CIHRS Issues Recommendations for Biden-Harris Administration on Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

In Arab Countries, Egypt /Road Map Program, International Advocacy Program, Statements and Position Papers by CIHRS

Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) sent recommendations to the Biden-Harris administration in the United States on promoting and protecting human rights in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Like President Biden, we believe that what the United States government says and does about democracy and human rights around the world matters. Human rights activists across the Middle East and North Africa are looking for positive action from the new American administration to protect and advance human rights and resolve conflicts,

Neil Hicks, Senior Director for Advocacy at CIHRS.

Encouraged by pledges made by the Biden-Harris campaign “to defend and advance human rights and other democratic values,” and by steps the new administration has already taken to re-engage with the UN Human Rights Council and to end U.S. support for Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, CIHRS offers country-specific recommendations on six countries as a framework for practical action by the United States that can begin to turn promises into vital human rights action.

With its willful disregard for human rights and international law and its brazen support for dictators, the Trump administration has left much of the region scarred by conflicts, escalating repression and endemic impunity for human rights violators.

Repairing this damage will be a major challenge for the new administration.  CIHRS looks forward to the United States initiating new, dynamic cooperation with the European Union and other democratic allies around the world to promote human rights, and to immediately resume close engagement with the United Nations Human Rights Council.

CIHRS' recommendations set out concrete policy steps the United States should take to - in the words of the Biden-Harris campaign - put an end to policies that “pander to authoritarian leaders” like President Trump’s “favorite dictator,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt; in Palestine “oppose annexation and settlement expansion” “end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen"; and in Syria, “pursue political solutions, protect vulnerable Syrians and facilitate the work of non-governmental organizations.”

CIHRS also set out recommendations for new U.S. policy approaches to advance human rights in Lebanon and Libya.

Recommendations on Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

for the Biden-Harris Administration

Before the presidential election, the Biden-Harris campaign made the following statements[1] (reproduced in italics below) about human rights in the Middle East and North Africa region:

Championing Democracy and Human Rights Globally:

As President, Joe Biden would help the people of the Arab world address the challenges they face, whether they are rising up in protest, suffering from repression, or living through civil war. Although each country faces its own unique issues, the core complaints of poverty, corruption, and a scarcity of freedom are a common challenge.

Human rights are at the core of the very idea of America, and the United States is safer when fundamental rights are protected worldwide. As President, Biden will take immediate steps to demonstrate that the United States is prepared to lead the world again, and to defend and advance human rights and the other democratic values that we hold dear. Biden will also prioritize efforts to resolve conflicts through negotiations and use the full range of our diplomatic tools and foreign assistance to protect and advance human rights and development, and actively combat violence and discrimination.

Biden knows that the United States cannot dictate the outcomes in complex societies — especially not by force. But he believes that, as the world’s leading democracy, we have a responsibility to defend and advance rights and dignity, and work towards a more peaceful, more secure world. He believes that what we say and do matters, and that we must not refrain from condemning violations of universal rights or from supporting economic and political reforms.

Biden-Harris campaign

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) welcomes these commitments from the new U.S. administration to help the people of the Arab region address the manifold challenges they face; challenges often exacerbated by policies of previous administrations.  The Trump administration, with its willful disregard for human rights and international law, and its brazen support for dictators, has left much of the region scarred by interminable conflicts, escalating repression, and endemic impunity for human rights violators.

A United States that strives to “defend and advance rights and dignity” and works “towards a more peaceful, more secure world” offers a better future to the people of the Arab region.  It will also better serve American interests to effectively counter instability and threats, like violent extremism, terrorism, and the increasing involvement of U.S. rivals and adversaries in proxy armed conflicts.

To advance its human rights agenda, the United States should immediately resume close engagement with the United Nations Human Rights Council, taking the first opportunity to stand for membership to the pre-eminent international human rights body.  Multilateral cooperation to promote human rights and democracy will be essential; accordingly, the United States should initiate new, dynamic coordination with the European Union and other democratic allies around the world.

The United States has many available tools available to advance human rights, from laws like the Global Magnitsky Act or the Leahy Law, to its diplomatic weight and influence, including its unique capacity to convene the international community to address global challenges.  Most importantly, the United States has the power of the example it sets.  This includes dealing with domestic challenges like racism, inequality and inhumane immigration policies.  It also requires the United States to ensure it is not facilitating or enabling repression and human rights violations through its bilateral relations, especially with authoritarian allies, many of which are in the Middle East. The United States should instead use its leverage to promote policies that advance accountable governance and meet the aspirations of the people of the region for fundamental rights and human dignity.

Recognizing that the Biden-Harris administration has taken office in the face of daunting domestic challenges, a raging global pandemic, and foreign policy problems in many parts of the world, CIHRS offers the following country-specific recommendations as a framework for practical action from the United States, which can begin to turn the administration’s promises into vital human rights progress.


A Biden Administration’s relationships with Middle Eastern states led by authoritarian leaders will take into greater consideration human rights and democratic principles. It undermines our moral standing globally, and endangers dissidents, when President Trump excuses Saudi abuses, panders to authoritarian leaders, or calls Egypt’s president ‘my favorite dictator.
Biden-Harris campaign

Condemning human rights violations and supporting political reforms should be a central element of a strategy to promote sustainable stability and security for the people of the region.  The long-standing U.S. relationship with Egypt is a key proving ground for the administration’s pledge to defend and advance human rights. Successive administrations have focused on promoting democracy and human rights through the bilateral relationship complemented by steadily increasing congressional pressure on the Egyptian government to uphold its human rights obligations. The Trump administration reversed this trend, and it is perhaps not a coincidence that over last four years, repression and human rights violations in the country have escalated to unprecedented severity.

In the post-pandemic world, Egypt will face severe economic and social challenges.  Meeting those challenges will require genuine reforms to restore political freedoms systematically crushed under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, together with reforms to implement effective safeguards against corruption:

    1. The Biden administration should urge the Egyptian government to release the tens of thousands of prisoners held after grossly unfair trials, or without adequate procedural safeguards. Many of these prisoners were detained because of their political opinions or for their peaceful criticism of the policies of the Sisi government, in violation of their rights protected under the Egyptian Constitution and international law.  The COVID-19 pandemic renders the release of these prisoners even more urgent, so that incarceration in overcrowded, insanitary conditions does not turn into a death sentence. President Biden and his team can initiate prompt progress in advancing prisoner releases by elevating calls for the release of specific, named prisoners, including human rights defenders, journalists and other non-violent political activists in the first weeks of the administration.
        • The Biden administration should make clear that it will encourage and support multilateral efforts to hold Egypt accountable for its abysmal human rights record until there are clear signs of change. For example, the United States should return to the UN Human Rights Council,      and should coordinate with its allies, to advance public action on human rights violations in Egypt by the Council, beginning with the March 2021 session.  The Council has failed to take public action on Egypt since 2014 despite the fact that the country has been enduring the most severe human rights crisis of its modern history. Releasing prisoners would send a positive signal; the Biden administration should make this demand a priority.
    1. The Biden administration should urge the Egyptian government to end its sustained crackdown on independent civil society organizations, including human rights organizations. The Egyptian government should revise restrictive laws that make it impossible for organizations to operate free from government interference; it should end criminal prosecutions and investigations against human rights defenders in reprisal for their legitimate human rights activities: including by completely ending Case 173 of 2011; it should lift all travel bans imposed on human rights defenders, and lift asset seizures imposed on defenders and human rights organizations.
    1. The Biden administration should urge the Egyptian government to end institutional discrimination against religious minorities, especially the large Coptic Christian minority.  Discriminatory laws governing the construction of churches and religious buildings should be eliminated; impunity for incidents of religiously motivated violence against Copts should be ended; and activists jailed for their advocacy for the rights of Copts should be released.
    1. The Biden administration should urge the Egyptian government to stop using the pretext of counterterrorism to legitimize grave human rights violations, including forced disappearances, extrajudicial execution, and widespread torture. It must enable local and international journalists to report freely on its counterterrorism operations in parts of the country, like the Sinai region, which have become information blackholes.  The civilian population of the Sinai region has been victimized by severe repression and escalating violence as President Sisi’s perpetual war on terrorism grinds on.
    1. The Biden administration should urge the Egyptian government to end its restrictions on media freedoms, which have resulted in the closure of independent news outlets, the jailing and prosecution of journalists, and the banning of websites.
    1. The Biden administration should use its influence within international financial institutions to advance anti-corruption and transparency Such measures should include lifting restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of expression and of association.

