In early June 2019, ProtectDefenders.eu, in partnership with the Gulf Center for Human Rights, supported the organisation of the UNSR regional consultation with MENA human rights defenders, which took place in Tunis. More than 40 defenders from all across the MENA region and Turkey joined this gathering to provide their inputs from the field and substantial contributions to the upcoming Michel Forst's report on impunity, which will be presented in October 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly.
In the region, governments and authorities remain the main perpetrators of violations against human rights defenders, which aggravates impunity. Also, lack of independence of the judiciary and the use of judicial and criminal processes to hinder the work of defenders are seen as common patterns across all the countries. According to participants, international institutions, and in particular the special procedures of the United Nations, can play a key role in addressing this impunity.