Blog archive: All

  • 3rd June 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Jordan has had 12 prime ministers since King Abdullah came to the throne in 1999. Their average survival time in office is one year and seven months but the current prime minister, Hani al-Mulki, has fared rather better. Last week he passed the two-year mark though his future is now...
  • 25th May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Qatar has finally joined two of the key international treaties on human rights: the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).  It is the third Arab Gulf state to join, following Kuwait (which did so more than 20 years ago...
  • 23rd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    News from Saudi Arabia about the arrests of ten or more rights activists has been viewed with a mixture of shock and surprise in western media. Just a few years ago, though, no one would have been surprised: it was simply the way the Saudi regime behaved. But that was before Mohammed bin...
  • 22nd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a recent post on Twitter, British member of parliament Chris Williamson urged anyone interested in "proper journalism" to watch what he described as an "excellent" programme on RT, the Russian propaganda channel. The programme was a 25-minute interview with veteran...
  • 17th May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Loai Deeb, former head of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), has been formally charged with a series of financial crimes which include embezzling more than a million dollars from the organisation that he founded. He is said to have disguised his embezzlement through a fake...
  • 13th May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A lack of cooperation from the United Arab Emirates has been hampering investigations into a multi-million dollar money-laundering case, according to Norwegian authorities. It is almost three years since police raided the headquarters of the Norway-based Global Network for Rights...
  • 7th May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One of the Assad regime's most prominent British defenders is due to speak at a music-and-politics festival sponsored by several trade unions later this month. Vanessa Beeley, whose misleading reports about the Syrian conflict have turned her into a social media celebrity, will be...
  • 3rd May 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    One spin-off from the Syrian conflict has been a war of words that reaches far beyond the Middle East. It’s a battle in which honest reporting and the search for truth have come under sustained attack. Those leading the attack claim they are simply asking questions that need to be asked. It’...
  • 22nd April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's a claim circulated endlessly on the internet that the conflict in Syria is a "regime change war" orchestrated by western powers. As far as many of the Assad regime's defenders are concerned, this is established fact. To quote one of them – Piers Robinson, writing for the Open...
  • 21st April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Look up Ian56 on Twitter and the first thing you'll see is a fake photograph. The handsome man in the profile picture isn't Ian56. It's a 38-year-old fashion model called David Gandy. This, plus the fact that Ian56 is a staunch defender of Russia who posts on average 65 tweets a day may have...
  • 20th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday dozens of Twitter users rallied to the defence of "Sarah Abdallah", a mysterious and possibly fictitious social media celebrity, following what they saw as a smear by the BBC. A BBC report had identified the @sahouraxo Twitter account – currently operated under the name "Sarah...
  • 16th April 2018
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I got into an online discussion yesterday with Charles Shoebridge, an ex-soldier and former police officer who disputes the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. One of the questions he asked was why, if the regime was making chemical weapons in secret, it would give the game away by...

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