Nonviolent action around the world – 9 February 2010 (Part 1)

FSI 2010
ICNC is now accepting applications for the 2010 Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University. This week-long Institute, now in its fifth year, will run from June 20 – 26 and brings together international professionals and journalists from around the world to learn from top practitioners and scholars about strategic concepts and present applications of civil resistance.
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Download the application form…


Kyrgyzstan: Official fired over controversial photo exhibit
By: Farangis Najibullah, RFE, February 5, 2010
Art and politics can be an explosive combination. That’s what Russian-born American photographer Sergei Melnikoff found out this week when he became embroiled in a political scandal in Kyrgyzstan. Melnikoff has created a firestorm in the Central Asian nation over his scathing criticism of Russia, which is Kyrgyzstan’s most important international partner.
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Tajikistan: Journalists under pressure as parliamentary elections approach
By: Konstantin Parshin, Eurasianet, February 5, 2010
With parliamentary elections fast approaching, print journalists in Tajikistan are coming under increasing pressure, media watchdogs say. The pro-presidential People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) is widely expected to retain its hammerlock on parliament in the February 28 elections. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Even so, media rights groups contend that President Imomali Rahmon’s administration is trying to muzzle media outlets not directly under the government’s control.
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India: Tribal people appeal to James Cameron
By: Survival International, February 8, 2010
Survival has appealed to Avatar director James Cameron on behalf of an Indian tribe through an ad in the film industry magazine Variety published on 8 February 2010.In the ad Survival asks Mr Cameron to help the Dongria Kondh tribe of Orissa, India, whose story is uncannily similar to that of the Na’vi in Avatar.
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India: Marchers defy protest ban in Indian Kashmir
By: AFP, February 7, 2010
Hundreds of Muslims marched in defiance of a ban on demonstrations in Indian Kashmir’s summer capital of Srinagar on Sunday, in protest against the death of a second teenage boy in a week.
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India: Church takes ‘unprecedented’ step to sell stake in Vedanta
By: Survival International, February 5, 2010
In a shock move, the Church of England decided today to disinvest from controversial miner Vedanta Resources on ethical grounds, dealing a devastating blow to the company’s credibility. The Church stated that ‘we are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect…’
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Myanmar: Burmese-American awaits verdict in case
By: Thomas Fuller, NY Times, February 8, 2010
At last count there were more than 2,100 political prisoners in Myanmar, according to human rights groups that track the opaque workings of the penal system in that country, formerly known as Burma. Among them is Nyi Nyi Aung, who spent years campaigning for Burmese democracy in exile before obtaining American citizenship.
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World’s press condemns sentencing of Myanmar journalists
By: The Sunday Times, February 7, 2010
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have condemned the sentencing of two Myanmar journalists to long prison terms and called on the country’s military junta to immediately release them and end its continuing attacks on the media.
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Vietnam dissident on trial
By: AFP, February 6, 2010
An internationally-recognized writer who is a prominent dissident went on trial in Vietnam Friday, adding to what the United States says is a ”spike” in human rights issues in the country. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, born in 1960, is charged alongside her husband with assault but both testified they were innocent and had themselves been beaten.
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Vietnam jails dissident writer over attack
By: BBC News, February 5, 2010
A Vietnamese writer and democracy activist has been jailed for three and a half years for attacking two men during a parking dispute in Hanoi. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and her husband, Do Ba Tan, had denied the charges, saying they had been the victims of the attack and not the perpetrators.
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Vietnam crackdown continues as writer jailed
By: John Ruwitch, Reuters, February 5, 2010
A Vietnamese court convicted a dissident writer of assault on Friday, bringing to 16 the number of people imprisoned since October in an unusually harsh crackdown on dissent in the one-party state.
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Demand China end support for Ahmadinejad and Basij Militia
By: World Press, February 5, 2010
To All Friends of the Iranian People, Spread the Word: China is supporting Ahmadinejad’s crackdown against the Iranian people, most recently by arming the Basij with anti-riot equipment and crowd control vehicles.  These Chinese arms pose a lethal threat to the millions of Iranians who plan to protest for freedom and democracy in Iran on February 11th.
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China: Dissidents named for Peace Prize
By: RFA, February 5, 2010
Seven members of the U.S. Congress have nominated three leading Chinese rights activists, of whom two are jailed and one is missing, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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China: More than 100,000 websites shut down
By: Oiwan Lam, Global Voices, February 3, 2010
According to Southern Metropolis’ report on 18 Jan 2010, more than 100 thousand websites have been shut down in China since the white list policy has come into effect in December 2009. Self employed individuals who tried to maintain their business online were affected the most.
