10/14 Virtual Event | Mobilizing Toward Accountability in MENA: Strategies for a Just Future

On Thursday, October 14, The World Movement for Democracy and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) co-hosted a virtual event on the Middle East & North Africa entitled Mobilizing Toward Accountability in MENA: Strategizing for a Just Future.

This fall, the World Movement for Democracy is collaborating with the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP), the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), and the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) to host a MENA Regional Conversation Series on the theme: new forms of political organizing and solidarity in the region. The Series is bringing together civil society advocates, scholars, journalists, and political and business leaders across three virtual sessions to take stock of the accomplishments in the realm of organizing over the last decade and to explore ways to overcome current challenges, while building mutual solidarity across borders.

The Series’s first session, Mobilizing Toward Accountability in MENA: Strategizing for a Just Future, was a moderated and dynamic regional discussion reflecting on how advocates have sought to hold governments, business, and individuals accountable, the challenges and opportunities in realizing accountability, and the path forward.



In the face of years of impunity for human rights abuses and systematic gaps in the rule of law in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, calls for accountability have been and continue to get louder. Through documentation, advocacy, public interest reporting, and domestic legal interventions and litigation in foreign courts, civil society across MENA are finding creative ways to hold those responsible to account–be they individuals, businesses, or states. A growing diaspora and exile community, the birth of thematic networks in spaces like digital rights, and the intersectional nature of calls for justice, among other factors, have grown the accountability toolbox. Yet the road to accountability can also be lengthy and costly, is often centered around individual wins, and may not always result in enforceable measures.

Our panelists Amna Guellali (Amnesty International), Yasmin Omar (TIMEP), Mohammad al-Abdallah (Syria Justice and Accountability Center), and Yazan Al-Saadi (The Public Source) asked: What can accountability look like for the MENA region? What steps have civil society taken toward holding individuals, businesses, and governments to account domestically, regionally, and internationally? What have been the shortcomings and successes of these steps? What space is there for the coordination of strategies, exchange of lessons learned, and creation of diaspora and in-country networks to magnify impact and replicate success?