Blog archive: All

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
    A briefing note from the UN refugee agency highlights the extraordinary numbers of people who risk their lives crossing the sea from the Horn of Africa, hoping to find safety in Yemen: September and October are the height of the sailing season and the number of arrivals by sea is...
  • 4th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi campaign against young men wearing low-waist jeans – which has already resulted in hundreds of arrests in Riyadh – has now spread to Madinah. Police in the holy city, aided by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, have begun apprehending...
  • 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...
  • 3rd October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writers and civil society activists in Egypt face a growing threat from “hesba” lawsuits, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) warned this week.  Hesba (or hisba) cases are prosecutions instigated by individuals rather than the authorities. They are usually...
  • 3rd October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Yemeni military lost a MiG21 warplane over Saada province yesterday.  The Houthi rebels said they shot it down, and named the pilot as Lieutenant Shamsan Mohammed Abdo Mufleh (it is unclear if he survived). The government said the aircraft was flying at low altitude and...

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