Blogger RoundupThe Adventuress reports that a US court defended a blogger's right to be anonymous:
Court Protects Anonymous Blogger
"In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official."
Egyptian blogger the Big Pharaoh reports that Saudi Arabia has blocked Blogger.com. However, according to the Reporters Without Borders, the blocking only lasted for two days.
In Afghanistan, we get some disturbing reminders that Islamic fanaticism is alive and well, dispite all the rhetoric about creating a democratic Afghanistan:
Afghan women editor held for blasphemy
Afghan authorities have detained the editor of a women’s rights magazine on the orders of a presidential adviser who deemed one of his articles blasphemous to Islam, a senior government official said yesterday. Mohaqiq Nasab, editor-in-chief of Hoqooq Zan, or Women’s Rights, was detained on last Thursday on instructions from a religious adviser to Western-backed President Hamid Karzai, the official said. In his article, the 50-year-old Nasab questioned the need for harsh Islamic punishment for apostates, thieves and others, Sangcharaki said.
Call for detained women’s rights magazine editor to be freed on bail
This is not the first time that religious leaders have had journalists arrested. Sayeed Mahdawi and Ali Reza Payam of the weekly Aftab were arrested in August 2003 and then threatened with death sentences by the supreme court after publishing articles criticism religious extremists. In Nasab’s case, two articles in particular provoked the ire of Shiite clerics. One criticised the severity of Islamic law, especially the punishment of 100 lashes for those found guilty of adultery. The other suggested that abandonment of Islam could not be considered a crime. Afghan conservatives are currently campaigning for the adoption of the penalties envisaged by the Sharia. A number of conservative leaders had pressed Mohaiuddin Baluch, President Hamid Karzai’s adviser on religious affairs, for sanctions to be taken against Haqoq-e-Zan. Baluch took the view that the articles were “directly contrary to the principles of the Koran.” The supreme court president reportedly asked the public prosecutor to open an investigation. And it was then that the prosecutor ordered Nasab’s arrest.
Afghan Warrior says that the Taliban are still active, and operating under the noses of the authorities in Pakistan:
Taliban Spokesman Arrested in Pakistan
Abdul Latif Hakimi, the spokesman of the Taliban insurgents, was arrested in Pakistan on Tuesday. Hakimi was the main spokesman of the Taliban insurgents and he was in touch with a few different news agencies and he was reporting by satellite phone from undisclosed locations and he often made untrue claims on behalf of the Taliban insurgents. Many people believed that Hakimi was in Pakistan and he was continuing his activities from there like many other Taliban.
Balkanalysis has an interesting post about the conflict on Cyprus:
Western Meddling in Cyprus
Despite all Western whitewashing to the contrary, the plan is no compromise. Recently we argued that the plan's fatal flaws are bound to cause anger, simmering discord, and perhaps even future violence. Its authors seek to establish a weak federation composed of 2 autonomous states – thus more or less recognizing the illegal 'Turkish Republic of North Cyprus' declared after the Turkish invasion of 1974 (recognized by no other country). For many Greeks, this would be tantamount to confirming that violence gets results. However, the federalization issue is not the biggest. Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has stated that federalization of one kind or another was always the only real option. What really irks Greek Cypriots is that their rights of repatriation would be limited under the Annan Plan. Only a proportion (18 percent) of the 167,000 dispossessed would be allowed to return to homes seized by Turks in the north, and Greeks would be prohibited from buying property there for at least 15 years, by which time it will all have been eaten up by fat German bankers and their ilk anyway. Most worrisome of all, Turkey's military presence on the island would only be reduced – not eliminated. That said, it's no wonder that the Greeks should be less than eager to vote for a deal that gives them absolutely nothing in return for sharing political power, recognizing and funding the impoverished Turkish north, and tolerating a foreign power's military presence.