Tag Archives iran

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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Just-in-time IISS

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The 7th Manama Dialogue run by the International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS] is almost upon us. It will take place at the Ritz Carlton this weekend from Dec 3rd – 5th and will be attended by virtually the who’s-who in world’s political and security spheres.What should the delegates really concentrate on? Will their discussions be steamrolled by Wikileaks’ Cablegate?

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Wikileaks’ Cablegate: exposing nothing new

Yes, the conversation of the minute is the deluge of cables sent back from most if not all American diplomatic missions around the world to their mothership, the State Department, who seems interested in every little detail which could be elicited by whatever means possible about political actors. This is a legitimate exercise and has been so from time immemorial. Having them published, however, is not. Spies are employed the world over at great cost to …

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Newspaper Banned in Bahrain

Not that I love Akhbar Al-Khaleej, nothing could be more remote from the truth, but my feeling for this decrepit paper, its publisher or some of its so called journalists is completely immaterial, but it should not have been banned under whatever reason given or withheld by whatever organ of government dictating this latest ban on freedom of speech. Rumour has it that the reason for the ban is this excellent Muharraqi cartoon. In it, a …

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Summary of Khamenei Sermon

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Like the rest of the world, I’ve been half interested in the Iranian elections, not for anything specific, but I guess it’s a good gig to while away the time with. If you think this is endeavor – the elections – are “the real thing” then please be reminded that this is The Middle East. Rule is either by force, charisma, religion or preferably a combination of all three even if the last trait is by …

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