In this “new normal”, secular activists - including some of my prison neighbours - have been imprisoned at least three times, first for opposing the now fallen autocrat Hosni Mubarak; then for protesting at the excesses of the short-lived Muslim Brotherhood administration and now for what they say is draconian overreach by the current government. Campaigners putting up “no” posters for the recent constitutional referendum are also in prison, as is anyone caught taking part in Muslim Brotherhood organised protests (the Brotherhood is now deemed to be a “terrorist organisation”). In this “new normal”, an independant agency reckons some 21,000 were arrested in the five months since Morsi’s ousting on June 30, while 2,665 people had been killed and almost 16,000 injured in the same period. And, of course, among the detained are journalists, including ourselves, accused of supporting terrorism and undermining the state.
Let me be clear: I have no desire to weaken Egypt nor in any way see it struggle. Nor do I have any interest in supporting any group, the Muslim Brotherhood or otherwise. But then our arrest doesn’t seem to be about our work at all. It seems to be about staking out what the government here considers to be normal and acceptable. Anyone who applauds the state is seen as safe and deserving of liberty. Anything else is a threat that needs to be crushed.
Nailed it. (via @BuzzFeedAndrew)
Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili talks to Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy and deputy prime minister, about this and questions him over Israeli politicians’ claims that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, said Iran would ‘wipe Israel out’.
Short: Meridor grasps at straws as he’s put on the defensive by facts.
"Fighting a war with video cameras:" With few international reporters able to access Homs, activists in the central city have become effective citizen journalists.
They are using Skype, Facebook and other internet sources to document what is happening on the ground.
A billion-plus Asians have welcomed the Year of the Dragon with a cacophony of fireworks, hoping the mightiest sign in the Chinese zodiac will usher in the wealth and power it represents. (via Al Jazeera)