Black Tuesday in #Mali – Ansar Dine Attack Tuareg Women in Public


Tin Hinan is the name given by the Tuareg to a 4th-century woman of prestige whose monumental tomb is located in the Sahara at Abalessa in the Ahaggar or Hoggar region of Algeria. The name means literally “she of the tents”, but may be metaphorically translated as “mother of the tribe” (or “of us all”) or even “queen of the camp” (the “camp” maybe referring to the group of tombs which surround hers). She is sometimes referred to as “Queen of the Hoggar”, and by the Tuareg as tamenoukalt which also means queen. [afrikanwomen tumblog]

Now they’ve torn it. No man, not even the allegedly brutal soldiers of the Malian army (you remember, the ones 300,000 refugees reportedly fled from in terror?) has apparently raised his hand against a woman in public for sixteen hundred years. For it was in the 4th century that Queen Tin Hinan ruled the tents of this land, and no violence against women is tolerated, that’s how the story goes. The old gal will be spinning in her tomb, unless that too has already been desecrated by Ansar Dine militants.

Not once, but twice, the Ansar Dine thugs attacked a protest in the centre of Kidal staged by women who refuse to be cowed by their rules. The first time, the shocked observer reported, was in broad daylight. Unspeakable and unconscionable barbarity! Well done ladies for coming out again in the evening to show those opportunistic interlopers what’s what. As for Iyad ag Ghali, he already has a bad rap for being a corrupt diplomat who got booted out of Saudi because of his passion for whiskey. Well, the hard-drinking hypocrite’s really up against it now. Pressuring women to submit to rules about dress codes, and trying to bar them from employment was the cause of the protests, but publicly shaming and disrespecting women is going too far. Kidal isn’t Cairo!

Word now is that Ansar Dine has outstayed their welcome and been advised to pack up their unwelcome ideology and get out of Kidal.

I refuse to conceal my glee at this news. Forget ECOWAS, the African Union or NATO; the prospect of bataillions of angry Azawad women kicking disrespectful militant butt from .. oh wait, it can’t be “from here to Timbuktu“. Well, from Gao, Kidal and Timbuctu back to the Tunisian camps or wherever they hatched their stupid plan to hijack the rebellion while licking their wounds after Libya will have to be far enough for now. Please, oh please let this be a true story. It was reported on Sahara Medias website [ar], a generally reliable source. 😉

How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter


Social media has been often touted for the role it played in the popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world since December 2010. Despite the buzz, you may be surprised that only 0.26% of the Egyptian population, 0.1% of the Tunisian population and 0.04% of the Syrian population are active on Twitter.

Of all the countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter is most popular in Kuwait, where 8.6% of the population is active users, defined as those who tweet at least once per month. Facebook’s more popular throughout the region. In its most popular country, the U.A.E., some 36.18% of the population is on Facebook.

Khaled ElAhmad (who goes by the Internet alias Shusmo) created these two infographics, exploring Facebook and Twitter trends in the Arab world, using His data comes from a Dubai School of Government report on Arab Social Media.

Take a look through the two infographics, which also show growth of the social networks by country and overall membership stats. Did you expect more people to be active social media users? How do you think your country’s habits compare? You can also check out infographics on how China and India do social networking.


via How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter [INFOGRAPHICS].

OHCHR Universal Periodic Review 21 May -4 Jun 2012 Provisional Timetable


Provisional Timetable for the Universal Periodic Review Working Group 13th Session:

[Image: UN HRC]

Monday, 21 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of Bahrain
14h30 – 18h00         Review of Ecuador

Tuesday, 22 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of Tunisia
14h30 – 18h00         Review of Morocco

Wednesday, 23 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of Indonesia
14h30 – 18h00         Review of Finland

Thursday, 24 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of United Kingdom
14h30 – 18h00         Review of India

Friday, 25 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of Brazil
15h00 – 18h00         Adoption of reports on Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia and Finland

Tuesday, 29 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of Philippines
14h30 – 18h00         Review of Algeria

