Since the beginning of the last decade, human rights violations have been escalating in the Middle East and North Africa. People have taken to the streets to protest against the dire political and economic conditions, and armed conflicts have ravaged some countries. Governments in the region have used violent tactics to subdue and silence dissenting voices and have systematically targeted political activists and journalists.

In February 2023, 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 more civilians, and continues to cause the displacement of now millions of Ukrainians to neighbouring countries. The crisis has exposed the discriminatory double standards of European politicians, officials, journalists, and celebrities, who have called for embracing Ukrainian refugees because they share the same race, colour, and/or religion, unlike asylum seekers and migrants from regions outside Europe.

Last month, our team worked alongside partner organisations and dozens of other regional and international organisations to generate real change by speaking to decision-makers about practises and methodologies that must be addressed and reformed or abolished. We also harnessed the power of social media to virtually engage the public regarding issues that affect their rights, as well as human dignity as a whole.


On 14 February, a Catania court ruled that the Italian decree on NGO ships involved in search-and-rescue operations was unlawful, and that all migrants rescued by these ships must be received and assisted without discrimination.

In January, Euro-Med Monitor had warned that the decree issued by Italy’s government regarding the work of humanitarian-operated ships would inevitably provoke the death of more migrants and asylum seekers in the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, Euro-Med Monitor called on the Italian government to refrain from imposing illegitimate obstacles on the vital work of humanitarian ships, and to respect and fulfil international its legal obligations.

[Risk of death at sea will increase exponentially under Italy’s new immigration rules]

Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities have released a group of Jordanian and Palestinian detainees who had been arbitrarily detained for years on false charges.

Euro-Med Monitor had revealed in September 2019 that Saudi authorities had arbitrarily detained dozens of Palestinian and Jordanian nationals, and had called for their unconditional release.

[Saudi Arabia forcibly hides dozens of Palestinians]