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

July 7, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CRISIS IN HONDURAS

Honduras coup leaders block ousted president’s return

By: Rory Carroll, The Guardian, July 6, 2009
Coup leaders in Honduras thwarted President Manuel Zelaya’s attempted return early today by blocking an airport runway with military vehicles, forcing his plane to divert to Nicaragua. Thousands of the ousted leader’s supporters clashed with police and soldiers at the airport, leaving at least two dead and dozens injured.
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Honduras coup’s preconditions leave nothing to negotiate
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 6, 2009
One of the moments of yesterday’s unforgettable drama in Honduras that most sticks in my mind today was the press conference by illegitimate “president” Roberto Micheletti and three aides. Micheletti called for “negotiation” with the Organization of American States (OAS), and today sends a delegation to Washington in pursuit of just that. The problem is, that the precondition set by the coup government for said “negotiations” leaves nothing to negotiate.
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What the cowardly Honduras coup lost today
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 5, 2009
Sometimes the drama is of such high volume that the ways it changes the narrative go unnoticed in the exact moments that it happens. But here are some of the very significant realities that shifted today:President Manuel Zelaya Showed true courage. He emerges from today stronger, with more popular support than before, and bigger than life before the international public and media.
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Zero hour in Honduras: President’s plane approaches Tegucigalpa
By: Al Giordano, The Field, July 5, 2009
The multitude could not be held back, and hundreds of thousands of anti-coup Hondurans (Radio Globo reports 500,000) have the Toncontin International Airport flanked on both ends, as 20 minutes ago President Manuel Zelaya indicated his plane was about to enter Honduran airspace. In the minutes since, violence broke out between a group of protesters at the south end of the airport runway – shown live on Telesur and CNN – where the sound of shots fired could be heard.
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Honduran military ordered to turn back Zelaya’s jet
By: Will Weissert and Nestor Ikeda, Common Dreams, July 5, 2009
Honduras braced for confrontation Sunday as ousted President Manuel Zelaya insisted on coming home to reclaim his post, urging his supporters to mass at the airport for a showdown with the interim government in power since the army sent him into exile a week ago. The interim government said it ordered the military to prevent the landing of a plane carrying Zelaya or any unidentified plane.
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Honduran coup leaders curb civil liberties to tamp down Zelaya support
By: Rory Carroll, The Guardian, July 2, 2009
Coup leaders in Honduras have curbed civil liberties and muzzled the media to try to snuff out support for ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Congress toughened a nightly curfew with a decree prohibiting the right to free association after nightfall and passed other decrees allowing security forces to make warantless arrests and hold suspects for more than 24 hours without charge.
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Honduras new government is censoring journalists
By: Frances Robles, LA Times, July 1, 2009
At the close of the one of this week’s nightly news broadcasts, Channel 21 news anchor Indira Raudales made a plea: “We have a right to information! This can’t be happening in the 21st century!” If Raudales offered more details, viewers did not hear them: the screen briefly went to static.
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In Honduras, forces crack down on protesters
By: Alex Renderos and Tracy Wilkinson, LA Times, June 30, 2009
Honduran security forces Monday fired tear gas at angry protesters demanding the return of deposed President Manuel Zelaya, as leaders of the Western Hemisphere pressed for an end to Central America’s first military coup in 16 years. Troops in battle dress chased rock-throwing demonstrators through the downtown streets of Tegucigalpa, the capital, as a military helicopter whirred overhead.
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RESISTANCE AND REPRESSION IN IRAN

