Category: Middle East/North Africa

Egypt faces ‘worst crackdown on freedoms in modern history’

     

  Eight years ago this week, protests erupted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with throngs of Egyptians demanding an end to autocratic rule and chanting the slogan, “Bread, freedom, social justice,”  Jared… Read more »

Transatlantic democracies in rift over strategy to counter Iran’s ‘malign activities’

     

The Iran-Saudi rivalry, which, since 2011, has dominated the Middle East and pervaded its wars, can be interpreted in geopolitical and sectarian terms, notes Katerina Dalacoura, associate professor of international… Read more »

Middle East braced for ‘future without stability or freedom’?

     

Unless something changes, the Middle East should brace for the worst of both worlds: a future without stability or freedom, the FT suggests. Public support for U.S. military action and… Read more »

Why Iran’s Islamic Republic hates Wednesdays

     

The compulsory hijab law is perhaps the most high-profile of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s many human and civil rights violations. Yet for Masih Alinejad (above, addressing the National Democratic Institute’s… Read more »

Tunisia’s resilient democracy ‘at a critical inflection point’

     

  Thousands gathered Monday in Tunisia’s capital as the country marked eight years since a democratic uprising ousted its long-time strongman. The rally came amid deepening economic troubles in the… Read more »

Who crushed Palestinian hopes for democracy?

     

Yesterday marked the fourteenth anniversary of Mahmoud Abbas’s election to the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for a four-year term. Not only have no subsequent elections for the presidency… Read more »

Egypt’s Sisi on defensive over human rights, civil society crackdown

     

Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has denied his country holds any political prisoners, despite rights groups saying tens of thousands are currently detained, The Independent reports: In the five years since Mr… Read more »

‘Realizing Rights over Repression in Iran’ – the case for Magnitsky sanctions

     

  Iran has sentenced two human rights lawyers to six years in prison and a third to 13 years, AP reports: The Arman daily said Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi and Arash Keikhosravi were… Read more »

Projecting Islamic ‘soft power’ in wake of failed Arab Spring

     

U.S. disengagement from the daily irritations of Middle East politics has encouraged Arab allies—particularly Saudi Arabia—to adopt more aggressive foreign policies, which has in turn required an ideological language for… Read more »

How authoritarians are ‘dismantling democracy from the inside’

     

Authoritarian learning facilitates the ‘dismantling of democracy from the inside’, The Washington Post’s Amanda Erickson writes. It used to be that autocrats came to power through coups or by enacting states… Read more »