The pace of Tunisia’s democratic backsliding under President Kais Saied has accelerated in recent weeks. As part of Saied’s increasing curbs on freedom of expression, three more people who have publicly criticized Saied were arrested in the past week, bringing the total number of critics who have been jailed to 12.
As search and rescue operations in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria wind down, there has been widespread criticism of the Turkish state’s response. Nevertheless, for all the shortcomings in the government’s response to the earthquakes, it is miles ahead of how the Syrian state responded.
Two earthquakes on Feb. 6 have so far killed more than 35,000 and injured tens of thousands more in southern Turkey and northwestern Syria. But while the disasters were natural, not all of the fallout was: The humanitarian catastrophe caused by the earthquakes has been worsened by corruption, politics and geopolitical rivalries.
The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gotten off to a difficult start. The weeks since his Cabinet was formed saw the worst escalation in violence between Palestinians and Israelis since 2008. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s proposed reforms to the judiciary have been met with intense protests.
Lebanon’s ongoing political and economic crises took more dramatic turns last week, beginning with a sit-in inside parliament by some of the body’s members to protest the failure to elect a president, and continuing with extraordinary developments linked to the stalled inquiry into the August 2020 Beirut Port explosion.