Nonviolent Action around the World – 11 August 2009 (Part 2)

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi found guilty of breaking house arrest
By: Justin McCurry, Guardian, August 11, 2009
Aung San Suu Kyi will spend the next year and a half under guard at her home in Rangoon after a court today found her guilty of breaking the terms of her house arrest. The sentence means she will play no part in elections the military junta has promised to hold early next year.
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Sri Lanka: US youths launch campaign against Microsoft investment
By: Tamil Net, August 10, 2009
Noting conditions within the military supervised internment camps, U.S. based activist youth group, PEARL, urged Microsoft to reconsider investments in Sri Lanka. “While technology transfer is important, blanket support should not be given to governments who do not respect basic human rights,” they said.
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Philippines: Aquino’s ripple effect
By: James Carroll, Boston Globe, August 10, 2009
Today the formal mourning ends for Corazon Aquino, the former president of the Philippines. When hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets at Aquino’s funeral last week, it was impossible not to think of the millions who rallied to her during the “People Power Revolution” of 1986.
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Burma: Verdicts in Suu Kyi trial may be delayed
By: AP, August 10, 2009
Verdicts in the trial of Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi may be postponed again. A court was scheduled to deliver the verdicts Tuesday, but Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win said he expected the verdicts to be delayed again if the American defendant who sawm to her home remains in the hospital.
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Tibet: Dalai Lama to receive International Freedom Award
By: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, August 10, 2009
The National Civil Rights Museum in the US will confer the International Freedom Award on the Dalai Lama. The museum recognizes the Dalai Lama’s contributions to world peace through the promotion of human values, inter-faith harmony and universal responsibility.
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Tibet ‘Chinese issue’ says Dalai
By: Shirong Chen, BBC News, August 10, 2009
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has said the Tibetan issue is a Chinese domestic problem. His statement may breathe new life into the deadlocked talks between him and the government in Beijing. But he also said Beijing’s policy on ethnic minorities was a “failure”.
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China: Reining in civil society
By: Chinese Human Rights Defenders, August 10, 2009
While the Chinese government outwardly employs rhetoric about moving towards “greater rule of law”, it has become more skillful in persecuting individuals who organize outside of its control. Any independent organization which the government perceives as a threat to its power risks official retaliation.
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China frees 1,200 in Tibet, holds 700 over Xinjiang
By: AFP, August 10, 2009
China said that it has released more than 1,200 detainees held over unrest in Tibet last year while more than 700 people are still being held following the riots in Xinjiang. “After the 1,231 suspects were punished and educated by judicial authorities in Tibet, they were freed,” Beijing said.
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Nepal: Maoist student leaders start fast-unto-death
By: Nepal News, August 9, 2009
Three leaders of Maoist affiliated All Nepal National Independent Students Union (ANNISU-Revolutionary) have started a fast-unto-death protesting against the Tribhuvan University’s (TU) decision to scrap Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL). 12 student unions have been coordinating against this decision.
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Nepal: Maoists organize protest rallies
By: Nepal News, August 9, 2009
The main opposition Unified CPN (Maoist) staged demonstrations in Kathmandu Sunday as part of its month-long protest movement for restoring ‘civilian supremacy.’ Similar demonstrations were organised outside the capital. There were no reports of violence or arrests during the demonstrations.
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Arrest in China rattles backers of legal rights
By: Andrew Jacobs, NY Times, August 9, 2009
China’s legal rights movement, already reeling from a crackdown on lawyers, the kidnapping of defense witnesses and the shuttering of a prominent legal clinic, has been shaken by the detention of a rights defender. Xu Zhiyong, 36, has been incommunicado since the police led him away from his apartment 12 days ago.
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Burma’s struggle, Aung San Suu Kyi’s role
By: Kyi May Kaung, Transcend Media Service, August 8, 2009
Burmese people across the world have for the last eighteen years marked today’s date with particular sharpness. 8 August 1988 was the occasion of a massacre in Rangoon in which the emerging, democratic “people’s power” movement was drowned in blood.
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Women’s groups urge Security Council to act on Burma
By: Mungpi, Mizzima, August 7, 2009
Women activists the world over urged Ban Ki-moon United Nations Secretary General to push the Security Council to form a Commission of Inquiry to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma. The 64 groups said Burma’s military rulers have been committing crimes against humanity.
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Burma: Goh says Suu Kyi ‘is part of the problem’
By: Francis Wade, Democratic Voice of Burma, August 7, 2009
Aung San Suu Kyi “is part of the problem” in Burma’s political crisis because she still believes she is the government, said former Singaporean prime minister Goh Chok Tong. Goh Chok Tong had previously urged the ruling junta in Burma to hold free and fair elections.
