Nonviolent action around the world – 22 January 2010 (Part 2)

January 22, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Petitioners urge Azerbaijan to free Eynulla Fatullayev
By: CPJ, January 20, 2010
An excerpt of the petition: “The Committee to Protect Journalists urges you to open a new page in your government’s policies toward the independent and opposition press, one that would demonstrate tolerance for the critical role of media in a democracy. No other action would contribute to this goal as much as the immediate release of Eynulla Fatullayev, editor of the now-closed independent Russian-language weekly Realny Azerbaijan.”
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Jailed former Kyrgyz minister urges supporters to end hunger strike
By: RFE, January 20, 2010
Former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, who was sentenced to eight years in jail last week, today called on protesters to end a week-old hunger strike in his support. Isakov’s lawyer, Azimbek Beknazarov, told protesters in Bishkek that he had met with Isakov, who thanked them for their support but urged them to stop the strike.
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Uzbekistan accuses artist of libel for her ethnographic work
By: Sonia Zilberman, CIVICUS, January 20, 2010
Umida Akhmedova, a leading photographer and cinematographer in Uzbekistan, has been charged with “libel” and “insulting” the Uzbek people, for her photo album “From Men and Women: from Dusk till Dawn”, published with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland.
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Kazakh group to award democracy prize to jailed men
By: RFE, January 18, 2010
A Kazakh opposition group will jointly award a democracy prize to a jailed journalist, rights activist, and businessman. Organizers said they had to change the original venue due to government pressure on the owners of the hotel where the ceremony was to take place.
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Uzbek secret services collect the records about independent journalists
By: Alexey Volosevich, Ferghana, January 15, 2010
The Tashkent Public Prosecutor’s office conducted the series of interrogations of several independent journalists, working in Uzbekistan. On January 7 five of them – Vasiliy Markov, Sid Yanyshev, Abdumalik Boboev, Khusniddin Kutbiddinov and Marina Kozlova were called for “an interview” with Bakhrom Nurmatov, the assistant Public Prosecutor of Tashkent.
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SOUTHEAST ASIA
HRW on deteriorating human rights situation in Thailand
By: Political Prisoners in Thailand, January 21, 2010
Yesterday PPT wrote about human rights in Thailand and said of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva: “His statements can’t be trusted and no one should be fooled into thinking that he has a ‘liberal’ political streak. Each time he speaks in public, especially to foreigners, he presents his ‘liberal face’.
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Long prison sentences handed down to Vietnamese dissidents
By: Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times, January 21, 2010
Leading Vietnamese dissidents, including a human rights lawyer and an anti-government blogger, received long jail sentences on Wednesday in the latest sign of an ongoing crackdown on its domestic critics by the country’s Communist Government.
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Burma: Junta increases attacks on rights activists
By: Salai Pi Pi, Mizzima, January 21, 2010
Human rights conditions in military-ruled Burma continued to deteriorate in 2009, with increasing attacks on human rights defenders ahead of the general election scheduled for later this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its annual report.
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Burmese students join demonstrations at Nalanda University
By: Salai Pi Pi, Mizzima, January 20, 2010
Over 80 students, including Burmese monks, on Tuesday held a protest rally at Nalanda University in India after the central government decided to strip it of its “deemed” status. “We condemn [the heads of the university] for not prioritizing the education of students and for lying to the students. They used the students to raise funds and to make money,” said Indasara, a Burmese Buddhist monk studying at the university.
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Burma: ILO extends agreement to monitor labor rights
By: VOA, January 20, 2010
Burma’s military government has renewed for a year an agreement allowing the United Nations to monitor complaints of forced labor. Burmese state-controlled media report the agreement was reached Tuesday during a visit by a group of International Labor Organization officials.
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Le Cong Dinh convicted of subversion by Vietnam
By: Ben Stocking, Huffington Post, January 20, 2010
Vietnam convicted four democracy activists of trying to overthrow the communist government on Wednesday and sentenced them to up to 16 years in prison for promoting multiparty democracy.
