Photo: Courtesy of Haitham Moussawi

Talk: Organized by MENA Prison Forum & UMAM D&R
A Conversation with Kylee DiGregorio & Jad Yateem
Via Zoom
MAY 4, 2023

On 13 December 2023, the MPF held a talk “Prison Reform in the MENA: The 'Rule of Law' Agenda” with MPF senior researcher Kylee DiGregorio and MPF Spokesperson Jad Yateem. The talk addressed DiGregorio's latest MPF Observer entitled “Security and Justice: Divergent Aims of the Rule of Law Agenda,” which is the second in a four-part series titled “Prison Reform in the Middle East and North Africa: An International Development Project and the Means to Many Ends,” which examines prison reform across the MENA region within the framework of the international development / cooperation project model. 

The report and the talk examine prison reform projects that have been designed and implemented throughout the MENA region in light of a focus on the rule of law. As the rule of law guides prison reform to be done in ways that enhance institution building and increasing the capacity of the prisons through administration and managerial improvement, this brings prison reforms undertaken for these objectives to contrast with prison reforms tailed to a focus on increasing rights and justice. DiGregorio provided examples of types of justice reform support programs in the Middle East, such as ones funded by the European Union in Tunisia, funded by the Netherlands in Libya, and funded by the United Nations Development Programme in Morocco and Lebanon. 

The report can be found here.

Kylee DiGregorio is a senior researcher at the MENA Prison Forum, where she writes on topics of arrest, detention, torture, enforced disappearance, and extrajudicial killing in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. She holds an MA in International Human Rights from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Prior to joining the MPF, she worked as a consultant, conducting research and producing reports for several non-governmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict.

Jad Yateem is the MENA Prison Forum Spokesperson, and the Coordinator of MPF in Lebanon. He is a Lebanese journalist with more than 20 years of work experience in research, content creation, investigative journalism, media training, and strategic communication. He has largely worked in Lebanon and Libya, and with a special focus on Syria since the uprising in 2011.