By now, the main contours of the recent events in Rakhine State, in western Myanmar, are well-known. On August 25, an insurgent group calling itself the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) (previously Harakah al-Yaqin) attacked police posts in northern Rakhine, eliciting a broad counterinsurgency response from the Myanmar military that has displaced over 400,000 Rohingya people into Bangladesh. As in previous cycles of violence, the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, has reportedly targeted civilians in its “clearance operations,” leading to allegations of killings, rape, and the burning of villages. The UN’s human rights body has referred to this latest outbreak of violence as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
In fall 2013, an alleged spy was put behind bars in the Qena governorate in Upper Egypt. The accused’s name was Menes, and his summer residency was Hungary. Menes was caught by a villager who spotted a suspicious device on Menes’s body, and he was put in custody until he was released by an attorney. In 2013, several foreigners were arrested in Egypt on similar accusations. Perhaps the most reported story is that of three Al Jazeera journalists accused of spreading lies and supporting terrorism. They were recently sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison (Al Jazeera 2014).