The countries of the Middle East and North Africa are witnessing a “precarious situation” in human rights, with increasing campaigns of repression, arbitrary arrests, torture, unfair trials and the assassination of opponents, according to rights organisations.
Democracy in the Arab world is not achieved yet, being resisted by religious and political parties, high-ranking rulers, families and ruling feuds with political institutions that adopted advanced ideas that emulated democracy, but couldn’t push for change.
Human rights are deteriorating in the Arab states, where violations of fundamental human rights are reflected in inequality among citizens, often in violation of their dignity, imprisonment, torture and enforced disappearance, simply for being an opponent, in addition to unfair trials of dissidents, and the suppression of freedom of expression.
The growing role of progressive social movements against injustice, hegemony and oppression is a natural response to the growth of separatist and racist movements, the rise of repressive police regimes that adopt the suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms, restriction of the free press and standing up against any attempt to establish systems of government based on equal citizenship, values of freedom, dignity and social justice.
The silence of European countries and USA about the deterioration of human rights in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia
While prolonged reports of international blackout and human rights reports condemning the increasing violations of human rights in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, dissidents remain scattered between detention centers and exiles, and inhuman pressure methods practiced against them, while promises of reform remain words only.
The European countries and the USA are covering up the crimes of their allies, stepping over rights of regimes opponents’, and contributing in bleaching images of the countries violating human rights. Real examples are Expo Dubai 2020 and Formula One in Saudi Arabia, without mentioning violations or at least drawing the world’s attention to the inhumane practices of these countries.
Sources confirm that shortly after the G-20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, Saudi authorities launched their crackdown on freedom of expression, targeting human rights defenders, as well as opposition or critics. After an 85 percent reduction in executions recorded in 2020, at least 40 people were executed between January and July 2021.
In Bahrain, Ali Mushaima, the son of Abdul Jalil Mushaima, who has been detained in Bahrain since 2011, goes on hunger strike in London, as a means of protest to express the extent of the injustice and persecution that his father and other prisoners are subjected to in Bahrain, to draw the world’s attention to their case and to raise the voice for justice. His action has received the attention of some parliamentarians in Britain and in the European Union, but he has not had any interaction at the formal level as economic and political interests among states are strong and priority.
As for the Saudi activist, Ali Hashem, who opposed Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, as well as Saudi interventions in the Syria war; he got exiled from his country after labeling him a terrorist and imposing house arrest on his family.
French parliamentarians Sandra Marsoud and Eric Girardin drew the attention of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to the “deteriorating human rights situation in Bahrain,” according to Americans for Democracy & Human Rights Organistion in Bahrain.
Mersoud condemned the repression of political activists and human rights defenders, as well as attacks on freedom of movement, deprivation of citizenship and torture in detention in Bahrain. She explicitly drew attention to the access to basic health care, despite the spread of the corona virus in Bahrain’s prisons, the Organisation website states.
Gerardin denounced the repression of these important Bahraini actors in civil society for demanding respect for human rights in the country, and the ongoing threats to the families of those who continue their activities in exile.
Before the first meeting between the European Union and Saudi Arabia on human rights on 27 September, Amnesty International called on EU leaders to hold the Saudi government accountable for its crackdown on silencing the opposition, which has escalated in recent months. Amnesty International also called on the European Union, which was hosting the meeting, to recognise the essential role of society.