Nonviolent Action around the World – 31 July 2009 (Part 1)

July 31, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN


Iran security forces retreat as huge numbers of mourners gather at cemetery
By: Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim, LA Times, July 30, 2009
Thousands and possibly tens of thousands of mourners, many of them black-clad young women carrying roses, overwhelmed security forces today at Tehran’s largest cemetery to gather around the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman whose videotaped shooting at a June 20 demonstration stunned the world.
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Iran: A crackdown to forbid mourning
By: Time, July 30, 2009
In the afternoon, as the hour for the protests grew closer, many offices in the Iranian capital began shutting down or started running on a bare-bone staff. Workers began leaving to assemble at protest sites, traveling by way of the clogged subway, by cab, or on foot. “I’m not scared,” said one banker as he headed for the sprawling Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, where many opposition “martyrs,” including the iconic Neda Agha-Soltan, have been buried. He says the planned memorial service was especially poignant for him because he saw a protester shot at Azadi Square on June 20th, the same day Neda was killed a few kilometers away on Kargar Street.
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The making of an Iran policy
By: Roger Cohen, NY Times, July 30, 2009
The silent protest began in Imam Khomeini Square in front of the forbidding Ministry of Telecommunications, which was busy cutting off cellphones but powerless to stop the murmured rage coursing through Tehran. Six days had passed since Iran’s disputed June 12 election, but the fury that brought three million people onto the streets the previous Monday showed no sign of abating. “Silence will win against bullets,” a woman beside me whispered.
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Iran: Updates from 8 Mordad (30 July)
By: Tehran Bureau, July 30, 2009
Read blog and eyewitness’ accounts of the events in Tehran on July 30…
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Crackdown helps sustain Iran’s protest movement
By: Andrew Lee Butters, Time, July 30, 2009
The current protest movement in Iran is unlikely to bring the regime crashing down, however. Massive government security deployments in Tehran have prevented the mustering of anything like the huge crowds that gathered after the June 12 election. And the government has rounded up dozens of opposition leaders (many of them once leading lights of the Islamic revolution) and stifled the opposition press.But even as it suppresses protest activity, the government’s harsh crackdown is breathing new life into the opposition movement and causing consternation even among conservatives, who have begun to criticize the government’s heavy-handed tactics.
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Iran election protests: The dead, jailed and missing
By: Guardian UK, July 30, 2009
A month ago today, the Guardian began an attempt to record the names and faces of those killed or imprisoned in Iran since the 12 June election – and we asked you to help, locating the blogs, Facebook profiles and news stories connected with those in the protests against what was claimed as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory.
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Iran’s postelection crackdown scrutinized for crimes against humanity
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, July 30, 2009
24-year-old Amir Javadifar was detained during a July 9 peaceful protest in Tehran. About two weeks later, the Iranian authorities informed Amir’s family about his death.Amir’s death in custody is one example of the many cases of violence committed in Iran in recent weeks, which some legal experts have said are violations under international law.
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Protesters rally worldwide for human rights in Iran
By: James Balbas, Daily 49er, July 30, 2009
The rallies were coordinated by United 4 Iran, a nonpartisan group of individuals and human rights organizations, as part of a worldwide day of protest held in more than 110 cities, drawing hundreds of people in and around UCLA.
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Iran’s red tulip revolution
By: Melody Moezzi, Huffington Post, July 29, 2009
While the current Iranian uprising began as a green revolution, it is quickly turning red. With each death at the hands of the regime, a martyr is born, and with each martyr, the seed of revolution is planted. According to Shi’a legend, where the blood of a martyr spills, a red tulip will bloom. And in a culture so intensely steeped in symbolism, it could very well be these tulips that determine the next chapter in Iranian history.
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Iran: Tehran combines clemency and toughness
By: Robert F. Worth and Nazila Fathiny, NY Times, July 29, 2009
The Iranian authorities sent a mixed message of clemency and firmness on Wednesday, saying that more detainees arrested in the post-election crackdown would soon be freed, but also that 20 protesters charged with serious crimes would be put on trial, starting this weekend.
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Iran: Family of twenty-five year old killed during protest given contradictory information
By: ICHRI, July 29, 2009
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has published a report of the shooting of 25-year-old electrical technician Davoud Sadri. He was shot during a protest in Azadi Square on 21 June by Basij forces and was taken to Rasoule Akram hospital. His family immediately began searching for him and their treatment is characteristic of many relatives of those injured and detained in protests.
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Clinton deplores reported Iranian prisoner abuse
By: David Gollust, VOA News, July 29, 2009
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she deplores the reported abuse in custody of Iranians rounded up in protests of the country’s disputed June 12 presidential election. Clinton discussed the situation in Iran with visiting British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
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Reports of prison abuse and deaths anger Iranians
By: Robert F Worth, NY Times, July 28, 2009
Some prisoners say they watched fellow detainees being beaten to death by guards in overcrowded, stinking holding pens. Others say they had their fingernails ripped off or were forced to lick filthy toilet bowls.The accounts of prison abuse in Iran’s postelection crackdown – relayed by relatives and on opposition Web sites – have set off growing outrage among Iranians, including some prominent conservatives.
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Prominent Iranian journalist implicates Nokia in his arrest
By: RFERL, July 25, 2009
Issa Saharkhiz, a prominent journalist and former senior Culture Ministry official, has told his family in a short phone call from prison that several of his ribs were broken during his arrest in northern Iran on July 4 in the postelection crackdown. The 56-year-old Saharkhiz has told his family the authorities traced him through his Nokia cellular phone. Saharkhiz, who had campaigned for reformist candidate Mehdi Karrubi, has been highly critical of Iran’s supreme leader and of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.  
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Iran’s Twitter Revolution? Maybe not yet
By: Joel Schectman, BusinessWeek, June 17, 2009
“Some Iranian Election Protesters used Twitter to get people on the streets, but most of the organizing happened the old-fashioned way…”This article discusses the utility of social networking tools in organising protests like the Iranian post-presidential election protest of June 2009.
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CRISIS IN HONDURAS

