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Stories from and

Human Rights Video: 2013 Year in Review

A video by WITNESS on the Human Rights Channel of YouTube wrapped up some of the most significant protests and human rights abuses of 2013. Dozens of clips shot by citizens worldwide are edited together to show efforts to withstand injustice and oppression, from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, Cambodia to Brazil.

A post on the WITNESS blog by Madeleine Bair from December 2013, celebrates the power of citizen activism using new technologies including video, while readers are reminded that the difficulty of verification and establishing authenticity remains a big obstacle.

“Citizen footage can and is throwing a spotlight on otherwise inaccessible places such as prisons, war zones, and homes,” says Bair. “But given the uncertainties inherent in such footage, reporters and investigators must use it with caution.”

Iran Quake Aftershocks Reach Qatar, Bahrain

Doha News charts reactions from Qatar residents following the aftershocks of an earthquake which hit southern Iran today. The aftershocks were also felt in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where offices in high rise buildings were evacuated.

A Platform for Middle East's Indie Musicians

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes' Indigeo campaign video.

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes’ Indiego campaign video.

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Protests Continue in Bahrain

A night protest in Bani Jamra, Bahrain

Protestors in Bani Jamra, Bahrain, angry over the injury of Aqeel Mohsin, a 20-year-old Bahraini by police shot in the face. The banner, in Arabic, reads: The blood of the brave, will overthrow the regime. Photograph shared on Twitter by @angryarabia

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Why is the GCC Quiet about Gaza?

“Gulf countries awfully quiet about Gaza,” tweets Foreign Policy editor Blake Hounshell. Lebanese journalist Antoun Issa adds:

@antissa: Amazing how eager GCC are to arm Arabs to fight each other, while disappearing completely when it comes to Palestine. #Gaza

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is made up of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

South Korean Tear Gas Being Used in Bahrain?

Bahrain interior ministry allegedly ordered 1.6 million teargas canisters to use against protesters, and South Korean company DaeKwang is believed to be one of the major suppliers. R. Elgin wrote in Marmot's Hole blog about the ironic history of tear gas– a notorious symbol of Korean government's clampdowns back in 70-80s becoming a money-maker nowadays. Earlier this month, net users tweeted photos of protesters outside the Korean embassy in London, calling Korean companies to stop selling toxic gas.

Bahrain Anti-Government Protests for Equality

From Bahrain, where the ongoing anti-government protests are portrayed in mainstream media as a Sunni/Shia sectarian clash, blogger Nader AbdulEman writes [ar]:

أنا الطائفي الذي اريد حكومة منتخبة أنا الطائفي الذي ارفض التمييز وأطلب العدل والمساواة أنا الطائفي أطلب برلمان كامل الصلاحيات

@NaderAbdulEmam: I am the sectarian who wants an elected government. I am the sectarian who refuses discrimination and calls for justice and equality. I am the sectarian who demands a fully empowered parliament.

MENA: Acclaimed Authors’ Favorites of 2012

M. Lynx Qualey, blogger, who is interested in Arab and Arabic literature, wrote a series of posts introducing acclaimed Arab poets, novelists, and short-story writers’ favorite Arab reads of 2012. She started with a list of nonfiction books, then followed by a list for poetry [En] and fiction [En].

Kim Kardashian Does Kuwait and Bahrain

Kim Kardashian completed a visit to Kuwait and is now visiting Bahrain. Here's Brian Whitaker's take on her visit.

Six Month Jail for Insulting Bahrain King on Twitter

One of four Twitter users, detained in Bahrain and reportedly charged with insulting the country's king, was sentenced to six months in prison today.

Bahraini lawyer Mohammed Abdulameer tweets [ar]:

@wastilawyeR: One of those accused of insulting the King of Bahrain was sentenced by the Criminal Court to six months imprisonment and the confiscation of his laptop and telephone, which were tools in his crime

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