News

2/7/2014

Iranian women aren't allowed to enter national stadiums or gather with men to watch sport in public. But many have defied the authorities during the World Cup, cheering on their team in local restaurants. Claire Cohen reports.

1/7/2014

In an unprecedented statement, over forty senior academics including more than a dozen former presidents of the most important professional association for scholars of the Arab and larger Muslim world, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), have signed a letter to US President Obama and Secretary State John Kerry calling for the Administration to demand the immediate release of blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah and other political detainees in Egypt, for Egyptian officials to suspend the protest law of 2013 and end the repression of free speech rights guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and international law, and end the regime of violence, including torture and extra judicial execution, that still governs Egypt after the electoral victory of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as President. Even as Iraq is engulfed by violence and Syria continues its brutal civil war, these scholars and officials, with literally centuries of experience in Egypt and the broader region between them, warn that growing political violence in Egypt epitomized by the recent reimprisonment of Alaa Abdel Fattah and ongoing rights abuses, risks permanently destabilizing Egypt, and with it, the region more broadly. They call upon the Obama administration to suspend non-humanitarian military, security, political, and economic cooperation with Egypt until the government heeds these demands.

* * * * * * *

1/7/2014

The MNLA and their accomplices (jihadists and drug traffickers) now control several localities in the North, Kidal and Menaka. In this locality (Menaka), they have even taken control of the rural radio station called "The Voice of Azawad".

30/6/2014

Eight WLUML networkers from Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria headed to Geneva this month to take part in the two-week Human Rights Defenders Advocacy Programme hosted by the International Service for Human Rights.  Under the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation (WELDD) programme, WLUML sent their networkers to join 12 other participants from around the world working on diverse issues such as indigenous and environmental rights, corporate responsibility, and LGBTI rights. 

30/6/2014

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is shocked by today's decision by the Heliopolis Misdemeanor Court to keep the organization's transitional justice officer, Yara Sallam, and 22 others behind bars, while their trial on charges of breaching the draconian protest law and other accusations including damaging property and displaying force continues. The charges relate to a peaceful protest on 21 June in the neighborhood of Heliopolis, which was forcibly dispersed by security forces aided by unknown assailants in civilian dress. 

30/6/2014

At 32, Nalluri Poshani looks like an old woman. Squatting on the floor amidst piles of tobacco and tree leaves that she expertly transforms into beedis, a local cigarette, she tells IPS, I feel dizzy. The tobacco gives me headaches and nausea.

27/6/2014

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in Africa is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of human rights defenders in Egypt, including Sanaa Seif, Hanan Mustafa Mohamed, Salwa Mihriz, Samar Ibrahim, Rania El-Sheikh, Nahid Sherif, Fikreya Mohamed and Yara Sallam, a winner of the human rights defenders’ award for North Africa in October 2013.

27/6/2014

A Voice of Courage Stilled in Libya

By Peter Bouckaert

June 26, 2014, Tripoli - The Libyan lawyer and human rights activist Salwa Bughaighis always made a head-turning sight on the streets of Benghazi. Unveiled and striding confidently to meeting after meeting, she was one of the few who continued to challenge Islamist militias despite increased threats and violence. After years of standing up to Muammar Gaddafi’s tyranny and defending Islamist activists, some of whom were now trying to impose their views on her and other women, she continued to stand up for herself and other Libyan women.

26/6/2014

Libyan human rights activist and lawyer Salwa Bugaighis, who played an active part in country’s 2011 uprising, was shot dead by unknown assailants in the eastern city of Benghazi late Wednesday.