We interrupt your normal programming to advise that the crimes on #Manus continue #shutdownmanus #AUSvENG

Image: @KieranBennett [14/2/15]



‎Refugee‬ rights protestors disrupt Cricket World Cup: Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policy is just not cricket! [Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance - 14/2/15]:

We have decided to disrupt the Cricket World Cup in order to bring the world’s attention to the ongoing suffering of thousands of vulnerable people who are being mistreated by the Australian government’s asylum seeker policies.

Many of these people are imprisoned offshore in dangerous conditions in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Some have been detained indefinitely in onshore detention centres for more than five years because of legal loopholes.

Many languish in the community with temporary visas, under constant threat of re-detention and deportation, and without any hope of receiving permanent protection or being reunited with their families.

Others have already been returned to the nations that persecuted them in the first place, where they face imprisonment, torture, sexual assault, and death.

All of the above breaches numerous international laws and conventions that Australia has supposedly signed onto and ratified including; the Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention Against Torture.

We are calling on the international community, including governments, businesses and consumers, to use all means within their power to force the Australian government to meet its international obligations and to end its mistreatment of asylum seekers, which has already resulted in numerous deaths.

They can do this via economic sanctions, by boycotting Australian companies and products, through diplomatic pressure, and by taking the Australian government to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for crimes against humanity, and thus enforcing the international rule of law.

We call on the Australian people to show compassion, step out of complacency, and stand up for justice.

We must right the wrongs done on our behalf by forcing our government to change its ridiculous abusive polices. We must ensure that both the Liberal party and the ALP enact humane asylum seeker polices.

Actions like ours will continue to grow in frequency until there is serious political change.

The freedom of thousands of people is now in your hands. What are you going to do about it?"

UN chief appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Reuters [14/2/15]:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Friday not to execute prisoners on death row for drug crimes, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. Five foreigners were among six people executed last month, the first executions since President Joko Widodo took office in October.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban had spoken with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Thursday "to express his concern at the recent application of capital punishment in Indonesia."

"The United Nations opposes the death penalty under all circumstances," Dujarric said in a statement on Friday.

"The Secretary-General appeals to the Indonesian authorities that the executions of the remaining prisoners on death row for drug-related offenses not be carried out."




Sri Lankan Minister Urges UN Chief to Delay War Crimes Report

NDTV [14/2/15]:

Sri Lanka's foreign minister met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, and UN diplomatic sources said he pressed his government's desire to delay the release of a UN report on alleged war crimes during his country's civil war.

In their meeting at UN headquarters in New York, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Ban discussed "critical priorities for Sri Lanka, including especially human rights, accountability and reconciliation," the United Nations press office said in a statement.

The UN readout of the meeting said nothing about Colombo's desire for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to delay the March 25 release of the war crimes report.

Samaraweera said in Washington earlier this week that the situation at home was fragile and is therefore seeking to delay the scheduled release of the UN Human Rights Council report until "August or so."

He raised the issue behind closed doors with Ban on Friday, stressing the importance of a delay, UN diplomatic sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity. For his part Ban, the sources said, made clear this was an issue for Zeid, the Geneva-based UN human rights boss.

Diplomats said that Samaraweera has used his trip to the United States to persuade US and UN officials of the importance of delaying the report.

The UN Human Rights Council voted last March to look into reports of abuses during the civil war that ended in 2009, saying the Sri Lankan government had failed to investigate properly.

The United Nations estimated in 2011 that about 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the final weeks of the war, most of them by the army, according to an inquiry set up by Ban. The government of the majority Sinhalese country rejected that assertion.

Sri Lanka's new government, which took power last month, says it is planning a new domestic inquiry that would bring in some foreign experts if necessary. It has also invited Zeid to visit to discuss the issue.

The issue of the war crimes report is expected to be discussed at a committee meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, when a decision could be taken.




Manus refugees calling for the UN were beaten and "arrested" last month for holding a peaceful hunger strike.


Their access to lawyers and adequate medical care is still not known, and was not raised in the Senate or House of Representatives last week.


The Australian political, media and human rights establishment is willing to let Manus refugees die.


There can be no other possible explanation for their blanket silence.




