BBC Profiles Arab Uprisings, Country by Country
The BBC has published a brief overview of uprisings across the Middle East, from the incremental reform movement in Morocco, to the sectarian clashes in Bahrain. In Egypt, the BBC reports that protests were “driven by poverty, rising prices, social exclusion, anger at corruption and personal enrichment among the political elite, as well as a demographic bulge of young people unable to find work.” The resignation and ultimate conviction of President Hosni Mubarak was unprecedented, but “disagreement over a new draft constitution, anger at increased powers of arrest for the military, and demands for improved legislation protecting the rights of women” has increased general dissatisfaction in the country.
Similar issues continue to fester in Libya following the overthrow of Muammar al-Qadhafi. Despite initial jubilation and a successful parliamentary election in July, “rival militias have clashed repeatedly, regional and ethnic tensions have persisted,” and the drafting of a new constitution has been indefinitely delayed. Smaller uprisings in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria have prompted limited reforms, including expanding female voting rights in Saudi Arabia and the legalization of private media outlets in Algeria, but in these countries and many others, governments have also responded to protests with violence and repression. In Bahrain, rights groups say that more than 1,600 activists, bloggers, doctors and opposition supporters have been detained since the start of that country’s uprising in February 2011, while in Oman, more than a dozen online activists were recently imprisoned for criticizing widespread corruption and the lack of governmental accountability.