Showing posts from April, 2013

Authors on Syria

Some authors are trying to find “justifications” for military intervention in Syria. Well, they’d better find peaceful solutions to the crisis.

Croatia and Serbia 'Could Drop Genocide Law Suits'

“Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusic said that after “big steps” were taken to find Croats missing since wartime, Zagreb and Belgrade could drop mutual allegations of genocide.
Speaking after meeting Serbian deputy prime minister Aleksandar Vucic in Zagreb on Monday, Pusic said that “space is opening up for talks on the withdrawal of law suits with Serbia” after “the first big steps” were made to find the bodies of Croats missing since the 1991-95 war.
“We are close to talking about the withdrawal of the law suits because we see that we’re really moving in finding the missing,” Pusic said.
Thirteen bodies were exhumed from two mass graves in the eastern Croatian village of Sotin last week after Serbia passed on information about where the bodies could be buried.
Vucic said that Serbia acted in the interests of justice.”

Military intervention

It is ironical that Western governments refer to military intervention as “humanitarian intervention”. Yes, bombing is very “humanitarian” !!

Erdogan and Syria

Since Netanyahu “apologized” to Erdogan, we haven’t heard the latter talk about Syria! Well, no news, bad news - I have to say.

Libyan Foreign Ministry

NATO armed gangs demand “reforms” in Libya through besieging the Foreign Ministry. This is part and parcel of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

"Immunity" against the Arab Spring

Host on your land a Western military base, and your regime will be immune against the so-called "Arab Spring".

The West and Syria

Aided by its puppets in the region, the West - by hook or by crook - intends to intervene in Syria, under false pretexts.

Bosnia Arrests Federation President Zivko Budimir

“Budimir, the president of the Bosniak-Croat Federation, one of the two political entities ruling the country, was detained amid three different police actions on Friday aimed at tackling corruption and bribery, the state prosecutor's office told Balkan Insight.
Police also arrested Petar Barisic, Budimir’s advisor, and Hidajet Halilovic, the head of the entity’s amnesty commission.”

"Friends of Syria" / "Amis de la Syrie"

Friends bring presents. But the so-called “Friends of Syria” want to bring a bombing campaign to this great Arab country.

Les amis apportent des cadeaux. Mais les soi-disant “Amis de la Syrie” veulent apporter une campagne de bombardement à ce grand pays arabe.

The threat or use of force

Some UN Member States always tend to "forget" that the threat or use of force in international relations is a bold red line.

US official on Syria

US official: “All options are on the table over Syria”. Well, one more military intervention, and it will officially be “NATO Spring”.

Obama avoids Iraq war

“But Obama failed to mention Iraq once during his speechat the opening of the George W Bush library and museum in Dallas on Thursday. Instead, he opted for kind words about the man he once castigated day after day on the campaign trail, to cheers from Democratic supporters. In Texas, Obama spoke of Bush's "generosity",  "strength", "resolve" and "compassion".”

Qatar wants to "buy" ICAO

“The federal industry minister says all three levels of government are doing everything they can to keep the United Nations civil-aviation headquarters in Montreal. There’s a report that the small Arab emirate of Qatar made a presentation telling the International Civil Aviation Organization that it’s ready to build an ultra-modern facility…Qatar has also apparently offered a total exemption from taxes for ICAO and its personnel if the move to the Middle East takesplace.”

For moreinformation.

EU Prosecutors Probe 'Worst Kosovo War Massacre'

“The EU rule-of-law mission, EULEX, announced that it had identified around 20 people who could be charged with committing war crimes in the Kosovo municipality of Gjakove/Djakovica on April 27 and 28, 1999, when hundreds of ethnic Albanians are believed to have been killed by Serbian forces.
EULEX said that the investigation would cover the villages of Meje/Meja, Orize/Oriza and other places in the Reka/Caragoj valley.
“The massacre in and around Meje/Meja is allegedly the largest mass killing that took place during the 1999 conflict in Kosovo,” EULEX said in a statement on Wednesday.
Most of the victims were exhumed from mass graves in Batajnica in Serbia.”

