13 Aug 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Arrested and killed: inside the Bangladesh prime minister's war on drugs
Reuters, 13 Aug 2018

Bangladesh police arrested Riazul Islam as he was walking home from his in-laws’ house. At 3:15 a.m., he was shot dead in a sandy field beside a set of railroad tracks north of Dhaka. Police say he was killed in a gunfight with other drug dealers, and they recovered 20 kg of marijuana from the site. His parents say the officers extorted money from them and then killed him.

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Arab protests in Israel fall on deaf ears as isolation grows
The National, 12 Aug 2018

"The people want the fall of the law!" chanted young demonstrators in a variation of the phrase used against regimes during the Arab uprising of 2011. "The time has come to wake up!" read a sign carried by two Jewish women. The mass protest Saturday in Tel Aviv was an unusual sight for Israel: a 30,000-strong crowd of Arabs thronging the streets alongside left-wing Jews and a small number from the Druze community. They had come together to oppose the government's racist Nation State Law that entrenches Israel's character as a Jewish state and relegates Arabs to second class citizenship.

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Le régime de torture morale pour Biram Dah Abeid dans sa garde à vue
Guidumakha.com, 12 Aug 2018

Très tôt le matin du 07/08/2018, un groupe de policiers viennent interpeller Biram Dah Abeid chez lui pour l’emmener au commissariat de Riyadh. Le commissaire Hamoudi Ould M’Hadi lui lance : Biram, il ne faut pas politiser cette arrestation car elle ne s’est pas faite à cause de tes opinions politiques et ton activisme des droits de l’homme comme les arrestations passées. Biram dit être très étonné que le commissaire reconnaisse ce que ses supérieurs et son gouvernement n’a jamais reconnu auparavant; que les différents procès intentés aux dirigeants et militants d’IRA sont dus à leurs opinions et à leur activisme.

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Terrorist attacks in the Middle East and North Africa fell by almost 40% last year
Quartz, 09 Aug 2018

Terrorist attacks took a nosedive last year in one of the most terrorism-prone regions of the world. The number of attacks in the Middle East and North Africa dropped to 3,780 in 2017, from more than 6,110 the year prior. That’s a decrease of almost 40%. And the number of deaths caused by terrorism in the region fell by almost half. The numbers, from the Global Terrorism Database, a compilation of attacks published yearly by the University of Maryland, show that the steepest drops were in Iraq, Turkey (due to fewer strikes by Kurdish rebels), Libya, Yemen (where incidents fell despite the civil war), and Syria.

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The Quiet Threat to Human Rights in Tunisia
Foreign Affairs, 07 Aug 2018

 Tunisia is often heralded as the sole success story to come out of the 2011 Arab uprisings, insomuch as it is the only country that established a democratic government in their wake. In a 2017 study conducted by Freedom House, Tunisia was the only country in the Middle East and North Africa ranked as “free.” But the relative success of Tunisia’s transition does not mean that the process has been an easy one. The country’s seven-year-long transition to democracy has been excruciatingly difficult, marked by several terrorist attacks, ongoing economic crisis, political stalemate, and tenuous compromises between Islamists and secularists.

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