The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
No Rules, No Limits
United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Expanding Human Rights Information and Values in the Middle East and North Africa
Hrinfo depends on the internet to free the activities of human rights organizations from the restrictions they now face. We hope to give these organizations a megaphone to magnify their voices in country and in the region.
Hrinfo collects the publications, campaigns, reports, and statements of the various human rights organizations, so that the daily product of those organizations will is available in one place, updated daily.
Hrinfo is not only a means of exchanging information, but also a place to archive that information so that it remains available to Arabic readers in any part of the world.
Hrinfo is a partner in the Arabic Portal for Human Rights "http://www.hrria.org"
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information is a central repository for human rights information and websites in Arabic throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Today, there are many millions of internet users in the Middle East, but it remains difficult for users to find information about human rights. Hrinfo provides a central site where Arabic readers can easily find links to and information about all human rights groups and their work in the region. The Network also focuses on and seeks the expansion of freedom of expression on the internet in the Middle East..
In particular, there are critical areas that are not only taboo intellectually in the Islamic world and culture, but for which there are also no groups in the region today to even work on, such as, the death penalty, and rights of Christian minorities. Our objective is to create a space where these issues and other vital information about human rights can be discussed freely, and where people who share an interest in these areas can create a community.
Why "Hrinfo" Now?
The situation of human rights tops agenda of many researchers and journalists. Interest in this topic has increased so much so that the words ‘human rights’ have become one of the titles appearing almost daily in the media. Today, there is virtually no Arabic newspaper or magazine without some treatment of a specific human rights violation, a particular human rights organization, or a human rights concept. Despite this progress, human rights is a highly politicized topic, and the coverage often reflects this. Human rights news is subject to changes in political interests and factions, whether because of the general climate or because of changed media management. Such slanted coverage in turn has a negative effect on the image and activities of the human rights organizations and the public’s position toward them. This treatment of human rights issues has raised questions among a portion of the public about its enjoyment of these rights, what they are, and how they can learn more about them. And for that reason it has become urgently necessary for the publications of the various human rights organizations, and the issues they address to be available in Arabic more broadly and more quickly, via the internet to ensure that they reach the broadest segment of the Arabic-speaking public worldwide.
- TO Make available Middle East and North African human rights organizations' reports and statements to Arabic readers worldwide;
- TO Provide resources about human rights issues to the media, activists, and the general public;
- TO Expand the circle of Arabic readers interested in learning more about human rights issues and organizations;
- TO Link to major international organizations that feature content in Arabic.
- TO Increase access to information about specific human rights issues or abuses.
What we aim at ?
1. Increasing the availability of local, regional, and international human rights organizations’ Arabic publications to researchers, the media, and the interested public.
2. Widening the circle of those interested in human rights issues and concepts among the portions of the youth who use the internet.
3. Increasing and widening the use of the Arabic language on the internet, particularly in the area of human rights.
4. Raising awareness about human rights issues among the Arabic-reading public and creating a circle of human rights supporters by encouraging this public’s participation in human rights campaigns, and by providing it with instruments and directions to websites in other languages that publish on the same issues.
What we do?
1. completing a guide to information on the human rights organizations in the region, including their addresses, areas of work, and means to contact them.
2. Providing support and advice to Middle East and North African human rights organizations, including help in creating their own websites and training on secure communications and the use of internet technology for the exchange of information.
3. Creating a calendar of human rights organizations’ activities to be published on a regular basis
4. Issuing a weekly newsletter aimed at an audience that wants to be kept updated on the latest developments and news covered by the various human rights organizations
5. Distributing the regional and international human rights treaties and instruments.
6. Publishing reports and studies on freedom to exchange information on the internet and developments regarding freedom of opinion and expression and restrictions placed on it, in order to clarify the policies of Middle Eastern and North African governments regarding these rights.
7. Explaining human rights concepts found in the regional and international instruments through the presentation of the provisions related to fundamental rights within single topics: "What is Freedom of Opinion and Expression , Freedom and Personal Integrity, Fair Trial, the Right to Peaceful Assembly, the Rights of the Child, etc"
8. Publishing guides on human rights research methodology (e.g. How To Take Testimony, Observe a Trial, Visit a Prison, Write a Legal Brief Based on Human Rights Instruments, Write a Complain to the UN and International Human Rights Committees) and make available guides prepared by other human rights organizations.
9. Creating discussion forums that allow readers to set forth their opinions and ideas about human rights issues and to freely
Please notice that the content of the English page is not equal to the Arabic one. As we translate, the Agenda, the topics of discussion and our own press releases and reports, we provide links to the other Arabic Human Rights organizations to see their work on their own English pages on their web sites.