Nonviolent action around the world – 26 February 2010 (Part 1)

February 26, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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ANNOUNCEMENT

FSI 2010
ICNC is now accepting applications for the 2010 Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University. This week-long Institute, now in its fifth year, will run from June 20 – 26 and brings together international professionals and journalists from around the world to learn from top practitioners and scholars about strategic concepts and present applications of civil resistance.
View the flyer…
Download the application form…

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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
The west’s hollow talk of Arab democracy
By: Khaled Hroub, Europe’s World, Spring 2010
Political leaders in America and Europe are vociferous in their calls for the Middle East to embrace democracy. But Khaled Hroub says that the reality is the West connives in keeping Arab autocrats in power
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Iran: The good Ayatollah
By: Abbas Milani, Foreign Policy, March/April 2010 Issue
Milani reports on why his former cellmate’s legacy will live on. He writes, “if 2010 turns out to be the beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it may well be because of the death of one of the regime’s founders, a man I met three decades ago in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. In those days nearly all critics of the shah’s regime were incarcerated under this category.”
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The Iranian government and the naked ballerina
By: Sahar Sepehri, Huffington Post, February 26, 2010
An Iranian newspaper with a record of needling the regime has been forced to change its masthead because it was seen as depicting a naked ballerina, even though it was a stylised version of the title’s name in Persian calligraphy.
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Israel/Palestine: Hebron protest sparks clashes
By: Al Jazeera, February 25, 2010
Clashes have erupted in the West Bank city of Hebron where Palestinian protesters gathered to mark the sixteenth anniversary of a mosque attack in which 29 people were killed.
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Iran: Abdullah Ramezanzadeh banned from teaching and Mohsen Mirdamadi’s wages withheld
By: IHRV, February 25, 2010
Abdullah Ramezanzadeh, chairman of the Islamic Iran Jebheh Mosharekat (Participation Front), who has recently been released from prison on a 800,000 USD bond, has been  banned from teaching classes in Tehran University.  Also, the salary of Mohsen Mirdamadi, another member of the same organization, has been discontinued.
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Iranian union leader attacked in prison
By: Al Jazeera, February 25, 2010
Mansour Osanlou, the leader of Tehran’s municipal bus service union, was reportedly assaulted by an inmate in an Iranian prison, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports. The trade unionist was not injured in the attack, which occurred at Gohardasht prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, on February 22. Osanlou was arrested in July 2007 after being abducted on the street by security forces.
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Jailed Iranian student demands fair retrial from top judge
By: RFE, February 24, 2010
Jailed student activist Seyed Zia Nabavi has written to Iranian judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani demanding he be given a fair retrial, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports. Nabavi was arrested on June 15 and later sentenced to 15 years in prison and 74 lashes. The charges against him included “assembly with intent to conspire against national security” and “cooperation with the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MKO).”
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Egyptians and internationals rally against the wall of shame
By: Max Ajl, Truthout, February 24, 2010
On Saturday over 200 Egyptian activists for Palestinian rights, alongside 20 or more international sympathizers, condemned the underground metal wall the Mubarak government is now building on the Gaza-Egypt border. The event was filled with energy.
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ElBaradei forms National Association for change with Egyptian opposition
By: Abdel-Rahman Hussein, Daily News Egypt, February 24, 2010
In cooperation with the majority of Egypt’s opposition, political hopeful and former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei formed the National Association for Change, the vehicle through which they will attempt to agitate for political change in the country.
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For Israel, defiance comes at the cost of legitimacy
By: Henry Siegman, Financial Times, February 23, 2010
The Middle East peace process and its quest for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that got under way nearly 20 years ago with the Oslo accords has undergone two fundamental transformations. It is now on the brink of a third.
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Palestine: West Bank strike over Israeli tomb heritage claim
By: BBC News, February 23, 2010
A strike has been called by the Palestinian Authority in Bethlehem in protest at Israel’s move to claim two West Bank shrines as heritage sites. Businesses, schools and universities remained closed as people observed the first day of the three-day walk-out.
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Iran bus unionist released from solitary confinement
By: ITF Global, February 19, 2010
A protest letter from the ITF and action by affiliates has been linked to the release of bus workers’ leader Mansour Osanloo from solitary confinement. Osanloo has spent almost three years in detention for his trade union activities.
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Syria arrests author of political novel
By: Amnesty International, February 18, 2010
Amnesty International has called for the release of a Syrian writer who was arrested last week after she wrote a novel that describes the political situation in the country during the 1990s.
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Iran, what regime?
By: Le Monde, February 16, 2010
Le Monde’s editorialist: “On Monday, February 15, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton characterized the Iranian regime as a virtual military dictatorship. Although Mrs. Clinton, an accomplished Yale graduate, often takes on a professorial tone, Monday she was not indulging in an academic exercise on the typology of political regimes…She was delivering a warning.