The Biden administration should work with Congress to strengthen human rights conditions attached to military assistance.  The U.S. aid package to Egypt should be rebalanced away from its disproportionate emphasis on military assistance in favor of U.S. support in such areas as public health, education, and infrastructure. In all areas, the U.S. should set conditions of non-reprisal against media personnel and workers in each field for speaking up about policies and practices supported by U.S. aid, not least medical personnel speaking out about the COVID-19 situation and the State response. Within the allocation and planning of civilian aid, care must be taken to include independent civil society organizations as monitoring and implementing partners.      The U.S. should avoid allocation of aid to be disbursed directly to non-transparent State bodies unless there are established means and channels to monitor its spending to ensure genuine benefit for Egyptian citizens.

The Biden administration should insist on end use inspection in situ of any U.S.-made weapons, equipment and systems purchased by Egypt including in Sinai, in accordance with U.S. law. If secure access is not given, the U.S. should plan strict measures in response, including cuts in military aid and suspending maintenance contracts.  It should coordinate end use inspection of weapons sold to Egypt with NATO allies and promote best practices so that the United States and its allies are not providing the Sisi government with the means to violate the rights of its people.

A sustained, consistent policy from the Biden administration to advance human rights in Egypt will encourage the European Union and like-minded states in Europe and beyond to maintain a principled stand on the need for human rights reform in Egypt.  Such concerted action constitutes hope for advancing universal values in an authoritarian state that will test the administration's commitment to human rights and dignity in a challenging but potentially influential context.


Joe Biden believes in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli. He will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy. His policies will be grounded in a commitment to a two-state solution, where Israel and the future viable state of Palestine will live together in peace, security, and mutual recognition. Biden opposes any unilateral steps by either side that undermine a two-state solution. He opposes annexation and settlement expansion and will continue to oppose both as President. As President, Biden will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, consistent with U.S. law, including assistance to refugees, work to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem, and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.

  1. The Biden administration should address the root causes of the human-made humanitarian crisis in Gaza by urging Israel to immediately end its illegal blockade and lift the closure in line with recommendations of members of the U.S. House of Representatives[2] and the UN Commission of Inquiry on Protests in Gaza.[3]

  2. The Biden administration should urge Israel to halt and reverse settlement expansion in territory it has occupied since 1967. It should reject Israel’s de facto and de jure annexation of occupied territory and its unilateral claim of sovereignty over Jerusalem.

  3. The Biden administration should support congressional efforts to condition U.S. funding to Israel on respect for human rights and compliance with U.S. and international law, including by supporting the approach of Res. 2407[4] the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act and H. Res. 8050[5] the Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act from the previous Congress.

  4. The United States should support efforts at the United Nations to ensure that the UN database of businesses involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise is updated annually with sufficient resources allocated for the OHCHR to fulfill Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 until settlements are dismantled, the occupation comes to an end, and the Palestinian people are able to fully exercise their right to self-determination, including sovereignty over their natural resources.

  5. The Biden administration should work with Congress to legislate mandatory human rights due diligence procedures, regulations, and avenues for accountability for all U.S. corporate entities and non-profit organizations, operating within and outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government, that are engaging with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise and support policies regarding Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise that are in line with the U. S. National Action Plan[6] on Responsible Business Conduct and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.[7]

  6. The Biden administration should immediately halt U.S. attempts to interfere with the work and investigations of the Criminal Court (ICC) and renounce any actions taken to obstruct the work of the Court, including the targeting of individual ICC staff,      the Executive Order of June 11, 2020,[8]      and the imposition of travel bans[9] and sanctions,[10] which jeopardize the existing framework of international criminal law and contravene principles concerned with the interests of justice and the rights of victims to access remedy.

