Nonviolent Action around the World – 20 July 2009 (Part 1)

July 20, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN

Iran opposition candidate blasts ‘clear lies’
By: CNN, July 19, 2009
An opposition candidate in Iran’s disputed presidential election blasted what he called the “thoughtless and clear lies” of the country’s security forces Sunday. Former parliament speaker Mehdi Karrubi compared government claims that it had not attacked his supporters to the statements that came out of the Iranian monarchy in the days before the 1979 revolution.
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Thirty-six army officers arrested in Iran over protest plan
By: Robert Tait, Guardian, July 19, 2009
The Iranian army has arrested 36 officers who planned to attend last week’s Friday prayer sermon by former president Hashemi Rafsanjani in their military uniforms as an act of political defiance, according to Farsi-language websites. The officers intended the gesture to show solidarity with the demonstrations against last month’s presidential election result.
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Iran: Eyewitness account of Friday’s events in Tehran
By: Juan Cole, Informed Comment, July 19, 2009
From a friend of a friend in Tehran: The past couple of days everyone I met debated back and forth whether to attend Friday Prayer’s today or not. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president and one of the “founding fathers” of the Islamic Republic, was to give the sermon this week.
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Iran: Hard liners slam Rafsanjani
By: Juan Cole, Informed Comment, July 19, 2009
AP reports that Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi accused former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of encouraging further street protests by not condemning them in his Friday prayer sermon. In fact, Rafsanjani demanded that imprisoned protesters be released, implying that they broke no law by protesting in the first place.
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Iranian protesters galvanized by sermon
By: Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim, LA Times, July 18, 2009
A sermon by powerful cleric and opposition supporter Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani reignited Iran’s simmering protest movement Friday. In a highly anticipated speech, Rafsanjani slammed the hard-line camp supporting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, criticized the June 12 election results and promoted several key opposition demands.
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Iran’s tide of history: Counter-revolution and after
By: Fred Halliday, openDemocracy, July 17, 2009
It is already five weeks since the presidential elections on 12 June 2009 in Iran, whose official results and handling by the authorities provoked an immediate and nationwide outbreak of popular demonstrations. Yet even a vigorous clampdown has been unable to extinguish all public displays of dissent.
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Iranian women’s rights activist beaten, arrested
By: Women’s Learning Partnership, July 17, 2009
Shadi Sadr, a lawyer and prominent women’s rights activist working with the One Million Signatures Campaign, was arrested today by plain clothes security officers and taken to an undisclosed location. The men pulled her into a car as she walked along a busy road and beat her as she struggled to escape.
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Iran: Song and rape
By: Nordic Dervish, July 17, 2009
Taraneh M, the young woman we reported on two days ago has been murdered. As we said we have been in contact with one of her friends. We asked her friend to give us a short interview and provide us with more details about this appalling tragedy.
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Iran: Million person crowd comes out for after-prayers protest
By: Juan Cole, Informed Comment, July 17, 2009
Opposition sources are claiming that a million protesters filled the capital’s streets and that even their political foes admitted that the crowds were enormous. It is easy to over-estimate the size of crowds, but given the government’s harsh crackdowns on demonstrators, even 500,000 would have been very impressive.
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Iranians are losing their fear and mock the official line
By: Dadbeh Gudarzi, The Independent, July 17, 2009
Even if they won’t admit it, our rulers must be worried. They know that after last month’s unrest and the violent suppression that followed, the nation is still in deep crisis. And they also know that something profound has changed. Because never at any time since the revolution has public criticism been as open and as bitter as now.
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Cleric says Iran in crisis, police fight protesters
By: Parisa Hafezi and Fredrik Dahl, Reuters, July 17, 2009
In apparent defiance of Iran’s supreme leader, a powerful cleric declared the Islamic Republic in crisis after a disputed election, and tens of thousands of protesters used Friday prayers to stage the biggest show of dissent for weeks. Clashes erupted in central Tehran between police and followers of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, who still contests official election results.
