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«A-PDF MERGER DEMO A man spends his first years learning how to speak and the Arab regimes teach him silence for the rest of his life Algerian writer ...»

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"A man spends his first years learning how to

speak and the Arab regimes teach him silence

for the rest of his life"

Algerian writer Ahlem Mosteghanemi, Memory in the Flesh

Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform

Human Rights in the Arab Region

Annual Report 2009


Bastion of Impunity,Mirage of Reform

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Human Rights in the Arab Region

Annual Report 2009


Reform Issues (24)


Cairo Institute for Human Contributed to Established Rights Studies (CIHRS) D.Mohammed EL-Sayed Said Address: 21 Abd El-Megid El-Remaly St, 7th Floor, Flat no. 71, Bab El Louk, Cairo.

President POBox: 117 Maglis ElShaab, Cairo, Egypt Kamal Jendoubi E-mail address: info@cihrs.org Website: www.cihrs.org General Director Tel: (+202) 27951112- 27963757 Bahey eldin Hassan Fax: (+202) 27921913 Layout cover designer: Executive Director Moataz El fegiery Hesham El-Sayed Dep. No: 2009/ 23019 Index card Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform Human Rights in the Arab Region Annual Report 2009 Publisher: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) Reform Issues (24), 24cm, 238 Pages, (Cairo) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (Authour) (2) Index Dedication 7 Acknowledgment 13 Why This Report? 17 Introduction: the Future of the Arab World; Trapped between a Failed 21 State and a Religious State / Bahey eldin Hassan Report Summary: General State of Human Rights in the Arab Region 31 Part One: Human Rights Situations in the Arab Region 51 Chapter One: Countries under Occupation and Armed Conflict 1- The Occupied Palestinian Territories : Between the Barbarity of Israel 53 and the Cruelty of "National" Leaders

–  –  –

5- Syria: A Graveyard for Reformers and Human Rights Defenders 163 6- Saudi Arabia: Promoting Interfaith Dialogue Internationally while 173 Internally Repressing Religious Minorities 7- Bahrain: Systematic Discrimination against Shiites to Strengthen the 183 Rule of the Sunni Minority

–  –  –

Part Three: Arab Governments before the Regional and 207 International Organizations 1- The Uncertain Future of International Human Rights: Arab States 209 within the United Nations Human Rights System 2- Human Rights Commission within the League of Arab States 231 Comes Under Siege

–  –  –

passed away on October 10, 2009, during the preparation of this report. Dr Said was a pioneer in the defense of human rights in the Arab region, one of the founders of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), and a member of CIHRS' board as well as its academic advisor. He founded and edited the CIHRS journal Riwaq ‘Arabi in 1996, and his book Hikmat al-Misriyin (The Wisdom of Egyptians), published by the CIHRS, was named the best book of 2000 by the General Egyptian Book Organization.

–  –  –

Special acknowledgment to following colleagues and fellow human rights organizations in

contributing to revision, editing, reviewing and providing additional information:

• Ibrahim AlMugaiteeb– President of Human Rights First Society in Saudi Arabia– KSA

• Aml Al-Basha– President of Sisters Arabic Forum for Human Rights– Yemen

• Radwan Bou Gomaa – Algeria

• DrRadwan Ziada– President of Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies– Syria

• Randa Siniora– Executive Director of Independent Commission for Human Rights –Ramallah

• Karim Al-Robaay–The Humanitarian Association for Human Rights–Iraq

• Nabile Ragab– President of Bahrain Center for Human Rights – Bahrain

• Kamel Jendoubi– Comité pour le respect des libertés et des droits de l'homme enTunisie–Tunisia

• Monera Fakhro– Social Development Consultant – Bahrain

• Nassera Dutour– President of the Association of the Families of Disappeared–Algeria

• Hanny Magaly- Director of the Middle East, International Centre for Transitional Justice–New York

• Association of the Families of Disappeared

• Alkarama for Human Rights-Geneva

• Human Rights Watch- Geneva * The list of contributors is incomplete due to security consdirations in some countires under review.

