Arab Spring Weekly Update

Blogger Maikel Nabil began a thirst strike on Tuesday to protest the proceedings of his trial and his arrest for writing a blog post critical of the Egyptian military. His life is in extreme danger, as he wrote that his strike will continue until freedom or death.

See also: Egypt Arrests Blogger Board Member

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi is in “grave danger of physical and psychological harm,” as he has been in complete isolation for the past 42 days. Commenting on the news, one blogger wrote:
“Can you imagine being kept in your own home for ten days without TV, Internet, newspapers, or books? The brave 70 year old man from the Green movement [Karroubi] has been under house arrest in these conditions. He was even separated from his wife since Ramadan began. What is the government doing?!”

As the Constitutional Assembly elections creep closer – voting will take place on October 23 – the Independent High Authority for the Elections has opened up registration for those planning to run for office. With 105 registered parties all looking for representation in the new government, campaigning is likely to be both fierce and preplexing. In order to provide some organization, a new website, Afkar Mostakella, is using the power of social media to connect citizens to candidates. Tunisians are able to submit ideas for candidates to consider and to speak about, putting the voices of people in the ears of potential government officials.

Saudi Arabia
A new video was released on YouTube several days ago showing a Saudi woman driving her car in the capital Riyadh. Women are still prohibited by a fatwa from obtaining drivers’ licenses in the country, though many have licenses from other countries.

In order to better explain the political and military situation in Yemen, the Yemen Times has created a map showing the areas affected most by tribal conflict and violence. Meanwhile, blogger Afrah Nasser highlighted the continued attacks on journalists over the last few weeks, reposting a report put out by Reporters Without Borders.

The Syrian government has continued its violence against its citizens, killing seven protesters on Sunday despite strong rebukes from the Arab League and Turkish president. Attempting to pacify demonstrators, Mr. Assad approved a law on Sunday allowing private citizens to create political parties and news outlets. Still, the unsatisfied reformers are toying with the idea of a violent revolt, encouraged by the possibility of NATO support. Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria have released a statement, urging the protesters to not let up until the revolution is complete.

All 63 nations that met for the recent “Friends of Libya” conference in Paris are resolved to unfreeze Libyan assets, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, despite hesitations from China, Russia, and South Africa that have complicated United Nations efforts to unfreeze Libya’s assets. Though many Libyans are concerned that Western military support was a political negotiation for oil contracts, one Twitter user believes that the unfrozen funds are, rightfully, Libyan:
France is in the position to unfreeze 1.5 Euros immediately, returning the money stolen to the Libyan people.


Arab Spring Weekly Update




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