Stories about Middle East & North Africa from July, 2011
”Poor Arab and Emirati intellectuals and thinkers!” bewails Ahmed Al Mouhareb [ar] while reporting on his Twitter account the deferment the trial of the blogger and activist Ahmed Mansour and of four of his companions until September 26 [en]. Arrested in the beginning of April 2011, after having signed a...
On the eve of Ramadan, Syrian troops have entered the city of Hama, reportedly killing as many as 45 people by 11:00 am on Sunday, July 31.
A month ago, the stateless community of Kuwait started a 3 day-long campaign of “flipping your twitter avatar” to catch the media's attention and highlight their cause for the world. This Friday, they've made another campaign to set balloons in the air, calling them “freedom balloons". Mona Kareem shares the story.
Islamic Republic's Interior Minister Mostafa Najar called [fa] Facebook, satellites and chatting, instruments used by western countries’ soft war against Iranian regime.
Lebanese musician Zeid Hamdan was detained briefly this week for allegedly defaming President Michel Suleiman in a song he released in 2010. Lebanese newspaper Assafir has since reported the Hamdan has been released, but not before a Twitter and blogger storm publicised the news of his initial arrest. Lebanon's online...
Hezballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has exclaimed that God had given Lebanon an opportunity to rid itself of a crippling debt, and become a "rich country" by providing it lucrative offshore oil and gas reserves. However, the reserves potentially lie in a disputed maritime border zone with Israel.
Sarah Shourd spent 410 days in solitary confinement in Tehran, Iran, on charges of "espionage". She now calls on the world to speak up for her two friends, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who are still in prison in Iran since all three were arrested while hiking in July 2009.
Registration for electoral lists in Tunisia started on July 11 and will be closed on August 2, but statistics have shown that Tunisians are reluctant to register on the lists. A group of Tunisian bloggers have launched an online campaign to urge people to register for the October elections.
Saudi Arabia has blocked access to the website of the human rights organisation Amnesty International following their leak of a draft for a new Saudi anti-terrorism law that would introduce harsher penalties for political dissent or critique of the royal family.
Jahanshah Javid, from iranian.com,displayed the names of 150 current Iranian prisoners on stickers along with ribbons in Persia, Iowa.
Amnesty International's leaked draft of the new Saudi anti-terror law has prompted a strong reaction to the proposed legislation. Twitter users are using the hashtag #SaudiTerrorLaw to voice their opinions.
In the aftermath clashes between army and separatist Kurdish PKK militants earlier this month, ethnic tension in Turkey continues to grow. Marches in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul broke out into larger scale street fighting on the night of July 21.
On July 23, Egyptian demonstrators marched from Tahrir Square to the Ministry of Defense demanding the stoppage of military trials for civilians, the trial of Mubarak and his former regime, and asking their military rulers to speed up reforms. The initially peaceful protest ended with violence.
Mona Kareem brings us the tale of #Tabukgirl and how this controversial story about a young girl being forcibly wed to a 60-year old man has sparked a strong response on Saudi Arabian social networks.
Physicians for Human Rights launched a global action day and an oline petition to Dr. Arash Alaei who is in jail in Iran. Arash and his brother, Kamyar, two Aids physicians were arrested in 2008. Kamyar was released recently and moved to the USA.
It seems that even statues are not safe in Iran. Religious motives appear to be behind the recent theft and destruction of several bronze statues of Iranian national heroes from public places.
Aynur Doğan, a Kurdish-Turkish singer, was jeered by part of the audience during an open air concert in the Istanbul Jazz Festival because she sang a song in Kurdish. Part of the audience sang the Turkish National Anthem in protest, while others in the audience supported the singer.
In the past two months, Kuwaiti bloggers have campaigned against Internet companies in Kuwait which are enforcing a policy of limited bandwidth, steeply raising prices in the past year by agreeing between each other on the same prices, and killing the competition in the Internet market. Mona Kareem expands on this protest.
In many places, summer means sun, sea and holidays. In Iran, summer means at least one more thing: crackdowns on women wearing improper or “un-Islamic” clothing.
Mehdi Khazali, a publisher and blogger was arrested. He is son of a leading right-wing cleric and former Counsel of Guardians member, Ayatollah Khazali.
Exactly one year after seven young netizens were arrested in a series of raids by intelligence ministry agents, Reporters Without Borders is reiterating the call for their release.