Four ways Australia is killing refugees [Green Left Weekly - 14/2/15]


Salvation Army responds to questions raised re worker PTSD in Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island. [Media Release - 14/2/15]




An Australian's Response to Russell Brand on Refugees [VIDEO - 9/2/15]




Open Letter to Russell Brand on Refugees [Australians Overseas For Refugees - 9/2/15]

... It turns out Australians and their friends in New York weren’t the only ones protesting outside of Australia, or the only ones ready to.

The protest you saw in London is one of a wave of international demonstrations held in New York, Cambridge, Leeds, Brussells, Berlin, San Francisco, Boston, Santiago (Chile) and The Hague. With more planned.

We are now are active in 16 cities across four continents. We are Australians and Allies Overseas Against Mandatory Detention.

Russell, there is a media blackout in Australia, not only in our Australian detention Centres, but on mainstream media where whatever happens in the detention centres, is justified based on the bizarre idea that we somehow stop asylum seekers drowning at sea by punishing those that do make it to our shores, thus deterring future refugees.

But the boats haven’t stopped, and nor should they be, because human rights abuses elsewhere hasn’t stopped and they have a right to seek asylum. ...





Why haven't the Greens moved to grant media access to immigration detention centres as they promised they would?

Taxpayers would like to know what the IOM and profit seeking corporations are doing with the millions of dollars they receive from the Australian government.

Where is the refugees' right of reply to IOM accusations? ---> IOM denies preying on Manus asylum seekers [10/2/15]

Do refugees who were beaten for holding a peaceful hunger strike and calling for the UN have access to medical care, or are they being neglected until they die in the camp, or go home to die?

Are refugees still being held without charge in Bomana "death row" prison and in solitary confinement?

Do these refugees have access to lawyers?

What is happening with the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee's Interim and final reports into last February's attacks on Manus Island -  tabled in the Senate on Monday [9/2/15]?

Why have Senators not raised and/or debated the report recommendations yet?  Why is Senator Penny Wright - who was the chair of this inquiry - silent?

Why is the scant journalism about Australia's South Pacific refugee gulag archipelago, and regional involvement in Middle Eastern wars, only evident in New Zealand media?





Australian media still protecting the Minister for Immigration as human rights atrocities and breaching of international conventions continues



"We think the price is worth it"

Former US Sectretary of State Madeline Albright on the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.


Since 1992 Australia has incarcerated, tortured, driven to suicide and deported refugees back to danger to "stop the boats".

Now we beat and "arrest" them if they hold a hunger strike and call for the UN.

 Worth it?


Minister for Immigration Media Release [12/2/15]:

Today marks 200 days without an illegal boat arrival in Australia.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the Coalition Government's strong border policies had returned integrity to Australia's borders and immigration programme.

"Operation Sovereign Borders has cut off the people smugglers' ventures; since this Government started turning back the boats there has been only one illegal boat arrival – in July last year," Mr Dutton said.

"One boat in a year compared to 302 boats carrying 20,000 people in 2013 - that was Labor's legacy.

"Labor failed on our borders - massively - like no other government in Australia's history. Their failed policies caused unprecedented cost, chaos and tragedy.

"There were just four illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs) in detention in 2007 when the Howard Government was replaced by Rudd Labor.

"Labor's opening of the floodgates under Kevin Rudd saw more than 50,000 illegal arrivals in more than 800 boats with nearly 1200 people lost at sea. There were over 8000 children among the IMAs.

"The annual cost to taxpayers for managing IMAs blew out from $85 million in 2007-08 to $3 billion in 2013-14.

"The success of Operation Sovereign Borders has meant we've stopped the loss of life at sea, we've moved most children out of detention and we've closed 10 detention centres providing significant savings for taxpayers," Mr Dutton said.

The January OSB update released today shows that the first month of the year has been and gone without a successful people smuggling venture and reveals that our strong relationships across the region has seen concerted action against people smugglers.

The monthly update can be found at: http://newsroom.customs.gov.au/


Imaginary journalist to Peter Dutton: Given that you are so proud of the Coalition's "strong border policies", will you offer the Europeans Australia's final solution to stopping the boats?


Reuters [13/2/15]:

Two commercial ships and an Italian coastguard vessel rescued about 700 migrants from overcrowded boats near the Libyan coast on Friday, days after more than 300 people died trying to make the crossing to Europe.

