Nonviolent Action around the World – 7 August 2009 (Part 1)

August 7, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN

Iran: TV blackout and boycott mar Ahmadinejad’s swearing-in
By: Katherine Butler, The Independent, August 6, 2009
The man who is now formally Iran’s President for the next four years cut an isolated figure as he took his oath of office yesterday. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term at a ceremony boycotted by scores of parliamentarians, leading clerics and other important figures.
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Iran: Families of detainees angered, bewildered
By: Nazanin Jahani, Mianeh, August 6, 2009
In the street outside Evin Prison, a girl of about 23 is crying loudly and cursing the officials behind the window who are refusing to let her see her brother, who has been held for more than a month. “They have broken his ribs. His fingers are crooked. Is anybody in there to hear us?” she cried.
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For my friends in jail in Iran
By: Hossein Shahidi, Al Jazeera, August 6, 2009
My friends Jila Baniyaghoob and Bahman Ahmadi-Amouee have spent more than 45 days in Tehran’s Evin prison – without charge. They are being held where ‘security’ or political prisoners are kept. They are among some 30 Iranian journalists jailed following protests against the June 12 elections.
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More protests as Iran’s leader takes the oath
By: Robert Tait, The Age, August 6, 2009
Ahmadinejad was sworn in as Iranian President yesterday as riot police broke up protests over an election that triggered the worst turmoil in the Islamic republic’s history. Prominent opposition leaders were absent from the ceremony, while outside riot police and volunteer militiamen used pepper gas against demonstrators.
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Iran: Challenges ahead for Ahmadinejad
By: Massoumeh Torfeh, Guardian, August 6, 2009
Ahmadinejad’s position is increasingly challenging. According to the constitution he has to present his cabinet to the parliament two weeks after being sworn in. Yet only last week he caused a serious crisis just by mentioning his choice of vice-president, Esfandyar Rahim Mashaei.
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Iran: Cartoonists plan to boycott Tehran competition
By: Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices, August 5, 2009
According to Nik Kowsar, a leading Iranian political cartoonist, many of his colleagues have decided to boycott the Ninth Tehran International Cartoon Biennial, scheduled for late October. The boycott is a reaction to the government’s post-election actions.
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Iran militia members exposed by blogger
By: Frederik Pleitgen, CNN News, August 5, 2009
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi sits at his computer clicking back and forth between the Web and the photos of demonstrations in Iran for hours. Ebrahimi says he knows many of those who are now beating up demonstrators in Iran because he used to be one of them.
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Iran’s opposition will keep up government protest: Karoubi
By: Reuters, August 4, 2009
Defeated Iranian presidential candidates Mehdi Karoubi and Mirhossein Mousavi will keep up protests against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Karoubi was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Karoubi has been vocal in his complaints of irregularities in the the disputed June 12 election process.
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OneWorld partner detained in Iran
By: One World, August 4, 2009
New America Media correspondent Shane Bauer is among three Americans detained over the weekend along the Iranian-Iraq border, along with his girlfriend Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal. Bauer, 27, had filed more than two dozen stories for NAM from Syria and was in Northern Iraq to cover the Kurdish elections.
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Iran media: Former editor, Moussavi supporter arrested
By: CNN News, August 4, 2009
The former editor of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) was arrested Tuesday. Mir Hamid Hassanzadeh, who now is an advisor to the general manager of ISNA, was involved in Moussavi’s reformist presidential campaign and the candidate’s Web site.
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Iran: Is the regime “self-destructing”?
By: Michael Allen, Democracy Digest, July 28, 2009
Divisions amongst Iran’s hardline leadership are casting doubt on the credibility of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s new government. Due to be sworn in by parliament next week, Ahmadinejad has alienated key conservative allies and incurred the wrath of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
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CRISIS IN HONDURAS


Toppling a coup, part I: Dilemmas for the Honduran regime
By: Al Giordano, The Field, August 7, 2009
Last Saturday, at a public meeting in Tegucigalpa, more than one hundred participants in the Honduran civil resistance and some of its known leaders came out to speak with Ivan Marovich, the Serbian resistance veteran who had been invited by anti-coup organizations to share his experiences.
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Honduras’ freedom of speech under attack: UN
By: Mathaba, August 6, 2009
Honduras’ interim government was accused by the UN of limiting freedom of speech in order to silence opposition. UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression told Radio Globo that the interim government was “a dictatorial government which is closing the spaces of the democracy.”
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Honduras: Support slipping for Zelaya ouster
By: Alexandra Olson, Boston Globe, August 6, 2009
A leading candidate for the Honduras presidency distanced himself yesterday from the overthrow of Manuel Zelaya and said sending him abroad was a mistake. The comments by Elvin Santos add to cracks in the once-solid backing among the country’s power structure for the June 28 removal of Zelaya
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Honduran coup shows business elite still in charge
By: Morgan Lee and Alexandra Olson, AP, August 6, 2009
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup after betraying his own kind: a small clique of families that dominates the economy. Now those same families stand as the greatest obstacle to the U.S.-backed drive to return him to power.
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Honduras: Zelaya calls for new international laws against coups, slams US
By: Alexander Manda, China View, August 5, 2009
The ousted Honduran President called for new international laws specifically applying to coups and slammed what he called “lukewarm” U.S. pressure against the interim Honduran government. He said that coups should be treated as a crime against humanity because they violate citizens’ right to vote.
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Police clash with Honduran students
By: BBC News, August 5, 2009
Honduran police clashed with supporters of ousted leader Manuel Zelaya in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa on Wednesday. Police used tear gas and a water cannon to disperse about 300 to 400 students protesting near the city’s university.
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Radio Globo Defies New Military Tribunal Order to Close Its 15 Stations
By: Al Giordano, The Field, August 4, 2009
Repression has also been on the rise here in the country’s second largest city, and so has the resistance. Yesterday, Monday, August 3, as a peaceful caravan headed to protest outside the Honduran Arab Club where coup “president” Roberto Micheletti would address business leaders, National Police violently intercepted the participants, arresting at least 24 and wounding at least 47 men, women, children and seniors.
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AFRICA

