October 2 – Middle East: SAUDI ARABIA / TURKEY
According to Turkish officials, Saudi Arabian journalist who worked for the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi, was killed and his body dismembered after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. They also say his killing was part of a premeditated plan. Jamal Khashoggi was a vocal critic of the Saudi government, calling for democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech in Arab countries. After denying his murder at first, the Saudi authorities acknowledge Khashoggi was killed by a group of rogue operators. His body has not been found. Turkish security sources say the operation was run by a top aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is regarded as the country’s de facto ruler.
Video (04:11) from BBC: Dark disappearances: How Saudi critics keep going missing
Jamal Khashoggi’s last column for The Washington Post before his disappearance: “What the Arab world needs most is free expression”
Democracy in the Arab world from the Freedom House
October 5 – International Organizations / Middle East / Africa:
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE / IRAQ / DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege are jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”. Denis Mukwege is a physician who devoted his practice to helping the victims of sexual violence committed in the context of a long-lasting civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has repeatedly condemned impunity for mass rape and criticized the Congolese government and other countries for not doing enough to stop the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war. Nadia Murad is a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq who was abducted by the terrorist Islamic State (IS) and held as sex slave. After escaping, she established an organization opposing violence against women and committed to helping victims of mass atrocities.
More about the Nobel Peace Prizes
October 12 – Latina America / North America:
HONDURAS / EL SALVADOR / GUATEMALA / UNITED STATES
Several thousand people set off from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on foot towards the United States border in what has been referred to as the migrant caravan. The migrants that include lots of women and children are fleeing violence, forced gang recruitment, poverty, and the lack of economic opportunities in the hope of a better life. U.S. President Donald Trump calls the caravan a “national emergency” (although it is still thousands of miles away from the U.S. border) and vows to send thousands of troops to stop the migrants from crossing the US border. According to the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the region has one of the highest murder rates in the world. In 2015, murder rates in Honduras stood at 57.45 deaths per 100,000 and El Salvador at 105.44 deaths. In comparison, murder rates in the United States in 2015 were at 4.96 deaths.
October 25 – Africa: ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia’s parliament elects Sahkle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president who at the moment is also the only female head of state in all of Africa. A week before her election, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed formed his cabinet with half of the ministerial posts given to women. President Sahle-Work has served previously as an ambassador, head of peace-building in the Central African Republic (CAR) at the United Nations, as well as the UN representative at the African Union.
October 27 – North America: UNITED STATES
Armed with handguns and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, 46-year-old Robert Bowers enters the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during Shabbat morning services and opens fire, killing 11 people and injuring seven. Bowers was active on the far-right social media website Gab, where he posted anti-Semitic comments and expressed his desire to kill Jewish people. This mass shooting is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States in history. The U.S. President Donald Trump reaction is that the shooting has little to do with US gun laws and that the temple should have armed guards.
Mapping global gun violence | The Economist
October 28 – Latin America: BRAZIL
Brazil’s former military officer and the head of the far-right Social Liberal Party Jair Bolsonaro wins the run-off in the presidential election with Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party, gathering 55.2 percent of the vote. The election result represents the country’s desire for a change after years of corruption scandals in the highest levels of Brazil’s government and businesses. Bolsonaro has pledged to fight corruption, as well as reducing state intervention in the economy. His critics, however, worry that his approval of dictatorship might undermine Brazil’s democracy.
Read more about Brazil’s Corruption Fallout