Blood in Bahrain: This Week in Online Tyranny
Last night, however, it went pear-shaped as Bahrain security forces attempted to “close” the square. Between tear gas, tear gas canisters, beatings, rubber bullets and possibly live fire, three have died. Over 200 were injured, 60 are missing and dozens arrested.
Protests and classes also took place in Libya, where one protester was killed. The Libyan government had tried to head it off by warning against using Facebook and arresting several activists. Protests took place for the seventh day in Yemen . In Iraq government forces killed one and dozens were wounded in an anti-government protest.
Syria sentences blogger to five years. After removing blocks on the Internet that have been in place for years, as a sop to protests around the Middle East, Syria’s government couldn’t deny their essential nature. They’ve sentenced a 19-year-old female blogger, Tal Al Mallohi, to five years in prison. Detained since December of 2009, she was convicted of “revealing information to a foreign country.”
Oh, did we mention Mubarak resigned? After three weeks of intense protest, after a whole generation was mobilized, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak resigned from 30 years of one-man rule. Mubarak, like Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, tried various stalling methods. But none of it worked. The people of Egypt were done with him.
I confess, I kept waiting for the fall-out, but it keeps not coming. There’ll be a lot of hard work ahead but once the vast majority of a country get behind a change, that’s when it sticks. Currently, Wael Ghonim has set up a very successful Google Moderator page to sketch out the future of the country.
Blogger and lit mag editor from Equatorial Guinea leaves country. Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel started a hunger strike to protest President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s dictatorial rule. He left for Spain four days later after repeated harassment. He cited Tunisia and Egypt as models for his country.
Cuba increases Internet connectivity. An undersea cable from Venezuela just reached Cuba. When it goes live it will increase Cuba’s Internet connectivity 3000x. It is far from certain that this will mean more Cubans will be online. One Cuban however, Cuba’s most renowned blogger Yoani Sánchez , is back online in that country after years of being blocked. Her Cuban blog aggregator, Desde Cuba, is likewise visible. How long that will last is equally uncertain.
Bahrain photo via Al Jazeera