Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Friday, April 22, 2011

State-run Bahrain TV Prosecutes Soccer Players and other Regime Opponents

Bahrain national soccer team player and winner of the 2004 Golden Boot, Ala’a Hubail, was grilled on Bahraini state television in what has become a journalists-turned-prosecutor talk show that has become the public arraignment of prominent opponents of the country’s royal family, according to Tahiyya Lulu in a commentary in The Guardian.

Hubail as well as his brother and fellow national soccer team Mohammed were arrested a day after April 4 broadcast in which he was interrogated about and humiliated for his participation in anti-government protests that were brutally repressed. Hubail is reported to have worked as a medic during the demonstrations. The two brothers are among more than 100 sportsmen and sports officials who have been suspended and banned from playing internationally because they allegedly supported the protests.

The editor of Al-Wasat, Bahrain’s only independent newspaper was prosecuted on television two days before Hubail. The anchor of the program tabled a file that supposedly documented Al-Wasat’s fabrication of news. Al-Wasat proprietor Mansoor al-Jamri was charged immediately after the broadcast with engaging in "unprofessional and unethical practices".

Two weeks later, it was the turn of Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, who is also chairperson of a health rights NGO, CaramAsia, and deputy secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Professing to bear witness against “whoever conspires against the country," the broadcast showed what appeared to be a policeman being run over by a four-wheel drive vehicle, footage of a smashed car, and young boys throwing stones before featuring two government officials as Rajab’s accusers.

Rajab was initially detained three weeks before the broadcast and beaten by masked and armed national security personnel before being released on March 20. A military prosecutor accused him six days before the broadcast of publishing a "fabricated image" of Ali Isa Saqer who died in police custody on April 9, his body showing signs of severe beating. Unknown persons fired tear gas into his house two days after he appeared on the state-run television program.

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