Middle East


Barack Obama must speak out on Bahrain bloodshed

Three days after Hosni Mubarak resigned as the long-standing dictator in Egypt, people in the small Gulf state of Bahrain took to the streets, marching to their version of Tahrir: Pearl Square, in the capital city of Manama. Bahrain has been ruled by the same family, the House of Khalifa, since the 1780s – more than 220 years. »


Syria death toll climbs as protests spread

At least 55 people are believed to have been killed during a week of unrest in and around the Syrian town of Dera’a, Amnesty International said today as protests spread across the country. Security forces opened fire on protesters in al-Sanamayn and carried out arrests in Damascus, according to reports on Friday, a day after the authorities pledged to investigate the violence »


Death Toll Rises in Syrian Crackdown

The total death toll from a Syrian government crackdown on opposition protesters continues to rise today. At least 15 people were killed last Wednesday when repressive forces raided a mosque housing protesters in the early morning hours. But there have been reports insisting that the death toll may be significantly higher. »


Evidence of Bahraini security forces’ brutality revealed

Amnesty International today revealed evidence of the Bahraini security forces’ systematic use of excessive force in cracking down against protesters, as fresh violence left as many as 8 people dead. The organization documents how security forces used live ammunition and extreme force against protesters and impeded and assaulted medical staff trying to help the wounded. »


Bahrain Declares State of Emergency; Saudi Forces Arrive to Quell Protests

In news from the Middle East, the King of Bahrain has declared a state of emergency for three months following weeks of pro-democracy protests. The King’s announcement came one day after about 1,000 Saudi troops have crossed into Bahrain to help defend Bahrain’s ruling family. Pro-democracy protesters have described the Saudi presence on the island as a declaration of war. »


Equality for women in shaping Egypt’s future

The dramatic events in Egypt, Middle East & North Africa have seen millions taking to the streets to demand real change. Women are standing beside men, demanding end to repression and calling for root and branch reform. Both women and men have suffered under repressive governments. But women have also coped with discriminatory laws and deeply entrenched gender inequality. »


Egyptian Protesters Attacked; ElBaradei Explores Presidential Bid

In Egypt, hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have been attacked in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Small groups armed with rocks and knives were seen assaulting demonstrators ahead of an Egyptian military effort to remove the last of the protesters who have remained in Tahrir since the uprising that toppled U.S.-backed President Hosni Mubarak last month. »


Saudi Arabia urged to reverse ban on peaceful protest

Amnesty International has called on the Saudi Arabian authorities to reverse the ban on peaceful protest, amid fears of a violent crackdown on mass demonstrations planned for Friday's "Day of Rage". Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the foreign minister, said that "reform cannot be achieved through protests", while the protest ban was backed by religious and security bodies. »


Egypt’s Armed Forces Asked To Safeguard January 25 Revolution

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), an eminent non-governmental organization, has expressed disappointment at the proposed amendments to Egypt’s Constitution and asked the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to review these so that the objectives of the "January 25 revolution" are not consigned to oblivion. »


The Young Revolutionaries of Egypt: nonviolent, inclusive, and committed to real change

In several meetings with groups of young people in Cairo, Tomas Hirsch, a spokesperson for Universalist Humanism in Latin America, gained insight into the vision of young women and men who continue going to Tahrir Square every night to ensure that the process of change continues in a real way. The following is a summary of our conversation with Hirsch. »


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