Stories about Middle East & North Africa

29 March 2019

#WelcomeHomeAlaa: Egyptian revolution activist Alaa Abd El Fattah released after five years in prison

Alaa was a leading voice among Egyptian bloggers and technology activists in Cairo approaching and during the Egyptian Revolution.

26 March 2019

Two years after completing his sentence, Emirati activist Osama al-Najjar remains in detention

Al-Najjar was arrested over tweets calling for the release of prisoners of conscience in the Emirates.

19 March 2019

Activists speak out against Iraq's cybercrime bill

The bill prescribes lengthy prisons sentences, including life imprisonment, for speech-related offences.

14 March 2019

Scheduled release of Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah delayed by 10 days

The #FreeAlaa campaign reassured supporters that the delay is not a cause for concern for now.

4 March 2019

Photojournalist Mahmoud ‘Shawkan’ Abu Zeid walks free, after more than five years in prison

Shawkan, who was working for Demotix at the time of his arrest, spent almost four years in pre-trial detention.

1 March 2019

Netizen Report: Two of Egypt’s leading digital activists await their release from prison, after years behind bars

Alaa and Shawkan are still waiting to get out, Algeria's internet is faltering, and Nepal has a new IT bill.

25 February 2019

How Saudi leaders are using religion to consolidate power and silence critical voices

''Oppression is a comprehensive system, and [in our country] it is enabled by religion.'' 

18 February 2019

EU proposal pushes tech companies to tackle ‘terrorist content’ with AI, despite implications for war crimes evidence

AI tools can assess whether a video is violent or graphic. But can they determine the video’s intended purpose?

12 February 2019

Iranian environmentalists fear death penalty after a year behind bars

Public prosecutors built much of their case against the group from a forced confession made by one of the activists.

31 December 2018

Censored in 2018: Protest videos, court verdicts, real news — and Peppa Pig

From blocked websites to revoked media licenses to account shutdowns, censorship comes in many forms. Here are a few we saw in 2018.