Nonviolent Action around the World – 20 July 2009 (Part 2)

July 20, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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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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EUROPE
Video: Chechen activist to victim
By: Emily B. Hager, NY Times, July 20, 2009
Natalya Estemirova was one of the premier human rights investigators in the entire Caucasus. C.J. Chivers, a correspondent for The New York Times, describes how she helped him with an article in 2006.
Watch video…
 
Human rights group pulls out of Chechnya
By: Shaun Walker, The Independent, July 19, 2009
The human rights organisation Memorial said yesterday that it would cease to work in Chechnya and close its office in the republic, as it could not guarantee the safety of its staff. The organisation took the decision after the kidnapping and murder of Natalya Estemirova, one of its employees, on Wednesday.
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Chechnya is gripped by political kidnappings
By: Andrew E. Kramer, NY Times, July 18, 2009
The wars that have ravaged Chechnya since the collapse of the Soviet Union have officially ended. Yet the republic is in the throes of an epidemic of kidnappings. The abduction and killing last week of Natalia Estemirova, a celebrated human rights worker, came in the context of an escalating trend of unexplained disappearances.
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Chechnya: A fearless activist in a land of thugs
By: C.J. Chivers, NY Times, July 17, 2009
Natalya Estemirova was an essential member of a tiny circle of the premier human rights investigators in the entire Caucasus – a woman of immeasurable courage, precision and calm. She was a researcher for Memorial, the human rights organization, in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital.
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Natalya Estemirova murder reveals Russia’s “terror campaign”
By: Musa Sadulayev and Mike Eckel, Huffington Post, July 16, 2009
Weeping mourners walked through Chechnya’s capital on Thursday to honor activist Natalya Estemirova, whose brazen kidnapping and execution-style killing shocked Russia’s beleaguered human rights community and prompted international outrage. In Moscow, Russia’s leading rights advocates blamed Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed president for the killing.
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Chechen president threatened murdered campaigner
By: Luke Harding, Guardian, July 16, 2009
Human rights activists today accused Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, of personally threatening Natalia Estemirova, the Russian human rights campaigner who was abducted and shot dead in Chechnya yesterday. Oleg Orlov, the director of the human rights organisation Memorial, claimed Kadyrov made the threat during a meeting just months before her death.
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Chechnya: ‘Open season’ for killing rights activists?
By: Jonathan Adams, CS Monitor, July 16, 2009
Rights groups on Thursday condemned the killing in Chechnya of prominent human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, who has long documented abuses by government-backed militias there. The killing has drawn attention to a worrying trend in which critics of Kremlin-installed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov have been harassed or murdered.
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Armenia: ‘Bloggers’ call for foreign minister’s resignation
By: Artur Papyan, Global Voices, July 15, 2009
Following the release of a statement in Aquila by the U.S., Russian, and French presidents calling for Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the longstanding conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, some bloggers in Armenia have launched a campaign demanding the resignation of the country’s foreign minister, Edward Nalbandian. The blog claims “more than 150 bloggers” have signed a statement although neglected to name any.
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TOP
 

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Saudi film festival is cancelled in state crackdown on culture
By: Souhail Karam, The Independent, July 20, 2009
Saudi Arabia’s only film festival has been cancelled, dealing a blow to reformist hopes of an easing of clerical control over culture that was raised by the low-key return of cinemas in December. Many Saudi religious conservatives believe films from more liberal Arab countries such as Egypt could violate religious taboos.
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Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian fields, stone cars
By: Huffington Post, July 20, 2009
A Palestinian official says more than 30 Israeli settlers, some of them on horseback, set fire to fields and olive trees and stoned Palestinian cars during a rampage in the West Bank. Two Palestinians were lightly injured. The settlers were protesting the army’s removal of an unauthorized settlement outpost in the area.
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Palestine: Invasion in Bil’in on July 19
By: Friends of Freedom and Justice Bilin, July 19, 2009
At 5:30am, shortly after the Palestinian and international activists returned to their houses after patrolling the village all night, villagers gave the alert that four Israeli Army Jeeps were driving toward the village. A few minutes later, they reached the house of Emad Bornat whom they arrested.
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Threatened and beaten on the way to Gaza
By: Adam Shapiro, Huffington Post, July 17, 2009
I departed Cyprus with 20 others on June 29 in a converted ferry carrying humanitarian provisions intended for Palestinians in Gaza cut off from the world by the Israeli military siege. Our intent was to bring Palestinians these items while breaking the sea barrier Israel maintains to imprison Palestinians in their coastal territory.
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Watch video
 