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Iran: Mousavi’s instructions for the Friday prayer
By: niacINsight, July 16, 2009
Mir Hossein Mousavi will attend this week’s Friday Prayer and he would like everyone who is part of the green movement and wishes for a democratic Iran to attend, saying: “You are the messengers; the fate of the Friday prayer is in our hands so please urge everyone to attend.”
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Iran: Mousavi vows protesters’ blood not shed in vain
By: Ali Akbar Dareini, The Daily Star, July 16, 2009
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi vowed not to let the blood of protesters killed in postelection crackdown go in vain as he met with the family of a young man shot to death during the turmoil. Several hundred supporters gathered as Mousavi and his wife visited the family of Sohrab Aarabi, 19, who disappeared during a June 15 protest.
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Iran: Protests prompt emergence of underground Internet newspapers
By: Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices, July 16, 2009
The recent emergence of internet newspapers in Iran is evidence of the will of Iranian citizens and opposition forces to continue to communicate even as the Islamic Republic intensifies censorship, filtering and repression. By reading Internet newspapers we learn that the Iranian protest movement is as diverse as is Iranian society and its blogosphere.
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Ahmadinejad: Iran will “bring down” Western foes
By: Reuters, July 16, 2009
Newly re-elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday his next government “would bring down the global arrogance,” signaling a tougher approach by Tehran toward the West after last month’s disputed election. Iranian leaders often refer to the United States and its allies as the “global arrogance.”
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Iran: A conversation about the elections, protest, and the future
By: Keeping the Change, July 16, 2009
On July 15, PEN American Center, in conjunction with The New York Review of Books and 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center, presented an impressive panel entitled “Iran: A Conversation About the Elections, Protest and the Future.” Discussion topics included the demographic makeup of the opposition, leadership, next steps, and the future of US-Iran relations.
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Hundreds may have died in Iranian clashes after poll
By: Robert Tait, Guardian, July 16, 2009
Hundreds more people may have died in Iran’s post-election unrest than the authorities have admitted, amid allegations that the death toll has been obscured by hiding victims’ bodies in secret morgues. Suspicions have been fuelled after one woman described seeing corpses piled on top of each other in a refrigeration depot while searching for a missing relative.
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Supreme Leader Khamenei diminished in Iranians’ eyes
By: Borzou Daragahi, Truthout, July 15, 2009
For two decades he was considered to be above the petty political squabbles, a cautious elder contemplating questions of faith and Islam while guiding his nation into the future. But Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose title of supreme leader makes him Iran’s ultimate authority, has gotten his hands dirty.
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Behind Iran’s silence
By: Laura Secor, New Yorker, July 15, 2009
The American attention span for foreign crises is notoriously short. In the two weeks since Iran’s disputed election and the ensuing protests and violence, Michael Jackson died, Sarah Palin resigned, and news from Iran slipped below the fold and into the inside pages of most daily newspapers.
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A trip to Iran
By: Patrick Appel, The Daily Dish, July 15, 2009
We arrived in Iran 5 days after the election. When I had heard the news of the protests before our arrival, I had thought that few young members of my extended family might have joined the protests but I was shocked to find out that almost everybody (80%) of my and my husband’s family members over the age of 18 had joined the first week’s protests at some point.
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Iran: Arrests and deaths continue as authorities tighten grip
By: Payvand Iran News, July 15, 2009
Amnesty International is concerned about further arrests of politicians, journalists, lawyers and others in connection with the recent disputed presidential election in Iran. Hundreds of people are believed to be detained – many held in undisclosed locations – across Iran.
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Iran’s long backslide to absolute rule
By: M.D. Nalapat, Payvand Iran News, July 15, 2009
Revolutionaries often end up adopting to the habits and methods of those they once opposed. Even in democracies, those who oppose the policies of the ruling party often adopt many of them once they themselves gain power.
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Iran: Mousavi – Protesters’ blood will not go in vain
By: Ali Akbar Dareini, AP, July 15, 2009
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi vowed not to let the blood of protesters killed in postelection crackdown go in vain as he met with the family of a young man shot to death during the turmoil. Mousavi, meanwhile, announced Wednesday that he will attend Tehran’s main Friday prayer services this week for the first time, a key symbolic assertion of the opposition’s presence after the crackdown.
