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This week’s World Forum for Democracy 2017 editors

Georgios Kolliarakis

Georgios Kolliarakis political scientist, is a senior researcher at the University of Frankfurt.

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Introducing this week’s theme: Media, parties and populism.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Human Rights Council condemns reprisals amidst unprecedented rate of cases in MENA region

One can only wonder how the HRC can maintain its credibility while its member states are actively working against the council’s very raison d’être of protecting human rights.

Pain, torture and alienation

Due to Egypt’s dire political and economic situation, pain and alienation are bound to be a feature of the lives of many for years to come.

الإضراب عن الطعام يستمر حتى تحقيق المطالب

لافتات السوريين وبياناتهم ووقفاتهم وإضراباتهم تخدم فكرة واحدة، السوري ليس بربرياً، السوري ليس إرهابياً، السوري صاحب قضية محقّة، ولن يتوقف عن الدفاع عنها، أبداً.

Race and exploitation in the Gulf

It is time for the issue of race to become central to any discussion on the continued exploitation of workers in the Gulf.

The Egyptian Army’s violent trail of breadcrumbs

Supporting Egypt’s particular brand of fighting terrorism is equivalent to supporting a climate of expedited radicalization.

Paper tiger law forbidding FGM in Sudan

While the law is a political compromise cleverly designed to please stakeholders, girls at risk of undergoing FGM remain unprotected.

Pain and torture: state violence in Egypt

The root of state violence and torture is not poor police training, nor a political decision that can be reversed, it is the nature of the regime and the political order it has created.

Prosecuting politics: the judicial assault on Bahrain’s opposition

If the government fails to inject real politics back into Bahraini society rather than relentless prosecution, the prognosis looks anything but positive.

In Yemen, the war goes on and on and on...

As people in Europe get ready for their end of year celebrations, more than 20 million Yemenis are getting ready to face the next disaster coming their way: mass starvation.

UAE: when tweets become a matter of national security

Think twice before you speak in the UAE, you could end up spending 25 years in jail next time you tweet.

10 years on: Jordan’s anti-terrorism law and the crackdown on dissent

It is now time that the authorities stop labelling all those who dare speak their minds as “terrorists”.

Kingdom of arbitrary detention: how Saudi Arabia shuts down its most vocal critics

The institutionalised repression practiced by Saudi authorities is exposed by the fight led by one of the Kingdom’s most respected human rights organisations, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA).

Months later, Saudi still silent on stranded migrants

Until Saudi Arabia takes ownership of the crisis, it will remain responsible for the egregious human rights abuses tens of thousands of migrants are forced to endure each day.

Sports diplomacy: Bahrain’s martial arts venture distracts from human rights abuses

While the use of successful sporting events is a persuasive approach to international relations, it is limited in its ability to disguise Bahrain's true nature.

Making local ceasefires work in Syria

Any approach to Syria should be judged by its ability to stop the daily abuses against civilians. Advocates of local ceasefires must strive for a balance between immediate relief from the daily suffering and commitment to basic rights and the aspirations of Syrians.

Tabit and sexual violence in Darfur

Darfur has practically been closed off to journalists, politicians and independent civil society organizations, and sexual violence and rape have now become a reality in women's day-to-day lives.

Interview with imprisoned Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab

Rajab speaks about his experience in a Bahraini prison, the failure of western media and governments to support human rights in the Gulf, and the challenges facing his country's pro-democracy movement.

Mob sex attacks and the everyday reality of street children in Egypt

What the revolutionary class are experiencing in Egypt now is only the initiation of what thousands of children on our streets, boys and girls experience.

The return of oppression in Tunisia

The world has been applauding Tunisia for its new progressive constitution and a new caretaker government of technocrats who are running the country until elections later this year. But do we have to accept ex-Ben Ali officials back into politics while the generation of change is being imprisoned? 

Contempt and humiliation greet the Pope's visit to the Holy Land

Just weeks before Pope Francis’ first official visit to the Holy Land, a number of Christian holy sites in Israel and Palestine have been targeted in ‘price tag’ attacks by the radical Israeli settler movement. These attacks have been increasing since 2008.

Britain and Bahrain: still allied against democracy and human rights

An interview with Maryam al-Khawaja, a leading Bahraini human rights activist, on the continuing protests in Bahrain, the regime’s continued repression and the UK’s involvement in the ongoing situation.

The European Parliament must not condone human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on whether to add the United Arab Emirates to the short list of countries eligible for visa waivers in Europe, despite the country's shocking human rights record.

Journalism is not terrorism

In Egypt, numerous journalists have been arrested since the overthrow of Morsi. They are being kept in high security prisons under appalling conditions. Egypt Solidarity Initiative are campaigning for their release as they go on trial today.

The inconvenient truth about child brides

It is easy for states to ratify all the necessary conventions and take all the necessary legal steps in outlawing child marriages. However, it is the very social system that produces child brides that should be put under investigation.

Sudan: journalists strike amid deadly demos

The most active journalists in Khartoum are either being summoned, arrested, told what to say or are resigning.

Cashing in on the human rights regime

When all a politician needs to do is to pay the price of his/her misdemeanor and move on—which does not even come out of his/her own pocket but rather that of the taxpayer’s—would any politician prefer to take the blow personally?

George Bush and the turn to human rights in the Arab world

Some have linked the emergence of a strong human rights agenda in the Arab world with the policies of the last American president. In a way they are right: post-9/11 abuses overseen by the Bush administration were the tragedy that brought to light the urgency of claiming rights.
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