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May 10 2011

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Saudis Rely on Pakistan's Military

Muhammad Junaid: Saudi Security Council Chief asks Pakistan's support to suppress dissent
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Leak of C.I.A. Officer Name Is Sign of Rift With Pakistan

NYT 2011-05-09


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — For the second time in five months, the Pakistani authorities have angered the Central Intelligence Agency by tipping the Pakistani news media to the identity of the C.I.A. station chief in Islamabad, a deliberate effort to complicate the work of the American spy agency in the aftermath of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, American officials said

.[...]

[via:  bothandeach - Leak of #CIA Officer’s Name Is Sign of Rift With #Pakistan - NYTimes.com: http://nyti.ms/l0Xq4q ]

May 09 2011

Al-Jazira vit une situation de deuil



Lundi matin, n'importe quelle télévision, radio, journal se devait d'évoquer cet événement au moins au travers des faits : que s'est-il passé, comment, etc. Mais on a un peu l'impression, en voyant ça en langue arabe, qu'Al-Jazira vit une situation de deuil à peine dissimulée, de tristesse, de frustration. On n'est pas dans l'évocation neutre des faits, ni dans ce qu'a commis cette organisation depuis vingt ans. Il faut reconnaître que du côté américano-occidental, certains médias n'ont pas non plus fait montre d'un grand professionnalisme mettant en valeur les scènes de liesse dans les rues, avec la fameuse expression du Far West " we got him ! ". Mais sur Al-Jazira, les images de reportages qui passent en boucle montrent le chef d'Al-Qaida dans une posture beaucoup plus paisible, parfois même humaniste. Les commentaires écrits à chaud par la rédaction d'Al-Jazira évoquent davantage le désintéressement de Ben Laden pour la vie facile et mondaine et sa recherche des bienfaits du travail, du combat, du djihad...

A aucun moment Al-Jazira ne juge nécessaire d'accorder de l'espace à ceux atteints par les attentats d'Al-Qaida visant des civils innocents, même en terre arabo-musulmane, ni ne diffuse la moindre image des corps déchiquetés des dizaines de milliers de ces victimes au Yémen, au Pakistan, en Indonésie, en Asie centrale, en Turquie, en Irak, en Somalie, au Soudan, en Egypte, en Algérie, voire en Arabie saoudite et à Gaza, sans parler des milliers de victimes en Europe et aux Etats-Unis. Al-Jazira a été jusqu'à installer une terminologie distinctive choquante en hissant les victimes des bombardements américains et occidentaux au rang de martyrs (chahid), tandis que les victimes d'Al-Qaida ne demeurent en dernière instance que des morts ordinaires (maqtoul).

Hosham Dawod, anthropologue, membre de l’Institut interdisciplinaire de l’anthropologie du contemporain (IIAC-CNRS).
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Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, & Spain Issue Joint Communiqué Regarding Response to North African Migration « | clandestinenglish.wordpress.com 2011-04-25



Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, met in Nicosia on 19 April and issued a Joint Communiqué.  Here is the full text (HT to EASO Monitor):

“Joint Communiqué II

(Nicosia, 19 April, 2011)

Following the meeting in Rome on the 23rd February 2011, the Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta as well as the representative of the Minister of Interior of Spain, met again today in Nicosia and discussed the continuing dramatic developments in the Southern Mediterranean region. At the end of the meeting it was decided to issue the following Joint Communiqué.

The Home Affairs and Internal Security Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU:

Recalling our February 23rd,2011 Joint Communiqué, we have repeated our utmost concern for the unfolding events in relation to the humanitarian situation as well as to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection that affect our countries;

Taking into account that the escalating events in countries of Northern Africa and the greater Middle East are destabilising the region and acknowledging that political reforms and democratic transitions will not take effect immediately and that their outcome is still uncertain;

Bearing in mind Europe’s longstanding tradition and commitment to the provision of international protection to people in need, in accordance with the Geneva Convention and in line with humanitarian principles and full respect of human rights;

