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· January, 2012

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2012

Russia, Syria: Anti- and Pro-Assad Facebook Comment Attack

RuNet Echo  31 January 2012

Facebook pages of some Russian media outlets (e.g., Afisha, Bolshoi Gorod, Esquire Russia, Channel 1, MTV Russia) were deluged with copy-pasted comments [ru, ar] from users who appeared to be supporters of the Syrian opposition earlier today. An excerpt from a typical comment [ru, ar]: “Syria's regime is killing people...

Iran: Official launch of Cyber Police

  31 January 2012

Iran police has announced [fa] the official launch of Iran cyber police in Tehran, Iran capital. The deputy commander of this cyber police says that 40 percent of cyber crimes take place in Tehran.

Iran: Police controls a Facebook group, arrests its administrators

  30 January 2012

A Facebook group called “Daaf and Paaf” (means hot persons) fell under control of Iran's cyber police. Iran's cyber police announced [fa] on the group's Facebook's wall that “the administrators of this group have confessed to promoting banality”. This group had an online competition for choosing hot Iranian men and...

Iran: Asylum seeker committed suicide

  30 January 2012

Several bloggers reported [fa] that Mohammad Rahsepar committed suicide in a refugee camp in Germany. The blogger says that “rich Iranians, politicians in exile,…should help these asylum seekers who live in terrible camps.”

Iran: Military applause for death penalty

  29 January 2012

The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (Revolutionary Guards) has appreciated [fa] the death penalty for Saeed Malekpour, a web developer accused of running porn websites. The “center against organized crimes” at this army announced there are some other cases for porn website administrators in near future.

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UK: #TwitterKurds Organize First Social Media Gathering in London

  29 January 2012

A group of Kurdish Internet activists that have been organizing around the #TwitterKurds hashtag on Twitter have come together for the first Kurdish Social Media Gathering earlier this month in London. The event was live streamed and joined in via Skype and YouTube by those who could not be there physically, although there were participants who had traveled from as far as Australia to participate.

Iran: ‘Hostages in Syria are not military’

  28 January 2012

Free Syrian Army says it has taken hostage seven Iranians, five of whom were allegedly soldiers complicit in the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters. But an Iranian in Friendfeed writes [fa]: “They show a card as a document to show that this people were affiliated with military but that card...

Africa: How Africa Tweets

  28 January 2012

Young people Tweeting from mobile devices are driving the growth of Twitter in Africa, according to How Africa Tweets, new research launched by Portland: “In the first ever attempt to comprehensively map the use of Twitter in Africa, Portland and Tweetminster analysed over 11.5 million geo-located Tweets originating on the...

Egypt: Reactions to Revolution First Anniversary

  26 January 2012

Greek blogger Asteris Masouras shares this Storify collection to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian revolution on January 25. It includes links to news stories, photographs, videos and Twitter reactions.

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Jordan: Let it Snow

  26 January 2012

The long awaited white visitor has arrived to Jordan, after a couple of dry cold fronts it came and quickly melted. It didn't even accumulate but it brought in lots of joy and happiness to people eager for it. Jordanian netizens report on the country's first snowfall this winter.

Iran: ‘The pain of sanctions’

  25 January 2012

European Union has adopted an oil embargo against Iran. Faren Taghizadeh, a presenter at BBC Persian TV posted [fa] in Facebook: This is one of the adversities of being a journalist that you should talk about the pain of your people in details with a smile on your lips. But...

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Africa: 2012 Cup of Nations Kicks Off!

  25 January 2012

The Africa Cup of Nations began in Bata, Equatorial Guinea this Saturday, January 21, kicking off three weeks of fierce competition.  The Cup is the most important international football competition in Africa.

Egypt: revolt's anniversary at Tahrir

  24 January 2012

Egyptian Twitter-sphere reports that jailed blogger #Maikel Nabil has just been released, while people are gathering for tomorrow's big rally at #Tahrir to celebrate the revolt's first anniversary: “feels chaotic and it's starting to rain” (#25jan).

Iran: Barbie dolls under attack

  22 January 2012

Iranian police close down shops selling Barbie dolls in Tehran. Sabzgosh says” Iranian police has banned selling Barbies dolls.For Iran's police Barbie dolls are considered as an instrument in the Western soft war against Islamic Republic.”

Iran:Political prisoners in a cold jail

  22 January 2012

While Tehran is experiencing snow and severe cold weather, there are serious concerns over prisoners’ safety in the major prison, Evin. Saeid Pourheydar, former prisoner, writes [fa]: “The only heating system in solitary confinement cells at [Theran's prion] Evin's ward 240 is a warm water pipe. Now the prison has...

Iran:Press TV loses UK licence

  22 January 2012

Press TV, the Iranian state-run English-language TV, lost the license in UK due to what Ofcom says “breaching the Communications Act”. Maziar Nazemi, a presenter at Iran state-run TV believes [fa]: “It is obvious that every media is fulfilling the goals of its sponsors. So Ofcom's decision is a political...

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Tunisia: ”Do Not Censor Pornographic Content”

  22 January 2012

In early February, the Tunisian Internet Agency will appeal to the Court of Cassation's verdict issued in May 2011 by a court in Tunis ordering the agency to block access to pornographic content on the web. For Tunisian netizens, and free speech activists, this kind of censorship is not a solution, but rather a threat to freedom of speech.

About our Middle East & North Africa coverage

Dahlia Kholaif is the editor for the Middle East & North Africa. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.


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