February 5, 2011 |
Although President Obama has sided firmly with pro-democracy protesters in Egypt, his administration spent its first two years easing the U.S. push for human rights reforms in that country. Early in Obama's presidency, officials cut in half funding to promote democracy in Egypt. They also agreed to restrict certain grants only to organizations licensed by President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime, reversing a Bush administration policy of funding groups at odds with the government.
November 14, 2010 |
For years in her native Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has been known simply as The Lady. Although the pro-democracy stalwart and Nobel laureate has languished for years in confinement, residents have always known this about Suu Kyi: She would not be broken by the regime she has long defied. The slight 65-year-old activist proved them right Saturday as she was freed from an imprisonment that had stolen 15 of her last 21 years. Whether detained or not, supporters say, she has remained a quiet but determined symbol of struggle against political repression in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma.
March 22, 2010
The Obama administration's strategy of engaging with rogue regimes may have paid off in a small way in Myanmar. The release from prison of a pro-democracy activist doesn't signal that democracy is coming to that oppressed nation, but it does argue for continued contact to keep pressing for desperately needed change. Naturalized American citizen Nyi Nyi Aung was arrested on spurious charges, sentenced after an unfair trial and mistreated in prison, according to Human Rights Watch.
January 2, 2010 |
Thousands of Hong Kong residents marched to the Chinese government's liaison office on Friday demanding that Beijing grant full democracy to the semiautonomous financial hub. Chanting "One man, one vote to choose our leader!" and clutching signs reading "Democracy now," the demonstrators set off from a crowded street in the heart of the central financial district. Some held aloft portraits of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, demanding his release after he was sentenced last week to 11 years on subversion charges.
October 18, 2009 |
West African leaders said Saturday that they are imposing an arms embargo on Guinea over the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators by soldiers and will try to stop Guinea's military ruler from running in January's presidential election. Regional leaders attended an emergency meeting Saturday of ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, and said at a news conference afterward that they would step up pressure on members of the military government, which took power in a coup in December, not to seek office.
August 16, 2009 |
Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has gained the release of an American prisoner on the fast-moving first day of a trip to Myanmar in which Webb held face-to-face talks with reclusive junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe and also a rare meeting with jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Webb's two-day trip comes just days after a military court ruled Suu Kyi was guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest by harboring the uninvited American John...
August 12, 2009 |
A military court in Myanmar today declared pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest and extended her sentence by a year and a half -- well past the date for national elections scheduled for 2010. Thousands of supporters and security personnel gathered outside the courtroom at Yangon's Insein Prison for the culmination of the stop-start trial that has drawn harsh criticism from Western governments, rights groups and the United Nations.
July 5, 2009 |
Former political prisoner Win Tin says he wasn't surprised that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit to Myanmar to plead for the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi ended in failure. Ban said Saturday that he was "deeply disappointed" that Senior Gen. Than Shwe refused to allow him to see Suu Kyi, adding that she should be released "without delay." He said Myanmar's human rights record was a matter of serious concern.
March 23, 2009 |
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, who became a symbol of resistance to military rule in Pakistan, quietly resumed his duties Sunday after an incendiary two-year political confrontation that brought down one government and threatened another. In a sometimes tearful ending to the saga, supporters of the reinstated jurist raised the Pakistani flag at his residence, in keeping with a vow made by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination 15 months ago.
March 19, 2009 |
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says: "We need to focus on the three Ds-defense, diplomacy and development." No mention of another "D" word: democracy. This new approach has garnered widespread applause across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Not in Lebanon. At least not among members of the March 14 coalition, as the pro-democracy forces are known.