During its 120th session in July 2017 the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HR Committee) published its List of Issues in preparation for Lebanon’s third review, scheduled for March 2018.

Families fear for the lives of nine men who remain missing following their abduction by Egyptian State Security and police forces.

Over the past three weeks, 44 individuals, most of whom young students, were summarily executed by State Security forces while secretly detained for periods ranging from two weeks to a month.

This practice is creating a climate of fear in the country. Families, who are systematically denied any information despite numerous inquiries, are extremely concerned over the fate and physical integrity of their relatives.

On May 24, 2017, 21 news agencies’ websites* were blocked by the Egyptian authorities for “spreading lies” and “supporting terrorism.” The authorities made no official statement and did not inform the news agencies of their decision nor of its grounds. These websites, all known for being critical of the government, remain inaccessible from inside Egypt. The websites of several human rights organisations, including Alkarama and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, have also been targeted by Egyptian authorities.

In preparation for the 2018 periodic review of Algeria by the Human Rights Committee (HRC), Alkarama submitted its contribution to the committee’s List of Issues on July 24, 2017.

Freedom of expression activist Bassel Khartabil was executed soon after his disappearance from Damascus’ Adra prison on October 3, 2015, his widow has confirmed.

Alkarama recently brought to the attention of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) the case of 14 men and 4 women*, among whom young students, human rights defenders, political opponents, peaceful activists, filmmakers and journalists. They were all abducted by the State Security, severely tortured in order to sign self-incriminating statements and charged with “belonging to a banned group”.

Alkarama is appalled by the decision of the Economic and Social Council not to grant us the consultative status, following a draft resolution introduced by the United Arab Emirates over “alleged ties to terrorism”. This is at odds with the positive recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations taken in May 2017, after a long vetting process.

The UAE’s Lack of Cooperation with the United Nations

On 28 May 2017, nine journalists prosecuted in the “Raba’a Operations Room” mass trial were included in a new “terrorist list” issued by the Egyptian authorities. The document was published 20 days after the issuance of their final judgment: while five of them were released, four – Abdullah Alfakharany, Samhy Abdulalim, Mohamed Aladili and Youssouf Talat Abdulkarim – remain in detention at Al Aqrab prison.

In September 2015, after the first review of Iraq, the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) issued three priority recommendations that the country should implement within one year to ensure compliance with the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances (