Nonviolent Action around the World – 4 August 2009 (Part 2)

August 4, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA
Nepal: Land rights and women’s empowerment
By: Yammuna Ghale, Nepal News, August 4, 2009
Women as citizens require various forms of power for their holistic empowerment and contribution to societal, national and international development. In this process, understanding different forms of power is very crucial.
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Burma’s ruler: brutal, reclusive – and a skilled manipulator
By: Benedict Rogers, The Independent, August 3, 2009
The man behind Burma’s secret nuclear plans, Senior General Than Shwe, is one of the world’s most brutal and reclusive dictators. His regime has relentlessly suppressed pro-democracy activists, while in its long war against the ethnic minorities it has used forced labour, rape, extra-judicial killings and torture.
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China: Blame the Uighurs don’t deserve
By: James P. McGovern, Washington Post, August 3, 2009
As co-chair of the House’s Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, I am troubled by the premise of the July 25 news story “China, Uighur Groups Give Conflicting Riot Accounts.” Post reporters chose to blame, in equal proportion, both Uighur human rights leader Rebiya Kadeer and Chinese authorities for waging “an emotional global propaganda war.”
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Philippines mourns ex-president Corazon Aquino
By: Justin McCurry, Guardian, August 2, 2009
The Philippines began 10 days of national mourning today following the death of Corazon Aquino, the former Filipino president whose “people power” movement swept away the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. Aquino, who was 76, had spent more than a month in hospital after being diagnosed with advanced colon cancer last year.
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Philippines: Aquino inspired world through ‘people power’
By: Star Bulletin, August 2, 2009
Corazon Aquino, who showed the world from her Philippines that nonviolent “people power” can topple despotic rulers, remains the conscience of her country and a role model for the world. She died yesterday in Manila, but democracy will continue in the Philippines and freedom will be achievable everywhere because of her inspiration.
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Malaysian dissident pays tribute to Aquino
By: Inquirer.net, August 2, 2009
If her husband personified “Filipino courage in the face of oppression,” former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino was “every surviving victim’s desire for redemption of a cause momentarily ground into dust by brute force,” according to former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in expressing his praise for the Philippine leader who died Saturday.
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Filipinos mourn Aquino, ‘people power’ President
By: Carlos H. Conde, NY Times, August 2, 2009
Thousands of Filipinos lined up outside a Catholic school here on Sunday for a last glimpse of Corazon C. Aquino, the woman they credited with ushering in democracy nearly a quarter-century ago, ending two decades of dictatorial rule. Mrs. Aquino was president for six years after leading the movement to oust Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986.
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China: Hundreds detained after protests
By: CNN News, August 2, 2009
Hundreds of people have been detained in connection with ethnic riots in the northwest last month, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday. Police in Urumqi, the capital of China’s remote northwestern Xinjiang Autonomous Region, said they had detained 319 people in connection with the July 5 riots, according to Xinhua.
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Malaysians protest law on indefinite detention
By: LA Times, August 2, 2009
Police broke up Malaysia’s biggest protest in nearly two years Saturday, firing tear gas and chemical-laced water at thousands of opposition supporters demanding an end to a law that allows detention without trial. Witnesses estimated that as many as 20,000 people took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to rally against the Internal Security Act.
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Malaysian arrests put in question vow of rights
By: Thomas Fuller, NY Times, August 2, 2009
Soon after coming to power four months ago, Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, vowed to temper the country’s repressive laws and respect civil liberties. But over the weekend police broke up a large rally in Kuala Lumpur, arresting nearly 600 people and reaffirming the governing party’s policy of zero tolerance toward street protests.
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Burma: Suu Kyi’s trial gives rare glimpse into judicial system
By: Marwaan Macan-Markar, IPS, August 1, 2009
A political trial in Burma that could prolong its pro-democracy icon’s isolation by five more years has opened a rare window for the international community to judge the quality of justice in the military-ruled country. Many foreign envoys based in Rangoon, the former capital, have eagerly grabbed this chance.
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Corazon Aquino, ex-leader of Philippines, is dead
By: Seth Mydans, NY Times, July 31, 2009
Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines, who was swept into office on a wave of “people power” in 1986 and then faced down half a dozen coup attempts in six years as president, died Saturday in Manila, her son said. She was 76.
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Burma: Scores of supporters arrested, as court postpones verdict on Suu Kyi
By: Mungpi, Mizzima, July 31, 2009
Scores of supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party members across the country were rounded up on Thursday, on the eve of the special court in Rangoon’s Insein prison postponing the verdict of Aung San Suu Kyi to August 11. Sources said some of the arrested activists were released on Friday afternoon after the court announced the postponement.
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Burma: Six National League for Democracy members freed
By: Phanida, Mizzima, July 31, 2009
Six members of the opposition National League for Democracy were freed by authorities on Friday. On Thursday the authorities rounded up at least 30 people in a move to pre-empt anti-government protests on Friday, the day the court had earlier fixed to pronounce the verdict on the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi.
