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MENA: Amnesty denounces “repression and impunity”

“Impunity” raged in 2018 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where governments have multiplied human rights violations, Amnesty International said, denouncing the “appalling complacency” of the international community.

“The crackdown on civil society actors and political opponents has increased significantly in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia,” the NGO said in its annual regional report.

“Across the region, the authorities are resorting to arbitrary detentions and excessive force against protesters,” said Amnesty, referring to “ruthless crackdowns”. “The indifference of the world to human rights violations committed in the region (…) promotes atrocities and impunity,” the organization deplores. She points to the October assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but also Israel’s crackdown on weekly demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank, which killed “at least 195 Palestinians, including 41 children.” After the Khashoggi affair, countries like Denmark and Germany suspended their supply of arms to Ryad, but “the kingdom’s main allies, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, have not done anything like this,” Amnesty accuses, denouncing Ryad’s military intervention in the war in Yemen.

Amnesty also refers to Algeria, where protesters have come down heavily in the streets for the past few days to oppose a possible fifth term of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The NGO also denounces the “war crimes” committed in Syria, Libya and Yemen, ravaged by complex deadly conflicts and serious humanitarian crises.

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