Blog archive: All

  • 9th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Houthi rebels in northern Yemen claim to have captured Munabbih (Munabah), a district bordering Saudi Arabia. Reuters quotes a rebel statement saying local residents had turned against the authorities because of rights abuses and "citizens took full control of government buildings...
  • 9th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Algerian journalist and rights activist Hafnaoui Ghoul is due in court on Tuesday, accused of criminal defamation over an article that talked about corruption and maladministration in Djelfa province. This is just one of 16 lawsuits against Ghoul – all of them brought by local officials and all...
  • 9th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last week 
  • 9th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi king's two-day "reconciliation" visit to Syria has prompted speculation about what it will mean for Lebanon, where wrangling over the formation of a new government continues, four months after the parliamentary election. Saudi Arabia backs Saad Hariri's March 14...
  • 8th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The 
  • 8th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yemen's parliament yesterday called on the government to bring the Houthi rebellion to a swift end (reports: Yemen Postand Almotamar). Although this can be interpreted as support for the government's policy (since ending the rebellion is the declared intention of Operation Scorched...
  • 8th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This has been widely covered elsewhere but, since I've discussed the case on this blog here and here, I'll just note it for the record: the "Jeddah Casanova" has been sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes. He is appealing. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 8 October...
  • 7th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Ever since Hisham Talat Mustafa was sentenced to death for murder, I have been wondering what device will be found to save him from the gallows. Mustafa is no ordinary convict. He is – or was – a pillar of the Egyptian establishment: a multi-millionaire property magnate and a...
  • 7th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of southern Yemen yesterday, calling for independence and waving flags of the former southern state which merged with the north in 1990. (Reports: AP,  AFP, Reuters, dpa.) The protests were timed to coincide with a...
  • 6th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yemeni government has taken the unusual step of publishing the names of several illegal arms dealers. Most prominent among them is Faris Mana’a, who headed the committee mediating with the Houthi rebels and is also brother of the governor of Saada. Others named are mostly well-known tribal...
  • 5th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Choosing a baby’s name ought to be a matter for the child’s parents, but it’s not always so simple. In Morocco, the parents of Tiziri el-Bechnaoui are struggling to register her name, six months after her birth. The problem is that Tiziri – which means “moon” in the Berber language,...
  • 4th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    With just three weeks to go before Tunisia’s presidential and parliamentary elections, the Ettajdid Movement (one of the permitted opposition political parties) is complaining that half of its parliamentary candidate lists have been rejected by the authorities “without any convincing...

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