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Australian Deported From Bahrain Over Facebook Posts 188

Posted by timothy
from the bah-humbug dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australian English instructor Tony Mitchell recently moved to Bahrain where he was offered a job at the state-run Polytechnic University. He described himself as a witness of the various horrifying events in the struggling country (see The Atlantic's four-part series). Mitchell was eventually fired, evicted, and forced to flee because of posts he made on Facebook."
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Australian Deported From Bahrain Over Facebook Posts

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  • When in Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @05:59PM (#38603496)

    It's probably best not to write bad things about the Emperor.

    Seriously, when you're in somebody elses country you need to be really mindful about what you say or do that's likely to upset the government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:00PM (#38603518)
    When a tyrannical government buys you a ticket out of their country, you take it.
  • He is lucky (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:02PM (#38603548)
    Under the new NDAA bill, he would simply "disappear" without due process. God bless democratic Bahrain.
  • Derp? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tyr07 (2300912) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:03PM (#38603566)

    I'm not saying what happened to him is right. There's a lot of wrong in this world, but a lot of this wrong is fact.

    If you go to a country, with a government who performs these acts, while in a public position that's easily identified and, well, damn it's public man.

    You're out there easy to see, you're visiting on the basis of the job, and you draw attention to yourself in a country where police damage property and people disappear all the time?

    Did you think your justice shield would protect you? It doesn't matter if you're right, it's still not in your best interest to do it.

    Wait until you leave the country and don't ever plan / intend to go back (They might be waiting for you) before you start commenting and throwing around any ego (Specifically his comment about wait till after the 30th and I'll tell you)

    When you say something like that, it's a slap in the face to the people you're protesting. They told you they want you out, and you know they're watching facebook, so you tell them even tho I promised not to say anything, I'm going to do it as soon as I leave?

    Bad idea to show your cards there.

    I'm just glad you took the chance to get out and your family is safe. Places like that can get scary very, very fast.

  • You'd think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:04PM (#38603580)
    ...that, as an Australian, he'd be used to censorship on the internet.

    If you are willing to go to an oppressive country. And in so doing contribute to their economy and success, then... it's just crocodile tears when you find out that that oppressive country is oppressive to you too.
  • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by inzy (1095415) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:10PM (#38603684)

    on the other hand, some would say he had balls for standing up to the oppressors. he stands up for what he thinks is right, and you say "well, it's your own fault" when he gets deported? perhaps if more people stood up, not less, we wouldn't have these problems, regardless of having crossed some arbitrary boundary like a nation-state border. we're all humans, irrespective of where we are. show some backbone and stop being so subservient to power

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:24PM (#38603872)

    He's not in the USA.

    No; but freedom of speech is not a right which suddenly disappears when you cross the Mexican border. This is a fundamental and ancient right which nobody has the right to take away from you no matter what. This man knew that he was putting himself at risk but when he "saw the government's brutal response to a fledgling revolution, he knew he couldn't stay neutral". The point where you start to criticise him for doing that is the point where you have become supporter of the oppressor.

    People who stand up for freedom need our support; they already know that they are putting themselves at risk and don't need the words of a bunch of cowards afraid of their own shadows to tell them that.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdot@gm a i l .com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:31PM (#38603968) Homepage Journal
    And yet, checking the immigration status of people arrested is somehow racist...
  • Re:When in Rome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:36PM (#38604042) Homepage Journal

    In a way this is an example of why third world countries don't improve to first world standards. Their best people leave to first world countries. As a result the third world country is run by third world leaders supported by third world voters. First world guy drops in to get a job, discovers that the place is badly run and follows emigrants from that country back to his own first world country.

    So if you want to see improvement in Bahrain, don't allow immigration from that country at all, for at least a generation. People with the ability to change things will be forced to do it on their own turf.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by element-o.p. (939033) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:39PM (#38604100) Homepage

    No; but freedom of speech is not a right which suddenly disappears when you cross the Mexican border. This is a fundamental and ancient right which nobody has the right to take away from you no matter what.

    Agreed, although I would go one step further to say that, while this is a fundamental right that nobody has the right to take away from you, that doesn't mean that people with power won't try, nor does it mean that you will not (possibly) suffer for attempting to exercise that right. There is a subtle distinction between "This is the way it should be" and "This is the way it is."

    This man knew that he was putting himself at risk but when he "saw the government's brutal response to a fledgling revolution, he knew he couldn't stay neutral". The point where you start to criticise him for doing that is the point where you have become supporter of the oppressor.

    People who stand up for freedom need our support; they already know that they are putting themselves at risk and don't need the words of a bunch of cowards afraid of their own shadows to tell them that.

    Agreed, without reservations.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @06:42PM (#38604170)

    I'm from the US to, but that doesn't mean that I'd move to Iran and start badmouthing the Iranian authorities.

    That's not the question. The question is:

    Your company sends you for a one year contract in Iran; you see your male neighbor rape another female neighbor. Then he reports her to the police. Now she, the rape victim, is going up for trial for adultery and likely to be stoned to death. Do you say it's wrong?

