The Blog — Advocacy
Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi was arrested yesterday while trying to leave Syria via the Jordanian border. Razan was on her way to a conference in Amman about defending the freedom of the media in the Arab World when she was detained. Razan has a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Balamand in Lebanon, and she is the author of razanghazzawi.com where she defends freedom of expression. Additionally, she has been one of the few Arabic activists who advocates for the rights of homosexuals in the Arab World.
Ethiopia where he faces imprisonment and "mistreatment" for the crime of using Skype (he has been in prison there before and says he fears for his life).
This weekend, Egyptian blogger, Twitter activist, and human rights advocate Alaa Abd El Fattah (@alaa) went in to a military court in Egypt for interrogation. He refused to answer the military’s questions and was thus detained for 15 days. Activists in MENA and all over the world are campaigning on and offline for his release.
About 2,000 Palestinian prisoners have joined a hunger strike in Israeli prisons at the same time Israel and Hamas have announced that they've reached a prisoner swap deal that would result in the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli prisoner in Palestine.
Currently the 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting is taking place in Tunis. While many influential and important Arab bloggers are in attendance, those coming from Palestine were denied entry visas by the Tunisian Interior Ministry. Bloggers at the conference and their supporters online have launched a campaign to draw attention to the injustice and find out why the visas were denied.
Over the past few months we've been covering the Saudi #women2drive movement and this week we've shared some horrible news about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. People are asking us- "How can we help?" We believe getting the word out and making people aware that these human rights abuses are real and serious, is the first step to achieving change. Here's what you can do:
Using Facebook, YouTube, and QR Codes the forces behind MidEast Youth have launched an interactive campaign in response to the Iranian governments practice of preventing different groups of people (Baha'i, activists, feminists, human rights defenders, etc) from receiving a higher education. Read the full case study here.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) aims to liberalize international trade by decreasing tariffs, quotas, and bans and encouraging trade agreements amongst its 153 member states. The organization asserts these measures help the environment, improve the economies of the less-developed countries, and ultimately lower costs for the consumer. Critics of the Organization, however, believe that its policies ultimately yield higher profits to the richer, capitalistic countries while exploiting the lower labor costs of their financially weaker counterparts and ignoring the human rights and environmental implications.