Nonviolent Action around the World – 1 May 2009 (Part 2)

May 1, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA

Kyrgyz opposition unveils presidential hopeful
By: Bruce Pannier, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, April 20, 2009
Leaders of Kyrgyzstan’s fractious opposition have announced a persistent critic and former prime minister under President Kurmanbek Bakiev as their joint candidate to compete against Bakiev in July’s early presidential election. Almazbek Atambaev, 52, is a veteran opposition figure and leader of the Social Democratic Party, the only opposition party represented in an otherwise rubber-stamp parliament.
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EUROPE

Moldavia, the silenced revolution
By: Silvia Marcu, Safe Democracy Foundation, April 30, 2009
The events that occurred a few days ago dragged Moldova – the poorest country in the continent, with its heart torn between Romania and the former Soviet Union – out onto the European stage. The recent results of the parliamentary elections in Moldova once again awarded victory to the Communist Party, which won with 49.92 percent of the votes, followed by the Liberal Party with 12.90 percent, the Democratic Liberal Party with 12.24 percent and the Our Alliance Moldova party, with 9.87 percent of the vote.
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Russia’s NGOs: strangled by red tape
By: Olga Gnezdilova, openDemocracy, April 30, 2009
Official paranoia about spy mania, orange revolutions and terrorist threats is such that Russia’s post-communist NGO sector faces surreal bureaucratic ordeals in order to survive.
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UK: Campaigners shouldn’t whinge about police infiltration – it’s a sign of their success
By: Marcel Berlins, The Guardian, April 29, 2009
I am not in the least surprised or shocked that the police attempted to turn Matilda Gifford and others from the Plane Stupid campaign into informants. I am, though, surprised at the surprise of others that the police should be doing such things.
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Armenia: Turkey policy prompts government member to join opposition
By: Marianna Grigoryan, Eurasianet, April 29, 2009
Armenia’s framework agreement with Turkey on the possible normalization of relations is already changing the face of politics in Armenia. Citing insurmountable disagreements with Armenia’s policy toward Turkey, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutiun pulled out of the government’s ruling coalition on April 27 and announced it would join the opposition.
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Georgian opposition insists on president’s resignation
By: RIA Novosti, April 29, 2009
Crowds of activists have been holding protests outside parliament in Tbilisi since April 9, accusing Saakashvili of stifling democracy and leading the country into a disastrous war with Russia last summer. Former parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze, who leads the Opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, told reporters: “You know very well that the opposition has not refused dialogue with the authorities. The issue was set out – the president’s resignation. I have said several times that I see no possibility of discussing other issues with the president.”
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Belarusian authorities banned holding Europe’s Day
By: Charter ’97, April 29, 2009
Minsk city executive committee denied a permission to hold pickets for collection of signatures in favour of Belarus’ joining the European Union. The officials explained their denial by a non-existent legal norm.
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Russia’s new perestroika?
By: Andrei Piontkovsky, openDemocracy, April 29, 2009
The freeing of Khodorkovsky’s lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina is among the events being seen by some as heralding a new perestroika.
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Armenia: Ominous silence about domestic violence
By: Kester Kenn Klomegah, IPS, April 22, 2009
Over a quarter of Armenian women have been hit or beaten by a family member and about two thirds have experienced psychological abuse, yet the state grossly fails to prevent, investigate and punish domestic violence, say researchers and rights activists.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

