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  1. Egypt ends case against activist Mozn Hassan

    BBC World Service

    Mozn Hassan, the executive director of a leading women's rights group Nazra for Feminist Studies, speaks to a journalist at her office in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on July 26, 2016.
    Image caption: Mozn Hassan, pictured here in 2016, says she'll now be able to think of the future without living in fear

    The Egyptian activist Mozn Hassan says the authorities have closed the case against her, after more than five years of an asset freeze and travel ban.

    Her non-governmental organisation - Nazra for Feminist Studies - and other NGOs had been accused of receiving foreign funding to harm national security.

    Reports say that a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to press charges against them.

    The activist says she'll now be able to think of the future without living in fear.

    She took part in the protests of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and worked to help those who were sexually assaulted at the time.

  2. Six African states invest heavily in spying - report

    Marco Oriunto

    BBC Focus on Africa radio

    Six African countries are investing heavily in the latest surveillance technology to spy on activists, business competitors, journalists, and other governments, a new report says.

    The Institute of Development Studies, which published the report, identified Nigeria as the biggest spender, with more than $127m (£92m) invested in surveillance-related activities and equipment in 2017.

    Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Sudan have also made significant investments on surveillance technology, the report said.

    Internet signal interception, citizens surveillance, and internet eavesdropping often happen despite laws granting the right to privacy of communication and correspondence, it added.

    "Privacy rights in Africa are very well guaranteed in most countries," Tony Roberts, one of the co-authors of the study, told BBC Focus on Africa radio's Bola Mosuro.

    "However, using this surveillance technology, governments are violating those rights," he added.

    National security and economic interests are cited as the most frequent justifications used by the governments to stretch their surveillance power, often in breach of the rights to privacy of private citizens and civil society organisations.

    Egypt is named as one of the countries with the weakest privacy protection laws. Without an independent oversight body, the state is the only "judge, jury and regulator" says the report.

    "To get governments to value and respect the legislation that does exist. It's important that the public are aware of the rights that they have," Mr Roberts said.

  3. Libyan minister fires state oil firm's chairman

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Mustafa Sanalla, the ousted chairman of Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC)
    Image caption: Mustafa Sanallah had been suspended and reinstated before as NOC chairman

    Libya's oil minister, Mohamed Aoun, has fired the chairman of the state oil company NOC.

    An interim manager has been named until the board of directors of the company meets to elect a new chairman, a decree from the ministry said.

    This the second time in as many months that the oil minister has taken a decision against the chairman Mustafa Sanallah.

    The minister had suspended Mr Sanallah in September, accusing him of insubordination over his travels abroad without permission from the ministry.

    He was later reinstated by Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeiba who overturned the suspension.

  4. No end to Libya strife 10 years after Gaddafi's killing

    Rana Jawad

    BBC North Africa correspondent

    Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

    It is 10 years since the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was killed by rebels during an armed revolt.

    In the unrest which has beset the country since his downfall, Libya has staged two parliamentary elections, the second of which in 2014 left the country split, with rival centres of power in Benghazi in the East and Tripoli in the West.

    Libya is expected to hold more elections in December, though few believe they will go ahead.

    Libyans do not publicly mark the day of Colonel Gaddafi's death. His violent killing at the hands of rebels who captured him as he tried to flee was a sign of what was to come.

    Wars fuelled by competing powers inside and outside Libya tore the land and its people apart.

    Though there are many Libyans who continue to strive for the stability and freedoms they hoped would come 10 years ago with the overthrow of a dictator, there are many today who are nostalgic for what they now see as an era of security and peace under Gaddafi's harsh rule.

    More on this topic:

  5. EU calls on Tunisian president to reopen parliament

    Tunisian President Kais Saied
    Image caption: President Kais Saied suspended the government in July

    The European Union has called on Tunisian President Kais Saied to restore democratic order in the country and reopen parliament.

    EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell told EU lawmakers during a parliamentary session that the Tunisian parliament “cannot stay closed indefinitely”.

    Mr Borrell urged the Tunisian president to set a clear timetable for the reopening of parliament.

    "It is crucial for the future of the country and for its domestic and international credibility that the president and the Tunisian authorities at all levels fully restore the constitutional and institutional order, including the activities of the parliament,” he said.

    Mr Saied suspended parliament in July and fired the prime minister in what his opponents said was a coup. He however enjoys the support of many Tunisians.

    Last week, Prime Minister Najla Bouden, whom Mr Saied appointed last month, announced a new cabinet – which has 10 women including the prime minister.

  6. Egypt swears in nearly 100 women judges in a first

    The swearing in ceremony of the newly appointed 98 female members of the State Lawsuits Authority at the State Council headquarters in Giza, Egypt, 19 October 2021
    Image caption: The women judges were sworn in before the council's chief judge on Tuesday

    Egypt has appointed 98 women as judges in one of the country’s main judicial bodies – the State Council.

    The judges were sworn in before the council's chief judge in an event in the capital Cairo on Tuesday.

    It comes months after President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi called for women to join the country's two main judicial bodies - the council and the Public Prosecution.

    Since its inception in 1946, the State Council has been exclusively male and until now actively rejected female applicants.

    In past years, women have opposed the decisions of the council, arguing that they were discriminated against.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Jude Law amongst crowd greeting refugee puppet

    The giant puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian refugee arrived in Folkestone, on the south coast of the UK.