Wednesday, 30 May

10h00 – 11h30         Adoption of reports on United Kingdom, India and Brazil
14h00 – 18h00         Review of Poland

Thursday, 31 May

09h00 – 12h30         Review of the Netherlands
14h30 – 18h00         Review of South Africa

Friday, 1 June

15h00 – 16h30         Adoption of reports on Philippines, Algeria and Poland

Monday, 4 June

15h00 – 16h00         Adoption of reports on the Netherlands and South Africa

Additional information on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, including the reports for each country review can be located at the Universal Periodic Review webpage on the OHCHR website: 

Media contact
:  Rolando Gomez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711,


News from Iran – Week 19 – 2012


News of the Prisoners

A- Transfers

  • Kurdish political prisoner Jahangir Badouzadeh has been moved to solitary in Orumieh prison after protesting harsh treatment.
  • After 20 days in solitary, Mohammadreza Motamednia on day 27 of hunger strike was moved to Ward 350.

B- Arrests/Incarcerations

  • Journalist Mahsa Amrabadi reported to Evin after being summoned to start serving her 1 year sentence.
  • Mohammad Haji Babaei, student activist, arrested in Babol.
  • Omid Kharazmian summoned to Evin to start serving his 4 years sentence. He was arrested in connection with Ashura 09 protest.
  • Yaghoub Moghanikar was arrested in a raid of his home in Karaj and sent to Intel section in Rejaei Shahr.

D-Other News

  • On death row IT specialist Saeed Malekpour’s family was allowed a visit after 3 months.
  • 16 year old brother of incarcerated Gonabadi dervish Kasra Nouri interrogated and threatened by Intelligence. Detention extended Kasra Nouri just before release.

News of injustice in Iran

  • Laleh Azadi (F) arrested during Ashura protest in December 09 has been sentenced to 4 years in prison.
  • Aghaghiya Azizai (F) arrested during Ashura protest in December 09 has been sentenced to 4 years in prison.
  • Mohammad Azizi has been sentenced to 5 years by court in Saghez on charges of affiliation with a banned opposition group.
  • Samko Khorshidi has been sentenced to death on Moharebeh charges by court in Saghez.
  • Journalist Omid Mohades has been sentenced to 4 years suspended for 5 years + 5 years ban on political activities.
  • Journalist Meysam Mohammadi has been sentenced to 4 years in prison + 5 years ban from print or online journalism.
  • Mohammad Reza Pour Shajari, blogger, sentenced to one extra year in prison, 4 in total.
  • Caricaturist Mahmoud Shokraiyeh sentenced to 25 lashes for drawing MP Ahmad Lotfi’s cartoon.
  • Khamenei pardons Ahmadinejad’s ally Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, who was arrested last year on corruption charges, before going to court.
  • Nine people hanged in a prison in Tehran on Monday.
  • Four people were hanged in Kerman prison on Wednesday.

University  – Culture

  • ‘A Separation’ won Italy’s David Award as Best Foreign Language Film.
  • 150 University students in Tehran summoned to National Organization of Educational Testing and interrogated by Intelligence agents.
  • Samaneh Moradian, first ever translator of Georges Bataille works in Iran, commits suicide at age of 24.
  • Reports of women being arrested violently at Tehran Book Fair. Probable cause: Bad Hejab.
  • Iran shut down booths of 3 foreign Publishers at Tehran book fair.
  • Book vendor booth shut down in Tehran Book Fair for displaying poster of Cyrus the Great.
  • The ministry of Guidance (Culture) ordered to pay damages for censuring a social criticism film, « Ali Santouri » (2006), to director Darioush Mehrjoui.
  • Death threat [ fatwa ] against Shahin Najafi, Iranian Rapper living in Germany.
  • Nourizad movie “We Have Murdered People” released.Historic Amin ol-Soltan House (Qajar era) in Tehran to be demolished.
  • Crowds gathered for memorial service for veteran actor and director Iraj Ghaderi.