Serbian President Apologises for War Crimes

“Nikolic made his apology “for all war crimes committed in the name of the Serbian people and Serbia by any individual” during an interview with Bosnian TV station BHT.
“Everything that happened during the 1990s was some form of genocide. But I am on my knees and begging for a pardon in the name of my people for the crime committed in Srebrenica,” Nikolic said in a trailer for the interview broadcast on Thursday.
Nikolic also said he plans to visit Srebrenica in the future.
At the start of his presidency in May last year, Nikolic made several statements related to the 1995 Srebrenica massacres that caused controversy in the region.
He refused to describe the killings of at least 7,000 Bosniaks in the town as genocide, claiming this had not been proved before international courts.”

Hague: UK citizens are fighting in Syria

William Hague said that "a substantial number of British citizens are fighting inSyria". But he forgot to add that he enjoys a substantial amount of hypocrisy.

Europeans fighting in Syria

The European Union said that an estimated 500 Europeans are fighting in Syria.
The EU should take tough measures against EU citizens fighting in Syria, as well as their recruiters. 

No oppression is everlasting

No matter the extent of oppression and injustice, the strong will to live in dignity and freedom will eventually prevail. No oppression is everlasting.

Ban Ki-moon calls for halting arms flow into Syria

“UN leader Ban Ki-moon appealed on Monday for an end to outside arms supplies to rival sides in the Syrian war but the Arab League chief said that would not be possible.”
The Arab League’s reaction shows that it is not interested in bringing an end to the crisis, but rather in prolonging it. It is obviously not concerned about the welfare of Syria and the Syrian people - any claims to the contrary are rejected.

Media coverage on the two kidnapped Bishops

The news of the release of the two Bishops kidnapped in Syria received quicker and wider media coverage than the kidnapping itself !

Syria's chemical weapons and NATO

It's not a coincidence that the talk about the use of chemical weapons in Syria came as NATO held a meeting today.

A Syrian tortured in Lebanon

A Syrian national was tortured by an armed group in Tripoli, Lebanon. The group tortured him, and dragged him by a rope around the City, before he was rescued by the Lebanese Army. Video

"On Syria, Qatar Is Told to Drop Rebels, by Latins, India, S. Africa & Malaysia"

“After Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on on April 19, responding to a Press question about the Al Nusra Front, said that extremism is under-estimated, the Qatar-drafted General Assembly resolution is now the subject of negotiations and letters.Inner City Press has obtained and is exclusively publishing letters to Qatar about the resolution from Malaysia, a group of six Latin American countries, and the troika of Brazil, India and SouthAfrica.”

Arab League condemns lending Balfour Declaration to Israel

“The Arab Leaguecondemned on Sunday the decision of the British National Library to lend the original copy of the Balfour Declaration to Israel so it can be displayed at the Independence House in Tel Aviv.

Two Bishops kidnapped in Syria

Two Bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boutros Yaziji, were kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria.
Kidnapping is part and parcel of the "democratic" circus in Syria.

The EU and the Middle East

The European Union should change its approach towards Middle Eastern issues. Otherwise, it would continue to make one blunder right after another.

EP's latest report on EU integration process of Kosovo

“European Parliament resolution of 18 April 2013 on the European integration process of Kosovo

"EU should open Serbia membership talks, Commission says"

“The European Union should start membership talks with Serbia, the bloc's executive arm recommended on Monday, the last big hurdle the former pariah state had to pass before the EU's 27 governments rule on opening the negotiations in June.”

"Brussels homeless recruited for Syria"

“The Mayor of the Brussels borough of Schaarbeek, Bernard Clerfayt, has introduced a ban on food hand-outs to the homeless in the Brussels North Station. Mr Clerfayt intervened following complaints about the fact that the organisation that was organising free hot meals for the homeless was also recruiting people to go and fight in the Syrian civil war.”

"Babies as young as six months victims of rape in war: U.N. envoy"

“In her first seven months as U.N. envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura has visited a Congolese district where rebels raped babies, and Somalia where a woman was paid $150 restitution for the rape of her 4-year-old daughter.”