Free Gaza–and Palestine
By: Huwaida Arraf, The Nation, July 17, 2009
Last month I led a group of twenty-one human rights workers on a boat from Cyprus to challenge Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. We carried toys, medicine, olive tree saplings, toolkits, a fifty-kilo bag of cement and school supplies on our small converted ferry boat.
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Palestine: Battle of Bil’in
By: Stefan Christoff, Hour.ca, July 16, 2009
Palestinian activists from Bil’in village say the Israeli military has raided their village almost daily this week. They claim the early morning raids are linked to a recent lawsuit filed by the village in the Quebec Superior Court, alleging two Montreal-based companies played a role in building Israeli-only settlements on Palestinian land.
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China warns citizens in Algeria of Al Qaeda threat
By: Liam Stack, CS Monitor, July 15, 2009
China has warned its citizens in Algeria of possible attacks after reports that Al Qaeda has vowed to seek revenge for the deaths of Muslim Uighurs during riots in China’s Xinjiang Province earlier this month. The threat by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s branch in North Africa, is the first that the global terror network has made against Chinese interests.
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North Africa: Al-Qaeda vows revenge on China after riots
By: Jane Macartney, Times Online, July 15, 2009
Al-Qaeda has issued its first threat against China with a vow to attack Chinese workers in North Africa in retaliation for Beijing’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs. The threat, issued by the Algeria-based al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), highlights the risks faced by China as it expands its economic investments overseas.
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Palestine: “Who will hold us accountable?”
By: Natalie Abou Shakra, The Electronic Intifada, July 15, 2009
I came to Gaza a week before Israel’s winter invasion began. After seven months, I spent two days at Rafah crossing with the Egyptian authorities refusing to allow me to return to Lebanon, despite having all the necessary coordination documents, approval and permission from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Report claims Israelis used Palestinians as human shields
By: CNN, July 15, 2009
A report from an Israeli advocacy group based on what it says is the testimony of several unnamed Israeli soldiers accuses the Israeli military of intentionally putting Palestinian civilians at risk during its recent operation in Gaza. The report — which includes former Israeli soldiers — has been dismissed by the Israeli military as slanderous.
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Iranian Kurdistan: General strike
By: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, July 14, 2009
On the 13th of July, the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Kurdish leader Dr. Abdul-Rahman Ghassmlou was commemorated with a general strike in Iranian Kurdistan. This year, like previous years, the markets, shopping centres and individual shops all over Iranian Kurdistan were closed.
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Egypt: Poet accused of insulting Mubarak awaits verdict
By: Amro Hassan, LA Times, July 14, 2009
A poet recently sentenced to three years in jail and fined 100,000 Egyptian pounds for insulting President Hosni Mubarak is awaiting his ultimate fate. Mounir Saied Hanna was arrested in May after authorities charged that 15 of his poems cast the president in a less than flattering light.
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Egyptian opposition gears up for presidential elections
By: Earth Times, July 12, 2009
Egypt’s next presidential election is not scheduled until 2011, but opposition politicians say they are already preparing to fight to make sure an independent candidate succeeds President Hosny Mubarak. In recent weeks, supporters of the two men most often tipped to succeed Mubarak, who has been in office since 1981, have launched online campaigns to support their candidates.
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OCEANIA
Photos: West Papua – Campaign demanding release of Bucthar Tabuni
By: Free West Papua, July 17, 2009
Buchtar Tabuni led peaceful demonstrations supporting an International Parliamentarian system for West Papua in the UK on 15 October 2008. Now he has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. Indonesia allows no freedom to demonstrate or express political views.
View photos…
 