Textile workers in Mazandaran protest

  • Workers gather in protest of firing and non-renewal of contracts; 3000 unemployed in 1 week.
  • Textile workers in Mazandaran demonstrate.
  •  Laid-off workers from Shahab Khodro Company gathered in protest for the second time on Azadi Street in front of the building of the welfare and social security ministry.

Economy in Iran

  • Madnoosh sugar factory in Saghez on the verge of closure due to sanctions. 1150 workers have lost their job.
  • Minimum salary for average Iranian worker covers 40% of their costs, 50% of them are looking for a second job.
  • The subsidies reform saved 50% less than expected.
  • Iran willing to join China-Tajikistan-Afghanistan railway link.
  • Per-capita consumption of milk in Iran 1/6 of developed countries’ per-capita consumption.
  • Iran Central Bank: Iranians’ food costs soar from 50 to 165 per cent in one year.
  • Farakolun Company which employed 500 specialists and other laborers was shut down.
  •  The head of the high commission of labor associations of Iran announced that 43 percent of Iranian workers are paid less than minimum wage.
  • The number of vehicles in Iran quadrupled from 2009 to 2011.
  • Iran’s private sector allowed selling up to 20% of Iranian crude oil to bypass sanctions.
  • US dollar =1619 toman.

Iran  abroad

  • Iran eyes spiritual leadership of Iraq’s Shiites – maneuvering to replace ayatollah Sistani by ayatollah Shahroudi.
  • A reporter of Fars news (close to IRGC in Iran) arrested by Afghan Intelligence Agency in Kabul.
  • Tunisian higher education minister to visit Iran.
  • New Portuguese ambassador to Iran meets Salehi.
  • Egyptian University professors meet with FM Salehi.
  • Salehi receives Azerbaijan Republic deputy FM.
  • Britain seeks delay to EU’s Iran ship insurance ban.
  • Fars News will soon launch Russian language service.
  • Iran summons Afghan ambassador.
  • Hamas Won’t Fight Israel Over Iran, Says Haniyeh.
  • Ex French Prime Minister Michel Rocard on special mission in Iran.

Politics in Iran

  • Majlis election in Iran : in the 2nd round, conservatives opponents to Ahmadinejad still stronger in Parliament.
  • Iran parliament rejects subsidy cuts proposals.
  • Budget bill to be discussed at Majlis open session on Wednesday : National budget amounts to about 5.1 quadrillion rials (approximately $416 billion) down from 5.39 last year – defense budget up 127%.
  • IRGC-affiliated Javan: Government continues to degrade journalists and is failing to live up to its promises.
  • A large workshop which produced (illegal) satellite television dishes was discovered in Tabriz and shut down.
  • Ahmad Mansouri becomes the ninth 40-50 year old IRGC commander to die of heart attack in the past year.
  • Supreme Leader’s representative in IRGC calls on Ahmadinejad to show more consideration of the Majlis.
  • Each Iranian MP to receive a 700 million tomans (~$500,000) “loan”.
  • Iran to ban school stationery with ‘un-Islamic pictures’.
  • MP Koochekzadeh physically attacks ‘Aftab’ reporter over comments about Mortazavi Kahrizak murderer.
  • Khamenei makes unofficial visit to Qom to meet with Mesbah-Yazdi.
  • Majlis to pursue the removal of Mortazavi and impeachment of Labor Minister.


Annapurna I. from about 4500 m Deutsch: Annapu...

Annapurna I (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 3,518 wounded in a 5.5 earthquake on the border with Iraq.
  • Former Iran hostages Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer got married.
  • Iranian mountaineer Azim Gheichisaz conquers Himalayas Annapurna I peak.
  • Telephone disruptions experienced for 3 days by subscribers of 22 telecommunications centers in Tehran following maintenance of cables.
  • Women’s football on rise in Iran after FIFA lifted ban on headscarves.
  • Suicide rate is up 17%.
  • Iran has shut down 60 traditional tea houses and clothing stores in Tehran.