Nonviolent Action around the World – 30 June 2009 (Part 2)

June 30, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA
China delays software censor rule
By: Michael Wines, NY Times, June 30, 2009
Facing strong resistance at home and abroad, China on Tuesday indefinitely delayed enforcement of a new rule requiring manufacturers to pre-install Internet filtering software on all new computers. The software, called the Green Dam-Youth Escort, had caused a torrent of protests from both Chinese computer users and global computer makers, including many in the United States, since the government order became public in early June.
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Cambodia: Khmer Rouge survivor tells of horrific conditions at torture centre
By: The Guardian, June 29, 2009
One of the few survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s main torture centre wept at a UN-backed tribunal today as he recounted the conditions at the prison where 16,000 people were tortured before execution. Vann Nath, 63, escaped execution because he was an artist and took the job of painting and sculpting portraits of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. His special status did not spare him misery.
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Burma: Monks boycott minister’s offering
By: Ko Wild, Mizzima, June 29, 2009
Several monks on Saturday refrained from going out to collect swan offering in Myingyan town in Mandalay division, following a visit and offerings made by junta’s Minister of Industries Aung Thawng. Monks in Burma, who usually go out at dawn for food offerings from devotees, on Saturday refused to go when they came to know that the visiting Industries Minister Aung Thawng would also make offerings to the monks.
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Burma court rejects Aung San Suu Kyi witness appeal
By: Daniel Schearf, VOA News, June 29, 2009
Burma’s highest court has rejected an appeal to allow more defense witnesses in the trial of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The trial has been widely condemned as rigged to keep the Nobel Peace Prize winner locked up. The men are senior members of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party and critics of Burma’s military government.
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Burma: In the frame
By: Aaron Lewis, SBS Dateline, June 28, 2009
The constant threat of capture, arrest and torture are just some of the hazards of working as an undercover journalist in Burma. This week Aaron Lewis speaks with a reporter, code name ‘Joshua’, working for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB). The brave video-journalists of the DVB are the only media in Burma that has so far managed to evade the savage crackdown on that country’s free press.
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Nepal stops exiles from marching to Tibet, 34 held
By: Reuters, June 26, 2009
Nepali police detained 34 Tibetan refugees marching to the Tibet border on Friday, the latest crackdown on exiles demanding freedom for their Himalayan homeland. Police said 26 men and eight women were picked up from Balesi, near the Friendship Bridge which lies on Nepal’s border with China.
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China: Action of “omission” to protest censorship
By: Mary Joyce, DigiActive, June 25, 2009
To protest the implementation of the Green Dam Youth Escort filtering program on all computers sold in China, the blogger Ai Wei Wei is asking Chinese users to boycott the Internet on July 1st, 2009. July 1st is the date on which Green Dam must come pre-installed (or on an attached disk) for all new Chinese computers.
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China arrests prominent dissident
By: Al Jazeera, June 24, 2009
A well-known dissident has been formally arrested after being detained for six months on suspicion of inciting subversion, Chinese state media has reported. Liu Xiaobo was charged on with “alleged agitation activities” aimed at overthrowing the government and the nation’s socialist system, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
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Thailand: Thousands affected by train strike
By: Mong Palatino, Global Voices, June 24, 2009
More than 200,000 passengers were affected by the two-day nationwide train strike launched by employees of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). The workers were protesting a cabinet resolution which they claim would lead to the privatization of the railway company. The strike was canceled Tuesday evening after authorities assured union officers that there will be no privatization involved with the railway modernization program.
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Philippines: At large – The power of protest
By: Rina Jimenez-David, Inquirer, June 23, 2009
In the run-up to the first anti-Con-ass and anti-Cha-cha rallies, TV reporters sought “person-on-the-street” interviews with office-goers in Makati where the rally was to be held. Most of those interviewed said they weren’t joining the demonstration, with one commenting that she was tired of joining rallies because “what have rallies changed anyway?”
