Blog archive: All

  • 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...
  • 17th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A verse from the Qur'an says:  “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means.” In Saudi Arabia this forms the basis for a system where all women must be...
  • 16th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the midst of Britain's political turmoil there was a rare – and surreal – moment of consensus in the House of Commons this week over the BBC's use of the phrase "so-called".  MPs were discussing a government move to add four more groups to the official list of terrorist organisations:...
  • 15th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Kuwait yesterday became the first of the Arab Gulf states to set a minimum wage for domestic workers: they must now be paid at least 60 dinars ($198) a month. A law on domestic work approved by the Kuwaiti parliament last year specified a 12-hour working day with a weekly day off, plus 30...
  • 14th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's continuing political upheaval resulted not only in the appointment of a new prime minister yesterday but also a new foreign secretary, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – referred to by almost everyone simply as "Boris" or "BoJo".  In some ways, Boris and the Foreign Office...
  • 13th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A visit to Syria last weekend by three members of the European Parliament has given the Assad regime a useful propaganda boost. Ahead of the visit the Syrian government news agency, Sana, reported: "A delegation from the European Parliament headed by Vice-President for the...

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