RealNews

Heavy Hand of the Secret Police Impeding Reform in Arab World

At a cultural festival last year, Sameer al-Qudah recited a poem of his depicting Arab rulers as a notch below pirates and highwaymen on the scale of honorable professions. Within days, Jordan’s intelligence police summoned him. Mr. Qudah, sentenced to a year in jail for a similar offense in 1996, was apprehensive but not surprised. The secret police, or mukhabarat in Arabic, is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous forces in the Arab world. Jordan’s network had surreptitiously videotaped his reading. Full Story

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