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Fiji miners appeal for foreign help with 19-year strike
By: Radio Australia, February 9, 2010
Fiji’s Mineworkers Union has appealed to both the International Labour Organisation and the International Human Rights Council for help, as they continue their 19-year strike action at the Vatukoula gold mine. Since they walked off the job, the mine has changed ownership more than once, with some proprietors shutting down operations, claiming it was no longer viable.
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Malawi man arrested for posting gay rights posters
By: Faith Karimi, CNN, February 7, 2010
Malawian police have arrested a man for allegedly putting up posters supporting homosexuality, which is illegal in the southern African nation. Peter Sawali was charged this week with conduct likely to cause breach of peace, said police spokesman Davie Chingwalu.
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South Africa: Nelson Mandela’s captive audience
By: Ko Bo Kyi, NY Times, February 6, 2010
News of Nelson Mandela’s release dominated the radio broadcasts by the BBC and Voice of America on Feb. 11, 1990. I felt I understood why he had resisted so long, because in Burma, as in South Africa at the time Mr. Mandela was in jail, the majority of people were struggling to make their voices heard. Within three months, the military junta would refuse to recognize the results of our national election – and I would be locked up in Rangoon’s Insein Prison for leading a demonstration.
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Freedom of information laws struggle to take hold in Africa
By: Mohamed Keita, Committee to Protect Journalists, February 5, 2010
Freedom to information is enshrined as a fundamental human right by the United Nations, and upheld by the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. However, to this date, only five countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Angola) have passed freedom of information legislation.
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Zimbabwe: ZINASU students arrested at Harare Polytechnic
By: SW Radio Africa, February 5, 2010
Two student activists were arrested by police in Harare on Thursday for addressing their colleagues at the crisis ridden Harare Polytechnic. The Zimbabwe National Students Union spokesperson Kudakwashe Chakabva issued a statement on Friday saying the two had been assigned a fact-finding mission to collect data on the grievances and challenges facing students.
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Morocco: Where independent media is no more
By: Hisham, Global Voices, February 2, 2010
There have been mounting attacks on freedom of expression in Morocco lately, targeting journalists as well as bloggers as we consistently have been reporting on Global Voices Online recently. So constant are the attacks, that a reader might find the news coming out form the north African kingdom, a redundant rehash of the same old story.
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US: Two sage voices remind us to confront evil
By: Hyriam Marquez, Miami Herald, February 7, 2010
Two wise men who stood up to evil brought their seedlings of hope and peace and planted them firmly on Miami soil. Stand your ground, don’t give up, keep pushing for what’s right, keep talking — and listening, but only when there is mutual respect.
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Internal and external challenges ahead for Honduras
By: Eliot Brockner, World Politics Review, February 8, 2010
Many Hondurans as well as outside observers of the country’s political crisis breathed a sigh of relief when Porfirio Lobo Sosa was sworn in as president on Jan. 27. Nevertheless, a significant amount of work lays ahead for Lobo’s government, which is under pressure from many governments in the region to carry out a full-scale investigation into the events of last year.
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Haiti protesters denounce aid corruption, hoarding
By: Reuters, February 8, 2010
Hundreds of Haitian earthquake survivors protested in a suburb of the wrecked capital on Sunday, accusing a district mayor of corruption and hoarding food aid provided by relief groups, witnesses said.
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Can social networking open up Cuba?
By: Joe McKendrick, Cuba Study Group, February 4, 2010
Can social networking have a positive impact on a long-repressed society just south of the United States? In a new post, Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, expert on the social issues of computing and former IBM vice president, reports on a recent conference in which the possibilities for social networking to open up Cuban society were discussed.
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Mexico: Authentic journalism rises again on Yucatán Peninsula
By: RJ Maccani, Narco News Bulletin, February 6, 2010
The 2010 School of Authentic Journalism began its ten-day program Wednesday in the coastal town Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Over sixty students, faculty and staff gathered to hear the School’s President, Al Giordano, give an interview that sounded more like a call to arms. “Everybody knows that the old model of commercial, daily newspapers is dying. And everybody is kind of looking to see what will replace it and what we are proposing is that you all go out from here and do that.”
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