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 some countries. Governments in the region have used violent tactics to subdue and silence dissenting voices and have systematically targeted political activists and journalists.
In September 2022, repressive regimes continued to target peaceful activists and journalists, suppress popular protests, and restrict public freedoms. The Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and caused the displacement of millions of Ukrainians to neighbouring countries, raged on in Eastern Europe. The crisis has exposed the discriminatory double standards of European politicians, officials, journalists, and celebrities, who have called for embracing Ukrainian refugees because they share their ethnicity, colour, and religion, unlike asylum seekers and migrants from regions outside Europe.
Last month, our team worked alongside partner organisations and dozens of regional and international organisations to generate real change by speaking to decision-makers about practises and methodologies that must be addressed, reformed, or abolished. We also 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 Justice (ECJ) ruled on 23 September that Hungary’s asylum procedures partially violated EU law, and that the country’s asylum system was designed to limit access to case files for some applicants and their legal advisors.
For years, Euro-Med Monitor and other human rights organisations have been urging EU bodies and institutions to pressure Member States to stop violating the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, and to amend their laws to ensure respect for migrants’ dignity and their rights to protection and a decent life.
[Leading MEP at Euro-Med Monitor webinar: ‘Asylum seekers are not a threat’]
On 16 September, the military court in Tunis released journalist Saleh Attia, who had been imprisoned on charges related to freedom of expression and opinion.
Euro-Med Monitor had written to Tunisian authorities in August to request that Attia be released immediately, civilians not be tried in military courts, and freedom of opinion and expression be respected.
[Tunisia: Imprisonment of journalist Saleh Attia another sign of reduction in freedoms]