Since 1995, Transparency International has surveyed and analyzed how corruption is perceived around the world. Through its Corruption Perceptions Index, TI has shown that abuse of power, secret dealings, and bribery are widespread and not confined to a handful of developing countries. The just-released 2013 index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in 177 countries and territories. It "demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations," according to TI Chair Huguette Labelle. Continue Reading →
Let me tell you how I think it will go from here. Free speech – always a lonely and sickly child in the Arab world – is already back in intensive care throughout the region.
Street protests will gradually die out. Dissenters will continue to be arrested and given harsh sentences. Sustained government propaganda will convince any waverers that political stability and economic prosperity are far more important than personal freedoms, rule of law, universal human rights, and democratic values.
Despite the wishful thinking of the crowds, the final chapter of the Arab Spring is being written: it is about over.
Here, from 58 years ago this week, is the police report on Rosa Parks, the African-American woman who refused to move to the back of a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her arrest helped spark the U.S. civil rights movement and began the end of apartheid in the American south. Thanks to historian Michael Beschloss for circulating this. And here's one more record -- a photograph -- from that extraordinary time: three years later, also in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King getting arrested for "loitering." Continue Reading →
Online is no refuge: The PEN American Center, an association of writers and others working to defend free expression, created this interactive report to showcase the global rise of digital repression, using data from its case files over the past 12 years. Continue Reading →
Today is International Day to End Impunity. IFEX, the global network of 88 groups defending free expression, is coordinating events worldwide calling for an end to attacks on journalists and others who speak out. Over the past ten years, more than 500 journalists have been killed, and in 9 of 10 cases their killers have escaped -- with impunity. Check out this map to see events scheduled worldwide. The campaign asks you to take five minutes to support five people under threat for speaking out. According to the International Press Institute (IPI), thousands of journalists have been killed for reporting on issues of public interest and social justice, including 97 media workers so far in 2013. Continue Reading →