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Published: Sun, 03 May 2020 23:38:02 +0200
Filmmaker Who Mocked Egypt’s President Dies in Prison
Shady Habash had been held without trial at a maximum-security prison for two years. His lawyer said the cause of death was unknown.

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-CAIRO — An Egyptian filmmaker imprisoned over a music video that mocked President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi died at a maximum-security facility on Friday after two years in detention without trial, his lawyer said.

The cause of death of the filmmaker, Shady Habash, 24, was not immediately clear. But it brought...
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Published: Tue, 28 Apr 2020 15:42:33 +0200
Why abortion and contraception are essential healthcare
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching healthcare systems around the world to breaking point. As a result, many people are finding it harder than ever to access abortion and contraception.

A health crisis on this scale means governments are having to make difficult decisions about where to target limited health resources. Already, in some countries, including Nepal and South Africa, providers of abortion and contraception have been forced to reduce...
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Published: Mon, 27 Apr 2020 19:15:16 +0200
Thailand: Authorities using repressive laws to intensify crackdown on online critics
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- The Thai authorities are prosecuting social media users who criticize the government and monarchy in a systematic campaign to crush dissent which is being exacerbated by new COVID-19 restrictions, Amnesty International said in a new briefing released today.

‘They are always watching’ shows how General Prayut Chan-O-Cha’s administration has increased the use of vague or overly broad laws to bring criminal charges against dozens of peaceful...
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Published: Thu, 16 Apr 2020 13:22:20 +0200
Egypt: Rights Activist Detained, Allegedly Tortured
Escalating Campaign Against Human Rights Advocates

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- (Beirut) – Egyptian authorities on February 7, 2020 detained Patrick George Zaki, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), in a serious escalation of their campaign against human rights activists and groups, Human Rights Watch said today.

A source at the rights organization told Human Rights Watch that the National Security Agency held George incommunicado...
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Published: Tue, 14 Apr 2020 12:47:37 +0200
Egypt: Private-sector garment workers forced to choose between health and livelihoods
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-On 16 March, the government decided to reduce the number of workers in governmental and public institutions in provinces with COVID-19 cases, and granted paid leave to workers in at least some state-run factories. However, the government did not make any similar provision for private-sector workers, who are left to face their employers’ discretionary measures. On 29 March Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly confirmed that there were no restrictions on the movement...
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Published: Thu, 09 Apr 2020 22:53:08 +0200
South Asia: As COVID-19 spreads, fears rise for people at higher risk
-Protect daily wage earners, people displaced by conflict, health workers and prisoners

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-As cases of COVID-19 escalate in South Asia, one of the world’s poorest and most populous regions, Amnesty International calls on the authorities there to put human rights at the heart of their responses and intensify efforts to protect marginalized and vulnerable groups at higher risk, including daily wage earners, people displaced by conflict, health workers...
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Published: Mon, 06 Apr 2020 23:57:44 +0200
Bangladesh: COVID-19 response flaws put older Rohingya refugees in imminent danger
Older refugees are both the most at risk from the pandemic and the least included in the humanitarian response
Dangerous lack of access to even basic information
Mistakes made during general humanitarian response efforts for Rohingya refugees are being repeated
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Published: Sat, 04 Apr 2020 16:45:25 +0200
Medics at Egypt's main cancer center test positive for virus
Egyptian officials say at least 17 medics in the country’s main cancer hospital have been quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus, raising fears the pandemic could prey on health facilities in the Arab world’s most populous country

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-CAIRO -- At least 17 medics in Egypt’s main cancer hospital have been quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said Saturday, raising fears the pandemic could prey on health...
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Published: Wed, 01 Apr 2020 21:49:39 +0200
Digital surveillance to fight COVID-19 can only be justified if it respects human rights
-More than 100 civil society groups sign joint statement setting out conditions that must be met before the use of surveillance technology to fight pandemic

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-With governments across the world rapidly expanding the use of digital surveillance in an attempt to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Amnesty International and other leading NGOs have set out strict conditions that must be met to safeguard human rights and prevent surveillance overreach.
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Published: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 23:57:49 +0200
After this pandemic we can do better
David Griffiths is Director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International


Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-The pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, a defining event of our times, will continue long after the virus subsides. When the immediate crisis is over many will have experienced unimaginable loss. Many will have lost loved ones, huge numbers will have lost jobs and perhaps homes, and hundreds of millions will have experienced the anxiety and loneliness...
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Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2020 14:20:15 +0100
USA: Immediately revoke COVID-19 suspension of environmental protections
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Responding to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement it would indefinitely suspend enforcement of environmental laws due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard Pearshouse, Amnesty International’s Head of Crisis and the Environment, said:

“The Trump administration is cynically abusing this crisis to achieve its pre-COVID-19 goal of gutting US environmental regulations.

