State control

Military police arrested at least 37 human rights defenders and activists since January 31 and held them from periods ranging from 12 to 48 hours. On the afternoon of February 3, military police, accompanied by a uniformed policeman and plainclothes security officers, raided the Hisham Mubarak Law Center (HMLC), a human rights organization, and arrested 28 Egyptian and international human rights researchers, lawyers, and journalists. The HMLC also houses the FDP, which provides legal support to arrested protesters and document the violations against them. The coalition set up emergency telephone numbers ahead of the planned January 25 demonstration so that they could dispatch lawyers when people called in to report that they had been arrested. The HMLC premises were also used for meetings by the April 6 Youth Movement. Update to Egypt: Amnesty staff released but Egyptian activists still detained

Les résultats du référendum sur l'indépendance historique du Sud-Soudan montrent que 98,83 pour cent des habitants sont en faveur de la sécession. Si la région accédera officiellement à la souveraineté le 9 juillet 2011, il reste malgré tout de nombreux défis à relever. 
Les observateurs estiment que ces questions doivent être abordées dès maintenant par les deux partis au pouvoir : le Parti national du Congrès (PNC), au Nord, et le Mouvement de libération du peuple soudanais (MLPS), au Sud. 

Two members of an Amnesty International fact-finding team were among five human rights workers and journalists freed by Egyptian military police late on Friday night after a day and half in detention. The five were among some 35 Egyptian and international human rights activists, lawyers and journalists arrested Thursday when military police raided the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo. Update to Egypt: List of detained lawyers & activists from Hisham Mubarak Law Centre in Cairo

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, reported yesterday that several international and Egyptian human rights activists, journalists and lawyers were picked up in a raid on the Hisham Mubarak Law Center in Cairo. The activists are currently detained at an unknown location in Egypt, and no news has been heard from them since their arrest. According to Bouckaert, the arrests are part of a clear campaign against independent eyewitnesses of the violence in Egypt, including journalists and civil society activists.” If you know more names tell @bouckap!#jan25http://is.gd/FS8kG2

If the military is ever to be a legitimate national force, it must side with the protesters against Mubarak’s thugs and the police. These thugs have been ridiculously and mistakenly labeled by right-wing media as “pro-Mubarak demonstrators. This critical junction in the Egyptian Uprising when is the Egyptian Army’s moment of truth. As thousands of unarmed demonstrators are tortured, trampled, firebombed and molested by Mubarak’s thugs, will the military move to protect, or to crush the non-violent democratic movements that have occupied Tahrir Square in Cairo for the last ten days? Following on Paul Amar’s useful analysis (Jadaliyya, 1 Feb 2011) we need to know which faction of which of the Army's branches is ascendant, and where exactly, within these forces, we can energize possible allies.

My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback, as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war with Israel is euphemistically known in Arabic. My parents' generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. But we "Children of the Naksa", hemmed in by humiliation, have spent so much of our lives uncomfortably stepping into pride's large, empty shoes.

Le 8 janvier 2011, la Branche 36 de la Cour d’Appel de Téhéran a condamné Shiva Nazarahari à quatre ans de prison et 74 coups de fouet, pour « subversion contre Dieu », « propagande contre le régime » et « trouble de l’ordre public ». Shiva Nazarahari est porte-parole du Committee of Human Rights Reporters –CHRR (Comité des Reporters pour les droits humains) et membre de la campagne Un Million de Signatures. Elle avait été libérée sous caution le 12 septembre 2010.

On 14 December 2010, human rights defenders Ms Tawakkol Karman, Ms Bushra Alsorabi and Mr Ali Hussain al-Dailami were physically assaulted during a peaceful protest in Sana'a, Yemen. 
Tawakkol Karman and Bushra Alsorabi are Chairperson and Executive Director respectively of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), an organisation which campaigns for freedom of the press and other human rights in Yemen. Ali Hussain al-Dailami is the executive director of the Yemeni Organization for the Defence of Democratic Rights and Freedom.

Reza Khandan was released on January 17, 2011. Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested early this morning when he arrived to the Prosecutor’s office to comply with the summon he received last week. According to reports by the website Change for Equality, the charges against Reza Khandan remain unclear. According to the family members, even though the court set a $50 thousand USD bail for his release, the bail amount posted by Nasin Soutoudeh’s sister has not been accepted.

This week Iran's judicial authorities sentenced my friend Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, to 11 years in prison. Her case has attracted only modest attention in the West, but it is the latest example of Iran's unrelenting crackdown on dissent. It deserves greater notice. Nasrin belongs to a younger generation of Iranian human rights defenders who are being systematically bullied by the state into abandoning their work. The government has forced many into exile abroad, while meting out harsh prison sentences to others, like Nasrin, in order to intimidate the remaining few.

The court imprisoned Nasrin—and barred her from practicing law or leaving the country for 20 years—after finding her guilty of "acting against national security" and of "propaganda against the regime." Iran's government routinely levels these charges against lawyers, journalists, nongovernmental organization workers and others whose work it finds troublesome. Nasrin's only crime has been her passionate defense of Iran's most legally vulnerable citizens: juvenile offenders facing the death penalty, human rights campaigners, and prisoners of conscience.

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