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Today I arrived in Diyarbakir, the main city of the Kurdish part of Turkey. There is an appearance of normality at the moment and the city is buzzing. If I had arrived the day before I would have been witness to a very different scene: heavy police presence, the city centre cordoned off, people protesting on the streets, and truly palpable tension. I am told one could still smell the pepper spray late last night.
Seven years ago I visited the police state of Tunisia for the absurd UN Summit on the Information Society. Absurd because the UN was celebrating the information society in a decaying, corrupt dictatorship which led the world in internet censorship. We protested at the unjust imprisonment and torture of human rights defender Mohammed Abbou. We visited the hunger strikers who had launched a fast for human rights and democracy on 18th October.