SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Human Rights in Egypt and Tunisia after the Arab Spring

Maha Azzam (Egyptian Revolutionary Council), Nicola Pratt (University of Warwick), Melek Saral (SOAS)

Date: 24 April 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 24 April 2018Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

During the so called “Arab Spring”, the demonstrators brought human rights references to the centre of their political struggles. On the one hand, the uprisings are framed as a demand for human rights. On the other, the Arab Spring is believed to have provided a context for the re-articulation of the human rights situation in the MENA region. Seven years after the revolution, Egypt is witnessing an unprecedented rate of human rights abuses whereas Tunisia is celebrated as the only successful transitional country with a flourishing human rights record. The panel will address issues of human rights in two major “Arab Spring” countries namely Egypt and Tunisia. The speakers of the panel will highlight the current political and civil rights situation in these countries, and give an insight into future perspectives.


Maha Azzam (Egyptian Revolutionary Council), Nicola Pratt (University of Warwick), Melek Saral (SOAS)

Chair: Mashood Baderin (SOAS)

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Maha Azzam – Dr Maha Azzam is Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and Chair of Egyptians for Democracy U.K. Azzam was on the first Egyptian Delegation for Public Diplomacy in 2013 following the military coup in Egypt. She has been a leading proponent of bringing to international justice at the ICC, General Sisi and those responsible for the massacres in Egypt.

She was a Fellow on the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House (2002-2015), The Royal Institute for International Affairs. Previously, Azzam was Head of Programme on Security and Development in Muslim States, Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies.

Nicola Pratt – Dr Nicola Pratt is Reader in International Politics of the Middle East at the University of Warwick. She has researched and written on democratization, human rights and conflict in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Before entering the world of academia, she lived and worked in Egypt for several years on projects concerning human rights and democratisation. Since 2016, she leads a research project on ‘Politics and Popular Culture in Egypt: Contested Narratives of the 25 January 2011 Uprising and its Aftermath’

Melek Saral – Dr Saral is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at SOAS School of Law, University of London. Before that, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the URPP Asia and Europe, University of Zurich. She received her PhD from the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. Her current research project on ‘Human Rights in Post-Uprisings Middle East: Emerging Discourses and Practices in Egypt and Tunisia’ aims at interrogating the human rights discourses and practices in the MENA region undergoing transition through the course of the so-called Arab Spring.

The event is convened by Dr Melek Saral and it is organised by the SOAS Centre of African Studies in collaboration with theSOAS London Middle East Institute and the SOAS School of Law.

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