Nonviolent Action around the World – 14 August 2009 (Part 2)

August 14, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA

US Senator Jim Webb in Burma on a mission to ‘re-engage’
By: Earth Times, August 14, 2009
Myanmar pro-democracy groups have questioned the timing of Webb’s visit. “We are concerned that the military regime will manipulate and exploit your visit,” said the joint statement sent to the US embassy in Yangon by the All Burma Monks Alliance, 88 Generation Students and All Burma Federation of Student Unions.
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Pakistan’s tribal areas to get parliamentary representatives
By: Chris Brummitt, AP, August 14, 2009
Pakistan lifted a ban on political activities in its tribal regions on Friday, granting the areas close to Afghan border parliamentary representation for the first time in the hopes it would reduce the grip of the Taliban there. Pakistan’s seven semiautonomous agencies have never been politically and administratively integrated into the rest of the country.
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Burma: Exiled dissidents propose democratic transition

By: VOA, August 13, 2009
Members of Burma’s self-proclaimed government-in-exile have unveiled a proposal for reconciliation with the country’s ruling military leaders.
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North Korea: Regime frees detained South Korean worker
By: China News, August 13, 2009
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) freed Thursday the South Korean employee who has been detained in its territory for four months. The move came amid the chief of South Korea’s Hyundai Group visiting the DPRK in pursuit of his release.
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China scales back plans for software filter
By: Michael Wines, NY Times, August 13, 2009
Chinese officials retreated on Thursday from a plan to install so-called anti-pornography software on every computer sold in China. Instead, now only internet cafes, schools and other public places must use the program, but that individual consumers will be spared.
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Chinese police detain 11 who planned to attend activist’s trial
By: Guardian, August 13, 2009
Chinese police are holding 11 people who planned to attend today’s trial of an activist who investigated the death of schoolchildren in last year’s Sichuan earthquake, a high-profile artist and government critic among the detainees said.
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Malaysia opposition leader on trial
By: Al Jazeera, August 12, 2009
A leading Malaysian opposition politician has gone on trial for allegedly insulting a member of the country’s royalty, in a case critics say amounts to a government witch hunt aimed at intimidating a resurgent opposition.
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India: Human rights commission to investigate survival complaint
By: Survival, August 12, 2009
The complaint concerns Vedanta’s plan to mine for bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills, eastern Orissa. The mine site is sacred to the Dongria Kondh tribe, who has been protesting against the mine for many months.
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Burma: Lawyers to appeal Suu Kyi verdict
By: Al Jazeera, August 12, 2009
Lawyers representing Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and US national John Yettaw  both plan to lodge appeals against their convictions for breaking the country’s internal security laws.
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Burma’s Suu Kyi still a potent force for change
By: Denis Gray, AP, August 11, 2009
Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is back where the ruling generals want her: inside a crumbling mansion, lonely and isolated from the world. But she remains a potentially potent force for change in a country that has seen virtually no deviation from harsh military rule for nearly half a century.
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Three Tibetans sentenced
By: RFA, August 12, 2009
A Chinese court has sentenced three Tibetans to prison for their roles in a disturbance in June in which over 30 were initially detained, according to Tibetan sources. “The reason for the sentences was not made public,” Geshe Monlam Tharchin, a Tibetan living in Dharamsala, India, said, citing contacts in Tibet.
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Tibetan intellectuals missing after crackdown
By: Radio Free Asia, August 11, 2009
A group of Tibetan writers and journalists have been arrested one after another recently. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders condemned the actions, issuing a statement saying “It is a disgrace for China that Tibet-based writers and journalists are not allowed to express their views freely and criticize the government in Beijing. Most of them are being held without trial in unknown locations.”
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Maldives: Dictator, now opposition leader, losing support   
By: Dhivehi Observer, August 11, 2009
The political spectrum of the Maldives has been changing rapidly as a result of the new found freedom and directly as a consequence of the installation of the first democratic government in the country. Dictator Gayyoom, who ruled the country with an iron fist for 30 years, however, is still unrelenting and wants more than anything to occupy the seat of power.
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Cory Aquino and unleashed People Power still haunting tyrants worldwide
By: Nalaka Gunawardene, Moving Images, August 12, 2009
I couldn’t let Cory Aquino’s death on 1 August 2009 pass without comment. The original inspiration for People Power that toppled one of the worst tyrants of the 20th Century, she would now turn the Patron Saint of peaceful democratic struggles everywhere.
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Chinese lawyer’s arrest undermines efforts to build rule of law
By: News Blaze, August 10, 2009
The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to arrest prominent attorney Xu Zhiyong represents the latest stage in its campaign to counter efforts by Chinese lawyers to build the rule of law and hold the government to account.
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Maldives: Remembering “Black Friday”, time to make people power durable
By: Ahmed Shaheed, August 9, 2009
Black Friday, 13 August 2004, was the day that a government for which I was its chief spokesperson, declared a state of emergency and locked up the opposition. I wanted a democracy with human rights safeguards – a new Maldives. And Professor Samuel Huntington’s The Third Wave: Democratisation in the Late 20th Century, published in 1992, gave me the roadmap to do that – the way to a New Maldives.
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Indonesia: Day of the broken promise
By: FreeWestPapua, August 9,2009
To mark the 47th anniversary of the signing of the New York Agreement in which all Papuans were promised the right to participate in an act of self-determination we invite you to a demonstration at the Dutch and Indonesian embassies.
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CENTRAL ASIA


