The POMED Wire

President Hadi Accused of Delaying PM Appointment

Yemeni Pres Photo credit: Associated Press

Today, local journalists and political analysts accused President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi of purposefully causing delays in the appointment of Yemen’s new prime minister. ”President Hadi is wasting the time he has to choose the prime minister, while he can ‘save the day’ and avoid a complete failure,” said political analyst Waili. According to journalist Saif Gourbani, political parties had already reached consensus on the candidates for the position of prime minister, but at the last moment, the nomination was cancelled.  Another journalist, Faisal Hajj, provided a dissenting opinion, offering that the number of political parties and a joint process for choosing a prime minster caused the delays. “Perhaps a well-considered choice of prime minister is better than a careless one [...],” he said.

Meanwhile, the State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki issued a statement on Saturday regarding the conflict in Yemen, condemning “ongoing hostile and aggressive action against the Yemeni government and political targets” and calling for all parties to “turn over all medium and heavy weapons to the State.” Psaki also denounced members of the former Saleh regime and Houthi leadership who are taking advantage of the current security situation to “further their own …

Islamic State Kills Iraqi Human Rights Activist Samira Salih al-Nuaimi

071542_910496_Samira_Saleh_Al_Nuaimi_dlPhoto Credit: Getty Images

Islamic State militants killed Iraqi human rights activist and lawyer Samira Salih al-Nuaimi last Monday, September 22 in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The militant group seized al-Nuaimi from her home after she posted messages on her Facebook condemning the Islamic State’s “barbaric” destruction of religious sites in Mosul. According to the United Nations mission in Iraq, al-Nuaimi was tried in a “Sharia” court for apostasy. The militants tortured al-Nuaimi for five days before publicly executing her.

The Islamic State has destroyed historic and religious landmarks, as well as forced religious minorities to convert to Islam and pay special taxes. UN monitors have documented numerous executions of women by the Islamic State, including two candidates in Iraq’s Nineveh Province elections in July. Hanaa Edwer, an Iraqi human rights activist, said that in recent weeks, the Islamic State has murdered five women rights workers and political activists.

The United Nations envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov stated that “By torturing and executing a female human rights’ lawyer and activist, defending in particular the civil and human rights of her fellow citizens in Mosul, ISIS continues to attest to its infamous nature, combining hatred, nihilism and savagery, as …

Human Rights Watch Reports Rollback of Human Rights in Turkey

Turkey Photo credit: Associated Press

Human Rights Watch released a report highlighting the “rollback of human rights and rule of law” in Turkey under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The findings implicate the very heart of the government in allegations of corruption, media censorship, and oppression of political dissidents. The senior researcher and author of the exposé, Emma Sinclair-Webb, accused Erdogan’s AKP of responding to political opposition by “tearing up the rule book, silencing critical voices, and wielding as stick.”

Human Rights Watch tracked the Turkish government’s response to recent crackdowns on political participation, making four different recommendations: strengthening the peace process with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); reforming the criminal justice system; ending corruption by state officials and violence against women; and protecting free speech, media, Internet, and the rights to assembly and association. The report suggested that the government revise the 1982 constitution to protect human rights and end misuse of charges relating to anti-terrorism, crimes against the state, and organized crime against people engaged in nonviolent political protest.

The report comes just days after the Turkish government announced a renewed bid to join the European Union. Human Rights …

Egypt Amends Foreign Funding Laws to Include Harsher Punishments

sisiPhoto Credit: CNN

Earlier this week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed an amendment to Egypt’s penal code to include harsher punishments for organizations and individuals who receive foreign funding intending to commit acts against the state’s interests. Under the previous law, Egyptian courts could sentence offenders to “strict imprisonment” and a fine of EGP1000 (USD140). The amendment, however, increases these punishments to life in prison and a fine of no less than EGP500,000 (USD70,000).

The amendment also outlines in more detail the behaviors which could be labeled offense by law enforcement as anything ”with the intention of committing acts harmful to national interest, or acts like it, or acts that breach the country’s independence, or unity, or territorial integrity, or committing attacks that disrupt public security and safety, shall be punished…”

The law may have important implications for NGOs operating in Egypt, many of which rely on foreign funding. NGOs in Egypt have faced increased scrutiny from security services under Sisi, and under a law passed in July this year all NGOs were required to register with the government. Although according to human rights lawyer Negad El-Borei the amendment to the penal code will not directly affect NGOs (as …

Obama Reiterates Support for Tunisian Democratic Transition; Ennahda Hires U.S. PR Agency

Photo Credit: Al Monitor

On September 22, Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa received a letter from U.S. President Barack Obama in which he reiterated U.S. support for Tunisia’s economy and security during its transition towards democracy. The letter was delivered to Jomaa by U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia Jacob Walles. In the message, Obama expressed his “willingness to continue backing efforts to boost the process of transition and drive it to completion in optimal conditions.” A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said that Obama’s letter was in response to Jomaa’s message to President Obama, which Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamdi had conveyed to the President during a visit to Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, the Islamist Ennahda Party has entered into a contract with U.S.-headquartered public relations agency Burson-Marsteller ahead of the upcoming electoral campaign. The agency will mainly assist the party with media outreach strategies and public relations counsel in the U.S., the UK, and elsewhere. Registration documents filed with the Department of Justice state that Burson-Marsteller signed a contract with Ennahda’s office in London to “arrange meetings between Ennahdha representatives and stakeholders [and] encourage support for free and fair elections in Tunisia.”

According to an article …

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