Over the decades, violations have continued to plague the Middle East and North Africa, especially with the expansion of armed conflicts and the constant repression of the voices of activists, politicians, journalists, and others. However, despite the bleak human rights reality in the region, it is crucial to recognize the small steps that, in the long term, will bring considerable improvements towards ending infringements and the redress of victims.
In November, our team worked alongside partner organizations and dozens of regional and international organizations to bring real change in this regard by speaking to decision-makers about practices and methodologies that should be addressed, reformed, or completely stopped. We also harnessed the power of social media to engage the public virtually in issues that affect their rights and human dignity.
Among the most important results of these efforts:
On 30 November, the Court of First Instance in the Libyan city of Zawiya ruled to exclude retired Libyan Major General Khalifa Haftar from the presidential elections scheduled for 24 December.
Over the past years, Euro-Med Monitor and international and local human rights organizations called to bring Haftar to justice for the crimes committed by his forces, as they pose a threat to international peace and security. Disqualifying him from the presidential race may be the first step to achieving justice.
On 25 November, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the release of 41 Iraqis who had been detained in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after their attempts to reach Europe by sea had failed.
Throughout this year, Euro-Med Monitor called on the governments of countries that have citizens detained in prisons in Libya to make greater, more serious efforts and cooperate with the Libyan authorities to release these migrants, put an end to the humiliating violations against them, and end the suffering of hundreds of families who are constantly worried about the fate of their children.
- Libya: Hundreds of Syrians held in inhumane conditions in Tripoli prisons
- Libya: Hundreds of Moroccan migrants held in inhumane conditions
On 25 November, the military court in Tunis decided to release journalist Amer Ayyad, more than a month after he was arrested on charges of conspiring against state security over a Facebook post.
Following Tunisian President Kais Saied's announcement of presidential measures on 25 July 2021 and the authorities taking repressive measures against activists and opponents, Euro-Med Monitor issued a report calling for a halt to the prosecution of political activists for expressing their opinions and for the opportunity to exercise the right to publish without restriction.
- Saudi Arabia
On 16 November, the Saudi authorities released Abdullah Al-Zaher after the end of his sentence. Al-Zaher was arrested in 2012 when he was fifteen years old due to his participation in anti-government protests during the Arab Spring uprising.
Over the past years, human rights organizations have called upon the Saudi authorities to stop suppressing opposition and peaceful activists and release all those arrested for their political and human rights activities.
On 19 November, the Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to release journalist Ahmed Shaker after the expiration of the legal period of pre-trial detention (24 months) stipulated in the Code of Criminal Procedure. He was accused of publishing false news in 2019.
Recently, human rights organizations have highlighted the Egyptian authorities' repeated use of pre-trial detention in violation of the articles of the constitution and the law against opinion-holders and political opponents, simply for expressing their opinions, and demanded a commitment to using it only as a precautionary measure and not as a punitive means.
On 15 November, the European Union said in a statement that it will impose sanctions on four ministers appointed in the Syrian government. This decision came as part of measures imposed by the EU on the Syrian regime in light of its continued repression of the civilian population.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, human rights organizations have intensified their condemnation of the Syrian government and recommended that urgent sanctions be imposed on all those involved in the widespread human rights violations in the country to deter all dictatorships around the world from committing more crimes against their citizens.