Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Democracy

France to Ban Burqas, Niqabs? What is at Stake–Rights to Religion, Rights to Gender Equality, and the Rights of a State to Remain Politically and Religiously "Neutral"

France’s center-right and left political parties are coalescing around a controversial issue: the idea of a national, parliamentary ban on the niqab.  Proponents of the ban cite the threat of Islamism to France’s position as a secular state, and argue further that the niqab is both a symbol of and an act of the oppression of […]

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Through the Kazakh Looking Glass

A court in Kazakhstan sentenced a prominent human rights activist to four years imprisonment for manslaughter yesterday in a case that many observers believe was politically motivated.  The charges against Yevgeny Zhovtis stem from a car accident in July where Zhovtis hit and killed a man while driving his car.  However the initial forensic exam […]

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Libya's 40 Years & Pakistan

While flipping channels, I noticed the difference between the coverage on Pakistani channels and BBC and CNN. The local channels are reporting about the 40th anniversary of Libya’s so-called revolution. And of course, BBC and CNN were reporting about the elections in different parts of the world. I couldn’t help, but notice that Pakistan’s channels […]

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A Tale of Two Afghanistans

It appears that for now, while some improvements are being made, women are still fighting for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

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Swifter Justice or a Way to Silence Dissidents? China Bans Traveling to the Capital to File a Legal Petition

In an unusual and unprecedented move, the Chinese government sent a strong message to its citizens seeking legal redress in Beijing: stay home, or be seriously penalized. Petitioners routinely travel to the capital to seek assistance regarding what they see as the failure of their local system, such as corruption in the courts, land-grabbing by […]

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An Error in Exile

In a new development in the ongoing saga of the ouster of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, the head of Honduras’s human rights commission, Ramon Custodio, publically declared Zelaya’s exile to nearby Costa Rica a mistake.  However, Custodio does not believe that the actual ouster of Zelaya to be wrong, saying that Zelaya’s violations of the […]

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Fearing the Rule of Law, Chinese Government Arrests Prominent Human Rights Lawyer

The blogosphere is abuzz with the unsettling news that the Chinese government has arrested Xu Zhiyong, a 36-year-old attorney, thereby dealing another blow to the growing Chinese rule of law movement. In authoritarian countries or nations in transition, lawyers often play a key role in bringing greater democracy through the judicial protections, accountability, and transparency […]

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Decreasing Freedom in Cambodia

Cambodia has never been known as a haven for free speech and political dissent, but several recent developments in the country have observers even more concerned about the shrinking space for political expression. Last week, a Cambodian court found an outspoken opposition MP guilty of defamation for filing her own defamation suit against Prime Minister […]

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Human Rights News Round Up

We usually only post once a day here at the Human Rights Blog, which means we can only cover so many human rights stories.  But to keep you informed, here are some of the other stories that came across my desk this past week. Niger:  For the People, By the people . . . Niger’s […]

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Democratic Reforms in Lee'apore?

Democratic Reforms in Lee'apore?

ct82hpgjq6 Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) has long been the institutional embodiment of Lee Family Power.  Using the PAP, Lee family patriarch, Lee Kuan-Yew created a political monopoly,  in the nation of  4.6 million people, that has lasted its entire 50 years of independence.   This monopoly allowed the establishment of a dynasty with the ascension […]

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Thinking Outside the (Ballot) Box

Mexico’s midterm election for its Chamber of Deputies, six governors and mayors and local legislators in 11 states will be held next Sunday July 5. The governing National Action Party (PAN) has  deployed an agressive campaign that attempts to turn the elections  into a referendum on  President  Felipe Calderón’s war against the drug cartels: either […]

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Out and In: Gelb Vs. Boot, Kagan, & Kagan

Today’s New York Times featured two contrasting views of how the US should fight the Afghan insurgency and prevent international terrorism from breeding in the region. Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, while asserting that defeating the Taliban threat is ‘not achievable’, argues for a steady military drawback from the conflict, […]

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