Archive for January 23rd, 2012


Egypt: State TV Employees Stage Sit-in Protesting Censorship

Human Wrongs Watch

By Shahira Amin*

Cairo, 23 January – Egyptian state TV –for decades the mouthpiece of the authoritarian regime– is an ugly towering block of concrete and steel overlooking the River Nile at Maspero in downtown Cairo. In the post-revolutionary era, it is a heavily fortified fortress surrounded by barbed wire and stone barricades.

**Photo: Muhammad Ghafar| Wikimedia Commons

Snipers can be spotted on the rooftop and terraces, and uniformed soldiers with machine guns stand guard outside the main entrances and exits. Corrugated iron gates have replaced the once-glass façade adding gloom to an already tense and inhospitable atmosphere inside the building which houses some 45,000 employees.

Upstairs on the fifth floor, a storm is brewing. Outside the main news studio, scores of employees of the main Arabic Nile News Channel are staging a sit-in, which they vow will continue until their demands are met. The demands include an immediate end to censorship and a set of reforms, which they say, are long overdue.

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Anti-peace Coalition Governing Israel – The Blockbusters

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery* – TRANSCEND

Israel has no foreign policy, only a domestic policy,” Henry Kissinger once remarked.

**Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: Michael Thaidigsmann | Wikimedia Commons

This has probably been more or less true of every country since the advent of democracy. Yet in Israel, this seems even truer. (Ironically, it could almost be said that the US has no foreign policy, only an Israeli domestic policy.)

In order to understand our foreign policy, we have to look in the mirror. Who are we? What is our society like?

In a classical sketch, well known to every veteran Israeli, two Arabs stand on the sea shore, looking at a boat full of Russian Jewish pioneers rowing towards them. “May your house be destroyed!” they curse.

Next, the same two figures, this time Russian Jewish pioneers, stand on the same spot, launching Russian curses at a boat full of Yemenite immigrants.

Next, the two are Yemenites cursing German Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis. Then, two German Jews cursing Moroccan arrivals. When it first appeared, that was the last scene. But now, one can add two Moroccans cursing the immigrants from Soviet Russia, then two Russians cursing the latest arrivals: Ethiopian Jews.

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Jordan: Rights Activists Against Governors “Absolute Power”

Human Wrongs Watch

By Abeer S. Abusaud* – Amman

The Amman government has re-submitted the controversial Crime Prevention Law to the Parliament for further discussion and eventual revision amidst strong protests by Jordanian human rights activists against its provisions and the mechanism for its approval.

**Petra, photo by Markv | Wikimedia Commons.

According to the Crime Prevention Law, Governors have the authority to issue warrants against citizens, arrest, interrogate and imprison them without a court order.

The government wording of amendments to the law, and its approval by the Legal Committee were carried out without any participation from the National Centre for Human Rights”, according to the Centre’s media spokesperson, Mohammed Al Hilo.

The controversy over this law has been ongoing for many years now, as it has been enforced for the past 58 years without any modification.

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