Kirsten Meijer was 21 en 22 februari in Tunis om te praten met progressieve partijen uit de hele wereld over het thema 'decent work' en de ontwikkelingen in de Arabische wereld. Het mooiste moment van de conferentie was toen Lobna Jeribi, parlementslid van Ettakatol, Artikel 46* voorlas uit de nieuwe grondwet. De Tunesische grondwet is door deze passage, waarin vrouwenrechten zijn vastgelegd, zeer vooruitstrevend. Niet alleen zijn de gelijke rechten voor vrouwen en mannen vastgelegd, ook het recht op 'decent work' is opgenomen. Tunesië is daarmee een voorloper als het gaat om het erkennen van sociaaleconomische rechten als een fundamenteel mensenrecht dat voor iedereen geldig is, ongeacht je afkomst.
On 24 February the Egyptian government of interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi handed in its resignation to President Mansour. President Mansour asked El-Beblawi to run the government’s affairs until an new prime minister is selected. El-Beblawi gave no clear reason for his decision, but it is widely believed the cabinet made way for Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president, who was till now minister of defense.
A Moscow court has sentenced seven defendants in the Bolotnaya Case to jail terms of between two and a half to four years. On Friday 21 February, the defendants were found guilty, but sentencing was delayed until Monday 24 February. Critics say the court delayed sentencing until after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi, yesterday.
Ukrainian President Yanukovych has agreed to hold a presidential election before the end of the year, as part of a deal to end the crisis. He also agreed to a national unity government, and to reinstall the constitution of 2004, thereby reducing the power of the president.
After a ten month political stalemate, Lebanon’s designated Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, announced the formation of a government of national unity. The announcement was made on Saturday 15 February and on 18 February the newly formed government met for the first time. The 24-member government unites the Shia Hezbollah party, the Sunni Future Movement and the Christian Kataeb party.
On 18 February clashes broke out near Ukraine’s parliament. At the time of writing of this article, already seven people were killed, according to some sources and more than hundred people are injured. Injuries are also reported among police officers. On 19 February twenty-five deaths are reported
On Thursday 13 February, at least 12 protesters were arrested in Ankara when marching to parliament. Nearly 2,000 people were demonstrating against a bill tightening control of the internet. The protests turned violent as police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. This was not the first round of protests: immediately after parliament approved the controversial bill on 16 January, people went to the street in Istanbul and Ankara. In Istanbul, the riot police then also took action after some protesters used firebombs. With plastic bullets, tear gas and water cannons, they tried to control the protesters.
On 13 February Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had presented two U.N. Security Council draft resolutions on humanitarian aid access and the fight against "terrorism" in Syria. Russia counter-offered an earlier draft resolution backed by the West and the Syrian opposition, which Russia called biased against the government of Assad. Russia’s calls for a resolution condemning acts of "terrorism" are in tune with rhetoric of the Assad-regime.
On 11 February, protesters demanded the resignation of Bosniak-Croat Federation entity (FBiH) Prime Minister Nermin Niksic Niksic said he would only resign if parliament holds early elections. Niksic’s party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), leans towards early elections. Demonstrators all across the country demand the resignation of regional and local leaders, whom they hold responsible for economic hardship (unemployment rate above 40%) and corruption. The protest begun last week after the closure of factories in Tuzla and are the worst since the end of the Bosnian war in 1995.