Zimbabwe: ZINASU President and 14 students arrested
By: Violet Gonda, SW Radio News, August 5, 2009
The Zimbabwe National Students Union reports that 14 students from the University of Zimbabwe including ZINASU President Clever Bere were arrested at the campus. The students were arrested while holding a meeting with their union representatives.
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Zambia: NGO bill still inspires no confidence
By: Kelvin Kachingwe, All Africa, August 4, 2009
As the Zambian parliament resumes, civil society organisations have come out strongly to oppose the NGO Bill, which seeks to regulate their operations. One of the most contentious issues is the proposal to give the minister discretionary powers to accept or reject nominations for NGO boards.
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South Africa: Will Zuma administration open its ears to the streets?
By: Jane Duncan, August 4, Business Day
In the past few weeks, a wave of protest action has swept South Africa. From workers protesting about poor working conditions at 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums, to residents protesting about poor service delivery, the scenes of protest are strongly reminiscent of the Thabo Mbeki era.
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AMERICAS

Venezuelan Congress rules out new special ruling powers for Chávez
By: Alicia De La Rosa, El Universal, August 6, 2009
After President Hugo Chávez suggested the National Assembly to grant him new special ruling powers, the Speaker of the Assembly said that the parliament is not considering such possibility “right now.” However, she did not rule it out, because these powers “are provided for under the Constitution.”
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Cuba: Detention and harassment of labor activists
By: Cuba Study Group, August 5, 2009
Cuban independent labor activists were unjustly detained, interrogated and harassed as a result of their participation in the original documentary “Under Cuban Skies: Workers and their Rights.” “These repressive tactics are unjust and unwarranted,” said the Cuba Study Group.
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Cuban media makes unusual mention of ’94 protest
By: Will Weissert, Washington Post, August 5, 2009
Cuba’s Communist Party newspaper Granma published a front-page story Wednesday marking the 15th anniversary of street protests that Fidel Castro himself had to quell, an unusual public reference to one of the few serious internal threats to his nearly half-century of rule.
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Chavez condemns attack on TV station
By: Fabiola Sanchez, Tri Valley Central, August 5, 2009
President Hugo Chavez condemned an attack on an opposition-aligned TV station that he has threatened with closure, announcing that one of his radical supporters was detained for allegedly taking part. Chavez called the attack “counterrevolutionary, anarchist and an attempt against peace.”
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Venezuelan journalists: Top prosecutor must resign
By: Rachel Jones, Miami Herald, August 5, 2009
Venezuela’s journalist association urged the nation’s top prosecutor to resign Wednesday for proposing legislation to punish yet-to-be defined “media crimes.” “We’re asking her to resign, because the person meant to defend the law can’t propose a law that is fundamentally unconstitutional.”
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Deteriorated freedom of expression in Venezuela
By: El Universal, August 4, 2009
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) voiced concern about the deterioration of freedom of expression in Venezuela. “The IACHR has observed a gradual deterioration and restriction on the exercise of this right in Venezuela, as well as a rising intolerance of critical expression.”
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US: GI resistance under the radar
By: Sarah Lazare, Truthout, August 3, 2009
What do you do if you are a soldier being asked to fight a war you do not believe in? For two former soldiers whose unit was ordered to deploy to Iraq in April 2005, the answer came in the form of work slowdowns, letter-writing campaigns, and one-on-one organizing with fellow soldiers.
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Venezuela: The proposed media crimes law
By: Luis Carlos Diaz, Global Voices, August 3, 2009
The Attorney General of Venezuela presented a proposal for the “Law Against Media Crimes” on July 30 that some bloggers and journalists say seriously threaten freedom of expression in the country. The media has often been in the center of the battlefield during the country’s political conflicts.
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CENTRAL ASIA

Azerbaijan: Third youth activist arrested
By: EurasiaNet, August 5, 2009
The detention of a third Azerbaijani youth activist is stoking speculation that President Ilham Aliyev’s administration is mounting a campaign to intimidate politically active young people. Shakiroglu is a friend of Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade, two other youth activists who have been held since early July.
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The Turkmenbashi won the election in Kyrgyzstan
By: Ferghana, August 3, 2009
Common sense and self-respect forgotten, candidate for President Kurmanbek Bakiyev gratefully accepted the outrageous outcome of the election. Judging by these results, Bakiyev performed better in the election than presidents Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Alexander Lukashenko, and Emomali Rakhmon had ever done.
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TOP

 

EUROPE

New trial opens for murdered Russian journalist
By: Michael Sefanov, CNN News, August 5, 2009
Three men went on trial Wednesday in connection with the killing of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Ibragim and Djabrail Makhmudov, who are brothers, and former interior ministry officer Sergei Khadjikurbanov, are not accused of killing Politkovskaya themselves, but being accomplices.
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Russia: Kremlin seeks to close Euro option for human rights activists
By: Democracy Digest, July 27, 2009
Russian victims of human rights abuses have in many cases only been able to secure redress at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Now the Kremlin is planning a new law requiring victims to seek compensation within the Russian judicial system.
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