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ARABICA - A Daily Shot Of What the Arab World is Saying/Hearing/Sharing
Kristen Gillespie



A R A B I C A
ارابيكا


ARAB SPRING, STALLED
*Prime Minister Beji a-Sabsi announced the postponement of parliamentary elections. Originally scheduled to take place on July 24th, the elections were pushed back to October 23rd. The country's electory commission requested the postponement, saying more time was needed to organize transparent elections.

ARAB SPRING, SUPRESSED
*A military court in Tunis ordered the closure of four personal Facebook pages, including that of leftist opposition activist Jalal Ben Brik on the grounds that they are abusive toward the "military establishment and its leaders." Al Jazeera reports that the Tunisia Internet Agency flagged the pages based on a 1957 law that outlaws any form of contempt for the military that "harms its dignity, reputation and morale." Similar laws exist in most, if not all, Arab countries. A military source told the network that the decision is "perfectly legal."

ARAB SPRING, IN TURMOIL
*In the southern Tunisian city of al-Matouli, the government sent in military reinforcements following three days of clashes between rival tribes over jobs at a phosphate company that left 13 people dead and 100 wounded. Sixty people were arrested.

ARAB SPRING, INTERRUPTED
*The head of the Appeals Court in the Egyptian city of Tanta said that the Egyptian revolution happened only in Tahrir Square, and has yet to arrive to the Ministry of Justice. Rauf says that judges are still constricted in their ability to adjudicate freely. "Although we are preparing to build a new state, granting independence to judges must be a big part of that," he told a television interviewer.

ARAB SPRING, REPRISE
*Hundreds, if not thousands, of demonstrators appeared to agree, shouting "freedom, freedom, freedom" at a protest in front of the Interior Ministry on Tuesday. They cursed the police and the brutality and torture that is widely reported to still be happening under the ministry's purview. Some held up pictures of Khaled Said, who was brutalized and then killed by Egypt's secret police, who then tried to cover it up. Said's death inspired Wael Ghonim to launch the f Facebook group that became the precursor to the January 25th revolution.

AND THEN, SYRIA?
*Syrian state television broadcast images of what it claimed were dead soldiers shot to death in the north by so-called "armed terrorist gangs." Many of the graphic images showed bearded men in uniform, dead on the ground. But as BBC Arabic points out, Syrian soldiers are not allowed to have beards, considered a sign of devotion to Islam, along with other prohibitions such as attending mosque services.


June 8, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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