Pakistan: Journalist Saleem Shahzad murdered

According to Pakistani news sources, the body of the Pakistan bureau chief for Asia Times Online, has been found. He had been missing since Sunday. Previous reports said that he was under the custody of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Human rights groups claim that the agency has abused and tortured journalists in the past. Saleem Shahzad’s disappearence followed after warnings from Pakistani security agencies over articles that seemed damaging to Pakistan’s national interest and image. Shahza recently covered the Pakistan Taliban’s attack of a naval air force base in Karachi on May 23.

Syria: 19 year-old blogger accused of espionage

A teenage blogger who has been detained for nine months has been accused of spying for the American Embassy in Egypt. Tal al Mallohi, who is currently being held in Duma women’s prison near Damascus, was arrested by Syrian Intelligence Services in December 2009, in connection with a street attack on security services. She is accused of providing information that led to the incident. Mallohi has been denied access to a lawyer, and has had her computer and other personal possessions confiscated from her parents’ house. Her family have not been allowed to contact her. She is expected to appear in court in the next few days.

Egyptian publisher detained by government

The publisher of the new book about Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN nuclear watchdog, was arrested by the Egyptian authorities on Saturday.  Egyptian officials raided Ahmed Mahanna’s house a week after he released a book lauding ElBaradei who has launched a campaign for political reform and hinted he may challenge Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in an election due in 2011.  Egyptian officials did not state a reason for detaining Mahanna, who was released the next day.