–  –  –


15. Anwar Bunni: Prominent Human Rights defender and one of the signatories of the Beirut- Damascus Declaration. He was sentenced to five years in prison for “weakening the moral of the nation.”

16. Kamal Al-Labwani: Head of the Democratic Liberal Gathering, was sentenced to jail for “inciting foreign states to attack Syria” and spreading news that would result in weakening the moral of the nation.

17. Ali Faeq Al- Mir: member of Syrian Democratic Peoples Party; he was sentenced to prison for spreading false news, offending the ruling regime, and for expressing public hostility towards the states policy.

18. Karim Antoine Arbajy: a blogger who is currently serving a 3-year sentence for spreading false news that “weaken the nation’s spirit.”

19. Habib Saleh: writer and political opponent who is serving a 3-year sentence for spreading false news that “weaken the nation’s spirit in the time of war.”

20. Mashaal Al-Tamo: spokesperson on behalf of the Kurdish Future Current who is serving a 3-year sentence for “insulting the state” and “weakening the nation’s spirit.”

–  –  –


28. Marwan al-Barghouthi: Member of the Legislative Council, one of Fatah Movement’s leaders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

29. The countless members of Palestinian parliament who were kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces in 2006 and are still in prison.



30. Kareem A'mer: Blogger; he was sentenced to four years in prison for defaming the President of Egypt and inciting hate to the Islamic religion.

31. Musa'ad Abu Al- Fajr: Blogger; one of the claimants for equality in rights and treatment for the Bedouins of Sinai. He was arrested under Emergency Laws.

32. Yehia Abo-Nassera: Blogger; defender of the rights of Bedouins in Sinai. He was arrested under the Emergency Law since December 2007.

33. Hany Nazeer: Owner of the "Karaz Al-Hob" blog that addresses Coptic issues; he was arrested under the Emergency Law.

34. Magdy Ahmed Hussien: Journalist and the Secretary General of the suspended "Al-A'mal" Party; he was sentenced to 2 years in prison before a military court on charges of "crossing the border to Gaza."

35. Hassan Shihata: Shiite activist; he was arrested together with countless other Shiite since July 2009.

36. Khairat Al- Shatter: The Deputy Chairman of Muslim Brotherhood; he was tried and sentenced to jail before a military court, along with 25 leaders from the same group.


37. Zohair Makhlof: a founding member of the Freedom and Fairness organization; he is presently held in detention on charges of insulting others in the context of election campaigns of the list of the Progressive National Party.

38. Tawfik Bin Brik: Opposition journalist; he was detained on false allegations of violating public moral as well as libeling and slandering women.



39. Chekib el-Khayari: President of the Association for Human Rights in the Rif; he is currently serving a 3-year prison term for insulting state institutions and for addressing issues of corruption in drug trafficking.

40. Yehia Mohamed Hafez: Member of Collectif des Défenseurs Sahraouis des Droits de l´Homme (CODESA). He was sentenced to 15 years in prison – after an unfair trial – for his protests against the Moroccan administration in the Western Sahara region.

41. Mustaph Abdel-Dayem: Member of the Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights; he was sentenced to 3 years in prison for his protests against the Moroccan administration in the Western Sahara region

–  –  –


59. Yasser Al-Wazeer: Member of Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms, who was detained without charge for more than a year because of his role in exposing the violations that took place in the Sadaa region.

60. Ali Ahmed Al-Saqaaf: Member of Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms, who was kidnapped in September 2009 and his fate remains unknown.

61. Anis Mansour Hamid: Journalist, who received a 14 months prison term for publishing information that was deemed harmful to national unity.

62. Mohmed Al-Makaleh: Journalist and rights activist, who was kidnapped in September 2009 by security forces that allegedly work for the Yemeni intelligence agency; his fate remains unknown.

–  –  –

74. Khaled Al-Rasheid: Activist in The Islamic Movement for Reform;

he received a 5 year prison term for his declarations that oppose government policies. The appeal resulted in increasing the prison term to 15 years.

