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 September 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.
Jaw Prison detainees ended their hunger strike in September after the prison administration promised to improve detention conditions and eliminate restrictions that prevented prisoners from exercising their legally guaranteed rights.
In August, Euro-Med Monitor urged Bahraini authorities to end all arbitrary measures against prisoners of conscience in Jaw Prison and ensure their rights are upheld as per relevant local and international obligations.
The European Court of Justice affirmed in a 21 September decision the illegality of systematic pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers within European borders, emphasising the importance of European countries adhering to the European Union Returns Directive.
Euro-Med Monitor, along with its partners and other human rights organisations, has lobbied European governments for years to end the policy of pushing back migrants and asylum seekers and adhere to relevant laws regarding their reception and treatment.