Underlying that security and stability in the Mediterranean is directly linked to the security and stability of the EU as a whole and that effective response to this challenge requires joint efforts, commitment and solidarity from all EU Member States;

Stressing that the current emergency situation with regard to the massive illegal immigration flows and movements of possible beneficiaries of international protection brings upon the Mediterranean Member States additional social, economic, administrative and demographic burden, to that already prevailing;

Recalling the already existing intense and continuous migratory pressure at the south eastern external borders of the EU;

Expressing deep concern about the conflict in Libya and its consequences in terms of sufferings of countless human beings and growing number of displaced persons fleeing the war and taking into account that huge number of people in need of international protection could arrive at the most exposed Mediterranean Member States in the immediate future;

Emphasizing that the possible prolongation of such influxes of illegal migrants and asylum seekers to the Mediterranean Member States, cannot be managed without the concrete and substantial support and solidarity from the rest of the EU’s Member States; alternatively, the situation will seriously jeopardize our ability, and subsequently the Union’s ability, to manage the displaced persons and provide those in need with international protection as well as undermine our common security;

Stressing that the arising situation will challenge and undermine the efforts of those Member States to reform their overburdened national asylum systems;

Reaffirming the urgent necessity for EU to provide concrete and immediate support to Member States on the EU southern external borders;

Stressing the need for additional actions and policies with a view to implement the EU principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility as expressed in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in line with the Stockholm Programme, the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the Global Approach to Migration, the relevant European Council Declaration of 11 March 2011 and Conclusions of 24 and 25 March 2011, the JHA Council Conclusions of 11and 12 April 2011 on the management of migration from the Southern Neighbourhood and the JHA Council Conclusions of 25 and 26 February 2010 on 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of the external borders and combating illegal immigration;

Therefore we, the Ministers of Home Affairs and Internal Security of the EU Mediterranean Countries, have adopted a common position on the emerging situation in our region and urge the European Union to practically offer operational as well as financial support to Member States which face mass and disproportionate mixed migration flows, by fully mobilizing all available EU assets, instruments and capabilities, either existing or additional ones,.

Particularly, as the competent Ministers of the EU Mediterranean Member States, urge the European Union to:

Urgently present and implement proposals on the Global Approach to Migration as well as on Mobility Partnerships, in a spirit of genuine cooperation with the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood Region, also to effectively control and manage the current and the anticipated mass migration flows as well as situation-specific schemes on return and readmission.

Call on FRONTEX to immediately implement the provisions set out in section 5 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April 2011, to speed up negotiations with the countries of the region – and in particular with Tunisia – with a view to concluding operational working arrangements, and organising joint patrolling operations in cooperation with Tunisian authorities and in application of all relevant international Conventions, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Montego Bay Convention”).

Call on FRONTEX to intensify the monitoring of the situation based on risk analysis and encourage Member States to provide the Agency with further human and technical resources so as to continue its ongoing operations (Joint Operation Hermes, Joint Operation Poseidon Land and Sea and the possible deployment of a RABIT operation in Malta) in the light of the emerging situation. Furthermore, call FRONTEX to expand its operations, where and when necessary, to prevent illegal flows in the eastern Mediterranean area of Egypt and Syria. To this end, further adequate financing of FRONTEX should be considered so as to increase the Organization’s capabilities to fulfil successfully its tasks.

Enhance the operational capacity and the coordinating role of the FRONTEX Operational Office in Piraeus in order to effectively deal with the situation;

Accelerate work on the FRONTEX Amending Regulation with a view to an agreement by June 2011 which will strengthen its capacity, make it truly operational and improve its synergy with other bodies.

Promote practical cooperation with the countries of origin or transit of illegal migrants in the region in preventing and fighting illegal migration flows, inter alia by concluding Readmission Agreements, developing Voluntary Return Programmes, enhancing their capacity of border management and surveillance, expanding the Immigration Liaison Officers Network, promoting legal migration by exploring the possibility of concluding mobility partnerships;

Encourage Member States to expedite discussions on the proposal for recasting the Dublin II Regulation, including a mechanism to suspend the transfers to Member States facing particular pressure on their national asylum systems.