Rome's coastguard command centre organised rescue operations, which started early this morning after it received a distress call by satellite phone, a coastguard spokesman said.

"All of those rescued appear to be in good shape and the sea conditions are good and getting better," the spokesman said.

More than 300 migrants died trying to reach Italy from North Africa in stormy seas this week.

Italy shut down its Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation last October and it has been replaced by a more limited EU border control mission, Triton.

The weather has improved since the beginning of the week, the coastguard said, opening the way for migrant boats to set off again from Libya, where the breakdown in law and order has allowed people-smugglers free rein.

The U.N. refugee organisation UNHCR says at least 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean by boat last year and 3,500 lives were lost.

This week's deaths have renewed focus on the European Union mission. Unlike its predecessor, Triton does not have a specific search-and-rescue mandate, and limits its border control operations to the waters near the Italian coast.


Naharnet [13/2/15]:

... At the same time, up to 600 others were holed up in a large hut near the capital Tripoli, waiting to be put on boats by people smugglers they have paid to get them to Europe, according to a Rome-based Eritrean priest who heads an NGO that works with migrants.

"There are about 600 of them in the hut in appalling sanitary conditions," the priest, Mussie Zerai, told AFP.

He said they had been taken there by members of one of Libya's warring militias and told they would be put on a boat within a week.

"Some of them have been there for two weeks now and they have all paid 1,800 dollars for the crossing."

The migrants are mainly Eritreans but there are also Ethiopians, Somalis and Sudanese nationals. Around a quarter of them are women, six of whom are pregnant.

"When they complain the men shoot in the air to frighten them. The stench has made them terrified of getting sick and they will do whatever the militia men want," Zerai said.


Egypt ready for Libya evacuations as IS hostage photos emerge [BBC – 13/2/15]

New UN rights report depicts ‘turmoil, lawlessness’ in Libya [Media Release – 10/2/15]

A roadside bomb in Cairo killed a police captain and wounded eight other people on Friday, the interior ministry said. Later, Egyptian warplanes killed eight suspected Islamist militants in Sinai, according to security sources. … [Yahoo – 13/2/15]

Germany, Italy Close Yemen Embassies as Saudi Arabia Evacuates Staff [Naharnet – 13/2/15]

An attack on a Shia mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 65 others, government officials say.

At least four suicide bombers, wearing security forces uniforms, hit the Imamia mosque during Friday prayers, officials and witnesses said. ... [Al Jazeera - 13/2/15]

At least 21 people were killed in two separate Boko Haram attacks on villages near the key city of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, a community leader and a witness said Friday. ... [Daily Star - 13/2/15]:

UN warns of ‘urgent’ humanitarian situation as Boko Haram attacks spill over Nigeria border [Media Release – 13/2/15]

CFMEU urges government to introduce tougher penalties for workplace deaths

CFMEU Queensland/NT Media Release [13/2/15]:

With a noticeable silence from the media, another ‘slap on the wrist’ fine has been handed down to a company over their involvement in the death of two CFMEU members who were working on the construction of the Pegasus Apartments at Broadbeach in June of 2008.

36 year old construction worker Chris Gear and 52 year old Steve Sayer died after the swing stage scaffold they were working out of plummeted 26 stories to the ground after a malfunction.

Six years after the incident, Karimbla Construction Services (who is part of the Meriton group of companies) pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 24 & 30 of the former WHS Act 1995 (failing to ensure the health and safety of workers) and were fined a paltry $25,000.

CFMEU Divisional Branch Secretary, Michael Ravbar said, “The penalties for these companies who are involved in the serious injury and death of workers on their jobs are grossly inadequate.”

“The Campbell Newman LNP Government did absolutely nothing to encourage the building and construction industry to comply with the various WH&S Codes of Practice.

“We see time and again builders receiving ‘slap on the wrist’ fines for their involvement in the death and serious injury of workers on their jobs, which is in stark contrast to the fines this union receives for industrial disputes.

“In this instance, two lives were lost and it leaves us asking the question where is the justice for the families and what is a life really worth?”

Well, to answer that question it seems $25,000 is the going rate.

How does that even come close to a fair penalty when the union receives fines equating to millions of dollars every year for trying to prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place?

Just this week the CFMEU and an official are facing fines upwards of $200,000 for an alleged workplace dispute.

