US fears promise of Arab Spring may be lost
20 April AFP
Global hopes that democracy could replace dictatorships in Arab
Spring nations risk being crushed by repressive regimes, the United
States warned in its annual human rights report.
Two years after the first uprisings against iron-fisted rulers in the
Middle East and North Africa, the countries that gave rise to the Arab
Spring are encountering "harsh realities" and face "immense challenges,"
the State Department said in its assessment of the global rights
situation in 2012.
"The hope of the early days of the Arab Awakening has run up against
the harsh realities of incomplete and contested transitions," the report
And despite some "encouraging democratic breakthroughs," old
divisions held in check for decades are resurfacing and clashing with
young people "impatient for reform and results." Arab Spring nations in
"2012 witnessed a bumpy transition from protest to politics, brutal
repression by regimes determined to crush popular will, and the
inevitable challenges of turning democratic aspirations into reality."
While there was praise for countries such as Tunisia and Libya, where
the new leaders include long-time human rights advocates, there is
growing concern in other states about moves to stifle civil society.