Since the beginning of the last decade, human rights violations have escalated in the Middle East and North Africa, as people took to the streets to protest against the dire political and economic conditions, and armed conflicts ravaged some countries. Governments in the region have used violent tactics to subdue and silence dissenting voices and systematically targeted political activists and journalists. In April 2022, repressive regimes continued to target peaceful activists and journalists, suppress popular protests, and restrict public freedoms.
In eastern Europe, the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and caused the displacement of millions of Ukrainians to neighboring countries. The crisis exposed discrimination and double standards by European politicians, officials, journalists, and celebrities, who called for embracing Ukrainian refugees because they share their ethnicity, color, and religion, unlike asylum seekers and migrants from regions outside Europe.
In April 2022, our team worked alongside partner organizations and dozens of regional and international organizations to generate real change by speaking to decision-makers about practices and methodologies that should be addressed, reformed, or abolished. We also harnessed the power of social media to virtually engage the public regarding issues that affect their individual rights as well as human dignity as a whole.
Here are the most significant results of these efforts:
- Saudi Arabia
The Saudi authorities released three prisoners of conscience after they spent varying terms in prison for their legitimate expression of their opinions.
For years, Euro-Med Monitor has addressed the Saudi authorities to release prisoners of conscience. With our partners, we launched pressure campaigns to urge the Saudi authorities to stop its policy of arbitrary arrests and respect the right citizens to express their opinions freely.
- The Houthi group agreed to a UN action plan aimed at ending children recruitment
- The parties to the conflict in Yemen released dozens of prisoners as part of unilateral initiatives
Through focused efforts that included documentary reports and various pressure and advocacy activities, Euro-Med Monitor revealed that the Houthi group had recruited thousands of children in its areas of control in Yemen and called on the Human Rights Council for the United Nations to intervene to end this dangerous phenomenon.
Additionally, Euro-Med Monitor has continuously called on the parties to the conflict to end the illegal detention of thousands of people, and stop confiscating people's freedom without sound legal justifications.
The de facto military authority released a number of leaders of the civilian forces who were detained during the military coup in October 2021.
During the past several months, Euro-Med Monitor's field teams have worked to document violations against activists, journalists, and demonstrators, since the military coup in October 2021. We also addressed the de-facto authority to stop its human rights violations and undo all its illegal measures, including arbitrary arrests and violent suppression of peaceful protests.
Fabrice Leggeri, director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), has resigned from his post, citing the agency's involvement in the violent pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers in the Mediterranean.
Throughout the past year, Euro-Med Monitor published several reports revealing grave violations committed by Frontex against migrants and asylum seekers. We organized lobbying and advocacy activities targeting agency officials and representatives in the European Parliament and called for the expulsion and accountability of all those involved in the implementation or approval of these violations.