Commentary

Intensified Crackdown on Civil Society in Libya Further Embeds...

For the past several months, tensions have been running high in Libya, once again at a political deadlock since the last planned elections scheduled for December 2021 were postponed, and the parliament in the east named in February Fathi Bashagha as the new premier while the internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeiba refused to step down insisting he would hand over power only to an elected government. With threatening rhetoric, signs of mobilization of forces, and divided loyalties among the armed groups in western Libya amid the power struggle between Dbeibah and Bashagha, reports of increasingly systematic attacks on civil society and freedom of expression have emerged.

Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Legal Frameworks and Recent Developments

Syrians in Turkey are currently coping with a broad set of challenges that human rights defenders are tackling with their limited means, from administrative complexities, restriction of movement, precarity and lack of integration, policy changes, securitization, to exposure to xenophobic rhetoric, racist crimes, arbitrary arrests, forced displacement to Northern Syria, and fears of reconciliation as Turkey is laying the ground for closer political relations with the Syrian regime. Yet, at the same time, they try to be integrated, support their families, send their children to school, and have access to healthcare structures. Integration success varies significantly according to age, gender, social class, marital status, and regions, among other factors.

Erasing Palestine: Meta Must Act to Redress its Censorship...

Facebook’s and Instagram’s policies violated the fundamental human rights of Palestinians, according to a due diligence report commissioned by the platforms’ parent company, Meta, and published in September 2022. The long-awaited report, which came after much delay and anticipation from civil society, was conducted by the independent consulting company Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). It assessed the human rights impact of Meta’s policies and activities on Arabic and Hebrew content in May 2021 amid mass Palestinian uprising following the forced eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem and the brutal Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

Explainers

Bringing “Loss and Damage” to MENA 

While the concept of loss and damage financing is far from novel, the recent momentum in advancing the loss and damage agenda has been unitedly led by the G77 and China. Yet, despite consistent warnings from experts highlighting the MENA region as the most water-stressed areas in the world, lived experiences and anticipated adverse climate impacts in MENA countries are rarely considered within loss and damage discourse. The reasons for exclusion are likely complex and multifold, particularly given economic and geopolitical turmoil underpinning the region’s recent history. However, the existential threat to human security resulting from human-induced climate change in MENA should not be overly conflated by the lack of nuance that does not take into account the intricate country-specific sociocultural, political, and economic historical realities.

Understanding Assad’s New Cyber-Crackdown in Syria

A decade after the Assad regime silenced the mass peaceful demonstrations with brute military force across Syria, the government continues to consolidate its power by criminalizing freedom of speech and expression, and shrinking civic spaces to stifle any form of dissent or perceived opposition. The following analysis uncovers how the new cybercrime law that was introduced in April 2022 is part and parcel of the repressive legal tactics levied by the Syrian regime to criminalize freedom of expression and the free flow of information under the pretext of combating cybercrime.

The Beirut Port Explosion Comes to U.S. Court

Almost two years since one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions destroyed the Beirut port and upended the lives of the city’s residents following decades of government corruption and negligence, on July 11, 2022, a group of nine of the blast’s victims turned to the U.S. judicial system for recourse. What does this case allege? And how does it fit in with ongoing efforts by lawyers, civil society organizations, victims’ groups, and other stakeholders to achieve accountability?

Reports & Briefs

Egyptians in Exile: Activism and Organizing Abroad Since 2013

More than eleven years since Egyptians took to the streets in what became the January 25 Revolution, the conversation about the positionality of Egyptians in exile is front and center. Who has left the country? Why did they leave? How have they organized politically? How have Egyptian authorities responded to the growing presence of Egyptian […]

TIMEP and CPJ: Joint UPR Advocacy Fact Sheet on...

In an effort to comprehensively address the deterioration of press freedom in Lebanon, this fact sheet proposes recommendations relevant to both the country’s legal framework and its violative practices.

Targeting the last line of defense: Egypt’s attacks against...

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and TIMEP present a joint briefing paper which documents a course of conduct by state institutions in Egypt that aims to weaken and curtail the legal profession, and thereby dismantle the last line of defense against the government’s sustained crackdown on human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Projects

In partnership with Tree Media’s Need to Know (N2K) project, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) has produced a video series unpacking the diplomatic conflict related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) situated on the Blue Nile River. Since construction on GERD began in early 2011, it has been a political flashpoint between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, with each nation staking out competing claims about how GERD poses either an opportunity or a threat to their respective countries.

Ten years ago, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi stood in the middle of traffic, shouted “How do you expect me to make a living?” and set himself on fire, catalyzing popular protests in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and creating a lens through which advocates, scholars, and policymakers understand the region until today.

TIMEP’s new Syria Unpacked project highlights and explores the significance of these concerns for the country’s future trajectory. The project is premised on the belief that understanding the impact of ongoing dynamics in Syria requires a comprehensive perspective on the interplay between political, human rights, security, economic, and legal challenges.