Uzbekistan: Tajik journalist Shukhrat Shodiev is arrested at Kazakhstan border  
By: Ferghana.Ru, August 13, 2009
Shukhrat was coming back home from the trip to Chechnya where he visited friends. He was arrested because he had a Tajik newspapers, a Koran in Russian, a few book that were bought in the library of Grozny, and an air gun.
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The case of Ramazan Yesergepov, Kazakhstan’s media and the OSCE chairmanship
By: Maria Lewytzkyj, Examiner, August 11, 2009
Ramazan Yesergepov, the editor of the weekly Alma-Ata Info, was detained on January 6th for disclosing internal documents of Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee in articles critical of the agency. Unfortunately, Yesergepov is still under arrest, and all proceedings so far have been closed to the public.
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EUROPE

Medvedev, Merkel condemn Chechnya killings
By: Reuters, August 14, 2009
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday demanded Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov find and punish those responsible for recent murders in the region, which he said are aimed at undermining stability. Leading rights group Memorial accused Kadyrov of organizing the kidnapping and killing of its activist Natalia Estemirova last month, amid a spike in attacks in the region.
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Basque separatist protests banned in Spain
By: Washington Post, August 13, 2009
Spanish and Basque authorities have banned three protest marches called by groups linked to the armed group ETA in the northern cities Bilbao and San Sebastian. National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon has prohibited two protests in support of ETA prisoners planned for Friday and Saturday in San Sebastian saying they constituted defense of terrorism.
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Georgia opposition arrests, beatings spark fresh controversy
By: Molly Corso, Eurasianet, August 13, 2009  
A disturbing pattern of arrests, beatings and kidnappings involving opposition members and supporters has developed in Georgia over the past four months, less than one month after the Georgian President pledged to step up reforms. The Georgian Public Defender’s Office, which monitors human rights practices, reports that it has documented 34 physical attacks against opposition party members and political activists and 15 arrests of such individuals since April, when opposition street protests began in Tbilisi.
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Control over work of Belarusian mass media tightened
By: Mikhail Pastukhou, Chapter 97, August 13, 2009
The new law “On Mass Media” gives the authorities wide possibilities for tightening control on independent socio-political publications.
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Activist found dead in Chechnya
By: BBC, August 11, 2009
The head of a Russian charity and her husband are found dead in Chechnya a day after being abducted, officials say. The bodies of Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband were found with gunshot wounds in a car boot near the Chechen capital Grozny, the interior ministry said.
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German far right tells black politician to “head home”
By: Reuters, August 11, 2009
Germany’s far-right NPD party on Tuesday called on a black politician who appeared in regional election ads for the Christian Democrats to go home to Angola, and urged its members to bring the message to him personally. “Today he is no longer needed, so we want to encourage him directly to head home to Angola,” the NPD said, adding that Thuringia should “remain German,” and Schall’s job should be filled by a local.
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Climate disobedience – Is a new “Seattle” in the making?
By: Mark Engler, Truthout, August 11, 2009
In the early morning of October 8, 2007, a small group of British Greenpeace activists slipped inside a hulking smokestack that towers more than 600 feet above a coal-fired power plant in Kent, England. While other activists cut electricity on the plant’s grounds, they prepared to climb the interior of the structure to its top, rappel down its outside, and paint in block letters a demand that Prime Minister Gordon Brown put an end to plants like the Kingsnorth facility, which releases nearly 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each day
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

