Nonviolent action around the world -11 September 2009 (Part 2)

September 11, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Kazakhstan: Our repressive friend
By: Simon Tisdall, The Guardian, September 10, 2009
The arbitrary jailing of a leading activist has dramatised concerns about Kazakhstan’s human rights record as it prepares to assume the chairmanship of Europe’s top body overseeing democracy and human rights, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The case has also shone a Libya-style spotlight on the British government’s policy of encouraging business and investment links with a repressive but oil-rich dictatorship…
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Azerbaijan: Judge denies motion to set jailed youth activists free  
By: Eurasianet, September 4, 2009
After spending nearly two months in pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan, two youth activists, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade, appeared in a Baku courtroom on September 4. The presiding judge rejected a variety of defense motions, including one to have the charges dropped and another to permit media coverage of the proceedings. A motion to set the defendants free on bail for the duration of their trial was also denied.
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Kurdistan: UNPO report on elections
By: UNPO, August 17, 2009
Deployed as Short Term Observers for the election, the EOM arrived in Kurdistan on 21 July 2009. The team observed a total of thirty-six polling stations in twelve polling centers in the Erbil Governorate of Kurdistan over the course of the Election Day before concluding their mission. During Election Day, the EOM travelled through polling centers in Kurdish and Assyrian areas and observed voting in rural and urban polling. The report notes that while polling centers were found to be “well organized;” however, concerns were raised over the misuse of campaigning materials.
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TOP

 

EUROPE
Central Europe: 20 years of freedom, and still not free
By: Martin Simecka, Open Democracy, September 9, 2009
Some of you may recall the western hopes in the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution that central Europe could enrich the western political world with fresh new ideas, values or insights that it lacked; that perhaps central Europeans might come up with a vision of a “third way” between capitalism and socialism. Today, that hope looks pathetic, and it has become clear that western perceptions of central Europe were truly naive.  
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Russia: Freedom for sale
By: John Kampfer, Open Democracy, September 9, 2009
In a year of travelling to research my book, “Freedom for Sale”, I looked at eight countries, four of them notionally authoritarian – Singapore, China, Russia and the UAE – four notionally democratic – India, Italy, the UK and the USA. Why, I wanted to know, is it that so many people are willing to give up their freedoms in return for the promise of either prosperity or security? Why are people so reluctant to cause trouble, even where they have legal protection for free expression? Or to put it another way: why are the middle classes so easily bought off?
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Israel: The trial of Ezra Nawi
By: David Shulman, The Boston Review, September/October 2009
Everyone recognizes, I tell the court, the mode of nonviolent civil disobedience. I see Ezra in the same honored ranks as white Americans who joined black Americans in the south to challenge local laws that upheld racial segregation in defiance of federal law. Their efforts exposed to the entire country Southern segregationists’ violent lawlessness. We are talking about situations in which nonviolent protest is directed against a system that, though it may be bolstered by law, is in conflict with basic human values and with our conscience as human beings. A man such as Ezra feels he has not only the right but the duty to oppose such rules.
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Egypt interrogating Netizen for a blog comment
By: Ramy Raoof, Global Voices, September 9, 2009
On September the 3rd, 2009, Khaled elBalshy, the Editor-In-Chief of the Al-Badeel newspaper, who maintains a personal blog, was interrogated by the Interior Ministry’s Internet Crimes department for a comment on one of his blog posts left by an anonymous visitor. The comment was in response to a post published several months ago. The interrogation, which was unofficial, happened after a complaint against Khaled elBalshy for publishing the comment on his blog.
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Violations of Palestinian media freedoms continues
By: PNN, September 9, 2009
Violations of media freedoms in the Palestinian territories have increased last August, on the one hand the Israeli occupation authorities arrested the journalist writer Seri Sammour, prevented the journalist Sabrin Diab from entering the Al-Aqsa yards, confiscated the transmission equipment of Radio Bethlehem 2000 which resulted in the stopping of its broadcast, prevented two Swedish journalists from access to the Gaza Strip, and the settlers attacked the journalists Hasan At-Titi and Abd Al-Rahim Khabisah.
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Palestinians protest land seizure
By: International Solidarity Movement, September 8, 2009
Hundreds of Palestinian villagers have made a short but symbolic march to the separation wall that Israel has built on their land, a non-violent protests that they regularly undertake. Equally, the protesters, marching from the village of Bilin, are regularly met with a violent response from the Israeli army. Later today the villagers of Bilin will protest the fact that not only they, but also five neighbouring villages, have lost their land which has been seized to build an Israeli settlement.
Watch the video…
 
