‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات globalpost. إظهار كافة الرسائل
‏إظهار الرسائل ذات التسميات globalpost. إظهار كافة الرسائل


#FreeSpeechStories #France accused of 'double standards'

Tens of thousands of fans of the French comic Dieudonne - often criticised as anti-Semitic - are making claims of hypocrisy and double standards after French authorities opened up dozens of cases against people accused of justifying terrorism.

Fans of the controversial comedian reacted angrily after he was arrested and charged with condoning terrorism for a remark on his a Facebook page: "je me sens Charlie Coulibaly" ("I feel like Charlie Coulibaly").
The remark, which has since been taken down, was a mash-up of the#JeSuisCharlie tag and the name of Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed a policewoman near a Jewish school and four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Dieudonne later defended the remark by saying he felt like he was being persecuted by authorities as if he were a terror suspect.
"Freedom of expression is dead, but its funeral on Sunday was pretty!!" said one of the comedian's Facebook fans, referring to the enormous march through Paris in support of Charlie Hebdo.
"WHAT HYPOCRISY!!!!!" shouted another commentator. "You can legally caricature and insult the prophet and the Muslim world: the oligarchy calls this freedom of expression ... We are in a pseudo-democratic dictatorship."

Dieudonne is a comedian with a history of making crude jokes about the Holocaust (and occasionally getting into legal trouble). He has a huge following on social media including more than 900,000 Facebook fans. Most of the comments on his page were in support of the comedian, and his name was trending briefly on Twitter earlier in the week, but there were a few fans who thought Dieudonne had crossed a line.
"There is a big difference between freedom of expression and incitement to hatred," said one fan. "He knew what to expect ... Charlie Hebdo made caricatures of the prophet that I haven't agreed with, it has made a mockery of the prophet, made some laugh, shocked others, but there was no incentive to hatred and this is a big difference."

The arrest of Dieudonne was just one of dozens of cases - up to 100according to one estimate - opened by the French authorities since the attacks. Some people have even been jailed already under fast-track legislation that was passed last year.
In a typical year, only one or two people are arrested for speaking out in favour of terrorism, said Emmanuel Pierrat, a French media lawyer and member of PEN International, which supports free expression.
Pierrat told BBC Trending that free speech is an idea at the core of the French nation, but one that in his view has been eroded over the years by exceptions for things including hate speech.
"We have weakened the principle of freedom of speech, for good intentions, but without thinking about the consequences. We need to think about how we can recover the idea of freedom of speech after an event that is so emotional, like the one in Paris (last week)," he said.
He cautioned however, that Dieudonne's statements could not be directly compared with the Charlie Hebdo cartoons showing the Prophet Muhammad.
"One thing is for sure, in France you can make drawings or speeches against ideology or against religion. The French revolution of 1789 abolished the crime of blasphemy" and courts have consistently upheld the legality of speech directed at religions or historical religious figures, he says.
Pierrat, who represented Michel Houellebecq when the author wascleared of charges of religious hate speech against Muslims in 2002, says the Dieudonne case will be difficult to judge given the ambiguity of the comedian's outburst. But he says he believes the authorities are made a mistake by arresting him. A trial is scheduled for next month.

"If Dieudonne wins, he will be like a hero," Pierrat says. "It will gives a lot of young people the idea that he is a champion of Muslims or immigrants ... he's no longer a comedian or an actor, but instead his audiences are far-right sympathisers."
"What makes me somewhat afraid is that French justice is speeding up when it comes to these questions," he says. "Like Americans after 11 September, the worry is that judgments are coming too quickly, and influenced by a very emotional event."

