25 March 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Morocco: Police use water cannon at teacher protest
DW, 24 Mar 2019

Police used batons and water cannon on Sunday morning against teachers who were protesting for better working conditions in the capital, Rabat.
Authorities were trying to end a rally of some 15,000 education workers who planned to spend the night in front of the national parliament.
Officers wearing anti-riot gear moved in after negotiations, which had been underway for several hours, broke down.
Protesters chanting "liberty, dignity, social justice" were demonstrating against the contracts on which low-ranking and non-permanent staff are employed.

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Royal court adviser fired over Khashoggi killing 'not on trial'
Aljazeera, 24 Mar 2019

A Saudi royal adviser fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is not among the 11 suspects on trial at secretive hearings in Riyadh despite Saudi pledges to bring those responsible to justice, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters news agency.
The Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of "ordering and committing the crime".

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‘It’s Time to Break the Chains.’ Algerians Seek a Revolution.
The New York Times, 24 Mar 2019

 ALGIERS — High above the sea in a heavily guarded villa, Algeria’s 82-year-old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sits in a wheelchair — mute, paralyzed, barely able to move his hands. Hovered over by a flurry of attendants and family members, he has not uttered a single word in public, much less given a speech or interview, since a stroke in 2013.
Twenty miles away in the capital, Algiers, tens of thousands of demonstrators fill the streets every week loudly demanding his departure, and that of the extensive, ill-defined entourage around him that Algerians call simply the “power,” the nexus of high-ranking officials, wealthy businessmen and military officers who actually run the country.

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Egypt bans singer from performing over free-speech remarks
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2019

 An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after she suggested it does not respect free speech.
An online video clip shows Sherine Abdel-Wahab saying during a performance in Bahrain: “Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned.”
Egypt’s Musicians Union responded late on Friday by barring the singer, popularly known by her first name, from performing. It also summoned her for questioning.

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Israel bars far-right candidate from standing in election
France 24, 18 Mar 2019

Israel's supreme court on Sunday disqualified the controversial leader of the extreme-right Jewish Power party, Michael Ben-Ari, from running in next month's elections.

Ben-Ari has come under fire for comments he made about Israeli Arabs, which Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said earlier this month amount to "incitement to racism".
The elections committee had approved Ben-Ari to run in the April polls, but the opposition left-wing Meretz party successfully appealed the decision to the supreme court.

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