Villages of No Return

by Joost Jongerden
published in MER235

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Al-Haq

The First Twenty Years

by Joost Hiltermann
published in MER214

On a crisp November day in 1984, I first stepped into the small apartment on Ramallah's main street that housed the offices of what was then known as Law in the Service of Man (a somewhat ungainly translation of the more universal al-qanoun min ajal al-insan -- Law in the Service of the Human Being). The receptionist, who doubled as administrative assistant, sat in an entrance space immediately off a small glassed-in veranda. The dining room served as meeting room-cum-library. Two small bedrooms offered working space for researchers.

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Problems of Dependency

Human Rights Organizations in the Arab World

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER214

On January 7, 2000, Lisa Hajjar spoke with Abdallahi An-Na'im, a lawyer from Sudan and a prominent human rights scholar and activist. He is professor of law at Emory University. Transcription was provided by Zachary Kidd and funded by the Morehouse College sociology department.

Can you highlight some of the factors that contributed to the development of a human rights movement in the Arab world?

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Return of the Turkish “State of Exception”

by Kerem Öktem | published June 3, 2006

Diyarbakır, the political and cultural center of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces, displays its beauty in springtime. The surrounding plains and mountains, dusty and barren during the summer months, shine in shades of green and the rainbow colors of alpine flowers and herbs. Around the walls of the old city, parks bustle with schoolchildren, unemployed young men and refugees who were uprooted from their villages during the Kurdish insurgency in the 1990s.

Impunity on Both Sides of the Green Line

by Jonathan Cook | published November 23, 2005

As Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon strode up to the podium at the UN General Assembly on September 15, 2005 to deliver a speech recognizing the Palestinians’ right to statehood, government officials back in Jerusalem were preparing to draw a firm line under unfinished business from the start of the Palestinian uprising, five years earlier.

"This Time I Choose When to Leave"

An Interview with Fatna El Bouih

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER218

Fatna El Bouih was born July 10, 1955, in Benahmed, a village in Settat province. In 1971, she received a boarder's scholarship to Casablanca's prestigious girls' high school, Lycée Chawqi, and became active in the national union of high school students (Syndicat National des Elèves). Arrested the first time as a leader of the January 24, 1974 high school student strike, for her second arrest she was forcibly disappeared from May 17 to November 1977 in Derb Moulay Cherif, Casablanca's notorious torture center, with other women activists, such as Latifa Jbabdi, Ouidad Baouab, Khadija Boukhari and Maria Zouini. Transferred to Meknes Prison, they were held from 1977-79 without trial.

A Truth Commission for Morocco

by Susan Slyomovics
published in MER218

The grim names Moroccans assign to the post-independence years -- in Arabic, zaman al-rusas and al-sanawat al-sawda, in French les anneés de plomb and les années noires or in English “the years of lead” and “the black years” -- evoke an era of grayness and lead bullets, fear and repression. During les années sombres, the “somber years” of forcible disappearances and farcical mass political trials, large numbers of people representing various political persuasions served long prison sentences for voicing opposition to the regime. By international standards, they were prisoners of conscience.

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