Sharia police state? Saudi husbands can track wives’ travels electronically

Saudi Arabia introduced an electronic tracking system that alerts men by text message when their wife is leaving the country, even if they are traveling together. The system was swiftly condemned by activists and Twitter users.

Saudi women – banned in the country from driving, denied the right to travel without their husband’s consent and required to wear a veil from head to toe – are now to be monitored by a new electronic system that tracks cross-border movement, AFP reported.

Woman in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to leave the ultraconservative kingdom without the permission of their male ‘guardian,’ or husband, who must give his consent by signing a register known as the ‘yellow sheet’ at the border or airport. Now, husbands will receive a text message to remind them even if they’re traveling outside the country alongside their wife.

The move was quickly condemned and ridiculed on Twitter, which has remained an island of free speech in the repressive Islamic nation:

“Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government,” one user wrote.

“If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I’m either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist,” user Hisham wrote.

“Why don’t you cuff your women with ankle bracelets too?” user Israa joked.

User Raza Ahmad quipped, “Good going Saudi Arabia, what’s next chastity belts?”

“The authorities are using technology to monitor women, it would be better for the government to busy itself with finding a solution for women subjected to domestic violence,” columnist Badriya al-Bishr said, criticizing what she called the “state of slavery under which women are held.”

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. In June 2011, female activists lead by Manal al-Sheif launched a campaign to defy the ban. But many were arrested and forced to sign a pledge that they would never drive again. In a similar incident in November 1990, 47 women were arrested after staging a demonstration in their cars.

King Abdullah, seen by the West as a cautious reformer, granted women the right to vote and run in municipal election beginning in 2015. Also, the newly appointed chief of the religious police commission – which enforces Saudi Arabia’s severe version of Sharia law – Sheikh Abdullatif Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, banned members of the commission from harassing Saudi women over their dress and behavior.

But these signs of a more lenient attitude towards women have done little to dent a widely repressive and patriarchal culture. The kingdom enforces strict rules governing interactions between the sexes, and the many restrictions placed on Saudi women have led to high levels of female unemployment, estimated to around 30 percent.

Suicide rates among young Saudi women are also some of the highest in the world, with many attempting to take their lives “when they realize that their right to choose with their own free will is denied,” an anonymous female doctor in the Saudi city of Riyadh said in a 2011 interview.

“Saudi women are treated as minors throughout their lives, even if they hold high positions, there can never be reform in the Kingdom without changing the status of women as equals to men,” liberal activist Suad Shemmari told AFP.

source via (@JehanAlKhateeb)

newyorker:

On February 18, 1981, a student at Occidental College, Barack Obama, delivered his first public speech. As the opening speaker at a rally protesting Occidental’s investments in companies that were doing business in apartheid South Africa, he stood with one hand in his pocket, spoke in declarative spurts, and showed no sign of being the orator who would become President nearly twenty-eight years later. Before he could say much, he was carried off by two students pretending to be oppressive Afrikaners.

I was a student at Occidental then, too. So was Tom Grauman, a sophomore who took thousands of photos for the Office of Communications, a selection of which can be seen in the slide show above. Many of Grauman’s photographs documented formative events and influential people in Obama’s life at that time, including Obama’s friends and fellow-organizers Hasan Chandoo and Caroline Boss, his friends Wahid Hamid and Laurent Delanney, and two activists, Earl Chew and Sara-Etta Harris, who spoke at the rally and who later appeared in the composite characters Marcus and Regina in “Dreams from My Father.”

Click-through for a slideshow of never before seen photos of Obama, and for more from Margot Mifflin on the anti-apartheid demonstration: http://nyr.kr/SCPxTG

Reblogged from newyorker with 402 notes

naziha10:

Libya Speaks- 1st Election day 07.07.2012

israelfacts:

People participate in the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York, while an anti-Zionist Jewish man tears an Israeli flag in a nearby protest countering the parade, on June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

(Source: thebowspring)

Reblogged from shelteredwhore with 224 notes

Egypt's Mubarak sentenced to life, protests erupt

(Reuters) - Hosni Mubarak, toppled by an uprising last year after 30 years ruling Egypt, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Saturday for his role in killing protesters after a trial that sets a precedent for holding Middle East autocrats to account.

But it was not enough for thousands of Egyptians who poured onto the streets afterwards in a nation already on edge before a deciding presidential vote in two weeks. Some wanted Mubarak executed, others feared the judge’s ruling exposed weaknesses in the case that could let the ex-military strongman off on appeal.

Wearing dark glasses, the 84-year-old Mubarak was wheeled into a courtroom cage on a hospital stretcher to join co-defendants including his two sons Alaa and Gamal, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and six security officials.

Addressing the hushed courtroom, Judge Ahmed Refaat said: “The court has ordered a punishment for Hosni Mubarak of life in prison based on charges of participating in crimes of killing and attempted killing.”

Propped up on the stretcher and stony-faced during the verdict, the only words the former air force commander uttered were to acknowledge to the judge over a microphone that he was present before the ruling was read out. Afterwards, he was whisked off by helicopter to a prison hospital.

