Nonviolent action around the world – 2 February 2010 (Part 1)

February 3, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

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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EUROPE
Hacker attack shuts down website of Russian opposition newspaper
By: AFP, February 3, 2010
Russia’s most outspoken opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, said on Monday it had complained to officials about a hacker attack which has kept its website offline for the past six days. “We filed our complaint with the interior ministry, the investigative committee, the prosecutor general and the FSB security service and we are waiting for their replies,” said newspaper spokeswoman Nadezhda Prusenkova.
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Russia bids to limit protest damage
By: World News Australia, February 2, 2010
Russian officials have scrambled to contain the damage after thousands of people took part in the country’s biggest anti-government protest since the start of the economic crisis. The governing United Russia party led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dispatched a delegation to Kaliningrad, a western exclave bordering the EU, where protesters called for economic and political change over the weekend.
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Analysts see notable differences between Ukrainian, Russian elections
By: Peter Fedynsky, VOA, February 1, 2010
Political observers have praised the recent Ukrainian elections, saying the outcome of Sunday’s second round contest between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and one of her predecessors, Viktor Yanukovych, is not predetermined.  That’s in stark contrast to neighboring Russia, where the 2008 election of President Dmitri Medvedev was a forgone conclusion.  VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky contrasts presidential elections in two former Soviet republics.
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Russia: European Parliament head condemns opposition arrests in Moscow
By: Monsters and Critics, February 1, 2010
Russia should stop harassing peaceful demonstrators, the European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek said on Monday, condemning the arrest in Moscow of tens of human rights activists on Sunday. Oleg Orlov, head of the Memorial human rights Centre, an NGO that received the parliament’s Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2009, was among those arrested.
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Russian activists make demands after largest anti-Putin rally
By: Lucian Kim, Business Week, February 1, 2010
Russian opposition activists published a list of demands after organizing the largest anti-government protest since Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took power a decade ago. Putin should lower taxes, restore direct gubernatorial elections and fire the regional governor, according to a resolution made at a Jan. 30 protest in Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost city.
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Riot police complain of corruption as demonstrations rock Russia
By: RFE, February 1, 2010
Just as a wave of demonstrations is sweeping Russia, an elite battalion of OMON riot police in Moscow has appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev, complaining of rampant abuse among police commanders.
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Senior Russian opposition leaders arrested at demonstrations
By: Deutsche Welle, January 31, 2010
Russian police have arrested hundreds of protesters who had gathered in Moscow and St Petersburg to protest Kremlin policies. Several opposition leaders were reportedly among the detained.
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Russia: Moscow police block property owners’ protest
By: RFE, January 29, 2010
Dozens of Rechnik protesters drove their cars to block traffic near the busy Tverskaya Street where the mayor’s office is located. Police and special OMON units eventually forced the cars to turn back and leave the street.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Mousavi says he will fight for Iranians’ rights
By: Reuters, February 2, 2010
Iran’s opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said on Tuesday his fight for the nation’s rights will continue despite pressure by hardliners to end anti-government protests, his website reported.
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Dictatorship exists in Iran despite revolution: Mousavi
By: AFP, February 2, 2010
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi said Tuesday the 1979 Islamic revolution had failed to achieve its goals as the “roots of tyranny and dictatorship” that marked the shah’s era still exist. The ex-premier, once rated as a key pillar of the Islamic revolution, added in a strongly worded interview posted on his website Kaleme.org that present day Iran showed the “attitude of a historic tyrant regime everywhere.”
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Jordan criticized for stripping Palestinian rights
By: Dale Gavlak, AP, February 1, 2010
A U.S.-based human rights group criticized Jordan Monday for stripping the citizenship of nearly 3,000 Jordanians of Palestinian origin in recent years.
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Iran, with opposition protests continuing, executes more prisoners
By: Nazila Fathi, NY Times, February 1, 2010
Iran experts have said that the government hastily ordered the executions of Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, 37, another political prisoner, to intimidate the opposition and to silence the protests that have persisted since the disputed June 12 presidential elections. With the government’s opponents planning another large demonstration on Feb. 11, the country is bracing for another wave of executions. At least nine other prisoners have been charged with the capital crime of moharebeh, which means waging war against God.
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Iran opposition leaders call for protests
By: CNN, February 1, 2010
Two top Iranian opposition leaders have called on supporters to protest on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, an opposition Web site reported. According to The Green Way Web site, a meeting took place Saturday between opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Moussavi at Karroubi’s home.
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Iran: Shadow of extra-judicial executions looms large over dissidents
By: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, January 31, 2010
