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Jun 242009

Mohammad Ali Abtahi Mohammad Ali Abtahi

‘Worst than that, one of my friends who lives in Germany told me once that there they have a kind of sausage which is made of pork’s blood!! I didn’t let him continue the story since I was sure that I won’t like to hear the rest.’”

(From my Swedish blog, July 2004)

Muhammad Ali Abtahi, one of Iran’s vice-presidents under president Khatami but also a very active blogger has been arrested in Teheran. Nothing is known about his fate so far. On his bilingual site (Farsi and English) Abtahi used to provide unique inside information from Iran. But he also wrote about personal and everyday things in his own special English. I have quoted his views on “Blunz’n” or blood sausage above.

Abtahi obviously had to be very cautious and guarded in his writing. However, it was not too difficult to read between the lines. After the recent presidential elections he seems to have thrown his usual cautiousness over board and written this article from which the above heading has been taken. Obviously this was too much for the oppressive regime.

Reporters without Borders” report that at least 33 journalists and “cyber-dissidents” haven been jailed and several others warned. Media attention will probably die down in a few days but we must never forget the brutalities of the Teheran theocracy.

If the EU had had a strong common foreign and security policy, we might have been able to do something. As it is now, EU leaders have to confine themselves to “express their concern”…

Jun 082009

Just a quick comment to the results of yesterday’s EP election. Contrary to the general trend the participation rate in Sweden increased from 37.8 % to 43.1. In all likelihood this is mainly a result of the appearance of the Pirate Party which got 7.1 % of the vote and 1 seat (2 seats if Lisbon get in force – which of course now seems increasingly unlikely, particularly because of the disastrous results in the UK and Ireland).

On the surface some tendencies in the Swedish results would look encouraging. The EU-critical, not to say hypocritical, parties faced a disaster. The ex-communists could see their share of the vote halved and the peculiar “Junilistan” lost their 3 seats and were eliminated. The most out-spoken pro-EU party, the Peoples Party, increased their share strongly and will get one additional seat. The biggest parties, both on the Government and the opposition side, which both have been Continue reading »