I was sitting in a majlis with a group of women when our chat on world affairs was interrupted by an urgent knock on the door; a knock that opened more than just a passage into the rest of the house. “We ran out of coffee!” I heard a male voice in distress telling the hostess as she opened the door just a tiny crack to see who it was. It was her husband, who was hosting a similar majlis in another corner of the house, with the husbands of the women here. The hostess went out to help him, leaving the door wide open to a room full of annoyed women. Several of them ran to the door to close it, because “there are men in the house”.

حت عنوان "واحة الإفلات من المحاسبة والعقاب"، يصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان اليوم تقريره السنوي الثاني حول حقوق الإنسان في العالم العربي خلال عام 2009. ويأسف مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان لأن يعلن للرأي العام، أن حالة حقوق الإنسان في هذه المنطقة، تتجه إلى المزيد من التدهور، حتى بالمقارنة مع الوضع المتدهور عام 2008. يستعرض التقرير أبرز التطورات ذات الصلة في 12 بلد عربي، هي مصر وتونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان ولبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق والسعودية والبحرين واليمن.

Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released its second annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab world for the year 2009.  The report, entitled Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform, concludes that the human rights situation in the Arab region has deteriorated throughout the region over the last year. The report reviews the most significant developments in human rights during 2009 in 12 Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also devotes separate chapters to the Arab League and an analysis of the performance of Arab governments in UN human rights institutions.

In the Middle East and North Africa, where political change occurs slowly, blogging has becomes a serious medium for social and political commentary as well as a target of government suppression, writes Mohamed Abdel Dayem. Before the June presidential election, the Iranian government blocked access to more than a dozen social networking sites and online news sources perceived as favoring opposition candidates. Hours before polls opened, SMS, or short message service for mobile phones, was disrupted and remained offline for weeks. The day after the election, the government shut down mobile phone service for an entire day.

Samira Abdullah Shehim, a mother of three, could not believe her ears when she was approached by her late husband’s friend with a proposal she never imagined to hear one day. "He was offering me a temporary marriage in exchange for a good gold piece and some monthly income," the 32-year-old widow from the southern city of Najaf told IslamOnline.net. "He told me that it was going to be a marriage for pleasure and he could end it any time he wanted," she explained.

Dans la province de Nineveh, dans le nord de l’Irak, les communautés minoritaires ont demandé à être protégées par les autorités locales et nationales, dans un contexte où l’on annonce un risque de multiplication des attaques à leur encontre durant la campagne des élections nationales de janvier. « En tant que Chrétiens, nous ressentons l’insécurité depuis l’invasion de 2003 [menée par les Etats-Unis], car nous sommes l’objet de déplacements, extorsions, enlèvements et assassinats commis par les différentes parties, pour des raisons d’agenda politique ou d’idéologies extrémistes », a dit Ihsan Matti, chauffeur de taxi de 33 ans habitant à Mossoul, la capitale de la province de Nineveh.

A young Iraqi woman was run over by her father in a car in an alleged honour killing in the United States after her behaviour became "too Western", police said. Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, whose family had moved to Phoenix, Arizona, was hit by her father's Jeep last month as she walked across a car park. She lay in a coma for two weeks in hospital before dying.

You can read and download the Political Islam on Line article by Raouf Ebeid here

The country's militias -- the same ones that spent years waging a sectarian civil war -- have found a new, less apparent target: men suspected of being gay.
Statement by the Ash Wednesday Forum for Civil Society Organizations.
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