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POMED’s Weekly Wire – July 25
POMED's Weekly Wire for July 25 is now available. This week's edition includes coverage of increased violence in Syria, as well as ongoing discussions between NATO, Russia, and others about Libya. Protests in Jordan were met with police violence and a lawsuit by journalists, and there were renewed protests in Tunisia. Gulf countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, and Iran, continued to imprison pro-democracy supporters. Congress hosted several hearings on events ...
By Anna July 26, 2011 Category: Uncategorized
Report: Iran’s Civil Society Advises Against Military Strike
In a report released by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that featured interviews with 35 prominent Iranians living within Iran including, activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, and members of the political oppositions regarding the possibility of a military strike against Iran.  The interviewees expressed "grave concern" that the possibility of a military conflict would negatively impact the human rights situation and provide a "pretext for the ...
By Sarah July 26, 2011 Category: Diplomacy, Freedom, Government, Human Rights, Iran, Journalism, Political Islam, Public Opinion, Reform
Bahraini Government’s Response to Violent Uprisings
On Monday, protesters called for action against the government officials who were accused of restraining the peaceful demonstrations. As Bahraini's gathered to rally for reform, Bahrain's king set up an international panel in an effort to investigate the Shi'ite-led protests and the deaths of over 30 people as a result.  Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, the head of the five-member panel, reported on Sunday that the panel would meet with both government officials ...
By Sarah July 26, 2011 Category: Bahrain, Diplomacy, Freedom, Government, Human Rights, Protests, Reform
Egypt: Many Losing Patience, SCAF Causing Divisions
Issandr El Amrani, of the Financial Times, writes that many Egyptians are losing patience with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) headed by Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. He notes that while many Egyptians appreciated the ...
By Alex July 26, 2011 Category: Civil Society, Egypt, Featured, Government, Protests, Rule of Law
Civil Society and Democratization in Qatar
An article in Foreign Policy discusses the reasons for Qatar's apparent immunity to the Arab uprisings. While democracy promotion efforts in the Arab world have heavily emphasized strengthening civil society, the Qatar World Values Survey (QWVS) from December 2010 showed ...
By Shannon July 26, 2011 Category: Civil Society, Democracy Promotion, Public Opinion, Qatar
New POMED Policy Brief: On the Front Lines of Change
Women have played a central role in the uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, and now, as some of these countries undergo transitions, women’s rights must be incorporated into broader demands for social, economic, and political reform. In the latest POMED policy brief, Isobel Coleman examines the women’s movements in Tunisia and Egypt in the context of the Arab Spring. A transition to an inclusive, authentic democracy will ...
By Daphne July 26, 2011 Category: Egypt, Islam and Democracy, Islamist movements, Muslim Brotherhood, Policy Briefs, Political transition, Tunisia, Uncategorized, US foreign policy, Women, Women's Rights
Mubarak Grows Weak After Refusing Solid Food
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is allegedly refusing solid food in a Sharm el-Sheikh hospital. Some believe that Mubarak is intentionally refraining from eating to postpone his trial set for August 3rd. Head of hospital Mohamed Fathallah reports that Mubarak "is completely refusing to eat food but consumes some liquids and juice only. He lost a lot of weight and suffers weakness and severe infirmity." Additionally, MENA reports the medical supervisors ...
By Nicole July 26, 2011 Category: Egypt
Tunisia: Trials Begin for Ben Ali’s Inner Circle
Al-Jazeera reports that 23 allies of former Tunisian leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali "have appeared before a court in the capital Tunis for trying to flee the country last January with illegally obtained foreign currency." On January 14th, 14 men and nine women were captured when trying to escape from Tunisia with a 'large sum of money', the same day Ben Ali and his wife fled to exile in ...
By Nicole July 26, 2011 Category: Judiciary, Justice, Tunisia
State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Released for FY12
Today, the House Appropriations Committee released the FY12 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which included a total of $39.6 billion in regular discretionary funding, an 18% decrease ($8.6 billion) from last year's level. Global War on Terror funding received $7.6 billion in the bill, $1.1 billion below the President's request. Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers noted that, "the bill provides essential support to secure and stabilize some of the most critical ...
By Nicole July 26, 2011 Category: Foreign Aid, Legislation, US foreign policy
POMED Notes: The Trajectory of Egypt’s Transition
On Monday, the United States Institute of Peace hosted an event entitled "Beyond Tahrir: The Trajectory of Egypt's Transition." The discussion was with Major General Said Elassar, Assistant to Egyptian Defense Minister, Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Tara Sonenshine, Executive Vice President, United States Institute of Peace, provided introductory remarks. William Quandt, Edward R. Stettinius Professor of Politics, University of Virginia, moderated the discussion. For full notes, continue reading. ...