Blog by Mike Wendling


#FreeMahienour 'Never lose faith in the revolution' #Egypt

Mahienour El-Massry, a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Alexandria, Egypt, spoke to Socialist Worker about the ongoing revolution and the role that women have played in it
I started to be politically active when I was 18 years old. I joined the campaign against dictator Hosni Mubarak handing power to over his son Gamal.
I was part of the AGEG (Anti Globalisation Egyptian Group). Then I joined the Revolutionary Socialists.
I was a student and helped form the Socialist Students. It was the only political group in Alexandria University other than the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was a challenge to introduce the words socialism, communism and revolution to students. We worked with workers trying to form independent unions.
Then in 2010 18-year old Khaled Said was killed. He became the icon of the Egyptian Revolution.
We started a big campaign against state and police torture. There were huge protests in Alexandria and other cities.
During the 18 days of the revolution in 2011, Alexandria was different from the great pictures of packed Tahrir Square. But it was no less revolutionary.
Alexandrians were full of hatred towards the state and the police. We had big marches daily and all residents of Alexandria participated.
After the 18 days Alexandria was one of the most revolutionary cities of Egypt.
There have been ups and downs during the revolution.
In November 2011 only a few clung to their revolutionary beliefs. Yet since then millions have been back on the streets.
This is a lesson we all have to learn. Never lose faith in the people or the revolution.
Women played an important role in struggle long before the revolution.
In 2006 police tried to evacuate the Kamshish village to give land to the old owner, who is a big tycoon.
Female peasants stood against it. The only martyr from the clashes with the police was a woman, Nefissa El Marakby .
Women workers led strikes on 6 April 2008. They started chanting, “Where are the men? Here are the women” to mobilise other workers.
Female tax collectors played a leading role during the 2007 tax collectors sit-in.
Women and girls helped prepare for the 25 January protests that turned out to be the beginning of the revolution.
There were big protests to defend women after the military beat and took off the clothes of a woman near Tahrir Square.
Since that women have been the dynamo of the revolution.
I think that part of the growth of sexual harassment in Tahrir Square is to scare women away.
The police harass women and threaten to rape us.
But you win when you show them you are not afraid and are stronger than them. They then have no clue how to deal with you!
Sometimes it was hard for us women to go and engage in strikes or go to villages to work with farmers.
But usually we break the ice after a while and then they deal with us with no problems.
With time society starts looking at you not as a woman who is weak and needs help, but as a human.


The Revolutionary Socialists and the Socialist Popular Alliance Party are calling for a protest at the High Court in Cairo on Saturday at 5pm to support 13 people, 4 lawyers and 9 activists, who were arrested in Alexandria following clashes between Brotherhood and anti-Brotherhood protesters on Friday afternoon.
Those arrested include Mohamed Ramadan, a lawyer; Mahienour El-Masry, the well known revolutionary activist and contributor to Ahram Online; Youssef Shaaban, a journalist for Bedaya daily website and a member of the Revolutionary Socialists and Mohamed Abd El-Fatah, brother of activist Hassan Mostafa, who was sentenced to two years in prison on 12 March for attacking a prosecutor.
The detained face ten accusations, including damaging the police station, insulting the station's personnel, attempting to help prisoners escape and spreading terror amongst citizens.
They are currently at El-Mansheya Prosecution office in Alexandria awaiting investigation. 
The four lawyers who were arrested went to El-Raml police station on Friday night to represent a number of people arrested in the afternoon following clashes between pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood supporters near the Islamist group's office in Sidi Gaber district.
As news spread, of the arrest of the lawyers and reported attacks on them by police officers inside of the station, 200 people gathered in front of the police station to demand everyone's release.
Protesters reportedly attempted to storm into the station, but were stopped by police forces.
Activist Ranwa Youssef, Shaaban's wife, wrote online on Friday that earlier in the day police forces "ran after [her and her husband], ripped [her] clothes and harassed [her]" in clashes at the station.
Tens of protesters have arrived on Saturday afternoon at the prosecution office in Alexandria where the detainees are being questioned to demand their release after unconfirmed news spread about transferring them to Borg El-Arab prison in Alexandria.
Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers' Syndicate, in a TV interview with ONTV on Friday night, denounced "the attack on lawyers who were attempting to do their jobs representing arrested protesters." 
Meanwhile, General Amin Ezz El-Din, Alexandria's security director, said on Saturday that 12 police personnel, including an officer, were injured in clashes as protesters attempted to storm into the police statio


#yemen On Location Video: Yemeni cyclists fight for a chance to race

Yemen's national cycling team battles prejudice and conflict in the hope of competing abroad.