18 Jun 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Can Erdogan's economic record help him keep seat amid challenges?
by Al-Jazeera, 18 Jun 2018

The economy will be a decisive factor as Turkish voters head to parliamentary and presidential polls on June 24.
The economy is going to be a decisive factor in the upcoming vote that will transition Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive one, in line with constitutional changes approved in a referendum last year.
The presidential and parliamentary polls will be held under a state of emergency, in place since July 2016 following a failed deadly coup blamed by the government on the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based self-exiled religious leader.

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UN envoy in Yemen for crisis talks over Hudaida port
by Al-Jazeera, 16 Jun 2018

Houthi-linked officials deny claim by Yemeni army that Saudi-led coalition has captured Hudaida airport from rebels.
The UN envoy for Yemen has arrived in Sanaa for crisis talks on the port city of Hudaida amid growing fears that fighting between a Saudi and Emirati-led coalition and Houthi rebels will exacerbate a humanitarian crisis. 
Martin Griffiths did not make any statement as he landed in the Yemeni capital on Saturday.
He is expected to propose to rebel leaders that they halt fighting and cede control of Hudaida's vital port - responsible for more than 70 percent of Yemeni imports - to a UN-supervised committee. 

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Syria: Turkey-Backed Groups Seizing Property
by Human Rights Watch, 14 Jun 2018

Turkey-backed armed groups in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have seized, looted, and destroyed property of Kurdish civilians in the Afrin district of northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The anti-government armed groups have installed fighters and their families in residents’ homes and destroyed and looted civilian properties without compensating the owners.

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Rights groups demand release of Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
by Al-Jazeera, 14 Jun 2018

Prominent lawyer recently represented several women arrested for protesting against mandatory wearing of headscarves.
International rights groups have urged authorities in Iran to release "immediately and unconditionally", one of the country's most prominent human rights lawyers, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested on Wednesday and taken to the notorious Evin prison.
Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, said she was told she would be serving a five-year sentence after being convicted in absentia, but added that they have "no idea" what the sentence was related to.
Khandan said their 18-year-old daughter was at home at the time of the arrest.

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300 prominent global figures accuse Israel of committing ‘war crimes’
by Middle East Monitor, 12 Jun 2018

Israel’s forcible transfer of thousands of Palestinians has been denounced as a war crime by over 300 elected officials, legal scholars, academics, artists, faith leaders and activists from around the world.

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