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China lawyer who fought unfair arrest is arrested
By: Barbara Demick, LA Times, August 7, 2009
Xu Zhiyong, a 36-year-old Beijing lawyer, is renowned for his spirited defense of Chinese citizens victimized by unfair arrest or consumer fraud. Nowadays, the founder of the Open Constitution Initiative law firm will be lucky if he is able to defend himself. Xu was seized from his home at 5 a.m. on July 29.
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Tiananmen, patriotism and brainwashing in Chinese education
By: China Digital Times, August 6, 2009
Blogger Madayiwei wrote an essay about Tiananmen Square, early education and brainwashing, excerpts translated by CDT: “A British man came to China as a tourist. He wrote an interesting essay when he came back. Here are some excerpts.”
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Founder of Chinese political group to be tried
By: Gillian Wong, AP, August 6, 2009
The founder of a Chinese group that challenged Communist rule with a call for multiparty democracy will plead not guilty at his upcoming subversion trial. Guo Quan has been detained numerous times since founding the China New Democracy Party in 2007, most recently in November.
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China ‘responsible’ for riots
By: Radio Free Asia, August 6, 2009
Exiled dissident Rebiya Kadeer has called on the Chinese government to take responsibility for last month’s deadly race riots as the authorities released the official death toll. “If we take the numbers announced by Chinese government as true, the Chinese government is still responsible,” she said.
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South Korea: Media cheer reporters’ release
By: Anthony Advincula and Eunji Jang, New American Media, August 4, 2009
South Korean media are applauding the release of two U.S. journalists held in a North Korean prison, but question the fate of hundreds of South Koreans imprisoned for years. “It is very difficult to free our own South Korean hostages because North Korea intentionally treats our government differently.”
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Tajik villagers protest over demolished home
By: RFE/RL, August 3, 2009
A Tajik family whose home was bulldozed held a protest with other supporters in front of the government building in Dushanbe. The protesters say the demolition of the home in the village of Zarkamar was carried out illegally and without any preliminary warning.
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Uzbek human rights activist jailed for 12 years
By: RFE/RL, July 31, 2009
Uzbek human rights activist Dilmurod Sayyid has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail. The Toyloq district court found Sayid, 48, guilty of extortion and forgery. A colleague of Sayyid’s said that neither the defendant’s relatives nor his lawyers were allowed to be present when the verdict was announced.
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Chechen leader denies blame for killings- Interview
By: RFE/RL, August 10, 2009
The body of prominent Russian human rights activist Natalya Estemirova was discovered in Ingushetia. Estemirova’s colleagues blame Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. But in an exclusive interview, Kadyrov denies the accusations and blames the West for spreading lies about him.
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Georgia: Giorgi – ‘The hackers want me to stop writing the truth’
By: William Dunbar, The Independent, August 10, 2009
Giorgi doesn’t seem like the sort of man who’d be at the centre of a massive internet meltdown. When we meet in a trendy Tbilisi nightspot, the unassuming 34-year-old looks exhausted. “It’s crazy. I was on the phone the whole day. I’m very tired,” he says.
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Georgia: Cyber attacks on blogger ‘cyxymu’
By: Veronica Khokhlova, Global Voices, August 9, 2009
A year ago, the Russo-Georgian war coincided with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This week, cyber attacks on LiveJournal, Twitter and Facebook, targeting Tbilisi-based LJ/Twitter/Facebook user cyxymu, have added an extra dimension to the coverage of the first anniversary of the war.
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Georgia: Digital refugees
By: Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, August 9, 2009
The Thursday outage on Twitter and Facebook that left millions without access was the result of a cyber-attack against a political blogger from the Republic of Georgia. The blogger, who goes by the name “CYXYMU,” accuses the Russian government of trying to silence him.
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Ukraine: Solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners
By: Charter ’97, August 7, 2009
The National Alliance, a Ukrainian youth organization, held a number of pickets in support of political prisoner Artsyom Dubski in 13 regions of Ukraine. “Young Front” Activist Artsyom Dubski was sentenced to a year of imprisonment in a minimum security colony for participation in a peaceful rally.
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Georgia: Saakashvili the survivor
By: Dimitry Avaliani, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, August 7, 2009
Georgia’s defeat last August severely damaged President Saakashvili, who had repeatedly promised to regain the breakaway territories. In response, opposition groups launched mass demonstrations but, strangely, protests appear to have strengthened rather than weakened the president.
