Russian politician denies ‘eating evidence’ in jailed opposition leader’s trial

After spending weeks in jail, Sergei Udaltsov, leader of Russia’s radical Left Front organisation, remains in custody after a Moscow court postponed an appeals hearing for his release on Tuesday. Allegedly arrested on trumped-up charges, the Russian authorities are apparently grasping at reasons to keep Udaltsov in jail – even going so far as to accuse our Observer, an opposition politician and Udaltsov supporter, of having eaten a key piece of evidence. Read more…

Niamey arrests: crime crackdown or a newborn junta flexing its muscles?

Over 600 people were arrested in the Niger capital on Sunday night. The junta called it "Operation Punch" - a crackdown on crime. One of our Observers in the country thinks it's got more to do with politics. Read his comment...


French woman arrested in Tehran: “A pathetic diplomatic game”

Clotilde Reiss, a young French woman who taught French at the University of Isfahan, was stopped by the police in Tehran on July 1. A close friend of hers responds to accusations calling Reiss a spy. Marina El Khoury graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politique in Lille the same year as Clotilde Reiss. The 23-year-old Lebanese woman has set up a Facebook group asking for her friend’s release. Read more...


Arrested for a subversive T-shirt

You often see Western teenagers wearing Che Guevara T-shirts as a sign of rebellion. Guangzhou resident Liu Shihui decided to don a T-shirt with the motif "The Chinese Communist Party opposes one-party rule". But despite explaining that the phrase came from the government itself, Liu was detained by the police. Read his account...


Is the crisis in Madagascar really over?

Since Andry Rajoelina took power last month, Madagascar is no longer front page news. The conflict however, is not over, and supporters of exiled president Marc Ravolomanana continue to demonstrate. One of our Observers there tells us how the government is trying to put a stop to the movement. Read more...


Killed for filming police brutality on his mobile

When Wei Wenhu saw police forces beating up protesting villagers in Tianmen (central China), he took out his mobile and filmed the scene. But when he was spotted and tried to run away, he found himself being chased by around 20 police officers. Read more and see videos...