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Bahrain Personal Data Protection Law coming into effect

Some of you may know that I have been on a campaign to protect data, personal data specifically, from misuse and my demands for legislation to strenuously protect that data to prevent its misuse, and to enact stern penalties on those who do misuse personal information. On August 1, 2019, the Bahrain’s Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL) comes into effect. And it seems to address my raised concerns, which is a relief not just for me, …

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Saying NO to the Shock Doctrine

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My friend Doug Doulton shared this on his Facebook timeline:  In it, Naomi Klein states: Shock. It’s a word that has come up a lot since November— for obvious reasons. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shock. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” an investigation that spanned four decades from Pinochet’s U.S.-backed coup in 1970s Chile to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I noticed a brutal and recurring tactic by right wing …

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Shaikh Isa Qasim Sentenced. Now what?

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After more than a year or toing and froing, Shaikh Isa Qasim, Hussain Alqassab and Mirza Aldurazi get a suspended sentence of one year in jail, three years probation, the appropriation of over BD 3 million collected as “khums” – a religious tax of 20% of surplus profits given by followers of the Shia tradition in alms to be distributed to the poor via vouched for clerics – and the appropriation also of two properties registered …

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False starts are common. Is this another one?

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Something’s up. I – like the majority of Bahrainis – have become pessimistic and always looking for hidden meanings. This latest feeling descended on me when I heard that a staunch loyalist MP invited the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad Alhussein to come to Bahrain to personally investigate the situation here and thus be assured that everything is good and that reports of repression are exaggerated. This was swiftly followed up by …

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The adverse effects of impunity on humanity

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I happened across a couple of posts on Facebook which clearly demonstrated to me the adverse effects of impunity on humanity. In the first instance, we witness a member of the Israeli forces physically tipping over a handicapped Palestinian in a wheelchair and then physically assaults him. The situation around that crime quickly descends in to chaos and becomes an unsafe place to be. The question that came into my mind as I watched the following …

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Sources of ISIS Support

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  The Brookings Institute published a study on where the pockets of ISIS support are around the world. They analysed the sources of supportive Tweets and found that the majority emanate from Muslim countries. It’s no surprise to me that ISIS sympathisers are within our Arab communities. Their major support comes from the land of the birth of Islam, Saudi Arabia, as well as from war-torn Syria and Iraq. It’s somewhat surprising to see the United …

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#JohnKerry in Bahrain

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As I type this, there is a joint press conference by the foreign secretaries of the US of A and Bahrain. Here’s what I expect #JohnKerry to state. Ready? Here goes: Blaaah blah blah bla. Blaah bla bla bla bla bla bla blaaaaah bl #IRAN blablablablabla bla blaaaaah bla bla bl blaha blahhhhh #ISIS bla bla blaaaaaaah bla bla #IRAN bl #SYRIA #bla bla bla blaaaaaah bla #YEMEN bla (human rights) bla bla blaaaab ablallaballbalbabhhh bla …

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“This is Bahrain” group signs MoU with Israeli MEMRI organisation

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Ms Mathieson, third from left, Mr Fernandez, fourth from left, with clergymen, Shura Council members and delegates at the MoU signing. What exactly is this “This is Bahrain” group? Who are they? And who gave them any authority to speak for and on behalf of us Bahrainis and the Bahraini government? From what I could find, this group is an “initiative” emanating from The Federation of Expat Associations who lists Ms Betsy Mathieson as its secretary …

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You want meat?

The controversial removal of meat subsidies in Bahrain will be lifted starting from tomorrow and parliament has given up the fight to have the subsidy reinstated. Had they done their job properly as they are sworn to do, they would have had a serious look at all the subsidies offered by the government to various sectors when they were reviewing the government plan for the next few years. They should have also combed through the budget …

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The Hostility of the Middle East to Freedom of Expression

Here’s a riddle: if you heard the following, which country of region or the world would immediately jump up at you? A female artist and activist serving a 12-year prison sentence is facing additional charges, including “indecent conduct,” after shaking her male lawyer’s hand. South America? China? Belarus? Georgia? USA? No. I bet the region that popped up in your mind was the Middle East. As to the specific country, it most probably was either Saudi …

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