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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part II

Weaponizing digital blackouts or social media clamp down by Algeria, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania is an ominous sign of a deeply problematic system of governance. 

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part I

African governments are using school examinations and politically charged moments as an excuse to effect digital blackouts or clamp down on social media. 

The importance of ‘unlearning’ the past: Interview with Balkans expert Keith Brown

"Critical thinking [...] liberates us from the illusion that figures in the past imagined their own identity in terms of the nationalisms of their future."

Ali Banisadr and the art of ‘Visual Thinking’

Ali Banisadr's MATRIX 185 exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the Iranian-American artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the US.

New book tells stories of suffering and resistance from Iran’s female prisons

In "White Torture," Narges Mohammadi interviews 12 female political prisoners—and shares her own experiences in an Iranian jail, where she spent eight and a half years.

Rights groups in Tunisia mobilize against police protection bill

Article 7 of the bill grants security forces immunity from prosecution for the use of excessive and lethal force against citizens in situations “they deem dangerous.”

‘The war in Karabakh has made the possibility of conflict resolution even more distant’, fears Armenian politician Mikayel Zolyan

Negotiations can start only once aggression against civilians stops. However, war has widened the gap between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and therefore for dialogue, says Armenian MP and analyst Mikayel Zolyan

Nagorno-Karabakh: An old conflict in a new geopolitical context, says South Caucasus expert Tom de Waal

The most recent of outbreak of violence began on September 27. This time, both combatants and analysts are predicting that the conflict will escalate, with unknown and potentially dangerous consequences.

The untold plight of imprisoned women in Africa, the Americas, and Asia under the pandemic

"Not only are women at risk of contracting COVID-19, they are also exposed to an increased threat of sexual violence during the pandemic."

In Turkey, women rise up to stop withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

The public outcry seems to have made an impression on the AKP—a decision on the Convention that was meant to be announced in August has now been postponed.

A new ‘cyber defence’ system in Oman raises human rights concerns

The Omani Sultanate passed a new decree giving security authorities further control over the internet.

Lebanon protests: Authorities prey on digital spaces to silence criticism

While social media and WhatsApp have been extensively leveraged by demonstrators to organize, document, and sprawl the protest, Lebanese authorities have resorted to identifying and persecuting dissidents.

Surveillance in Lebanon: A crisis of privacy

Intrusions on citizens’ privacy in Lebanon are pervasive and often conducted without proper judicial oversight.

From death in Syria to quarantine in Madrid

In Madrid, freedom is forbidden for your protection, and in Syria, the deprivation of freedom is designed to make you die a thousand deaths.

Abused and infected with COVID-19, Nigerian domestic workers are stranded in Beirut

African governments must press on their Lebanese counterpart to grant amnesty to all migrant domestic workers to be repatriated to their home countries and abolish the slave-like Kafala labour laws. 

‘Wiki Loves Africa’ 2020 features images of a continent on the move

"Wiki Loves Africa," encourages people to contribute Africa-relevant media to Wikimedia annually around a particular theme to fundamentally change how people both within and outside Africa see the continent.

‘Shadow Means Strength, Shadow is Invincible': A conversation with Turkish artist Selma Gurbuz

"That which is real does not change, but its shadow can change. Shadow is a two-dimensional representation. It shows us ourselves."

Moderate globally, impact locally: A series on content moderation in the Global South

''Even as the platforms have grown and spread around the world, the center of gravity of these debates continues to revolve around D.C. and San Francisco.''

Melbourne academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert remains a ‘political hostage’ inside Iran’s Qarchak prison

"Whatever the governments of #Australia and the #UK are doing to free their citizen, Kylie Moore-Gilbert from prison in #Iran, it’s failing miserably. This innocent woman should be free."

In northern Syria, COVID-19 worsens an already dramatic humanitarian crisis

Despite the looming threat of COVID-19, military escalation has re-started in the form of a proxy war in Idlib, leaving peaceful civilians in ever-greater danger.

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