Nonviolent action around the world – 9 March 2010 (Part 2)

Kyrgyz protesters demand release of jailed politician
By: RFERL, March 8, 2010
Hundreds of protesters in the southern Kyrgyz district of Alay have gathered to demand the release of jailed former Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, in the latest in a series of protests by Isakov’s supporters, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.
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Azerbaijan: Freedom of expression must be protected
By: Thomas Hammarberg, The Gov Monitor, March 7, 2010
Freedom of expression, situation of non-governmental organisations, respect of human rights by law enforcement officers, and the administration of justice were the main themes of the visit to Azerbaijan from 1-5 March 2010 by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg.
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North Korea: Honored nutritionist calls for food aid to the North ‘regardless of circumstances.’
By: Joongang Daily, March 10, 2010
A North Korean defector-turned-nutritionist called on the international community Monday to resume food aid to North Korea to help children there suffering from malnutrition. Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Lee Ae-ran, professor of nutrition and culinary arts at Kyungin Women’s College in South Korea, said food aid to North Korea “should resume regardless of the circumstances,” noting that North Korean children are much smaller than their South Korean counterparts owing to malnutrition.
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Tibetans storm Chinese embassy
By: Al Jazeera, March 9, 2010
Tibetan exiles in India have stormed the Chinese embassy in New Delhi during a protest to mark the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in 1959. Police said nearly two dozens demonstrators were detained on Tuesday after they rushed towards the embassy gate chanting “Tibet belongs to Tibet” and “Free Tibet”. The Tibetans were driven to a nearby police station and an officer said they were likely be released later in the day.
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Tibetan singer gets prison
By: Radio Free Asia, March 8, 2010
Authorities in a Tibetan area of western China have sent a local singer to prison after he recorded and distributed CDs of songs protesting Chinese rule over Tibetans, according to legal documents made available to Radio Free Asia (RFA). In the first of two judicial documents recently smuggled out of China, Tashi Dhondup, 30, was sentenced by the Malho [in Chinese, Huangnan] municipal re-education through labor committee to 15 months’ “re-education through labor.”
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China: New regulation proposed for internet cafes
By: Global Voices, March 8, 2010
A member of the National People’s Congress suggested quick legislative action Mar. 6 on a resolution that would close Chinese internet cafes between midnight and 8 a.m. People’s Representative Gao Wanneng called for a “zero-hour cutoff” for internet cafes due to long-term internet addition in Chinese youth.  Gao said such addiction is responsible for high dropout rates and internet crime and asked the National People’s Congress to pass legislation regulating online gaming, reports the Worker’s Daily.
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China: Group calls for writers release
By: Radio Free Asia, March 8, 2010
An international writers’ group has called on Chinese authorities to release Tan Zuoren, a writer and activist based in the southwestern province of Sichuan who was recently jailed for subversion after investigating the deaths of children in the 2008 earthquake in the region. International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee issued a statement condemning Tan’s Feb. 9 sentencing for “inciting subversion of state power”.
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China says only socialism can “save” Tibet
By: Reuters, March 7, 2010
The new Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet said today that only socialism can “save” the remote region and guarantee its development, and lampooned the Dalai Lama’s indecision on his succession. China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying not only did it free a million Tibetan serfs but it also poured billions of dollars into the Himalayan region for development.
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China: For dissident’s wife, a time of waiting
By: IPS, March 5, 2010
Long before Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent political dissident and co- author of the Charter 08 call for political reform, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “incitement to subvert state power,” his wife, Liu Xia, had accepted his fate.  “I’ve been prepared for a long time,” says the soft-spoken 49-year-old poet. “I always knew it would happen.”
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Tibet: First symposium on Tibetan women empowerment
By: Tibet Custom, March 4, 2010
A two-day deliberation on how to facilitate and empower Tibetan women to take full and active participation in social, political and economic and other administrative activities in the exile community started this morning [March 4] at Gangchen Kyishong.
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Afghanistan: Women’s rights trampled despite new law
By: Irinews, March 8, 2010
As the world marks International Women’s Day, ambivalence, impunity, weak law enforcement and corruption continue to undermine women’s rights in Afghanistan, despite a July 2009 law banning violence against women, rights activists say. A recent case of the public beating of a woman for alleged elopement – also shown on private TV stations in Kabul – highlights the issue.
