The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has been widely criticised for his authoritarian tendencies, but has said that the changes he plans will be long-term - which to his critics means a further undercutting of the weak democratic institutions that he has already begun to dismantle.
Twenty-seven years after South Africa’s first democratic elections, the country finds itself reflecting on the catalysts of a week of looting and destruction of property resulting in more than 200 deaths and US$ 1.3 billion in damage.
President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros Islands is tightening his grip on power. First, he insisted on holding a referendum allowing him to extend his term of office and abolish the country’s constitutional court. Which he won. And now, the lawyer of former President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi has said that his client has been charged Tuesday with corruption and the misappropriation of public funds in a passport fraud.
Governments around the world shut down the internet more than 50 times in 2016 - suppressing elections, slowing economies and limiting free speech.
Many US citizens may instinctively believe they still live in the land of the free, but a new global rights rating system shows the country is far less tolerant than they may think.
With the African Union celebrating the African Year of Human Rights at its 26th summit, at its headquarters in Addis, Ethiopia, the venue raises serious concerns about commitment to human rights.
Bar Seed is the only female member in Somaliland’s 82-person Parliament, but activists hope upcoming national elections may end her isolation.
It’s absolutely necessary
to remember what happened 70 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, see the movies from then, listen to the survivors, the hibakusa. But it isn’t enough
for us to rid the world of these crimes-against-humanity weapons. And that we must.
The Freedom Charter
, which turned 60 this year, envisaged that a free and democratic South Africa would be guided in its relations with the rest of the African continent and the world by a desire to seek “peace and friendship”.
In recommendations to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the end of July, the German Council of Economic Experts outlined
how a weak member country could leave the Eurozone and called for strengthening the European monetary union.
Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden
and Julian Assange
are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo
is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us.
The results of the Turkish elections of Jun. 7 have put an end to the suspense that has dominated national politics in the past three months. For the first time in this Asian republic’s history, a Kurdish party has succeeded in being elected to the legislature, with an impressive 15 percent of the seats available.
The University of Edinburgh has taken the decision to not divest from fossil fuels, bowing to the short-term economic interests of departments funded by the fossil fuel industry, with little to no acknowledgement of the long-term repercussions of these investments.
While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.
The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.
The results of a survey
of what 3,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 – in all Arab countries except Syria – feel about the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa have just been released.
Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to get close to an airport, train station or port without authorisation from a judge. He cannot travel outside of the capital of his native Burundi, Bujumbura. Whenever called upon, he must present himself before judicial authorities.
This month’s World Economic Outlook released
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.
Lobbying is an integral part of democracy, but multiple scandals throughout Europe demonstrate that a select number of voices with more money and insider contacts can come to dominate political decision-making – usually for their own benefit.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
For those of us interested in a vibrant civil society, it seems to be best of times and the worst of times.