Stories about Middle East & North Africa

Turkey reins in social media—one platform at a time

The new social media law sets up a series of restrictions that will have a lasting impact on digital rights and freedom of expression in Turkey.

Tunisia’s fight against COVID-19 unmasks shaky ground for digital rights

In Tunisia, local authorities have, throughout the pandemic, resorted to historical tricks by using vague, existing laws to curb freedom of expression and limit citizens’ rights to information.  

COVID-19 and shrinking freedom limits in Jordan

In Jordan, recent detentions of journalists and activists in 2020 bear the hallmarks of a police state.

Seven African governments employ surveillance spyware, says new study

Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have employed surveillance technology from Circles, a firm affiliated with Israel's NSO Group, according to the report by Citizen Lab.

Pressure mounts on Egypt to release prominent human rights defenders

Three senior members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), one of Egypt’s most prominent human rights groups, were arrested earlier this month on charges of terrorism.

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part II

Weaponizing digital blackouts or social media clamp down by Algeria, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania is an ominous sign of a deeply problematic system of governance. 

Shutdowns, throttling and stifling dissent online: Africa’s new normal, Part I

African governments are using school examinations and politically charged moments as an excuse to effect digital blackouts or clamp down on social media. 

Rights groups in Tunisia mobilize against police protection bill

Article 7 of the bill grants security forces immunity from prosecution for the use of excessive and lethal force against citizens in situations “they deem dangerous”

A new ‘cyber defence’ system in Oman raises human rights concerns

The Omani Sultanate passed a new decree giving security authorities further control over the internet.

Lebanon protests: Authorities prey on digital spaces to silence criticism

While social media and WhatsApp have been extensively leveraged by demonstrators to organize, document, and sprawl the protest, Lebanese authorities have resorted to identifying and persecuting dissidents.

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