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  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Visiting Syria in 2004, Brad Hoff, an ex-Marine from Texas, went looking for cheap beer and chanced upon a bar where – to his surprise – most of the customers were gay. The existence of such a bar in Damascus, Hoff writes after visiting it again recently, is "symbolic of the nuance and...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Amid chants of "Allahu akbar", huge and angry crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court in Mauritania on Tuesday demanding the execution of a man who complained about religion being used to justify social discrimination. In December 2013 engineer Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir wrote...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    The war in Yemen has reached a point where all parties now want to halt the fighting, former vice-president Khaled Bahah said on Monday. But he warned that if they fail to seize the moment there may not be another opportunity for six months. The latest peace efforts are focused around a...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Four weeks ago there was a flurry of media excitement over Iranian warships that were supposedly about to confront the US Navy off the coast of Yemen. In case you are wondering how the battle went, it didn't happen and was never likely to happen. On October 13, Fox News reported...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    At the end of June the UN Human Rights Council decided it needed someone to monitor "protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" and voted to appoint an "independent expert". In September, the role was assigned to Vitit Muntarbhorn, a...

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