Amnesty International strengthens human rights presence in MENA with new office based in Lebanon

MEDIA ADVISORY

Amnesty International strengthens human rights presence in MENA with new office based in Lebanon

Spokespeople available for interview in Beirut for launch of annual human rights report

Amnesty International will launch its annual state of the world’s human rights report on Wednesday 22 February 2017. Spokespeople will be available to discuss human rights violations and abuses across the Middle East from the organization’s new office in Beirut, Lebanon.

The office, which has been set up as part of an expansion of Amnesty International’s operations throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), will lead the organization’s work covering the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Staff based in Beirut will carry out human rights research, campaigning, media and advocacy work and will seek to engage with new supporters as well as to expand Amnesty International’s human rights education programme across the MENA region.

“In a region that is beset by conflict and crises it is even more crucial to boost efforts to protect and promote human rights. From revealing the scale of atrocities committed by government forces and armed groups in Syria and Iraq to exposing unlawful attacks that could amount to war crimes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and by the Huthi armed group in Yemen, Amnesty International’s work is fundamental for exposing abuses and pushing for justice. As well as our work documenting attacks on civilians in conflict we will continue to push for governments such as the Gulf states to end repressive crackdowns on peaceful activists, respect the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, uphold economic, social and cultural rights, and halt executions and use of the death penalty and end discrimination against women and minorities,” said Randa Habib, Regional Director for MENA at Amnesty International.

“We are aiming to bring our research, campaigning and advocacy efforts right to the heart of the region to investigate abuses, expose facts and hold those responsible to account. We will be pushing for governments across the region to uphold their human rights obligations and respect international law and will seek to work more closely with partners on the ground to ensure that human rights defenders have the space to do their vital work. We will also work to mobilize people across the MENA region to learn more about human rights, join our movement and get involved in our campaigns.”

The opening of the office in Beirut is part of Amnesty International’s global transition programme that seeks to bring the global movement closer to the ground, and as such, marks a wider expansion of the organization’s presence in the region which includes new offices in Tunis and East Jerusalem.

The Beirut office is headed by Randa Habib, Regional Director for MENA at Amnesty International. Research work is led by Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research and campaigns is led by Samah Hadid, Deputy Director for Campaigns.

For media requests relating to Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and the Gulf states please contact:

Tarek Wheibi, MENA Media Manager in Beirut on [email protected] or call +961 81 666 428

For media requests relating to North Africa, Iran, or Palestine and Israel please contact:

Sara Hashash, MENA Media Manager in London on [email protected] or call +44 207 413 5511