Egypt bans singer from performing over free-speech remarks

Sherine Abdel-Wahab said during show that anyone who talks in Egypt is imprisoned

An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after she suggested it does not respect free speech.

An online video clip shows Sherine Abdel-Wahab saying during a performance in Bahrain: “Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned.”

Related: Egyptian dissident writer Alaa al-Aswany sued by military prosecutors

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UK will change tack on UN motions criticising Israel, says Jeremy Hunt

Policy will be to vote against claims of rights abuses by Israel brought under special protocol

The UK will oppose motions criticising rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza that are brought to the UN’s human rights council under a special procedure dedicated to Israel’s behaviour in the occupied territories, Jeremy Hunt has said.

The move is likely to delight the Trump administration, which quit the human rights council in June last year, citing its approach to Israel. It also appears aimed at cementing the Conservative party’s relations with pro-Israel sections of the British Jewish community at a time when the Labour party is mired in criticism of its handling of antisemitism complaints.

Related: Israel-Gaza violence and the struggle for Middle East peace | Letters

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Man held in UAE over Qatar football shirt launches legal claim

Ali Issa Ahmad, 26, from Wolverhampton, says he was tortured, which UAE denies

A football fan from Wolverhampton has launched a legal challenge against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after he was detained and tortured after wearing a Qatar football shirt on holiday.

Ali Issa Ahmad, 26, a security guard, says he was arrested, interrogated and detained while on holiday in UAE after watching an Asian Cup football match in January. He says that during his detention he was beaten, electrocuted, cut and burned and questioned repeatedly about why he was wearing a Qatari football shirt in UAE.

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Kachin women from Myanmar 'raped until they get pregnant' in China

Women from Kachin minority are allowed to go home only if they leave baby behind, says HRW report

Burmese and Chinese authorities are turning a blind eye to a growing trade in women from Myanmar’s Kachin minority, who are taken across the border, sold as wives to Chinese men and raped until they become pregnant, a report claims.

Some of the women are allowed to return home after they have given birth, but are forced to leave their children, according to an investigation by Human Rights Watch, titled Give Us a Baby and We’ll Let You Go.

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Activists project 'refugees welcome' on Acropolis to show crisis not over

Amnesty says calling migration deal successful ‘flies in face of reality’ given plight of people trapped on Greek islands

Activists have marked the third anniversary of a controversial migration deal between the EU and Turkey by projecting a slogan on to the walls of the Acropolis.

Two weeks after Brussels claimed the migration crisis was over, Amnesty International projected the words “humanity first: refugees are welcome” on to the ancient citadel above Athens to highlight the plight of thousands of people trapped on Greek islands as a result of the accord.

Related: EU declares migration crisis over as it hits out at 'fake news'

Related: Human rights mean nothing unless we defend real, threatened people | Kenan Malik

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Egyptian dissident writer Alaa al-Aswany sued by military prosecutors

Bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building says case against him violates Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Alaa al-Aswany, the bestselling Egyptian author of The Yacoubian Building, has been sued by military prosecutors in Egypt for “insulting the president, the armed forces and judicial institutions”.

According to his French publisher, Actes Sud, the accusations relate to the columns Aswany has published in Deutsche Welle Arabic, and to his latest novel The Republic, As If, which recounts the events of the 2011 revolution in Egypt. On his Facebook page, Aswany said the case against him was “a clear violation of article 65 of the Egyptian constitution[pdf], which states, ‘Freedom of thought and opinion is guaranteed. All individuals have the right to express their opinion through speech, writing, imagery, or any other means of expression and publication’,” and that it was also “a violation of article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory”.

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Ann Wilson obituary

My friend Ann Wilson, who has died aged 59 of cancer, spent her life campaigning for the rights of Gypsies and Travellers and working to improve the lives of members of her community.

In 1996, with her friend Hilda Brazil, Ann founded the Surrey Gypsy Traveller Communities Forum, on which I also served. This was prompted when Ann met a couple who had a child with disabilities and had struggled to find appropriate help from the local authorities.

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Court in Chechnya banishes human rights activist to penal colony

Oyub Titiev sentenced to four years in penal colony after widely condemned trial

A court in Chechnya has sentenced a prominent human rights activist to four years in a penal colony after a widely condemned trial that culminated in the judge reading out the verdict for more than nine hours.

Oyub Titiev, the local head of the human rights group Memorial, was charged last year with possession of more than 200g of marijuana. Titiev said the drugs were planted in his car, and colleagues said he was being punished for revealing details of abductions and torture by Chechnya’s security services.

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China says it has arrested 13,000 'terrorists' in Xinjiang

Beijing launches propaganda campaign to counter abuse claims by human rights groups

China has claimed to have arrested 13,000 “terrorists” in Xinjiang over the last five years, as it launched an aggressive propaganda campaign in defence of its restrictive measures in the far-western region.

Human rights advocates and researchers believe more than 1 million Muslims – mostly Uighurs as well as Kazakhs and other groups – are being systematically imprisoned in internment camps where they are forced to undergo political re-education.

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Trump administration ignoring human rights monitors, ACLU tells UN

  • Watchdog delivers scathing appraisal to UN council
  • Total of unanswered rapporteur requests rises to 22

The Trump administration is coming under fire for its refusal to engage with international human rights monitors over potential violations inside the US, from police brutality and executions to the abuse of migrant children at the border.

Related: US to deny visas for ICC members investigating alleged war crimes

It has failed to submit routine reports to two major treaty bodies, the UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination (report due November 2017) and the UN committee against torture (report due November 2018).

The US is considering curtailing funding for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a leading light across the Americas of which the US is a member.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, has threatened officials of the international criminal court (ICC) with prosecution if they pursue cases against US citizens arising out of Afghanistan and other conflicts. On Friday, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, followed up Bolton’s threat, announcing that ICC personnel involved in investigating US forces would have their visas revoked or denied.

Related: US uses vast license plate database to track undocumented immigrants

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