The extremely rare public display of support for gay rights was followed by calls in the media for the government and religious authorities to come to the rescue of a society dangerously poised on the brink of the moral abyss by legislating against homosexuality or invoking religion to condemn the deviants (al-shawath), the pejorative term used to describe homosexuals in Egypt and other Arabic-speaking societies.
Results for Tag: Human Rights
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the alleged Israeli air strike on 7 September 2017 killed or injured at least seven Syrian military personnel. However, such strikes have raised fears of escalating tensions between the two nations or a new war between Israel and its long-time enemy Hezbollah.
The Egyptian president has called on al-Azhar repeatedly to reform its religious discourse, especially the fatwas it issues, in order for religion to meet the needs of modern times. He has urged Egyptian clerics to counter the rhetoric of religious extremists in general and the Islamic State (IS) in particular.
Following the fall of the regime, rap exploded. Rap was featured in patriotic songs, political shows and even a yoghurt commercial. The country was experiencing a wave of freedom of expression, and rappers, like many other artists, used it to express themselves without any noticeable objection from the authorities.
A United Nations report stated that ‘torture in Lebanon is a pervasive practice that is routinely used by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies’. In October 2016, the parliament even adopted a new law establishing a National Human Rights Institute that will include a committee to investigate the use of torture. However, the recent deaths of the four Syrian detainees in army custody have raised fresh concerns about the army’s tactics and public criticism of it.
“The human rights situation is the worst it has been in the country’s modern history,” Khalid Ibrahim, director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights, told Fanack. “There is no one to speak up, no space for civil society. Most of the prominent human rights defenders are in jail, sometimes tortured, have fled the country or are banned from leaving it if they work with the international community.”
Mona Mina, secretary general of the Doctors Syndicate, said the country was facing a “terrible choice”: stopping the provision of life-saving medicines or making them unaffordable for most citizens. The sorry state of Egyptian health care, Mina argued, is due to the government’s neglect and the aggressive privatization of the sector since the 1970s.