Explainers

Accountability for the Beirut Port Explosion: One Year Later

On August 4, 2020, tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been neglected at the Beirut Port exploded, killing at least 207 victims, injuring another 7,500, and leaving 300,000 homeless. One year later, accountability in any form remains far from being...

Putting Families’ Needs at the Center: A Humanitarian Approach to Disappearance in Syria

Families looking for their disappeared loved ones is a painful but familiar trend emerging out of Syria in the past decade. Enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention have become such a widespread situation for hundreds of thousands of Syrian families that,...

Access to Information in Tunisia

“Praised by many as being one of the most progressive access to information laws in the world,” Tunisia’s current legal framework governing access to information set a high bar for the rest of the region. Five years after the law’s...

Access to Information Laws in MENA

In 2007, Jordan became the first Arabic-speaking country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to issue a law governing the right of access to information. In the years since, it has been joined by Tunisia, Yemen, Lebanon, Morocco,...

Access to Information in Jordan

Although Jordan has a law to guarantee access to information, its vagueness, exceptions regime, and relationship with the larger legal framework are limitations. Many Jordanians have no knowledge of the law, and implementation has been a challenge for those who...

Access to Information in Lebanon

Lebanon’s Access to Information Law was passed in 2017 with very little media coverage and public attention, though it represented a legislative breakthrough for a country where lack of transparency and corruption is considered to be endemic. The law legally...

Access to Information Laws in MENA: Spotlight on Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon

Access to information is an often overlooked, but essential pillar of a functioning and democratic society. Such access can help citizens make informed decisions, empower them to hold their governments and those receiving public funds to account, and encourage a...

Kurdish-Kurdish Negotiations in Syria

The Kurdish political scene in Syria is led by two opposing parties, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC). While the PYD holds territorial control over a part of Syria and leads the Syrian Democratic Forces...

The Crackdown Against Tunisia’s LGBTQI+ Community

In March of this year, police in Tunis looked on as four men violently assaulted Badr Baabou, the head of the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality (Damj), a prominent LGBTQI+ rights group. That same month, a plainclothes officer attempted...

Remote Hearings, Detention, and the Pandemic in MENA

At the beginning of March 2021, nearly one year following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi directed authorities to expand a program that allows for pretrial detention renewal hearings to occur remotely. A limited pilot...