Iran frees British embassy worker, leaving one jailed

By: CNN, July 6, 2009
“We are confirming that one of our staff remains in detention,” a Foreign Office representative told CNN, declining to be named, in line with British government policy. “It remains our top priority to get all our staff freed.” A leading Iranian cleric said Friday that the remaining British embassy staffer could be tried for inciting unrest in the wake of Iran’s disputed June 12 presidential election.
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Iran’s top leader warns West of meddling
By: CBS News, July 6, 2009
Iran’s supreme leader warned Western governments on Monday of a “negative impact” on relations over what he called their meddling in Iran’s post-election riots, state television reported. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments reflect continued efforts by the regime to blame Western powers such as the U.S. and Britain – not internal anger – for unrest following the country’s disputed presidential election.
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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledges taking a bigger role in nation’s security
By: Borzou Daragahi, Chicago Tribune, July 6, 2009
The top leaders of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard publicly acknowledged they had taken over the nation’s security during the post-election unrest and warned late Sunday, in a threat against a reformist wave led by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, that there was no middle ground in the ongoing dispute over the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the elite military branch, said the guard’s takeover of the nation’s security had led to “a revival of the revolution.”
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Iran: Ahmadinejad opponents call for more protests
By: Adnkronos Politics, July 6, 2009
Political opponents of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have pledged to continue their fight against what they called his “illegitimate” regime until his resignation. According to a statement published by reformists on the website ‘Peiknet’, “history has shown that no government, that uses repression, has successfully defeated its own people.”
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Sarkozy and Brown slam Iran for detentions
By: Earth Times, July 6, 2009
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday harshly criticized the Iranian government for its arrest of British embassy workers following controversial presidential elections there. “The Iranian people deserve a better government,” Sarkozy said after talks with Brown in the French resort of Evian. The French president also expressed his country’s support for Britain and said the French were “shocked” by what he called Iran’s “attacks” on Brown’s government.
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Torture victim speaks out about Iranian interrogation
By: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, July 6, 2009
An Ahwazi Arab asylum seeker living in the UK since April [2009] has come forward to testify against the Iranian regime’s use of torture against peaceful opponents. Mr Jazayeri, 33, participated in peaceful demonstrations against the Iranian regime’s persecution of Ahwazi Arabs in April 2005 when he was first arrested. After his release he lost his job and suffered mental trauma, including depression, as well as physical problems.
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Senior Iranian clerics reject re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
By: Julian Borger, The Guardian, July 5, 2009
Deepening splits among Iran’s clergy came to the surface today , with a senior clerical group calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election “illegitimate”. The Assembly of Scholars and Researchers at Qom seminary, the centre of Shia learning in Iran, rejected the official results and called for the release of political prisoners.
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Iranians find new ways to keep protests alive
By: Dan Murphy, CS Monitor, July 5, 2009
The Iranian regime continued this weekend in its bid to paint citizens protesting the announced results of its June 12 presidential election as tools of outside powers. In spite of those efforts, however, the movement for change inside the country continues to make it very unlikely that the events of past few weeks will be remembered as the product of outside meddling. Using social networking sites like Twitter and video sites like Youtube, protesters have compiled powerful evidence of a legitimate outpouring of anger.
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Mousavi labelled “US agent” as Iran charges UK official
By: Robert Tait, Truthout, July 5, 2009
The stakes over Iran’s disputed presidential election were raised dramatically yesterday, after a powerful regime hardliner denounced Mir Hossein Mousavi as an American agent and demanded that he undergo a public trial. Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the influential Kayhan newspaper, said Mousavi had committed “terrible crimes”, including “murdering innocent people, holding riots, co-operating with foreigners and acting as America’s fifth column”, in pursuing his claims that last month’s re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was rigged.
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Iran to prosecute satellite TV contributors
By: CNN, July 5, 2009
In another move to crack down on information flowing out of Iran, the Islamic Republic’s judicial chief has ordered the prosecution of individuals “who cooperate with satellite television programming providers,” a reformist newspaper reported Sunday. “The individuals, who in any way collaborate with these networks or are entrenched in the nucleus of organizations which are active through Internet sites, must be adequately and properly subject to legal actions,” Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi said in his order.
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Iran newspaper calls for Mousavi to face trial
