Nonviolent Action around the World – 3 July 2009 (Part 1)

July 3, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CRISIS IN HONDURAS


Honduran president ‘cannot return without fight’
By: Will Weissert. The Independent, July 2, 2009
The interim leader of Honduras said the only way his predecessor would return to office was through a foreign invasion. A potential showdown was postponed yesterday when the ousted President delayed plans to return. Roberto Micheletti told the Associated Press on Tuesday that “no one can make me resign”, defying the United Nations, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Obama administration and other leaders that have condemned the military coup that overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.
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Honduras targets protestors with emergency decree
By: William Booth and Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post, July 2, 2009
The new Honduran government clamped down on street protests and news organizations Wednesday as lawmakers passed an emergency decree that limits public gatherings following the military-led coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya from office. The decree also allows for suspects to be detained for 24 hours and continues a nighttime curfew.
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IAPA Vice President covers for press censorship in Honduras
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 2, 2009
Edgardo Dumas, publisher of the pro-coup daily La Tribuna in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and the country’s former Defense Minister, is saying that he speaks for the Inter American Press Association (IAPA where he sits on one of 13 committees) to claim there is no media censorship under the coup regime in Honduras. Well, of course his newspaper isn’t being censored: It spouts only the authorized propaganda of the coup regime.
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Honduras: Behind the crisis
By: Ismael Moreno, openDemocracy, July 1, 2009
Honduras is in tumult following the forced removal of its president, Manuel Zelaya, on 28 June 2009. The coup has provoked a wave of protest and near-unanimous condemnation by the country’s neighbours, other regional powers, the United States and the United Nations. What is going on in Honduras, and what lies behind this political and constitutional eruption?
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Two military battalions turn against Honduras coup regime
By: Al Giordano, The Narcosphere, June 29, 2009
Community Radio “Es Lo de Menos” was the first to report that the Fourth Infantry Battalion has rebelled from the military coup regime in Honduras. The radio station adds that “it seems” (“al parecer,” in the original Spanish) that the Tenth Infantry Battalion has also broken from the coup.
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Hondurasa: Zelaya calls for the military to correct its actions
By: Americas MexicoBlog, June 28, 2009
Pres. Zelaya notes that he was taken into military custody by armed soldiers. He was not told where he was being taken. “I was kidnapped, by force, with violence, with brutality. This kidnapping is a blow to the country, to the whole world. It’s a regression of 30-40 years to the age of the dictators.” He notes that the coup was planned by a small group of elites and “ambitious military officers.”
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Honduras: Political crisis over controversial referendum
By: Leonidas Mejia, Global Voices, June 27, 2009
Honduras is going through one of its most difficult moments of its political history. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya removed General Romeo Vásquez Velásquez as Chief of the Armed Forces and accepted the resignation of Defense Minister Edmundo Orellana Mercado. The announcement was made after meeting with military leaders of the armed forces to seek protection of the polls for the referendum that has been promoted by the executive branch to be held on Sunday, June 28, 2009.
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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN

Iran’s dead and detained
By: The Guardian, July 3, 2009
Hundreds, probably thousands, have been arrested in Iran since the presidential election on 12 June. Human rights and campaign groups have been collecting and publishing the names of those dead or detained. We have brought those lists, and reports from trusted media sources, into a database that we are asking readers and those elsewhere on the internet to contribute too.
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Iran: Defiant opposition leaders refuse to accept Ahmadinejad government
By: Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post, July 2, 2009
Three opposition leaders, including a former president, openly defied Iran’s top political and religious authorities Wednesday, vowing to resist a government they have deemed illegitimate after official certification of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Their defiance in the face of harsh official denunciations and threats of arrest and prosecution appeared to dash the government’s hopes of pressuring the opposition into accepting the disputed June 12 election.