Lakhdar Brahimi to drop the Arab League

“U.N.-Arab League Syria envoy Lakhdar Brahimi hopes to revamp his role as an international peace mediator in the Syrian conflict as a United Nations envoy without any official link to the Arab bloc, U.N. diplomats said onTuesday.”

Palestinian prisoners

“Today, 17 April, is Palestinian Prisoners' Day. This for me is a day to think about the child prisoners – taken in the middle of the night; shackled, interrogated; without the support of parents or lawyers, and given no access to real justice, with a conviction rate of over 99%. G4S – a British Danish company – is responsible for much of the security apparatus at the facilities where these children are held. Yet, despite this, G4S continues to be awarded public contracts in the UK. Palestinian Prisoners' Day should be when the government announces that it is providing guidance for companies like G4S on the need to avoid association with violations of international law and will ensure government contracts are no longer awarded to companies that ignore this guidance. Until they do, we should remind them of the plight of Palestinian child prisoners every day. SandraOsborne MP

US intervention in Syria

“When Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) asked Ford to explain why the United States should get involved in another messy Middle Eastern conflict, Ford listed a series of strategic reasons -- not humanitarianism or democracy promotion.”

"Indentured Servitude in the Persian Gulf"

“DOHA, Qatar

LAST year, Theresa M. Dantes signed a contract with an employment agency in the Philippines to come here to work as a housemaid for $400 a month, plus room and board. But when she arrived, her employer said he would pay her only $250. She acquiesced; her family back in Quezon City depended on her earnings. Other surprises quickly followed. Ms. Dantes, 29, said she was fed one meal a day, leftovers from the family’s lunch: “If no leftovers, I didn’t eat.” She worked seven days a week. When she finished work in her employer’s house, she was forced to clean his mother-in-law’s house, and then his sister’s.After eight months, Ms. Dantes tried to leave. Her boss laughed. “You can’t quit,” he told her.”

'Turkey first State with Ambassador to Palestine'

“Turkey’s ambassador to Jerusalem, Şakir Torunlar, has presented his credentials to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Torunlar became the first ambassador to be recognized by Palestine.
Torunlar served as Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem. The title of Turkey’s consul general was upgraded to “ambassador” after Palestine was given non-member state status in the United Nations.”

Freedom of speech in Kuwait

“Kuwait’s information minister is defending a proposed media law that reports say could bring fines of about $1 million for insulting the Gulf nation’s emir and other members of the ruling family.”

UAE mission at NATO

“The UAE opened the Emirati mission headquarters at the Atlantic Alliance (NATO) in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Friday. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, opened the mission, making the UAE the first Arab and Gulf country to have headquarters at NATO, said state news agency, Wam.”

"Erdogan's son doing business in Israel"

“Turkish opposition members have embarrassed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by revealing that in the past three years, while the relations between Ankara and Jerusalem were at an all-time low, his son continued doing business withIsrael.”

Turkey: no refugee status for non-Europeans

“The law now grants full refugee status to those coming to Turkey from Europe, and provides for the establishment of a new civilian body to oversee refugee applications, a process currently handled by the police, who are often untrained… However, the new law stops short of lifting a geographical limitation widely criticized by rights groups. People arriving in Turkey "as a result of events from outside European countries" will only be given "conditional refugee" status. While Turkey is one of the original signatories to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it is one of only a small number of countries to maintain a limitation on where it will accept them from… Lifting its geographical limitation on asylum is a major condition for Turkey to join the European Union…”

President Abbas accepts PM Fayyad's resignation

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of Prime MinisterSalam Fayyadon Saturday.
The two leaders held a twenty minute meeting at the Muqata government compound in Ramallah on Saturday evening. Abbas accepted the resignation during that meeting. The President has announced he will name a new prime minister within days.
"Abbas agreed to accept Fayyad's resignation," a Palestinian official said on Saturday. The Wafa news agency reported Abbashad asked Fayyad to stay on as caretaker until a new government was formed.”

Palestine complains to Canada

“The PLO lodged an official complaint with Canada on Friday after its foreign minister attended a meeting with an Israeli leader in occupied East Jerusalem.
John Baird broke a widely observed diplomatic taboo when he met with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni at her office in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967. …

In the complaint, obtained by Ma'an, a senior PLO official blasted the move.

