Nonviolent action around the world – 16 February 2010 (Part 1)

February 16, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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ANNOUNCEMENT
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.
View the flyer…
Download the application form…

ICNC Academic Webinar Series – “When Repression Backfires”
On Thursday, February 18th at 1:30pm – 2:30pmET, Dr. Lester Kurtz, Professor of Sociology at George Mason University, will explore the paradox of repression – efforts by elites to repress a movement that often end up strengthening a civil resistance movement.
Register

TOP

 

NORTH AMERICA
US: Filmmakers of Iranian protester being shot to death win Polk Award in NY
By: AP, February 16, 2010
The unnamed people who captured on video and made public the shooting death of an Iranian protester have been chosen as winners of a George Polk Award, the first time the journalism prize has honored work produced anonymously.
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US: American Bar Association speaks up for Chinese human rights
By: Mission Network News, February 16, 2010
Human rights attorneys in China have been mistreated time and time again, especially when in defense of Christians. U.S. legal associates are finally stepping in. The American Bar Association president Carolyn Lamm sent a letter to U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton urging the U.S. government to put pressure on the Chinese government to halt the mistreatment of human rights attorneys.
Read full article…

US: Floridians protest offshore drilling proposal
By: Democracy Now, February 15, 2010
In Florida, over 2,500 people gathered on the state’s beaches Saturday to protest offshore oil drilling in an event called Hands Across the Sand. Protests were held on over sixty beaches across the state. Florida is considering lifting a twenty-year ban on offshore oil drilling.
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Clinton says US believes Iran is becoming a military dictatorship
By: Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post, February 15, 2010
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the United States fears Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has gained enough power to potentially supplant the Tehran government.
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US: Indigenous peoples fight for rights, buoyed by new report
By: Betwa Sharma, Global Post, February 15, 2010
A grandmother of seven, Colleen Swan, along with 400 members of her Eskimo community are preparing to leave their homes on the 8-mile barrier reef off the coast of the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. “We’re angry, we shouldn’t have to live like this,” said Swan, when reached by phone in Alaska. “Our impact on the environment is minimal but we live with the reality of climate change.”
Read full article…

Indigenous Mexican women framed over kidnapping are prisoners of conscience
By: Amnesty International, February 12, 2010
Amnesty International on Friday accused the Mexican government of unfairly imprisoning two indigenous women for the kidnapping of six police officers in 2006 and demanded their immediate release. The only evidence against them is a photograph published in a newspaper in which Alberta and Teresa are standing next to two federal agents.
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CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Guatemala: Anti-mine activists encouraged by Canadian ruling
By: Danilo Valladares, Truthout, February 16, 2010
Ecologists in Guatemala see a recent ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court, which ordered Canadian mining companies to carry out rigorous environmental assessments, as a positive precedent that could help improve environmental controls over the mining industry in this Central American country.
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Honduras: 27 year old union leader, mother and nurse assassinated
By: Axis of Logic, February 16, 2010
The right to organize is a basic human right of every worker. But the murder of the  leader of the SITRAIHSS labor union, Vanessa Zepeda, who was abducted when she was leaving a union meeting, leaves no doubt in our minds that this is an official policy and official cover-up by the fraudulently elected Lobo government.
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Interview: Tortured, exiled Honduran journalist recalls his experiences
By: Tamar Sharabi, Axis of Logic, February 16, 2010
Cesar Silva: “The night of June 27, I was at the Presidential Palace until midnight and in the early morning I left towards Olancho. When I passed the town of Guaimaca (a town 90 km from Tegucigalpa) the President was being captured. There, police and the army captured me as well.”
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Anti-coup activists in Honduras still facing human rights abuses
By: Democracy Now, February 16, 2010
Reports are emerging from Honduras that critics of last summer’s coup are still facing grave human rights abuses even after the election of President Porfirio Lobo last month. According to the website World War Four Report, Julio Funes Benítez, a local leader of the anti-coup National Resistance Front, was shot dead on Monday.
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SOUTH AMERICA
Venezuela: Chavez wants to hold presidency till 2030
By: People’s Daily Online, February 13, 2010
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday said he wanted to govern the country till 2030, to consolidate his socialist project against capitalism. His statement came during the closing celebration of Youth Day, which began on Friday morning with a march of thousands of his followers, and ended at noon in Miraflores Palace, the government headquarters.
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Venezuela: Anti-Chavez TV vows to maintain tough stance
By: Fabiola Sanchez, AP, February 12, 2010
The major shareholder of Venezuela’s only TV channel that remains critical of President Hugo Chavez denied Friday that he worked out a deal with the government to curb the station’s criticism. Guillermo Zuloaga, president and owner of Globovision, announced that probation measures stemming from a criminal investigation against him were lifted Friday.
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EUROPE
Belarusian police detain dozens at Valentine’s Day rally
By: RFE/RL, February 15, 2010
Belarusian police dispersed a St. Valentine’s Day gathering in Minsk and detained some 30 young political activists, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports. The activists, mainly members of the Youth Front movement, were released by police after about two hours on February 14 and were not charged.
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Wikileaks and Iceland MPs propose ‘journalism haven’
By: Chris Vallance, BBC News, February 12, 2010
Iceland could become a “journalism haven” if a proposal put forward by some Icelandic MPs aided by whistle-blowing website Wikileaks succeeds. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), calls on the country’s government to adopt laws protecting journalists and their sources. It will be filed with the Althingi – Iceland’s parliament – on 16 February.
Read full article…

