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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Egypt: the deep state’s war on journalism

The state is aware that free press means more accountability and their fear of being monitored, exposed, or held accountable indicates how fragile and insecure they are.

'More royal than the king': an encounter with French Zionism

The fabrication of lies and false accusations to intimidate their opponents is only to be expected from those willing to legitimize killing and torture in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

UAE: when tweets become a matter of national security

Think twice before you speak in the UAE, you could end up spending 25 years in jail next time you tweet.

Kingdom of arbitrary detention: how Saudi Arabia shuts down its most vocal critics

The institutionalised repression practiced by Saudi authorities is exposed by the fight led by one of the Kingdom’s most respected human rights organisations, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA).

Giulio Regeni, Egypt, and the deafening silence of Europe

Giulio Regeni's case is not only about academic freedom, but about the responsibility of EU states to protect their citizens: silence cannot be the response to his torture and murder.

Is it ok to criticise Islam?

At what point does mocking someone’s beliefs become an attack on those who hold them? 

Seven trends dominating Egyptian media

Egypt’s media outlets are trapped in a web of biases. Seven trends have dominated the country's media landscape over the past two years.

Money where your mouth is: Salaita, freedom of speech, and the new market of education

I'd like to unpack the widespread idea that one's freedom of speech is relinquished when it is used in the form of “hate speech” or to “spread hate.” Hate is a legitimate and reasonable response to certain morally reprehensible realities.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression but conditions apply

Rayna Stamboliyska

Egypt has jailed journalists by the dozen; the Gulf is jailing people for tweets they send and surveillance companies are gearing them up. One does not need a crystal ball to see that repressive states in the MENA region will continue to suppress dissent.

Lebanese media retaliates against politicians' crackdown

A video of a talk show recently went viral in Lebanon in defence of freedom of expression. This should send a warning signal to media outlets across the country about what is taking place behind the scenes.

Journalism is not terrorism

In Egypt, numerous journalists have been arrested since the overthrow of Morsi. They are being kept in high security prisons under appalling conditions. Egypt Solidarity Initiative are campaigning for their release as they go on trial today.

UAE's political show trials

The latest trial saw 20 Egyptians and 10 Emiratis found guilty in a process marred by a litany of human rights and fair trial violations.The widening influence of security services, which act with complete impunity, causes grave concern for the safety of those brave enough to challenge repressive actions by the authorities.

A letter from Alaa

Alaa Abdel Fattah, a prominent Egyptian blogger and activist, was arrested on 28 November 2013. This is a letter he wrote on 24 December 2013, from his prison cell to his sisters. openDemocracy is honoured to publish this letter to remind people on January 25, the anniversary of Egypt's revolution, of political prisoners everywhere.

Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukadous on press freedom

Fahem Boukadous, an outspoken critic of Tunisia’s record on press freedom, speaks about the political challenges facing Tunisia, three years after the Jasmine Revolution which ended the repressive regime of Ben Ali. Interview by Malachy Browne.

Political reform in Kuwait?

Some believe it will be another five years before Kuwait can approach the idea of political reform again. But until then, activists should not be discouraged. Calling for an elected government in a region governed in the purest tribal form is not going to bear fruit overnight. 

UK police and (anti) fascist protests - a bad joke

With 286 anti-fascists arrested this weekend - one of the biggest mass arrests of protestors in recent history - one of them asks questions of British policing: what is their aim: are they controlling the events at hand, or trying to prevent protest from happening at all?

David Miranda: terrorist or tourist?

The debate roars on as Theresa May insists the detaining of our citizens is for our own protection, but how far and how deep can this controversy go?

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