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 March 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 as 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 practices 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.
The European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling on 30 March, condemning the Italian government for the inhumane treatment and violations of the right to liberty and security, as well as the collective forcible deportation of four Tunisian migrants. The court ordered Italy to compensate each of them for the material damage they sustained as a result of these practices.
For years, Euro-Med Monitor has written to European governments and relevant justice bodies, urging an end to violations against migrants and asylum seekers and the prosecution of all those involved in these illegal practices.
On 20 March, journalist Zahi Alawi returned to work for the German network Deutsche Welle, more than a year after he and a group of his colleagues were fired due to unjust claims that primarily affected employees’ right to free expression.
Since Deutsche Welle’s arbitrary and unjustified expulsion of a group of its employees, Euro-Med Monitor has issued reports refuting the network’s allegations, launched a lobbying campaign, and addressed relevant authorities, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Yemeni government and the Houthi group signed a prisoner swap agreement on 20 March that stipulates the release of approximately 800 prisoners from both sides.
Throughout the Yemen conflict, Euro-Med Monitor has documented serious human rights violations committed by conflict parties, including ill-treatment of prisoners in prisons and detention centres; Euro-Med Monitor urged all parties to stop these violations and release all arbitrary prisoners and detainees.
Saudi authorities have released a group of Jordanian and Palestinian detainees who had been arbitrarily detained for years on false charges.
Euro-Med Monitor revealed in September 2019 that Saudi authorities had arbitrarily detained dozens of Palestinian and Jordanian nationals, and had called for their unconditional release.