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Human Rights First

Global Human Rights Award for our Congo Partner

Free The Slaves | Posted 12.14.2016 | Impact
Free The Slaves

Overcoming fear is essential to freedom, and in eastern Congo there is plenty to be frightened about. Millions have died in conflict over the region's...

Kobach Is Wrong, Barring Refugees Would Hurt National Security

Human Rights First | Posted 12.05.2016 | Politics
Human Rights First

The Kobach plan's goal of reducing the resettlement of Syrian refugees "to zero" makes clear that the true purpose of the Kobach plan is to prevent refugees and immigrants from Syria and other mostly Muslim nations from entering, or being welcomed in, the United States.

Bahrain Travel Bans Reveal Insecurity

Brian Dooley | Posted 11.15.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

First, Bahraini authorities hit human rights defender Nabeel Rajab with charges for writing an oped in the New York Times, and now they have charged s...

Madam Secretary Nails It on Bahrain

Brian Dooley | Posted 11.08.2016 | Politics
Brian Dooley

Washington's pre-election buzz is swirling with rumors about who might get what job in the new administration. Vice President Joe Biden is widely tipp...

Letter from Jailed Bahrain Activist Nabeel Rajab to US Congress Lantos Commission

Brian Dooley | Posted 10.28.2016 | Politics
Brian Dooley

Leading Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab is due a court verdict on Monday after a sham trial. Rajab wrote the following letter from jail ...

October 31 To Test Bahrain's Reforms

Brian Dooley | Posted 10.24.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Monday October 31 will be a vital test for Bahrain. Two scheduled court verdicts will give a major indication on whether the regime is taking any noti...

6 Ways Human Rights Is At Risk In Turkey After The Coup Attempt

Melissa Hooper | Posted 07.22.2016 | World
Melissa Hooper

Rule of law seems to be farthest from the mind of the government as officials pursue a scorched-earth policy in the coup aftermath, arresting tens of thousands, firing tens of thousands, failing to stop rampant street violence, and breeding more fear in the population.

Time for Washington to Act as Bahrain Government Provokes Crisis

Brian Dooley | Posted 06.20.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

In addition to becoming the Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., or Nelson Mandela of the common good capitalism fundamental movement, as the above three did Bernie can also seek political power by getting officials elected and legislation passed that supports it.

Time for Washington to Act as U.S. Ally Bahrain Targets Human Rights Defenders

Brian Dooley | Posted 06.13.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Over the last few days the Bahraini government eliminated any remaining doubt about the direction it is moving on human rights.

Weak Stance on Human Rights in the Middle East Threatens to Tarnish President Obama's Legacy

Neil Hicks | Posted 06.09.2016 | Politics
Neil Hicks

The administration's Middle East policy demonstrates that if the United States does not lead multilateral efforts to promote positive change, no one else will, allowing unresolved problems to fester and spread instability.

May 30 Judgement Day for Americans Tortured In UAE

Brian Dooley | Posted 05.28.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

On Monday, two Americans who have been held in an Emirati jail for almost two years will find out in court whether they will be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Successful businessmen Kamal Ahmed Eldarat, age 58, and his son Mohamed, who is 33, were tortured into making false confessions and given a sham trial.

50 Days of a Broken Promise in Bahrain

Brian Dooley | Posted 05.31.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Last month, four days after Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa stood next to Secretary John Kerry at a press conference and...

4 Questions That Need To Be Answered About The State Dept.'s TIP Report

Human Rights First | Posted 05.26.2016 | Politics
Human Rights First

As the State Department prepares to brief the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we hope they will highlight how they plan to address four key questions in the upcoming 2016 report to ensure that the report remains a credible and effective anti-trafficking tool.

Will New Anti-Corruption Efforts Strengthen the Fight Against Violent Extremism?

Neil Hicks | Posted 05.13.2016 | Politics
Neil Hicks

Secretary Kerry has emphasized the need to prevent corruption from taking root and has identified the importance of empowering citizens to hold governments and security forces accountable.

Bahrain's False Claims on BICI

Brian Dooley | Posted 05.10.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Even by Bahrain's ruling family's standards, yesterday's event was bizarre -- a ceremony to somehow mark the full implementation of human rights reforms set out in 2011.

President Obama's Last Chance to Stand up for Human Rights in Saudi Arabia

Neil Hicks | Posted 04.19.2016 | World
Neil Hicks

Although U.S. officials make the case that governments must permit independent civil society organizations, Saudi Kingdom's performance in this area has been dismal, and the U.S. has repeatedly failed to say or do anything about it.

5 Things Obama Should Do In Saudi Arabia

Brian Dooley | Posted 04.18.2016 | Politics
Brian Dooley

The GCC includes some of Washington's most repressive allies, and Obama should use the visit -- his last opportunity as president to meet the monarchs face to face -- to raise a series of human rights concerns.

Syria Waits As Assad Weighs His Options

Brian Dooley | Posted 04.14.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Given the mountains of evidence documenting his crimes, maybe Assad thinks his one remaining chance of political and perhaps even physical survival is to win the conflict outright so he can avoid facing justice.

Finding the Key to Release Zainab Al Khawaja

Brian Dooley | Posted 04.11.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Four days is a long time to unlock a door. Last Thursday, standing with visiting Secretary of State John Kerry, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa promised that prominent dissident Zainab Al Khawaja would be released and "sent to her home."

6 Things John Kerry Should Do in Bahrain

Brian Dooley | Posted 04.05.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

Bahrain is a long-term Washington military ally and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet but violently suppresses peaceful political dissent. Its leading human rights activists are targeted, forced into exile, or jailed.

Time for Syrian Civil Society to Shape Its Constitution

Brian Dooley | Posted 03.28.2016 | World
Brian Dooley

A new constitution in Syria won't solve the country's problems by itself, however brilliant its articles. But now is the time for all of Syria, and not just its politicians, to try to have a national conversation about what rights should be constitutionally protected.

American Journalists Arrested: US Embassy Should Remind Bahrain of Press Freedom

Brian Dooley | Posted 02.15.2017 | World
Brian Dooley

The family of Anna Therese Day have confirmed she is one of four American journalists arrested in Bahrain yesterday on the anniversary of the popular protests which broke out there in 2011.

How the U.S. Undermines Its Ability to Promote Human Rights in Egypt

Neil Hicks | Posted 02.11.2017 | World
Neil Hicks

Instead of the wishful thinking of Secretary Kerry, who seems unable to talk about Egypt without referring to an illusory "transition to democracy," Sewall noted the economic, security, and political challenges facing Egypt in her Cairo visit.

Kerry's Parallel Universe

Neil Hicks | Posted 02.10.2017 | Politics
Neil Hicks

Despite the mounting evidence of widespread torture, jailings of tens of thousands of political detainees, and "disappearings" of non-violent government critics and human rights defenders, Kerry made no reference to human rights violations in his remarks welcoming Minister Shoukry to Washington.

Civil Society Should Not Be Locked Out of Syria Talks

Brian Dooley | Posted 02.04.2017 | World
Brian Dooley

It's hard to see how any informed political deal can be found without direct input from those battling to hold what's left of Syrian society together. Putting civil society's concerns and proposed solutions at the heart of negotiations is essential to producing a sustainable deal.