Nonviolent Action around the World – 11 August 2009 (Part 1)

August 11, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN

Iran: Mousavi’s camp helps “foreign spies”
By: China View, August 11, 2009
Advisor to President Ahmadinejad Ali-Asghar Zarei said that the camp of the defeated Mir-Hossein Mousavi helped “foreign spies” during the presidential campaigns. He said that Mousavi had coordinated his efforts with foreign embassies in Tehran, particularly Britain.
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Rape claims emerge from Iran prisons
By: CBS News, August 10, 2009
An Iranian opposition leader said Sunday that detained protesters are alleging male and female prisoners were savagely raped by their jailers. Mahdi Karroubi said he has received the reports of rapes from former military commanders and other senior officials and he called for an investigation.
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Iran’s president purges intelligence ministry
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, August 10, 2009
Iran’s president has conducted a purge of the nation’s intelligence ministry, sweeping aside ranking officials with decades of experience in favour of loyalists. The move underscores the deep rifts and disarray within the highest echelons of the country’s security apparatus.
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Iranian officials call for arrest of opposition leaders
By: Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post, August 10, 2009
Revolutionary Guard generals, top politicians and senior clerics have called for the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders, including Mir Hossein Mousavi. The calls for arrests come as part of a crackdown against opposition activists who continue to dispute June’s presidential vote.
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Iran hits back at foreign criticism of riot trials
By: Middle East Online, August 10, 2009
Iran hit back on Monday at criticism of the mass trials of election protesters, saying it would strongly resist such “foreign intervention” in its domestic affairs. ranian foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi described the criticism as “illegal and surprising.”
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Iran’s farcical play
By: Tariq Alhomayed, Asharq Alawsat, August 10, 2009
The so-called trials that are taking place against the backdrop of the protests that swept Iran following the recent election results can only be described as a farcical play. The regime put the accused on trail in order for them to repeat everything previously said in the regime’s media.
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Iran admits election demonstrators were tortured
By: Simon Tisdall, Guardian, August 10, 2009
Iran’s police chief admitted yesterday that protesters who were arrested after June’s disputed presidential election had been tortured while in custody in a prison in south-west Tehran. But he denied that any of the detainees had died as a result.
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Iran: Twitter and Facebook in trial
By: Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices, August 9, 2009
Yesterday, Iranian authorities held the second round the of mass trial of protestors and reformist politicians. Almost all the defendants were accused of inciting riots and undermining national security. The judiciary went on to blame a litany of Western intelligence agencies and software companies.
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Trial of protesters seems only to hurt Iran, analysts say
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, August 9, 2009
As a prosecutor sketched a vast foreign conspiracy against Iran at an extraordinary trial of alleged ringleaders of the unrest, experts were struggling to figure out the intent of the televised proceedings. More than 100 people were paraded before the cameras a week ago, followed by dozens more Saturday.
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Iran police chief blamed for Kahrizak prison deaths
By: Iran News, August 9, 2009
The Kahrizak prison controversy lingers on as a senior lawmaker blames the Iranian Police Chief for the sordid treatment of election protestors. Unfortunately, the gross misconduct of Kahrizak officials have resulted in the murder of scores of young people, said Hamid-Reza Katouzian.
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Iran Revolutionary Guard wants former president, moderates tried
By: Reza Derakhshi, Reuters, August 9, 2009
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said on Sunday that opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi should be tried for inciting unrest. “If Mousavi, Karoubi and Khatami are main suspects behind the soft revolution in Iran, we expect the judiciary … to go after them,” said a senior Guard commander.
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Iran’s Bassijis want prosecution for Mousavi-Khatami-Karroubi
By: Iran News, August 9, 2009
A senior Bassiji accused Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and former President Mohammad Khatami of inciting the unrest following the June elections. The head of the IRGC’s political bureau said it was absolutely vital to defend the country amidst a Western-backed plot to topple the government.
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Nobel laureate urges Iran to release detainees
By: Hyung-Jin Kim, AP, August 9, 2009
Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi on Sunday urged Iran’s government to release detained activists and citizens accused of involvement in the country’s postelection unrest, saying the president must “listen to the people’s voice.” Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, said that police tortured some detainees to death.
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Clinton: US showed support for Iranian protesters
By: NOW Lebanon, August 9, 2009
Hillary Clinton said that the US did a lot “behind the scenes” to show support for demonstrators contesting Iran’s disputed presidential election results. “We did not want to get between the legitimate protests and demonstrations of the Iranian people and the leadership,” Clinton said.
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Iran: French lecturer in dock at protesters’ trial
By: Aresu Eqbali, Iran Focus, August 8, 2009
A French lecturer and an Iranian employee of the French embassy were in the dock on Saturday alongside others detained during protests as a Tehran court resumed their trial. Clotilde Reiss was arrested on July 1 as she tried to fly out of Iran after a study trip.
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Iran: The (im)moral logic of the show trial
By: Scott Atran, Huffington Post, August 8, 2009
Last week, leading reformists in Iran appeared in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sporting gray pyjamas and plastic slippers. They were unshaven, had clearly lost weight, and seemed dazed. According to Human Rights Watch, many if not all of the defendants were subject to harsh and violent interrogation techniques.
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Iran protesters face second hearing
By: Al Jazeera, August 8, 2009
About 100 people charged over the violence that followed the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmdinejad are facing a second court hearing. The suspects, including several prominent political figures, were among hundreds detained in a government crackdown following the unrest.
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Iran: Alarming spike in executions since disputed presidential election
By: Amnesty International, August 7, 2009
The eight weeks between the presidential election on 12 June and the inauguration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term as president on 5 August saw an alarming spike in the number of executions by the Iranian authorities. “In just over 50 days, we recorded no less that 115 executions.”
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Iran: Mourning ceremony turns violent
By: Iran Human Rights Voice, August 7, 2009
On the fortieth day of the mourning ceremony for victims of unrest in Iran, a crowd assembled in Ahvaz. They soon numbered several hundred, vexing the security guards, at which point the anti-riot guards raided the marchers with their batons and used pepper gas to attack the crowd.
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CRISIS IN HONDURAS

