'Mideast governments fail to see scale of change'

Amnesty International report saying leaders are not recognizing the significance of the Arab Spring.

By REUTERS
January 9, 2012 07:41
2 minute read.
Tahrir Square

Tahrir Square, Cairo, daytime_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

LONDON - Most Middle Eastern governments are failing to recognize the significance of the Arab Spring and are responding with repression or merely cosmetic change, Amnesty International said on Monday.

Reform movements showed no sign of flagging despite bloodshed on the streets and arrests last year, Amnesty said in its report "Year of Rebellion: State of Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa".

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Haniyeh: Muslims are creating the new Middle East
Barak: Arab Spring may not become Islamic Winter

"With few exceptions, governments have failed to recognize that everything has changed," Philip Luther, Amnesty International's interim Middle East and North Africa director, said in a report.

"The protest movements across the region, led in many cases by young people and with women playing central roles, have proved astonishingly resilient in the face of sometimes staggering repression.

"They want concrete changes to the way they are governed and for those responsible for past crimes to be held to account.

"But persistent attempts by states to offer cosmetic changes, to push back against gains made by protesters or to simply brutalize their populations into submission betray the fact that for many governments, regime survival remains their aim."

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


In Syria, there were more than 200 cases of reported deaths in custody by the end of the year, more than 40 times the recent average annual figure, Amnesty said.

In Yemen, more than 200 people had been killed in connection with protests while hundreds more died in armed clashes.

In Bahrain, it was unclear how committed the government was to implementing reform recommendations made by an independent report, Amnesty said.

The report also said that despite the optimism that had greeted the fall of long-standing rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, concern remained that the gains had yet to be cemented by key institutional reforms.

In Egypt, Amnesty found that the military rulers had been responsible for abuses that were "in some aspects worse than under Hosni Mubarak".

About 84 people had died under violent suppression between October and December last year, while more civilians had been tried before military courts in one year than under 30 years of his rule, it said.

In Tunisia, it was "critical" that a new constitution was drafted to ensure it guaranteed protection of human rights and equality under the law, the report said.

Amnesty also criticized international powers and regional bodies for "inconsistencies" in their response to the situations in Libya, Syria and Bahrain, and of "failing to grasp the depth of the challenge to entrenched repressive rule".

"Support from world powers for ordinary people in the region has been typically patchy," Luther said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

November 14, 2018
Car plant shows limits to Iran's economic ambitions in Syria

By REUTERS