Middle East and North Africa

The Arab Spring of 2011 launched an era of sweeping political changes in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which has historically been the least free region in the world. The fall of longtime leaders and the people's rising demands for a stronger voice in their own governance have brought new opportunities for reform and democratic transition in countries otherwise marked by severe abuses of almost all fundamental political rights and civil liberties. Freedom House is helping citizens to realize these aspirations through a variety of programs across the region.

Asterisks in the country list below indicate a territory rather than a country.

Countries & Territories: 21
403 million people
2% free
Press:
0% free

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

Freedom House welcomes the United States’ acknowledgement that recent actions of the Egyptian government do not reflect an attempt to transition to a representative and democratic government.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Elections, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Rule of Law, U.S. Foreign Policy
Regions: 
Middle East and North Africa
written by
Dean Jackson
Guest Blogger

Today’s dictators aren’t going it alone. Whether across the airwaves, on the internet, or at the polling booth, they are assisted by a range of private actors who are based in free countries but sell their services to unsavory regimes abroad.

Freedom House and a  broad coalition of  African and international NGOs urges President Obama to give civil society a prominent role in in the U.S. Africa Leaders’ Summit to be held August 5-6 in Washington, D.C.. The summit is an opportunity for the United States to engage African leaders on the development of strong democratic institutions and respect for the rights of citizens.

 

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Freedom of Association, Human Rights Defense
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa

On April 10, more than 200 guests filled the Hillyer Art Space for Freedom House’s Third Annual Photography and Art Auction fundraiser.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Religious Freedom, Rule of Law, Women's Rights
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Americas

Experts

Director of Middle East and North Africa Programs


Project Director for "Freedom on the Net"


37 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
82 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
60 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
79 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
91 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
34 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
7.9 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6.3 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
46 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
2.9 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.3 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
45 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
6.5 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
45 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
33 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
42 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
3.1 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.9 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
29 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
70 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
23 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
85 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
11 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
3.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
41 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
8.1 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
66 / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
26 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.3 million people
Scores Overview

Countries We're Watching

Programs

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society. 

The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.

Freedom House administers several funds which offer emergency assistance to organizations and individuals around the world who are under threat because of their human rights work. The targeted, rapid-response aid we provide enables those at risk to protect themselves and continue their important work.

Freedom House works with Syrian political activists to build their capacity for non-violent struggle, strategy development, effective advocacy, and safe and secure communications skills.

Freedom House supports Iran's pro-democracy movement and human rights defenders as they resist the Iranian regime's surveillance and repression.

Freedom House engages critical rule of law stakeholders to develop a reform agenda for Tunisia as it transforms to a state that is accountable and guarantees citizens’ a role in maintaining a watchdog role.

Issues: 

In Egypt and Tunisia, we work with activists and citizen journalists to observe the elections. Bloggers and local activists receive training on election monitoring, violation reporting techniques, new media and mobile technology usage helping to increase transparency and citizens’ engagement in the political process.

Freedom House equips Gulf women to help other Gulf women succeed in male-dominated professions.