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

September 4, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Azerbaijan: Jail threat for donkey bloggers
By: BBC, September 2, 2009
Two bloggers from Azerbaijan are facing up to five years in jail. Shortly after the video was released, Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli were held on hooliganism charges. Their lawyer says the arrests were politically motivated. In the video, the donkey extols the benefits of living in Azerbaijan and praises the government for its positive attitude towards donkeys. The video was seen by many as a send-up of government news conferences, which critics say are often little more than propaganda events.
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Azerbaijan: Protest held against demolition of Baku mosque
By: RFERL, September 2, 2009
Police dispersed a group of demonstrators on September 1 protesting an Azerbaijani court ruling that allows for the demolition of the Fatimeyi Zehra Mosque in the capital. The protesters addressed their appeal to President Ilham Aliev, demanding an end to the demolition of mosques. One of the protesters suggested to an RFE/RL Azerbaijani Service correspondent that other mosques might be torn down in the absence of protests.
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Uzbekistan: New abuse of jailed dissident
By: UNHCR, August 27, 2009
Uzbek authorities should promptly investigate new allegations of abuse against a political prisoner, Yusuf Jumaev, and ensure that his family is permitted regular visits, Human Rights Watch said today. Jumaev’s daughter saw him on August 17, 2009, told Human Rights Watch that he was beaten by a prison guard not long before her visit.
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TOP

EUROPE
Russia: New search for Politkovskaya killer
By: Al Jazeera, September 3, 2009
The trial into the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, the Kremlin critic and journalist, has been halted by Russia’s Supreme Court and a new investigation ordered into her killing. The decision on Thursday reversed a ruling by a lower court which had rejected a request by Politkovskaya’s children for a single probe into her 2006 killing.
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Poland: There are millions of us and we want changes
By: Charter 97, September 1, 2009
On August 26, the project called “Solidarity Express” started in Krakow. The event attracted NGO activists, young politicians, students, journalists from Europe, US, South America, Iran and China. “Within the frame of the “Solidarity Express” we’d like to show people all over the world the ways the Polish people had gone to be free. Victory of the people of Poland over the communism started liberation of Europe. We believe that the memory about those events and our experience can be useful for many people seeking their way to freedom.”
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Belarus: Minsk dwellers reminded about disappeared politicians
By: Charter 97, August 31, 2009
An action dedicated to the International Day of the Disappeared was held in the capital of Belarus today. Activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” pasted leaflets about the disappeared Belarusian politicians in Minsk streets. According to We Remember Initiative and Zmitser Zavadski Foundation, about 20 people were kidnapped or died under unclear circumstances in Belarus in 1999-2000.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Lebanon: March 14 Forces lash out against attacks on judiciary
By: Daily Star, September 03, 2009
The March 14 Forces coalition on Wednesday said attacks on the judiciary and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) carry a single derogatory message. “Such attacks aim to deliver the following message: If you [Lebanese] want [to preserve] civil peace then you have to drop demands for truth and justice,” former MP Fares Soueid stated following the weekly meeting of the March 14 Forces General Secretariat. Soueid recalled that the March 14 Forces raison d’etre was to preserve Lebanon’s independence and “seek truth and justice” into the series of assassinations since 2005.
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Dalia Ziada on nonviolent action in Egypt and the Middle East
By: Dalia Ziada Blogspot, September 2, 2009
On August 30th, The Canadian CBC Radio One broadcast a log interview with me on my work for promoting nonviolent action in Egypt and the Middle East. We spoke about the challenges I faced while translating and publishing the Montgomery Story Comic Book, in early 2008. More than fifty years after its first publication, the comic has inspired another human rights organization. Earlier this year, the American Islamic Congress translated “The Montgomery Story” into Arabic with my help and distributed 2,000 copies throughout the Middle East.
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Listen to the interview…

Egypt: American blogger and activist detained, laptop confiscated
By: Ramy Raoof, Global Voices, September 2, 2009
Last night, the American activist and blogger Travis Randall, who participated in a small march supporting Gaza earlier this year, was detained by security officers for two hours upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport. Security officers gave no explanation for the detention. Furthermore, they confiscated Randall’s laptop and cell phone. Randall was told that he is not allowed into Egypt and was forced to purchase a return ticket back to London on the next morning. Now, his computer is joining other laptops that have been confiscated recently by security officers at Cairo International Airport.
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Palestine: Unite against apartheid
By: PNN, September 2, 2009
Tear down the walls in Palestine. Break the siege in Gaza. The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, its popular committees and member organizations call on activists to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza from November 9 to 16 2009.
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United for Baha’i Rights
By: Mary Joyce, DigiActive, August 31, 2009
With the decreasing cost of video recording devices and editing software, along with free and effective distribution platforms like YouTube and Daily Motion, it makes sense for causes to start experimenting with ways to put their message in short video form. Here’s another great example from the Muslim Network for Baha’i Rights, a project of Mideast Youth.
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In village, Palestinians see model for their cause
By: Ethan Bronner, NY Times, August 27, 2009
Every Friday for the past four and a half years, several hundred demonstrators – Palestinian villagers, foreign volunteers and Israeli activists – have walked in unison to the Israeli barrier separating this tiny village from the burgeoning settlement of Modiin Illit, part of which is built on the village’s land. It is one of the longest-running and best organized protest operations in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it has turned this once anonymous farming village into a symbol of Palestinian civil disobedience, a model that many supporters of the Palestinian cause would like to see spread and prosper.
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OCEANIA
Malaysia: Plight of Borneo’s Penan
By: Al Jazeera, September 3, 2009
Armed with spears and blowpipes, hundreds of indigenous tribesmen in the jungles of Borneo island have mounted a last-ditch attempt to try to save their land from logging. Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan reports from Sarawak on the Penan. They have been battling loggers since the 1980s, when large-scale industrial logging commenced in the Malaysian state. At times the Penan have faced intimidation and violent crackdowns at the hands of security forces hired by logging firms and Malaysian police.
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Fijian rivals spark election plans
By: TVNZ, September 3, 2009
Two former Fijian prime ministers have joined forces with a radical new plan to take the troubled Pacific nation to the polls next year. Once fierce political rivals, Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry have hatched a plan together that would bring current election plans forward four years earlier than planned by the military regime. Self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama overthrew Qarase’s SDL government in December 2006 and this year abrogated the constitution and set a “road map for change” that put elections back to September 2014.
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Fiji suspended from Commonwealth
By: BBC, September 1, 2009
The Commonwealth has fully suspended Fiji after it refused to bow to demands to call elections by next year. Mr Sharma said that although Cmdr Bainimarama had reaffirmed “his commitment to the principles of the Commonwealth”, he had not met the terms of the 1 September deadline.
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OCEANIA
Malaysia: Plight of Borneo’s Penan
By: Al Jazeera, September 3, 2009
Armed with spears and blowpipes, hundreds of indigenous tribesmen in the jungles of Borneo island have mounted a last-ditch attempt to try to save their land from logging. Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan reports from Sarawak on the Penan. They have been battling loggers since the 1980s, when large-scale industrial logging commenced in the Malaysian state. At times the Penan have faced intimidation and violent crackdowns at the hands of security forces hired by logging firms and Malaysian police.
Read full article…

