About Geoffrey Mock

Geoffrey Mock is Egypt country specialist and chair of the Middle East County Specialists for AIUSA. He has worked on the Middle East for Amnesty for 17 years. Among other work, he has assisted Amnesty's efforts to support human rights defenders, end unfair trials and torture in Egypt and to promote Egypt's traditionally vigorous civil society against harassment and legal attacks from both the government and non-governmental sources. His particular interest, at a time of diminishing space in which Egyptian human rights activists can act, is developing avenues outside of the U.S. government in which American activists can best connect and support the human rights work being done on the ground in Egypt. He works as an editor and manager of communications at Duke University.
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5 Reasons President Obama Should Speak Out For Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif, who now lives in Dubai, flashes the sign for victory in solidarity with Saudi women campaigning for women's right to drive in Saudi Arabia (Photo Credit: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images).

Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif, who now lives in Dubai, flashes the sign for victory in solidarity with Saudi women campaigning for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia (Photo Credit: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images).

President Barack Obama has an opportunity this month to lead from behind on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia – behind, that is, a woman driver.

The president is visiting the repressive Gulf kingdom this month. In a letter delivered to the White House, Amnesty International is calling on him to take a stand on women’s rights by meeting with the female leaders of a campaign to end the ban against women driving. We are also calling on him to have a woman Secret Service driver himself during his visit.

Take action to demand the president support women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

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The Quick Way You Can Take Action for Syrian Women Facing Gender Violence

16_days_logo_englishTo get to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, Syrian women and girls had to face a gauntlet of deadly violence including extortion, trafficking and abuse. Once in the camps, they expected to find safety.

What they found, according to Amnesty International researchers, was more danger and the threat of gender violence.

A majority of the 2.9 million Syrian refugees are women and children. Having fled violence, and often surviving a treacherous journey across the Syrian desert, these refugees sought safety and shelter in the camps. More than 120,000 of them made their way to the Za’atri camp, making it the largest refugee camp in Jordan.

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Egypt’s Human Rights Abuses: Made in USA?

gyptian security forces have used tear gas to disperse protesters (Photo Credit: Muhammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).

Egyptian security forces have used tear gas to disperse protesters (Photo Credit: Muhammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).

It’s time to ensure that Egyptian human rights violations don’t come labeled “Made in the USA.”

On Oct. 9, the U.S. government announced that the U.S. was suspending millions of dollars in military aid to the Egypt. That was good news, but it’s not enough.

The White House decision fell short of the kind of systematic review necessary to bring public transparency to U.S. arms sales to Egypt and stronger protections against U.S. weapons being used in human rights violations.

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5 Steps That Offer the Best Hope For Egypt’s Future

A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stands among the bodies of dead pro-Morsi protesters on the floor of the Rabaa al-Adaweya Medical Centre in Cairo, Egypt (Photo Credit: Ed Giles/Getty Images).

A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi stands among the bodies of dead pro-Morsi protesters on the floor of the Rabaa al-Adaweya Medical Centre in Cairo, Egypt (Photo Credit: Ed Giles/Getty Images).

Egyptian security forces can’t break old habits, and now the spirit of the 2011 Uprisings is in disarray.

For the third day in a row, security forces have attacked supporters for deposed President Mohamad Morsi, some of whom are armed and have fired back. Health officials put the death toll on Wednesday at 525, but that number has surely gone higher in the two days since.

The military has imposed a State of Emergency, inspiring memories of the abuses under the Mubarak regime facilitated by the special laws of a 30-year State of Emergency.

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In Egypt, Making Fun of Authorities is No Laughing Matter

Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef surrounded by his supporters upon his arrival at the public prosecutor's office in the high court in Cairo.  Egypt's public prosecutor ordered the arrest of popular satirist Youssef over alleged insults to Islam and to President Mohamed Morsi, in the latest clampdown on critical media (Photo Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images).

Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef surrounded by his supporters upon his arrival at the public prosecutor’s office in Cairo. Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest of Youssef over alleged insults to Islam and to President Mohamed Morsi, in the latest clampdown on critical media (Photo Credit: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images).

“I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero,” Jon Stewart has said of his so-named Egyptian counterpart.

Bassem Youssef, whose show frequently pokes fun at Egyptian authorities and the use of religion for political purposes, found himself in the global spotlight after criminal charges were filed against him for his political satire. Jon Stewart highlighted the case on The Daily Show, TIME Magazine named Youssef one of the 100 Most Influential People of the year, and the Egyptian assault on free speech received international attention.

But Youssef himself cast attention on the many others caught up in the crackdown.

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The Egyptian Women Standing Up for Human Rights

Faced with a spike in sexual violence against female protesters, Egyptian women are overcoming stigma and recounting painful testimonies to force silent authorities and a reticent society to confront 'sexual terrorism' (Photo Credit: Mahmud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images).

Faced with a spike in sexual violence against female protesters, Egyptian women are overcoming stigma and recounting painful testimonies to force silent authorities and a reticent society to confront ‘sexual terrorism’ (Photo Credit: Mahmud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images).

The hopes and aspirations of Egypt’s 2011 uprising may rest in the ability of women to fight back against official discrimination and gender-based violence in the public arena.

Today, women play a leading role in the struggle for human rights in Egypt, but they’re paying a price for it through laws that marginalize them, increasing number of sexual assaults of women protesters and official pronouncements from authorities that women are to blame for the attacks on them.

A new Amnesty International campaign intends to reverse the loss of rights and to reclaim the promises of the Tahrir uprising by demanding that Egyptian authorities, both civilian and military, condemn sexual violence, fulfill their obligations to ensure women have the full spectrum of human rights and to press for accountability for past abuses.

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