Blog archive: All

  • 11th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia has "privately accepted" that one of its coalition warplanes bombed a funeral in Yemen on Saturday, according to the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner. Gardner's report appears to be based on a briefing from British government officials. At least 140 mourners died...
  • 10th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The bombing has been "barbaric" and war crimes have "unquestionably" been committed. One especially repugnant kind of bombing is known, euphemistically, as the double tap: "They drop one bomb and then they wait for the aid workers to come out, civilian people pulling the injured from the...
  • 9th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Two airstrikes hit a large funeral gathering in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, on Saturday killing more than 140 people and injuring at least 525, according to the UN's humanitarian coordinator in the country. This was the worst single attack of the war so far and it is difficult to construe it as...
  • 6th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More details are emerging about the attack on a highly unusual "civilian" vessel which was severely damaged by Houthi fighters at the southern end of the Red Sea last weekend (see yesterday's blog post). The Saudi-led coalition which is fighting the Houthis in Yemen insists that the vessel...
  • 5th October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Houthi-Saleh forces – the de facto government in the north of Yemen – have "warned" foreign ships not to enter the country's territorial waters without "prior authorisation from the competent Yemeni authorities".  The announcement, circulated by the Houthi-controlled Saba news...
  • 3rd October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The repressive Sultanate of Oman is to be honoured next month by an official visit from Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. But one Omani newspaper will definitely not be reporting on the prince's trip: last week a court ordered the permanent closure of Azamn newspaper and...
  • 2nd October 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt's Sisi regime arrested four more journalists last week and charged them with the catch-all crime of "publishing false news". Harassment of the media has increased markedly in Egypt since Sisi seized power in 2013. Last year Egypt had more imprisoned journalists than any country apart from...
  • 29th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to Islamic tradition the Prophet Muhammed once said: "Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries". But in the devout Gulf states that is one religious instruction employers are often content to ignore. Stories abound of workers being unpaid for months – and sometimes never...
  • 26th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing for the Independent last week, Middle East reporter Robert Fisk highlighted an event which he claimed "may prove to be even more dramatic than the terror of Syria's civil war". The cause of his excitement was a conference held in the Chechen capital, Grozny, towards the end of August...
  • 23rd September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There are signs of growing consternation among Coptic Christians over the Egyptian patriarch's obsequious behaviour towards the Sisi regime. Last week, amid preparations for Sisi's visit to the United States, Pope Tawadros issued instructions for Copts living in the US to welcome the...
  • 21st September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will pay an official visit to Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates in November. An official announcement yesterday said their tour will "help to strengthen the United Kingdom’s warm bilateral...
  • 17th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An article has appeared on three French-language websites defending GNRD, the strange (and now bankrupt) human rights organisation that Norwegian authorities have accused of money-laundering. The article portrays GNRD as a brave non-western alternative to groups like Human Rights Watch...

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