  7. The Biden administration should support Palestinian efforts towards reconciliation, and the restitution of democratic governance in the Palestinian territories, including the legislative and presidential elections currently scheduled for May 22 and July 31, 2020. In that regard, the United States should speak out clearly against human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority or the Hamas-led governing authority in Gaza.

  8. The Biden administration should uphold the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by protecting the right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly, including in relation to activists, human rights defenders, and organizations using peaceful means – including boycott - to advocate for an end to Israel’s persistent human rights violations against Palestinians.[11]


Donald Trump has given the government of Saudi Arabia a blank check to pursue a disastrous set of policies, including the ongoing war in Yemen, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the crackdown on dissent at home, including the targeting of female activists. Biden will review the U.S. relationship with the government of Saudi Arabia and end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

  1. The Biden administration should work with Congress to end the licensing and delivery of arms in respect to all parties engaged in the conflict.
    • Put in place a due diligence process to identify, prevent, and mitigate human rights harms from military operations and intervention linked to U.S. arms sales or transfers, and refrain from any current or future arms sales to Saudi Arabia or states in the Saudi-led Coalition.
    • Suspend maintenance contracts for arms already sold to states of the Saudi-led Coalition, where there is evidence of their present or past use in the war in Yemen.
    • Disengage from any business relationship concerning the sale, transfer, or authorization of licenses for export.
    • Demand and support credible investigations of alleged violations committed by Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates in Yemen in which the Coalition used weapons supplied by the United States.
  1. Urgently increase funding for the full range of humanitarian programming in Yemen, including through the appeal of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Yemen.
    • Lift the designation of the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization and remove restrictions on humanitarian funds for Yemen to alleviate the catastrophic situation faced by Yemeni civilians.
    • Work through the UN Security Council and other relevant UN bodies to ensure stronger monitoring and accountability mechanisms of individuals and groups involved in blocking and interfering with the delivery of humanitarian aid, including through the relevant monitoring mechanisms on Yemen established by the Security Council.
  1. The Biden administration should support multilateral efforts to bring accountability for serious violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law in Yemen:
    • Urge the government of Yemen and Saudi Arabia to allow access to the UN Group of Eminent Experts (GEE), as well as representatives from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and ensure that all grave violations and potential war crimes are properly investigated and prosecuted.
    • Use its power at the Security Council to refer the situation in Yemen to the International Criminal Court.
    • Ensure adequate financial and diplomatic support for the work of the GEE.
    • Support the establishment of an International, Independent Investigatory Mechanism with powers to carry out criminal investigations to hold accountable those responsible for serious violations of international law.
  1. The Biden administration should prioritize peace by renegotiating the terms of UN Security Resolution 2216 to remove disincentives for peace in the current text.[12]



The Trump administration has repeatedly fallen short on U.S. policy in Syria. Biden would recommit to standing with civil society and pro-democracy partners on the ground. He will ensure the U.S. is leading the global coalition to defeat ISIS and use what leverage we have in the region to help shape a political settlement to give more Syrians a voice. Biden would press all actors to pursue political solutions, protect vulnerable Syrians, facilitate the work of non-governmental organizations, and help mobilize other countries to support Syria’s reconstruction. He would recommit the United States to lead on humanitarian issues