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Iran: Death toll apparently far exceeds government claims
By: Payvand Iran News, July 15, 2009
Information from Iranian hospitals and victims’ families indicates that the number of demonstrators killed by security officers and militia during demonstrations far exceeds government reports. The International Campaign for Human Rights has ascertained that on 20 June, when the government reported that 11 protesters had been killed, three Tehran hospitals placed a total of 34 corpses of demonstrators in their morgues.
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Iran: Has Ahmadinejad lost his global following?
By: Liam Stack, CS Monitor, July 14, 2009
Under Mr. Ahmadinejad, Iran’s “resistance” brand has gone global, challenging Western hegemony in the name of defending the globally downtrodden and winning allies from Lebanon to Venezuela. But analysts say Iran’s resistance image has been challenged by Ahmadinejad’s controversial June 12 reelection, after which hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the street to protest what they say is a fradulent vote.
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Iran: Young election protester buried in Tehran
By: Robert Mackey, NY Times, July 13, 2009
Iran’s opposition movement consecrated another martyr on Monday, with the funeral of a 19-year-old named Sohrab Aarabi, whose family just discovered on Saturday that he had died last month of a gunshot wound to the heart. Mr. Aarabi had been missing since the huge opposition rally in Tehran on June 15, which was followed by clashes between opposition protesters and Basij militia members.
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Are Iranian authorities more sophisticated than we think?
By: Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy, July 13, 2009
A trusted colleague has told me of a very disturbing episode that happened to her friend, another Iranian-American, as she was flying to Iran last week. On passing through the immigration control at the airport in Tehran, she was asked by the officers if she has a Facebook account. When she said “no”, the officers pulled up a laptop, found her account, and noted down the names of her Facebook friends.
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The ultimate unveiling of Iranian women
By: Farzaneh Milani, Tehran Bureau, July 13, 2009
Have you considered the gender makeup of the two opposing camps in Iran today? On one side, is an all-male cabal of gun-totting, club-wielding men – the Army, the Revolutionary Guard and the volunteer militia. On the other side, is a sea of lawfully demonstrating men and women marching side by side and shoulder to shoulder.
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Advisor to Iran supreme leader calls for tolerance of dissent
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, July 12, 2009
A top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader Saturday urged the country’s establishment to be more tolerant of dissent, even as military officials stepped up their rhetoric in the latest signs of divisions created by the marred reelection one month ago. Mohammad Mohammadian, a midranking cleric, acknowledged the simmering discontent over the vote.
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CRISIS IN HONDURAS


Democra-phobia: Fear of citizen power in Honduras
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 20, 2009
Strip away all the sensationalism of media coverage of events in Honduras over the past month and it still boils down to one central conflict: The coup regime fears “Citizen Power.” The coup regime’s fear of authentic democracy is exactly why the failed “talks” in Costa Rica between the two sides have now ended without agreement on anything at all.
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Honduras talks fail, tension up
By: Deccan Herald, July 20, 2009
Honduras’ political rivals were on a collision course on Monday after negotiations collapsed and deposed President Manuel Zelaya vowed to return home despite warnings from a defiant de facto government. Zelaya says resistance is being organised in Honduras to pave the way for his return this weekend and that nobody can stop him.
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Honduras: Critics from both sides slam US
By: Sara Miller Llana, CS Monitor, July 20, 2009
Conscious of its historical dominance in Latin America the United States quickly sought a place on the sidelines after military leaders ousted Honduras’s leftist President Manuel Zelaya on June 28. Now, with frustration growing on both sides as a resolution seems farther out of reach, that backseat role is being increasingly questioned.
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Peaceful blockades vs. coup paralyze Honduras
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 16, 2009
Take a look at the roadmap of Honduras, above. In the lower center is the capital city of Tegucigalpa, with only four routes connecting it to the rest of the country and the continent. Narco News can confirm, together with reports in other media, that at least three of those four routes – the three most important – have been successfully shut down by peaceful occupations.
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Hondurans ‘have right to revolt’
By: BBC News, July 15, 2009
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has said his supporters have “the right to insurrection” in their bid to see him reinstated. Mr Zelaya said Hondurans were within their rights to demonstrate, go on strike, or even rise up against the interim Honduran government.