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Women judges barred from influential Egypt court
By: AFP, February 15, 2010
The Council of State’s association voted by an overwhelming majority against appointing women as judges in the council, Egypt’s MENA news agency said. “Three-hundred and eighty judges took part in the general assembly and voted, with 334 rejecting the appointment of females to judicial posts and 42 agreeing, with four abstentions.”
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Iran: IHRDC press conference
By: Iran Human Rights DC, February 13, 2010
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) released Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran at a press conference and panel discussion at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP. The report is the most comprehensive record to date of human rights abuses committed in Iran since last summers disputed presidential election.
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CENTRAL ASIA
Ombudsman says Armenia amnesty applies to jailed journalist
By: RFE, February 24, 2010
Armenia’s human rights ombudsman says jailed opposition journalist Nikol Pashinian should have his prison sentence cut by half in line with the amnesty declared by the parliament last year, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports.
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SOUTH ASIA
India: Peace for Kashmir?
By: Prerna Suri, Al Jazeera, February 25, 2010
Just how much violence is enough? Kashmiris, who’ve suffered years of political bickering between India and Pakistan, say they’ve suffered enough. As India and Pakistan talk on the tables on all issues – including Kashmir – in New Delhi today, people in Srinagar just want to be left alone.
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SOUTHEAST ASIA
‘Our movement is unique for women from Burma’
By: Chiang Mai, IPS, February 26, 2010
Women who fled conflict and oppression in military-ruled Burma have become a potent political force during their lives in exile, says a leading women’s rights activist from the South-east Asian country’s Shan ethnic minority.
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Malaysia: Borneo dams chief under media scrutiny
By: Survival International, February 24, 2010
The CEO of the company overseeing a massive dam project on Penan tribal land in the Malaysian part of Borneo has come under scrutiny in his native Norway over violations of indigenous rights.
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Burma: Six on hunger strike in Insein prison
By: DVB, February 23, 2010
Six Burmese political inmates in Rangoon’s infamous Insein prison are on hunger strike after complaining that authorities there are refusing to provide for “basic human requirements”.
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Burma: Opposition calls for talks
By: RFA, February 23, 2010
A top opposition politician recently released from house arrest at his home in Rangoon has called on Burma’s military government to hold talks with his party on the country’s political future.
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Indonesia: Ministry blasts ‘illegal’ Freeport mining
By: Arti Ekawati and Reva Sasistiya, Jakarta Globe, February 22, 2010
The increasingly frustrated Ministry of Forestry has issued a second warning to mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia for not obtaining a permit to mine in protected forest areas. Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan told lawmakers he had sent Freeport, a subsidiary of giant US miner Freeport-McMoRan, an initial warning on Aug. 7 last year but had heard no reply.
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EAST ASIA
Grim reality of female North Korea defectors
By: Korea Herald, February 26, 2010
Heo Jin, a 46-year-old North Korean defector living in Seoul, sees a need for a psychological treatment for those still suffering from what they have experienced coming to the South. “I still become stupefied when I happen to see any security guards or police on the streets that remind me of the tough times while I was in China, fearing possible repatriation,” Heo said.
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China to shake up cybercafes
By: RFA, February 24, 2010
China looks set to go ahead with a large-scale shake-up of its Internet cafe industry in a move critics say is aimed at further tightening controls over its citizens online.
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China tightens internet controls
By: BBC News, February 23, 2010
China has tightened controls on internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a website to meet regulators and produce ID documents.
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China’s ‘online Tiananmen’
By: RFA, February 22, 2010
A former student leader from China’s 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement has called current online protests against government curbs on the Internet an “online Tiananmen,” saying the spirit of online activists is the same as that seen 20 years ago in Beijing.
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Ex-inmates recount ordeal in North Korean prison
By: Ahn Mi Young, IPS, February 18, 2010
Kim Tae-Jin remembers shuddering in fear when he arrived at Yoduk Prison, a notorious detention centre in North Korea, in 1998. “First, a fear of brutal uncertainty struck me. I doubted if I would remain alive there for long,” Kim recalled.
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OCEANIA
Calls for free Papua and release of political prisoners in Jayapura
By: Cenderawasih Pos, February 23, 2010
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Jayapura, calling for Papua Merdeka – Free Papua. The demonstration which took place yesterday outside the Papua Legislative Assembly building consisted of several groups who had come from different parts of the city.They called on the Papuan people to struggle for the rights of the Papuan people which continue to be violated.
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Papua New Guinea: Autonomy and what lies ahead
By: The National, February 2010
When Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits in two weeks’ time, apart from the very many matters of mutual bilateral concerns, will PNG dare raise the matter of autonomy for the mostly Melanesian people of West Papua? Or is to be considered an internal Indonesian affair?
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