    You never intended to badmouth the Iranians; You wanted to support their culture and be open; but now you are faced with the bad side of it. Are you really saying it's a better person who lets the rape victim be stoned to death without a word?

  • Re:He is lucky (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:05PM (#38604452)

    For a love of.... We are talking about Bahrain, not US. It is getting old. Push your message about evil NDAA and POSA in other forums. This one already knows that.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:06PM (#38604464)

    Sorry, but when does USA law apply to Bahrain? Despite what the USA likes to believe, it had borders and its law have limits (which is a "Good Thing"(tm) considering what the USA is trying to ram down everyone's throats of late).

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fusiongyro (55524) <faxfreemosquito&yahoo,com> on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:30PM (#38604694) Homepage

    That is, of course, merely curtailing another fundamental human right to resettle. Beyond that, it was tried (and didn't work) for the USSR.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @07:53PM (#38604888)

    freedom of speech is not a right which suddenly disappears when you cross the Mexican border. This is a fundamental and ancient right

    [citation needed]

    Seriously - name a country that had such a right before 1776.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @08:12PM (#38605060) Homepage

    or in fact the whole EU

    Not quite, while most speech is free here, we still criminalize some at least in part of the countries. For example in Germany, where denying the holocaust is unlawful (and in fact, such laws were first imposed by the US Army when they took control after WWII - apparently, Free Speech only counts back home).

  • Re:You'd think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @08:35PM (#38605268) Homepage

    What do you mean "we", white man? Not everyone here's from the US, you know?

  • by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:24PM (#38605568)

    a few sad stories of injured policemen at the protests

    In Lybia, the goverment says that a lot of soldiers were killed during the protests, but in fact, they were killed by other soldiers because they refused to shoot people.

    Being a soldier does not automatically make you a brainless killer.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:24PM (#38605932) Journal

    In a way this is an example of why third world countries don't improve to first world standards. Their best people leave to first world countries. As a result the third world country is run by third world leaders supported by third world voters.

    Ha!
    Bahrain is a third world country supported by the US of A.
    The same goes for Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the UAE, and Qatar.
    (I may have missed a middle eastern country or two, there are a few asian ones I didn't include)

    As long as they're with us on Oil, Israel, and the Global War on Terror, we give them free reign to act like assholes to their own citizens.

  • Re:When in Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cavreader (1903280) on Friday January 06, 2012 @02:56AM (#38607272)
    If Germany was to start adopting the same aggressiveness today against it's neighboring countries the Europeans would do the same thing they did the first time around which is nothing but engage in meaningless diplomatic talks and abandon any of their allies in an effort to appease the German aggressiveness. The US could have stayed out of the European theater in WW2 because there were no US interests particularly endangered. The Germans couldn't successfully cross the Chanel to attack Britain let alone cross the Atlantic with a large enough invasion force to attack the US. By the time they could have did so the US had it's nuclear deterence to prevent any such invasion. When Japan made one of the stupidest military decisions in history in attacking the US the US made the European theater their first priority when they officially declared war. The Americans gained nothing out of WW2 in Europe. Instead the US just ended up providing the European countries with military and economic aid for 40+ years. It's still hard to except that the US would sacrifice so many lives fighting for Europe when it is obvious the Europe would not do the same thing for the US if necessary. The civilian navy merchantmen and ships lost just trying to supply England with everything from food to aircraft is never appreciated. Keeping the USSR in check has never been appreciated. The only country that steps up to help the US today is England because they still remember how close they remember how close they came from losing their country by relying on soft power and diplomacy. They are the only country the US can usually count on for support when necessary. The rest of Europe just stands around naval gazing and complaining. NATO is a useless institution where the majority of members are so far behind US military technology they can not even interface with US battlefield systems. The only thing thing they are good at is holding the US coats and staying out of the way of the US military. The Europeans could not handle the Balkan wars without US assistance. Most of the European countries could not even deploy their troops and equipment to Afghanistan without US help. NATO couldn't take out the Libyan air defense systems in a timely fashion and had to get the US to do it for them. I am glad the US is downsizing the military and hopefully they start the process by removing all troops and equipment from Europe and let them handle their own problems for a change. And as a bonus they should also punt the expense of the missile defense system in Europe. The US is in no danger of missiles from anyone in the the middle eastern countries so why spend US money on the project?
  • Re:When in Rome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yev000 (985549) on Friday January 06, 2012 @04:10AM (#38607508)

    I agree with you that US only entered WW2 due to pearl harbour, but I'm curious, would you prefer a Russian or German Europe to what it is now? And if anything Japan showed US that it is not untouchable.

    US profited big time from WW2 in various ways, I'd say that European countries (UK included) have more than paid their debt to the US by now.

    What I'm trying to say is that the world of politics is a little bit more complicated than "I helped you, be grateful". There are a lot of fingers in the same pie, I'm absolutely sure than the US gets more than their fair share.

    I'd also be careful what you wish for. Despite appearances, European economy is a lot larger than US Economy. US needs Europe more than Europe needs US. And we all need China and Russia more than most people realise.

    So how about we all try and get along without bickering about who helped who 70 years ago. It's starting to sound almost as bad as complaining about the crusade.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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