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Catholic News Agency: Honduran cardinal states he did not support military coup
By: Green Left Discussion, July 15, 2009
With the tide having turned to a significant extent in Honduras, the Catholic Church hierarchy is now trying to change history. Most peoples’ memories are short, but it was entirely obvious from the beginning that the church DID support the coup. Remember, the following is a dispatch from CNA, the Catholic News Agency, an authoritative service.
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Honduras’ political conflict pushes youth activism
By: Laura Figueroa, Miami Herald, July 15, 2009
Honduras’ youth have become an integral part of manning the rallies and marches both for and against Zelaya’s ouster. For many Hondurans born after the 1980s the stories of coups and military regimes were things of the past. Now, lessons of life and liberty, democracy and protest are becoming intertwined with their everyday lives.
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AFRICA
Zambia’s government criticized for harassing journalists
By: James Butty, VOA News, July 20, 2009
The International Press Institute has expressed concern over the arrest and upcoming trial of Zambia Post newspaper Editor Chansa Kabwela.  The group reportedly said the Zambian government is using trumped-up criminal charges as a tool for intimidating and harassing journalists critical of the government.
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Opposition rejects poll results in Mauritania
By: Vincent Fertey, The Independent, July 20, 2009
The main challengers to Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the general who seized power in Mauritania in a coup last year, yesterday denounced the country’s presidential election as a charade and demanded an inquiry. Saturday’s vote was meant to show investors and donors that the former French colony in West Africa is ready to rejoin the international fold.
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Aziz wins Mauritanian election, opposition denounces ‘charade’
By: Scott Stearns, VOA News, July 19, 2009
Mauritania’s former military leader has won election as president. Opposition candidates are rejecting the results of a vote meant to return the country to constitutional rule. They are calling on the international community to investigate what they say were voting irregularities, including counting opposition ballots for Aziz.
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Obama delivers call for change to a rapt Aftica
By: Peter Baker, NY Times, July 11, 2009
President Obama traveled in his father’s often-troubled home continent on Saturday, where he symbolized a new political era but brought a message of tough love: American aid must be matched by Africa’s responsibility for its own problems. “We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans,” Mr. Obama said.
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AMERICAS
Many Nicaragua revolutionaries feel betrayed by the revolution
By: Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times, July 19, 2009
On July 19, 1979, a young Nicaraguan guerrilla commander with an idealistic swagger and a droopy black mustache helped overthrow a brutish dictator and captivate the world’s imagination. Three decades later, older and not necessarily wiser, President Daniel Ortega has repulsed many followers and baffled others.
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Peru: Bloggers targeted by hackers
By: Juan Arellano, Global Voices, July 18, 2009
Disagreements between bloggers and their readers may often take place within the comments section, and can continue in the form of debate and discussion. However, for some Peruvian bloggers, some of their views motivated some to take actions to silence these differing opinions.
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Brazil: Plaintiffs try to silence one of the country’s leading journalists
By: Paula Góes, Global Voices, July 16, 2009
At 59 years of age, Lúcio Flávio Pinto is a prize winning journalist from Pará who independently runs the small biweekly Jornal Pessoal. Reporting as it does on drug trafficking, environmental issues, and political and corporate corruption, as well as media bias and domination, it is no news that Pinto has been subject to a number of lawsuits.
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US: Obama – Civil rights leaders paved the way
By: Philip Elliott, Truthout, July 16, 2009
President Barack Obama on Thursday traced his historic rise to power to the vigor and valor of black civil rights leaders, telling the NAACP that the sacrifice of others “began the journey that has led me here.” The nation’s first black president bluntly warned, though, that racial barriers persist.
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Embrace Hugo Chávez’s ideas or be fired, Venezuelan oil workers told
By: Rory Carroll, Guardian, July 16, 2009
Employees of oil companies in Venezuela have protested against an ultimatum by President Hugo Chávez’s government to embrace the socialist revolution or face the sack. Hundreds of workers picketed a refinery yesterday and said they would mobilise next week to challenge the politicisation of the state oil company, PDVSA.
