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ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

By Kristen Gillespie

DISPATCH, BAGHDAD
The ruling political coalition in Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Alliance, said on Tuesday that it would not order the arrest of wanted Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi, accused of being part of an assassination plot targeting Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

"The investigation of a criminal case cannot be moved from one place to another, as the trial must take place where the crime occurred Baghdad," a member of the coalition, Khalid Shwani, told al-Sumeria News. Shwani, who is the head of parliament's Legal Committee, said the Alliance "does not confuse the issues of political and judicial decisions."

*Among the digital vox pop, Anas Altikriti tweets, "Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi poses a question to Obama: Where is the freedom, democracy and stability you were referring to? My home is besieged with tanks and soldiers."

*Kuwaiti Dahem al-Qahtani calls the order for al-Hashemi's arrest a "sectarian coup," adding: "Iran is playing a dangerous game."

*Linda Waheeb from Amman, Jordan comments on al-Hashemi's press conference blaming Maliki for erasing progress made on reconciliation and national unity: "Tareq al-Hashemi's press conference proves that the situation in Iraq has gone from bad to worse."

DISPATCH, CAIRO
Egypt's ruling military leadership issued an apology on its Facebook page for "excesses' perpetrated by security agents against female protesters earlier this week. The military council said it would prosecute anyone engaged in improper conduct toward women at demonstrations.

The statement, however, details no specific actions nor announces any changes in policy, but vaguely affirms the right of women to protest peacefully alongside men. The military's apology comes as hundreds of women held a demonstration in Tahrir Square to condemn the brutal treatment at the hands of Egypt's security services. Dozens of men joined them to denounce the military for allowing the violations.

DISPATCH, AQABA
Jordanian news website Khaberni posted a video of a sunburned King of Jordan in a speedboat off the port city of Aqaba, who stops his boat to greet citizens in a nearby vessel. The king's boat passes as the men shout out: "We are with you, we swear our allegiance to you, sir." The king orders the driver to stop his boat and stumbles as he reaches across the boat to shake the excited man's hand, who continues to reiterate his loyalty. The subject then promptly invites the monarch to lunch.

Dec. 21, 2011

photo credit: illustir

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