By Shannon July 26, 2011 Category: Democracy Promotion, Diplomacy, Egypt, Elections, Event Notes, Military, Muslim Brotherhood, Political Parties, Political transition, Protests, Reform, Rule of Law, US foreign policy
U.S. State Department Statement on Syrian Violence
U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland released a statement condemning the ongoing violence in Syria. The statement said, "the United States condemns the ongoing violence in Syria, particularly the brutality practiced by the Syrian Government against its own citizens – peaceful protesters and bystanders alike...President must understand that he is not indispensible, and we believe he is the cause of Syria’s instability not the key to its stability." The ...
By Alex July 26, 2011 Category: Diplomacy, Syria, US foreign policy
Egypt: Trial Dates Set for Former Regime Officials
Al-Jazeera reports that the court trials for former President Hosni Mubarak and ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly have been merged. The Egyptian cabinet announced the decision today in an effort to further placate protesters who have accused the interim ruling military of retaining the former regime's practices. Additionally, six other high-ranking officials had trial dates set for August 3. Former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was also charged and ordered detained for 15 days ...
By Nicole July 25, 2011 Category: Egypt, Events, Government, Justice, Protests, Public Opinion
Libya: Rebel Forces Unwilling to Compromise
According to a report by Reuters, a U.N. envoy to Libya discussed plans to resolve the civil war, but no definite initiative had taken shape. Despite continued NATO strikes, Gadhafi and his family remain clinging to power in the embattled country. Senior rebel official Mahmoud Jibreel informed Reuters that, "his side would reject any initiative that did not involve the removal of Gadhafi from power..." However, the Libyan government has said that official ...
By Nicole July 25, 2011 Category: Civil War, Government, Libya, Political transition
Yemen: Opposition Rejects National Dialogue
Yemen's opposition rejected government plans for peace talks on Monday claiming that they "had not heard of any such roadmap for peace" thoughVice President Abd-Rabbu Hadi Mansour claimed that a roadmap toward peace would be launched within a week.  The opposition said that they would not engage in peace talks until President Ali Abdullah Saleh signs a transition plan introduced by the Gulf Arab states, which Saleh has backed out ...
By Sarah July 25, 2011 Category: Diplomacy, Government, Protests, Reform, Yemen
Syria: New Law Allows for Political Parties
The Syrian government has adopted a draft law permitting the formation of political parties besides the ruling Baath party, although banning those based on religious, tribal, or ethnic affiliation. The bill was approved by the Cabinet late on Sunday, but still requires parliamentary approval. Today, the state news agency SANA announced the passage of the draft law, and noted that "the establishment of any party has to be based on ... a ...
By Shannon July 25, 2011 Category: Political Parties, Reform, Syria
Bahrain: Committee Begins Investigation
The committee tasked with investigating the events of the uprising in February and March began its inquiry into the crackdown on Sunday, launching its website and hosting a news conference. At the conference, chairman ...
By Shannon July 25, 2011 Category: Bahrain, Government, Human Rights, Reform
Implications of FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act
In an interview with The Cable, Rep. Howard Berman discussed the negative implications of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's markup last week of H.R.2583, a State Department and foreign assistance authorization bill. Rep. Berman argued that the bill was a "waste of time" to begin with, and the over 100 amendments added by GOP Congressmen sent a negative signal to the international community. He criticized his GOP counterparts for throwing ...
By Shannon July 25, 2011 Category: Congress, Foreign Aid, Legislation, US foreign policy
Summary and Highlights of the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act
On Wednesday 7/20, the House Foreign Affairs Committee convened a Committee markup for consideration of H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012.  The markup hearing concluded on the evening of Thursday 7/21, authorizing $48.3 billion in ...
By Cole July 24, 2011 Category: Congress, Congressional Hearing Notes (House), Featured, Foreign Aid, Legislation, Reports, US foreign policy
Egypt: Political Parties Condemn Clashes
Nearly two dozen political parties, coalitions and movements released a joint statement that condemned the attacks on the Abbasiya March on July 23, calling it the "Second Battle of the Camel."  The original Battle of the Camel took place on February 2 when "anti-government thugs" rode camels and attacked the protesters in Tahrir Square.  The statement said that the organizations “strongly condemn the attacks on the peaceful march which started from ...
By Sarah July 24, 2011 Category: Egypt, Freedom, Government, Human Rights, Military, Political Parties, Protests, Reform
Egypt: Protesters Doubt Mubarak’s Upcoming Trial
Many activists are concerned that former President Hosni Mubarak's trial will be postponed.  According to activists, "setting the trial date was just an element of political theater, part of the ritual of superficial concessions that the military-led transitional government has made after each big new demonstration in Tahrir Square."  Activists are already planning protests in response to Mubarak's potentially postponed trial. Mubarak's trial is in ten days. “The signs show that ...
By Sarah July 24, 2011 Category: Democracy Promotion, Egypt, Government, Reform, Rule of Law
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POMED’s Weekly Wire – July 25
Report: Iran’s Civil Society Advises Against Military Strike
Bahraini Government’s Response to Violent Uprisings
Egypt: Many Losing Patience, SCAF Causing Divisions
Civil Society and Democratization in Qatar
From the Executive Director
GCC to Include Monarchs Beyond Gulf?
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Sectarian Violence in Egypt
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