According to Reporters without Borders, Iran has the worst record of Press Freedom in the Middle East. In Iran, there are so-called ‘red lines’ of criticism, ever-changing boundaries imposed by the authorities that dictate what Iranians can and cannot say or write. Many websites are blocked in Iran, and many online journalists and bloggers have been jailed.
Results for Category: Human Rights
Organizers of the Byblos International Festival yielded to pressure from church officials, politicians and online groups who accused the locally grown and internationally acclaimed band Mashrou’ Leila of dishonouring Christian symbols and promoting homosexuality. Following several threats of violence, the organizers announced on 30 July that the show scheduled for 9 August would be cancelled to ‘prevent bloodshed and maintain security and stability’.
The international community has been urged to put pressure on Bahrain to respect freedom of expression. However, many believe that the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have not done enough to criticize the Bahraini government, which remains a key ally, and continue to approve arms sales to the country. At the same time, the Bahraini embassy in Washington noted the America’s use of capital punishment, and analysts saw the resumption of federal executions by the US as a de facto green light for Bahrain.
Any discussion of Turkish human rights must mention the difficulties faced in cementing the rights of women and ethnic and sexual minorities. Femicide, violence against women and honour killings remain a stain on Turkish society and one that has traditionally been met with a lukewarm government response.
Girls constitute 96 per cent of those fleeing the country. The study, conducted in the Mecca area, shows that the reasons given for running away were: misuse of social media, bad friends, misunderstanding of freedom, copying other cultures, weak beliefs, lack of emotional security, a need for adventure, bad treatment by a spouse, lack of communication with family members, verbal abuse, poverty, no monitoring by parents and violence from a parent or male sibling.
A report describes in depth how human rights defenders are routinely beaten, placed in solitary confinement and forced to endure extreme temperatures and humiliation. Other tactics used to punish activists include spreading rumours to tarnish their reputation, which prevents them from finding a decent job once they are released from prison. Families are also pressured to persuade relatives to stop criticizing the state. In other cases, activists are simply told that they must leave Oman and never return.
It seems that tangible progress in human rights not only depends on the efforts of Sudanese civil society, which has been severely hampered by government restrictions, but also on the pressure exerted by the international community on the government, which needs international acceptance more than ever.