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 many countries. Governments in the region have used violent tactics to subdue and silence dissenting voices and have systematically targeted political activists and journalists.

In June 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.

United Kingdom


The UK Court of Appeal ruled on 30 June that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was illegal.

Since the British government announced its intention to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, Euro-Med Monitor had worked with other human rights organisations to highlight the grave dangers posed by the decision. Euro-Med Monitor wrote to the government, urging them to reverse course and adhere to relevant international directives.

[Euro-Med Monitor hosts expert talk on outsourcing refugees to Rwanda]

Syria


On 29 June, the United Nations General Assembly announced the establishment of an independent institution to address Syria’s 12-year-long missing persons crisis.

Throughout the years of Syria’s ongoing conflict, Euro-Med Monitor, along with its partners and human rights organisations, has worked to follow up on the cases of missing and forcibly disappeared people. Euro-Med Monitor advocated for increased attention to the issue and wrote to the UN to establish an independent entity tasked with determining the fate of missing people in Syria.

[Euro-Med Monitor to HRC: Establish international mechanisms to rescue victims of enforced disappearance in Syria and Yemen]

Germany


A Berlin Labour Court ruled on 28 June that the German Deutsche Welle network’s dismissal of journalist Farah Maraqa was invalid, and that the network purposefully used misleading information to dismiss Maraqa from work.

Since the Deutsche Welle network dismissed a group of its employees in an arbitrary and unjustified manner, Euro-Med Monitor has issued reports refuting the network’s allegations, as well as launched a lobbying campaign that included addressing relevant authorities, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.

[DW independent probe into anti-Semitism is biased, flawed and dangerous]

[At HRC: Journalist complains of ‘anti-Arab purge’ in German media]

Italy


On 7 June, Italian authorities arrested five police officers on suspicion of insulting, torturing, and mistreating detainees, the majority of whom were migrants. About 17 other officers were investigated for failing to intervene to prevent the attacks.

Euro-Med Monitor has repeatedly urged EU Member States, particularly destination countries such as Italy, to respect the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, end all forms of persecution against them, and hold those responsible for their detention and ill-treatment accountable.

[Italy’s secretive forced deportation of newly arrived migrants is illegal, barbaric and dangerous]