Repression is on the rise, with democratic systems and institutions under threat. In autocratic states the very limited room for dissent is being squeezed to new extremes, and some governments are seeking to extend the reach of their repression beyond their borders into supposedly safe states where political opponents have taken refuge.

We focus primarily on states in the Middle East region that are supported by governments in Europe, including the UK. We engage policymakers, parliamentarians, journalists and others to advocate on behalf of individuals repressed for exercising their legitimate rights, including pro-democracy activists, human rights defenders, and labour rights activists. Working with partners, we flag the risks of cultural bodies such as universities lending their legitimacy to repressive states, and of doing business in highly repressive contexts.

We draw attention to connections between repression and the extraction of fossil fuels, with a view to driving awareness of how the interests holding back global efforts to combat climate change are intertwined with those pursuing an agenda to undermine freedom and dissent.

COP27 Coalition march in support of jailed Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.