By now, most people have probably heard of claimed Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, thanks to a video produced by the advocacy organization, Invisible Children. However, the excitement and discussion that surrounded the video have died down in recent weeks. Klara Aizupitis leads us through the responses to Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign, and looks ahead to what it could mean for participation in their upcoming Cover the Night event.
CAROLINE BATTEN, WNR: When Radhika Sainath filled out her visa to visit Bahrain, she was faced with an unusual problem.
RADHIKA SAINATH: There’s no activism box to tack off on the tourist visa.
BATTEN: So Sainath, an American attorney, identified herself simply as a tourist, a decision which Bahraini authorities would later use as the grounds for her deportation back to the United States. Even if she had the option, she says identifying herself as an activist–or even a journalist–would have likely prevented her from entering Bahrain in the first place.
SAINATH: People who were official journalists were not allowed in, and if we just obey the wishes of these repressive regimes and declare ourselves journalists and not go in because we’re journalists, then we’re not going to get the story out.
BATTEN: So on February 11, 2012, Sainath and her fellow American activist Huwaida Arraf joined a march to Pearl Roundabout in Manama, along with other members of Witness Bahrain, an activist group supporting Bahrain’s anti-government protesters. Both Arraf and Sainath were arrested at that march, and deported back to the United States the next day.
But their detainment is part of a larger trend. After a popular uprising calling for political and economic reform began in Manama in February 2011, Bahraini security forces seemed to have silenced most major protests. Yet a full year after the uprising started, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit organization which promotes press freedom, Bahraini authorities continue to deny journalists visas, deport them arbitrarily, and otherwise fail to distinguish between journalists reporting on protests and the protesters themselves. Read More→
On April 4th, the United States announced a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed. Saeed is the head of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah, the charitable wing of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the organization thought to be responsible for the 26/11/08 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. This bounty comes three and a half years after the horrors in Mumbai, and in the middle of another tense moment in US-Pakistani relations.
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