Urgently mobilize all available financial assistance through the External Borders Fund and European Refugee Fund and in addition, as section 4 of the JHA Council Conclusions of 11 April, 2011 reads, activate supplementary funds that can be made available to Member States or FRONTEX at short notice when needed. In this vein establish a special solidarity Fund, when necessary, to tackle exceptional emergency situations and humanitarian crisis.

Deploy every available possibility by the European Asylum Support Office to offer practical support to the Member States of the Mediterranean Region in need. A permanent specialised mechanism should be set up through the EASO, which, at exceptional emergency situations, will provide Member States in need with the necessary logistical and technical support.

As a matter of priority, present a proposal for implementing a coherent and comprehensive mechanism for distributing responsibilities, on a voluntary basis, specifically regarding the relocation of beneficiaries of international protection among member states, in case of European countries faced with particular pressures, as a consequence of their geographical or demographic situation, especially when facing the sudden arrival of third country nationals in need of international protection.

Commit to the work on establishing a Common European Asylum System with a view to respect the 2012 deadline.

We the Ministers of the Mediterranean Member States of the EU agreed to meet again soon, at a date to be agreed, in order to further coordinate our efforts before the European Council of June this year.”

http://migrantsatsea.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/cyprus-greece-italy-malta-spain-issue-joint-communique-regarding-response-to-north-african-migration/

May 06 2011

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May 04 2011

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[...]

The gentle hopes of Hamid Karzai and Hillary Clinton – that the Taliban will be so cowed by the killing of Bin Laden that they will want to become pleasant democrats and humbly join the Western-supported and utterly corrupt leadership of Afghanistan – shows just how out of touch they are with the blood-soaked reality of the country. Some of the Taliban admired Bin Laden, but they did not love him and he had been no part of their campaign against Nato. Mullah Omar is more dangerous to the West in Afghanistan than Bin Laden. And we haven't killed Omar.

Iran, for once, spoke for millions of Arabs in its response to Bin Laden's death. "An excuse for alien countries to deploy troops in this region under the pretext of fighting terrorism has been eliminated," its foreign ministry spokesman has said. "We hope this development will end war, conflict, unrest and the death of innocent people, and help to establish peace and tranquility in the region."

[...]

Robert Fisk: If this is a US victory, does that mean its forces should go home now? | Commentators - The Independent - 2011-05-04
Reposted byiranelectionkrekk
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Robert Fisk on Bin Laden Death | Al Jazeera 2011-05-03
Al Jazeera interviews Robert Fisk, British author and journalist for the Independent

May 03 2011

May 01 2011

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April 30 2011

5 Years After U.S.-Backed Clashes, Palestinian Factions Fatah, Hamas Reach Unity Deal

Hamasfatah

The rival Palestinian political organizations, Fatah and Hamas, have reached an agreement to end a nearly five-year internal schism, form an interim government, and hold a general election within a year. The two sides have been locked in a bitter conflict since Fatah and the Bush administration tried to overthrow Gaza’s Hamas-led government in 2006 after Hamas won Palestinian national elections. Israel and the United States say they’ll reject any peace talks with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. We speak with Saree Makdisi, professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA and the author of several books, including Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation. [includes rush transcript]

Reposted fromsigalondemnow sigalondemnow

April 29 2011

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Fatah and Hamas Make a Deal
Noura Erakat: Deal is a sign of weakness for both organizations, but Palestinians welcome it.
Views: 2
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Time: 12:38 More in News & Politics

April 28 2011

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Consequences of Gaza Activist's Killing
Following fatal kidnapping of Italian activist Arrigoni in Gaza, NGOs up security measures, Hamas internal strife continues
Views: 46
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Time: 09:19 More in News & Politics

April 27 2011

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Rantings of a Sandmonkey | blog sandmonkey.org

  
There are a number of myths that seem to dominate the discourse in Egypt’s upper and middle-class, and subsequently national and international media. Given how frustrated I am by all the “experts” – foreign and domestic- pontificating really superficial analysis about something they can neither understand nor grasp, I have decided to write this post. I apologize beforehand for anyone who might read this and think my tone is condescending, because I am not being nor trying to be that and I hope you have the wisdom not to mix the message with the messenger!