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Burma: ‘We all want democracy’
By: Radio Free Asia, July 30, 2009
In a rare interview, an active-duty sergeant in Burma’s military has expressed his frustration at the junta’s handling of the country’s affairs and said that this view is shared by many like him in the army. Experts agree that morale amongst soldiers in Burma’s army is low and may pose a threat to the military regime’s hold on power.
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China: Lawyers hail rights ruling
By: Radio Free Asia, July 30, 2009
Chinese civil rights lawyers have hailed a landmark decision by a court in central China to award the same amount of compensation to a man from a rural community as would be payable to city-dwellers. The landmark ruling is being hailed as a victory by China’s embattled civil rights lawyers, themselves frequently targeted by the authorities.
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Philippines: Interview – Tonyo Cruz on digital activism
By: Mary Joyce, DigiActive, July 30, 2009
I am in the Philippines this week with fellow DigiActivist Lynn Casper to participate in a training organized by the Computer Professionals’ Union. While here I decided to interview one of the country’s most prolific digital activists – Tonyo Cruz – and ask him about digital activism in the Philippines.
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Chinese hack film festival site
By: BBC News, July 26, 2009
Chinese hackers have attacked the website of Australia’s biggest film festival over a documentary about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer. Content on the Melbourne International Film Festival site was briefly replaced with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans on Saturday, reports said.
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TOP
 

CENTRAL ASIA
Kyrgyz President inaugurated after disputed election
By: RFE/RL, August 2, 2009
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev has been inaugurated for his second term after winning an election that the opposition dismissed as fixed. In his inaugural speech, Bakiev said that he managed to ensure peace and stability in Kyrgyzstan over the course of his first term.
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Kyrgyzstan: World Movement participant arrested
By: World Movement for Democracy, July 31, 2009
According to the Women’s Learning Partnership, World Movement participant and human rights activist Tolekan Ismailova along with three other activists was arrested yesterday while calling on the government to release 87 individuals, who have protested the contested presidential elections.
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Kazakhstan: Activists assail internet law as step back for democracy
By: Joanna Lillis, EurasiaNet, July 24, 2009
Journalists and civil rights activists in Kazakhstan have reacted with dismay to the passing of a new Internet law they say will severely restrict freedom of expression in a country set to take the helm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010. President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Internet bill on July 10.
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Kyrgyzstan: Strategic issues, not abuses, are US focus
By: Clifford J. Levy, NY Times, July 22, 2009
“You know what this is for,” Emilbek Kaptagaev recalled being told by the police officers who snatched him off the street. Mr. Kaptagaev, an opponent of Kyrgyzstan’s president, who is a vital American ally in the war in nearby Afghanistan, was found later in a field with a concussion, broken ribs and a face swollen into a mosaic of bruises.
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EUROPE
Russia: At least 47 arrested in anti-Putin demonstration
By: Monsters and Critics, July 31, 2009
At least 47 people were arrested in Moscow on Friday shortly before the start of an unauthorized demonstration against the policies of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Among the protesters arrested was opposition politician Eduard Limonov, the Interfax news agency reported.
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Russia: Riot police break up opposition rally
By: Veronica Khokhlova, Global Voices, July 31, 2009
Some 100 protesters gathered for an unsanctioned opposition rally in central Moscow on Friday. At 6 PM, hundreds of riot police broke up the rally, detaining 47 people, some of whom were said to be journalists and passerby.
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Belarus: Freed US lawyer says Lukashenka, Berezovsky colluded on his arrest
By: RFE/RL, July 7, 2009
Emanuel Zeltser is an American lawyer who late last month was released from a Belarusian jail after spending nearly a year behind bars on charges of industrial espionage. Zeltser alleges that Berezovsky maintains close personal ties with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and was able to arrange for the lawyer’s arrest.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Activists protest Israeli cosmetics company
By: One World, August 3, 2009
Bikini-clad peace activists entered cosmetic stores in Washington, D.C. last week to protest a line of Israeli beauty products made in the West Bank. The demonstration followed four others in Israel and New York over the past two months as part of the “Stolen Beauty” campaign.
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Syria’s democracy activist on moving toward peaceful revolutions
By: Anna Skibinsky, The Epoch Times, August 2, 2009
Ammar Abdulhamid’s views on modernizing Syria sound more like revolutionary solutions for most of the Arab world. Not surprisingly then, the activist, democracy spokesperson, and scholar hasn’t been allowed in his home country of Syria since 2005.
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Morocco: “I’m a 9 per cent!”
By: Hisham, Global Voices, August 2, 2009
The Moroccan government’s decision to block from circulation the August issues of two prominent magazines, Telquel and Nichane, seems to have set the Moroccan blogosphere ablaze. Both publications were about to disclose the result of a poll in which ordinary Moroccans were asked to give their assessment of 10 years of their monarch’s rule.