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China: Artist urges online boycott
By: Edward Wong, NY Times, June 22, 2009
A prominent artist and critic of the Communist Party, Ai Weiwei, called Monday for Chinese to boycott the Internet on July 1 to protest censorship software. The government is requiring that all computers sold after July 1 have the software, Green Dam-Youth Escort, saying it is intended to block access to pornography.
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India: Academics deplore Maoist, police violence
By: Cites Vanaik and Bidwai, Transnational Institute, June 22, 2009
Eminent academics and journalists have expressed deep concern at the ongoing violence and massive police action in Lalgarh. This will only lead to another round of blood-letting and a spiral of renewed violence, tragedy and injustice. “We deplore the reckless, self-serving violence of the Maoists, who have exploited West Bengal’s post-election chaos by using deprived and angry tribals as pawns and by brutally attacking CPM cadres and offices.”
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Burma jails two supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi for 18 months
By: VOA News, June 21, 2009
The party of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says Burma’s military rulers have sentenced two of her supporters to 18 months in prison for praying for her release. National League for Democracy spokesman Nyan Win said Sunday party members Chit Pe and Aung Saw Wai were charged with insulting religion and sentenced several days ago.
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TOP
 

CENTRAL ASIA
Freedom House report: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan remain worst of the worst
By: New Eurasia, June 27, 2009
Released on June 3 2009, the “Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies 2009” report by Freedom House lists two Central Asian states – Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – as worst of the worst. The report is based on “Freedom in the World” Freedom House’s Annual Global Survey of political rights and civil liberties.
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Armenia: Opposition detainees released
By: Onnik Krikorian, Global Voices, June 23, 2009
Following a general amnesty agreed upon by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 19 June, several senior opposition figures on trial and in detention for over a year since the 1 March post-election unrest in the country were finally pardoned and released. Many observers believe the trials were politically motivated.
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EUROPE
UK: Court decides against a blogger’s rights to anonymity
By: Judith Townend, Global Voices, June 23, 2009
A new legal precedent has been set for UK bloggers. Last week, in the England and Wales High Court, Mr Justice Eady ruled that a police officer who previously wrote about his working life on his NightJack blog, did not have the right to remain anonymous.
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UK: West Papuans push their cause at Stonehenge event
By: Radio New Zealand International, June 22, 2009
A West Papuan dance troupe has used its performance at Stonehenge in Britain to highlight their people’s struggle for human rights in Indonesia’s Papua region. Record crowds of 36,500 people descended on Stonehenge for Summer Solstice celebrations organised by the British Council of Druids who had invited the Mambesak troupe and West Papuan activist Benny Wenda as special guests.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Egypt: Senior Muslim Brotherhood figures detained
By: Al Bawaba, June 28, 2009
Egyptian security forces conducted raids early Sunday and arrested three senior Muslim Brotherhood figures in Cairo. According to the Muslim Brotherhood’s website, among those arrested are Dr. Abdel-Moneim Abu el-Fotouh, Judge Fathi Lashin, and Dr. Jamal Abdul Salam, Head of the Emergency Relief Committee of the Arab Doctors’ Federation and the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate in the 2005 elections.
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For radical Islam, the end begins
By: Joshua Muravchik, Washington Post, June 27, 2009
Is history ending yet again? Much as the hammers that leveled the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end of the Cold War, so might the protests rocking Iran signal the death of radical Islam and the challenges it poses to the West.
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The waste of Israel’s Gaza war
By: Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera, June 27, 2009
Exactly six months ago – minutes before Israel launched its war – I was sitting in a coffee shop in Gaza City’s main square. Six months later, here I am again. At the same table, ordering the same drink from the same waiter who is talking about the same thing – no fuel, no electricity, no goods.
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Bahrain: Newspaper suspended for a day
By: Ayesha Saldanha, Global Voices, June 23, 2009
On Monday, 22 June, Bahrain’s oldest newspaper in circulation Akhbar Al Khaleej was suspended for the day after printing an article critical of certain Iranian leaders and making reference to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s alleged Jewish origins. The move would seem to have been made to avoid provoking unrest amongst the Shi’a majority in Bahrain.
