Posted on | May 23, 2011 | No Comments
We must admit that with all the recent distractions (elections, the DSK case, the death of Bin Laden, the world which did not come to an end, etc.) we had somewhat forgotten about the social upheavals of the Arab world. Let’s correct this state of things by surveying recent events in this part of the planet.
After an initial euphoria following the regime changes in Egypt and Tunisia, everybody believed similar events would unfold in Libya and propagate to other neighbours. Last we’ve heard though, Gaddafi has no intent of stepping down anytime soon, and thus inspires other dictators to new summits of cruelty.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad notably toughened his stance against protesters in his own country; the armed repression of the rebellion has made hundreds of deaths so far. In Yemen, president Ali Abdallah Saleh was supposed to abandon power today, following a deal passed with the opposition but, making a Gaddafi of himself, he has since changed his mind and tried today to deploy military forces around the house of a major tribal chief who had rallied the protesters’ cause.
The undecided posture of democratic countries, NATO members first, when the time was ripe to oust Gaddafi thus cost the lives of protesters throughout the world and allowed other dictators to remain in power.
Let’s finally mention a last example of civil disobedience, in Saudi Arabia this time. A woman called Manal al Sharif was arrested after driving a car, and encouraging other women to do the same. The video was viewed over 700,000 times on YouTube before it was taken off the air, but you will find excerpts in the following news report:
If a woman is ready to risk her life only to have the right to drive, just imagine the general condition of human rights in this country…