The union faces a $200,000 fine for an alleged dispute over a smoko shed while Karimbla Constructions receive a pitiful $25,000 fine for the death of two workers. How is that justifiable?

“It’s time for the government to get fair dinkum and introduce tougher penalties to companies for their involvement in causing serious injury and death.

“This union will stand up here in Queensland and ensure the newly elected government brings in tougher, fairer penalties,” said Michael Ravbar.

16 Australian workers killed so far in 2015 [Safety Culture - 13/2/15]

Stunt bike rider injured during show at Movie World on the Gold Coast [ABC - 14/2/15]

Thomas 'TJ' Hickey rally in Redfern marks 11th anniversary of his death

ABC [14/2/15]:

Hundreds of protesters have marched through the streets of Redfern in Sydney to mark the 11th anniversary of a teenager's controversial death.

Seventeen-year-old Thomas "TJ" Hickey was killed when he lost control of his bicycle and became impaled on a fence next to Redfern Park.

The incident sparked a nine-hour riot in the inner-city suburb in which the Redfern railway station was set on fire and police were pelted with rocks, bricks and bottles, leaving more than 40 officers injured.

Mr Hickey's family and others believe he was being chased by a police car when he became impaled.

That claim was disputed by a coroner following an inquest.

The coroner found no evidence the teenager was being pursued by police when he died, even though a police car had followed him down a pathway.

Mr Hickey's family dispute the findings and have spent years campaigning for a fresh inquest.

The protesters met at 9:30am at the block of apartments where Mr Hickey died, before marching to a tent embassy at The Block.

The marchers were flanked by a heavy police presence.




Rock-throwing Washington man shot dead by police

CBS [13/2/15]:

An orchard worker gunned down on Tuesday after allegedly throwing rocks at cars in Pasco, Washington, was the fourth person killed by police in the 68,000-person city in the past seven months.

According to a statement from Pasco police, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, was throwing rocks at about 5 p.m. at a busy intersection in the city, which is located about 200 miles southeast of Seattle.

Once officers arrived on the scene they say Zambrano-Montes refused to stop throwing rocks - one of which they say was "softball size." Police say two officers were hit by the rocks and, after a Taser had "no effect," officers shot and killed him.

A video of the incident shows officers running after Zambrano-Montes as he runs across the street.

He turns around after reaching the sidewalk, and gets shot.

A spokesperson for Pasco told 48 Hours' Crimesider that the investigation into the shooting is being handled by a special unit comprised of law enforcement agencies around the tri-cities area of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick.

CBS affiliate KEPR reports that Zambrano-Montes was born and raised in Mexico and had lived in Washington for more than 10 years.

According to the station, Mexico's Foreign Relations Department condemned the shooting and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says "there will be, and needs to be, a very complete assessment of all of the circumstances of what happened here."



Democracy Now [13/2/15]:

The fatal police shooting of a teenage girl in Denver has drawn protests amidst a nationwide push for more police accountability.

On the morning of January 26, Denver police shot and killed 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez.

They say she and several teenage friends were driving a stolen car that struck and injured an officer.

Police Chief Robert White says his officers repeatedly told her to get out of the car before they opened fire. But a passenger says Hernandez lost control of the car only after she was shot and became unconscious.

Witnesses say Hernandez was dragged from the car, apparently unconscious.

A video captured by a neighbor shows police handcuffed and appeared to search her after she was shot, rolling her on her back and stomach as she lay limp and motionless.

The two officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

Last Thursday, activists at the National Conference on LGBT Equality that took place in Denver protested Hernandez’s killing by forcing Mayor Michael Hancock to cancel a planned speech.

And on Saturday, an estimated 800 people gathered for Hernandez’s funeral.

We are joined by two guests: Mimi Madrid Puga, a community organizer and board member of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, and Qusair Mohamedbhai, a civil rights lawyer and attorney for the Hernandez family.




... The picture is where its really at

Take yourself out of it see from afar ...

'Now I'm Free', Randa and the Soul Kingdom [2011]




Palestinian schoolgirl freed after six weeks in Israeli jail

Daily Star [13/2/15]:

Israel freed Friday a 14-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl, whose jailing six weeks ago for planning to attack Israelis became a focus for anger over the arrest of children in the occupied territories.

