2019 MENA protests were met with brutal crackdown: Amnesty

Wave of protests across MENA in 2019 met with excessive, lethal force: Amnesty
2 min read
18 February, 2020
Peaceful protests that took over the Middle East and North Africa throughout 2019 were met with a brutal crackdown, according to Amnesty International.
Amnesty said MENA governments displayed a "total disregard" for people's right to protest [Getty]
Uprisings that shook the Middle East and North Africa throughout 2019 were met with excessive force and lethal violence, according to an Amnesty International report published on Tuesday.

In their annual report outlining global human rights violations, Amnesty documented brutal crackdown on protests across the MENA region which included killings, injuries and imprisonment.

In Iraq, at least 500 died as protesters were attacked with live ammunition, sniper attacks and military tear gas grenades deployed at short range.

In Iran, security forces killed over 300 people and injured thousands over the span of four days. Thousands more were arrested, with many subjected to enforced disappearances and torture.

During demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank, dozens of Palestinians were killed.

Ongoing mass protests in Lebanon were met with "unlawful and excessive force", according to Amnesty.

Protesters in Algeria and Egypt were subjected to mass arbitrary arrests.

"Governments in MENA have displayed a total disregard for the rights of people to protest and express themselves peacefully," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty's Director for MENA.

"Instead of launching deadly crackdowns and resorting to measures such as excessive use of force, torture, or arbitrary mass arrests and prosecutions, authorities should listen to and address demands for social and economic justice as well as political rights," Morayef added.

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