Nonviolent action around the world – 22 January 2010 (Part 1)

January 22, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Egypt: Detained bloggers tell their tales
By: Marwa Rakha, Global Voices, January 20, 2010
More than 20 Egyptian bloggers, who were on their way to pay their respects to the families of the victims of the Coptic massacre, were arrested when their train arrived in the village of Naga Hammady in Upper Egypt. They were released shortly afterwards and they are now telling us their side of the story.
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Armenia: Prison term for opposition activist revives democratization debate
By: Marianna Grigoryan, EurasiaNet, January 20, 2010
The seven-year prison sentence handed down to opposition activist and journalist Nikol Pashinian on January 19 for his alleged role in Armenia’s violent 2008 election protests is stoking fresh debate about civil liberties and rule of law.
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Iran: This magic green bracelet
By: New Internationalist, January 2010
Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandsons supporting the reformers? Demonstrations in the holy city of Qom? This is a new generation of resistance, as Nasrin Alavi shows in her latest survey of the Iranian blogosphere.
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Iran: Death sentence issued for female Kurdish political prisoner
By: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, January 20, 2010
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran expressed serious concern regarding the increasing number of death sentences issued for Kurdish political prisoners following unfair trails. According to Kurdish human rights organizations, at least 20 political prisoners have been condemned to death.
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Fatemeh Haghighatjoo on how the United States should respond to Iran’s opposition movement
By: Inside Iran, January 20, 2010
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo was a member of Iran’s Parliament from 2000 to 2004, and a prominent advocate of women’s rights and political reform. She resigned in 2004 after a crackdown on reformers and left Iran in 2005. She is now a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
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Israel/Palestine: ‘Nonviolent peacemaking is a threat’
By: Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss, January 20, 2010
Yet another sign of Israel’s fear of nonviolent activism and journalism:  The two leaders of a Christian Peacemaker Team to Israel/Palestine were deported by Israel 3 weeks ago following an interrogation. On Earth Peace reports that the two were repeatedly asked, “What’s the purpose of your trip to Israel?”
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Israel/Palestine: Sheikh Jarrah heats up
By: Noam Shelef, Americans for Peace Now, January 20, 2010
Israeli police overstepped its bounds when they arrested 17 activists at a demonstration Friday against the settler take-over of homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered the activists released unconditionally after determining that the rally was legal and that the activists were arrested without cause.
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Israel accused of silencing political protest
By: Ben Hubbard, AP, January 19, 2010
Israel is arresting a growing number of prominent opponents to its policies toward the Palestinians, say critics who are accusing the government of trying to crush legitimate dissent.
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Iran opposition urges protests on Revolution day
By: Brian Murphy, AP, January 18, 2010
Iranian opposition groups flooded the Web on Monday with calls for a massive show of force during next month’s anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, openly taunting authorities who have warned of a punishing response to any disruptions of the most hallowed day in the Iranian political calendar.
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Iran: Ex-Tehran prosecutor rejects post-vote abuse report
By: Reuters, January 17, 2010
Tehran’s former chief prosecutor has rejected parliamentary criticism of his role in the alleged mistreatment of people detained after Iran’s election last year, accusing MPs of showing sympathy for a “bunch of hooligans.”
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TOP
 

OCEANIA
Fiji’s critics warned to “keep low”
By: AAP, January 21, 2010
Amnesty International has hit out at Fiji’s military regime for threatening critics to “keep low” and cooperate or be treated badly. Fijian citizens are coming under increased pressure from their government to behave and watch what they say as the junta cracks down on any signs of dissent.
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AFRICA
Kenya: Muslim youths vow to defy demo ban
By: Galgalo Bocha, Daily Nation, January 21, 2010
Despite calls from different quarters to call off demonstration, Mombasa Muslims Youth have vowed to go on with their Friday’s planned peaceful protest in the streets of the coastal town.
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Why I had to flee Zimbabwe
By: Stanley Kwenda, ZimOnline, January 21, 2010
“Freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda was found dead on the outskirts of Harare. His remains were found dumped in a ditch along the Harare to Domboshava road . . . ” An imagined worst case scenario, yes — but one which after that strange and angry voice on the phone last Friday evening promised I would not survive the weekend, I could not say with certainty could never happen. I had to act immediately.
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Zimbabwe: Air force officer leads ‘Kariba draft’ campaign in Manicaland
By: Tichaona Sibanda, SW Radio Africa, January 21, 2010
A senior Zimbabwean air force officer has been named as one of several military officers leading a campaign to force villagers in Manicaland to attend ZANU PF political meetings in the province. Air Commodore Innocent Chiganze, whose name has become synonymous with terror in Makoni district, is a Nigerian trained fighter pilot.
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Zimbabwe: MDC slams journalists’ harassment
By: Hendicks Chizhanje, ZimOnline, January 20, 2010
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party on Tuesday spoke out against harassment of journalists and said reports that a senior police officer had threatened a reporter with death – if true – were a violation of the 2008 power-sharing agreement that brought about the Harare unity government.
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Angola: Activists arrested over Cabinda bus attack
By: Samuel Petrequin, Mail and Guardian Online, January 20, 2010
An Angolan human rights lawyer said that police are rounding up peaceful activists and accusing them of responsibility in a deadly attack on the Togo national soccer team’s bus as it headed to the African Cup of Nations tournament.    
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Zambia: Politician threatens to ‘gang rape’ opponent
By: Sydney Morning Herald, January 20, 2010
The youth leader of Zambia’s ruling party has threatened to “gang rape” a female politician, Edith Nawakwi, unless she stops criticising President Rupiah Banda’s leadership ahead of next year’s elections.
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Protest in Nigeria over absent leader
By: Adam Nossiter, NY Times, January 12, 2010
Hundreds of angry Nigerians marched down this capital’s broad avenues on Tuesday to protest the long absence of their president, who has been away for nearly two months getting medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.
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NORTH AMERICA
US: Celebrating the dream
By: Danielle Strickler, The Breeze, January 21, 2010
Reverend James Lawson, a former friend of Martin Luther King Jr., believes that even today if we are to follow and honor King’s dream, then we need to start a nonviolent movement of change starting with ourselves.
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US: Iranians reporting opposition crackdown ‘have inspired the world,’ says Hillary Clinton
By: Washington TV, January 21, 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today that Iranians who use Internet Technology to report on the Iranian government’s crackdown on the opposition movement have been an inspiration for the world.
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US: Remarks on internet freedom
By: Hilary Clinton, U.S. State Department, January 21, 2010
There are many other networks in the world. Some aid in the movement of people or resources, and some facilitate exchanges between individuals with the same work or interests. But the internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms.
Read full article and watch the video…

US: The emancipation proclamation of 2010
By: Marlen Suyapa Bodden, Huffington Post, January 20, 2010
On January 4, 2010, President Obama issued a proclamation that January 2010 is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating in an annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. Obama urged the nation and the global community to fight modern slavery and human trafficking.
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US: On human rights, Obama’s words soar above actions
By: Kenneth Roth, NPR, January 20, 2010
As one would expect from so eloquent a leader, Barack Obama has brought a marked improvement in presidential rhetoric on human rights compared with his predecessor. In a series of speeches around the world, carefully tailored for each audience, the president has set forth a compelling vision, stressing that respect for human rights is not only the right thing to do but also broadly beneficial for society.
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US Senator: Iran’s approach to opposition and nuke talks equally “obnoxious”
By: Washington TV, January 20, 2010
Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. said on Wednesday that he had been inspired by Iran’s Green Movement in the face of attempts by that country’s government to suppress it, and compared the Iranian government’s approach to the opposition with its approach to the nuclear question, calling it both “arrogant” and “obnoxious.”
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CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Cuba, the internet and social media
By: Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Cuba Study Group, January 19, 2010
Last week I attended the Cuba, IT & Social Media Summit in New York City. The key overarching goal of the meeting was “to empower Cubans on the island through technology, helping them to communicate with each other more freely on the island and with the outside world, to access information more freely, and to share information with the rest of the world.”
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El Salvador: Fallen anti-mining activists honored with vigil
By: Geovani Montalvo, Upside Down World, January 14, 2010
Last week, family and friends of environmentalists killed in the town of San Isidro, Cabañas, gathered in solidarity with their fallen loved ones at a public ecumenical and artistic commemoration. Those gathered attributed the recent assassinations of three environmental activists to a generalized repression targeted at those opposed to the re-opening of the “El Dorado” gold mine by the Vancouver, BC-based Pacific Rim Mining Corporation.
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Assassinations continue in Guatemala
By: ITUC, January 15, 2010
The ITUC has strongly condemned the assassination of Evelinda Ramírez Reyes, leader of the resistance front for the defence of people and natural resources, FRENA, affiliated to the national resistance front, FNL, which is part of the Guatemalan labour, indigenous and campesino movement, MSICG.
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Detainee was helping Cuban Jewish groups involved in U.S. democracy project
By: Mary Beth Sheridan and William Booth, Washington Post, January 13, 2010
An American who has been jailed in Cuba and denounced as a spy is a 60-year-old international development expert from Potomac who was working on a U.S. government project to help the island’s Jewish community access the Internet, according to former colleagues and other sources.
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SOUTH AMERICA
Human rights organizations respond to the Wall Street Journal
By: Marcelo Virkel, Upside Down World, January 14, 2010
An article written by Mary Anastasia O’Grady and published by The Wall Street Journal last December has generated the emphatic reaction of human rights and grassroots organizations. The news story reproduces the accusations against the Colombian Peace Community of San José de Apartadó made by Daniel Sierra Martínez (alias “Samir”), a former guerrilla commander demobilized in 2008.
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EUROPE
Balkans: Human rights lagging
By: Reuters, January 21, 2010
Human rights protections in the Western Balkans lag behind aspirations for European integration, Human Rights Watch said today. In its World Report 2010, Human Rights Watch documents human rights conditions and issues in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo.
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New political prisoners in Belarus
By: Charter 97, January 21, 2010
An influential international organization Human Rights Watch admits new political prisoner appeared in Belarus. New York based Human Rights Watch issued the 20th annual report on human rights, Radio Svaboda reports. The report 2010 records an increased number of attacks on human rights activists and organizations in some countries, including Iran, Burma, China and some post-Soviet states.
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Konstantin Popov, Russian journalist, dies after beating by police
By: Mansur Mirovalev, Huffington Post, January 20, 2010
A Russian journalist died Wednesday after being severely beaten by a police officer in the Siberian city of Tomsk, investigators and his editor said. The officer was arrested.
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