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 April 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 additionally have 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.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned an asylum seeker’s living conditions in a Greek reception centre, describing them as "degrading and inhuman." The court charged Greece with violating the prohibition on torture principle and subjecting the asylum seeker to unbearable conditions, awarding the latter 5,000 euros in restitution.
For years, Euro-Med Monitor has documented various violations committed by Greek authorities against migrants and asylum seekers, whether during border pushback operations or in camps and detention centres, calling on the authorities to uphold human rights standards, respect individuals’ rights to seek asylum, and live in a safe and decent environment.
[Greece: Illegal pushbacks are dooming migrants to freeze to death]
The Tariq Ben Zeyad Brigade, which is affiliated with retired Major General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, has released the media office director of Benghazi municipality, Maher Elgheryani. Elgheryani was arbitrarily detained for days due to previous comments he made on a social media platform criticising an ongoing campaign to demolish buildings and houses and forcibly evict residents from Benghazi’s centre.
Since Elgheryani’s detention, Euro-Med Monitor has urged the relevant authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally, as well as to stop restricting people’s liberties for exercising their legitimate rights, foremost of which is the right to free expression.
[Libya: Elgheryani arrest amounts to enforced disappearance, activist must be released immediately]
Hani Mohammed al-Khoudari, a Palestinian detainee, has been released by Saudi authorities after being detained arbitrarily and unjustly for nearly four years.
Euro-Med Monitor revealed in September 2019 that the Saudi authorities arbitrarily detained al-Khoudari and several others, and then launched various lobbying and advocacy campaigns urging the Saudi authorities to release the detainees.
[Saudi Arabia: Denying Palestinian detainee, his son of medical treatment betrays slow killing tendency]