Feature

Arabs discouraged

The week's news at a glance.

Amman, Jordan

The Arab world saw no significant advances toward democracy last year, a group of Arab intellectuals said this week in a U.N.–sponsored report. The third annual Arab Human Development Report advocated greater freedom, democratic reform, and respect for human rights in the region—the same goals being pushed by President Bush. But the report said that the U.S. had actually impeded progress with its occupation of Iraq and support of Israel. Repressive governments, the report said, diverted energy from reformists by channeling their populations’ anger toward Washington. The report covers the year from October 2003 to October 2004, so it does not include the recent Iraqi elections or the democratic resurgence in Lebanon.

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