Media monitoring, as practiced by governments in Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Iran (to name a few), is not so much enforced by datacenters, wiretaps and informants but by searches of TV stations by police, days in a holding cell and the warrant officer's truncheon. The technology, of course, plays an increasingly vital role, not least because it makes it so much easier to prepare a mound of "evidence" to the prosecution's satisfaction. As Sultan Al Qassemi notes, governments and their supporters are becoming more social media savvy too.
Entries in Hamza Kashgari (6)
At one of the salon gatherings, I had the pleasing epiphany that religious hard-liners have begun to lose control of a young generation that is hungry for freedom. A brave young man responded passionately to clerics whom I had naively invited to participate in the salon and who had threatened him for supporting freedom of expression and belief, saying: “Who are you? Who are you to inflict your religious guardianship upon us? We are free, free to say what we like. You are just like us, not better. The era of religious guardianship is over.”
There was a stunned silence.
Thursday night's protest rally in the Douma suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus
2200 GMT: We're closing yet another crazy Friday. Here's a summary.
In Bahrain, there were nine very large protests, most or all of which were attacked by police who used teargas to disperse the crowds. Though protests were planned, they were larger and more energetic today after the news that a man died last night from tear gas inhalation.
Some protesters destroyed closed-circuit TV cameras and threw rocks at police. Apparently, there was at least one occurrence of youth throwing Molotov cocktails.
This anger was sparked by what the activists consider widespread police brutality. Large parts of the island nation were covered in teargas again today, and riot vehicles reportedly chased down protesters in an attempt to run them over. There are also more unconfirmed reports of injured children, and another unconfirmed report that police sexually molested a young girl. Earlier in the week activists say that the police molested and tortured a 16-year-old boy, Ali.
At the end of the day, resolution to this conflict seems further away than it has ever been.
In Syria, the primary headline was arguably the use of helicopters to attack ground targets for the first time that we can confirm. There were several instances of this today and last night, all of them between Aleppo and the border with Turkey.
At nightfall, there are more reports of widespread fighting between FSA soldiers and the Assad military, specifically in Hama and to the east of Damascus.
The other noteworthy video was posted at 1544 GMT, showing an IED attack against Assad infantry in Hama.
However, once again the fact that will be lost to most headline writers is that there were large and widespread protests across the country, including in Damascus and Aleppo. Once again the Syrian opposition has used another Friday to prove that their resistance to the regime cannot be shot or shelled into submission.
An armoured anti-aircraft gun fires at unknown targets in the Damascus suburb of Douma on Saturday
See also Syria 1st-Hand Feature: So While You Were Sleeping....
James Miller speaks to Al Jazeera about the Free Syrian Army
Saturday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: More Opposition, in More Places
The defendants include a member of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT). They are being investigated for “political espionage” and for deprivation of liberty of Harmush and another man who were allegedly taken from a refugee camp near the Syrian border “by force” and handed over to Syrian security forces.
In June 2011, Harmush became the first Syrian military officer to publicly declare his opposition to the Assad regime. He then established the Brigade of Free Officers.
Saudi writer Hamza Kasghari is sitting in a holding cell in Malaysia. He’s not a murderer. He's not a rapist. His only crime is that he sent three tweets to a man who died more than a millennia ago, expressing his dissatisfaction with the deification of that man --- Mohamed, the prophet of Islam.
Those who have elevated that mortal man to the status of a living god want Kashgari's head. And they might get it.
The shelling and smoke in Bab Amr in Homs this morning
See also Syria Video Feature: How Can You Get News Out of the Country? br>
Syria Video Special: The Shelling of Homs, Days 5 and 6 br>
Wednesday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Shutting Out the Journalists
Tayyara was a freelance journalist who was hired as a stringer for the Agence France-Presse and also who provided video footage for The Guardian and the Die Wilt in Germany.
Apparently Tayyara was trying to help some wounded people get to cover when a second volley of shells fell and he was hit by shrapnel in several parts of his body. He died several hours later in hospital.