Ukraine’s election was victory for colored revolutions
By: Dennis Sammut, RFE, February 11, 2010
Ironically, the narrow victory of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine’s presidential election marks the high point in the story of the so-called colored revolutions that between 2003 and 2005 challenged the post-Soviet order from Kyiv to Bishkek.
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Moscow protests: Groundhog Day in Triumfalnaya Square
By: Tanya Lokshina, Open Democracy, February 11, 2010
Tanya Lokshina, Russia researcher for Human Rights Watch, attended a recent demonstration in her professional capacity and was detained by the police three times in thirty minutes. She gives a graphic description of the evening’s events.
Read full article…

Ukraine’s revolution lives on
By: Natalia Shapovalova, The Guardian, February 9, 2010
What has happened to Ukraine? Does it mean the Orange Revolution has failed? Not at all. In reality, it has won, as the country enjoys free and fair elections resulting in huge electoral turnarounds, such as the one we have seen this week.
Read full article…

 

CENTRAL ASIA
Uzbek photographer found guilty of ‘slandering nation’
By: BBC News, February 10, 2010
A prominent photographer and film-maker in Uzbekistan has been found guilty of slandering the nation through her work. Umida Akhmedova had been facing up to three years in prison for a series of photos and a film portraying people in Uzbekistan as backward and poor.
Read full article…

 

SOUTH ASIA
Nepal: UN human rights office condemns threats to journalists after killing
By: UN News Centre, February 15, 2010
United Nations human rights officials in Nepal voiced alarm today over the threats made against journalists reporting on the recent murder of the media entrepreneur Jamim Shah, stressing that freedom of expression must be upheld in the Asian nation.
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Nepal: Torture vs democracy
By: Meenakshi Ganguly, Open Democracy, February 15, 2010
The transition from war to peace and a political settlement in Nepal has been difficult. Even the election in April 2008 of a new constituent-assembly charged with drafting a new constitution – which was won by the Maoists’ political party and led to the establishment of a coalition government – has not been able to resolve the country’s deep-rooted difference.
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Pakistani lawyers boycott courts over judges row
By: Kamran Haider, Washington Post, February 15, 2010
Many Pakistani lawyers boycotted courts on Monday in a protest against President Asif Ali Zardari, who is embroiled in a potentially destabilizing dispute with the judiciary over the appointment of judges.
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India: Tibetans shun New Year celebrations for second year
By: Ashwini Bhatia, AP, February 14, 2010
Tibetans have decided against celebrating the Lunar New Year for a second year in remembrance of the suffering of people inside Tibet, the Dalai Lama said Sunday. The Tibetan spiritual leader asked his followers not to lose hope, saying people in Tibet have shown great courage and sincerity in facing China’s crackdown after uprisings in March 2008.
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SOUTHEAST ASIA
Myanmar must end minority repression before polls: Amnesty
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, February 16, 2010
A leading rights group Tuesday called on Burma’s military government to end repression of ethnic minority groups ahead of polls this year, as a UN envoy visits the country for talks on human rights. Amnesty International accused the regime of arresting, jailing, torturing and killing minority activists in a bid to crush dissent, in a report released in Bangkok Tuesday.
Read full article…