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Iran police invent Interpol probe in Neda death
By: Tucker Reals, CBS News, July 2, 2009
The International Police force, or Interpol, has denied a claim by Iran’s police chief that it is seeking a doctor who witnessed the shooting death of 26-year-old “Neda.” “We’ve not received any request for information or for assistance on the death of that lady,” Interpol spokesperson Rachel Billington said. “We’ve received nothing from Iran,” she emphasized.
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Iran’s do-it-yourself revolution
By: Stephen Zunes, Common Dreams, June 1, 2009
Facing an unprecedented popular uprising against his autocratic rule and his apparently fraudulent re-election, Iran’s right-wing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has attempted to blame the United States. A surprising number of bloggers on the left have rushed to the defense of the right-wing fundamentalist leader. Citing presidential directives under the Bush administration, they argue that the uprising isn’t as much about a stolen election, the oppression of women, censorship, severe restrictions on political liberties, growing economic inequality, and other grievances, as it is about the result of U.S. interference.
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Iran: Let the usurpers writhe
By: Roger Cohen, NY Times, July 1, 2009
Think of normalized relations with the United States as the big prize. Who gets to deliver it? One thing is certain: Iran’s ruthless usurpers are determined to ensure reformists are never in a position to claim the breakthrough. That at least is the view of Mohsen Mahmoudi, a 34-year-old conservative cleric I ran into at a post-electoral rally for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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Keeping hope alive in Iran
By: Baqer Moin, The Guardian, July 1, 2009
No election since the inception of the Islamic Republic has left the Iranian nation so divided in all its components as the one that took place on 12 June. It has divided the clergy in Qom, the leading political conservative or principalist actors in Tehran and the state institutions. It forced the supreme leader to side with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a great cost to his own position and the ruling clergy, undermining the very agreed consensus among the top officials.
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Mousavi pledges new rights group in Iran
By: AFP, July 1, 2009
Iranian presidential election runner up Mir Hossein Mousavi on Wednesday renewed a demand for a complete re-run of the vote and pledged to help set up a new group to defend citizen’s rights. Another defeated candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, saw his reformist newspaper Etemad Melli shut down after he denounced the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as invalid and the new government as not legitimate.
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Iran’s Karroubi rejects Ahmadinejad vote
By: Iran Focus, July 1, 2009
Iran halted the publication of a reformist party newspaper after its defeated presidential candidate said he would refuse to recognise Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, its website said. Former parliament speaker Medhi Karroubi said on Tuesday that the government emerging from the disputed June 12 election was not “legitimate” after Ahmadinejad’s victory was certified by the nation’s top electoral body.
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Iran hangs six in Tehran prison
By: Iran Focus, July 1, 2009
Iranian authorities hanged six people in Tehran on Wednesday, state media reported. All six were hanged in the morning, according to Esmatollah Jaberi, a judiciary official. The state-run news agency ISNA, which did not identify the six, said they were hanged in Tehran’s Evin Prison. All six were accused of murder. Iranian authorities routinely execute dissidents on bogus charges such as armed robbery and drug trafficking.
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Khatami denounces Iran election, arrests
By: Truthout, July 1, 2009
Moderate former president Mohammad Khatami criticized the outcome of Iran’s disputed election and called for the release of people arrested since the June 12 vote in a hard-hitting statement on Wednesday. Khatami was the third leading pro-reformer to publicly denounce the vote and its turbulent aftermath since Iran’s top legislative body on Monday confirmed the victory of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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After Iran crackdown: Reform movement shows resilience
By: Scott Macleod, Truthout, July 1, 2009
Tehran’s streets, in which hundreds of thousands of demonstrators thronged two weeks ago, have largely gone quiet. Small-scale demonstrations are still staged every couple of days, but the regime has effectively reasserted control. But the absence of protesters from the streets doesn’t signal an end to the political crisis that has roiled the regime since Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his supporters accused the backers of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of stealing the June 12 election.
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Iran: What’s the tipping point for revolution?
