19 March 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Human Rights Solidarity documents Libya criminal, political violence cases in 2017
by The Libya Observer, 19 Mar 2018

Libyan Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) issued a report Saturday documenting kidnap and murder cases of political and criminal backgrounds during 2017, based on official and media reports.

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Rebels in Syria’s eastern Ghouta discussing ceasefire with UN
by Middle East Monitor, 18 Mar 2018

The main rebel group in the southern pocket of Syria’s opposition-held eastern Ghouta said on Sunday it was negotiating with a United Nations delegation about a ceasefire, aid and the evacuation of urgent medical cases.

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Little Baghdad: a chance to break bread with Iraqi refugees fleeing war and trauma
By The Guardian, 17 Mar 2018

When Najat Alkmamees was a housewife in Baghdad – looking after her husband, a teacher, and their children – she often spent time in her garden. She would tend to the chickens, a source of eggs and meat, and luxuriate among her plants and trees: hibiscus, pistachio, okra, aubergine. “I wouldn’t buy anything from outside,” she says. “I made everything from pickles to pastries.”That peaceful existence ended when Alkmamees, now 72, opened an envelope in the post. Inside was a bullet and a list of names, including her 18-year-old son. Scrawled on a note was two words: “Leave or otherwise.”

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Israel’s new Jewish state bill ‘institutionalising the apartheid regime’
by MEMO Middle East Monitor, 16 Mar 2018

The Israeli Knesset is fast tracking a “nation-state bill” which opposition groups have denounced as “institutionalising the apartheid regime”. Knesset members approved the final draft of the bill defining Israel exclusively as a nation for Jews. The “Zionism’s flagship bill”, as it’s been described by Israeli politicians, will permit Jewish-only communities and mark a dangerous turning point for Palestinians whose democratic rights will come under greater threat.

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