Friday, February 15, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: ما وراء الخبر- اغتيال القيادي الإيراني حسن شاطري

Feature: Torture ties the Egyptian government to a brutal past

"11 February 2011 remains ingrained in the world’s consciousness as the day when ordinary Egyptians armed with courage, determination and hope for a better future brought down a repressive police state.

Two years later, frustrations are growing at the slow pace of reform and ongoing abuses committed by police and other security forces who continue to act with impunity.

Police brutality was one of the main triggers of the “25 January Revolution”.

In 2010, police beat Khaled Said to death causing a public outcry, which led to the creation of the  “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook group, instrumental in rallying support for protests on the 25 January 2011.

The current Egyptian administration has evidently learned little from the downfall of its predecessor. Despite overwhelming evidence, the Egyptian government turns a blind eye to persistent torture allegations insisting they are “isolated acts”.

The shocking images of Hamada Saber, stripped of his clothes and brutally beaten by riot police in the streets of Cairo on 1 February served as proof of the continuing brutality of the Egyptian security forces.  Hamada Saber changed  his testimony numerous times, initially blaming protesters raising the question whether he was subject to pressure from the Ministry of interior. This incident echoes the old tactics of brutality, denial and attempts to cover-up by the government.

Hamada Saber is not the only victim. Amnesty International has gathered testimony of protesters and passers-by arbitrarily arrested, detained and beaten by security forces in recent weeks......."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: ما وراء الخبر- تسليح المعارضة والنظام في سوريا

"تستعرض الحلقة ميدانيا سيطرة الجيش الحر على المواقع الحساسة للدولة خاصة بعد سيطرة الجيش الحر على مطار الجراح في حلب، رغم شح السلاح ورفض واشنطن من تسليح المعارضة. إلى أي مدى يؤثر استهداف المواقع الحساسة على النظام؟ وما أثار المعارك في ظل فيض التسليح على المعارضة وعلى النظام؟"

“Two Years of Deaths and Detentions”: Bahraini Pro-Democracy Protesters Mark Anniversary of Uprising

Democracy Now!

"Bahraini security forces shot dead a teenager earlier today as pro-democracy activists marked the second anniversary of what has been described as the longest-running uprising of the Arab Spring. Since February 2011, at least 87 people have died at the hands of U.S.-backed security forces. We speak to Maryam Alkhawaja, daughter of imprisoned Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja. Maryam has served as the Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights ever since the group’s head, Nabeel Rajab, was arrested and jailed. The group has just published a new report titled, "Two Years of Deaths and Detentions." Maryam also serves as the co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights....."

Gaza Gags Civil Liberties

By Mel Frykberg

"Gaza is becoming increasingly radicalised as Hamas continues its crackdown on civil liberties, press freedom and the rights of women. In the last few weeks a number of journalists have been arrested and accused of being involved in “suspicious activities”, several detainees shot dead by police during arrest attempts, and female students asked to abide by a strict Islamic dress code....."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Muslim Brothers Are Worse Than Mubarak! Egypt floods 'vital' Gaza tunnels: Officials

Tunnels linking Gaza with Egypt flooded by Egyptian forces in move designed to end smuggling of goods and people

Ahram Online

"Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.

The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 per cent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.
Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.
"The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels," said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 metres (yards) from the border fence.
An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started five days ago.
"We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells," he said, declining to be named......"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wresting Islam from Islamists

Muslims are contesting the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and the tyranny of the clerical custodians in Egypt and Iran.


"In a magnificent new essay [Posted earlier in PP], "Egypt's revolution: as it might have been; as it could be", published on the occasion of the second anniversary of the January 25, 2011, revolution, veteran journalist Hani Shukrallah muses over the course of the Egyptian revolution and in the rhetorical guise of a series of "what if's" he in fact charts the course of the unfinished revolution for Egypt. In a key passage of this rather long but exceedingly important essay, Hani Shukrallah writes:
Under somewhat different circumstances, and a relatively greater level of political and organisation experience, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition could have been transformed from the largely behind the scenes field leadership that it had been into the core formation of a national revolutionary leadership able to speak openly, clearly and forcefully on its behalf, indeed, to make of itself - to use the common phrase - the sole legitimate representative of the revolution. Theoretically, it had all what it takes to do so. Made up of popular organisations rather than the ideologically-based and largely bankrupt political parties inherited from the Mubarak era, the RYC was also reflective of a broad revolutionary front, encompassing a whole range of political and ideological persuasions, transcending in particular the "secularist-Islamist" divide that had plagued the nation's growingly diminutive political space for decades. [Emphasis added]. 
Radically expanding that "diminutive political space", the Egyptian revolution will go down in history as the paramount occasion when the public sphere became the transformative location where Muslims began wresting Islam from Islamists and thereby reclaimed their religion beyond any such false and falsifying divide......"

Monday, February 11, 2013

Al-Jazeera Video: Muslim Brotherhood's grip on power slipping

"When Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was formed in the 1920s, it called for social services and a modern Islamic society. In the decades since, it's grown into a modern political force - and seized the reins of power. But now that it is in power the Muslim Brotherhood faces perhaps its greatest test. Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports from Cairo."

Real News Video: Hamas Bans Gaza Hip Hop

Gaza rappers use music to oppose Israeli occupation but Hamas sees it as an infiltration of western culture 

More at The Real News

ما المفاجئ!

By Azmi Bishara


11 فبراير 2013
أ. تفاجأت من القسوة والاستعداد للتدمير الشامل باستخدام الطائرات والمدفعية والصواريخ ضد المدن. ألم يتفاجأ الناس؟
ب. هنالك من يقول أن الناس تفاجأوا، لأنه لا أحد يتوقع أن يتعامل بشر مع بشر بهذا الشكل. وهنالك من يدعي العكس، أن الناس توقعوا هذا السلوك الوحشي لأنهم يعرفون نظامهم. ولذلك تردد عدد كبير منهم بالانضمام. فهم يعرفون أن هذا نظام لا يسقط ولا يُصلَح بالمظاهرات وسوف يطلق عليها النار، وأنه مستعد أن يحرق البلد.
أ. ولكن لم يحصل ذلك من قبل.
ب. الناس تعرف نموذج حماة. وهنالك نموذج لقصف مدمر من الأرض والجو هو ما تعرضت له غروزني على يد القوات الروسية بإشراف بوتين نفسه. ولكن ليس لدولة كاملة بمدنها، وشعب كامل ثائر. سوف يفشلون طبعا فسوريا ليست دولة عظمى، ونظامها فقد شرعيته، وشعب سورية كله ثائر. ومع ذلك دعك من النقاش اذا كانت همجية النظام مفاجئة. أتدري ما المفاجئ فعلا؟
أ. ماذا؟
ب. الشعب السوري. هذا شعب عظيم وبطل. ولا مثيل له."