There is no doubt that the level of discontent around the world is rising to dangerous levels. Maybe that is what their leaders think, but it is clear, to use a contemporary term, revolution has gone viral. Not only are social networking and cellphone technology helping ordinary people, especially the youth, to arrange and coordinate protest movements and events, but these same technologies are spreading the word about what is happening in country after country. And discontent in one place tends to inspire discontent elsewhere.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the Moroccan authorities allowed peaceful, pro-reform demonstrations to take place in cities across the country.
Middle East and North Africa director at HRW, Sarah Leah Whitson, points out that the country’s authorities respected the right of citizens to assemble and protest peacefully.
Whitson states that, "The stance toward peaceful protesters we saw on that day should be the rule."
For the past weeks the unfolding drama in the Middle East has dominated news reports and media commentary to exclusion of almost every other issue. And there is still no end in sight. As events reach a certain interim stage of resolution in one country, attention moves to another. Even as pundits attribute the problems in one country to a particular cause, the popular uprisings in another country seem to have a different cause.
The United Nations (UN) has demanded an end to ‘indiscriminate’ attacks against civilians in Libya and warned Tripoli that anyone who violates international law will be brought to justice.
UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, appointed former Foreign Minister of Jordan, Abdelilah Al-Khatib, as his special envoy to Libya to undertake urgent consultations with the authorities in Tripoli and in the region on the immediate humanitarian situation.
Tanzanians are taking part in demonstrations organised by Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) over the rising costs of living, erratic power, grand corruption and other related issues.
The CHADEMA’s slogan ‘people power’ also captivated people from Lake Zone regions who have opposing political views against the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) led government.
The Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape says the violent service delivery protests which have been seen in some parts of the country recently cannot be considered a sign that South Africa is a failed state.
The Centre’s Derek Powell warns people of the tendency to label the country a 'failed' state because of poor performance of certain local councils.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the death toll from four days of violence centred on the Libyan city of Benghazi has passed 100, after witnesses said security forces shot dozens more anti-government protesters.
The organisation says it raised its death toll from the previous 84 to 104, after at least 20 more people were killed in Benghazi.
Zimbabwean lawyers have been given only limited access to 46 civil rights activists who were arrested in Harare last weekend.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ (ZLHR) Roselyn Hanzi says that from the time they were arrested, they were denied access to lawyers for about 24 hours.
Hanzi says that eight of the activists reported that they were tortured while in custody, adding that her organisation will formally demand that the tortured clients be examined by medical staff so they can raise it when they are presented to the magistrate.
Algerian civil society groups are planning new protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika this weekend.
Human rights groups say police briefly detained several hundred protesters at the march, but that no injuries were reported.
Last week, police cracked down as thousands of protesters took part in a banned march in Algiers.
To read the article titled, “New protests planned for next Saturday,” click here.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says the resignation of Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, is fuelling hopes for freedom and pluralism in the Middle East.
The organisation states that it welcomes the news with satisfaction and caution, after two weeks of what it calls ‘violent harassment' of both the national and international media.