Gaza & West Bank: Two States or Apartheid?
By: John Dugard, Huffington Post, August 14, 2009
The seeds of a mighty and transformative nonviolent struggle are indeed already visible from the West Bank to the Gaza coast. I have met with Palestinians and Israelis who regularly put their lives on the line to assert nonviolently the injustice of Israeli expansionism and home demolitions.
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Rights activist Gamal Eid denied Morocco visa
By: Essam Fadl, Daily News Egypts, August 13, 2009
The Moroccan embassy in Cairo refused to issue an entry visa to rights activist and head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) Gamal Eid on Thursday, without giving a reason. The Moroccan embassy’s refusal to issue Eid’s visa comes after he was denied entrance to both Jordan and Tunisia, making Morocco the third Arab country to ban him from entering.
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Gaza: Israel killed unarmed Palestinians
By: AP, August 13, 2009
A new report by Human Rights Watch charged Thursday that Israeli soldiers killed eleven unarmed Palestinian civilians who were carrying white flags in shooting incidents during Israel’s offensive in Gaza earlier this year.
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Gaza Strip/West Bank: Renewing volunteerism and reviving boycott of Israeli goods
By: PNN, August 13, 2009
Reviving the spirit of Palestinian volunteerism and promoting the boycott of Israeli goods are the dual-purposes of an ongoing camp for young people in Bethlehem. Taking on the general tone of nonviolent resistance to occupation, workshops are being held to raise awareness around actions that combat occupation.
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An account of life on the West Bank
By: Lamia Khatib,Huffington Post, August 12, 2009
My husband is a member of the Bil’in Popular Committee, which has been leading our village’s nonviolent campaign against Israel’s construction of a Wall and a settlement on our land. On August 3, my husband Mohammed Khatib, and my little brother Abdullah, were taken from their beds in our West Bank village of Bil’in at 3 AM by the Israeli military.
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Egypt’s border activists – an uphill struggle
By: Rachael Rudolph, Open Democracy, August 12, 2009
Any international spotlight on Gaza must ultimately fall on its uncomfortable border with Egypt, where pro-Gazan activists still have a small window of opportunity. The siege has affected every man, woman and child, young and old living in Gaza and everyone who has family members there. The emotional, physical and financial toll of this siege cannot be measured statistically or accurately described by words
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Egypt: The blinkers of expertise
By: Tarek Osman, Open Democracy, August 12, 2009
Egypt is in vogue among many foreign observers and analysts. However, the tendency of foreign observers to reduce complex Egyptian reality to formulaic description misses some of its most significant and dynamic elements
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Egypt: Opposition party claims member kidnapped by state security
By: Abdel-Rahman Hussein, Daily News Egypt, August 11, 2009
The opposition Karama party has alleged in a statement that one of their members was “kidnapped” and held for eight days by state security forces in Alexandria. The party claims member Bassem Aboul Magd was taken by state security forces near on July 30 because he had refused to heed state security demands to appear before them.
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Saudi Arabia: Indefinite detention in the name of counterterrorism
By: Marina Litvinsky, IPS, August 11, 2009
Thousands of people have been arrested and detained in virtual secrecy, while hundreds more people face secret and summary trials and possible execution. This includes the indefinite detentions of more than 9,000 people, some of them peaceful political dissidents.
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OCEANIA

Papuan activist lobby over ongoing abuse by Indonesian military
By: RNZI, August 13, 2009
Paula  Makabori, who is a member of the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights, says Australia and New Zealand cannot remain silent on ongoing human rights abuses at the hands of the Indonesian military and the recent upsurge of violence in Papua.
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Australia, China at odds over Uighur activist
By: AP, August 11, 2009
An exiled Uighur activist accused China on Tuesday of trying to use its economic clout to dampen criticism of its human rights record, while Australia’s foreign minister said Chinese diplomats who opposed her trip should mind their manners.
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Fiji rules out swift return to democracy
By: Phil Mercer, August 11, 2009
Fiji’s military-led government has again rejected calls for a swift return to democracy from its increasingly anxious South Pacific neighbors. Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power in Fiji in a bloodless coup in December 2006 but has repeatedly ignored international demands to hold fresh elections.
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