أرشيف التصنيف: Uncategorized

Civil Society to Egypt: Release Alaa Abd El Fattah And All Unjustly Detained In Egypt

The following statement was coordinated by IFEX and released on January 23, 2014 at the Arabloggers conference.

The military “interim government” in Egypt is cracking down on virtually all meaningful form of assembly, association, or opposition.

Following the passage of a November 2013 law banning peaceful protest, dozens of activists and organizers have been sent to prison. Among them is Alaa Abd El Fattah, software guru, blogger and political activist.

On the night of November 28th, security forces raided Alaa’s home, beat him and his wife when asked to see their warrant, and took and held him overnight, blindfolded and handcuffed, in an unknown location. Currently, he is held at Tora Prison, Egypt’s notorious maximum security detention center, historically used to house men suspected of violent crimes and terrorism.
متابعة قراءة Civil Society to Egypt: Release Alaa Abd El Fattah And All Unjustly Detained In Egypt

كلمة إفتتاح المؤتمر الختامي

POSTER ab14 on fire


تأسست بغداد نحو منتصف القرن 8 (حوالي 760 بعد الميلاد) كعاصمة للدولة العباسية.

تاريخ المدينة كان سيكون مختلفاً لولا أن الخليفة أبو جعفر المأمون لم يقرر تبني العلم والمعرفة خلال تلك الفترة كأساس لحكمه مما أطلق العنان لنهضة (أو عصر أنوارٍ ) سيمتد لفترة 300 سنة تلت.

نمت بغداد لتصبح أكبر وأجمل وأغنى مدينة في العالم في غضون 50 عاما فقط من نشأتها، تجلب إليها ألمع العقول والمواهب من كل جنس ومكان.

روح التسامح وحرية التعبير والانفتاح تجاه الديانات والثقافات والأفكار التي طبعت تلك الفترة أطلقت العنان للطاقات الكامنة داخل الناس وجلبت إلى بغداد أناس من خلفيات مختلفة: المثقف والعالم والمتدين والمشكك … كلهم يتبادلون الأفكار بحرية.

متابعة قراءة كلمة إفتتاح المؤتمر الختامي

Letter from Alaa

free alaa

This is an informal translation of the letter that Alaa Abd El Fattah wrote to his sisters Mona and Sanaa on December 24, 2013. The original letter is in Arabic and can be accessed here. Although there is no doubt that the power and impact of aspects of the letter may get lost in translation, I find it absolutely necessary for everyone to read the letter, if only to get a sliver of what Alaa is currently experiencing.

متابعة قراءة Letter from Alaa

Digital Citizen/المواطن الرقمي – Keeping tabs on digital rights in the Arab world

Digital Citizen, or المواطن الرقمي is a monthly newsletter that aims to cover all sorts of issues related to technology, policy, and human rights. The project came about when friends and colleagues from several organizations—at first SMEX, Access, and EFF—realized that there was a gap in coverage about Internet governance issues in the Arab world and decided to do something about it. Realizing any such project would have to be bilingual (if not trilingual), they enlisted Global Voices to join the team and thus Digital Citizen was born. The wonderful Jordanian team at 7iber joined shortly thereafter.

The newsletter is very much a team effort, with volunteers working from Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, the United States, and elsewhere, and the team is constantly growing. We met at AB14 this week to discuss our process, hoping that by announcing the meeting publicly, we might gain a few new members…we were very surprised, then, when at least eight people joined our meeting, excitedly sharing their ideas for the project.

From the meeting emerged several important ideas: First, syndication. Most of the subscribers to our newsletter seem to be based in the United States, but the analytics for the published version on Global Voices indicate that our Arabic version is more popular than the English (and Spanish!) versions. So, in order to ensure greater distribution, we're seeking syndication with publications that will re-publish and spread our content. Partners will be encouraged to publish Digital Citizen as a whole, but are also welcome to publish only the sections relevant to their country or context (Digital Citizen is licensed under Creative Commons!).

Furthermore, we also managed to recruit some new faces to the project, from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Lebanon. One struggle we've faced is ensuring good, accurate content from countries where we have no local contributors, and so these partnerships are key to the project's survival. We're also going to begin publishing the newsletter in French as well as English and Arabic.

Finally, like any good project, we've experienced growing pains that have sometimes delayed publication or made the contribution process painful. To that end, we're working to find ways to create better internal processes and hard deadlines.

We're excited to see Digital Citizen grow and hope you'll join us on the journey!

Arab Bloggers Call For The Release Of Rights Activists in Syria – Statement

 ab14 original logoThe 4th Arab Bloggers Summit participants support the release of Razan Zaitouneh, a human rights lawyer and the co-founder of the Syria's Violations Documentation Center (SVDC) — a non-violent civil group documenting human rights abuses in Syria since March 2011. Ms. Zaitouneh, 36, who is a co-awardee of the European Union's Sakharov Prize for her human rights work, was kidnapped on December 9, 2013 in the outskirts of Damascus along with Samira al-Khalil, Wael Hamada and Nazim al-Hamadi, also members of SVDC.

In the 33 months since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, Razan Zaitouneh's work with her colleagues at SVDC became a vital source of information for the international community on the violations of human rights in the country. Now that the UN has made the unfortunate decision not to track the death toll in Syria, the work of SVDC has become more crucial than ever.

Razan and her colleagues worked in extremely difficult conditions, taking great risks in order to fulfill the vital task of enriching our understanding of the plight of the Syrian people. So were many others, like our colleague blogger  Bassel Safadi – in detention since March 2012 – who worked on promoting freely available and open-source technology, and who is highly missed at the 4th Arab Bloggers Summit, which took place from January 20-23 in Amman, Jordan.

As a community, we have a responsibility to stand in solidarity with activists promoting freedom and exposing human rights violations in service of our shared humanity.

We, at AB14, demand that the UN and all countries involved in the Geneva II Middle East Peace Conference establish verifiable mechanisms to protect and secure the release of opinion detainees and kidnappees in Syria.