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American journalist briefly detained in Venezuela
By: Miami Herald, July 15, 2009
An American photographer working for The New York Times was briefly detained by agents from the security detail of a Venezuelan state governor, who seized his camera and erased his photos. Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said Monday that the incident occurred while photographer Scott Dalton was shooting photos at a public event on Thursday where Barinas Gov. Adan Chavez – the eldest brother of President Hugo Chavez – was speaking.
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US: Hilary Clinton – Foreign policy address at Council on Foreign Relations
By: US Department of State, July 15, 2009
In a high-profile address at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton detailed the foreign policy objectives of the Obama Administration and the State Department. Speaking on democracy promotion, Clinton asserted that “Liberty, democracy, justice and opportunity underlie our priorities…”
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US: Activists trying to visit detainees are denied
By: Lynn Brezosky, My SA News, July 12, 2009
Members of a group that has been documenting hunger strikes at the Port Isabel Detention Center were denied access Saturday, they said, and were told they could no longer visit detainees at the facility. Anayanse Garza of the Southwest Workers’ Union said photographs of her and four other members had been enlarged and adhered to a clipboard, with instructions to guards to refuse them entry.
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Peru: Two more indigenous leaders seek asylum
By: Survival International, July 10, 2009
Two more of Peru’s most prominent indigenous leaders have been forced to seek asylum after orders for their arrest were issued by a judge following violent clashes in the Peruvian Amazon last month. Saul Puerta Pena and Cervando Puerta Pena, two brothers, have sought asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy in Peru’s capital city, Lima.
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Peru: Three days of anti-government protests
By: Ángel Páez, IPS, July 8, 2009
Wednesday was the second day of a three-day strike declared by trade unions and social movements in Peru to protest the economic policies of President Alan García. Thousands of members of the security forces were deployed Wednesday in Lima to keep order, and police chief General José Sánchez reported that over 156 demonstrators were arrested, mainly in Lima.
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CENTRAL ASIA
Azerbaijan: Activists’ support site goes down
By: Ali S. Novruzov, Global Voices, July 19, 2009
Yesterday the Appellate Court in Baku was to consider again the case of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade, the recently beaten and detained youth activists and bloggers sentenced last week to two months of pre-trial arrest on alleged “hooliganism” charges. The authorities failed to bring Adnan Hajizada to the court for unknown reasons.
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Uighurs in Kazakhstan rally against China crackdown
By: Maria Golovnina, Reuters, July 19, 2009
Thousands of ethnic Uighurs rallied in the Kazakhstan city of Almaty on Sunday to protest against a crackdown against Uighurs in the neighbouring Chinese region of Xinjiang. Around 5,000 Uighurs, including women wearing white scarves as a sign of mourning, gathered in a Soviet-era congress hall in Kazakhstan’s biggest city to express their anger.
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Azerbaijani blogger arrests prompts backlash
By: Aida Sultanova, AFP, July 14, 2009
Two opposition bloggers are being held by authorities in Azerbaijan in a case protested by Western nations and international journalism advocates. A court last week ordered two months of pretrial detention for Adnan Hadzhizade and Emin Milli, who were charged with hooliganism after what authorities called a fight with several men in a Baku cafe.
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Azerbaijan: Citizen media in defense of detained activists, bloggers
By: Onnik Krikorian, Global Voices, July 13, 2009
Although most activity can be found on Facebook where users update each other on the case of video blogger Adnan Hajizade and youth activist Emin Milli, detained last week and sentenced to two months pre-trial detention, less activity might be visible in the mainstream media, but the situation is changing. Nevertheless, citizen media remains the main source of information.
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Azerbaijan: Last tweet before arrest
By: Ali S. Novruzov, Global Voices, July 13, 2009
Emin Milli, one of two youth and civil society activists severly beaten and jailed for two months in Baku last week, sent a tweet back on 24th June. Not only was it the last before his arrest, but it was also particularly poignant. ‘Without sacrifices there isn’t any freedom. Therefore, I and people like me have to be arrested.’ Abulfaz Elchibey, 1974.
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