On the side of Maat’s Participation in the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva,
Maat launches the Human Rights Situation Report in the Arab Region 2017
As part of its participation in the work of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Foundation launched , Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights Its first report to monitor and evaluate the human rights situation in the Arab region, covering the year 2017.
Ayman Okeil, General Director of Maat, said that the report is based on an integrated methodology. Also, focusing on the Arab states’ position on the UN mechanisms for the protection of human rights in 2017. Whether at the level of human rights treaty committees, and Special Rapporteurs, or the universal periodic review. As well as, this report presents the general features of the human rights situation in the Arab countries.
Okeil also pointed out that the report pays a special attention to armed conflicts and their impact on human rights. In addition to other issues like the issue of terrorism, violence and extremism, the Palestinian issue and the occupation of the Arab territories by Israel.
The Arab region has witnessed a continuation of the armed conflict in Libya, Syria and Yemen in 2017, and increasing of the interference by foreign forces in those and other countries. The level of violence and terrorism continued to rise, as well it became clear that there are some countries and governments in the region were standing behind the terrorist organizations. Also, they provided these terrorist organizations with the political, financial and logistical support.
On the other hand, public freedoms in the region are still witnessing a marked decline, as the right to freedom of peaceful assembly continues to face severe restrictions, and increasing restrictions have been imposed on the space available for civil society to practice its activities, and some governments have continued to impose systematic and arbitrary restrictions on the exercise of the right. In freedom of expression.
The report includes four sections; the first section discusses the position of the Arab countries on human rights mechanisms; the second section includes the human rights situation in the Arab region; while the third section focuses on the armed conflicts in the region; and the last “forth” section deals with combating terrorism and its impact on human rights.
Moreover, the report was based on papers that were prepared by Maat’s researchers, and relied heavily on documented information that available through local sources. As well as evaluations, observations, and information were provided by human rights experts from some of the countries under study.
The report revealed that there were 13 Arab countries that were required to submit reports to the human rights treaty committees during the year 2017, among which were countries that were required to submit reports to more than one committee. In general, the Arab countries were supposed to submit 17 reports to the treaty committees with different specializations, while It has already submitted 9 reports, while the Arab countries failed to submit eight.
Concerning the Special Rapporteurs, some of them submitted Complaints and statements concerning the human rights situations in some countries, notably Libya, Bahrain and Egypt. A large number of these complaints were answered in the case of Egypt and Bahrain, while the responses were lower in the case of Libya. As well as, there are five Arab States that subjected to the universal periodic review mechanism.
The report revealed that the Middle East region in general and the Arab region in particular were among the top regions in the world in terms of terrorist operations, as Iraq was classified as the highest country in the world in terms of the number of terrorist operations and the number of victims during the year 2017, followed by Syria, then Yemen, Egypt and Libya, while Morocco came in The last three ranks, next to the Sultanate of Oman and Mauritania. And that is according to the statistics of the Global Terrorism Index.
Furthermore, the report reviewed the situation of armed conflicts in some Arab countries and their negative impact on human rights, especially, in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq. The report also reviewed and analyzed the ongoing violations of the Israeli occupation army in the occupied Palestinian territories.