Myanmar’s human rights reality
By: Kate Allen, The Guardian, February 16, 2010
This morning Amnesty International has released a new report, The Repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar. It paints a bleak picture of human rights in Burma – and is essential reading for the prospective tourist to the south-east Asian state.
Read full article…

Myanmar: ‘Prayer’ activists sentenced
By: Naw Noreen, Democratic Voice of Burma, February 16, 2010
Four detained organizers and participants of weekly prayer ceremonies that called for the release of Burmese political prisoners were each sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour by a court in Rangoon yesterday. “The punishment is unacceptable legally, and I am making preparations to appeal,” their lawyer Kyaw Ho said.
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Myanmar frees NLD leader Tin Oo
By: BBC News, February 13, 2010
Burma has freed the vice-chairman of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). in Oo, 82, has been in prison or under house arrest for more than a decade. The release comes as Burma’s ruling military junta prepares to hold national elections in 2010, though no date has yet been set.
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Indonesia bans book on West Papua
By: Survival International,  February 12, 2010
The Indonesian government has banned a book on the repression of human rights in Papua. The book, by respected Papuan churchman Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman, is one of five books to have been banned in a move that appears to hark back to the authoritarian Suharto era.
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EAST ASIA
China: What will shutting down Beijing’s liaison offices do for petitioners?
By: John Kennedy, Global Voices, February 16, 2010
It’s last month’s news, but the story first reported by Outlook Weekly that most of China’s version of K Street, several thousand ‘Beijing liaison offices’ scattered throughout the city, will be shut down before July, has potentially wider impact than just helping to curb rampant corruption.
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Japanese human rights activists pressure North Korea
By: Akiko Fujita, VOA, February 15, 2010
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il will celebrate his birthday tomorrow. Human rights advocates in Japan are using that anniversary to step up pressure on the isolated country. They are calling on North Korean citizens to overthrow their government and asking Japan to help fund the effort.
Read full article…

Activist ‘boards’ Japan whaler
By: Al Jazeera, February 15, 2010
Anti-whaling activists claim one of their group has boarded a Japanese whaling ship in the waters of Antarctica to attempt a citizen’s arrest of crewmembers. According to the Sea Shepherd group, New Zealander Pete Bethune, who previously captained a vessel that was sunk in clashes with Japanese whalers last month, boarded the ship under cover of darkness on Tuesday night.
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Without human rights China’s boom will turn to bust
By: The Observer, February 14, 2010
As a new Chinese year dawns, Beijing is feeling empowered on many fronts. Its seat is assured at the top table of every global summit, whether on financial matters, security or climate change. That changing relationship has been accompanied by more Chinese assertiveness, both in foreign policy and domestic affairs. But it would be a mistake to see in that trend only Chinese strength.
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Chinese activist finally arrives home from Tokyo airport
By: Elaine Kurtenbach, AP, February 12, 2010
A Chinese activist who spent more than three months camped inside Tokyo’s international airport as part of a protest flew home to China on Friday and was allowed into the country. His entrance into China comes after eight previous attempts since June where Chinese authorities refused to allow him in.
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Activists demand release of Chinese detainees
By: Washington Post, February 11, 2010
An international human rights group is asking IOC president Jacques Rogge to intercede with Chinese authorities to release so-called Olympic prisoners. Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it has sent Rogge a petition – signed by about 1,600 people – demanding the release of activists, bloggers and journalists detained during the 2008 Beijing Games.
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OCEANIA
Fiji leader, NGOs have say on UN rights recommendations
By: Radio Australia, February 16, 2010
Fiji’s draft response to the UN’s 103 recommendations on managing human rights has drawn comment from its leader and a leading NGO. The recommendations were made last week, when the island nation came under severe criticism for banning freedom of speech and refusing to allow a return to democratic rule.
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Viktor Kaisiepo, Papuan activist, dies, aged 61
By: Survival International, February 15, 2010
Viktor Kaisiepo, the dedicated and charismatic Papuan activist, has died aged 61 in the Netherlands. Viktor was an indefatigable campaigner for the rights of the peoples of West Papua, and for other indigenous peoples. All who met him will remember Viktor Kaisiepo.
Read full article…

Cyber attacks against Australia ‘will continue’
By: Zoe Kleinman, BBC News, February 12, 2010
An activist group that temporarily blocked access to key Australian government websites plans to continue its cyber attacks, the BBC has learned. The group, known as Anonymous, was protesting against the Australian government’s proposals to apply filters to the internet in the country.
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