His two sons, businessman Alaa, and Gamal, a former banker was once seen as being groomed for president before his father was toppled on February 11, 2011, had corruption charges quashed, but stay in jail over another case referred to court last week.

Refaat sentenced Adli, whose police force was hated for the brutal tactics used against the revolt, to life in prison. About 850 people were killed in the 18-day uprising against Mubarak.

But the judge acquitted the senior security officials for lack of evidence, a decision that worried lawyers for victims’ families who said that could help Mubarak win any appeal.

Businessman and Mubarak ally Hussein Salem, being tried in absentia, was also acquitted of corruption charges.

It was the first time an ousted Arab leader had faced an ordinary court in person since a wave of uprisings shook the Arab world last year, sweeping away four entrenched rulers.

State television said Mubarak suffered a “health crisis” when he was flown to Cairo’s Tora prison, where he was admitted to a hospital facility. Mubarak had been held at a luxurious military-run hospital during the 10-month trial.

Deal for Yemen’s Saleh to Depart Thrown Into Doubt

“ SANAA, Yemen—A Saudi diplomat says armed loyalists of embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have encircled a diplomatic mission in Sanaa, where the American, British, Saudi and European ambassadors were trapped inside.

The diplomat says men armed with knives, daggers and swords were seen roaming the streets outside the United Arab Emirates Embassy, where the ambassadors were meeting to discuss a deal Mr. Saleh had been expected to sign Sunday, agreeing to leave power within 30 days.

Everybody is worried; we can’t leave the embassy,” said the Saudi diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Saleh militiamen have increasingly been seen around the capital, and hundreds cut off the road to the presidential palace.

A deal for the Yemeni leader to step down after 32 years in power was thrown into doubt Sunday after the ruling regime brought hundreds of loyalists into the streets to protest the pact and said he wouldn’t sign unless a public ceremony were held that included opposition leaders.

The ruling party statement objecting to a “closed door” signing was the latest in a series of mixed signals from Yemen’s embattled president. Mr. Saleh has backed away from signing at least twice before, adding to the opposition’s deep mistrust of a leader known for adept political maneuvering that has kept him in power for decades.

Yemen’s opposition coalition signed the deal Saturday, based on what it said were guarantees the president would sign the next day. Addressing Saleh’s call for the opposition to attend Sunday’s signing, opposition spokesman Mohammed al-Sabri said, “We are ready to go to the moon if he is really serious. But it is becoming clear that he is backing away.”
source

Simple Equation : Ali Abdulla Saleh = Stolen money + stupidity + (Cowardice x Greed)^infinity

I don’t know what else I can make of this, the guy is a waste of human space.

Click here.

Click here.


Beirut: The death toll from Syria’s crackdown on a nine-week uprising has exceeded 1,000, a prominent human rights group said yesterday, as the country’s opposition called for fresh protests and clearer goals.
Amar Qurabi, head of the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, told The Associated Press that the opposition was planning a conference in Turkey to find a common voice for its anti-government movement.
Qurabi said his group has documented the names of 1,062 people who have died since the uprising erupted in mid-March.
Syria has for years crushed any sign of public dissent, banning political parties and throwing critics of the regime in jail. The lack of an established opposition has been one of the weaknesses of the Syrian uprising, which erupted in mid-March.
Opposition to President Bashar Al Assad’s regime is the only common thread holding together a mass movement that includes human rights activists, economic liberals and religious opponents of Al Assad’s Alawite minority rule.source

i posted this last year, and nothing has change, it just got worse.

Beirut: The death toll from Syria’s crackdown on a nine-week uprising has exceeded 1,000, a prominent human rights group said yesterday, as the country’s opposition called for fresh protests and clearer goals.

Amar Qurabi, head of the National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria, told The Associated Press that the opposition was planning a conference in Turkey to find a common voice for its anti-government movement.

Qurabi said his group has documented the names of 1,062 people who have died since the uprising erupted in mid-March.

Syria has for years crushed any sign of public dissent, banning political parties and throwing critics of the regime in jail. The lack of an established opposition has been one of the weaknesses of the Syrian uprising, which erupted in mid-March.

Opposition to President Bashar Al Assad’s regime is the only common thread holding together a mass movement that includes human rights activists, economic liberals and religious opponents of Al Assad’s Alawite minority rule.
source

i posted this last year, and nothing has change, it just got worse.

frommadon:

Zainab al-Khawaja protesting alone in the streets of Bahrain against the arrest and detention of her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja—a revered human rights defender—who entered the seventieth-day of his hunger strike. She was arrested by Bahraini security forces shortly after this photo was taken. 
More on Abdulhadi al-Khawaja

frommadon:

Zainab al-Khawaja protesting alone in the streets of Bahrain against the arrest and detention of her father, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja—a revered human rights defender—who entered the seventieth-day of his hunger strike. She was arrested by Bahraini security forces shortly after this photo was taken. 

Reblogged from errmmariam with 1,398 notes