Iran ‘leading terrorism sponsor’
By: BBC News, May 1, 2009
Iran remains the “most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world, a report by the US state department says. It says Iran’s role in the planning and financing of terror-related activities in the Middle East and Afghanistan threatens efforts to promote peace.
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Iran and Belarus to give new definition to a term “human rights”
By: Charter ’97, April 29, 2009
Head of the judicial system of Iran called on Belarus to give a new definition to terms human rights, freedom of speech, racism, discrimination, and terrorism.
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Egypt’s first independent union formed
By: Eman Abd El Rahman, Global Voices, April 29, 2009
Egyptian activist and blogger, Hossam El Hamalawy, blogged about his initial impressions of victory after he spent a day with tax collectors, who descended on Nasr City, to lobby the Labor Ministry into recognizing their free union. He then uploaded the pictures he took for the demonstration, and also quoted Sara Carr’s report – in Daily News Egypt. This is the first time real estate tax collectors have formed their first independent trade union since 1957.
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UAE now condemns torture tape; may re-open royal Sheikh case
By: Lara Setrakian, Vic Walter and Rehab El-Buri, ABC News, April 29, 2009
After first dismissing it as a private matter, the government of the United Arab Emirates today condemned a video tape showing a member of the royal family torturing a grain dealer, with the help of men in uniform.
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Egypt: Blogger tries to spread ‘culture of disobedience’ among youths
By: Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2009
Mohamed Abdel Aziz’s Facebook group that opposes Mubarak’s rule has drawn 76,000 followers. Though its calls for nationwide strikes have flopped, he remains determined.
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Dad of U.S. hunger striker in Iran questioned
By: CNN, April 29, 2009
The father of a U.S. journalist jailed for espionage in Iran said he was summoned to court Wednesday and questioned about his daughter’s hunger strike. Reza Saberi said the court asked him questions about a hunger strike that his daughter, Roxana Saberi, started after being sentenced last week to eight years in prison.
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Egypt: Mubarak sounds warning to workers over strikes in Labor Day speech
By: Abdel Rahman Hussein, Daily News Egypt, April 29, 2009
President Hosni Mubarak sounded a warning to workers over “unlawful” strikes in a speech Wednesday to commemorate Labor Day, stating that it could hurt the economy during the current global crisis.
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Kuwait continues political arrests
By: Iran News & Iranian Culture Journal, April 28, 2009
Kuwaiti authorities arrest an election candidate, the third in a lapse of a few days, for criticizing members of the ruling al-Sabah family. Khalifa al-Kharafi, who is from the same family as former parliamentary speaker Jassim al-Kharafi, was arrested at his home on Sunday, a witness and former Islamist lawmaker and parliamentary candidate Waleed al-Tabtabae said.
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What’s next for Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi?
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, April 28, 2009
Iranian politics are opaque and complicated and it’s often difficult to predict future political developments. The same can be said of Roxana Saberi’s case. The Iranian-American journalist’s arrest and conviction in Iran on charges of espionage came as a surprise. And the future of her case could be surprising.
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Qatar: Video of unpaid workers sparks debates
By: Amira Al Hussaini, Global Voices, April 27, 2009
The harsh realities facing migrant workers in Qatar was at the centre of a discussion on Qatar Living after an Al Jazeera English report highlighted their plight recently. The video zooms in on the lives of construction workers, whose livelihood was impacted by the economic crisis, some of whom haven’t be paid for up to four months.
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OCEANIA

‘Sulu censors’ stifle Fiji news media in regime crackdown
By: David Robie, Pacific News Media, April 28, 2009
Reeling from four coups in two decades, journalists in the Pacific nation of Fiji bravely contesting draconian pressure from a military government are now taking no chances. After a flurry of creative challenges to the military backed regime as it entrenched its power in the Pacific Islands nation of Fiji, the news media are now facing the harsh reality of life after the censorship crackdown. Leading editors and journalists have opted to be cautious following the gag and threats by authorities that they will be shut down if they step out of line.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST

International public opinion says government should not limit internet access
By: World Public Opinion, April 30, 2009
In all nations polled there is robust support for the principle that the media should be free of government control and that citizens should even have access to material from hostile countries.
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From war to politics: Resistance/liberation movements in transition
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, April 28, 2009
This report represents a synthesis of the publications related to the Berghof project on “Resistance/Liberation Movements and Transition to Politics”, dealing with the role of insurgency movements in conflict waging and transformation to peace and democracy.
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NOTICES

Call for applications: 2010 Rotary World Peace Fellowship
By: Espen Malmberg, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, April 29, 2009
The Rotary Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2010 Rotary World Peace Fellowship. Receive a full scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in international studies, sustainable development, peace, and conflict resolution or professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of the six Rotary Centers.
For more information…

 

IN PAST NEWS


Press (un)freedom discussed in Turkmenistan
By: Institute for War & Peace Reporting, April 13, 2009
A recent training workshop held in Turkmenistan suggests that journalists there aspire to international standards, but the complete lack of freedom in the heavily state-controlled media makes this impossible. The state news agency TDH reports that the participants, drawn from newspapers, TV and radio, learned about the basic principles of press freedom and looked at how media operate abroad.
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The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is pleased to circulate this daily selective digest of world news related to past, present and potential nonviolent conflicts, including active civilian-based struggles against oppressive regimes, nonviolent resistance, political and social dissidence, and the use of nonviolent tactics in a variety of causes.  We also include stories that help readers glimpse the larger context of a conflict and that reflect on past historical struggles.

If you have specific items that you would like us to include in the daily digest, please send them to us.  If there is a news or information source that you believe we may not be accessing, for purposes of selecting items, please bring that to our attention. Thank you.