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Egypt: Two bloggers released and another still detained
By: Noha Atef, Global Voices, August 1, 2009
Two out of the three bloggers who were arrested on July 22, 2009 are now free. Abdel Rahman Ayyash and Magdy Saad were released after six days of arrest at Cairo airport. Meanwhile, blogger Ahmad Abu Khalil, who was arrested on the same day, is still in detention.
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Egypt: Protest group prevented from leafleting
By: Abdel-Rahman Hussein, Daily News Egypt, July 31, 2009
Members of the International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (IMORB) were prevented from disseminating pamphlets at the Rafah border crossing Thursday by security forces at the gate. IMORB has maintained a continued presence at the border since June 13 with the objective of keeping vigil until the Rafah border is permanently opened.
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Egypt’s challenge to democracy
By: John L. Esposito, Middle East Online, July 31, 2009
The arrest and continued detention of Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fattouh symbolizes a long standing problem for which governments in the region and the West bear primary responsibility. It also underscores the need to engage moderate (non-violent) political Islam – especially the cry for justice in response to Arab authoritarianism.
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Morocco: New law, but the same old men
By: Daan Bauwens, IPS, July 30, 2009
The new Moroccan family law was designed to give women equal rights in the family. But five years after its introduction, Moroccan women leaders say opposition to the law from politicians and within the judicial system persists, and the new law has not been able to change Moroccan mentality.
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OCEANIA
Maldives: Journalists at risk
By: Saffah Faroog, Global Voices, July 26, 2009
At least three journalists in the Maldives have been subjected to either physical or verbal abuse and psychological intimidation within a span of the last 10 days. The first case involved Ahmed Zahir (Hiriga), who was attacked by a mob outside the parliament building while he was covering a protest there.
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West Papua: ‘Canceling documentary screening’
By: The Jakarta Post, July 10, 2009
In what seems to be a last minute decision, Al-Jazeera English television news network decided not to premiere on Thursday a highly sensitive documentary highlighting the plight of Papuans. It also removed the film’s synopsis from the list of feature films it will broadcast, which is published on its Website.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Top three places not to go on holiday
By: Survival International, August 3, 2009
As the holiday season enters full swing, Survival International today names three destinations holidaymakers should avoid: Barefoot Resort, South Andaman Island, India, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, and ‘First contact’ expeditions, West Papua.
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Democracy-support: From recession to innovation
By: Nicholas Benequista and John Gaventa, openDemocracy, August 3, 2009
The sense that democracy is in retreat worldwide has become widespread. But the emergence of citizen-centred, governance-focused and development-oriented approaches suggests that a more complex and hopeful shift is also taking place.
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Is civil disobedience the next phase?
By: Change.org, July 31, 2009
A couple of weeks ago on Bec Hamilton’s blog, activist Tim Nonn posted a call for a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience from the Darfur movement. As I said to Tim, I find the idea provocative. However I’m still left wondering what the end goals and objectives of such a campaign are.
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Anti-corruption 2.0: What’s your say on corruption?
By: Transparency International, July 30, 2009
Elections in Iran earlier this year attracted worldwide attention after Iranians started sharing their thoughts through blogging, posting to facebook and coordinating their protests on twitter. This is just one recent example for how internet-based social media has profoundly changed the way we engage with others.
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The I-factor
By: David Hoffman, Huffington Post, July 30, 2009
From Iran to Pakistan, information access has been a key factor in most recent movements for democracy. The “I-Factor” puts authoritarian rulers in a dilemma. They want to control the information space, but they also want the benefits of participating in the global economy.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Mauritanie: Aziz – Deux putschs et une élection
By: Jeune Afrique, August 3, 2009
Vainqueur de la présidentielle contestée du 18 juillet, le général Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz s’est construit une image de « petit père du peuple » pendant les onze mois qu’il a passés à la tête de la junte. Il lui faut désormais honorer ses promesses, et vite.
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Venezuela: Trente-quatre médias audiovisuels sacrifiés
By: Reporters Sans Frontières, August 2, 2009
Reporters sans frontières proteste avec vigueur contre la fermeture massive de médias audiovisuels privés, officiellement pour “raisons administratives”. Treize stations de radio, sur un total de trente-quatre médias dont la fermeture a été décidée par le gouvernement, ont d’ores et déjà dû suspendre leurs émissions le 1er août 2009.
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Iran: Procès des manifestants à Téhéran
By: Reporters Sans Frontières, August 1, 2009
Reporters sans frontières exprime sa très profonde inquiétude devant la parodie de procès ouverte le 1er août 2009, à Téhéran, visant les “responsables” et les “participants” aux manifestations qui ont suivi la réélection contestée de Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, le 12 juin dernier.
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NOTICES

Yemen: Youth empowerment program – Camera as Voice
By: International Research & Exchanges Board, August 4, 2009
Camera as Voice is a program using film to empower youth expression and dialogue to counter extremism and radicalism in Yemen. Camera as Voice is a 12-month-long project that will lead youth in developing film projects that will explore themes of globalization, anti-Westernism, modernization, alienation and community disadvantage.
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Program contact