The course of freedom and democracy in the world is an evolutionary process, though sometimes it proceeds in the wrong direction. Wines have good years and bad years. If 2013 were a wine, you'd use it to kill weeds. Mohamed Morsi began the year as the first democratically elected president of Egypt. He ended it in a jail cell facing charges of treason, having been evicted in a military coup just 12 months after being inaugurated. When his supporters massed in protests following his overthrow, security forces killed nearly 1,000 of them. Elsewhere in the region, the Arab Spring was a fading memory. Syria's Bashar al-Assad, one of the dictators who survived it, used poison gas against rebels before accepting international demands to give up his chemical arsenal. The list of abuses goes on. Steve Chapman argues that political leaders across the globe continued to violate the rights of innumerable citizens this year.
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