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For Afghan women, some hard-won successes and an ongoing struggle
By: Tanya Goudsouzian and Helena Malikyar, RFE, March 8, 2010
The iconic image of the green-eyed Afghan girl who graced the cover of “National Geographic” magazine in 1985 generated a media frenzy when a new picture emerged in 2002, just a few months after the ruling Taliban was ousted from her native Afghanistan. No words could have better depicted the extent of her suffering during the 17 years since the original photo was taken. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, it is apt to consider what progress has been made, and what challenges continue to hinder the efforts of well-intentioned parties.
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Afghanistan: Women’s rights movement slowly taking shape
By: Aunohita Mojumdar,, March 8, 2010
Cooperation between Afghan women activists on this scale is new. Though active since 2001, the efforts of various women’s rights organizations have been scattered and sometimes competitive, says Hassan, who feels she did not get enough support from women MP’s. “We don’t see each other as complementary,” she says, attributing the weakness of the movement to the long period of disempowerment. But, as the women’s movement is now starting to come together, Hassan is preparing for a struggle. “We have to be ready for a fight,” she asserted.
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Vietnam human rights lawyer freed after serving three years in prison
By: AP, March 8, 2010
A Vietnamese human rights lawyer has been released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for spreading propaganda against the state.
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UN must step up for the women of Burma
By: Lucy Turnbull, The Sydney Morning Herald, March 8, 2010
All Australians should reflect on the lives of women who are permanently marked by deep and deepening tragedy and injustice – women such as Aung San Suu Kyi and countless thousands of Burmese women.
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Taiwan: Groups here fight for human rights in Burma
By: China Post, March 8, 2010
Human rights groups and women’s organizations in Taiwan yesterday urged the world community to reinforce support for Burmese women leaders who have been locked up for long jail terms for advocating democracy in the Indochinese country.
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Burma military passes key election laws
By: BBC, March 8, 2010
Burma’s military government has approved election laws that pave the way for polls expected this year. Details of the laws have not yet been revealed but they are likely to include issues such as campaigning and the number of candidates per constituency.
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Vietnamese ex-soldiers, families protest failed foreign labor deal
By: Viet Tan, March 5, 2010
Around 100 people, including many former soldiers, staged a protest against a Vietnamese regional military headquarters they said had cheated them out of overseas jobs, protestors said Friday. The crowd gathered Thursday in front of the headquarters of Military Zone 4 in the city of Vinh in central Vietnam, accusing senior military officers of taking downpayments from soldiers in return for the promise of overseas employment that never materialized.
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Cambodia’s proposed NGO law stirs suspicion and concern
By: Reuters, March 5, 2010
A proposed law regulating non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Cambodia is raising concerns among advocacy and aid groups that it will be used by the government to restrict their activities in the impoverished Southeast Asian country.
During a ceremony in November to mark 30 years of NGO-government cooperation, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said a law governing the non-profit sector would be next on the agenda after the enactment of an anti-corruption bill.
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Thailand: Ex-leader vows nonviolent struggle to regain power
By: Denver Post, February 28, 2010
Populist former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters denounced a court order to seize $1.4 billion of his assets and vowed Saturday to pursue a nonviolent struggle for what they said would be a people’s democracy.
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Tongans ready to bear arms in democracy fight
By: TVNZ, March 6, 2010
Tongans living in New Zealand say they are ready to bear arms to fight for democracy in their homeland.
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UN expert calls for culturally sensitive reforms for indigenous people in Australia
By: UN News Center, March 9, 2010
Despite recent advancements in tackling the human rights of indigenous people in Australia, an independent United Nations expert today called on the country’s authorities to develop new social and economic initiatives and to reform existing ones to allow respect for cultural integrity and self-determination.
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West Papua Advocacy Team report
By: Free West Papua, March 2010
This is the 70th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua.
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Ethiopia: State chief calls on women to make May national elections democratic, peaceful
By: Walta Information Center, March 8, 2010
Chief Administrator of the Oromia State, Abadula Gemeda, said women need to play active role in the efforts being made to make the upcoming May national elections democratic and peaceful.
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Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai urges peaceforce for next poll
By: Cris Chinaka, News Daily, March 7, 2010
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday Zimbabwe should invite international observers and a peacekeeping force to ensure that its next national election is free and fair.
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Candidate slaying in northern Ethiopia stirs calls for an inquiry
By: Howard Lesser, VOA News, March 7, 2010
The stabbing death of an opposition candidate in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region is raising new calls for an inquiry and an easing of 2009 repressive legislation that critics say is restraining political activity in the weeks leading up to  this year’s 23 May general elections.