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Indonesia: Execution sought for man accused of murdering love rival
By: Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald, January 20, 2010
Prosecutors yesterday sought the death penalty for the former head of Indonesia’s powerful anti-corruption agency, even as their case against Antasari Azhar for allegedly murdering a love rival appeared to unravel.
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Burma: Activists sentenced ‘without evidence’
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, January 14, 2010
Three Burmese opposition activists were sentenced yesterday to three years’ with hard labour, despite the prosecution being unable to provide any palpable evidence for their charges, a lawyer said.
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EAST ASIA
China slams Clinton’s internet speech: ‘Information imperialism’
By: Christopher Bodeen, Huffington Post, January 22, 2010
Beijing issued a stinging response Friday to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s criticism that it is jamming the free flow of words and ideas on the Internet, accusing the United States of damaging relations between the two countries by imposing its “information imperialism” on China.
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China builds up great firewall as economy grows
By: Tania Branigan, The Guardian, January 22, 2010
It is becoming, some people joke, the world’s largest intranet. Over the last year, creeping internet restrictions have seen some of the west’s best-known services – such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – put off limits to users in China by the Great Firewall. Even using proxies and virtual private networks to leap over the wall has become harder.
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Chinese ‘want web freedom’
By: RFA, January 21, 2010
As Google’s threatened withdrawal from China over censorship and cyber-attacks sparks huge public controversy in China, the results of a new survey reveal a huge majority of Chinese city-dwellers want greater Web freedom.
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Even a censored internet has opened up a world for Chinese users
By: Steven Mufson, Washington Post, January 21, 2010
One of China’s most popular bloggers, Han Han, posted a satirical essay this week in which he imagined headlines about China’s censored Internet in a post-Google era.
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Hong Kong alarm as China jails Tiananmen dissident
By: BBC News, January 21, 2010
Human rights advocates in Hong Kong have reacted with alarm after a mainland Chinese court jailed a Chinese dissident who visited the city. Zhou Yongjun was sentenced to nine years by a court in Sichuan province for crimes allegedly committed when he came to Hong Kong in September 2008.
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China: Charter 08 lawyer ‘followed’
By: RFA, January 20, 2010
Police step up monitoring of known civil rights activists around a key anniversary. A prominent Beijing-based civil rights lawyer who recently testified on Chinese human rights abuses before the U.S. Congress is being followed by police, according to his wife.
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South Korean human rights body breaks silence on abuses in North
By: Kurt Achin, VOA, January 20, 2010
South Korea’s government-funded human rights watchdog has issued its first report on widespread abuses in North Korea.  The report reflects a significant shift in South Korea’s approach to Pyongyang. This is the first report issued by South Korea’s government-funded human rights watchdog on North Korea’s alleged abuses.
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China jails senior judge for life over corruption
By: BBC News, January 19, 2010
A Chinese court has sentenced a former Supreme Court judge to life in prison for taking bribes and other corruption charges, state-run media have reported. Huang Songyou is the most senior judge to have been convicted in China on such charges, Chinese media have said.
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China: The monitoring of mobile SMS
By: Oiwan Lam, Global Voices, January 18, 2010
According to Xinhuanet’s report, Mobile China Shanghai branch will start suspending a mobile phone’s SMS function if they find the number distribute “vulgar”, “pornographic” and other illegal content.
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SOUTH ASIA
Afghans protest deaths of four in NATO-government raid
By: Reuters, January 21, 2010
Scores of Afghans protested today over the deaths of four men in a nighttime raid by Afghan and NATO-led forces. Locals said the victims were civilians, but the force said the dead were Taliban insurgents. Over 100 people took to the streets of a small bazaar in Qarabagh district in Ghazni Province, southwest of Kabul, to demonstrate, locals told Reuters by telephone.