  1. The Biden administration should ensure that the political process and constitution drafting process is compatible with UN Security Council resolution 2254[13] and facilitates the return of all refugees and IDPs and the rehabilitation of damaged areas, and incorporates housing, land, and property rights in light of the applicable rules of international law, including human rights and business standards.
  1. Significantly increase the number of refugees accepted by the United States for resettlement, following substantial cuts by the Trump administration, and increase support to address this growing challenge for host countries and the region.[14]
  1. Work to ensure that all parties reveal the fate and whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared, provide the location of remains in the case of death, put an end to torture, and provide international organizations access to all secret detention centers.
  1. Support international criminal accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria, including by directing the Justice Department to establish a task force to investigate alleged crimes and ensure that applicable cases are brought before U.S. courts through universal jurisdiction.
  1. Conduct an assessment of the impact of U.S. sanctions and other restrictive measures on Syrian civil society in Syria, particularly in areas held by the Syrian government, and the negative impact on the ability of civil society to conduct activities and maintain their independent presence. Take steps to mitigate the impact and provide solutions to ensure civil society is able to receive and access funding[15] and involve civil society from Syria and the diaspora in discussions on compliance, de-risking, and financial regulations alongside INGOs and banks as they deal with much of the burden of these regulations.[16]


Joe Biden will direct his administration to work with civil society and the citizens of Lebanon to assist them as they develop and implement an economic and political future for their country, free of corruption, and inclusive of all stakeholders. The U.S. will continue to support the Lebanese Armed Forces as an essential pillar of stability for the entire country, while also providing support and solutions for recovery from the explosion at the Beirut port this summer and for the extraordinarily large number of refugees and their host communities in Lebanon. A Biden administration will continue to support Lebanese civil society to help strengthen the country

  1. Support efforts to establish an international, independent, and transparent investigation into the Beirut port explosion, including systemic issues of corruption, ineffective governance, and sectarianism that have plagued Lebanon, the circumstances leading up to the explosion, and the use of force by Lebanese security forces against protesters; including through the UN Human Rights Council.[17]
  1. Review all aid and support provided to Lebanese security forces to ensure that no weapons, equipment, or training is given to any forces involved in abuses against protesters[18] in line with U.S. law, including the Leahy Law,[19] and international law.
  1. Ensure that any and all humanitarian and reconstruction assistance is delivered with clear monitoring and tracking in place in order to prevent corruption by the political leadership while also including targeted assistance to the most vulnerable groups including economically disadvantaged host communities, refugees, migrant workers, elderly people, individuals with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.
  1. Support civil society calls for political, economic, and human rights reforms and the establishment of effective and functioning regulatory bodies for longer-term and reconstruction funding to the Government of Lebanon.
  1. Significantly increase the number of refugees the U.S. will accept for resettlement, following substantial cuts by the Trump administration, and increase support to address this growing challenge for host countries and the region.[20]


The past year has seen the entrenchment of foreign parties in Libya on an unprecedented scale, in violation of a UN arms embargo, with Turkey and its Syrian mercenaries supporting the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), while the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Russian Wagner Group, and Egypt, along with Syrian, Chadian and Sudanese mercenaries, have militarily and diplomatically supported the Libyan National Army (LNA) coalition.

Following a military stalemate over the summer of 2020, a successful diplomatic push from European countries, the United Nations, and the United States led to the signing of the 23 October ceasefire agreement and the resumption of UN-led negotiations through the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), with a new roadmap for elections scheduled in December 2021.

However, the continued entrenchment and military mobilization of foreign forces and the lack of rule of law and accountability could easily reignite the conflict and lead to the collapse of the UN process.

Without more direct and active U.S. engagement in favor of rebuilding Libyan sovereignty, foreign powers will further entrench themselves, increasing the risks of renewed military strife while creating a de-facto partition of the country with an indefinite and highly destabilizing foreign presence.

Beyond its geostrategic location, oil resources and the terrorist threat, Libya represents an important opportunity for American diplomacy to promote stability and democratic norms in North Africa using the momentum of the current UN process, in line with the Libya Stabilization Act (2020).

In order to counteract the destabilizing influence of foreign sponsors like Russia, and protect its own security and economic interests, the United States should pursue policy focused on putting the future of Libya back in Libyan hands. This policy should involve a more assertive engagement towards U.S. allies undermining the peace process; it should uphold international norms and contribute to rebuilding rule of law in the country.