"Your recent meeting with Israeli officials in East Jerusalem has the effect of attempting to legitimize the illegal situation on the ground and may be deemed as aiding, abetting or otherwise assisting illegal Israeli policies," Saeb Erekat wrote in the message to Canada's representative office.”

Canada's Foreign Minister and Jerusalem

“Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird slapped the Palestinian people in the face by holding a meeting in east Jerusalem with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Fatah’s Commissioner for International Affairs Nabil Sha'ath said on Friday.”

New Amnesty report on the death penalty

“Despite some disappointing setbacks in 2012, the global trend towards ending the death penalty continued, Amnesty International found in itsannual review of death sentences and executions.
2012 saw the resumption of executions in several countries that had not used the death penalty in some time, notably India, Japan, Pakistan and Gambia, as well as an alarming escalation in executions in Iraq.”

Libya criminalizes torture, kidnapping

“Libya's national assembly approved a law criminalizing torture and abductions on Tuesday as the government seeks to stamp its authority on a country awash with weapons where militias often have more power on the ground than state securityforces.”

"Libya arms fueling conflicts in Syria, Mali and beyond: U.N. experts"

“Weapons are spreading fromLibyaat an "alarming rate," fueling conflicts in Mali,Syriaand elsewhere and boosting the arsenals of extremists and criminals in the region, according to a U.N. report published on Tuesday.”

"Yugoslav wars left population heavily armed"

“The wars from 1991 to 1999 asYugoslaviabroke up took up to 200,000 lives, turned millions into refugees and left much of the region's people traumatized and heavily armed. It was the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II.
The millions of weapons that remained in possession of civilians after the fighting have caused fatalities every week, as traumatized former soldiers either shoot family members or commit suicide or children find guns at home and die while playing with them.
All of the seven new countries that emerged have banned civilians from owning weapons with varying degrees of success.”

"ILO: 600,000 'tricked and trapped' into labor in Middle East"

“An estimated 600,000 people are "tricked and trapped" into both forced employment and sexual exploitation in the Middle East, the UN's labor agency said on Tuesday.
The International Labor Organization, issuing the findings of a two-year study based on 650 interviews, called for an overhaul of employment practices in the region, notably an end to the "kafala" system of sponsorships.”

US support to Egypt: teargas

“A shipment of teargas canisters from the United States arrived at the Abadeya Port in Suez on Sunday, according to official documents obtained by Al-Masry Al-Youm. Five containers carrying 140,000 teargas canisters were shipped to the Interior Ministry by Aramex International, a courier service based inAlexandria.”

Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in, should commit fully to cooperation with the ICC

“President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, who are being sworn in April 9, 2013, should ensure full cooperation with theInternational Criminal Court (ICC), Human Rights Watch said today. Their new government should also uphold and protect the bill of rights inKenya’s constitution, Human Rights Watch said.
“Kenyatta and Ruto should be held to their promises to attend their trials before the ICC,” saidElizabeth Evenson, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. “As president of an ICC member country, Kenyatta should also ensure that his government provides the cooperation it owes the ICC and the support it needs. Victims of Kenya’s post-election violence and their families have already waited more than five years for justice.””

"Chad: Don’t Welcome Back Al-Bashir"

“The government ofChadshould arrest President Omar al-Bashir ofSudanor bar him entry to the country, Human Rights Watch said today.
Al-Bashir is expected to travel to Chad today, to attend the Greenbelt Conference of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, according to news reports. The Sudanese president is not attending the presidential inauguration in Kenya, as some earlier media accounts suggested he would do. Al-Bashir issoughtby theInternational Criminal Court(ICC), accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.”

International Roma Day

“The Romani Diaspora began 1000 years ago from what is now Northern India. There are at least 12 million Roma scattered throughout the world. In Europe, Roma people are the largest minority population and have been living in primarily Eastern countries since the Romani Diaspora. Despite being Europe’s largest minority group, the Roma have been voiceless for centuries. As a people and as a culture, the Roma have been, and continue to be, misrepresented, mythologized, stereotyped, segregated, persecuted and systematically discriminated against.”

