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

September 1, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Uzbek poet and dissident victim of abuse in prison
By: Asia News.It, August 28, 2009
The Uzbek dissident poet Yusuf Jumaev political prisoner and a staunch critic of President Islam Karimov, is a victim of violence and abuse in prison. This was revealed by Human Rights Watch (HRW), reporting the testimony of his daughter who met him in recent days in jail. The authorities threatened to deny permission for new visits, if the family continues “mount allegations” about abuse.
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CIVICUS condemns repression of democratic freedom in Turkmenistan
By: Devendra Tak, CIVICUS, August 25, 2009
World Alliance for Citizen Participation expresses deep concern about the repression of independent civil society groups in Turkmenistan. With blanket bans on information and extreme levels of opaque governance, Turkmenistan is one of the most oppressive countries in the world. Despite this, many ‘western’ democracies are weakening their stance on the protection of human rights in the country, in large measure due to Turkmenistan’s vast hydrocarbons reserves.
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Kyrgyzstan: A political retreat
By: Ben Judah, Open Democracy, August 25, 2009
Kurmanbek Bakiyev was once hailed as a democrat, ascending to the presidency of this central Asia republic during the “tulip revolution” of 2005. It was hoped that Kyrgyzstan could offer a progressive alternative to the neighbouring authoritarian regimes that surround it. But following a fraudulent presidential election on 23 July 2009 and a growing pattern of arbitrary arrests and draconian control laws, Kyrgyzstan is sliding backwards.

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EUROPE
U.K.: Climate activists stage protests
By: BBC, August 31, 2009
Climate camp activists have staged two protests in London to highlight the threat of climate change. They first staged a demonstration outside the Treasury and then at London City Airport. The protesters say the Treasury is using taxpayers’ money to fund fossil fuel extraction, through its investment in Royal Bank of Scotland.
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Controversial Russian opposition leader detained in Moscow
By: Rianovosti, August 31, 2009
Eduard Limonov, a leader of the Other Russia opposition coalition, was detained on Monday in downtown Moscow during an attempt to hold an unauthorized protest march, a spokesman said. “Eduard Limonov was going to take part in a March of Dissent on Triumfalnaya Square. He was walking along Tverskoy Boulevard, accompanied by his bodyguards and journalists, when he was detained,” Alexander Averin said.
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Russia: Moscow police quash anti-Kremlin demonstration, briefly detain 15 protesters
By: Breaking News 24/7, August 31, 2009
Riot police briefly detained about 15 people trying to hold an anti-Kremlin demonstration in central Moscow on Monday to defend Russians’ constitutional right to assembly. Camouflage-clad police grabbed the protesters as they arrived at the square near the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and hustled them into buses, carrying some by their arms and legs.
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No amnesty for Georgia’s political prisoners
By: Russia Today, August 31, 2009
Georgia’s opposition is trying to draw attention to the growing number of political prisoners in the country. Georgian demonstrators are rallying in Moscow because this is something they feel they cannot do in their own country. They’re demanding the freedom of a man they believe is being held in a Georgian prison on trumped-up charges.
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Natalia Estemirova, champion of ordinary Chechens
By: Tanya Lokshina, Open Democracy, August 31, 2009
Natalia Estemirova was Chechnya’s great champion of human rights until her kidnap and murder last month. On the 40th day after her death, her friend Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch commemorates a uniquely courageous and selfless woman.
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Romania: Bucharest Court confirms it joins protests on ceasing activity and boycotting elections
By: Curierul National, August 31, 2009
Several courts in the country started to vote for ceasing activity as of 1 September and to boycott elections, in protest against the under-financing of justice, and for wages for magistrates comparable to those of the other state powers. Thus, sources from the magistracy confirmed for NewsIn that the judges of the courts Cluj-Napoca and Tulcea, of the courts of appeal of Târgu Mures and Brasov, and of the Bucharest Court already voted, in their General Assemblies, for forms of protest such as ceasing activity or boycotting the elections.