Do not read blogs says Fiji Prime Minister
By: Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Ltd., July 15, 2009
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is requesting the public not to read blogs on the internet. He was responding to reports that there differences between high ranking officers in the Fiji Military. Bainimarama says blogs are done by people who have nothing to do with their time.
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West Papua praises US congressional attention on Papua
By: Radio New Zealand International, July 13, 2009
The West Papua Advocacy Team has praised continued US congressional attention to issues of human rights in Indonesia’s Papua region. The Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for 2010 as passed last night by the House of Representatives withholds 2 million US dollars in military assistance to Indonesia pending a State Department report on human rights.
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West Papuan guilty of “provocation’ jailed for three years
By: Free West Papua, July 5, 2009
Three judges of the Jayapura District Court have sent West Papuan Bucthar Tabuni to jail for three years for “provocation” during a pro-independence rally in Jayapura in October last year. Prosecutors had argued the International Parliamentarians for West Papua chairman was guilty of treason during the rally and demanded he serve ten years in jail.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Publication: The Economist Index of Democracy 2008
By: The Economist, July 17, 2009
The results of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2008 confirm that, following a decades-long global trend in democratisation, the spread of democracy has come to a halt. Comparing the results for 2008 with those from the first edition of the index, which covered 2006, shows that the dominant pattern in the past two years has been stagnation.
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Chomsky: ‘As a tactic, violence is absurd’
By: Concerned Citizens Coalition Blog, July 14, 2009
As a tactic, violence is absurd. No one can compete with the government in this arena, and the resort to violence, which will surely fail, will simply frighten and alienate some who can be reached, and will further encourage the ideologists and administrators of forceful repression.
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Democracy-promotion: Doctrine vs dialogue
By: Mariano Aguirre, openDemocracy, July 14, 2009
Did George W Bush promote democracy better than his successor, Barack Obama, is doing? The question is given added point by recent criticism of Obama in both the United States and Europe on two grounds: his failure to condemn the Egyptian government in his address to the Arab and Muslim worlds in Cairo, and his reticence in relation to the protest-wave in Iran.
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Deflating the power bubble
By: Daniel W. Drezner, Foreign Policy, July 13, 2009
Ironically, at the moment when many Americans are questioning the future of U.S. hegemony, many non-Americans continue to believe that the U.S. government is diabolically manipulating events behind the scenes. Trying to prove people convinced that conspiracies exist — with some justification, to be fair — that sometimes what you see is what you get is not an easy enterprise.
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Facebook’s easy virtue
By: Monica Hesse, Washington Post, July 2, 2009
Facebook activism, the trendy process by which we do good by clicking often, was in its full glory last week after the death of Iranian student Neda Agha Soltan, killed by gunfire in the streets of Tehran. But whether our virtual virtuousness will result in real-world action is unpredictable, and has as much to do with human nature as it does with amassing enough numbers.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Cuba: Damas de Blanco tributan homenaje a víctimas del Remolcador 13 de Marzo
By: Cubamatinal, July 17, 2009
Alrededor de 20  Damas de Blanco, madres, esposas, tias y otros familiares de presos políticos en Cuba, protagonizaron una marcha de protesta hasta el céntrico malecón de La Habana, en cuyo lugar recordaron a las víctimas del hundimiento del Remolcador “13 de Marzo”, al cumplirse el 15 aniversario del trágico suceso,en el  quemurieron 41 personas, -entre ellas niños- el 13 de julio de 1994.
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Honduras: Les médias dans la tourmente du coup d’État
By: Reporters Sans Frontieres, July 13, 2009
Le 12 juillet, plusieurs journalistes de la chaîne internationale d’information Telesur et de la chaîne publique vénézuelienne VTV ont été interpellés par la police pour un contrôle d’identité. Les journalistes, prétendent avoir été “placés en garde à vue.” Un représentant du gouvernement de facto a cependant assuré à l’AFP ” qu’il s ‘agissait simplement d’une enquête des services de l’immigration.”
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NOTICES
Civil society: Enabling dissent
By: openDemocracy, July 28, 2009, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK
The Carnegie UK Trust Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland and Open Democracy are delighted to invite you to an event to explore the role of civil society associations in creating and supporting spaces for dissenting voices, both in the UK and globally.
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Global day of action for Iran
By: United for Iran, event occurs July 25, 2009
Join us on July 25, 2009 for a rally in your city in support of the Iranian people and in condemnation of the human rights abuses being committed by the Iranian government. Stand in solidarity for an unprecedented wave of global citizen activism in one of more than 50 cities around the world.
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Iran: Film – Graphically condeming a “barbaric and horrific punishment”
By: Sinali Salgado, IPS, July 15, 2009
Director Cyrus Nowrasteh’s latest feature film “The Stoning of Soraya M.” begins with a car radio blaring the successes of Iran’s 1979 Revolution. In a few seconds, the movie transports viewers to a riverbed, where an elderly woman named Zarah tends to the body of her niece, whom the town mullahs framed for adultery and then stoned to death.
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New Issue: Journal of Peacebuilding and Development
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, July 7, 2009
Announcing a new issue of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, a peer-reviewed publication for sharing of critical thinking and constructive action at the intersections of conflict development and peace. This is a special issue in partnership with the Centre for Culture and Peace Studies in Botswana.
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