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Stories about Middle East & North Africa

The nightmare in Syria continues amid new coronavirus fears

The gathering of displaced persons in Idlib, Syria, has sparked international concern that this community — living under the harshest conditions — could be deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘While I breathe, I hope’: In conversation with Ali Gharavi of the #Istanbul10

Gharavi, a security consultant, was among ten human rights defenders arrested in Turkey in July 2017 at an information management and well-being workshop.

COVID-19 in Palestine: Living between hope and fear

A deterioration of the political situation in Palestine could adversely impact the COVID-19 crisis and directly impact local civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

A feeling of hopelessness: Interview with a Uyghur refugee in Turkey

The Chinese government policy of racial and religious profiling has forced young Uyghurs to leave China and remain in exile.

Setbacks for freedom of expression as Tunisia fights COVID-19

Two bloggers have been arrested for accusing local authorities of corruption in relation to aid distribution, while a journalist who criticized the health minister faced insults online. 

COVID-19 in the Middle East: Is this pandemic a health crisis or a war?

War-like rhetoric around COVID-19 has allowed governments in the Middle East and North Africa to execute emergency powers and impose draconian measures that would otherwise be unacceptable.

Iran fails to contain COVID-19 as internal political clashes prevent a timely and unified response

Iran is one of the countries worst affected by COVID-19, thanks in part to political disagreements and a lack of coordination among government authorities.

Fighting COVID-19 goes hand-in-hand with shuttering newspapers across the Middle East

As part of their measures to counter COVID-19, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, the UAE and Yemen, have all banned print newspapers until further notice.

Tunisia has a disinformation problem, but (further) criminalizing speech won't solve it

Following outcry from human rights groups and citizens, a controversial bill that sought to criminalize the spread of ‘’fake news’’ online was quickly withdrawn.  

Impact of COVID-19 containment measures on human rights and civil liberties in the Middle East

COVID-19 measures in the MENA region have especially targeted some of the most vulnerable groups such as detained human rights defenders, migrant workers and independent media. 

Algeria's crackdown on dissent persists with detention of journalists

More than a year since the start of Algeria's countrywide protests to demand political and economic reforms, the government continues to resort to repressive tactics to silence critics and journalists.

Coronavirus and surveillance technology: How far will governments go?

''While surveillance technologies and measures may give the public a sense of security in controlling the spread of the virus, we must remain mindful and vigilant of their continued use...

Women's march in Istanbul marked by police violence and detentions on March 8

On March 8, International Women’s Day, feminist night marches took place in several cities across Turkey. While the event was held for the 17th time in İstanbul, it ended with...

New call for the release of Kurdish poet İlhan Sami Çomak jailed in Turkey for 26 years

Recently, a new campaign has been gaining ground to draw attention to one of the country’s longest-serving political prisoners.

Two Iranian rights activists revisit the November 2019 internet shutdown

“Hundreds of protestors were killed in a matter of three days and most of the world was not aware of what happened.’’

In Lebanon, journalists and activists who cover protests face threats

Media professionals have raised their voices against the use of excessive force against them while they are trying to cover the mass protests.

Jordan's online censorship decisions: Non-transparent and — at times — arbitrary

The Jordanian government should take steps to ensure that its citizens’ right to online freedom of expression and information are protected.

To apply for a national ID card in Iran, members of ‘unrecognized’ religious minorities now need to deny their faith

The removal of the "other religions" option from the national ID card application form essentially bars members of certain religious minorities from full citizenship.

Is Trump's Middle East peace plan a one-state solution?

The long-awaited peace deal was announced on Tuesday amid silence and shock from the Middle East.

Farewell to Lina Ben Mhenni, Tunisian blogger and human rights defender

We mourn the passing of Lina Ben Mhenni, a prominent Tunisian blogger, human rights defender, Global Voices contributor and one of the brightest voices of the 2011 Tunisian revolution.

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