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Belarus: Dictator confirmed rigging presidential elections
By: Charter 97, August 31, 2009
Alyaksandr Lukashenka said the results of the presidential elections 2006 were rigged. The Belarusian ruler told in an interview published in “Izvestia” newspaper on August 27: “I have information that 93% voted for me at the last elections. Later, when I felt pressure, I admitted that the elections had been forged. I ordered that the results should be about 80%, I don’t remember the exact figure, but not 93%. 90 is difficult for perception. But this is true.”
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Belarus: Opposition rallies banned in Vitsebsk center
By: Charter 97, August 31, 2009
Local opposition activists have repeatedly demanded the city authorities to define places for mass events in the city center, but all their attempts were unsuccessful. Vitsebsk authorities continue to restrict civil rights and freedoms. About 30 local oppositionists have stood trials and been punished for violation of the rules of organizing mass events in Vitsebsk for the last two years.
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Lithuania: Two decades after massive anti-Soviet protest
By: Karla Gruodis, Montreal Gazette, August 29, 2009
Answering a call put out through Facebook, several hundred young people run toward Cathedral Square on a cool Sunday afternoon. Ignoring the drizzle, they quickly link hands to form a human chain, recreating an event that took place before many of them were born. They are here to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Baltic Way – the largest political demonstration ever – when, on Aug. 23, 1989, more than two million Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians joined hands across their three countries to protest 50 years of Soviet rule, a peaceful act that helped trigger the breakup of the Soviet Union.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Morocco: New jail term for Western Sahara activist
By: via HRW, International, August 31, 2009
The conviction and imprisonment of the Western Sahara human rights defender Naâma Asfari on August27, 2009, for “showing contempt toward a public agent” shows that Morocco continues to punish peaceful activists. The Tantan Court of First Instance sentenced Asfari to four months in prison. It is Asfari’s third conviction in three years. “Moroccan authorities keep finding new excuses to lock Asfari up, but it seems that what lies behind it all is his peaceful activism on the Western Sahara,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
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Western Sahara: Torture, abductions and disappearances
By: Stefan Simanowitz, Afrik, August 31, 2009
Ms. Ngiya, one of six Saharawi students arrested and beaten after protesting the refusal of Moroccan authorities to allow them to travel to England for a peace workshop on 5th August, had been released following the intervention of human rights groups including Amnesty International but concerns for the student’s safety had remained.
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What we Palestinians need
By: Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Palestine Chronicler, August 30, 2009
In all its forms, resistance is an internationally sanctioned right of the Palestinian people. Under this strategy, however, it must resume a peaceful, mass grassroots character that will serve to revive the culture of collective activism among all sectors of the Palestinian people and, hence, to keep the struggle from becoming the preserve or monopoly of small cliques and to promote its growing impetus and momentum. Models for this type of resistance already exist.
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Saudi Arabia blocking Twitter pages of activists
By: Ahmed Al-Omran, Global Voices Online, August 28, 2009
Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC)  has recently blocked access to Twitter accounts of a blogger @Mashi97 and a human rights activist @abualkhair. The move comes after the role Twitter played in the recent post-elections uprising in Iran.
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OCEANIA
Fiji editor says censorship suppresses news stories
By: Netani Rika, Radio Australia, August 31, 2009
The editor of one of Fiji’s main daily newspapers has told an overseas audience that government control of the media has resulted in major news stories being suppressed on the orders of military and police censors. Last week the interim government confirmed it would extend emergency regulations for another 30 days, including official censorship under which military and police personnel are stationed in newsrooms to approve all items before they’re published.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Eurasia: Bracing for a technological counter-revolution
By: Stephen Blank, Eurasianet, August 28, 2009
The advent of social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook has changed the nature of political dissent. But as this summer’s unrest in Iran and China has demonstrated, authoritarian-minded governments have done their homework, and have kept pace with the revolution in communications. Experts on Eurasian political developments now believe that authoritarian-minded governments in the region are going on the offensive to stifle opposition and roll back civil society.
