Category: Middle East/North Africa

Out of the frying pan into the fire: Is COVID a MENA ‘conflict multiplier’?

     

Anti-government protests were a growing feature of life in the Middle East and North Africa before the arrival of Covid-19. The pandemic brought an abrupt halt to months of civil… Read more »

The twilight of the Iranian revolution?

     

Isolated and dysfunctional, Iran’s Islamic Republic had reached a dead end.  “The regime has lost all popular support, and yet it is incapable of change,” a leading dissident tells the… Read more »

Release Saudi women’s rights advocates on 2nd anniversary of arrests, say NGOs

     

  Today marks two years since Loujain al-Hathloul (below), a prominent human rights activist in Saudi Arabia, was arrested and detained for trying to “destabilize the kingdom” with her fight… Read more »

Yet another regime using Covid pandemic to tighten its grip

     

Egypt’s military-backed government is using the coronavirus pandemic to tighten its grip on the country, human rights activists say. In recent weeks, authorities have ordered up punishments, including prison terms,… Read more »

Cut military aid to Egypt’s ‘authoritarian regime’, says new report

     

Egypt’s public prosecutor has said a young film-maker who died in prison had mistakenly drunk hand sanitiser in his cell, thinking it was water. Shady Habash died inside Cairo’s Tora prison complex on… Read more »

Democracies vulnerable to crisis: Covid exacerbates weaknesses, says BTI

     

The COVID-19 pandemic will exacerbate the very weaknesses that have marked the democratic erosion of the last decade in most of the 137 developing and transformation countries examined in the… Read more »

Call to free Iran’s women political prisoners: Virus ‘exacerbates regime’s legitimacy crisis’

     

The coronavirus is leading Iranians to question the relationship between state and religion, putting the theocratic state in “an unusual and awkward position“, observers suggest. The Islamic Republic had to… Read more »

COVID-19’s new pretexts for consolidating autocrats’ power

     

Authoritarian-minded leaders around the world have used the coronavirus emergency to consolidate power. In Europe, the governments of Poland and Hungary have done that and more. They have managed to… Read more »