Press Review: September 26 – September 30 2016
14,682 Saudis women signed a petition aiming to end the Guardianship system this Monday. This system compels women to seek the approval of a male relative to achieve basic tasks; such as for traveling, getting health care, to marry, or even taking a job. Some measures have been taken by the Saudi government to soften the system, but it still prevents women to exercise basic rights. If some senior clerics strongly oppose the abolition of the Guardianship system, several religious men question the idea whether abandoning the system would be an attack against Islam. Some declared that it is a governmental law and not a religious one, rendering it eligible for changes.
Bashar Al-Assad denies the charges denouncing the blocking of humanitarian convoys by the Syrian regime; using one more times the strategy of the denial. It is not the first time which the uses this propaganda process. Indeed, Assad had already denied the popular uprisings in 2011, the existence of an opposition to the regime, as well as the repression and the perpetuation of war crimes by the Syrian government. Unable to establish a shared version of reality, this technique turns out to be a brake in the attempts of resolution of the crisis. Hence, it prevents the process of communication between the various parts. This dynamics of the denial is strengthened by Assad’s feeling of impunity, provided by the support of his powerful allies.
The organization Human Rights Watch has recently published a report stating the living conditions of the Egyptian prison al-Aqrab. It is reported that inmates are frequently beaten, cannot access their family and lawyers, and are deprived from health care, leading sometimes to death. This prison is filled with Sisi’s political opponent. If practices in prisons were already poor and that the number of arrests was already high under Mubarak, the situation in prisons has been reported as deteriorating since Sisi’s ascension to power.
For the first time since the victory of the Hamas in 2006, Palestine is going to organize elections in which the main political factions agreed to participate. It represents, according to the author of the article, a unique opportunity to bridge Gaza and West Bank. If the international community applauded this initiative, it fears a new victory of the Hamas. Indeed, after the defeat of the party against the Hamas, the international community boycotted the new government, depriving Palestine of a major source of income. It proves one more time that the speech promoting the democracy still does not match the interests of the Western countries, therefore establishing double standards.
In Hungary, Muslims feel targeted as the country prepares itself for a vote concerning refugees. The referendum concerns whether to accept, or not, the conditions of the European Union concerning migrant quotas. The Prime Minister Viktor Orban, advocates for a « No », and presents himself as the defender of Europe against Islamization. His government is publishing posters linking immigration with Muslims, and Muslims with terrorism. This minority feels that racism and discrimination are on the rise.