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UAE: As Dubai’s glitter fades, foreigners see dark side
By: Andrew Higgins, Washington Post, August 10, 2009
A haven of stability in a region of tumult, Dubai is usually a place people flee to, not from. But a severe economic slump has reversed the flow. Those who came to Dubai seeking fortunes now face a less alluring prospect — a prison cell or furtive flight.
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Can democracy survive in Kurdistan?
By: Ranj Alaaldin, Guardian, August 9, 2009
Iraqi Kurdistan’s parliamentary and presidential elections have given birth to a viable opposition group for the first time since the autonomous Kurdish region was established in 1991. The Kurdish parliament will now operate as a more credible and vibrant entity as opposed to a rubber-stamping institution.
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Human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa
By: Lawrence Gist, Examiner, August 8, 2009
Human rights activists in the Middle East and North Africa still face persecution, more than 10 years after the UN called on all states to support the work of people defending human rights. A new Amnesty International report details numerous cases that highlight their precarious situation.
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Israel seeks ways to silence human rights groups
By: Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice, August 4, 2009
In a bid to staunch the flow of damaging evidence of war crimes committed during Israel’s winter assault on Gaza, the Israeli government has launched a campaign to clamp down on human rights groups. It has begun by targeting one of the world’s leading rights organisations, the US-based Human Rights Watch.
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A database of civil society self-regulatory initiatives
By: One World Trust, August 11, 2009
Civil society organisations are facing increasing pressure to demonstrate their accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness. In response, a growing number are coming together. This project provides the first comprehensive inventory of such civil society self-regulatory initiatives worldwide.
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Advocacy for genuine participation key in UN, civil society engagement
By: Shamina de Gonzaga, CIVICUS, August 7, 2009
Despite some apprehension, Member States continue to generate opportunities for civil society to engage in the United Nations. Currently, all main bodies of the UN involve accredited NGOs in some capacity and, increasingly, other civil society organisations are invited to participate as well.
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Think again: Twitter
By: Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy, August 6, 2009
Combined with other tools – e-mail, social networking, and blogs — Twitter can certainly be helpful in spreading news about upcoming protests. However, Twitter use in authoritarian countries comes with major drawbacks. It creates an extensive online paper trail that can be easily used against dissidents.
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La liberté au bout des ondes – Entretien avec Jaques Selemin
By: Estelle Poidevin, Sciences Po, August 11, 2009
Pour Jacques Semelin, les médias de l’Ouest puis de l’Est ont joué un rôle essentiel dans les événements qui ont conduit à la Chute du Mur de Berlin.
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Mali: Le nouveau Code de la famille
By: Jeune Afrique, August 10, 2009
Le nouveau Code de la famille du Mali adopté le 4 août améliore le droit des femmes dans ce pays. Son application nécessite toutefois un engagement constant des autorités publiques, loin d’être acquis sur le long terme.
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International day of solidarity with Honduras
By: International Trade Union Confederation, August 11, 2009
More than one month after the coup in Honduras the prospects of a negotiated settlement are sadly fading and the repression and violence have been continuing. The international trade union solidarity mission proposes that 11 August be declared an international day of solidarity with the Honduran people.
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Welcome to the new NGO Connect Africa website!
By: NGO Connect Africa, August 11, 2009
NGOConnect Africa provides a social workspace for NGOs and acts as a facilitator and promoter of the use of technology amongst NGOs. The platform is also aimed at Service Providers, Academia, Researchers, Government Organisations, Donors, Funders and Volunteers – anyone that wants to engage and assist NGOs.
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Urgent Action Fund Africa: Grants
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, August 6, 2009
UAF-Africa links the activities of women with the resources they require to respond to conflict and to take advantage of opportunities to advance women’s human rights. Although grants given are not large sums of money, they are dispersed very quickly, and there are no deadlines for applications.
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15 August 1962: The day of the broken promise
By: Free West Papua Campaign, August 14, 2009 at 38 Hyde Park Gae, London, SW7 5DP
To mark the 47th anniversary of the signing of the New York Agreement we invite you to a demonstration at the Dutch and Indonesian embassies. We will be demanding that the governments of the Netherlands and Indonesia put right the broken promise they made to the people of West Papua.
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Humanizing development: Global photography campaign
By: United Nations Development Programme, deadline October 1, 2009
How do you see development? This Global Photography Campaign aims to show examples of people winning the battle against poverty, social exclusion and marginalization. It is intended to raise awareness of the successes in the development process.
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International Peace Research Association conference
By: Jake Lynch, July 6-10, 2010, Sydney, Australia
We are winning the arguments against war and in favour of peace and sustainability. So why do preparations for violence continue to ratchet up? It’s time to start upgrading your communication for peace, in Sydney, 6-10 July 2010.
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