–  –  –

The Cairo Institute for Hunan Rights Studies (CIHRS) would like to express its appreciation for and acknowledgement of the many national, regional and international human rights organizations that persistently monitor study and analyze important human rights developments in the Arab region. Without their work, it would have been impossible to prepare this report. The information that these organizations have published, either through different publications or on their websites, was a crucial source of information for the writing and preparation of the present report.

Furthermore, several of these organizations have revised the early drafting of this report and have provided up-to-date information that was used in the final version of the report. CIHRS would like to thank the researchers in several Arab states who worked with CIHRS to prepare this report. CIHRS would also like to express it gratitude for the contributions and consultations from members of the Advisory Board of CIHRS’ International Advocacy Program.

However, the findings and conclusions of the report do not necessarily represent the points of view of any of these individual researchers and organizations. Nor does this report constitute their point of view as a group.

CHIRS would also like to note that the order in which the following list of organizations whose research and consultation aided in the creation of this report does not have any special significance. All of the organizations below have made important contributions that are of equal importance, not only to this report, but in efforts to defend human rights and disseminate a culture of rights in the Arab region.

(13) First: National Organizations Bahrain

1. Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society. http://www.bhrws.org

2. Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights. http://www.byshr.org

3. Bahrain Center for Human Rights. http://www.bahrainrights.org/

4. Bahrain Human Rights society. http://bhrs.org/ Iraq

5. The NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq. http://www.ncciraq.org/

6. Iraq Body Count. www.iraqbodycount.org Egypt

7. The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement.


8. Alnadeem Centre for Rehabiliting Torture Victims. http://alnadeem.org

9. New Woman Research Centre. http://www.nwrcegypt.org

10. The Centre for Trade Union and Workers' Services. http://ctuws.blogspot.com

11. Association for Human Rights Legal Aid. http://www.ahrla.org

12. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. http://www.eohr.org

13. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. http://www.eipr.org/

14. Hisham Mubarak Law Center. http://hmlc.katib.org/

15. Andalus institute for tolerance and anti-violence studies.


16. The Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights. http://ecwronline.org

17. Centre for Egyptian Woman's Legal Assistance. http://www.cewla.org/

18. The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights

19. Arab Foundation for civil society support and human rights (afcshr) Lebanon

20. The Foundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights. http://fhhrl.org

21. Palestinian Human Rights Foundation (Monitor). http://www.pal-monitor.org

22. The Palestinian Human Rights Organization. http://www.palhumanrights.org

23. Maharat Foundation. http://www.maharatfoundation.org/ Morocco

24. The Moroccan Organization for Human Rights. http://www.omdh.org

25. The Moroccan Association for Human Rights. http://www.amdh.org.ma

26. L’observatoire Marocain des Libertés Publiques.


27. Moroccan Center for Human Rights. http://www.aafaq.org

28. The Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Human Rights Violations Committed by the Moroccan State. www.asvdh.net/

29. Association ADALA. http://www.justicemaroc.org/

30. Collectif des Défenseurs Sahraouis des Droits de l´Homme (CODESA).


31. The Moroccan League for the Defense of Human Rights.

http://lmddh.org/actualite2.html (14) Saudi Arabia

32. Saudi Human Rights Centre. http://www.saudihr.org

33. Human Rights First Society. www.hrfssaudiarabia.org

34. The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula.

http://www.cdhrap.net Sudan

35. The Sudan Organization against Torture. http://www.soatsudan.org

36. Khartoum Center for Human Rights and Environmental Development.


37. The Sudan Social Development Organization.(SUDO) http://www.sudaneseonline.com/

38. Darfur bar Association. http://www.sudaneseonline.com/

39. Amel Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of victims of Torture.


40. Journalists Network for Human Rights (Jahr) Syria

41. Syrian Human Rights Organization. http://www.shro-syria.com

42. Kurdish Organization for the Defence of Human Rights and Public Freedoms in Syria. http://dadkurd.co.cc

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