    1. Prioritize diplomatic engagement towards U.S. allies invested in the conflictwith a commitment to denouncing and sanctioning violations of international law and fundamental freedoms from both sides, including the systematic crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly. This would help enforce the implementation of any peace process and allow for inclusive Libyan-led political negotiations to advance.
    1. Condition and leverage financial and military support and cooperation with foreign governments in order to reduce or end illegal military intervention in Libya, including by the UAE, Egypt and Turkey.
    1. Support stronger action at the Security Council and other relevant national and international mechanisms to ensure sanctions against individuals, groups or governments that violate the arms embargo on Libya.
    1. Mandate U.S. Africa Command (Africom) to increase its efforts to identify the deployment and localization of foreign arm supplies in Libya and ensure the sharing of relevant information on illegal arms transfers to the Security Council and other relevant mechanisms. Increased monitoring of aerial and land transfers would complement and fill gaps in the European IRINI operation focusing on maritime transfers.
    1. The United States, working with European allies, should strive to protect the fragile progress of the UN-led negotiations from external spoilers by supporting a more inclusive and sustainable political process that does not reinforce the country’s current partition and zero-sum game competition for resources; it should instead work to rebuild truly unified national institutions protected from the influence of external spoilers, including by creating conditions for free and fair elections.
    1. In that regard, the United States has the capacity and should urgently work with allied states and provide support to the UN to start the essential process of rebuilding Libyan security institutions. It should establish a specialized technical committee - composed of Libyan legal experts, police force members and military officers, and relevant academics - for the vetting process of Libya’s security institutions. The committee’s mandate would include the drafting of legislation to restructure the Ministries of Interior and Defense and to set up a plan for security sector reform and individual reintegration, disbandment, disarmament and rehabilitation of members of armed groups. In parallel, the investment in local reconciliation and accountability efforts – such as local truth and justice commissions – would also help prevent a reemergence of local conflicts and progressively pave the way to transitional justice.
    1. Provide political and financial support for the continuation and strengthening of international investigations into war crimes and other violations and abuses of international humanitarian and human rights law with a view toward deterring the resurgence of further violence and holding accountable those responsible for committing such crimes, including ongoing investigations by the International Criminal Court and the newly established Fact Finding Mission on Libya created at the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.

      [2] Pocan & Dingell Call to Restore Humanitarian Aid to Gaza,” 20 February 2020, at:
      [3] UN Human Rights Council, Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 February 2019) A/HRC/40/74, at:
      [4] U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, “Resources on H.R. 2407, Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” available at:
      [5] U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum “Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act,” available at:
      [6] See Responsible Business Conduct: First National Action Plan of the United States of America, 16 December 2016, available at:
      [7] OHCHR, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, 2011, available at:
      [8] White House, Executive Order on Blocking Property Of Certain Persons Associated With The International Criminal Court, 11 June 2020, available at:
      [9] BBC, “US Revokes Visa of International Criminal Court Prosecutor,” 5 April 2019, available at:
      [10] US Department of the Treasury, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Associated with the International Criminal Court Designations,”2 August 2020,  at:
      [11] Amnesty International, “State Department’s attack on the BDS movement violates freedom of expression and endangers human rights protection”, 19 November 2020, available at:
      [13] UNSC Res 2254, 7588th meeting, UN Doc S/RES/2245 (18 December 2015), at:
      [14] UNHCR, “UNHCR troubled by latest U.S. refugee resettlement cut,” 2 November 2019, at:
      [15] See Mansour, Kholoud, “Sanctions and Financial Restrictions: Additional Challenges for a Limited Syrian Civic Space: How Can the EU Better Support Syrian Civil Society,” Dawlaty and CIHRS, July 2020, at:
      [16] See Daher, Joseph “Invisible Sanctions: How over-compliance limits humanitarian work in Syria,” Impact, (2020), at:
      [17] OHCHR, “UN human rights experts call for justice and accountability in response to Beirut explosion,” 13 August 2020, at:
      [18] HRW, “Lebanon: Lethal Force Used Against Protesters,” 26 August 2020, at:
      [19] US State Department, “Leahy Law Fact Sheet,” 22 January 2019, at:
      [20] UN Refugee Agency, “UNHCR troubled by latest U.S. refugee resettlement cut,” 2 November 2019, at:

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