Honduran coup leader, Zelaya can’t be restored
By: AP, July 31, 2009
Honduras’ coup leader says deported President Manuel Zelaya cannot be allowed to return to power. Roberto Micheletti says Zelaya may be allowed to return to Honduras to face trial on charges of abuse of power “but under no circumstances will we let him take possession of the government.” Micheletti’s comments late Thursday further complicate international mediation efforts to resolve the Central American country’s political crisis.
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Political crisis causes huge economic losses to Honduras
By: ChinaView, July 31, 2009      
With the post-coup government in Honduras now a month old, the political crisis has caused at least 100 million U.S. dollars losses to the Latin American country, according to data released by authorities. The country’s normal commercial operation collapsed amid the curfew imposed by the post-coup government, large-scale demonstrations and ensuing conflicts. The social upheaval also resulted in market shrinkage and massive unemployment.
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Thursday, Bloody Thursday in Honduras
By:  Al Giordano, The Field, July 30, 2009
The full toll of Thursday in Honduras has not yet been counted. The “forces of order” pursued and brutally beat the civilian multitude in many locations across the land that had, for the fifth time in three weeks, successfully blockaded the key points of the country’s major arteries for most of the business day. As events of the next few days will demonstrate, the civil resistance to the Honduran coup is visibly growing in size, organizational capacity and geographical scope.
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Exclusive: Interview with Manuel Zelaya
By: Democracy Now, July 30, 2009
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya speaks from Nicaraguan border on who’s behind the coup, his attempts to return home, the role of the United States and more…
To Watch or Listen…

Honduras: Zelaya announces training of pacific resistance army
By: ChinaView, July 30, 2009
The National Front of Pacific Resistance created by ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in Nicaraguan border with Honduras, will become the People’s Army of Pacific Resistance, Zelaya announced Thursday. Zelaya announced in Ocotal, 26km to Honduran border, the beginning of a training, education, exercise, and vigilance stage of the new people’s Army.
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Honduras’ border blockade comes with a price
By: Jim Wyss, Miami Herald, July 28, 2009
The latest twist in Honduras’ monthlong political crisis can be measured in the number of cargo trucks at the Nicaraguan border. On Monday, there were 107 — all at a standstill and stretched for nearly two miles.Since Thursday, when ousted President Manuel Zelaya telegraphed his intentions to lead supporters across his nation’s southern frontier, Honduras has shut down inbound traffic from Nicaragua, leaving hundreds of frustrated truckers stranded along the narrow road that leads to the Las Manos border crossing.
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AFRICA


