Blog archive: All

  • 21st August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Details have begun to emerge about the Emirati funding of GNRD, the strange – and now bankrupt – human rights organisation accused of money-laundering. In May last year Norwegian police raided GNRD's international headquarters in Stavanger, along with the home of its founder/president, Loai...
  • 9th August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last Friday the Doha News website did something rather shocking – at least, by Qatar's standards. It posted an article entitled: "What it's like to be gay and Qatari". Attached to the article was a note from the editors explaining their decision to publish it: "Doha News is aware that any...
  • 8th August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia's second-largest construction firm is likely to declare itself bankrupt, the Saudi Gazette reported today. For several months now, Saudi Oger, the debt-ridden company headed by Lebanese politician Saad Hariri, has failed to pay tens of thousands of its workers – many of them expatriate...
  • 2nd August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Thousands of Indian workers are trapped in Saudi Arabia, unable to leave the country and with no means to support themselves after their employer stopped paying them. At the weekend Indian embassy officials began organising emergency food aid following reports that several hundred workers had...
  • 29th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One of the funniest comedy sketches shown on British television featured the Ministry of Silly Walks – an imaginary government department whose task was to encourage silly ways of walking and provide funding for their development. I was reminded of this yesterday when Bahrain's information...
  • 28th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For several weeks now there has been growing evidence that Twitter is being used for a covert and highly organised propaganda operation which disparages Shia Muslims while supporting the Sunni Muslim governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The tactic is to deluge Twitter with multiple copies of...
  • 27th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London who was unexpectedly appointed as Britain's Foreign Secretary two weeks ago, is famous for his gaffes. No newspaper story about Boris is complete, it seems, without some amusing reference to his blunders and mishaps. But such are the expectations of him, as...
  • 26th July 2016
    By
    Thanos Petouris
    On March 26, 2015, civil war officially broke out in Yemen. On that day, Saudi Arabia marshalled a hastily convened coalition of the willing to forcibly intervene in Yemen’s internal affairs, launching an all out armed conflict between forces loyal to the ‘legitimate government’ of president ‘Abd...
  • 25th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    GNRD, the strange "human rights" organisation that was declared bankrupt earlier this month, had an unusually favourable view of human rights in the UAE. It was also on friendly terms with Egypt's Sisi regime and the Kurdish PYD. Another of its friendships, though – and one which it sought to...
  • 23rd July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For several years GNRD, the now-bankrupt human rights organisation, boasted that the European Parliament was one of its international "collaborators" and proudly displayed the parliament's logo on its website. The effect of this was to give the UAE-funded organisation an aura of credibility...
  • 23rd July 2016
    By
    Sebastian Sons and Toby Matthiesen
    During the 16 months that Saudi Arabia has been waging war in Yemen there has been little discussion of the kingdom's media strategy, though in some ways it is almost as important as the military strategy. In the article below, Sebastian Sons and Toby Matthiesen argue that the kingdom is...
  • 18th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Bahrain stepped up its suppression of critics yesterday by dissolving the kingdom's main opposition party, al-Wefaq, and confiscating its funds. An announcement by the government news agency said the party, which was founded in 2001, had "provided an environment" that embraced...

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