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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

Are Istanbul's Boğaziçi University protests an expression of exceptionalism? 

“What would make Erdoğan's life increasingly difficult would be for academia as a whole in Turkey to unify around a single platform and pursue vociferously a rigorous set of demands...

Algerian activist Rachid Nekkaz's failing health raises calls for his release

Two years after Algeria's Hirak Movement, calls are being made to free from prison a man who is associated with it, and who has been in jail without trial since...

Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouthi's death mourned by many

Mourid wrote: "It’s fine to die, once, our hands crossed on our chests, empty and pale, with no scratches, no chains, no banners, and no petitions."

Saudi court reduces sentence of prominent doctor held since 2017

Unfamiliar pressure from the U.S. is seen to drive a breakthrough in the case of Dr Fitaihi, who was arrested, tortured, and banned from travel since 2017.

Nearly a hundred Kurdish activists detained by Iran's security forces in 2021

An interview with Switzerland-based KMMG’s director reveals how recent arbitrary detentions of Kurds and other minorities coincides with the regime’s bid to fortify its rule amidst piling internal challenges.

Google’s plans for Saudi-based Cloud is ‘dangerous,’ says digital rights advocacy group

"With data stored in Saudi Arabia, Google and Snap will find themselves with little ability to resist government demands for users’ personal information."

Settlement pacts in Syria's Daraa: A hunt for dissidents

"Regime violations are not new...People of Dara'a were killed by air shelling and internationally-banned weapons. Thousands have been arrested. What is new is their silent death; death licensed by treaties."

Protests mount over Israeli medical apartheid during pandemic

Israel completely leaves out Palestinians under its occupation in its highly successful COVID-19 vaccination drive, already covering over a quarter of its population since mid-December.

Sudan-Ethiopia border tensions mount in conflicted al-Fashqa region

Continual clashes between Ethiopian militia groups and Sudanese farmers in Sudan’s al-Fashqa region have put the Sudanese Army on the defense.

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.  

Arab states’ reconciliation with Qatar leaves pro-unity Saudis behind bars

Prominent Saudis, including cleric Salman al-Odah, who spoke against the boycott of Qatar in 2017, face a long list of charges such as incitement against the ruler.

COVID-19 and shrinking freedom limits in Jordan

In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.

Saudi court slams internationally criticized jail term for iconic female activist

Hathloul, a symbol of Saudi political prisoners, was sentenced after a three-year pre-trial detention and a rushed trial that overlooked her claim of being tortured, drawing global outcry against Riyadh.

Iconic House of Wonders collapse leaves Zanzibaris wondering about fate of cultural heritage

The House of Wonders collapse left many wondering about the fate of Zanzibar's cultural heritage. 

‘Stop silencing MENA critical voices,’ say activists in open letter to Twitter and Facebook

A decade after uprisings heavily relied on social media to topple dictators across the region, human rights defenders denounce these platforms' discrimination against voices of dissent still fight for freedoms.

How will the war in Nagorno-Karabakh change Azerbaijan?

After Azerbaijan's victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, strongman President Ilham Aliyev enjoys huge popular support. But the new presence of Russian peacekeepers is causing unease, say researchers Sergey Rumyantsev and Sevil Huseynova.

Kuwait's stateless Bidoon population angered by another death

Denied the Kuwaiti nationality and dubbed "illegal residents" by the state, thousands of Bidoon are stranded in a legal limbo and are unable to access basic civil and human rights.

Seven African governments employ surveillance spyware, says new study

Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have employed surveillance technology from Circles, a firm affiliated with Israel's NSO Group, according to the report by Citizen Lab.

US in Syria: What to expect of the new administration?

Humanitarian considerations will be the main distinction between the two US administrations in Syria's war, where Washington vies to curb terrorist threats and Russia's influence in a vital region.

The power of ‘personal experience': An interview with Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil

Nabil's "technique mixes painting and photography, inspired by hand-painted movie posters of the 1940s and 1950s, and is reminiscent of the pre-digital world."

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