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 July 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.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities released several prisoners of conscience in July after arbitrarily and unjustifiably imprisoning them for varying periods of time.

For years, Euro-Med Monitor has urged Saudi authorities to release prisoners of conscience and has lobbied the government, along with its partners, to end the policy of arbitrary detention and respect individuals’ right to free expression.

[Saudi Arabia: UN intervention required to protect prisoners of conscience from maximum sentence for criticising authorities]


On 4 July, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Switzerland’s refusal to reunite five refugees with their families, ruling that the Swiss government should compensate a number of them financially.

Euro-Med Monitor, along with its partners and human rights organisations, has repeatedly urged European and international governments and official bodies to lift restrictions on refugees and asylum seekers and allow them to exercise their guaranteed rights.

[Euro-Med calls for better access to education for refugees in Switzerland, better integration in society]


On 29 July, Egyptian authorities released researcher Patrick George Zaki and lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer after unjustifiably detaining them for years.