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Activists launch warming campaign
By: Cyprus Weekly, August 28, 2009
Activists launched what they called the world’s biggest campaign to combat global warming on Friday, urging governments to agree a tough U.N. climate pact at talks in Copenhagen starting in 100 days’ time. Environmental organisations, trade unions, religious groups, scientists, anti-poverty campaigners and others representing tens of millions of people teamed up to put pressure for curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.
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Facebook, Twitter, Flickr & YouTube feed boycott of Whole Foods
By: Ron Callari, Inventor Spot, August 2009
Labeled A-Hole Foods by some, an army of bloggers have taken to full battle gear ever since John Mackey’s op-ed appeared in the Wall Street Journal on August 12, 2009. Triggering significant backlash, Whole Foods may have a hard time overcoming a social media nightmare spurred on by their leader.
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Report names world’s most repressive countries
By: Tania Campbell, Ethical Traveler, August 2009
A recent Freedom House report spotlights the world’s most repressive countries – places where freedom and democracy don’t exist. The non-profit organization, which promotes democracy around the world, cited North Korea, Burma, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Somalia and Sudan as being among the least free countries in the world. Along with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, these countries received the lowest rating for political rights and civil liberties.
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Read Freedom House report…

 

NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Début de campagne électorale au Honduras en pleine crise politique
By: CRI Online, August 31, 2009
Deux mois après le putsch qui a plongé le Honduras dans une crise politique, le pays d’Amérique centrale a entamé dimanche sa campagne électorale pour les élections de novembre. Les partis politiques disposent maintenant de moins de 90 jours pour mener campagne avant les élections prévues fin novembre.
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Cientos de personas se movilizaron “por un Chile sin represas”
By: Mapu Express, August 30, 2009
En Temuco unas 200 personas marcharon por diversas calles céntricas, con lienzos y consignas la que comenzó a las 18.00 Horas desde la plaza Hospital y reunió a diversas representaciones estudiantiles, ambientalistas y Mapuches y que finalizó con diversos juegos y cánticos en plena Avenida Caupolicán, arteria principal de la Ciudad. En Valdivia, más de 400 marcharon. Casi medio millar en Coyhaique, cifra cercana en Santiago.
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Journée Internationale de la Jeunesse: “Prenons en main notre avenir!”
By: The Amahoro Youth Club, August 13, 2009
La journée internationale de la Jeunesse célébrée en pleine période de vacances est une occasion pour toute la jeunesse de réfléchir sur sa condition, d’analyser son rôle dans la société présente et d’échanger sur les multiples défis auxquels elle fait face. Au sein de l’Amahoro Youth Club, cette journée nous donne l’occasion de jeter un regard sur notre mission qui est de contribuer à la consolidation de la paix et du développement durable à travers des espaces d’échange.
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NOTICES
Civil Voices Festival
By: Civil Society Development Center, August 31, 2009
“Civil Voices” Festival, organized by Civil Society Development Center (STGM), will host various grassroots and local civil society organizations from Turkey and EU member/candidate countries between 25 and 27 September in Istanbul-Turkey. The festival is being  organized under “Supporting Civil Society Development and Dialogue in Turkey Project” supported by European Union.
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Exiled Honduran president to speak at Elliott School Wednesday
By: Amanda Dick, blogs.gwhatchet.com, August 31, 2009
The coup-removed President of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, will speak about his efforts to restore peace and order in Honduras in the Elliott School on Wednesday morning.The event will be held in the City View room of the Elliott School from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Attendees must RSVP to the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program and the Center for Economic and Policy Research at [email protected].
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“Rwanda Human Rights Delegation” participates in a GYC program
By: Global Youth Connect
Application Deadline: September 25, 2009. This GYC program will explore the roots of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, how this legacy of violence has impacted the country and its people, particularly Rwandan youth, and also how the country is attempting to rebuild today. Dates: Dec 28, 2009 – Jan 11, 2010
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IN PAST NEWS
Public protests around the world
By: Anup Shah, Global Issues, November 25, 2003
Mass protests, throughout history have come at a time when enough of the population has been affected by policies of the rulers and elite. They have often been met with brutal, efficient crackdown by the guardians of the elite, be they local police, militias, national militaries, or even another nation’s military forces.
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