The Trump administration is cynically...
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Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 21:11:02 +0100
6 things to do while at home during COVID-19 pandemic
In times of coronavirus and social distancing, many of us are staying at home. Here are some free things you can do from home to empower yourself to develop skills that promote equality and respect in your community and worldwide. Why not use your time wisely?
1. Share something hopeful and positive

It can be difficult to deal with all the news right now. Why not share something positive, like a video of people showing solidarity during this pandemic or a good news story that you...
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Published: Tue, 24 Mar 2020 23:10:00 +0100
Qatar: Migrant workers in labour camps at grave risk amid COVID-19 crisis
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Responding to reports that parts of Qatar’s Industrial Area in Doha - home to a large number of migrant workers’ accommodation - has been put into lockdown after hundreds of construction workers became infected with COVID-19, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Global Issues, said:

“As the world struggles to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant workers trapped in camps such as those in Qatar are at...
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Published: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 14:20:37 +0100
Oral statement on situations requiring the attention of the UN Human Rights Council (Item 4 General Debate HRC43): China, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jammu and Kashmir
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-In this oral statement delivered by Amnesty International at the UN Human Rights Council on 10 March 2020, during the Item 4 General Debate on “situations requiring the attention of the Council,” Amnesty International raised concerns over grave ongoing human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) China, India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Amnesty also reiterated its call, along with other NGOs, for the Council to establish an independent...
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Published: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 21:28:28 +0100
Egypt: Release prisoners of conscience and other prisoners at risk amid coronavirus outbreak
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Amid rising fears over the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Egypt’s overcrowded prisons, the Egyptian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all activists and human rights defenders detained solely for peacefully expressing their views, Amnesty International said today.

The authorities should also consider releasing pre-trial detainees and detainees who are especially vulnerable to the disease including those with underlying...
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Published: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 13:40:10 +0100
Coronavirus stay-at-home directives multiply in major U.S. states
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-(Reuters) - New Jersey’s governor was expected on Saturday to follow four other states - California, New York, Illinois and Connecticut - demanding that millions of Americans close up shop and stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus infections.
The sweeping state-by-state public health restrictions, unprecedented in breadth and scope, added to the distance being experienced among ordinary Americans even as the pandemic seemed to close in on the...
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Published: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 01:03:19 +0100
Now is a Great Time to Invest in Latin American Mining
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-For or centuries Latin American mining has captivated international investors. Tales of Birú, a magical gold-laden land that we now know as Peru, were enough to convince Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro to lead a risky expedition against the Incas. In the short-term the mission was an outstanding success with Pizarro ransoming captured Inca emperor Atahualpa for 13,000 pounds (lbs) of gold and twice as much silver. In today’s prices that is almost...
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Published: Thu, 19 Mar 2020 23:58:16 +0100
Is that really love?
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm: - Every one of us doubts from time to time about our relationship: Does that feel great happiness? Here are five signs that tell you true love:

The big love: As simple as in the film

If life were as black and white as a Hollywood movie from the 1950s, we would have it much easier - especially with love. We could do the same as Grace Kelly and Doris Day, who see at first glance in the film that they genuinely love men like Clark Gable...
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Published: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 20:02:07 +0100
Bill Gates Has Left the Board Room
Microsoft's founder has been slowly inching away from his company. Now Gates has stepped down from the board seat he held for 34 years.

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- On March 13, 1986, Microsoft became a public company. Its founder and CEO, a 36-year-old Bill Gates, took a seat on its board of directors. Thirty-four years later—exactly to the day—Gates is stepping down.

Gates explained the move on Friday in a brief LinkedIn post, in which he also said he was...
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Published: Tue, 17 Mar 2020 23:48:55 +0100
False or true : Chinese Intelligence Officer Reveals Coronavirus Is A Bioweapon
The story originated from a Reddit forum called r/NoSleep which is dedicated to sharing horror fiction stories.

