17 Jul 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy

Articles

Egypt’s President Sissi is Bullying Rivals Ahead of His Re-election Bid
By Newsweekme, 17 Jul 2017

 In May, Egyptian authorities arrested Ali, a possible presidential candidate in the Egyptian elections early next year, on charges of “offending public decency” for making a rude hand gesture outside a Cairo courthouse. Ali made the gesture in January, in celebration of a ruling by one of Egypt’s highest courts in a lawsuit he had filed against the government of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for transferring control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. The agreement, which many Egyptians believe el-Sissi made in exchange for billions of dollars in Saudi aid and investment, sparked rare street protests last year, despite heavy legal restrictions on demonstrations. Though Ali prevailed that day, he ultimately lost the suit. El-Sissi bypassed the courts and sought approval from Parliament, which ratified the deal on June 14.

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Yemeni Activists Face Reprisals for Speaking Out
By Human Rights Watch, 17 Jul 2017

 Yemeni activists, journalists, lawyers, and rights defenders worry daily about arrest, slander campaigns, targeted violence, and joining the list of Yemen’s “disappeared.” This is especially so when they criticize one of the parties to the conflict, whose first response is often retaliation. In areas under Houthi-Saleh control, including the capital, Sanaa, journalists and activists have been detained for more than two years, had their offices looted or closed, and had their friends and family members threatened. In areas where the Hadi government retains authority, particularly near the southern port city of Aden, activists have been beaten up, detained and forcibly disappeared.

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Morocco: Police Use Force at Rabat Sit-In
By Human Rights Watch, 17 Jul 2017

Moroccan security forces used force to disperse a peaceful protest on July 8, 2017, in Rabat, Human Rights Watch said today. The police lightly injured several people, including a human rights lawyer and a news photographer, based on accounts of victims and witnesses, and video of the incident. The protesters were sitting-in near parliament to protest the detention of Salima “Silya” Ziani, a 23-year-old singer known for her activism in Hirak Rif, the movement for social and economic reform in the northern Rif region.

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Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Cease-fire Deal Reached by U.S. and Russia in Southern Syria
By Hareetz, 17 Jul 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country. The prime minister noted that in his meeting with Macron, he made it clear to the French president that Israel was totally opposed to the cease-fire plan
 

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Qatar: Isolation Causing Rights Abuses
By Human Rights Watch, 17 Jul 2017

 The isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is precipitating serious human rights violations, Human Rights Watch said today. It is infringing on the right to free expression, separating families, interrupting medical care – in one case forcing a child to miss a scheduled brain surgery, interrupting education, and stranding migrant workers without food or water. Travel to and from Qatar is restricted, and the land border with Saudi Arabia is closed.

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Palestinians reject Israel security measures in al-Aqsa
By Aljazeera, 17 Jul 2017

Al-Aqsa Mosque officials have rejected new security measures put in place by Israel as it reopened the holy site following a deadly gun battle that prompted a two-day closure.Muslim religious authorities, who administer the compound, are refusing to pray there on Sunday after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and additional closed-circuit television cameras."The closure of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the occupation in itself and the prevention of the call for prayers are all unfair and unjust and constitute a violation to the United Nations resolutions and the international agreements," Omar Kiswani, director of the al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters outside the site.
 

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