Showing posts for "Democracy and Human Rights"
World’s largest payoff? Not really.
In Malaysia, hundreds of millions of dollars turned up in the personal bank accounts of prime minister Najib Razak. The facts appeared to suggest that the money had been siphoned off from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state investment fund. Not coincidentally, the prime minister was also finance minister and the chief advisor to 1MDB. The affair has rocked Malaysian politics. Read more »
Today, January 25, 2016 is the fifth anniversary of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the tenth anniversary of the Palestinian legislative elections that were won by Hamas.
In both cases high hopes were crushed by events. Egypt today is more repressive than it was under Mubarak, and Palestine is divided between Gaza, ruled by Hamas without a scintilla of democratic practice, and the West Bank, ruled by Fatah just as it was when Yasser Arafat lived. Read more »
It was widely assumed that with the end of sanctions, Iran would “join the world” and become a less repressive state. To take just one example, the Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo argued in Huffington Post that the nuclear deal created “the opportunity for Iranian civic actors to enable and empower Iran’s civil society space” and “help the country to become more open, transparent and susceptible to international pressure on issues like the death penalty and the imprisonment of civic actors in Iran.” Last summer Reuters carried this story: “Iranian pro-democracy activists, lawyers and artists have thrown their weight behind last month’s nuclear deal with world powers, hoping it will lead to a promised political opening that President Hassan Rouhani has so far failed to deliver.” Read more »
This past week marked the anniversary of President Obama’s new Cuba policy.
That policy is failing to produce any human rights improvements in Cuba. So this week, 126 Cuban former political prisoners–who together have served 1,945 years in Castro’s prisons, wrote a letter to Mr. Obama about his policy. It was delivered to the White House by Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez, a former political prisoner and poet who spent more than 22 years in Cuba’s prisons. Read more »
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign said.
I thought it would be useful to consider who would be barred from entry into the United States by this proposition. Here are some examples. Read more »
Ismail Alexandrani is an Egyptian journalist who was detained when he returned to Egypt recently, and that detention has now been extended for at least another 15 days.
His treatment by the government of President Sisi tells us a good deal about today’s Egypt. Read more »
Pressure Points tracks developments in the Middle East and democratization and human rights issues globally.