News / Middle East

HRW Urges Support for Arab Democracies

Anti-Syrian regime protesters gather at a square as they hold an Arabic banner, center, reading, 'hey, the miserable, the tyrant, what else,' during a demonstration at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, January 20, 2012
Anti-Syrian regime protesters gather at a square as they hold an Arabic banner, center, reading, 'hey, the miserable, the tyrant, what else,' during a demonstration at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, January 20, 2012

A human rights organization is urging Western powers to support the rights of Arab Spring protesters to build real democracies after ousting strongmen once backed by the West.

In its World Report 2012, Human Rights Watch said Sunday that Western policy toward Arab countries traditionally has been "one of containment," backing an array of Arab autocrats to guarantee stability in the region, "even as democracy spread in other parts of the world."  

The New York-based group said the reasons so many democratic governments made an "Arab exception" include fear of political Islam and terrorism, the need to keep oil supplies flowing, and a policy of reliance on autocracies to maintain Arab-Israeli peace and to help stifle migration to Europe.

HRW's Executive Director Kenneth Roth said "the people driving the Arab Spring deserve strong international support to realize their rights and to build genuine democracies."

In the report's chapter on Iraq, HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said Iraq is "quickly slipping back into authoritarianism," despite U.S. claims that it helped establish democracy in the country.

Human Rights Watch said the U.S. essentially left behind a "budding police state" in Iraq, where security forces "abuse protesters, harass journalists and torture detainees."  The rights group pointed to the discovery last year of a secret prison run by forces controlled by the prime minister's military office.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid