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

June 20, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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AMERICAS

Peru: Images reveal full horror of “Amazon’s Tiananmen”
By: Guy Adams, Truthout, June 19, 2009
First, the police fire tear gas, then rubber bullets. As protesters flee, they move on to live rounds. One man, wearing only a pair of shorts, stops to raise his hands in surrender. He is knocked to the ground and given an extended beating by eight policemen in black body-armour and helmets. The events of Friday, 5 June, when armed police went to clear 2,000 Aguaruna and Wampi Indians from a secluded highway near the town of Bagua Grande, are the subject of a heated political debate.
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Peru Congress revokes land laws
By: BBC News, June 18, 2009
Peru’s Congress has overturned two controversial land ownership laws that sparked deadly clashes between police and Amazon tribal groups. At least 34 people were killed in the clashes earlier this month. The laws were passed under powers Congress had granted President Alan Garcia to implement a free trade agreement with the US.
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Interview: Grassroots lessons from Latin America
By: Michael Fox, Toward Freedom, June 16, 2009
Michael Fox is a Brazil-based independent journalist and co-producer of the new documentary “Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas.” In this interview, he talks about what lessons US activists might consider from social movements throughout Latin America, and the challenges of applying Latin American activist strategies in the US under an Obama administration.
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Change in Cuba “inevitable”, says acclaimed blogger
By: Tom Brown, Cuba Study Group, June 15, 2009
Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez says the island is headed for “inevitable” change since former leader Fidel Castro retired, and Cubans have become more outspoken than ever in their criticism of the government. “Change is coming, it’s as inevitable as rain in the summer and cold in the winter,” Sanchez told Reuters in an interview.
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It’s time for a second American revolution in the spirit of perestroika
By: Mikhail Gorbachev, Transcend Media Services, June 10, 2009
Years ago, as the Cold War was coming to an end, I said to my fellow leaders around the globe: the world is on the cusp of great events, and in the face of new challenges all of us will have to change, you as well as we. For the most part, the reaction was polite but sceptical silence. In recent years, I have often told listeners that I feel Americans need their own change – a perestroika, not like the one in my country, but an American perestroika – and the reaction has been markedly different. Halls filled with thousands of people have responded with applause.
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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA
Vietnam arrests three democracy activists
By: ABC News, June 18, 2009
Authorities in Vietnam have arrested three pro-democracy activists, accusing them of colluding with a prominent civil rights attorney to sabotage the communist government, state media reported Thursday. The three allegedly violated Article 88 of the Penal Code, which bans spreading false propaganda about the state, the official Vietnam News Agency said. It said they plotted with the civil rights lawyer, Le Cong Dinh, who was arrested last week on the same charge.
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Afghan gypsies demand their rights
By: Najibullah Frotan, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, June 17, 2009
Afghan Jogi, sometimes known as gypsies, have few legal rights, despite having been in Afghanistan for hundreds of years. The Jogi say they have been in Afghanistan for 150 years, migrating from Azerbaijan, Bukhara, and other areas. But they are still living without civil rights – they are denied even the basic privilege of Afghan citizenship, the tazkira, or identity card.
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Why the case for China’s lawyers doesn’t look good
By: Austin Ramzy, TIME, June 17, 2009
On May 13, Beijing lawyer Li Chunfu went to the southwestern city of Chongqing with a colleague to meet with the family of a man who died in a labor camp. While meeting with the family, Li and lawyer Zhang Kai were detained by police. Li was chained to a chair and punched, while Zhang, also roughed up during their arrest, was locked in a cage. Their transgression? They were representing the family of Jiang Xiqing, a man who belonged to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.
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Vietnam: Lawyer’s family ‘shocked’
By: Radio Free Asia, June 17, 2009
The wife of a Vietnamese lawyer arrested for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government said Wednesday that his relatives are shocked and surprised that the authorities would move against him. “To tell the truth, I have to say that so far our family is so surprised, so shocked at what has happened,” Le Cong Dinh’s wife, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Khanh, 33, said in a telephone interview from Ho Chi Minh City.
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Sri Lanka: Tamil Tiger leader announces ‘new government’ to pursue autonomy
By: Huma Yusuf, CS Monitor, June 16, 2009
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE), the rebel group recently defeated by the Sri Lankan military, have announced the formation of a “provisional transnational government” to pursue an autonomous homeland for the Tamil population. The announcement indicates that the separatist group, which was defeated last month after 26 years of conflict with the Sri Lankan Army, has not given up its struggle and is now urging the Tamil diaspora to participate in the future of the movement.
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US urges Vietnam to free lawyer
By: BBC News, June 16, 2009
The US government has said it was “deeply concerned” by the arrest in Vietnam of activist lawyer Le Cong Dinh and has called for his release. Mr Dinh was arrested on 13 June on charges of “distributing propaganda against the state.” Officials said he was arrested over his defence of pro-democracy activists.
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Vietnam: Free prominent rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh
By: Human Rights Watch, June 16, 2009
The Vietnamese government should immediately free respected human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh and repeal national security laws that criminalize peaceful expression and association, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 13, 2009, police from the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Security Agency arrested Dinh on national security charges and raided his Ho Chi Minh City law office.
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Burma: Political prisoners put in solitary confinement
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, June 15, 2009
Five political prisoners in Burma’s Insein prison have been put in solitary confinement after prison authorities suspected them of planning to demonstrate against the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi. Three of the detainees are reportedly in bad health. Nine Nine, a 1990 elected people’s parliamentary representative who is serving 21 years, has been suffering from stomach problems for nearly 15 years, according to his wife.
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China: Christian bookstore owner sentenced to three years in prison
By: Jeremy Reynalds, Radio Free Asia, June 14, 2009
A Beijing court recently found Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan guilty of “illegal business operation” (printing Bibles for free distribution) and sentenced him to three years in prison and a 150,000 yuan (US$21,975) fine. According to a story by Compass Direct News, sources said Shi’s store operated legally and sold only books for which he had obtained government permission, and that his company printed Bibles and Christian literature only for free distribution to local house churches.
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CENTRAL ASIA

Azerbaijan: NGO amendments put civil society at risk
By: Jessica Powley Hayden, EurasiaNet, June 17, 2009
Controversial amendments that would impose new restrictions on non-governmental organizations could force numerous local and international NGOs in Azerbaijan to cease operations. Some activists go so far as to say the amendments, if passed, would throttle civil society development in the country.
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EUROPE

Northern Ireland: Loyalist groups ‘destroy weapons’
By: BBC News, June 18, 2009
Three loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland have decommissioned weapons. It is understood the most comprehensive move was by the UVF, but the UDA and Red Hand Commando are also believed to have put some of their guns beyond use. The moves follow months of increasing pressure from the government, and secret talks amongst loyalist groups.
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Serbia: Ten years later
By: Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus, June 17, 2009
Since the end of the U.S.-led war against Serbia, the country is slowly emerging from the wars of the 1990s. Despite lingering problems, Serbs appear to be more optimistic about their country’s future than they have for decades. The United States deserves little credit for the positive developments, however, and a fair amount of blame for the country’s remaining problems.
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UK: Tamil protest ends after 73 days
By: BBC News, June 17, 2009
A 73-day protest involving thousands of people demonstrating over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka has ended. The protest featured hunger strikes, mass sit-ins blocking central London roads and people throwing themselves into the River Thames. One of those involved, Ambi Seevaratnam said: “After 73 days, nothing has worked. The Tamils have been betrayed by the international community.”
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Russia: RIA Novosti draws caricatures of Lukashenka
By: Charter ’97, June 17, 2009
Mass media of the neighbouring country began to use caricatures in the information war between Russia and Belarus. Russian pro-governmental information agency Novosti posted some caricatures of Alyaksandr Lukashenka on its website. One of them has the title “Rat-a-rat, this’s me, cheerful dairyman”, another one is titled “Milk brawler”.
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Belarus: Minsk riot militia dispersed picket of solidarity with political prisoners
By: Charter ’97, June 17, 2009
Youth leaders Yauhen Afnahel, Maksim Vinyarski, and other oppositionists were arrested. On June 16, activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” came to cinema “Belarus” holding a poster “Freedom to Political Prisoners!” and portraits of Mikalai Autukhovich, Uladzimir Asipenka, and Yury Lyavonau.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

“Illegal” travel bans imposed on Syrian dissidents
By: Institute for War and Peace Reporting, June 19, 2009
Mazen Darwish is not exactly a political prisoner. But for more than two years, this human rights activist has been confined within the borders of his country. Darwish, who heads the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression, discovered he was banned from leaving Syria when he tried to board a plane to Morocco in April 2007.
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Israel: Beating and torturing of children
By: Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice, June 17, 2009
The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a proper trial and are denied family visits. The findings by Defense for Children International (DCI) come in the wake of revelations from Israeli soldiers and senior commanders that it is “normal procedure” in the West Bank to terrorise Palestinian civilians, including children.
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ARTICLE OF INTEREST

Steganography 2.0: Digital resistance against repressive regimes
By: Patrick Meier, iRevolution, June 5, 2009
A team of Polish steganographers at the Institute of Telecommunications in Warsaw are doing some neat work that should be of interest to digital activists. Steganography is is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES

Iran: Récit des violations de la liberté de la presse en temps réel
By: Reporters Sans Frontieres, June 16, 2009
SOS Presse, la hotline pour les journalistes en difficulté. Disponible 7 jours sur 7, 24 heures sur 24 : (00 33) 1 47 77 74 14. Grâce au soutien d’American Express, cette hotline permet, en cas d’urgence, de joindre rapidement un responsable de Reporters sans frontières.
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NOTICES

Global week of action against gun violence: Disarming domestic violence
By: Communidade Segura, June 15, 2009
This week is the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, and events are being held in 85 countries to draw attention to the human toll of small arms proliferation and misuse. In particular, women around the world are taking action through the Disarming Domestic Violence campaign led by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). Disarming Domestic Violence is the first international campaign to protect women from gun violence in the home.
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IN PAST NEWS

China: Tibetan monk behind YouTube clip released from jail
By: WA Today, May 8, 2009
A Tibetan Buddhist monk detained for six months without charges after posting a video alleging rights abuse on YouTube has been released, two of his lawyers and an international rights group said on Thursday. The senior monk, Jigme, who like many Tibetans uses just one name, was detained after putting an account on YouTube about being abused when he was detained.
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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.