Kuwait rejects Universal Periodic Review recommendations to lift restrictions on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights
On June 15, 2020, ARTICLE 19 MENA and MENA Rights Group submitted a legal analysis regarding the latest amendments to the Algerian Penal Code to the UN Special rapporteurs on freedom of opinion and expression and on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
On June 4, 2020, ARTICLE 19 MENA and MENA Rights Group submitted a legal analysis of the controversial draft law on social media to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression. The text contains several provisions that are not in line with international standards on freedom of expression online.
Research by MENA Rights Group has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities are using Munasaha centres, or ‘counselling’ centres, to detain critics and activists de facto indefinitely, on broad and vague legal grounds.
The UAE authorities have failed to take the necessary measures to address the COVID-19 outbreak in Al Wathba prison, Abu Dhabi, putting the health and life of prisoners at serious risk. On June 12, 2020, MENA Rights Group submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, expressing concerns regarding the prisoners’ lack of access to medical care and poor prison conditions.
Submission to UN Secretary-General shows ongoing reprisals against Saudi human rights defenders who cooperate with the UN
On 1 May 2020, MENA Rights Group and ALQST submitted a report to the UN Secretary-General (UNSG), providing updated information on seven individuals who were subjected to reprisals by the Saudi authorities over the past year. This was submitted ahead of the presentation of UNSG’s annual report on reprisals against individuals who cooperate with the United Nations (UN) before the Human Rights Council, in September 2020.
Egypt supports 270 recommendations made during latest UPR whilst denying known human rights violations
Following the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Egypt in November 2019, Egypt notified the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the recommendations it wishes to implement in the upcoming years. The UPR outcome was formally adopted on March 12, 2020.
Following the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Iraq in November 2019, Iraq notified the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the recommendations it wishes to implement in the upcoming years. During the adoption of the UPR outcome, which took place on March 12, Iraq accepted most of the recommendations including on issues related to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, recommendations relating to the ratification of additional human rights treaties, discrimination against women, LGBT rights, and the application of the death penalty were merely noted.
During its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on January 29, 2020, Kuwait received about 300 recommendations from 122 states on issues including the right to nationality, the rights to freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assembly. States also used this opportunity to address the situation of Kuwait’s marginalised population including the Bidoon and migrant workers.
MENA Rights Group highlights systematic practice of enforced disappearance in Saudi Arabia in general allegation to the UN
MENA Rights Group has submitted a general allegation to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) highlighting obstacles to the implementation of the 1992 Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (Declaration) in Saudi Arabia.
Egypt’s Universal Periodic Review highlights international concerns over the country’s human rights record
On November 13, 133 states made over 370 recommendations on issues such as torture, the death penalty and the detention of human rights defenders.