[...]

April 22 2011

L'autocritique de M. Alain Juppé | Les blogs du Diplo 2011-04-19

Le ministre a aussi reconnu que la politique de boycott des forces d’opposition dans le monde arabe n’avait pas été fructueuse, qu’il fallait parler avec tout le monde, y compris les groupes islamiques, en premier lieu les Frères musulmans.

« C’est enfin le sens du message que j’ai adressé à nos ambassadeurs dans les pays arabes que j’ai réunis hier à Paris, en leur demandant d’élargir le spectre de leurs interlocuteurs à l’ensemble des acteurs de la société civile. Trop longtemps, nous nous sommes consciemment ou inconsciemment un peu trop limités dans nos contacts, limités aux gens en place si je puis dire. Je crois que nous devons parler, échanger nos idées avec tous ceux qui respectent les règles du jeu démocratique et bien sûr le principe fondamental du refus de toute violence. Et je souhaite que ce dialogue s’ouvre sans complexe aux courants islamiques, dès lors que les principes que je viens d’évoquer, les règles du jeu démocratique, le refus de toute violence sont respectés de part et d’autre. »

Permalink | Leave a comment  »

April 19 2011

L'autocritique de M. Alain Juppé

Un colloque s'est tenu le 16 avril à l'Institut du monde arabe, et à l'initiative du ministère français des affaires étrangères, sur le thème : « Printemps arabe : enjeux et espoirs d'un changement ». C'est M. Alain Juppé, ministre des affaires étrangères et européennes, qui a tiré les conclusions dans un discours qui mérite une attention d'autant plus grande qu'il constitue une véritable autocritique, exercice auquel répugnent en général nos responsables politiques. Le ministre a d'abord reconnu que la France (...) - Nouvelles d'Orient / France, Monde arabe

April 15 2011

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Italian Captive’s Body Found, Hamas Says - NYTimes.com - 20110414



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cf. with Italian activist murdered in Gaza | FT.com 20110415

(demands registration)

By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem

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Articles on this tumblelog concerning Vittorio Arrigoni's assissination are tagged.

Palestine: Remembering Murdered Italian Activist Vittorio Arrigoni

Long before the deadline set by his captors arrived, kidnapped Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was killed, apparently hanged. Bloggers in Gaza and elsewhere have reacted with disbelief, anger and sorrow.

Vittorio arrigoni by carlos latuff

Vittorio Arrigoni by Carlos Latuff (@CarlosLatuff)

Arrigoni, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Gaza, was planning on visiting Italy soon because of his father's health [it].

Jared Malsin, who had met Arrigoni, writes:

I met Vittorio several times when I was in Gaza last year. I first met him when I accompanied him and several other activists to visit Palestinian families who had been injured in a series of Israeli airstrikes in the mid-Gaza area. He was a burley, bearded man, dressed in black and smiling wide. Talking politics the whole way, we shared the front seat of a van on the ride from Gaza City down to Deir Al-Balah. He had a tattoo of the word “resistance” (“muqawama”) in Arabic on the inside of his right arm.

He was a man who lived and died to express his solidarity with Palestinians. He was big-hearted and he was brave, twice participating in blockade-defying sea voyages to Gaza, three times jailed by Israel for his activism.

He embodied a certain spirit of the European anti-fascists of the 1930s and ’40s, who went to fight and die as partisans in Italy and Spain. “I come from a partisan family,” he once told an interviewer. “My grandfathers fought and died struggling against an occupation, another occupation. It was the Nazi-Fascist one. For this reason, probably, in my DNA, there are particles that push me to struggle.”

His murder is an outrage and an enormous tragedy.