By: Elizabeth Pond, CS Monitor, July 1, 2009
How can it be that 70,000 protesters in Leipzig in 1989 tore down the Berlin Wall, while up to a million protesters in Tehran in 2009 managed only – so far – to trigger repression? Or, to phrase it differently, what’s the tipping point for revolution? Just when does civil society trump entrenched political power? Different observers would, of course, give different answers along the spectrum, running from a historian’s retrospective determinism to a journalist’s fixation on daily blips…
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Comment by Jack DuVall, President of the ICNC:
“Elizabeth Pond compares the protests in Iran to those in East Germany in 1989 and notes that both represented a massive quickening of public disgust with the existing regime.  But she is wrong to say that “a million Iranian demonstrators failed even to pry open the factional fault lines in the ayatollahs’ hierarchy.”  In fact the most revered clerical figure in Iran, the Ayatollah Montazeri, said that no one in his right mind could believe the election results and that “a government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.”  Haddi Ghaffari, a former minister under Ayatollah Khomeini, told the present Supreme Leader on June 30, “You are wrong, your actions are wrong.”  The unprecedented scale of nonviolent resistance in Iran has exposed severe divisions within the clerical and military ruling elite and given a political opportunity to the realists and moderates. Ahmadinejad’s widespread arrests of oppositionists are only exacerbating these divisions.  The story in Iran is far from over.”

 
Iran: Protestor arrested, beaten and raped
By: Esfandiar Poorgiv, The Guardian, July 1, 2009
He came to my shop around 10.30am. You could tell straight away that he had just been released. His face was bruised all over. His teeth were broken and he could hardly open his eyes. He was not even into politics. He was just an ordinary 18-year-old in the last year of school.
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Thousands demonstrate silently in Tehran
By: CNN, via Truthout, June 29, 2009
Watched closely by police, several thousand protesters moved slowly down a major Tehran thoroughfare Sunday in the first demonstration over the country’s disputed presidential election that authorities have allowed in days. About 5,000 people shuffled in silence down Tehran’s Shariati Street to the Ghoba mosque, where two of the opposition candidates in the June 12 election were to appear to honor a slain hero of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
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Iran dissident remembers the torture his comrades are now going through in Tehran
By: Angus McDowall, Telegraph, June 28, 2009
Kianoosh Sanjari, 26, knows from painful experience what they are going through. Now a human rights activist and blogger in Washington DC, in 2005 he was on the streets of his native Tehran protesting after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first election victory. He was picked up by security forces, and what followed was an ordeal of fear and pain – which Mr Sanjari knows many of his friends are now suffering.
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Role of women in Iran protest kindles hope
By: Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, June 28, 2009
Over the past two weeks, Marcelle George has watched with amazement as legions of Iranian women, most wearing black, full-length Islamic garments, defiantly protested Iran’s leadership. Even in her native Egypt, where some opposition to the government is permitted, most women would never dare cross that line.
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Understanding Iran: Repression 101
By: David E. Sanger, NY Times, June 27, 2009
When the rallying cry on the streets of Tehran turned from “Death to America!” to the stranger-sounding “Death to the Dictator!” there was a great temptation to conclude that the days of the mullahs were numbered. Maybe they are and maybe not; as President Obama said on Tuesday, “we don’t know yet how this thing is going to play out.”
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Iran protest effort has moved online
By: Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, San Jose Mercury News, June 27, 2009
A sharp clampdown by Iranian authorities may have quelled street protests, but the fight goes on in cyberspace. Groups of “hacktivists” – Web hackers demanding Internet freedom – say they are targeting Web pages of Iran’s leadership in response to the government’s muzzling of blogs, news outlets and other sites.
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Night raids terrorize Iran residents
By: Reuters, June 27, 2009
Iranian paramilitary Basij forces stage nightly raids in Tehran, invading private homes and beating residents in an attempt to stop protests against Iran’s disputed election, Human Rights Watch reported. “Witnesses are telling us that the Basijis are trashing entire streets and even neighborhoods as well as individual homes trying to stop the nightly rooftop protest chants,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a June 26 report.
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Global politics of “pretty” women bends coverage of Iran’s election protestors?