Fijian rivals spark election plans
By: TVNZ, September 3, 2009
Two former Fijian prime ministers have joined forces with a radical new plan to take the troubled Pacific nation to the polls next year. Once fierce political rivals, Laisenia Qarase and Mahendra Chaudhry have hatched a plan together that would bring current election plans forward four years earlier than planned by the military regime. Self-appointed Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama overthrew Qarase’s SDL government in December 2006 and this year abrogated the constitution and set a “road map for change” that put elections back to September 2014.
Read full article…

Fiji suspended from Commonwealth
By: BBC, September 1, 2009
The Commonwealth has fully suspended Fiji after it refused to bow to demands to call elections by next year. Mr Sharma said that although Cmdr Bainimarama had reaffirmed “his commitment to the principles of the Commonwealth”, he had not met the terms of the 1 September deadline.
Read full article…

NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Kazakhstan: Mobilisation de la société civile en soutien à Ramazan Eserguepov
By: Repoters sans Frontiers, September 2, 2009
Le 25 août 2009, trois cents personnes se sont rassemblées à travers le pays, pour remettre des pétitions réclamant l’abandon des poursuites par le directeur du service de la sécurité nationale (KNB) contre Ramazan Eserguepov et son journal Alma Ata Info. Le 8 août 2009, le journaliste avait été condamné à trois ans de prison ferme ainsi qu’à deux ans d’interdiction de publier.
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BOOK REVIEW
“Ten Thousand Lives” by Ko Un
By: Ode Magazine, August 31, 2009
During the 1970s Ko Un devoted his energy to the struggle for freedom and democracy in his country. He became one of the leading figures in the resistance movement against Korea’s military dictatorship. He was imprisoned four times and his third interment was meant to be for life. During that ordeal he was placed in solitary confinement in total darkness. In order to honor those people who had crossed his life, he promised that should he ever come out alive, he would write a poem for each and every one of them. A change of government allowed Ko Un and other political prisoners to be released. True to his promise, he started work on Ten Thousand Lives…
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NOTICES
Guide to Twitter for activism… en Español
By: DigiActive, September 2, 2009
We are very excited to announce the translation of the DigiActive Guide to Twitter for Activism in Spanish, our first Spanish content on this site. You can download a PDF version or also download the original English version here.  We are so grateful to our (anonymous) team of volunteer translators for making this new version possible.
For more information…

Human Rights Watch, fellowships in International Human Rights
By: Craig Zelizer, PCDN, August 31, 2009
For recent graduates of law schools or graduate programs in journalism, international relations, area studies, or other relevant disciplines from universities worldwide. Human Rights Watch is inviting applications for its fellowship program. Human Rights Watch is known for its impartial and reliable human rights reporting on over 70 countries worldwide, it’s innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in affecting the policy of the US and other influential governments toward human rights abusers.
For more information…

IN PAST NEWS
Puerto Rico: Environmental politics in paradise- resistance to the selling of Vieques
By: Sherrie Baver, North American Congress on Latin America, August 21, 2009
The most notable instance of a massive and successful social protest in Puerto Rico in recent years has been on the island of Vieques between 1999 and 2003. This was a rare case in which Puerto Ricans were able to overcome their partisan divisions to end the U.S. Navy’s 60 years of training on this small, 51-square-mile island off the main island’s east coast. Part of the reason for the Vieques victory, including gaining support from some influential U.S. politicians, was that leaders framed the protest in terms of human rights, public health and environmental degradation rather than Yanqui imperialism.
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National Union of Somali Journalists launches Facebook page
By: Facebook, August 18, 2009
On August 18, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSJ) launched its own official Facebook page to defend and promote freedom of the press and rights of Somali journalists. The page features reports of the ongoing spate of violent attacks and other violations against the media in Somalia as well as statements from concerned organizations, partners and governments. The page is also championing safety of journalists and an enabling environment for a free and independent media in the country.
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