28 December 2020
Dear Participants, Organizers, Sponsors and Official Broadcasters of the Dakar Rally,
As November 23, 2020 marked one year of solitary confinement for Ramy Kamel, a Coptic Egyptian human rights defender, 15 organizations urge American and European leaders to pressure Egyptian authorities to immediately release Ramy, lift all charges against him, and conduct effective investigations on allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against him.
Coalition of NGOs call on the Iraqi parliament to withdraw or sufficiently amend Iraq's Draft Law on Combating Cybercrime
On December 21, 2020, a coalition of ten organisations, including MENA Rights Group, sent a joint letter to members of the Iraqi Parliament, calling on them to withdraw or sufficientally amend the draft Law on Combating Cybercrime. The letter maintained that the new draft law places greater undue restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and does not help prevent cybercrime or ensure effective cybersecurity in Iraq.
Over 20 NGOs request intervention of Iraq's president to make sure missing protesters are being released
In the context of the 2019-2020 Iraqi demonstrations, dozens of peaceful protesters have been forcibly disappeared. In a joint letter sent on December 10, 2020, MENA Rights Group and over 20 other Iraqi and international NGOs called on Iraq's president, Barham Salih, to ensure that those who are still missing be released immediately.
Joint letter urges Iraqi Prime Minister to ensure immediate release of forcibly disappeared protesters
On December 10, 2020, a coalition of over 20 Iraqi and international NGOs called on the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al Kadhimi, to take all necessary measures to ensure that the peaceful protesters who disappeared in relation to the 2019-2020 Iraqi demonstrations be released immediately. The use of enforced disappearances to silence critical voices is well entrenched in Iraq's history - it is high time for the current administration to break away from these practices.
NGOs encourage Sudan's transitional government to promptly proceed with ratification of UNCAT and ICPPED
In a joint letter sent on December 3, 2020, MENA Rights Group and over 20 other organisations urged the Sudanese government to swiftly ratify both the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPPED). In October 2020, Sudan's Council of Ministers had taken a first promising step towards turning the page on decades of human rights violations by approving the Conventions' ratification.
The undersigned organisations strongly condemn the persecution of employees of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and Egyptian civil society by the Egyptian government. We urge the global community and their respective governments to do the same and join us in calling for the release of detained human rights defenders and a stop to the demonisation of civil society organisations and human rights defenders by government-owned or pro-government media.
(Paris, December 2, 2020) – French President Emmanuel Macron should strongly press Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to address human rights violations before his upcoming visit to Paris, particularly to release arbitrarily detained activists and human rights defenders.
NGOs urge Asia-Pacific Group to oppose consideration of Bahrain for President of the Human Rights Council
On December 1st, 2020, MENA Rights Group and 20 other NGOs submitted a joint letter to call on the Human Rights Council's Asia-Pacific Group to refrain from considering Bahrain for President of the Council. In the light of the country's deteriorating human rights record, the election of Bahrain would fundamentally undermine the integrity of the Council:
Joint Letter Calling on Moroccan Authorities to Drop Charges Against Human Rights Defender Maati Monjib
The undersigned civil society organizations call on the Moroccan authorities to immediately end their intimidation and harassment campaign against academic and human rights defender Maati Monjib and drop all baseless charges leveled against him.
In a joint letter to the president of the Human Rights Commission in Saudi Arabia, Awwad bin Saleh Al Awwad, 28 NGOs called for the immediate and unconditional release of all Saudi women's rights defenders, including dropping all charges against them, and halting all forms of harassment, intimidation and travel bans against their family members.