By: Latoya Peterson, Truthout, June 26, 2009
Images are driving the Western response to the Iranian elections. The media, hampered in their ability to report from the ground, has elected to go with citizen videos and photographs of the rising civil unrest. One early narrative that emerged, before the demonstrations against the results of the election, was of a beautiful Iranian woman, in modern clothes, wearing a loose headscarf and casting her vote.
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For US intelligence, few clues to Iran turmoil
By: Mary Louise Kelly, Truthout, June 25, 2009
Generations of Western spies have tried, and mostly failed, to decipher events in Iran. Martin Indyk was among them. Working for Australian intelligence 30 years ago, Indyk, who has since served as a U.S. diplomat, regaled a recent gathering at the Brookings Institution with his efforts to crack Iran in 1979.
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Obama denounces Iran crackdown on protesters
By: Paul Richter, LA Times, June 24, 2009
Under pressure to speak out more forcefully, President Obama on Tuesday condemned the Iranian government’s violent suppression of dissent and declared the world “appalled and outraged” by its crackdown on protesters. Despite employing his toughest language yet to criticize Iranian authorities, Obama refused to threaten any consequences and stopped short of freezing a major foreign policy goal: wooing Iran into diplomatic contacts over its nuclear program, its support of Islamic militant organizations and other contentious issues.
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AFRICA

Sudan elections delayed once again
By: Laura Heaton, Enough, July 2, 2009
Sudan’s National Electoral Commission, or NEC, this week made official what many analysts on the ground already considered a forgone conclusion: Sudan’s elections will not take place next February as scheduled, and instead have been pushed back to April 2010. Sudan’s first democratic election in 24 years — a central component of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war between the North and the South — was originally scheduled to take place no later than July 2009.
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Ethiopia: Human rights defenders call for end to legislative attack on civil society
By: Front Line, July 2, 2009
In a statement issued by the the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, human rights defenders in the region demanded that “the Ethiopian parliament should reject Draft Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and end legislative affront on independent civil society.” The Draft Proclamation, currently in front of the Ethiopian parliament contains several provisions of particular concern. If not amended, these provisions risk to give further legitimacy to recent government abuses on basic civil and political freedoms.
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Zimbabwe: Group accused of terror wins appeal to Supreme Court
By: Peta Thornycroft, VOA News, July 1, 2009
Zimbabwe’s high court Wednesday handed down a crushing blow to the government’s case against a group of Movement for Democratic Change supporters and officials. Seven people who were accused of terrorism will have their complaints referred to the Supreme Court to decide whether their constitutional rights were violated when they were allegedly abducted and tortured last year.
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Zimbabwe: Prime Minister, Mugabe clash
By: Kholwanti Nyathi and Nqobani Ndlovu, allAfrica, June 27, 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned that using the so-called Kariba Draft as the sole reference material for the country’s new supreme law will undermine the ongoing consultations in another sign of major differences in strategy with President Robert Mugabe on how to implement the long-awaited reforms. Mugabe last week told the Zanu PF National Consultative Assembly that the new constitution must be anchored on the Kariba Draft that was agreed on by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations in September 2007.
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Envoys boycott Madagascar’s independence celebrations
By: Richard Lough, Reuters, June 26, 2009
Madagascar’s new army-backed government celebrated Independence Day with military pomp on Friday but foreign envoys snubbed the ceremony. The Indian Ocean island, which gained independence from France in 1960, has been diplomatically isolated since Andry Rajoelina, 35, ousted his predecessor from office in March. Witnesses saw none of Madagascar’s accredited ambassadors at the ceremony.
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Eritrea: A nation’s tragedy
By: Selam Kidane, openDemocracy, June 24, 2009
It is rare that a country’s entire condition can be summarised in a single word. That is true of Eritrea today, however; and the word is tragic. There are many indices of this tragedy, among them Eritrea’s appalling record in hunger, poverty, human rights and freedom of the press. But the most painful is that of stolen promise.
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