New report on Roma rights in the European Union.

"TA court orders return of land to Palestinians"

“A Tel Aviv District Court returned 9.5 hectares (about 23.5 acres) of land near the Alfei Menashe settlement to Palestinian descendants of the original owners, after discovering that initial purchase papers were forged.
The court in a 15-page ruling publicized on April 3 found that the “fraud” and “forgery” had taken place with respect to a 2001 purchase of the property by the GRA real estate company.
In 1960 the land was initially registered to three Palestinian owners, who then left for Jordan, according to thecourt.”

"Moving on From Rwanda's 100 Days of Genocide"

“Bernard Kayumba, the mayor of Karongi district in western Rwanda, remembers just what it was like to be caught up in the genocide that claimed the lives of almost one million people in 100 days 19 years ago.
While there are no conclusive figures of the number of people killed, it is estimated that 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus lost their lives in the massacre that began after a plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was shot down over Rwanda's capital Kigali on Apr. 6, 1994.
Most of the dead were Tutsis, and most of those who perpetrated the violence wereHutus.”

"Cleric decrees it OK for Syrian rebels to rape women"

"An Islamic cleric has cleared the path for rebels in Syria, who are trying to oust President Bashar Assad, to rape women, so long as they’re non-Sunni. Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni, who hails from Jordan but who lived in Damascus for 17 years, sent a message via YouTube: It’s a “legitimate fatwa” for Muslims waging war against Mr. Assad and trying to put in place a Sharia government to “capture and have sex with” Alawites and other non-Sunni, non-Muslim women..."

"3 witnesses back out of Uhuru ICC case"

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) has suffered yet another blow after the prosecution confirmed that three key witnesses had refused to testify in the case facing President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta. According to the prosecution’s submission to the Trial Chamber, witnesses 2, 9 and 10 have informed the court that they will not be testifying against Kenyatta. “Three of the 12 prosecution witnesses relied up on at confirmation retracted their willingness to testify after the confirmation hearing: Witnesses 2, 9 and 10. Their provision of formal statements to the prosecution prior to confirmation indicated their willingness to testify, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda indicated. This means four key witnesses out of the 12 who testified against Kenyatta before the charges were confirmed including the well-known witness 4 whose evidence was dropped after he said he had lied to the court have dropped out.”

US announces $5M reward for capture of war crimes fugitives

“On ­­­January 15, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Department of State Rewards Program Update and Technical Corrections Act of 2012, P.L. 112-283, expanding the authority for the War Crimes Rewards Program (WCRP). Under this program the Department of State offers rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of fugitives such as Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The bill expanding the program, which received bipartisan support, was sponsored by then-Senator John Kerry and was the final piece of legislation he passed as a Senator. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp formally announced the new WCRP designations today at the Department of State…”

Painful for Netanyahu

“In the wake of President Obama’s visit to Israel and on the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry’s return, 100 prominent American Jewshave sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to “work closely” with Kerry “to devise pragmatic initiatives, consistent with Israel’s security needs, which would represent Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial sacrifices for the sake ofpeace.”” Poor Netanyahu: it must be very painful for him to pull back from occupied Palestinian territories!

Palestinians: peace vs justice

In all confidence and good faith, Palestinians tried the path of peace… but it failed. Their only remaining option now is the path of justice: International Criminal Court.

The international community should bear in mind that peace without justice is an unsustainable peace. Only justice leads to a genuine and durable peace. The Middle East can't afford another round of failed peace negotiations, which in turn will prolong the Israeli occupation, entailing consequently more and more violations of Palestinians' rights.

IDF defies the High Court of Justice

“One quarter of all illegal West Bank outposts are regularly guarded by Israel Defense Forces soldiers. These 25 unauthorized outposts are guarded by a special force tasked with “community protection.” Soldiers from the force typically spend a full week at a time guarding and protecting the outpost where they are stationed… The High Court of Justice heard a case involving Givat Assaf in 2007 and later ruled that the homes must be evacuated because they were built on privately owned Palestinian land. Yet to date evacuation has repeatedly been postponed.”