Honduras: Toppling a coup, part III; Discipline solves the big problems
By: Al Giordano, The Field, August 10, 2009
When members of the Honduran civil resistance solicited the counsel of Serbian resistance veteran Ivan Marovic from July 31 to August 2, a repeat question from various participants was: “How do we avoid infiltration?” Marovic replied: “One thing I can’t teach you is that.”
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Effort to end Honduras crisis dodges a roadblock
By: Tyler Bridges, McClatchy Newspapers, August 9, 2009
The de facto government of Honduras canceled and then rescheduled a trip by foreign envoys who’re seeking to resolve the six-week-old political crisis. The government’s communique Sunday evening said it would settle on a new date for the visit “in the next two days.”
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Obama says he has no quick way to resolve Honduras crisis
By: The Peninsula, August 9, 2009
Barack Obama said that he has no quick way to resolve the political crisis in Honduras, where supporters of a coup are refusing to let ousted President Zelaya return to power. Obama told reporters he still supports the reinstatement of Zelaya, but that the US would not take unilateral action.
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Honduras: With the generals or the democrats?
By: Jorge Heine, The Star, August 9, 2009
On the one hand, this has been the first overt, no-holds-barred military coup in Latin America in many years. On the other hand, there is increasing pressure from Republican congressmen in Washington and from conservative sectors in Latin America to search for a “compromise.”
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Honduran junta commits “grave violations of human rights”
By: Sovereign Hager, Impunity Watch, August 9, 2009
An Independent International Human Rights Commission has identified “grave violations of human rights” in Honduras. The mission said that the abuses signaled a “clear context of political persecution that especially affects political union leaders.”
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Honduras: Micheletti calls out the geezer patrol
By: Al Giordano, The Field, August 9, 2009
The idea of calling out the veterans of the 1969 war with El Salvador and the 1957 war with Nicaragua is certainly novel and entertaining, but also an admission that the regime’s 23,000 police and soldiers combined aren’t enough to stem the tide of peaceful civil resistance.
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Honduras: Toppling a coup, part II – The regime is like an onion
By: Al Giordano, The Field, August 8, 2009
In three decades of reporting on social movements, one develops a very good memory of which of them won their battles. In victorious struggles, a critical mass of the organizers arm themselves to think strategically and act tactically to isolate and defeat their opponent.
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Honduras: Political crisis unleashes media wars
By: The Real News Network, August 8, 2009
Honduras’ deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, continues to negotiate for a return to power after being ousted in a military-backed coup. But President Micheletti’s defacto government has been cracking down on media and limiting access to news.
To watch the video…
 
Honduran coup continues attack on poor
By: Dan Kovalik, Huffington Post, August 7, 2009
Dr. Luther Castillo, who was named “Honduran Doctor of the Year” in 2007, has just sent out an alert that he and his staff at the Indigenous Garifuna Community Hospital have received an order from the de facto Honduran government to leave the Hospital and discontinue their work there.
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Honduras: Where does Washington stand?
By: The Real News Network, August 5, 2009
The silence from Washington over the past month of human rights abuses from the de facto Honduran government becomes deafening when one considers that the US government holds both the ability to bring that regime down as well as a recent history of criticizing similar abuses in Iran.
To watch the video…