Sixteen defendants currently facing a “show trial” in Tehran have been selected to intimidate specific groups of dissidents and pave the way for applying the charge of Mohareb, or “enemy of God,” to large numbers of dissidents and protestors, charges that can lead to their execution, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.
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Iran: Tehran staging of ‘Galileo’ reflects a nation’s struggle against ‘ignorance,’ ‘ancientness’
By: LA Times, January 31, 2010
Will the truth triumph over superstition and dogma? That was the question hovering in a Tehran theater Sunday afternoon as 14 men and women in black clothes circled around the astronomer Galileo Galilei in director Dariush Farhang’s sometimes nightmarish, politically loaded rendition of the 1943 play “The Life of Galileo” by German playwright Bertolt Brecht.
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Iran dissidents pay a high price
By: Global Post, January 31, 2010
Iran hanged two opposition protesters on Thursday and sentenced nine more to death for taking part in widespread rallies against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following last June’s presidential election. It is a stark reminder to members of the Iranian political opposition and social activists of the risks of voicing dissent in the Islamic Republic.
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Why ‘active neutrality’ can hasten Iran’s revolution
By: Mahmood Delkhasteh, Huffington Post, January 31, 2010
The democratic revolutionary uprising in Iran has not surprised most experts. Since the late nineteenth century, almost every generation of Iranians has seen at least one major upheaval or revolution. Alongside the demand for democracy in Iran, however, has always been the demand for independence.
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Iran: Morality policy absent as more protests loom
By: Jafar Farshian, IPS, January 31, 2010
Iran’s once-feared morality police, who used to crack down on un-Islamic dress, entertainment and sexual practice, have become much less visible as the oppressive regime makes tentative concessions in the face of a wave of dissent.
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Tutu presses Libya on jailed activist
By: Mail & Guardian, January 31, 2010
Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Archbishop of Cape Town, has called on Moammar Gadaffi’s regime to “urgently clarify the fate and whereabouts of Jaballa Matar, a prominent political dissident”. In a statement to be issued on Monday, Tutu notes that it is almost 20 years since Matar was abducted from Cairo and sent back to Libya.
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Iran: Green tune to support protest movement
By: Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices, January 29, 2010
The Green Movement (Iranian opposition) uses different ways to protest against the Iranian regime. Some Iranian bloggers proposed that people change their mobile tone into ‘Ey Iran’ song, a famous and popular anthem in Iran to show their solidarity with the protest movement.
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Middle East activists nostalgic for Freedom Agenda?
By: Michael Allen, Democracy Digest, January 28, 2010
The tentative reforms and opening of political space that accompanied the Bush administration’s Freedom Agenda proved short-lived after electoral gains made by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood prompted a marked dampening of enthusiasm for reform. But the Obama administration has become even more timid, analysts suggest.
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Egypt: Blogger sentenced to jail, another still in prison
By: Noha Atef, Global Voices, January 23, 2010
The prominent Egypt blogger Wael Abbas has been sentenced 6 months in jail and LE 500 pounds (92 USD) as a judiciary bail, as a lawsuit was filed against him by a citizen and his police officer brother on charges of damaging an internet cable!
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CENTRAL ASIA
Kazakhstan under pressure to free rights defender
By: Reuters, February 2, 2010
A private foundation set up by billionaire financier George Soros Tuesday urged Kazakhstan to free a jailed human rights defender, saying he was imprisoned in “an unfair trial.” The ex-Soviet nation is under scrutiny from the West this year after it assumed the 2010 rotating chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on promises to bring more democracy.
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Kyrgyz protesters seek protection for migrants in Kazakhstan
By: RFE, February 1, 2010
About 100 protesters in downtown Bishkek today demanded that the government do more to protect Kyrgyz migrant workers’ rights in neighboring Kazakhstan.
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Uzbekistan: Arrest of popular Uzbek commentator sparks vigorous public outcry
By: Bruce Pannier, RFE, January 29, 2010
Jailings of activists are all too frequent in Uzbekistan. To the chagrin of democracy advocates, they often receive little public attention. Not so with this month’s arrest of journalist Khairullo Khamidov, whose case has sparked an unusually strong wave of protest.
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Kyrgyzstan: Officials ban rally by supporters of jailed opposition leader
By: RFE, January 29, 2010
Supporters of jailed former Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov have been banned from holding a rally for him in the Alay district of the southern Osh region
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SOUTH ASIA

Sri Lanka: Rights of Tamil suspects violated, rights group says
By: Fisnik Abrashi, AP, February 2, 2010
Sri Lanka should end the indefinite detention of some of the 11,000 people held in its custody for suspected links with the Tamil Tiger rebels, a leading rights group said Tuesday.
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Sri Lanka opposition complains of government pressure
By: Fisnik Abrashi, AP, February 1, 2010
Sri Lanka’s opposition accused the government Monday of hounding and detaining its activists following the country’s acrimonious presidential election.
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Sri Lankan government ‘settling scores’ in media crackdown
By: Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, February 1, 2010
The newly re-elected government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of orchestrating a fresh crackdown on the media after a series of websites were blocked and at least one reporter detained after raising questions about the conduct of the election.
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