Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries are taking measures in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. These national responses have included the creation of emergency hotlines, awareness campaigns, stay-at-home orders, and curfews. There is one underemphasized issue that will remain central to a country’s success in “flattening the curve”: detention.
TIMEP and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have submitted a joint stakeholder report ahead of the third cycle of Lebanon’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), set to take place in January and February 2021.
The export of surveillance technology to MENA governments has led to violations of the rights to life, privacy, and freedom of speech, among others, imperiling journalists, activists, and researchers.
MENA governments continue to purchase, weaponize, and employ surveillance technology, regardless of the fact that abuses related to use have been credibly documented.
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.