Translations and roundups

Emirates , IRENA HQ , Is Living in Cement Dust.

4\7\2009

Al-Imarat Al
Youm " paper , Banned for 20 days"

Salem Al-Touaih
, 4/7/2009

Hot weather in gulf countries has gone
beyond all expectations; yesterday it was 56ºC! .It seems this infernal
summer has struck the bloggers , most of them have stopped posting on
new topics.

Ahmed Mansour in his blog " A subjugated
Emirati citizen", checked out the month of June by the exceptional
event in the Gulf area, the decision of the preparatory committee of
the int'l. renewable energy agency to found its head quarters in Abu-Dhabi,
Emirates capital.

# Algeria # New press in Ammar circus

28\6\2009

 

Most of the internet
content is copied or quoted from other sites, so the norm of the members
in all forums is to type "posted by" not "written by"
or edited by" . though using a keyboard, they would use "
written by " .However, a special blogger used a special way to
express this thoughts.

His blog name is "the circus" , his pen is "the whip" , he juggles with words,
hops between meanings and leaps on hazards.

Sudan , Where To?

"The tongue is tired
of complaining" ..Mohamed Al-Hassan Salem summarized the Sudanese
status-quo with all its current struggles and historical conflicts in
this single sentence. Sudanese bloggers are drawing this image of the
viscous circle of democracy –military coup – democracy - military
coup. The bitterness of complaining and disapproval , resisting for
years and years oppression, military atrocity and tyrannical ruling
battering  and containing all freedoms are the most featured in
the Sudanese scene.

Yemeni reporters under assault

 

 

Reporters in the Arab world are suffering
severe hostility from Arabic regimes and their security  services
that will take every possible measure to hinder reporters effort to
reveal and publish facts and  to expose violations, corruption
and torture cases swarming the Arab countries.

Yemen is one country where reporters
are at great risk ranging from physical assaults to risking their lives.
Regarding Yemen where serious problems are abundant , it is undoubtedly
an attraction to press and media. This lead to abundance in reporters
violation of rights; detention , imprisoning, and beating.

Southern Yemen is requesting separation
from united Yemen, this is an issue that must be thoroughly covered
and explained to the whole world.

Last week, several reporters were attacked 
while covering actualities of southern Yemen.

Anis Mansour Hemaida : a reporter for
the daily paper "Al- Ayam",  upon his covering events
of the south in Rodfan ,Hoata, Sabiha and Karsh, he was accused
of supporting separatist groups of the south and was trialed for the
charges of threatening united Yemen , agitating the public ,sedition,
contributing in illegal marshes, threatening community peace and advocating
for separation.

Kabita prosecution authority has concluded
lengthy investigations with Hemaida who claimed irresponsibility , and
requested questioned Hisham Basharaheel editor in chief, the first to
be held accountable for any published material in the paper. His request
was rejected , Hemaida commented on trial procedures,"it is a sign
of  failure of the government to handle public issues and troubles
, yet the government insists on oppressing the press subjugating papers
to official dictations only. I call on all human rights organizations
working on freedom of expression to stand against violations of my rights
and expose all those fabricated charges".

Hemaida stated that he is exposed to
such assaults only because he is trying to do his work as a professional
reporter . he added that such trials will not stop him from on the contrary
make stronger.

Alsahwa-yemen.net declared that a public marsh broke in Karsh-
Lahag on 25\6\2009 to support Hemaida and to express disapproval of
his arrest and the attempt to murder him.

The demonstrators held signs that had
requested judge Esam Al-Samawy head of supreme court council and the
general prosecutor to prosecute the doer who is known to be a relative
of the judge Abd Al- Malek Alarshy.

The marsh turned into a political festival
involving all political and social  spectrums and civil society
associations. Many speeches were said , Hemaida was first to speak 
; he thanked all contributors and supporters. He said that although
the festival had a tribal nature yet it represents a stand against all
assaults done to other reporters , Fadl Mubarak, Abd el Rakib Al Hediany
,Ahmed Al Shalfy, al Jazeera staff, and to those arrested , Fouad Rashed
,Salah Al-Sakaldy, and Al Ayam banned paper.

