Nabil el-Araby, head of the League,
with Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad last Saturday.
(Photo: Government of Syria)

Source: International Federation of Human Rights

More than 170 national, regional and international civil society organizations sent an open letter to Dr. Nabil El Araby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, urging the bloc to put pressure on Syria’s government to effectively end the crackdown on peaceful opposition, release all political prisoners and provide compensation for victims.

Drought, a huge problem for
Ethiopian pastoralists. (Photo:
Petterik Wiggers/Hollandse Hoogte.)

Source: Afronline

As hunger threatens 12 million people in the Horn of Africa, a study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) of the response to Kenya’s last devastating drought found that investments to increase the mobility of livestock herders – a way of life often viewed as “backward” despite being the most economical and productive use of that country’s drylands – could be the key to avert future food crises.

A sign in Dili: Timor-Leste
"doesn't owe" and "will not pay".
(Photo: ETAN/US)

Sources: ETAN, La’o Hamutuk

The government of Timor-Leste must "keep the nation debt-free and refrain from borrowing money from international lenders […] to protect its future generations," warned 137 civil society organizations based in 32 countries. Dili has not borrowed foreign funds since its independence in 2002.

Outgoing LTDH president Mokhtar
Trifi and interim prime minister
Beji Caed Essebsi.
(Photo: TunisiaLive)

Sources: Associated Press, TunisiaLive, Agence Tunis Afrique Presse, Leaders, in French

The Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH, one of the focal points of Social Watch) held its annual congress for the first time in 11 years from Friday to Sunday. The group, barred from carrying out all activities under president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, called on the country's next authorities for an independent justice system, respect for women's rights and the end of capital punishment.

Bahraini doctors protesting in
the streets.
(Photo: Ahlulbayt News Agency)

Sources: Daily Tribune, Al Jazeera, Radio France International, The Washington Post

Bahraini and international human rights’ organization efforts made progress this week when a special court freed on bail 20 doctors jailed because of political reasons, some of which had gone on hunger strikes, with more than 100 other prisoners. The situation of the fasters “is a matter of concern as it involves the lives of people,” said Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS, focal point of Social Watch) Secretary General Dr Abdulla Al Durazi.

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