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Uganda: Religious leader and activists petition parliament
By: Global Voices, March 7, 2010
Religious leaders and activists petition parliament in Uganda: “On Monday 01 March 2010 a delegation of activists AIDS service providers, Spiritual mentors and counsellors took centre stage in Kampala when they met the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda Rt. Hon. Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill…”
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Ethiopia: The Democracy Paradox
By: Ethiopian Media Forum, March 6, 2010
The stage for this article was set by two events. Firstly, at the forefront triggering the writing was the second round inter-party debate of March 2nd in preparation for the May 23rd national election. Secondly, coincidentally in the background was The Democracy Paradox (Project Syndicate Sept 14, 2009), an article by Dominique Moisi, a respected French commentator on international issues and visiting professor at Harvard University that I read moments before watching the debate on video.
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South Sudan media “under attack”
By: Peter Martell, AFP, March 5, 2010
Southern Sudanese journalists are facing increasing intimidation as the security services clamp down on reporters ahead of landmark elections in April, a media rights watchdog warned on Friday. The southern-based Agency for Independent Media (AIM) said it recorded several “disturbing reports” of the harassment of journalists across the autonomous south in 2010, including arrests and violence.
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Zimbabwe: Trade union leader forced to flee, say Christian students
By: Peter Kenny, All Africa, March 5, 2010
The World Student Christian Federation and its Zimbabwe Advocacy Office say they are shocked at recent attacks on trade union leaders by police and security forces in Zimbabwe during a period when the southern African country is trying to reconcile bitter divides.
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Women: Reflections on our human rights
By: Open Democracy, March 8, 2010
It’s seventeen years since women’s rights were recognised as human rights at the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna. openDemocracy writers examine the struggle to turn these rights into a day-to-day reality for women and girls and examine the challenges that lie ahead…
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For young activists, video is their voice
By: Boston Globe, March 5, 2010
When Elisa Kreisinger wanted to protest the newly diminished visibility of gay characters and story lines on television, she didn’t launch a petition drive or write an angry op-ed piece. Instead, like many other members of the YouTube generation for whom the visual language is a native tongue, she found a way to have her say with video rather than words. “I wouldn’t have done it if it was text-based,” said Kreisinger, a 23-year-old Simmons College grad from Cambridge. “Things are more easily communicated through video . . . And there can be more powerful statements.”
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Cracking entrenched systems of corruption
By: Fumiko Nagano, Blogspot, March 4, 2010
Last month, I had the pleasure to meet again with Shaazka Beyerle, Senior Advisor at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.  Having examined a multitude of nonviolent grassroots campaigns against corruption around the world for her own research, Beyerle shared with me not only numerous interesting cases, but also her observations about the factors that contribute to the success of civic efforts to fight corruption.
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The godfather of nonviolent resistance?
By: WBUR, March 3, 2010
From his two room office in East Boston, Massachusetts, 81-year-old Gene Sharp runs the Albert Einstein Institution; Sharp has inspired opposition movements around the world. His slender book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” has been translated into more than 30 languages. In it, he lays out a framework to resist dictatorial governments.
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A guide to mobile security for citizen journalists
By: Mobile Active, March 1, 2010
Citizen journalism, and with it the rise of alternative media voices, is one of the most exciting possibilities for mobile phones in activism. Mobile phones are used to compose stories, capture multi-media evidence and disseminate content to local and international audiences. This can be accomplished extremely quickly, making mobile media tools attractive to citizens and journalists covering rapidly unfolding events such as protests or political or other crises. The rise of mobiles has also helped extend citizen journalism into transient, poor or otherwise disconnected communities.
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Le militantisme décalé des féministes de La Barbe
By: Le Monde, March 6, 2010
Stupéfait, le président du conseil général des Yvelines interrompt sa lecture et regarde autour de lui, ébahi. Une femme, puis une autre viennent d’entrer en silence dans l’hémicycle rouge et or de l’hôtel du département de Versailles. Elles sont maintenant une dizaine, alignées au pied de l’estrade : sous les lustres de cristal, elles se tiennent debout, impassibles, une barbe postiche sur le visage. L’une d’elles porte une pancarte où l’on peut simplement lire : “La Barbe”.
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2010 Rights & Democracy John Humphrey Award
By: PCD Network, March 7, 2010
“Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development) presents the John Humphrey Award each year to an organization or individual from any region of the world for outstanding achievement in the promotion of human rights and democratic development. The Award consists of a grant of $30,000 and a speaking tour of Canadian cities to help increase awareness of the recipient’s human rights work. It is named in honour of the late John Peters Humphrey, the Canadian human rights law professor who prepared the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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