After Referendum Missteps, the Kurdistan Region Can Still Prosper
Kamal Chomani

The independence of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and disputed areas such as the oil-rich city of Kirkuk was approved by 93 percent of Kurdish voters in a referendum on September 25. Many of the voters expected the creation of an independent state in the days following the vote, but less than a month later, the Kurdistan region had lost all territories it had disputed with the Iraqi government, including Kirkuk and its oil fields, after Iraqi forces

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How a State of Emergency Became Egypt’s New Normal
Nathan J. Brown & Mai El-Sadany

This article first appeared on the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog. It is republished here with their kind permission. For the first time in six months, Egyptians lived for a few days outside of a state of emergency this month. And the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled that ordinary courts — not military ones — have jurisdiction over cases involving alleged law violations in protests. But what may have seemed to be victories

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Tunisia’s Democratic Transition Is a Dream Deferred
Aymen Abderrahmen

As a member of Tunisian civil society who has worked to help the country’s democratic transition, nothing hurts more than feeling obliged to stop those who say its process of transitional justice is better than that of other countries in the region. Almost seven years after the eruption of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, questions remain unanswered, wounds remain open, and the dream of a by-the-book transitional justice has been deferred. While

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SPECIAL BRIEFING: Bahariya Oasis Incident

Download PDF On Friday, October 20, a convoy of Egyptian security personnel attempting a counter-terror raid was overcome by militants near Bahariya Oasis, about 85 miles southwest of Cairo. The Ministry of Interior reported the deaths of 11 officers (including two brigadier generals), one sergeant, and four conscripts, with 13 injured and one missing. Other reports, relying on anonymous security officials, have placed the death toll at over 50.

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Social Stigma Enables Egypt’s Attack on LGBT Community
Muhammad Fadel

The world has made major progress in LGBT rights in the last few years. Same-sex marriage is now allowed in several countries and the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed an independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet in Egypt, LGBT individuals and activists are still sent to prison and socially shamed and attacked. Egypt’s arrests of at least 65 people following

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Nubians, the Egyptian State, and the Right of Return
Mohamed El Dahshan

Smiling faces playing tambourines on the deck of a sailboat in the southern city of Aswan are a staple of Egyptian official tourism promotion videos. Aswanis, and Nubians in general, are renowned for kindness and hospitality, and their native land, Nubia, which straddles the Egyptian and Sudanese border, is home to breathtaking nature, wondrous pharaonic temples, and a rich history, during which Nubian kings extended their rule to the entirety of

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TIMEP Brief: Protest and Freedom of Assembly in Egypt

Egypt’s Protest Law has been invoked against peaceful assemblies despite judicial and legislative attempts to liberalize its Article 10, which delineates the government’s power to prevent protests. Arrests under the Protest Law account for only 12 percent of protesters referred to Egyptian courts. The state also employs a panoply of vague charges, including belonging to a banned group and disturbing public order, to punish anyone publicly (and

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Kurdish Independence Process Should Not Come at Expense of Democracy
Kamal Chomani

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq held its independence referendum on September 25 despite opposition from some Kurdish political parties, the Iraqi government, neighboring countries Turkey and Iran, and the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In early June this year, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani met with 15 political parties, including Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which

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The Right to Citizenship in Egypt’s Age of Terror
Mai El-Sadany

Shortly after President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi suggested at a side meeting of the United Nations General Assembly that the state of human rights in Egypt should not be judged from a Western perspective, Egypt’s cabinet gathered to approve a set of draft laws, one of which violates the right of Egyptians to their nationality in a completely unprecedented manner. On September 20, 2017, the cabinet approved draft amendments to Law No. 26 of 1975 Concerning

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Why Egypt Must Work Toward Abolishing the Death Penalty
Sherif Azer

International rights groups this summer criticized death sentences issued by the Egyptian judiciary following what they called unfair trials, with convictions based on confessions obtained through torture. Since 2013, courts in Egypt have handed down hundreds of death sentences. On Monday, hundreds of defendants facing the death penalty in a mass trial were instead sentenced to jail. But despite the Egyptian judiciary’s current fad of sponsoring

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