountable.

“Women and Children First”: war, humanitarianism, and the refugee crisis

Is a rethinking of laws of armed conflict or international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance and refugee policy not significantly overdue?

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.

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