Tag Archives freedom-of-expression

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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Selective security

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While I abhor the Molotov cocktail attack on Samira Rajab’s residence and regard it as a heinous crime not to be condoned at all, especially when consideration is given that this attack was most probably undertaken due to Ms Rajab’s opinions and political position, I am left at a loss as to how the security services can find and apprehend the perpetrators within a day of the incident and those even more severe attacks on the …

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The Ambassador Speaketh

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Interesting interview in Al-Wasat this morning in which its editor-in-chief interviewed the departing American Ambassador to Bahrain Mr Adam Ereli. The interview had three axes: reflections on his tenure in Bahrain, Freedoms of Expression as exercised (or lack thereof) in Bahrain and the Internet in particular and lastly human rights. It’s surprising and refreshing to read some straight non-diplo talk once in a while, and this interview is largely that, though judging by some of the …

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Blocking sites gains momentum

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and Pakistan (as well as Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran I suspect) are going frantic over blocking websites they find… uh… offensive to their delicate sensibilities: “Before shutting down (YouTube), we did try just to block particular URLs or links, and access to 450 links on the Internet were stopped, but the blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down,” he said. Quite natural isn’t it? They block hundreds of websites, they …

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