Mohammed Rabah Suliman was friends with Arrigoni:

“Ween?” (the Arabic for “where”) was the first thing Vittorio ever asked me. He was looking for my phone number and sent me a FB message titled, “ween”. Today I ask him the same question: “ween?”

I can’t think of one reason that would make a “Palestinian” kill someone like Vittorio. A man who dedicated his life to fight injustice. A man who abandoned the luxury of Rome and came to one of the most turbulent regions in the world in order to expose Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians. A man on whose right arm was big brilliant tattoo: resistance. A hero in whose eyes there was a whole lot of unmistakable meanings of profound love, loyalty, hope, sacrifice, truth and courage. Vittorio has done for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank more than those who killed him.

[…] Vittorio is a man who loved Gaza, he loved Gaza’s land, its sea, and its sky. Two things Vittorio obviously loved to do: to wave the Palestinian flag, and to sing “Onadikum” (I call upon you!). Wholeheartedly, Vittorio sang, “Onadikum” time and again. He poured his heart out as he sang it. It’s probably the only thing he could say so fluently in Arabic.

Now that you moved to live in our hearts, we’ll become stronger and fiercer in the battle against occupation, humiliation and injustice. Vittorio. Such an inspiration to all of us. You taught us that life isn’t worth living if one isn’t ready to fight against its injustice, and that’s what gives it a meaning, that’s what makes it all beautiful. Now, empowered by your “memory”, we’ll carry on the fight together.

Nazek Aburahma also remembers him, and she writes [ar]:

لا أعلم بصدق كيف أسطر ما أريده ، صباح يلتف بالدموع والاستياء ، استيقظت على خبر مقتل أحد المتضامنين الأجانب في مدينة غزة ، عرفته عن قرب باسم “فكتور ” في كل مرة كنت أراه فيه كنت ألاحظ شعلة الحب لفلسطين في عيونه والعلم الفلسطيني كان وشاحا ورفيقا لكل خطوة يحركها على تراب الأرض المحتلة ..
[…] ” فيكتور ” كان متحمسا وكان يلوح بيديه بعلامة النصر دائما ، والآن نلوح ورود الوداع على جثمانه ، ودموع العزاء لن تجف على جسده ، سيبقى حيا في ذهن كل حر كل فلسطيني كل انسان يتناصف أنفاس الحرية مع الآخر ، قتل “فكتور ” لكننا لن نغفر لمن قتلوه وستبقى دمائه معلقه في زاوية الآثام يتيمة حتى يعاقب من اقترف تلك الجريمة !..
لن ننساك ، ولن أنساك أبدا وستبقى فلسطين كهفا يلجأ اليه الأحرار على ترابها وان شطرت عروقنا عليها ، فحامل الرسالة اي كانت جنسيته ، ديانته يبقى مخلدا في التاريخ روحه وجسده لا يموتان ، رحمك الله يا صديق القضية والانسانية

I truly don’t know how to write what I want. A morning swathed in tears and dismay: I awoke to the news of the murder of one of the foreign solidarity activists in Gaza City. I knew him as “Victor”; with every encounter, I noticed in him the flame of love for Palestine in his eyes, and the Palestinian flag as his companion with his every step on the soil of the occupied land…

[…] Victor was passionate, always waving victory signs, and now we wave farewell flowers to his corpse. The tears of mourning will not dry on his body, they will remain alive in the minds of every free person, every Palestinian, every human who shares the breath of freedom with another. Victor was murdered, but we will not forgive those who killed him; his blood will remain on the wall of sins until those who committed this crime are punished!

Lina at Live From Gaza writes:

Vittorio Arrigoni was a very recognizable face in Gaza. I didn’t personally know him, but I came to know about his bravery from the documentary “To shoot an elephant”. Vittorio was one of the activists who stayed during operation “Cast Lead”. He was one of the voices which told the world about the brutality of the Israeli invasion.