In a statement declared by the festival,
all citizens of all tribes in Karsh , announced support for Hemaida,
and expressed sorrow for leaving the doers at large however they are
known to the police authority at Rahda. The statement stated that the
assault against Hemaida is an assault against every one in Karsh. The
statement called on supreme court council , general prosecutor, minister
of the interior and all security officials to confront judge  Abd
Al- Malek Alarshy and his gang. The statement finally called on all
local and international organizations for human rights and press freedoms
to expose  assault done to Hemaida .

On the other hand, the joint meeting parties
condemned the attack on Abd Al Rakib Al Hediany , who was arrested in
Dalea on 25\6\2009. spokesman of the joint meeting declared that harassing
and attacking reporters is a retreat from democracy  and a explicit
constitutional and legal violation. The joint meeting condemns the police
actions in Dalea on 25\6\2009 that led to internal dissension and to
bloody clashes. This resulted in many injuries and tens were arrested.
The spokesman called on for immediate release of all detainees and said
that these measures are a breach to the agreement between opposition
parties and the government.

The joint meting parties announced complete
support to Al-Jazeera channel  as its correspondent Fadl Mubarak
was beaten by  masked people who hit him with cement bricks.

Accordinf to eye witness , two of the
attackers held knives and were about to stab him , when some of the
neighbors stopped them and tried to catch them and every one was engaged
in a fight. Heavy random shooting forced the citizens to scatter giving
way to attackers to flee. Mubarak  made his way home with great
difficulty, a few meters away from  the assault scene.

He was hospitalized at Al Razi's. he
suffered from jaw and head  injuries and was bruised all over.

The spokesman also held the authorities
accountable for the attack on Ahmed Al shalafy in Rahda saying that
the security services are not doing their job leaving the attackers
loose.

Freedom committee of journalists'
union
condemned  this
appalling attack on Mubarak and considers it to be an explicit attempt
of murder expressing deep concerns regarding that masked attackers are
definitely executors of a pre-planned murder scheme. This brings back
to journalists memory all previous provocative actions against Al-Jazeera
channel and other media and press bodies. This makes the whole media
issue in Yemen a big risky matter.

The journalist union follows up on Mubarak's
condition and call on the press personnel , organization and parties
to condemn this crime and support Al-Jazeera and its staff and demands
of security authorities to up to their responsibilities and disclose
the details of the incident and secure journalists lives.

The Yemeni journalist union condemns the detention of abd Al Rakib Al Hediany
editor in chief of Al-Watani paper by the central security forces during
his covering of the demonstration of the local authority in Dalea.

The union expressed deepest fury of these
repeated attitude from the security authorities that are entitled to
protect journalists and guaranteeing a secure work environment. The
union asserts that arresting Hadiany is a violation of the reporter
right to work and requests of Dalea security services to immediately
release him and give him back his gear.

The union condemned the assault against
Al-Jazeera staff, Ahmed AlShalfy ,Mogib Souleih and Abd Al Ghani Al
Shemairy in Senah , Dalea, by unknown attackers just prior to their
covering the demonstration.

The union repeatedly , requests of all
conflicting parties to lift hands off the press and media personnel
as reporters are not a part in any conflict . The union holds all authorities
responsible for the rectifying the extremely negative image of the reporter
deliberately exported by some governments bodies, as if reporters were
double agents or on an espionage mission. This conception is the reason
behind all assaults against press and media personnel.

Palestinian Press Under Arrest

The Palestinian case
is still – in a way- the first concern for all Arab political activists
and opponents from all political spectrums.

It is the one and only
event that unites political rivals where they put aside their differences
for support of the Palestinian people.

Now with the growing
conflict between Fateh and Hamas , the Palestinian issue is at stake.
All past struggle is prone to become such a waste.

Palestinians in Gaza
and the West Bank live in a multi – authority environment. This is
clear to press and media staff. In middle east countries, where freedoms
are least respected, the state – as defined to be the sole owner of
freedoms and violence- plays the role of the censor. The state creates
one-sided limitations and the punitive measures of violating such limitations. 

Multiple censorship authorities
in Palestinian territories are present due to multiple authorities.
We must say it is a uniquely complicated situation.

  1. Zionist occupation
    authority
  2. Palestinian
    authority
  3. Militias
  4. Tribal authority
  5. Geo political
    nature of Gaza and the west bank

It must be mentioned
that the Israeli occupation authority is not referring to any international
laws or even Israeli laws when dealing with Palestinians. Israel is
still refusing to abide to international laws and treaties regarding
occupied territories.