An AFP photographer in the West Bank town of Tulkarem said Malak al-Khatib was released there and greeted by her parents, relatives and the mayor, before being taken home to Beitin village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.

Malak was arrested on her way home from school on December 31, and a military court subsequently jailed her for two months.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club said two weeks had been deducted from the sentence due to her age.

According to the indictment she had "picked up a stone" to throw at cars on a road used by Israeli settlers near the village and was also in possession of a knife for stabbing security personnel if she were arrested.

Israel arrests about 1,000 children every year in the West Bank, often on charges of stone-throwing, according to rights group Defense for Children International Palestine.

The arrest of Malak brought media organizations flocking to her family's door and attracted more public attention than most because she is a girl.

The Prisoners' Club estimates that 200 Palestinian minors are held in Israeli prisons, but only four are girls, and Malak was the youngest.

At the time, an Israeli military spokeswoman said Malak was convicted after a plea bargain.

But her father said her confession counted for little.

"A 14-year-old girl surrounded by Israeli soldiers will admit to anything," he said bitterly.

"She would admit to holding a nuclear weapon if she were accused."

Israel's Supreme Court upholds ruling on Rachel Corrie death [Al Jazeera - 13/2/1/15]

The Real Ruler of Israel: Sheldon Adelson, Israel’s Casino King [ICH – 13/2/15]:

... Years ago I invented a Hebrew word for papers which are distributed for nothing. “Hinamon” translates, roughly, into “ragratis” or “gratissue” and was intended to denigrate. But I did not dream of a monster like “Israel Hayom” (“Israel Today”) – a paper with unlimited funds, distributed every day for nothing in the streets and malls all over the country by hundreds, perhaps thousands of paid young persons.

Israelis love getting something for nothing. Israel Hayom is now the daily paper with the widest distribution in Israel. It drains readers and advertising revenue from its only competitor – Yedioth Ahronoth (“Latest News”), which held this title until then.

Yedioth reacted furiously. It became a ferocious enemy of Netanyahu. Yossi Werter, a commentator of the center-left Haaretz (which has a far lower circulation) even believes that the present election boils down to a contest between the two papers.

That is vastly exaggerated. Judged by political and social content, there is little to differentiate the two. Both are super-patriotic, war-mongering and rightist. That is the journalistic recipe for attracting the masses anywhere in the world.



Megaupload programmer jailed in US

RNZI [14/2/15]:

A programmer with Kim Dotcom's now defunct Megaupload website has been jailed in the United States after pleading guilty to copyright infringement charges.

Estonian Andrus Nomm, 32, has been sentenced to a year and a day in a US federal prison, the first conviction in the Megaupload criminal case.

Seven men, including Mr Dotcom were originally indicted three years ago on charges of internet piracy and criminal copyright infringement.

An extradition hearing for Mr Dotcom and three others is scheduled for June in Auckland. Two of the seven are still at large.

The American Justice Department said the conviction was a significant step forward in the largest criminal copyright case in US history.

It said it intends to see all those involved are held accountable for stealing the work of American artists and creators.


Attorney General HM Prasetyo has yet to schedule the execution. However, the Australian consulate told the convicts last week that the execution would be conducted this month. 

Jakarta Post [13/2/15]:

The law and human rights minister has officially ordered the transfer of two death row convicts, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, from Kerobokan prison in Bali to Nusakambangan, Central Java, where their executions will be carried out.

Bali Prosecutor’s Office head Momock Bambang Samiarso said the Bali Nine duo will soon be moved even though the date of the execution has yet to be set.

“The permit has been approved, the permit to move them from Kerobokan, Bali, to another place,” said Momock after a meeting about the execution plan at the Bali Governor’s Office in Denpasar on Thursday.

The meeting was also attended by Bali Deputy Governor Ketut Sudikerta, head of Denpasar Prosecutor’s Office Imanuel Zebua, the head of Bali’s Justice and Human Rights Ministry Gusti Kompiang Adnyana, the head of the National Narcotic Agency (BNN) Bali chapter IGK Budiartha, an official from PT Angkasa Pura I, as well as an official from Garuda Indonesia Airways.

Momock said they would move the Australians in the near future.

“Soon; as soon as possible,” he said.

The letter from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, which ordered the transfer, Momock said, was signed on Wednesday.

Both Sukumaran and Chan were sentenced to death for trying to smuggle about 8 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005. They are part of a group of nine Australian drug smugglers, the so-called Bali Nine.

The pair have lost their chance to escape execution as their request for a second case review was rejected by the Denpasar District Court. The second review was lodged after their clemency pleas were officially rejected by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Attorney General HM Prasetyo has yet to schedule the execution. However, the Australian consulate told the convicts last week that the execution would be conducted this month.

While plans to execute the Australians are moving forward, the rehabilitation program that they set up in the prison is ongoing. A painting class that Sukumaran set up was held on Thursday.

An Australian Artist, Ben Quilty, mentored the painting class on Thursday.

The class was not only attended by prisoners, but also ex-convicts.

While being detained for almost 10 years in Kerobokan Prison, both Sukumaran and Chan have set up several rehabilitation programs, including art and computer workshops, cooking classes and tennis lessons.

Support for the Bali Nine duo has also been offered by many prisoners and ex prisoners who said that they had been rehabilitated by Sukumaran and Chan’s programs.

Many campaigns have been held in support of the pair and many have asked Jokowi to cancel the execution, there was even a video campaign to raise people’s awareness of the matter.

Meanwhile, foreign convicts serving time in North Sulawesi Prison have protested against the death penalty for drug smugglers.

South African convict Donya Preston, 26, who was sentenced to 20 years for a drug-related case, said he did not agree with the death sentence for drug convicts, as it would discourage them from appealing for clemency from the government.

“I actually want to appeal for clemency, but with the events surrounding the ‘Bali Nine’, I’m afraid, as my sentence could be increased, or I could even face the death sentence,” said Donya.

North Sulawesi is currently home to 17 foreign convicts.

Amnesty: Saudi Blogger again avoids flogging

Naharnet [13/2/15]:

Saudi Arabian blogger Raef Badawi avoided further flogging on Friday, Amnesty International said, marking the fifth straight week that his 1,000-lash sentence has not been carried out.

The case of Badawi, 31, has sparked worldwide outrage and criticism from the United Nations, United States, the European Union, Canada and others.

"Raef was not flogged again today. We're not sure why but he remains in prison," Amnesty, the London-based rights group, said on its Twitter account.

Badawi received the first 50 lashes of his sentence outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on January 9.

The following two weekly rounds of punishment were postponed on medical grounds. There has been no reason for more recent delays but the case has focused attention on the kingdom's human rights record.

Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, has sought asylum in Canada with their three children.

Badawi co-founded with Suad al-Shammari the Saudi Liberal Network Internet discussion group.

He was arrested in June 2012 under cybercrime provisions, and a judge ordered the website shut after it criticized Saudi Arabia's notorious religious police.

Badawi was initially sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for insulting Islam and setting up the liberal network.

An appeals court overturned the verdict and sent his case back for retrial where the sentence was raised to 10 years and 1,000 lashes.

A Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated Badawi and his imprisoned lawyer Waleed Abulkhair for this year's Nobel Peace prize.

In January an appeals court ordered Abulkhair to serve the full 15 years of his jail sentence.

He was convicted last July on a series of charges including "inciting public opinion" but the last five years of the sentence were initially suspended.

The two activists were convicted during the reign of King Abdullah, who died on January 23 and was succeeded by his half-brother Salman.



Free Sunshine @CairoMarriott Where it all started with my better half Marwa Omara " till death do us part" #Thankyou

Image: ‏@MFFahmy11 - Mohamed Fadel Fahmy [13/2/15]





I don't regret it. It was for Freedom of expression


Baher Ghorab 





A TimesTalks Conversation - The New School's John L Tishman Auditorium, 63 Fifth Avenue, NYC [VIDEO - 12/2/15]:

Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald in Person with Edward Snowden

When whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the National Security Agency’s worldwide electronic surveillance program, it was to Oscar–nominated filmmaker Laura Poitras and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear the director of CITIZENFOUR – the film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature – the first journalist to write about Snowden’s revelations and Snowden himself (via live video) in conversation with New York Times media columnist David Carr about the film and the issues it raises.

David Carr passed away shortly after this interview. His obituary is available here.




14 February 2015