Morocco: Improper transfer of two Saharawi political prisoners
By: Sahara Press Service, September 8, 2009
The Moroccan authorities “abusively and unexpectedly” transferred Monday evening Sahrawi political prisoners, Brahim Beryaz and Ali Salem Ablagh from Boulemharez prison (Marrakech) to that of Galaat Sraghna (Morocco), reported a source of the Ministry of Occupied Territories and Saharawi Communities Abroad. The two were arrested between April and December 2008, because of their participation in peaceful demonstrations demanding the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people, guaranteed by international law and for the same reason they have been deprived of continuing their studies in the 3rd round, it recalled.
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Egypt: U.S. “activist” Travis Randall deported
By: Marwa Rakha, Global Voices, September 8, 2009
Currently in London, Travis blogged about his experience saying: “The night before last I was deported (technically denied entry) when I tried to return home to Egypt, where I’ve happily been living for a bit over two and half years. If you’re in the friend or family category looking for an update, I’m fine and well – if not just a bit surprised and saddened by the potential ramifications this may have on my plans to return to Egypt and the work and life that I love there.” Travis stated that his last blog post was a couple of years back and his only “activist” act was the Gaza March
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Iran: Women race ahead, but still face gender block
By: Huffington Post, September 9, 2009
In Iran, women have made remarkable strides in education in the last decades — 65 percent of college undergraduates are female and 70 percent of graduate students are enrolled in medicine. Yet legally, women cannot travel freely without the permission of a male relative and face formidable obstacles when divorcing their husbands. Iranian-American correspondent Bigan Saliani and producer Richard O’Regan traveled to Iran to explore the tensions between the expectations of many highly educated young Iranian women and the realities of their lives.
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The elders’ view of the Middle East
By: Jimmy Carter, Washington Post, September 6, 2009
A majority of the Palestinian leaders with whom we met are seriously considering acceptance of one state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy. In this nonviolent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
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OCEANIA
Global concerns over Fiji human rights abuses fuelled by new Amnesty report
By: Kara Segedin, Pacific Scoop, September 8, 2009
Global concerns over human rights abuses in Fiji are mounting following a damning new report by Amnesty International’s Pacific research team. In the report released early today, Amnesty documents a litany of human rights violations in the Pacific nation since the abrogation of the Constitution on April 10. It identifies sweeping infringements on the “rights to freedom of assembly, opinion, expression and movement, the right to a fair trial, and freedom from arbitrary detention”.
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Papua New Guinea: Women’s secret revolution stops tribal violence
By: Jo Chandler, Sydney Morning Herald, September 8, 2009
Mary Kini, Agnes Sil and Angela Apa – three women divided by tribal law but connected by loss – had never heard of human rights when they began a social revolution. They began an underground resistance movement ”to do something … about this terrible fighting with the guns”. They began to enlist other women to their fight for peace, and organized a protest march…
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Australia: Vietnamese official’s visit sparks protest
By: Linda Mottram, Radio Australia News, September 8, 2009
A small group of demonstrators have protested outside the Australian Parliament against the visit of Vietnam’s Communist Party chief, Nong Duc Manh. Senior Australian ministers are holding talks with their Vietnamese counterparts in the capital Canberra. Protesters say the presence of Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary as delegation leader is unacceptable.
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West Papua: Shocking images of burnt down Papuan Village
By: Yugum Tabuni, Free West Papua, September 2009
My peoples are all hiding in the jungle, mostly children, woman, the elderly and all are hiding in the juggles because military burnt down our village. We want Independence from Indonesia. Tell peoples in Europe, United Kingdom, America, Australia and Pacifica we need support. Put pressure on Indonesia to stop operation in Bogolame and Tinginambut. This is my message to you to tell them we need help.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Hanging On
By: Christoper Walker, NY Times, September 9, 2009
Among the heads of state expected to descend on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly this autumn is an elite subset of their ranks – leaders distinguished by unparalleled longevity in office and general intolerance for dissent. Muammar el-Qaddafi will have the privilege of speaking at the opening session and later that same afternoon, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo will address the General Assembly. The exceptional staying power of Qaddafi and Obiang is a political curiosity, but comes at a steep price. Despite enormous windfalls from abundant natural energy resources, both Libya and Equatorial Guinea remain deeply impoverished…
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Combating extremists without combat
By: Christopher Boucek, Human Rights Tribune, September 9, 2009
The struggle against violent extremism will require long-term investment, but it will yield long-term returns. Aid, reform and education are key tools to be used to reduce the allure of political violence. The United States has, rightly, begun creative counter-terrorism and strategic engagement programs, with this philosophy in mind.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Mainmise sur les sites tibétains et leurs lecteurs
By: Reporters Sans Frontieres, September 9, 2009
Les sites tibétains hébergés en Chine Tibettl (www.tibettl.com), connu pour héberger le blog de l’écrivain populaire Jamyang Kyi, et ChodMe (www.cmbpd.cn) sont inaccessibles depuis la plus grande partie du territoire chinois, notamment au Tibet. L’étau se resserre ainsi autour des internautes de la province himalayenne : le 12 août 2009, le jeune Pasang Norbu avait été arrêté par les autorités chinoises à Lhassa, pour avoir consulté le site Radio Free Asia. Il aurait violé la législation chinoise sur la sécurité publique en visionnant des photos du dalaï-lama, des images du drapeau national tibétain interdit, et en lisant des articles sur l’autonomie de la province.
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IN PAST NEWS
Afganistan: Women’s struggle echoes heroine’s battle
By: In the Field, August 19, 2009
Beyond the burqa, the scars, and the remnants of three decades of war – 30 years that has crushed a country and the spirit of a people – it is the Afghan woman who has shaped Afghanistan. And it is they who can shape a new future for a people who have been isolated and forgotten for decades. “Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of Maiwand; By God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame!” the Afghan heroine Malalai yelled as she ripped off her veil.
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NOTICES
2010 Freedom Awards – call for nominations
By: Zorba Leslie, Free the Slaves, September 8, 2009
Free the Slaves is pleased to announce that we are currently accepting nominations for the 2010 Freedom Awards. These awards are open to organizations and individuals who are working to eradicate human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
For more information…
 
Gaza freedom march 2010
By: International Solidarity Movement, September 8, 2009
On January 1, 2010, we will mark the New Year by marching alongside the Palestinian people of Gaza in a nonviolent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade. Our purpose in this march is lifting the siege on Gaza. Palestinians must have freedom to travel for study, work, and much-needed medical treatment and to receive visitors from abroad.
For more information…