 

AFRICA
Niger ‘must return to democracy’
By: BBC News, August 10, 2009
France has called on Niger to restore a democratic framework, after weeks of turmoil caused by the president’s attempt to hold on to power. President Mamadou Tandja won 92.5% of the vote in a referendum last week, allowing him to change the constitution and run for a third term in office.
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Zimbabwe: MDC wants army, police reforms
By: Chenai Maramba, ZimOnline, August 10, 2009
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party has called for comprehensive security sector reforms to “depoliticise” Zimbabwe’s army and police. The MDC said a new and independent board should be appointed to oversee senior police and army appointments
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Zimbabwe: Gay rights campaigners see chance for equality
By: David Smith, Guardian, August 9, 2009
Gay men and lesbians in Zimbabwe are hoping for an end to years of “hysterical homophobia” by having their rights enshrined in the new constitution. Sexual acts between men are outlawed and the president, Robert Mugabe, has encouraged a climate of hostility by condemning homosexuality.
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Zimbabwe: Price of power for an enemy of Mugabe
By: Alex Duval Smith, The Independent, August 7, 2009
Attempts by President Robert Mugabe’s old guard to derail Zimbabwe’s democratic progress are mere “sulks from a dying breed”, according to the Finance Minister, Tendai Biti. Mr Biti last week received a 9mm bullet and a death note at his home.
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Kenya: Ogiek face eviction from their forest home
By: Survival International, August 7, 2009
The Kenyan government has given Ogiek communities living in the Mau forest until mid September to abandon their homes or face arrest. Police officers have been stationed around the forest in preparation. The Ogiek are resisting the move.
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Gambia: Court jails six journalists
By: Brian Kennedy, All Africa, August 7, 2009
Six Gambian journalists have been sentenced to two-year jail terms and each fined about U.S. $10,000 on sedition and criminal defamation charges. The journalists were charged for their role in printing a press release critical of President Yahya Jammeh.
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Zimbabwe: Empowering the nation – Towards rights-based advocacy
By: Kamurai Mudzingwa, Kubatana, August 6, 2009
The failure by many civil society organisations to mainstream rights based advocacy approaches to alleviate the suffering of Zimbabweans has militated against the intended impact of promoting better standards of living. It has also had the unintended effect of disempowering them.
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Poets speak of hopes for a new Zimbabwe
By: Alex Duval Smith, The Independent, August 5, 2009
As Zimbabwe limps on, apparently with two governments, a boom in performance poetry is seeing young urbanites through. “For me the slam is as much a question of survival as expression,” said performer Trymore Munyarari.
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Mauritania and American priorities
By: The Moor Next Door, August 1, 2009
Many members of the Mauritanian opposition clamor that the American position towards the new government is among the most crucial of those yet out: the French, Spanish, Moroccan, and most other responses were predictable. The Americans, having somewhat less at stake, could go in any direction.
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AMERICAS

Peru: ‘Amazon auction’ suspended until later in the year
By: Survival International, August 10, 2009
Peru’s state oil company, Perupetro, has announced that its auction of new oil and gas exploration rights will take place later this year. The auction, which is slated to include large areas of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, had originally been scheduled for last month.
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Cuba: Dissident arrested in front of his children
By: OdelĂ­n Alfonso Torna, Cuba Study Group, August 7, 2009
Dissident Carlos Ojeda, a member of the November 30 party, was arrested early Wednesday by two plainclothed agents who took him away in a jeep from the National Revolutionary Police. “They tried to forcibly take away his cell phone in front of his children,” said his wife, Liset Gutierrez.
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Peru: Violence and blindness – The case of Uchuraccay
By: James R. Mensch, openDemocracy, August 7, 2009
Only rarely does life imitate art in the starkness and directness of its message. When that message is a tragic one the effect becomes indelible. Such was the impact on Peru of the events of Uchuraccay, a small village located in its central highlands.
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Fruit-of-the-Loom boycott grows
By: One World, August 7, 2009
British and American students are engaging in a day of action today against a major clothing company that closed a factory in Honduras after workers formed a union. Some 100 universities are already boycotting the Fruit of the Loom-Russell Corporation for human rights abuses in its factories abroad.
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Haiti: Protesters clash with UN troops
By: Jonathan M. Katz, AP, August 6, 2009
Gunshots were fired during a confrontation between U.N. troops and demonstrators that injured at least three people. Authorities said they could not confirm radio reports that two people died in the violence, which occurred Wednesday during a protest against a two-month electricity outage in Lascahobas.
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