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· January, 2017

Stories about Middle East & North Africa from January, 2017

31 January 2017

Algerian Blogger Merzoug Touati Could Face 25 Years in Jail for Interviewing an Israeli Official on YouTube

Global Voices Advocacy

The interview focuses on Algerian government accusations that foreign powers stoked protests against austerity measures in the country. Blogger Merzoug Touati is charged with "exchanging intelligence with a foreign power."

30 January 2017

More Than a Hundred Iranians, Many of Them Legal Residents, Face Challenges Entering the US

A crowdsourced database started by an Iranian MIT professor offers a snapshot of the impact of Trump's ban on Iranian nationals.

Protests, Deportations and Uncertainty: Iranians Ensnared by Trump's Immigration Ban

"My timeline is full of stories of people impacted by #Trump’s order. They are in shock & can’t believe it."

29 January 2017

For Jordan's LGBT Community, the Law Books and Reality Send Different Messages

The Bridge

Same-sex relations were decriminalized in Jordan in 1951, but nearly 70 years later the country's LGBT citizens remain the targets of discrimination and mistreatment, with little protection from the law.

28 January 2017

Passenger Says Anti-Arab Racism, Not ‘Fake Bomb Threat’ Led to Madrid-Berlin Flight's Cancellation

The eyewitness told Global Voices that a German-speaking passenger on the Iberia flight called a fellow Lebanese passenger, who was sending text messages in Arabic, a "terrorist."

24 January 2017

The Tyrants Bring the Invaders: What Follows After Russia Helps Secure Assad's Victory

The Bridge

Russian’s bombing campaign in Syria has helped put an end to Aleppo’s civil democratic experiment, once a beacon of hope. What next?

23 January 2017

Hardliners Pressuring Iran's President Rouhani to Ban Popular Telegram App, This Time for 2017 Election

Global Voices Advocacy

“This (the internet) isn’t freedom. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Polluted anti-religious networks are functioning in this country because the organizations in charge are not doing their jobs.”

22 January 2017

Worried About Its Future, This Former East German City Recruited Syrian Refugees

In Golzow, the population had shrunk so much that authorities were considering closing the village's only elementary school. That's when the town mayor invited Syrian refugee families to move in.

20 January 2017

Health of Detained UAE Academic Nasser Bin Ghaith at Risk, Rights Groups Say

Global Voices Advocacy

Bin Ghaith was held incommunicado for nine months over and deprived of adequate food and clothing. Supporters are now concerned for his health.

Netizen Report: Bahrain Orders News Outlet to Stop ‘Using Electronic Media Tools’

Global Voices Advocacy

Israeli lawmakers give nod to ‘Facebook Bill’, Oman suspends free speech cases against Facebookers, and Kenyans fear an election day Internet shutdown.

19 January 2017

What Eyewitnesses Say Happened When Israeli Police Tried to Demolish Umm el-Hiran, a Bedouin Arab Village

Eyewitnesses explain what happened in Umm el-Hiran on the morning of January 18, 2017 as Israeli authorities prepared to destroy a Bedouin village

Bahrain Intensifies Media Crackdown Ahead of Protest Anniversary

Global Voices Advocacy

On 16 January, the government banned the online edition of the country’s only independent newspaper al-Wasat, from "using electronic media tools".

Many Feared Dead After High-Rise Mall in Tehran Collapses Following Fire

"Memories of buying special clothes and fish, now it has all collapsed"

17 January 2017

Dissent and Solidarity: When Iran Mourns One of the Fathers of Its Revolution

Massive crowds gathered in Tehran on January 10 for the funeral of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who led a paradoxical career as a revolutionary and figure of moderation.

#SaveArash: Jailed Iranian Activist Arash Sadeghi is Fighting for Human Rights — And His Life

Global Voices Advocacy

Arash Sadeghi was on hunger strike from 23 October 2016 until January 3, 2017. He remains alive and conscious, according to close contacts of his family.

16 January 2017

In Israeli Soldier's Manslaughter Conviction, Palestinians See Injustice

"I think it's a false conviction. The Israeli legal system is supporting the occupation. As Palestinians, we are not only suffering from one soldier."

Lebanon’s Seaside Dump Threatens Not Only the Environment, But Also Airplanes

"To solve this problem they must shut down the Costa Brava landfill and fix the Ghadir River problem from the root. Anything short of that just won’t do."

13 January 2017

Israel Advances New ‘Facebook Bill’, Threatening Free Speech

Global Voices Advocacy

Between October 2015 and January 2016 alone, Israel arrested 150 Palestinians on the grounds of "incitement through social media."

Reviving Beirut: How an Artist Collective Is Coloring Lebanon's Capital

With so much paint and goodwill, it's safe to say these artists have made their mark on Lebanon.

11 January 2017

For Telegram Users, Iran's Registration Requirement Boosts State Snooping Powers

Global Voices Advocacy

Telegram is Iran’s most popular messaging application and host to some 170,000 Iranian-owned channels. The new policy will require owners of popular channels to register with the government.

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