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OCEANIA
West Papua: Prisoner abuse and military build-up
By: Free West Papua Campaign UK, June 26, 2009
Following recent representations made by Human Rights Watch regarding the widespread practises of torture and abuse at Abepura Prison, the following is an appeal to the United Nations to undertake an urgent and far-reaching investigation into the activities of the Indonesian authorities in West Papua. In particular prisoner abuse and human rights violations that have become prevalent in the region.
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Papuans regularly abducted, beaten by army
By: The Sydney Morning Herald, June 26, 2009
Indonesian special forces soldiers based in the Papuan town of Merauke regularly abduct Papuans from the streets and their homes and and beat people indiscriminately, a report from Human Rights Watch says. According to the organisation, indigenous Papuans have been beaten with fists, boots, pipes and hoses, and forced to eat mouthfuls of raw, hot chillies in a series of brutal acts that took place between August 2007 and May this year.
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Australia West Papua Association pleads with Pacific Islands Forum leaders
By: Joe Collins, Scoop, June 23, 2009
AWPA (Sydney) has written to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders who are meeting in Cairns in August, urging them to discus the deteriorating situation in West Papua at their meeting. Since last year’s Pacific Islands Forum, the situation in West Papua has continued to deteriorate with increasing intimidation of the West Papuan people by the Indonesian security forces.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Power to the people: A look at key political revolutions
By: Michael Muskal, LA Times, June 30, 2009
Political uprisings come in lots of colors, orange in Ukraine, yellow in the Philippines and now green in Iran. The similarities and differences illustrate what have become the rules to understanding peoples’ rebellions.
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A response to Steve Weissman’s “Nonviolence 101”
By: Stephen Zunes, Truthout, June 28, 2009
Steve Weissman’s article “Iran: Nonviolence 101” was profoundly inaccurate and misleading, particularly in regard to the role of Peter Ackerman and the organization he co-founded, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), for which I chair the committee of academic advisers. All of Weissman’s arguments against US government involvement in training and related support for nonviolent resistance movements in Iran, which he put forward in his article, would be quite valid – if they were true.
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The new executive politics: A democratic challenge
By: Saskia Sassen, openDemocracy, June 26, 2009
The institutional balance within modern democratic systems is disturbed and dysfunctional. Some of the unhappiness of citizens in many a western state about their political leaders’ remoteness, corruption, or lack of accountability can be understood as a thwarted recognition of this problem. This an old history.
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Business and human rights: The next big thing
By: Annabel Short, openDemocracy, June 24, 2009
Business and human rights.” An oxymoron? Two recent events in New York have made a strong case that taking a human-rights approach to business is both right in principle and can deliver effective results that benefit citizens and communities. It is an approach that the international delegates gathering for a major summit in the same city on 24-26 June 2009 should bear in mind.
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Will digital dissent win in Iran and China?
By: CS Monitor, June 24, 2009
Dictators these days must resort to ever-trickier ways to prevent the truth of their failings from being made known via digital technology. Just one image in cyber space, such as the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan during Iran’s protests, can plant doubts about a regime’s claim to power – even among its supporters – and begin to erode its legitimacy.
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Coping with digital revolution: China offers Green Dam, Iran faces Neda
By: Guobin Yang, Yale Global Online, June 23, 2009
Recent events in Iran and China have again demonstrated the global power of the Internet. Iranians used web technologies to broadcast their street protests to the world while Chinese netizens challenged a government policy to require computers to pre-install a new filtering software.
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Record turnout for Arms Trade Treaty week of action
By: Amnesty International, June 22, 2009
Last week, campaigners in the largest number of countries so far took part in an annual worldwide Week of Action, aimed at highlighting the need for an effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). NGOs in over 90 countries organized activities to draw attention to the treaty, and the rapid rise in the human cost of armed violence.