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UN: Afghanistan survey points to huge scale of bribery
By: BBC News, January 19, 2010
Afghans paid $2.5bn (£1.5bn) in bribes over the past 12 months, or the equivalent of almost one quarter of legitimate GDP, a UN report suggests. Surveying 7,600 people, it found nearly 60% more concerned about corruption than insecurity or unemployment.
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Nepal’s civil society
By: Nepal News, January 2010
View photos of the sit-in program organized by the civil society in Nepal urging all political players to promulgate the new constitution within the given time.
View the photos…

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Continuing Cory Aquino’s life work
By: Sonny Coloma, Vector, January 21, 2010
First, Time hailed her as Woman of the Year. Then she was chosen as one of Asia’s heroes. When she passed away in August last year, she was dubbed as People Power’s Saint. In Time’s 2009 year-ender, its editors bade farewell to her as the Saint of Democracy.
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2009 a year of living dangerously as autocrats target activists
By: Michael Allen, Democracy Digest, January 20, 2010
Authoritarian regimes have deliberately targeted and intensified attacks against human rights and democracy advocates over the past year, according to the annual review of Human Rights Watch.
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Human rights abusers growing stronger
By: Marijke Peters, RNW, January 20, 2010
The 612-page document is HRW’s 20th review of the state of human rights worldwide and looks at the situation in more than 90 countries and territories. Governments that systematically violate human rights are stepping up their campaigns against people who try to defend them, according to the investigators who compiled the research.
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Kissing the tiger: Peace as a pre-requisite for development
By: Adrienne Villani, Beyond Profit, January 18, 2010
Peace is a pre-requisite for development as a whole. It creates an enabling environment for the fundamentals of a society’s progress: human capital formation, infrastructure development, and markets subject to the rule of law. Roshan Paul and Sarah Jefferson, both of Ashoka, explore the intersection of peace and social entrepreneurship, an emerging field in the global development dialogue.
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What is implied by living in a world of flow
By: Hubert Guillaud, Internet ACTU, January 6, 2010
At the Web 2.0 Expo held in New York in mid-November, sociologist Danah Boyd, made a brilliant presentation on the consequences of living in a world of flow, notably by starting to draw up a list of its limitations. Let us, in her footsteps, explore her “Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media.”
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NOTICES
World Report 2010
By: Human Rights Watch, January 2010
This 20th annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects extensive investigative work undertaken in 2009 by Human Rights Watch staff, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in question.
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Call for nominations for Gwangju prize for human rights 2010
By: Advocacy Flexi Fund, January 2010
Each year, the May 18 Memorial Foundation announces this award in a spirit of solidarity and gratitude to those who helped them in their struggle for democratisation. The award goes to one individual or organisation who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their work.
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EarthRights International invites local activists to join training in its Mekong School
By: Democracy for Burma, January 21, 2010
EarthRights International’s Mekong School is a unique training program for activists from the Mekong Region (Yunnan/China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) whose work focuses on environmental issues and human rights.
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Global voices online announces new network on technology for transparency
By: Craig Zelizer, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, January 20, 2010
Internet technologies give governments an unprecedented ability to monitor our communication, internet activity, and even the microphones on our cell phones. The Internet, however, also empowers citizens with new tools and tactics to hold their elected officials accountable, increase transparency in government, and promote broader and more diverse civic engagement.
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Announcing the technology for transparency network
By: David Sasaki, Global Voices, January 19, 2010
Rising Voices, the outreach and citizen media training initiative of Global Voices Online, has launched a new interactive website and global network of researchers to map online technology projects that aim to promote transparency, political accountability, and civic engagement in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, and Central & Eastern Europe.
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IN PAST NEWS
Palestine: Walled in?
By: Jared Malsin, Open Democracy, November 9, 2009
Whether stereotyped as terrorists or idolised as freedom fighters, Palestinians are not a people often associated with nonviolence. In a world of checkpoints, airstrikes, squalid refugee camps, and nightly raids by the Israeli Defence Forces, peaceful political means at times seem incommensurate with their ends. Yet, the Palestinian tradition of nonviolence is both old and very much alive today.
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