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-A blogpost, claiming that the recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus was concocted to hide the spread of a bioweapon that was accidentally released near Wuhan's wild animal market, is doing the rounds on social media. BOOM found that the article, titled, 'Corona Unmasked: Chinese Intelligence Officer Reveals True Magnitude of China's...
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Published: Sun, 15 Mar 2020 20:47:14 +0100
Germany tries to halt U.S. interest in firm working on coronavirus vaccine
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin is trying to stop Washington from persuading a German company seeking a coronavirus vaccine to move its research to the United States, prompting German politicians to insist no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine.

German government sources told Reuters on Sunday that the U.S. administration was looking into how it could gain access to a potential vaccine being developed by a German firm, CureVac.
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Published: Sat, 14 Mar 2020 17:50:02 +0100
Lebanon: New kafala consultation an opportunity to protect migrant workers' rights
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-The Lebanese government must ensure migrant workers’ rights are protected as a new consultation on the country’s abusive kafala sponsorship system is launched today (Wednesday 11 March), Amnesty International has said.

The national consultation on reform of the kafala system, which ties the legal residency of the worker to their contract with their employer, is organized by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with Lebanon’s...
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Published: Sat, 14 Mar 2020 16:24:20 +0100
World closes borders, restricts travel to contain coronavirus spread
(Reuters) - Countries around the world on Saturday continued to close borders, impose strict entry and quarantine requirements and restrict large gatherings in efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
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Published: Tue, 10 Mar 2020 11:52:34 +0100
Italy wakes up to deserted streets in unprecedented coronavirus lockdown
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-ROME (Reuters) - Italy woke up on to deserted streets in an unprecedented lockdown on Tuesday after the government extended quarantine measures across the entire country in a bid to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus.
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Published: Mon, 09 Mar 2020 22:20:21 +0100
Egyptian tourist Africa's first viral death
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm: -A German man infected by the corona virus has died at a hospital in the tourist resort of Hurghada on the Red Sea in Egypt. The African continent has thus had its first recorded death with a link to the virus outbreak. The 60-year-old, who traveled from Germany to Egypt a week ago, had visited the city of Luxor on the Nile before falling ill.

On Saturday, authorities announced that 45 people who had taken a ferry from Aswan to Luxor tested positive...
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Published: Mon, 09 Mar 2020 18:41:43 +0100
Egypt: Death sentences against 37 convicted of terrorism after unfair trial
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Responding to today’s death sentences of 37 defendants by the Cairo Criminal Court following their conviction on terrorism-related charges, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

“There is no doubt that those sentenced to death today have been convicted of serious crimes, including deadly attacks. However, the death penalty can never deliver justice, all the more so...
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Published: Sun, 08 Mar 2020 14:55:34 +0100
Gambia: Mass arrests risk fuelling tensions
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-In response to the arrest of 137 protesters following clashes with security forces in Gambia yesterday, Amnesty International’s Acting Deputy Regional Director for West and Central, Marta Colomer, said:

“Yesterday’s crackdown on protesters had alarming echoes of Gambia’s brutal past. There have been some significant improvements in the country’s human rights record since President Adama Barrow came to power, but the use of excessive force...
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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2020 23:16:53 +0100
Syria: Targeting schools being properly used for educational purposes in Idlib is a war crime
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- Following reports that 10 schools were hit by shelling in Idlib and Aleppo countryside, Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director, said:

“Schools should be safe places for children to learn and play, even in a conflict zone. Targeting schools and kindergartens is a war crime.

Schools should be safe places for children to learn and play, even in a conflict zone
Heba Morayef, Amnesty International
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Published: Thu, 27 Feb 2020 03:04:18 +0100
Nowhere feels safe-Uyghurs tell of China-led intimidation campaign abroad
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- It has been nearly three years since China launched an unprecedented campaign of mass detention of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang).

During this time, details about the treatment of the estimated 1 million or more people who have been held in “transformation-through-education” or “vocational training” centres have continued to trickle out....
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Published: Sun, 23 Feb 2020 15:37:18 +0100
US/UK: Drop charges and halt extradition of Julian Assange
Amnesty International launches new campaign ahead of extradition hearing

Espionage charges are chilling blow to publishers and journalists

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Authorities in the US must drop all espionage and other related charges that Julian Assange is facing as part of the US extradition request to allow for his prompt release, said Amnesty International ahead of his 24 February extradition hearing.

