Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 01, 2013

Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, July 01, 2013

Anna Nemtsova recounts her quest for an encounter with the elusive Edward Snowden.

Vivek Wadhwa explains why affordable tablet computers are set to transform India’s grassroots.

Tsveta Petrova argues that the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe bring important experience to the promotion of democracy elsewhere in the world.

Dwight Bashir reminds protesting Egyptians why democracy can’t survive without religious freedom.

Juan Nagel reports on the long-awaited release of persecuted Venezuelan judge María Lourdes Afiuni — and explains why it’s a hollow victory at best.

Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez takes a look at the constitutional controversy involving a 2011 prison break when now-President Mohammed Morsy escaped from jail.

Mohamed El Dahshan joins internet activists in Tunisia for a commemorative recreation of the old system of government surveillance.

Mohamed Eljarh wonders whether Libya’s new president is really the man to unify the country.

And Christian Caryl predicts that the Arab Spring’s refugee crisis will have a major impact on the region’s ethnic demographics.

And now for this week’s recommended reads:

The Hurriyet Daily News reports that the streets of Turkey, as shown in the photo above, are filled not only with protesters, but with participants in Istanbul’s 11th annual gay pride march.

As demonstrators in Egypt demand the resignation of President Mohammed Morsy, Shadi Hamid, writing in The Atlantic, questions the wisdom of such a move. Ellis Goldberg assesses Morsy’s political legacy for Nisralnasr. And Adel Iskandar analyzes the Tamarod opposition movement in his piece for Jadaliyya.

The International Crisis Group argues in a new report that the Syrian conflict is morphing into a full-blown sectarian struggle. In a dispatch for the Financial Times, Michael Peel explains how Iran, Russia, and China are keeping Syria’s economy afloat.

In The Daily Beast, David Keyes explains why it’s in the interest of the United States to help two Saudi Arabian women’s-rights activists imprisoned for their work. Gauri van Gulik asserts that newly published World Health Organization data comprise a call to action in the fight against domestic violence.

In a new report, the International Center for Transitional Justice explores Peru’s delays in compensating victims of the country’s 20-year civil conflict.

Shibani Mahtani, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports that Burma has banned the recent TIME magazine issue titled "The Face of Buddhist Terror."

Writing for NOW, Hussein Ibish predicts that "savage and bestial" Sunni-Shiite tension will lead to anarchy in the Middle East.

In The National, Alice Fordham reports on progress in Tunisia as the country’s long-overdue constitution nears ratification.

In his piece for World Politics Review, Stefan Wolff examines South Sudan’s slow development two years after independence.