11 Mar 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


Europe in Egypt: the white man’s burden
Open Democracy, 11 Mar 2019

On the 23rd of February, the Egyptian Red sea city of Sharm El Sheikh hosted the first European-Arab League Summit. The two-day summit covered topics like, security, counter-terrorism, and socio economic cooperation. It took place a mere three days, after Egypt carried out a mass execution of 9 men, on the 20th of February, convicted of the murder of the Attorney General, Hesham Barakat, in a bomb attack on the 29th of June 2015. The integrity of the convictions had come under scrutiny, after allegations were made by the defendants that their confessions were obtained under torture.


Eight Years Since the Start of the Popular Uprising in Syria, Terrible Violations Continue
Syrian Network for Human Rights, 11 Mar 2019

The report entitled ” From Minority Rule, Repression and Dictatorship Towards Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy” states that for eight years, Syrian citizens have suffered from a vast and terrible range of violations of a staggering magnitude, which have reached the level of crimes against humanity, including lethal torture, rape of men and women, and death by barrel bombs, Scud missiles and chemical weapons.


Supremacist mindset means democracy cannot be established in Iran
Arab News, 11 Mar 2019

From time to time over the years, the debate on Iran has involved whether there is a possibility of changing the current theocracy in the country to a secular or democratic state. This debate is now happening more regularly amid increasing speculation about the fate of the regime, given the severe internal and external challenges and pressures it faces. Whilst the idea of a secular democratic government has its supporters, some have reservations on its suitability, as well as its probability.


Algeria protests grow against fifth term for president
The Guardian, 08 Mar 2019

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Algeria as popular resistance grows to the president’s decision to stand for a fifth term. Crowds gathered in Algiers throughout the morning despite train services being stopped by authorities, and huge numbers demonstrated in every other major city and most towns.


Ex-Tunisia PM: UAE ‘sabotaging democracy’
Middle East Monitor, 06 Mar 2019

The UAE is “sabotaging democracy in Tunisia”, the country’s former prime minister Hamadi Jebali said in an interview on Thursday, hinting that it was involved in the assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid in 2013.