If these charges are not dropped,...
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Published: Thu, 20 Feb 2020 20:24:34 +0100
Countdown to justice in Turkey
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-On 3 April - more than two years after they were first detained - 11 human rights activists will hear a court’s verdict on charges which could result in jail terms of up to 15 years. One fundamental truth is beyond any doubt: they have done nothing wrong.
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Published: Tue, 18 Feb 2020 23:46:22 +0100
MENA: Renewed wave of mass uprisings met with brutality and repression during ‘year of defiance’
-Report reviews human rights in 19 MENA states during 2019

-Wave of protests across Algeria, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon demonstrates reinvigorated faith in people power

-500+ killed in Iraq and over 300 in Iran in brutal crackdowns on protests

-Relentless clampdown on peaceful critics and human rights defenders

-At least 136 prisoners of conscience detained in 12 countries for online speech

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-...
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Published: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 14:05:18 +0100
Saudi Arabia: Specialized Criminal Court a political tool to muzzle critical voices
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- A new report published by Amnesty International today exposes how despite all their rhetoric of reforms, the Saudi authorities are using the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) as a weapon to systematically silence dissent. Alongside the report, the organisation is also launching a campaign calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders detained for their peaceful expression.
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Published: Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:33:55 +0100
Russia: Prosecution for membership of a non-existent “terrorist” organization must stop
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- Seven young men standing trial in Penza (Central Russia) on absurd “terror” charges must be immediately released and the charges against them dropped, Amnesty International urged ahead of the verdict on 10 February. The defendants, mostly left-wing political activists, are accused of participating in a non-existent “terrorist organization” called “Network” and face up to 18 years in prison if found guilty.

“These terror charges are...
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Published: Thu, 13 Feb 2020 20:29:49 +0100
Explainer: Seven ways the coronavirus affects human rights
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-The outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan (Hubei province) in late 2019 has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As of early February, the epidemic is estimated to have infected more than 24,500 people worldwide. The Chinese authorities have reported 490 deaths, mostly in Hubei province, and over 24,300 cases in total. The disease has now spread to 25 other countries...
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Published: Thu, 13 Feb 2020 00:23:12 +0100
Egypt: Arbitrary arrest and torture of researcher studying gender in Italy
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:- Responding to the arbitrary arrest of Egyptian researcher Patrick Zaki, who is currently doing postgraduate studies on gender in Italy and was detained on arrival at Cairo airport last Friday on charges including “disseminating false news” and “inciting to protest”, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

The authorities’ arbitrary arrest and torture of Patrick...
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Published: Sun, 09 Feb 2020 12:26:35 +0100
Which passport queues should Brits use now that Brexit has happened?
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Brexit might have become reality last week, but Brits shouldn't experience any changes to travel within the EU until the end of the year. Here's a reminder of how travel during the transition period should work.

At midnight on January 31st, the UK entered the so-called "transition period", during which negotiations on post-Brexit deals are set to take place. That period lasts until December 31st.
But up until then, British citizens still...
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Published: Fri, 07 Feb 2020 15:46:52 +0100
The Gates Foundation is spending $100 million to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Bill Gates has warned about a pandemic for years.

Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Wednesday that it is contributing $100 million toward the fight to contain the outbreak.

"The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics," the foundation said in a press release.
The foundation previously pledged...
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Published: Wed, 29 Apr 2020 10:22:26 +0200
How to stay safe online during the COVID-19 crisis
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-With much of the world on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are relying on our phones, laptops and other devices to stay connected. While cyber-surveillance is a longstanding threat to human rights defenders and others, this new normal means options for using physical security alternatives (like simply communicating sensitive information in person rather than online) are seriously diminished. This raises the human rights stakes. It can...
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Published: Mon, 27 Apr 2020 19:33:33 +0200
Europe: Mass protests provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded
Europe: Mass protests provide hope as rights and judicial independence eroded

Moyen-Orient aujourd'hui / Suède / Stockholm: -People’s rights are being violated by governments in Europe and Central Asia, who are cracking down on protests and seeking to erode the independence of the judiciary to avoid accountability, Amnesty International said today as it published its annual review of human rights in the region.

The organization praised those brave people who took to the...
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Published: Sun, 26 Apr 2020 09:59:23 +0200
Death penalty 2019: Saudi Arabia executed record number of people last year amid decline in global executions
Middle East today / Sweden / Stockholm:-Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen bucked a global trend with spikes in executions
Global executions fell by 5%, hitting a 10-year low
Saudi Arabia executed a record number of people in 2019, despite an overall decline in executions worldwide, Amnesty International said in its 2019 global review of the death penalty published today. The Saudi authorities put 184 people to death last year, the highest number Amnesty has ever recorded in a...
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