Saudi Women's Rights Activists Released

"While this is a good sign of de-escalation, given that these women have been detained since last May, it doesn't signal that their ordeal is over yet," said a senior research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Trump Admin Blasts Iran for Rights Defender's Sentence

"For Trump and his team, human rights is just another cudgel they wield opportunistically in service of a vision for the Middle East," Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, told Newsweek.

Iran Detained 7,000 Dissidents Last Year, Report Says

"The staggering scale of arrests, imprisonments and flogging sentences reveal the extreme lengths the authorities have gone to in order to suppress peaceful dissent," said Amnesty International's Middle East research and advocacy director.

Russia Wants Refugees to Return to Syria But Many Can't

"I know that the regime cannot be trusted," Jude Ash, a Syrian activist who is now an asylum applicant in the U.S., told Newsweek. "Any attempt by the regime to facilitate any transition or resolution, the main problem there is trust," he explained.