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How to be a photojournalist
By: Stephen Farrell, NY Times, June 16, 2009
Michael Kamber one of Baghdad Bureau’s photographic regulars, has just written a post about conflict photojournalism for our sister NYT blog Lens after a recent trip to Somalia. It shares tips from a man who has spent years shooting video and stills in some of the most dangerous places on earth. Well worth checking out.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Iran : “Tous les soirs, les gens montent sur les toits et crient Allah o Akbar”
By: Le Monde, June 25, 2009
Alors que l’Iran s’enfonce dans une crise politique majeure, la voix de ses habitants peine à passer les frontières. Les tentatives des médias occidentaux de faire parler les acteurs de cette crise se heurtent à deux obstacles : le blocage des communications par le pouvoir – blocage intermittent mais réel – et la peur des opposants de s’exprimer.
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Amazonía peruana: Guerra por los recursos y contra las drogas
By: Ricardo Soberón Garrido, Transnational Institute, June 22, 2009
En la Amazonía peruana, el Estado libra dos guerras contradictorias aunque en paralelo. La guerra contra las drogas, que pretende terminar con el uso de sustancias psicoactivas en el mundo a través de la desaparición de plantas como la coca y la cannabis, y la guerra por los recursos naturales, que pretende reordenar el territorio amazónico a voluntad de empresas, conglomerados y megaproyectos.
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Irán con ojos venezolanos
By: Moises Naim, El Pais, June 21, 2009
Irán y Venezuela no podrían ser países más diferentes. Piadosos chiíes, rezos diarios y ley seca en uno; rumberos caribeños, salsa y mucho ron, en el otro. Las iraníes con trajes y velos que todo lo cubren; venezolanas con biquinis que todo lo descubren. Irán es república islámica y Venezuela, república bolivariana.
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Paremos la violencia contra los pueblos indígenas en Perú!
By: Transnational Institute, June 16, 2009
Las poblaciones indígenas de la Amazonía Peruana condujeron una huelga general y pacifica durante casi 60 días en protesta por los 10 decretos legislativos promovidos por el Gobierno Peruano para facilitar la implementación del TLC con Estados Unidos el cual amenaza sus derechos y el medioambiente. Mas específicamente, entregar en concesión a compañías de petróleo y minería 44 de las 75 millones de hectáreas del Amazonas, los cuales son territorios indígenas sin ningún tipo de acuerdo o consulta con ellos.
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NOTICES
Petition: Reverse the Honduran coup d’etat
By: Nonviolence International, June 30, 2009
In response to the kidnapping and force exile of the President of Honduras on June 28, 2009, we join the Honduran people and the world community in condemning the coup d’etat against the democratically elected leader of Honduras. We support the call of the President for the people of Honduras and their friends to engage in massive civil disobedience to appeal to the conscience of military rulers, congressional leaders, members of the judiciary and the business elite to support the rule of law and the will of the people.
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Nonviolence International co-leads urgent delegation to Honduras
By: Nonviolent Action Network, June 28, 2009
In light of the military coup in Honduras in the early hours of Sunday, June 28, 2009 and the arrest and forced exile of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, we are forming an Emergency International Delegation to go to Honduras as soon as possible. The first members of the delegation will depart for Honduras on Monday, June 29, and others will follow during the week.
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War Resisters League: 44th annual peace award
By: War Resisters League, September 18, 2009 at 239 Thompson Street, New York
WRL wishes to honor the work of Dennis Brutus, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), and Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) both by hearing about their vital campaigns and activities and sharing food and conversation, as we further weave our movements and celebrate our victories. We will enjoy an African-inspired dinner at 6:30, followed by a program and award ceremony at 8:00p.m.
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IN PAST NEWS
Blood at the blockade: Peru’s indigenous uprising
By: Gerardo Rénique, América Latina en Movimiento, June 8, 2009
On June 5, near a stretch of highway known as the Devil’s Curve in the northern Peruvian Amazon, police began firing live rounds into a multitude of indigenous protestors – many wearing feathered crowns and carrying spears. Both natives and mestizos took to the streets protesting the bloody repression.
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