Israel has founded a
judicial system based upon special martial laws some dating back to
the British Mandate in Palestine or a bundle of scattered laws hastily
issued upon the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.  

The Palestinian authority,
founded in the nineties, in Gaza and the West Bank did not succeed in
creating an independent fresh judicial system. Instead, the authority
is going by a set of laws and legal discretions that developed within
PLO bodies and institutes in addition to some Egyptian and Jordanian
laws and procedures inherited prior to 1967. in many ways, the presence
of the Palestinian authority is symbolic, making practice of violence
domination quite marginal.

As for militia, spreading
widely since the nineties, they have no legal reference. Being as violent
and oppressive as they are , militia justify their attitude as a revolutionary
legitimacy as a result of occupation resistance. This legitimacy is
often justified by certain political or ideological reasoning 
serving very short term partisan interests. Militia stems from tribal
authority and in a way is considered an auxiliary to tribal power.

Tribal power prevails
in such a conservative community, its influence lies basically on fragile
family social chiming rather than wide-base national background. Such
dominating powers are evident in prejudiced judgment oppressing individuality
and  critical thinking. Social out casting and even physical assault
at times are consequences of resenting tribal classics and traditions.

The last factor, the
geopolitical pattern of Gaza and the West Bank indirectly casts an oppressive
shadow . Jordan is the gateway to West Bankers as Egypt is for Gazans.
In either case, local media has to be extra careful about political
material to ensure easy traffic across borders.

Facing all five oppressing
authorities, each having its own paradigms and punitive actions, there
are no guarantees or impunities defined for media staff. This explains
many incidents in culture and media fields in the Palestinian territories.

These incidents can be
summarized as follows

First : despite the relatively
big space  freedom of expression in the West Bank and Gaza compared
to other Arab countries, the reason  is the fable central dominating
authority. internal affairs are  currently none of the Palestinian
authority concerns , not until settling the political situation and
founding state institutes. This is no soon news to be learnt.

However, in the mid nineties
until the break of the second Intifada , a period known for relative
stability, there has been indications for growing oppression of freedom
of expression. Same is happening in other Arab countries whose rulers
took control via revolutionary legitimacies and turned out to be the
worst dictators there is.

Oppression symptoms were
so evident after Hamas was elected in Gaza, fearing the same would happen
in the West Bank. Symptoms  grew in no time into an every day 
reality in Gaza. Right after Hamas took control of Gaza, it created
a system that dominated violence and censorship based on militia mechanisms
and procedures, not on human rights and jurisprudence.

Second: scrutinizing
the so called considerable room for freedom of expression results in
better performance, whereas politics is the hot topic for all media
staff, it is usually voided of its social significance . Another 
major defect is that media represents politics as  a chain of partisan
conflicts only.

Some politicians manage
to stay high above partisan conflicts, nevertheless would fall in the
gap between the right to know and national necessities. In all cases
, the social aspect of politics is absent due to classifying traditions
and cultural legacy as beyond criticism.

This shows in financial
and administrative corruption , conflict over authority, militia and
suicidal operations. These serious problems are not handled as manifestations
to rooted defects in the structure and culture of the Palestinian society,
yet they are discussed as political reactions to the Zionist occupation.
Belonging to some political group is a protection needed to people working
in the cultural and media fields, that is it provides a valuable shielding
in a multi – militia hosting society. 

Political debates which
in essence aim to refute the counterpart opinion, and despite its provocative
tone, yet it is the most outspoken interpretation of political situations
and the most close in tackling restricted subjects and revealing facts.
In this way it approaches issues out of the reach of unshielded personnel.

This apparent transparency
which justifies giving room to media as compared to other countries,
does not really have credibility because of ideological prejudice and
political affiliation, hence it is not as convincing to the public. 

Though political independence 
gives higher credibility to media personnel, the absence of a shielding
, a legal coverage and a partisan backup leads the independent media
staff to focus attacking the occupation or resistance  and national
unity, 3 issues on which all parties agree upon.

Now that Hamas is controlling
Gaza, Fateh takes over the West Bank, the Palestinian people pays dearly
for that , especially reporters. An article criticizing Hamas means
that its writer is an affiliate of Fateh, Hamas will be after them and
their lives might be at stake.

If a writer would criticize
Fateh , then they would eventually be hunted down by the preventive
security service known for a record in torture.