Europeans fighting in Syria

“Hundreds of Europeans have travelled toSyriasince the start of the civil war to fight against the country's president,Bashar al-Assad, the most comprehensive study of European foreign fighters to date has found. A year-long survey by King's College London of more than two hundred martyrdom posts on jihadist-linked websites and hundreds of Arab and western press reports found that up to 600 individuals from 14 countries including the UK, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Germany had taken part in the conflict since it began in 2011.”

"Syria: UN food agency convoys increasingly caught in conflict"

“The growing cycle of violence in Syria is preventing life-saving food aid from reaching many of the millions of vulnerable people in need, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)saidtoday, reiterating its call on all parties to allow humanitarian aid and workers to pass safely into disputed areas…WFP sub-contracted trucks are often stopped at checkpoints and in many instances are forced to turn back, or sometimes hijacked. In March, three trucks, loaded with food for 17,000 people in Al Hassakeh, were detained by an armed group in rural Deir Ezzor. The drivers and the trucks were released but the food has not yet been recovered, the UN agencyreported.”

How Ratko Mladic evaded capture

“The men and women who helped hideRatko Mladicthrough his many years as a fugitive saw him as a Serb hero. But just in case their loyalty should waver, they were presented with a gift: photographs of their children. The implication was clear: if we can shoot them with a camera, we can shoot them by other means as well. The Bosnian Serb general, who is now on trial in The Hague charged with genocide and other crimes against humanity, eluded capture for 14 years, with the help of the Serbian military, then his wartime lieutenants, and then his family. But the common factor throughout was fear.”

"UN General Assembly approves global arms trade treaty"

“The United Nations General Assembly has approved a global arms trade treaty that failed to achieve unanimous support last week but which garnered the support of a majority of Member States when put to a vote today. The resolution containing the text of the treaty, which regulates the international trade in conventional arms, received 154 votes in favour. Three Member States – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria – voted against the decision, while 23 countries abstained. Today’s action follows the failure of the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) last Thursday to reach an agreement among all 193 Member States on a treaty text at the conclusion of its two-week session.”

Gender segregation in Gaza schools

“New rules from the Education Ministry of theHamasmovement ruling theGaza Stripwill bar men from teaching at girls' schools and mandate separate classes for boys and girls from the age of nine. The law, published on Monday, would go into effect next school year and applies throughout the coastal enclave, including in private, Christian-led and United Nations schools.”

Israel admits allocating only 0.7% of West Bank "state land" to Palestinians

“Over the past 33 years the Civil Administration has allocated less than one percent of state land in theWest BanktoPalestinians, compared to 38 percent to settlers, according to the agency’s own documents submitted to the High Court of Justice.”

18,000 Yemenis deported from Saudi Arabia

“Tens of thousands of Yemenis fear that they will be deported from Saudi Arabia after because foreign laborers have recently been reformed by the Saudi authorities. Yemeni security sources said that Saudi Arabia have deported more than 18,000 Yemenis in March alone while arrest campaigns are ongoing to deport further numbers.”

Eight Syrians kidnapped in Lebanon

“Gunmen kidnapped eight men from Syria's Alawite minority as they crossed into northern Lebanon on Monday, residents and security sources said...”

Saudi Arabia - a model for freedom

“Local daily says women must be accompanied by male relative and dressed in head-to-toe robe to ride bikes in parks, recreational areas:A Saudi newspaper says the kingdom's religious police are now allowing women to ride motorbikes and bicycles but only in restricted, recreational areas.”
Bear in mind that Saudi Arabia “supports freedom and democracy” in Syria ! 

Freedom of expression in Turkey

“"The right to freedom of expression is under attack in Turkey. Hundreds of abusive prosecutions are brought against activists, journalists, writers and lawyers. It is one of Turkey's most entrenched human rights problems," said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's Director for Europe and Central Asia.”

"Bahrain police disperse women’s protest with stun grenades"

“Tensions are once again high in Bahrain after police dispersed anti-government protesters with stun grenades and tear gas. The police intervention came after a demonstration by women was banned.”