Mar 132012
 

The international community continues to grapple with new realities following last year’s “Arab Spring.”   Nowhere is this more evident than in Egypt.

Months after Hosni Mubarak was removed from power, Egypt’s transitional government continues to fight western influence.  You may have seen news reports chronicling 43 western citizens (including 13 Americans) fleeing Egypt to avoid criminal prosecution.  Most of the accused are members of pro-democracy Non Governmental Organizations that the Egyptian government claims are using foreign capital to cite unrest amongst Egyptians.

The dispute balances political interests including Egypt’s receipt of foreign aide and the nation’s foreign policy towards Israel; however, human rights advocates and western leaders fear that Egypt’s transitional government may be no more committed to democracy than the regime it replaced.

In Monday’s Washington Post, Kareem Elbayar, an attorney for the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, pointed out that “[u]nder Egyptian law, individuals must obtain permission from the government to associate or they risk imprisonment.  The application process… can take months, if not years…”  Elbayar notes that this requirement violates principles of International Law.

I have long been skeptical that regime change throughout the Middle East would produce long-lasting human rights advances.  There has been a long history of western-supported regime change that results in tyrannical regimes.  As I watch transformations across Egypt, Lybia, and now Syria, I can only hope that continuing international pressure can help ensure progress in human rights.

Mar 022012
 

 

  • I blogged yesterday about the US Supreme Court hearing a case regarding foreign plaintiffs suing under the Alien Tort Act.  Law.com published an interesting article that discusses the exchange and the judge’s perceived hostility towards the plaintiffs.
  • Chevron is pleased that an international arbitration tribunal has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear Chevron’s claim against Ecuador.  The tribunal took its lead from treaty law.  This was not unexpected, and the saga continues…
  • Human Rights abuses in Syria continue to dominate world news, and today the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to condemn the Syrian regime’s continual abuses against it’s citizens.  The vote was 37 to 3.  Among the three nations voting no, China and Russia have continually blocked the UN from taking decisive action in this matter.  For now, the world will continue to watch the images from Syria in horror.