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Entries in George Orwell (2)


Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Journalist Ahmed Hassan, Killed March 2012I suspect George Orwell would be impressed.

The headline on the British Government's website appears straight-forward: "British Embassy Bahrain Marks World Press Freedom Day". The introduction sounds promising: "The British Embassy asked Bahraini journalists and commentators to write a brief article outlining their views on the freedom of expression in Bahrain."

So who would the British government select to address this important issue and what would the answers be?

Would the British government open a discussion of how Bahrain's mainstream press and broadcasting is almost exclusively pro-regime outlets?

Would it allow comment from or pay tribute to those reporters who have tried to bring alternative views?

Would there be recognition of those journalists who have been refused entry to Bahrain, or asked to leave the country, or those who have been detained, sentenced to prison< terms, or even killed by security forces?

Well, no.

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EA Flashback: Christopher Hitchens and the Policing of Dissent 

After seeing Hitchens at this debate, I fear his thoughtful moments will be rare. "The Hitch" is no longer an activist, no longer a participant in the real debates about power and who wields it, no more a source for thought. No, he is an industry, posing in trench coat with a cigarette dangling from his top lip, hailed as "one of the few remaining practitioners of the five-hour, two-bottle lunch". And, naturally, the most profitable industry is a monopoly. So he packages himself, surreally, not just as a policeman but the only policeman of "a radical left that no longer exists".

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