I was in London at the time, I think it was late evening, when my dad called and said that security forces had taken my sister. That was the first time I knew anything about her protest. My parents, who live in Tehran, were in shock. My sister had first been arrested outside the national stadium for protesting against an old rule that banned women from attending sporting events alongside men "for their own safety".
In the 19th century it was British democracy protesters being cut down, now it's Saudi bloggers and protesters being lashed and facing public decapitation. With the Foreign Secretary wanting to raise a cheer for British business in places like Iran and China, I think jailed activists around the world are in for a cheerless time.
If you thought the Suez crisis of 1956 was a long way away, consider that there were joint Russia-China-Iran naval exercises this year, the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 could be considered just a pause and the West versus the world's murkier and more dictatorial states is still a conflict in progress.
Today, some powers and principalities are trying to lure the MENA genie back into its bottle - with brutal force, lavish financial inducements or political shenanigans. But this genie is cunning: it has tasted freedom outside the bottle and sees its own world with different lenses. Its instincts cannot easily be tamed back into the bottle!