Archive for January 27th, 2012

27/01/2012

Tunisia: “Civil Society Optimistic Yet Vigilant”

Human Wrongs Watch

Foundation for the Future* – On January 14, 2011, Tunisian President Ben Ali fled after a month of protests and popular uprisings that would sow the seeds of a political “tsunami”, the Arab Spring.

**Image: Rais67 | Wikimedia Commons

While Tunisia is celebrating the end of the “year zero”, where the entire political system has been overhauled by a process of democratization and the election of a Constituent Assembly, it is interesting to explore the perceptions of one of the major players in this transition, civil society, according to a survey.

Tunisian civil society demonstrates cautious optimism when gauging the achievements of a first year of democratic transition,” reveals the survey, which was conducted by the Amman-based Foundation for the Future (FFF) between December 22, 2011 and January 7, 2012.

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27/01/2012

“Sharp Rise in Palestinians Uprooted by Israeli Demolitions”

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva – Almost 1,100 Palestinians, over half of them children, were displaced due to home demolitions in the West Bank by Israeli forces in 2011 – over 80 per cent more than in the previous year – according to a United Nations new report.

Desert for the Palestinians; Green trees for Israeli settlement of Karmel (in the background). Photo: UNRWA

The report “Demolitions and Forced Displacement in the Occupied West Bank,” prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), adds that an additional 4,200 people were affected by the demolition of structures related to their livelihoods.

The report, released on 26 Jan., states that Israeli forces destroyed 622 structures owned by Palestinians including homes, animal shelters, classrooms and mosques – a 42 per cent increase compared to 2010.

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27/01/2012

UAE – Much Oil, Fiew Rights

Human Wrongs Watch

Dubai – Oil rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) harassed, arrested, and jailed activists, and disbanded the elected boards of two of the country’s most prominent civil society organizations, says Human Rights Watch (HRW) report “UAE: Free Speech Under Attack.”

*Image: Abu Dhabi Corniche | Wikimedia Commons.

In issuing its World Report 2012 at a news conference in Dubai on 25 Jan., HRW added that the UAE during 2011 “muzzled the right of its citizens to express themselves and to form independent associations.”

In the year of the Arab Spring, the UAE headed in the opposite direction by criminally prosecuting Emiratis who dared to criticize the government,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

A Key U.S. ally in the Gulf region, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates (principalities), each governed by a hereditary emir, with a single national president. These are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. With a total population of some 8,3 million inhabitants, its oil reserves are ranked as the world’s sixth-largest.

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