Free Bahraini human rights activist now


This video says about itself:

May 8, 2012

In the fourth episode of The World Tomorrow Julian Assange speaks with two leading Arab revolutionaries in the middle of conflict, Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah is a long time Egyptian blogger, programmer and political activist. His parents were human rights campaigners under Anwar Sadat; his sister Mona Seif became a Twitter star during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and is a founder of the No Military Trials for Civilians group formed under the post-Mubarak military junta.

El-Fattah was imprisoned for 45 days in 2006 for protesting under the Mubarak regime, and released after “Free Alaa” solidarity protests in Egypt and around the world. In 2011, from abroad, El-Fattah helped route around Mubarak’s internet blockade.

Nabeel Rajab is a lifelong Bahraini activist and critic of the Al Khalifa regime. A member of a staunch pro-regime family, Rajab has agitated for reform in Bahrain since his return from university in 1988. Along with the Bahraini-Danish human rights defender Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, he helped establish the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in 2002.

Rajab is reasonably new to the limelight — becoming a face for the Bahrain uprising of February 14 2011, after the sit-in at Pearl Roundabout. Since then, he has been a public face for the revolution, waging a social media war on Twitter with PR companies working for the regime.

After al-Khawaja was imprisoned, he led protests for his release. He has endured beatings, arrests and legal harrassment for engaging in pro-democracy demonstrations. On Saturday 5th of May, he was arrested at Manama airport, and charged the next day with encouraging and engaging in “illegal protests.” Nabeel Rajab remains in detention at the time of broadcast.

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

Julian Assange: Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience and he must be released

London – December 12th, 2012

Julian Assange released a statement today calling for the immediate release of BCHR President Nabeel Rajab.

Statement from Julian Assange on Nabeel Rajab:

“I last saw Nabeel Rajab, the President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, in March 2012. Nabeel flew to the United Kingdom, where I interviewed him for my television programme The World Tomorrow. While he had been on the plane, his house had been surrounded by armed police.

I asked him what he was going to do now. Wasn’t he fearful about returning home? He was adamant. He would return to Bahrain.

“[T]his is the struggle, this is the freedom, this is democracy that we are fighting for. It has a cost and we have to pay the cost, and the cost might be very expensive as we have paid a high cost in Bahrain, and we are willing to pay that for the changes that we are fighting for.”

Once he was back in Bahrain, a campaign of judicial harassment began. He was charged with illegal assembly and insulting the Prime Minister on Twitter. He was sentenced to three years in jail, for daring to claim his right to freedom of expression and association.

On December 11, after a long campaign of resistance, his sentence was reduced to two years.

This is not enough.

Nabeel Rajab is a prisoner of conscience. He should not be in jail at all. He should never have been put in jail. He must be released.

Immediately before his imprisonment, Nabeel Rajab was the leading voice of the Bahrain Spring. He has carried the banner, raised around the Islamic world in 2011, which cried out for ‘Huriyyah, Adalah Ijtima’iyah, Karamah’ – for Freedom, Social Justice, Dignity. What we know as the Arab Spring is, in Arabic, the ‘Thawraat l-Karamah’ – the ‘Revolutions of Dignity.’

Nabeel’s commitment to the moral importance of this movement cannot be doubted. Along with many other Bahrainis, he has given over his life and freedom for the reform of his country. Together, they have given everything. It is the regime that must now give ground.

The Bahraini regime has repeatedly promised reform, even commissioning a report on its own human rights abuses which found it guilty of practicing torture and the excessive use of force. It has failed to implement all but the most superficial of this report’s recommendations.

In particular, Recommendation 1722 (h) of this report called on the government, “To review convictions and commute sentences of all persons charged with offences involving political expression, not consisting of advocacy of violence, or, as the case may be, to drop outstanding charges against them.”

The regime has instead continued to imprison activists like Nabeel, for crimes solely related to their freedom of expression and assembly. Thirteen leading activists and opposition leaders remain in jail, despite international recognition of their status as political prisoners.

Originally slow to comment, even the President of the United States has asserted that “The only real way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue, and you can’t have a real dialogue when parts of the peaceful opposition are in jail.”

Words do not match actions, however. Neither the US, which has a large military base in Bahrain, or the UK have applied any real pressure for the release of political prisoners, despite acknowledging this to be central to the reform process.

This is not a sophisticated issue. Our obligations are clear. The political prisoners of Bahrain must be freed as a necessary step towards peaceful reform. There will be no dignity in Bahrain until Nabeel Rajab is released.”

Beached humpback whale Netherlands, videos


This is a video about the humpback whale, which beached today near Texel island in the Netherlands.

This video is about a Texel lifeboat trying to help the whale.

The whale is still stranded on the Noorderhaaks sandbank. Because it is dark now, people cannot get it swimming again now. They will try to help the whale tomorrow morning.

Blog of the Year 2012 award, thanks Carolyn, magdalena, smoothsolidade, Rebecca, Morrighan, Bette!


Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Six bloggers were so kind to grace Dear Kitty. Some blog with the “Blog of the Year 2012″ Award. Meaning six stars.

And then came Carina, with the seventh award. And Maarit-Johanna, with the eighth award. That would have been be the seventh star and eighth star, respectively, for this award for this blog.

And then, there was Carolyn, with her interesting blog with animal stories and other subjects, so kindly presenting me with the ninth award for Dear Kitty. Some Blog.

And then, there was magdalena, with her fine blog yarnwuseleien of her photos and more, with the tenth award for Dear Kitty. Some Blog.

And then came smoothsolidade. Her many-sided blog has poetry and other subjects, in various languages. She also nominated me for the Blog of the Year 2012 award: my eleventh time.

Still, no end of kind bloggers thinking about Dear Kitty. Some blog. Because then Rebecca, aka Clanmother, nominated me; the twelfth time. She has five beautiful blogs: Clanmother and ChasingART and Lady Budd and On The Road Book Club and Taking the Kitchen.

Then came Morrighan, with her fine blog The Enchanted Solitaire. Among her subjects is bad situations in prisons. She nominated me for the thirteenth time.

Finally came Bette A. Stevens, illustrator and writer, blogging on 4writersandreaders, a really good literary blog. She nominated me for the fourteenth time.

However, the maximum number of stars for the “Blog of the Year 2012″ Award is six.

So, no seventh etc. star and no new nominations. Well: just six nominations.

I am giving a star back to Carolyn, to display on her blog.

I am also giving a star back to magdalena, to display on her blog.

I am giving a star back to smoothsolidade, to display on her blog.

I am giving a star back to Clanmother, to display on whichever blog of hers she prefers.

I am giving a star back to Morrighan, to display on her blog.

Finally, I am giving a star back to Bette, to display on her blog.

I really appreciate all six of you thinking of my blog.

The “Blog of the Year” award is a little different from some other awards, because you accumulate stars.

Here are the ‘rules’ for this award:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘prese

nt’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience [I cannot join that group as I am not on Facebook].

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6 stars image

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, then you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information check the FAQ on The Thought Palette.

Colourful North American snakes, video


This video from Canada says about itself:

Colorful Snakes: Appreciation Can Enhance Conservation

from The Sticky Tongue Project

“The great outdoors is the foundation of all life on Earth, including yours.” Episode 2 of a year-long 24 episode education-outreach video series starring Whit Gibbons (Herpetologist and Author), produced in cooperation with The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy.

This series features “fascinating facts and helpful conservation tips” for everyone “from homeowners to professional land and wildlife managers.