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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.

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

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 (

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has issued a decision calling the detention of Ahmad Al Alwani, opposition member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, arbitrary since he “was targeted and discriminated against for his Sunni background and political opinions and activities”.  Al Alwani had been arrested in December 2013 and secretly detained for a month during which he was tortured in order to force him to sign a self-incriminating statement.

Between 12 and 15 June 2017, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Public Prosecutor issued orders to block access within the West Bank to at least 12 news websites*. Since then, people in the West Bank have been unable to access them. All targeted news agencies websites are believed to convey voices critical to the Palestinian Authority, raising concerns that this measure aims at restricting free speech.