Iranian men are taking cross-dressing selfies for an online movement protesting a sexist punishment for criminals in Kurdistan. Our own Solmaz Sharif covers a powerful (and fun) digital protest that has sprung up in response to a judge's offensive decision, a violent police crackdown, and an underlying gender bias.
Credit: Kenneth Taylor Jr/Kawetijoru on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Women's rights activists in Afghanistan take hope after religious leaders speak out against violence against girls and women, promote female education and discourage child marriage.
Despite promises to reform their textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement. Seven current and former heads of major publishing houses address the critical importance of words.
Yosra Mohamad, a Kuwaiti feminist news anchor on a program called Al Samim (In Depth), is being harassed by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Media for airing a recent episode that investigates the prostitution of minors. This episode, which the Ministry of Media considered to be “indecent,” prompted them to sue Yosra for “assaulting public sentiment.”
On October 9, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi released a statement pardoning all those who were arrested since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution in February 2011. As a former political prisoner who spent four years in jail under Hosni Mubarak, I had two contradicting feelings. First, I was thrilled that civilians who spent months in prison following military trials that lacked justice and legitimacy would finally be freed. But I also was extremely worried.My country is now held hostage to a new dictator who skillfully uses political deception to lull the public.
The day I created my e-blog on the net, I didn’t know I would sink in a borderless sea, a sea with no shores, no ports to be found… only waves, treasures and deeply sunk secrets. I didn’t realize then I would enter a true war, using totally different weapons, not less dangerous than the ones used by soldiers in -deadly and all covered by blood- battle fields, neither knew I that because of my writings, I’ll be persecuted, threatened to death, expelled from school, and charged in court, then I’ll find myself obliged to spend the rest of my life in exile…
On Sunday, the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., will open the first major American exhibition of art by Ai Weiwei, one of China's most famous dissidents. Among its works: an approximately 3-by-6-foot magnetic-resonance image of his brain bleeding from a police beating in 2009. Washington diplomats, journalists and art lovers will attend the exhibit before it moves to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum in New York and other major galleries. Yet one figure won't be able to attend the show: Ai Weiwei.
The North African country has locked up musicians deemed to be critical of the state. Now one jailed rapper’s entourage is fighting against time to get his message out and rally the country’s floundering democracy movement.
On Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death, the forthcoming album from dissident Moroccan rapper El Haqed—whose name means “the Enraged”—one track stands out amongst the ambient tones and deceptively lighthearted chimes. Called “El Habs,” or “Prison,” the song features lyrics that are particularly poignant now that El Haqed—otherwise known as Mouad Belghouat, a 25-year-old Casablanca kid—is serving a one-year jail sentence for a music video and song, “Dogs of the State,” that allegedly insulted Morocco’s infamously corrupt police.
The Egyptian state is also excessively using the laws forbidding criticism of Islam. At least five Christians are now imprisoned in Egypt under the accusation of “insulting Islam.” Ayman Youssef Mansour, a 22-year-old blogger, was sentenced in October 2011 to three years because of comments about Islam on his Facebook page. Gamal Abdou Masoud, a 17-year-old kid, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment last January because he was tagged on Facebook in a picture that criticized Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
Google believes a subset of Gmail users may be the target of what it calls “state-sponsored” malicious attacks. Certain Gmail users will see a warning message over this issue from now on, although this doesn’t particularly mean your account was hacked.
Google is being secretive over the nature of the attacks. Eric Grosse, Google’s vice president of security engineering said in a blog post: “We can’t go into the details without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors, but our detailed analysis -- as well as victim reports -- strongly suggest the involvement of states or groups that are state-sponsored.”
Iranian authorities have restored access to Gmail a week after blocking Google's popular email service. The Islamic Republic blocked Gmail last week in response to video clips posted on YouTube of an anti-Islam film that set off deadly protests across the Muslim world -- a ban that sparked a slew of complaints from Internet users and officials in Iran.
Iran has an estimated 32 million Internet users out of a total population of around 75 million.
CyberDissidents.org Blogger Board member Kareem Amer discusses the inner workings of an Egyptian Prison using Google Earth. Kareem spent 4 years in Egyptian prison for criticizing religion and the former dictator on his blog.