December 12 to 16, 2011

–         The results of the crackdown in Syria amounted to 5 000 dead according to the UN ( Le bilan de la répression en Syrie s’élève à 5 000 morts selon l’ONU ) – Le Monde – 12/12/2011

« Probably more » of 5000 people were killed in the repression of demonstrations in Syria, according to a recent estimate given Monday, December 12, by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Navi Pillay. « Children were not spared. The state forces have neglected the rights of children in their actions to reduce dissent into silence , » assured Ms. Pillay. The Security Council fails to agree on a resolution condemning the repression in the country. A double veto, Russia and China, torpedoed October 4 a project in this direction.

–        Libyan activists demand transparency from National Transitional Council – The Guardian – 13/12/2011

Anti-government activists have set up a tent city in the eastern city of Benghazi in a second day of demonstrations against Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council. The protest camp sprang up in the city’s Maidan al-Shagara (Tree Square) after thousands of people joined demonstrations in Benghazi and Tripoli to demand transparency from the interim government. The protesters are calling for the NTC, led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Muammar Gaddafi’s former justice minister, to make its membership and voting decisions public. Protesters say they are concerned that the NTC may not meet its promise to hold elections in June next year, given the absence of work on compiling an election register or any announcements on the format of the new assembly.

–        The Responsibility of the Syrian Opposition – Dar Alhayat – 13/12/2011

As the Syrian crisis deepens and as the sectarian conflict intensifies among the various components of society, the extent of the responsibility – that should be held by all the different factions of the Syrian opposition for the sake of the country’s future of – becomes more crucial. This is taking place as part of an attempt to suggest that the regime has finally discovered the advantages of the internal opposition, but that fears the so-called external opposition. The regime further accuses the external opposition of deriving its power from Western interests (the American and Turkish ones specifically!)

–        Egyptians head to polls as party rivalry sharpens – Financial Times – 14/12/2011

Millions of Egyptians headed to the polls Wednesday for the second stage of the country’s first post-revolutionary parliamentary elections, a vote shaping up as a battle between increasingly antagonistic Islamist parties vying for the support of the country’s poor and pious. At some polling stations, the number of voters appeared to have fallen from the first stage late last month. Some of the drama had also seeped out of the elections after Islamist parties won 65 per cent of the vote in the first round, and there was little reason to suspect they would fare much differently in the remaining two stages.

–        Algeria: a law to prevent associations to intervene in state affairs ( Algérie : une loi pour empêcher les associations d’intervenir dans les affaires de l’État ) – Jeune Afrique – 14/12/2011

After a new law on political parties voted last week, the Algerian MPs adopted a law Tuesday, December 13 which subjects « religious » associations to a « special regime ». The opposition, which sees in this reform the strengthening of the state hegemony over a state-civil society, has seen almost all of its amendments, which sought to claim more autonomy of action and less « bureaucratic measures, » rejected .