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Middle East and North Africa: Human rights defenders in 2018

, Index number: MDE 01/9534/2018

Human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa have faced a wide array of threats from governments and armed groups in 2018, but they have also been at the centre of compelling stories of hard-won change and of attempts to stem crackdowns on freedom of expression by governments across the region and to document violations in conflict. Women human rights defenders have been prominently on the front lines of resistance, challenging entrenched gender discrimination and other patterns of human rights violations. Branded security threats by governments seeking to exploit an international wave of attempts to delegitimize those seen as undermining national interests, their resilience and courage have been inspirational.

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