17 Dec 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Arab News, 15 Dec 2018

Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Saturday, but a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved. Morrison is also committed to recognizing a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital when the city’s status is determined in a peace deal.

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Tunisia 'truth commission' calls for govt to back courts judging torturers
News 24, 15 Dec 2018

A Tunisian commission tasked with securing justice for victims of decades of dictatorship called on Friday at its final congress for authorities to back the work of special courts set up to judge torturers. The body - which has faced internal disputes and political resistance arising from the return of former regime figures to government - also called for security sector reform.

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Turkey Threatens Incursion Into Syria, Raising U.S. Concerns
The New York Times, 14 Dec 2018

The Turkish president is threatening to mount a new incursion into northern Syria, accusing the United States of failing to tackle the security threats Turkey faces in the region. Turkish commando units were deploying Friday to the border with northeastern Syria, the Turkish news media reported, raising the possibility of an inadvertent confrontation with American troops operating in the same area.

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U.S. Senate hands Trump historic rebuke on Saudi Arabia
Reuters, 13 Dec 2018

The U.S. Senate delivered a rare double rebuke to President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia on Thursday, voting to end U.S. military support for the war in Yemen and blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Iran: Escalating Crackdown on Lawyers
Human Rights Watch, 13 Dec 2018

Iranian authorities have escalated their crackdown on lawyers, Human Rights Watch said today. Over the past month, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least three lawyers to long prison terms for their human rights activism and security forces have arrested another one.

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Tunisia military court dismisses ‘coup’ case filed against prime minister
Middle East Eye, 11 Dec 2018

A Tunisian military court on Monday dismissed a case in which Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was accused of orchestrating a coup because the person who initiated the case failed to attend hearings to present evidence, according to Tunisian media reports. The case was brought by Slim Riyahi, the secretary general of the Nida Tounes party, who accused Chahed of “planning and executing a coup” against President Beji Caid Essebsi.

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