Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Country Profile: Jordan
Background The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy in which executive and legislative authority is primarily vested in the king, who is supported by a bicameral parliament.U.S. Department of State, “County Report on Human Rights Practices 2007,” March 11, 2008, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100598.htm....
Country Profile: Israel
Background Since its founding as a state in 1948, Israel has contended with the proper limits of security forces as a democracy under military threat. The Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Censor decides what information should not be published, and both domestic journalists and...
Country Profile: Egypt
Background Egypt has taken several steps toward greater political freedom since the beginning of President Hosni Mubarak’s administration in 1981, including amending its constitution to allow multiple candidates to run in presidential elections.“Country profile: Egypt,” BBC News, March 10, 2009 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/737642.stm. However, an...
Country Profile: Bahrain
Background The king of Bahrain undertook important reforms in 2001-2002, but freedom of expression, assembly, and association are still subject to arbitrary restrictions.Human Rights Watch, “Bahrain: Events of 2007,” January 2008, http://www.hrw.org/legacy/englishwr2k8/docs/2008/01/31/bahrai17594.htm. The long-running tensions between Bahrain's Sunnis and the Shia...
Country Profile: Libya
Background After years of isolation, Libya began to open to the international community and to improve its relationship with the West in 2003 by taking responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a PanAm plane above the Scotland and formally renouncing weapons of mass...
Country Profile: Algeria
Background Press freedom in Algeria remains fragile, especially after a February 27, 2006 decree that provides for fines and prison terms of up to five years for those who speak or write to “exploit the wounds of the national tragedy, tarnish the country's...
Country Profile: Iran
Background Speech in the Islamic Republic of Iran is heavily regulated. The limits to freedom of expression in Iran are grounded in the constitution and speech restrictions extend over a broad range of topics, including religion, immorality, social harmony and politics. In comparison...
ONI Blog: Saudi Arabia to impose restrictions on online content production, including on YouTube
The chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Audiovisual Media, Dr. Riyad Najm, said his commission will start putting restrictions on content produced online, including on YouTube. He said Saudis wishing to post content to YouTube will have to get a license...
ONI Blog: After the Green Movement: Internet Controls in Iran, 2009-2012
This report, titled "After the Green Movement: Internet Controls in Iran, 2009-2012", details Iran’s increasing Internet controls since 2009, when protests against the victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad rocked the country. The election protest campaign--dubbed the “Green Movement”--was marked for...
ONI Blog: Threats to the Open Net: August 10, 2012
Iran's telecommunications minister announced on Sunday that the government's project to replace access to the global Internet with Iran's own domestic intranet system is scheduled to be completed within 18 months. The proposed insular intranet would be heavily regulated...