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Monday, November 20, 2006

More Veiled Threats to Bloggers

Just as I was beginning to think that perhaps I had overreacted in this case, the following spam comment was posted on this and other blogs (including Alexcia's).
Egypt arrests another blog critic
Ayyoub's blog has posted criticism of the government
Police in Cairo have detained a blogger whose posts have been critical of the Egyptian government.
Rami Siyam, who blogs under the name of Ayyoub, was detained along with three friends after leaving the house of a fellow blogger late at night.
No reasons have been given for Mr Siyam's detention. The other friends were released after being questioned.
Human rights groups have accused Egypt of eroding freedom of speech by arresting several bloggers recently.
BBC Arab Affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi says blogging in Egypt is closely associated with political activism in a culture where democratic freedoms are severely restricted.
Bloggers are at the centre of Egyptian political activism
In recent weeks, bloggers have been exposing what they say was the sexual harassment of women at night in downtown Cairo in full view of police who did not intervene.
Mr Siyam's host on Saturday night, Muhammad Sharqawi, was detained for several weeks earlier this year.
The most recently detained blogger, Abdel Kareem Nabil, was detained in Alexandria on 6 November and was charged with disrupting public order, inciting religious hatred and defaming the president.
Amnesty International says Mr Amer appeared to have been detained for expressing critical views about Islam and Egypt's al-Azhar religious authorities.

I find it hard not to believe that there is a concerted campaign to intimidate bloggers who are critical of the Kibaki government. It seems that the above comment is meant to serve as warning. The same guy (or gal) who posted it also posted other spam comments portraying Kibaki in a positive light.

I refuse to be cowed by such underhand tactics and will continue to express my views plainly. I urge all other bloggers to do the same.

PS.
I am growing weary of all these pro-Raila/Kibaki spam comments. Any suggestions on how I can stop them without making it too hard for legitimate readers to comment?

10 comments:

Kenyan-Intel said...

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Josh said...

"the government does not generate economic growth. GDP is a measure of the people's economic activity. A government either hinders it or facilitates it. Moi and Kibaki have undoubtedly hindered it, though one may argue that the latter has done it less effectively than the former."


Gathara: I pasted these comments from a post you had on Alexcia's blog. I am sorry that we have idiots who r out 2 hijack other blogs.

Neways, why would you state that the government does not produce GDP ? In our previous exchange, your response to my praising the 5.8% growth was that it should have been more. Is that not an a contradiction?

At worst, the government does provide the right environment for the people to conduct their economic activities. To the extent that this is true, indeed the gova does "produce GDP"

With regard to "stealing" I too am disappointed and wish this wasn't happening. I think though that we are transitioning, 4 the better (ditto: WB Report on reducing corruption in Kenya). Corruption runs deep in the veins of the Kenyan economy, and whereas its necessary to cut it off, we must take care not to destabilize the gains that have already been made.
Am not saying condone it, but rather, take a long term approach that will ensure and result in a different culture.

I believe Kibaki will devote significant effort in his second term to tackle corruption - he will have nothing 2 lose - i think these are realities of politics world over, caution must be excercised when dealing with such problems.

Steve said...

Check the IP address(es) that the posts are coming from and block it (them) or blacklist them as a spam source. If it is indeed one person, you will only need to block a couple of addresses at most.

I am not sure how you do this with Blogger since I use Wordpress.

Acolyte said...

First thing, do away with anonymous comments. Once you take those away anon comments go away in a rush because most rabble rousers don't want to be known.

Whispering Inn said...

Hi Patrick,

Stand firm, don't sweat the small (petty and ignorant) stuff.

I think most people realize that your constructive criticism of the government is not malicious in any way, but is meant to benefit the common mwananchi who loses when the government is corrupt, incompetent, and threatens their rights, and, instead of improving the people's lives, leaves them worse off.

At the end of the day, all we want is a funtioning government and a Kenya where people have jobs, the economy is vibrant and growing, there is security and crime is dealt with effectively, there's a good education system, available quality healthcare services and facilities, good roads, reliable electricity supply and a decent ICT network, running water, JOBS, JOBS, and more JOBS, and decent pay to farmers for the produce.

We all want better lives for Kenyans and their future generations, really.

Gathara said...

kenyan-intel,
I've checked out your blog. Just cos' you can google me and come up with a picture doesn't make you James Bond. Vitisho vya peni mbili, vitanifanya mimi nini?

Josh,
I see no contradiction in what I have written. The fact that economic growth should have been faster simply goes to show that Kibaki impeded it. Had he "provided the right environment for the people to conduct their economic activities" instead of engaging in corruption, then we would have grown at much faster rates. That's what I mean by facilitation.
And thanks for telling off the kenya77 dude at Alexcia's. It's good to see that though we may differ, we still maintain certain standards of decorum in our debates unlike many of our politicians.

Steve and Aco,
Some of these guys have registered spam blogs. Check out kenyan-intel's for instance. I'll try and find ways of blocking such characters as per your advice. And Aco, I'm still waiting on that IP identification service.

Whispering inn,
Thanks.

Acolyte said...

@ Gathara
At the moment all I can offer you is www.webstat.com the only problem is that you have to set the time setting on your blog exactly the sane as your account so you can pinpoint exactly who is commenting plus they dont give archives so it is best you download your visitor reports daily and save them so you can know who is hovering on your site.
ps: Kenya77 is one of Joe's aliases.

Acolyte said...

I found an even bettter visitor tracker.Drop me your e-mail address and I will send you a link!

coldtusker said...

Yikes... now Gathara will nab me... LOL... I suspect the kenya77 is joe as well...

Who cares... If the comment is NOT relevant to the blog I just zap it... it is MY blog!

Gathara said...

coldtuske,
I delete them too but I'm getting tired of zapping 20 comments at a go. Anyways, by the time I get to see them, the harm's been done.