Human Rights

The Lasting Significance of Egypt’s Rabaa Massacre

The Egyptian military’s massacre of nearly 1,000 supporters of deposed president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Mursi at Rabaa al-Adawiyya square in August 2013 continues to reverberate. Abdullah Al-Arian explains the massacre’s long-term impact on the Muslim Brotherhood movement and Egyptian society. He shows how President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi’s regime continues to use the memory of Rabaa along with the extreme violence initiated by the massacre to extinguish Egyptians’ revolutionary ambitions, discredit opposition to its iron grip on state and society and silence dissent to its decimation of social welfare.

Shifting Approaches to Women and Gender in Labor, Politics and Society

It took MERIP some five years and 50 issues before it finally addressed women and gender in its pages. In August 1976, the two feature articles explored questions about working women, my own “Egyptian Women in the Work Force” and “The Proletarianization of Palestinian...

Understanding Race and Migrant Domestic Labor in Lebanon

The dire financial and political crises in Lebanon have made migrant domestic workers even more vulnerable to abuses of the kafala system of sponsorship. Kassamali explains the history of this labor system in Lebanon and the intersecting roles of race, class, nationality and gender in the hierarchies it produces.

Understanding Race and Migrant Domestic Labor in Lebanon

The dire financial and political crises in Lebanon have made migrant domestic workers even more vulnerable to abuses of the kafala system of sponsorship. Kassamali explains the history of this labor system in Lebanon and the intersecting roles of race, class, nationality and gender in the hierarchies it produces.

Sarah Hegazy and the Struggle for Freedom

Zeina Zaatari 09.22.2020

Responses to the tragic death of the Egyptian leftist and queer activist Sarah Hegazy reflect a significant transformation in the desire of individuals in the Middle East to claim queer identities. Zeina Zaatari places this moment in the historical context of decades of activism and struggle for freedom and social justice that continue despite tremendous backlash from governments and society.

The Gains and Risks of Kurdish Civic Activism in Iran

On July 13, 2020, two young Kurdish men, Diako Rasoulzadeh and Saber Sheikh-Abdollah, were executed by the Iranian government on fabricated charges of involvement in bombing a military parade in Mahabad in 2010. They were also members of Komala, a banned Kurdish...

Weaponizing Iraq’s Archives

The Bush Administration’s exploitation of Iraqi state archives for atrocity material to justify its failing 2003 invasion of Iraq was based on precedent. The genealogy of exploiting Iraqi archives for political ends serves as a warning for how the self-evidently virtuous notion of human rights can be used to justify war.

Israel’s Permanent Siege of Gaza

The devastating human and health consequences of intervention by deprivation are noted in Ron Smith’s account of Israel’s decade-long siege of Gaza, whose dynamics are similar to the catastrophic sanctions regime imposed by the United States on Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War and the siege warfare utilized by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Egypt’s Arrested Battlegrounds

Wael Eskandar 02.7.2019

While mass arrests and arbitrary detentions are nothing new to Egypt, the escalation and widening pattern of arrests over the past year indicate that the authoritarian mindset of the Egyptian regime has significantly changed. Egypt under President Sisi has succeeded in reestablishing authoritarianism in a manner that is far more brutal—and far-reaching—than that of the deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak. Once contested, albeit controlled, battlegrounds for politics are being decimated.

Civilians in Mosul’s Battle of Annihilation

Understanding the course of events and identifying the participants in the battle of Mosul is a difficult task. What is certain is that all parties neglected the fate of civilians and were unable to provide proper emergency medical relief. An examination of the battle is crucial to understanding the evolution of international humanitarian law in conflict zones.

Suffering from Hunger in a World of Plenty

The UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food surveys the catastrophic state of hunger and malnutrition and their man-made causes—war and conflict, climate change, massive displacement and global economic inequality. The paradox of this landscape of desperate need is that the world produces more than enough food to feed the planet, but the poor cannot afford it.

From the Editors (Spring 2018)

Humanitarianism, as presently conceived, can never provide a solution to global inequity that is one of the deepest roots of global suffering. That there is no existing means to counter the vast inequality of resources and the unequal distribution of vulnerability...

Radix Malorum est Cupiditas

James Spencer 04.3.2018

The last three years have been a time of outright misery for most Yemenis as War, Pestilence, Famine and Death have stalked what used to be known as Arabia Felix. Thousands are recorded as having been killed; tens of thousands more are known to have died. Millions are starved by a siege, and—weakened by hunger—are more vulnerable to diseases which are but fading memories in the “civilised” West. And for what?

Striking for Dignity and Freedom

Amahl Bishara 05.5.2017
More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners began a hunger strike on April 17 for better conditions inside Israeli jails. Their demands include access to education, proper medical care and an end to the practice of solitary confinement. They are striking to make...

Release Homa Hoodfar

The Editors 06.10.2016
We are deeply concerned by the arrest and ongoing detention of Homa Hoodfar, an eminent anthropologist and contributor to Middle East Report, by the Revolutionary Guard Corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hoodfar traveled to Iran in early 2016 to visit family and...

Jordan Drops the Pretense of Democratic Reform

Despite promises otherwise, in the past four years, King ‘Abdallah has peeled the veneer of parliamentary governance off an increasingly autocratic system.

Your Tax Dollars Enable Police Brutality Abroad

Chris Toensing 03.9.2016

Ever since the Black Lives Matter movement exploded into the headlines, violence by American police officers has come under fire from activists and ordinary citizens alike. Less discussed, however, is how the US government winks at the police brutality of its client states abroad.

The military government in Egypt, for example, is cracking down hard on its restive citizenry—harder than any time in memory. And the United States, which sends the country over a $1 billion a year in security aid, is looking the other way.

The cops on the beat in Egyptian cities are a menace. They demand bribes from motorists on any pretense and mete out lethal violence on a whim.

Defending Academic Freedom

Laurie A. Brand 02.23.2016

Constraints on academic freedom or violations of it are not new in the Middle East and North Africa. Indeed, while there is certainly variation among the countries of the region, regime attempts to control what is studied, how it is studied, and what faculty and students may do and say both on and off campus have a long history.

Scholars of Egypt Protest Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

November 18, 2015
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Arab Republic of Egypt
Ahmed al-Zind
Minister of Justice, Arab Republic of Egypt
Sedky Sobhy
Minister of Defense, Arab Republic of Egypt
Yasser Reda
Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United States

Release Hossam Bahgat

The Editors 11.9.2015

UPDATE: Hossam Bahgat was released from detention at midday Cairo time on November 10. It is uncertain whether the charges against him are still pending. We will post further updates as warranted.

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