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On February 11, Huwayda Ahrraf and Radhika Sainath were arrested in Bahrain after they attended an anti-monarchy protest with an American activist group called Witness Bahrain. The story of their arrest and subsequent release to the United States, told in a forthcoming piece from War News Radio, got me curious about how other activists in Bahrain continue to face human rights abuses under Bahrain’s government. Earlier this week, Bahrain’s National Commission released a report detailing their progress in implementing recommendations from the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, or BICI, which outlined human rights reforms in November 2011. While King Hamad of Bahrain claims that the National Commision’s progress report is evidence of positive change, international observers and advocacy groups maintain the improvements are superficial at best. One such group is Bahrain Watch, an organization which launched a website called “Government Inaction” earlier this month to monitor the BICI reforms. On Thursday, I spoke with Bahrain Watch founding member Bill Marczak about the shortcomings of the BICI reports, the Government Inaction project, and whether “cyberactivism” can really improve government accountability.

Additional footage from Al Jazeera, and images from Bahrain Watch.

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President Obama Addresses the Nation
From: whitehouse | Jun 22, 2011
President Obama addresses the nation on the way forward in Afghanistan. June 22, 2011.

Transcript:

Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security — one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives.

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This event has concluded. Come back for more of our coverage on the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan throughout the following days.

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A tip off from a former secret police officer have led residents in the rebel-held town of Derna in eastern Libya to unravel secrets that were hidden by Muammar Gaddafi’s regime for decades. A mass grave has been discovered in the area, and forensic doctors have found pieces of bone and clothing. They fear there are as many as seven people buried there. Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports from Derna.

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Osama al-Najai, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn – three times more than the reported $6.6bn. The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets. Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad.

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