Sudan: Public flogging holds no fear for woman who dared wear trousers
By: Katherine Butler, The Independent, July 30, 2009
A Sudanese woman arrested for wearing trousers and facing a public flogging as punishment, was applauded by democracy activists yesterday after she took a defiant stand against Sudan’s rulers and the repressive version of Islam she accuses them of enforcing in Africa’s biggest country.
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Zimbabwe: Trials strengthen Mugabe’s hand
By: Alan Cowell, NY Times, July 30, 2009
In a curious case blending the disappearance of a cellphone with allegations of political maneuvering, an official from Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change was set to appear in court to face accusations that could further strain the country’s frail coalition government, according article to the state-run Herald newspaper on Thursday.
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Zimbabwe: Mugabe again threatens NGO ban
By: HRT, July 30, 2009
President Robert Mugabe has raised the spectre of banning the operations of non-governmental organizations in Zimbabwe, a threat he implemented in 2008 after the worst maize harvest on record. Mugabe raised the question while speaking on the theme of “Inclusivity and national visions” at the Global 2009 Dialogue conference at the Munyonyo resort on the shores of Lake Victoria on 27 July.
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Zimbabwe lifts restrictions on BBC
By: UK Press, Jul;y 29, 2009
The Zimbabwean government has lifted restrictions on the BBC, allowing the corporation to report freely from the country for the first time in eight years.The BBC has had no official presence in the troubled African country since 2001, when the Harare correspondent Joseph Winter fled the country, though its reporters have often filed undercover stories.
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Zimbabwe: Police told to allow public protests
By: Nokuthula Sibanda, ZimOnline, 29 July 2009
The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday said it had instructed the police to allow citizens to demonstrate but warned those who might take to the streets without giving notice to law enforcement agents, a government minister announced Tuesday. “We had a meeting with the Commissioner General of Police (Augustine Chihuri). He will not unnecessarily impede people who want to demonstrate. We have given certain instructions to the police for the people to be allowed to demonstrate,” co-home affairs minister Giles Mutsekwa told a news conference in Harare.
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Zimbabwe’s MDC cries foul over prosecution of another of its lawmakers
By: Blessing Zulu & Ntungamili Nkomo, VOA News, July 29, 2009
The formation of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday accused Attorney General Johannes Tomana and police of dragging their feet in arraigning MDC Deputy Youth Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu with the intention of ensuring that he would spend a second night in police lockup.
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Zambia’s new bill hijacks NGOs
By: The Guardian, Mandeep Tiwana, July 29, 2009
On 16 July, Zambia joined a growing list of countries seeking to restrict civil society through controversial legislation. Since the beginning of the year, numerous governments have sought to introduce restrictive laws to curb the ability of civil society organisations and NGOs to critically examine their policies and question their record on good governance.
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U.S.: ABA to honor Zimbabwean lawyers
By: IntLawGrrls, July 26, 2009
This coming Saturday, August 1, at a luncheon meeting in Chicago, the Rule of Law Initiative of the American Bar Association will honor Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights with its 2009 Rule of Law Award.The Zimbabwean group — a public interest litigation organization operating in one of Africa’s most treacherous environment’s for human rights defenders — is being recognized for its efforts at advancing the rights of persons in the country.
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“Resign or else” portraits of media repression in Madagascar
By: Lova Rakotomalala, Global Voices, July 23, 2009
VNR is a young journalist at one of the largest newspapers in Madagascar. When we first talked over the phone, her number was hidden and the first thing she said was to ask carefully what was the purpose of me wanting to talk to her. She and another journalist friend agreed to meet with me at a busy corner of Anosy, a borough of Antananarivo, where we could decide where we could discuss freely. Speaking freely was clearly not in a possibility as the two journalists whispered and looked over their shoulders for the whole 2 hours we were talking. Having a frank conversation has become very difficult nowadays in Madagascar.
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AMERICAS


Venezuela mulls tough media law

By: Will Grant, BBC News, July 31, 2009
A tough new media law, under which journalists could be imprisoned for publishing “harmful” material, has been proposed in Venezuela. Journalists could face up to four years in prison for publishing material deemed to harm state stability. Public prosecutor Luisa Ortega Diaz, who proposed the changes, said it was necessary to “regulate the freedom of expression” without “harming it”.
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U.S.judge blasts D.C.’s handling of protest cases
By: Del Quentin Wilber, Washington Post, July 30, 2009
A federal judge chastised D.C. government lawyers Wednesday for how they have defended lawsuits brought by nearly 400 people arrested during a 2002 protest in downtown Washington. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said at a hearing that he was so shocked by the government’s handling of evidence in the cases that he was tempted to launch an independent investigation of the D.C. attorney general’s office.  
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U.S.: Pentagon caught subverting protest group
By: Kurt Nimmo, Prison Planet, July 29, 2009
On July 28, Democracy Now reported that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was an informant for the Pentagon. The man known as “John Jacob” was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis, a fact confirmed by the base’s public affairs office. “This could be one of the key revelations of this era,” Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations, told Democracy Now.
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Nicaragua: “With these laws, Ortega has betrayed the women who fought for democracy”
By: Zoe Williams, The Guardian, July 29, 2009
There are no exceptions. Under Nicaragua’s anti-abortion laws, even a pregnancy that cannot possibly result in a viable baby – an anencephalic or ectopic one – has to be carried to its limits. A woman who gets pregnant through an act of rape or incest has to have the baby; and the deeper you delve into the horrors enumerated in this week’s Amnesty International report, the more inhumane it gets: 77% of rape cases involve girls under 17; between 2005 and 2007, 16% of those crimes resulted in pregnancy, and the great majority of those pregnancies were in girls of between 10 and 14, at which age obstetric complications are very common…
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Rights activists say Venezuela punishing protesters, union leaders
By: Christopher Toothaker, Breaking News, July 29, 2009
Venezuelan rights activists said Wednesday that President Hugo Chavez’s government is using the courts to stifle protests. Marino Alvarado of Provea, a prominent rights group, said more than 2,200 people, including dozens of labor union representatives, have been indicted on criminal charges stemming from their participation in protests over the last four years.
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U.S.: Youth fight for food justice online
By: Talia Whyte, DigiActive, July 28, 2009
Last month the US Department of Agriculture released a report on food deserts – areas in the United States where communities lack access to supermarkets and other outlets selling foods necessary for a healthy diet. According to the report, 2.3 million Americans live more than a mile from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle. The report goes on to say that the “urban core areas with limited food access are characterized by higher levels of racial segregation and greater income inequality.” In short, this problem largely affects low income communities and people of color.
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