This is the real situation
of Palestinian reporters. This week IFEX ,quoting from MADA
and Media
Freedom Network

, the institute deep concern about ongoing arresting of reports and
writers by the preventive security service and the detention of Eyad
Sorour, Mostafa Sabry, Mourad Abu Al – Bahaa and Younis Hasasna.

Also the Palestinian
authority in Gaza  arrested Serry Mohamed Al- Kodwa , editor in
chief of "Al-Sabah" paper, while at home on 23\6\2009. the
authorities confiscated his  two laptops ,2 desktops and a fax
machine ,as per his wife.

Palestinian authority
in the West Bank detaine the correspondent of "Al-Haqiqq Al-Dawliya"
Jordanian paper, Qais Abu Samra on 23\6. Intellignce arrested the writer
Abd – ElFattah Sammour , 35 years, on 20\6\2009 after summoning him
to their office in Ramallah on the phone.

His wife thinks that
he was arrested because of the series of articles he wrote on the sites
"Haqaeq", "Arab Times" and his own blog. So far
he is facing no accusations.

Mostafa
Sabry
, 43
years,  correspondent of "Palestine" paper , a Hamas
paper, and the Kuwaiti magazine "Al-Mogtamaa" is still detained,
for no reason, in the west Bank though the supreme justice Palestinian  
court issued a release order in his favour on15\6\2009.

Sabry , awarded the courageous
reporter in 2008, was arrested on 21\4\2009 . he was hospitalized twice
as a result of torture in incommunicado. His family was not allowed
to see him except once for a few minutes.

His family filed a complaint
to the supreme justice Palestinian court in Queliqilia mid May 2009,
the case was adjourned several times until eventually it issued a release
order on 15\6\2009. The Palestinian preventive security authority did
not execute the order till now.

SKEYES condemns this persistence on
detaining Sabry, he was arrested with no legal justification. Detaining
Sabry stands in defiance of the Palestinian judicial authority which
should be respected by all , no exceptions.

Emirates : Absent Freedom of Expression, Teachers Forced out of Education Career.

Salem
Al- Towayyah

27\6\2009

 

The
absence of local media freedom and the problem of the banished
Emirati teachers are the hot topics an Emirati blogs this month. It
seems that real change and reform in any society will only be
achieved through unrestricted freedom of expression. It is only via
expression that reform calls can spread and through media will reach
the masses if media were to play its role.

RAFEL Talk in Tunisia

Said Benjebli , 26/6/2009

Did "RAFEL" get you yet? The Tunisian authorities is chasing young men for compulsory military service , nicknamed as RAFEL. In an article on Tunisia Watch, a blog banned in Tunisia, administrated by Moktar Al-Yehiawy ,a judge expelled for his political stances and a founder of judiciary independence institute, Moktar describes the atmosphere of terror and fear in which Tunisian families are going through.

One million young man are under the threat of being kidnapped and transferred to recruitment camps. Now Tunisian young men are grounded for fear of being taken against their will.

Moktar compared the current Tunisian army with that prior to French occupation when all those serving were either mercenaries or locals kidnapped from tribes. The tribes defiant to the "Bey" were the tribes whose sons would serve in the army , actually taken as hostages for not rebelling. Other acquiescent tribes would be exempted for their loyalty or for money paid to the "Bey".

This is happening today in Tunisia , rich families are buying exemptions for their sons, leaving the honor of military service to the poor who now have to choose between recruitment camps or detention camps for illegal immigration, an attempt to escape from a prison with no bars called Tunisia.

Obama ,torture and the national league

Mohamed
Khaled, 25/6/2009

Obama
speech

in Cairo is still rippling all over the world, endless analyses are
pouring into the media mainstream every day. More than criticizing
the speech was criticizing the audience for drifting along with the
speech and trusting the man just because he read some Quran verses
instead of waiting and observing the changes of US policy in the
middle east yet to come.

Tyranny and Freedom of Press cannot coexist


Free independent press, is a major
manifestation of democratic societies. Through such freedom one can measure the
extent of development of societies and their respect for freedom of thought,
freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the degree of respect of a
society to human freedoms and rights as declared in human rights charters, and
charters of economic and social rights concerned with the humanitarian
situation world wide, as well as the set rights included in both constitutions
and laws.

The press plays the role of the spearhead in
the war against domination and tyranny. Its most important role is to expose
corruption and torture, exposing the alliance of States with the capital -
locally and globally - and companies and major financial institutions against
the interests of peoples and the poor everywhere.