Sadness and anger prevail over the murder of the Italian activist. Those who claimed responsibility for the abduction and murder of Vittorio call themselves Palestinians and Muslims. But Islam washes its hands from such brutal act. Moreover, International activists who visit Gaza have always felt the warmth of the Palestinian hospitality. This will never change, the only threat the Palestinians and these activists share is the threat of the Israeli occupation.

Vittorio arrigoni holding a palestinian flag

Vittorio Arrigoni holding a Palestinian flag (profile picture from Facebook)

Also in Gaza, Omar Ghraieb gives an account of how the news of the kidnapping and murder unfolded, and ends:

Vittorio was Italian by birth but his dedication to Palestine and Gaza made him no less Palestinian than any other Palestinian, he came to Gaza many times and live here for a while. He endangered his life numerous times while working as a volunteer with the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) in Gaza when he was trying to protect farmers and fisherman, in addition to his participation in all buffer-zone protests.
Vittorio meant a lot for Palestinians, Gazans and his friends everywhere. He is a huge loss for us all, may he rest in peace.

Eva Bartlett worked with Arrigoni in Gaza:

I first heard of Vik before arriving in Gaza. Vik had just been injured by the IOF [Israel Occupation Forces/Israel Defense Forces] water canon attack which shattered the windows of the fishing boat he was accompanying. Vik had some injuries from the shattered glass. […] He was taken from Gaza, briefly, by the IOF navy, when they kidnapped 15 Palestinian fishermen and 3 accompanying activists, including Vik, in November 2008, from Palestinian waters. At the time of his abduction, he was electrically shocked while peacefully avoiding abduction by diving into Gaza’s cold waters.

He returned to Gaza, via Free Gaza again, before Israel began its war on Gaza. He continued to write and report from the enclosed, bombed Strip.

Stay human, he always said. And so was the title of his book on the Israeli massacre of Gaza in 2008-2009. Stay human. […] During the Israeli war on Gaza, we all worked together, riding in ambulances, documenting the martyred and the wounded, the vast majority (over 83%) civilian. Vik was always on the phone, Italian media taking his words and printing them for the public to see. […] He was there to joke with us, to counsel us, to smoke shisha by the sea…He wrote the truth, spoke the truth, stayed human.

Another fellow activist, Ken O’Keefe, has made this video, with footage from the press conference announcing Arrigoni’s death.

Jeff Halper from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions knew Arrigoni well:

Vik was truly a person greater than life. He was so filled with energy, a mixture of joy, camaraderie and impatience with the confines of boats and prisons like Gaza, that he would suddenly lift you into the air, or wrestle with you – he was a big, strong, handsome guy, ebullient and smiling even in the most oppressive and dangerous situations – as if to tell you: Yalla! These Israel naval ships shooting at us and the Palestinian fisherman cannot prevail over our solidarity, outrage and the justice of our cause! (Vik was wounded in one of those confrontations). He would come up behind you and say: The Occupation will fall just like this! (and he would wrestle you to the ground, laughing and playing with you as he did).
Vik, who like me received Palestinian citizenship and a passport when we broke the siege of Gaza and sailed into Gaza port in August, 2008, was a peace-maker exemplar. […] Vik worked in the West Bank as well as Gaza, and was jailed three times before being expelled by Israel. But his peace work did not take the form of activism alone. Vik was a master of communication – physical, verbal, written (his blog, Guerrilla Radio, was one of the most popular in Italy) – and he mixed personal experiences, reportage and analysis effortlessly.

Vik was what we call a “witness”: someone who put himself physically with the oppressed and shared with them their triumphs, tragedies, sufferings and hopes. Yet he was one who through his actions tried to affect genuine change. […] I’ll miss you, man. But every time I feel tired or discouraged, I’ll feel you lifting me up over your head and, with your huge smile and laughter, threatening to throw me overboard if I even hesitate in throwing myself into the fight. You were and are the earth-force of the struggle against injustice.

Global Voices contributor Asteris Masouras has aggregated tweets about this news on Storify which you can find here.

During the Gaza war of 2008/9 Global Voices translated and quoted extensively from Vittorio Arrigoni's blog posts. To read them click here.

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