14 Jan 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy

NPWJ press release

Peninsular Perspectives: Human rights and accountability in the UAE and the region
No Peace Without Justice, 14 Jan 2019

The American Society of International Law, No Peace without Justice, and the Yemen Peace Project present:

At a time of global attention on the Gulf Region and the catastrophic conflict in Yemen, the human rights and humanitarian situation both within the UAE and beyond its borders have been in the headlines. This event will explore the current situation on the ground and the prospects for promoting human rights compliance and accountability in challenging times. Two separate panels will address internal challenges to human rights within the UAE and the prospect of accountability for the ongoing Yemen conflict. Lunch will be provided. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Panel 1: Looking Inwards: The Challenges to Human Rights and the Rule of Law
Panel 2: Looking Outwards: Accountability and Reparations for the Yemen

Date and Location
Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Location: American Society of International Law
Address: 2223 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC, 20008 USA

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UAE, Oman and Bahrain to resume flights to Syria
Middle East Monitor, 14 Jan 2019

The airlines of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Bahrain are preparing to resume direct air traffic to the Syrian capital of Damascus, the director general of Syrian Air, Shafa Al-Nouri, announced yesterday. “A delegation from Oman Air visited Damascus International Airport on Thursday and inspected its technical condition as a preparation for the resumption of flights to the Syrian capital,” Al-Nouri was quoted by the Syrian News Arab Agency (SANA) as saying. Bahrain’s Gulf Air and the UAE’s Etihad Airways, he added, had requested a similar inspection visit from the Syrian government.

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Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months
Middle East Monitor, 14 Jan 2019

The Egyptian parliament yesterday approved a decision to extend a nationwide state of emergency for an additional three months.“On 10 January, the House of Representatives received a decree from president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in which he ordered an extension to the state of emergency throughout the country for a further period of three months starting from 15 January,” the parliament speaker, Ali Abdel-Aal, told local media.

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On Women's Rights, Uneven Progress in the Middle East
Bloomberg, 11 Jan 2019

When Saudi Arabia finally allowed women to drive in June 2018, pioneers hit the roads and celebrated the end of a notorious restriction on the freedom of half the country’s population. At the same time, rights campaigners were drawing attention to another, arguably more limiting measure still in place in the kingdom: the guardianship system that makes women legal dependents of male relatives. Women’s rights are advancing unevenly in Saudi Arabia, as well as across North Africa and the Middle East, a region that regularly rates worst or second worst to sub-Saharan Africa in overall assessments of gender equality. The role of women is the subject of sustained public debate, with campaigns for equal treatment resisted by entrenched patriarchal and conservative forces.

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Iran behind ‘unprecedented’ cyber attacks on Middle Eastern governments, says US security firm
The National, 10 Jan 2019

Iranian hackers are suspected of orchestrating an “unprecedented scale” of cyber attacks targeting Middle Eastern governments in the last two years, a study has found. Californian-based FireEye Intelligence said a wave of DNS hijacking had affected dozens of government servers, telecommunications and internet companies across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America. The practice involves the use of malicious software to access sensitive information and data. Hacked aim to harvest and store usernames and passwords.

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Egypt asking Tunisia to welcome President Assad at Arab League Summit
The North Africa Post, 07 Jan 2019

Egypt is pushing Tunisia to invite embattled President Bashar al-Assad to the Arab League summit to take place in the North African country in March though Tunis denied last month that it extended an invitation to the Syrian leader, The New Arab reports.
The London-based media’s Arabic edition Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui met with Egyptian President AbdelFattah al-Sisi on Saturday concluding a series of meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss Assad participation.

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