World without Internet

We
have been hearing and reading for a while about a the revolution of
communications and its scientific importance in the world. The
INTERNET is one of the means that made the universe as a small
village as reaching the north polar became faster than the eye blink.

But the semi-complete breakdown
happened in some regions all over the world last Wednesday at 8:00 am
as a result of discontinuity happened in the two nautical cables
{flag & seamwe3} that extended with 12 kilometers from Alexandria
city to the Italian city Palermo through the Mediterranean sea, made
a rehearsal for what is going to happen in case of lack of the
INTERNET!

Actually, it provoked us to wander
about questions and duties raised by those concerned in international
communications such as:

  1. What
    if a terrorist attack targeted the international communications
    network?

cool solutions for timeworn problems

Today, I displayed a number of news concerning the Arabian region
among which the death of former prime minister Aziz Sedky who can be
considered as one of the most prominent icons in Nasser's age as he
is entitled as "father of the Egyptian industry". However,
he is one of the leading opponents against president Mubarak' s
policy.

In addition, I passed by some news items concerning the anxiety in
Jordan for the aggravated phenomena about (the fatherless
newly-born), the assassination of captain Wessam Eid as an attempt to
dissociate the Lebanese institutions, Gaza crisis and its news
related to the Gaza-Egypt border barrier damage.

Couple of issues drew my attention and I didn't ignore as it
illustrated the Egyptian government policy especially it is
considered as the model for the other Arab countries in dealing with
citizens.

The first issue is about complaint handed by a citizen from the
Burullus village against officials working in the Burullus village
supplying administration, and some bakery owners as he wasn't able to
have bread for his family.

what I want

it's been a while trying to find an answer to many questions about blogging like is the blogging a press? or is it like what my friend said it's like jersa
or it's more look like writing diaries and thoughts ?
today I found "Egyptian observer" wrote a blog because it's been 25 days sens the the detention of the Saudian blogger Fuad elfarhan honestly I like what he wrote in the post entitled "why we blog?" and mentioned 25 reason for why we blog.

Happy New year

When Gamal Eid said to me that I'll blog on the katib home page, I said to myself that "I should be conversant of the ages and behavior of executed bloggers (and things like that)", and then I felt that we are in the New Year and one should be a little optimistic and writes about his wishes in the new year, but when I surfed the blogs at the first day of the year I found that the optimism and pessimism not back to us only, but also to governments that Seductress harass people with reasons and without reasons. In Egypt we welcomed 2008 with the arrest of the Sinnawi blogger Musaad Abu Fagr the owner of "wedna neash”(we need to live)blog.

Egyptian farmers and beneficiaries of the agrarian reform ready for trial on charges of resisting authorities after the attempt of Abdel Meguid Badrawi heirs expulsion of peasants from their lands
not this only but also the Bar Council decided to increase the lawyers treatment expenses by 100%

and In Saudi Arabia they entered the 2008 by arrest of Saudis Dean bloggers "Fuad Al-Farhan"
but In Yemen the war between the government and citizens have inflamed because the festivals of the new year. the government has fire many places in Sa'dah, Sa'dah is a border town with Saudi Arabia away from Sanaa 242 kilometers and the Yemeni army used planes and guns and all the things that one can't imagine to fire it.

And about the street in Egypt the owner of the blog "People in my country" wrote a blog entitled "under the window"

Yemen: crisis and opposition abroad raises fears

Yemen is at a critical
juncture. Protests persisted in a continuous escalation for several
months, especially in the southern governorates where voices raised
calling for separation and self-determination. Civilians and military
men forcefully retired since the war in summer 1994 who count for
thousands from these governorates & feeling that the State is
indifferent to their demands went out demanding their rights which
they were deprived from.

For fourteen years the
chairman of retired military Brigadier General Nasser Nuba is in
prison, as well as activist Hassan Baom whose health is deteriorating
day by day. Citizens warned, "If either of these detained
leaders is harmed, they will not remain silent!" Status
indicators portend danger if the authorities will not correct the
situation. The opposition and the authorities are in continuous talks
and dialogues, but to no avail and led only to blocked roads. Most
governorates are boiling in rage. People broke the barrier of fear ..
Months ago, protests here, and strikes there. Many people are killed
and many get arrested.