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· December, 2020

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from December, 2020

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."

Pressure mounts on Egypt to release prominent human rights defenders

Three senior members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), one of Egypt’s most prominent human rights groups, were arrested earlier this month on charges of terrorism.

About our Middle East & North Africa coverage

Dahlia Kholaif is the editor for the Middle East & North Africa. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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