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, July 5, 2009
A right-wing newspaper close to Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday accused the country’s main opposition figure of being a dupe for Iran’s foreign enemies and said he should face trial. But Mir-Hossein Mousavi, defeated presidential candidate and leader of a nascent reform movement, remained unbowed. The soft-spoken but defiant former prime minister responded by releasing his most detailed account yet of what he maintains was vote-rigging and irregularities in last month’s reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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Iran official urges media crackdown
By: Al Jazeera, July 5, 2009
The head of Iran’s judiciary has called for a crackdown on television channels and websites deemed to have been criticial of the government. “The daily growth of anti-regime satellite channels and … websites needs serious measures to confront this phenomenon,” state television quoted Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi as saying on Sunday.
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Moussavi said to be planning new party after Iran vote
By: CNN, July 5, 2009
Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi plans to form a new political party aimed at reining in the power of the Islamic Republic’s leadership, a leading reformist newspaper reported Sunday. Moussavi told supporters the party will be focused on upholding “the remaining principles of the constitution,” according to Etemad-e Melli, a newspaper aligned with fellow opposition candidate Mehdi Karrubi.
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Clerical leaders defy Ayatollah on Iran election
By: Michael Slackman and Nazila Fathi, NY Times, July 4, 2009
An important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment. A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and the authority of the supreme leader.
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Iran’s leaders fear their own people most
By: Shaazka Beyerle, The Daily Star, July 3, 2009
On Monday something surprising happened in Iran. It wasn’t the Guardian Council’s certifying the results of the June 12 presidential election – the questionable victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Mir Hossein Mousavi. It was that citizens confounded the authorities with dispersed actions. According to Roozonline, rather than concentrating in one place, groups formed across Tehran – “something that government agents did not expect, and so [they] did not know how to respond …”
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Iran: Picknicking outside Evin prison
By: Sara Farhang, IPS, July 2, 2009
Outside the gates of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, hundreds wait impatiently – some with blankets spread out in the parking lot on the street below, making time for dinner. The improvised picnic area has become a second home to the families of those arrested in the massive roundups that accompanied Iran’s post-election unrest. They were jailed both before and during the authorities’ ongoing violent crackdown, which started a week after protests swelled in the wake of the Jun. 12 disputed polls.
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The archaeology of Iran’s regime
By: Mahmood Delkhasteh, openDemocracy, July 2, 2009
The uprising in Iran caught the world by surprise. The brutal, sustained crackdown after spontaneous peaceful protests; the killings, the injuries, the arrests and the Stalinist-style television confessions; the attempts to blame foreign powers for fomenting a revolt that in fact emerged from deep popular anger at injustice – all this has ripped the legitimacy from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government.
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Podcast: Roya Hakakian – An Iranian-American perspective
By: NPR, July 2, 2009
Iranian-American author, activist and filmmaker Roya Hakakian discusses political upheaval in Iran. Hakakian grew up Jewish in Tehran, an experience she recounts in her memoir Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran.
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Iran unrest shifts power dynamics
By: Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, July 2, 2009
The large-scale protests in Iran since its hotly disputed June 12 presidential election have shaken the Islamic republic’s long-standing balance of political power. For decades, hard-line members of Iran’s cleric-led government controlled the judiciary, military, intelligence and state media. But reformists also had wide public support and room to push for more moderate social and political policies.
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Iran book publisher recalls weeklong ordeal in prison
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, July 2, 2009
The young man waved a pistol at them. “I am your judge,” he said as he aimed his weapon at the faces of the prisoners, who were protesting their innocence and loudly complaining about their treatment. “If you shout again, I can shoot,” he continued. “If you are brave enough to go out on the streets to protest, you should have the guts to be brave here too.” The book publisher, who had been arrested at his office, said he was speechless.
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Mousavi declares Iran government illegitimate
By: The Independent, July 1, 2009
Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi today said the new government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was “illegitimate,” in a statement posted on his website. “It is our historical responsibility to continue our protests and not to abandon our efforts to preserve the nation’s rights,” he said, two days after Iran’s top legislative body confirmed Ahmadinejad’s election victory.
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The Iranian uprising: Green, but not velvet
By: Farid Marjai, Payvand Iran News, June 30, 2009
In reaction to the widespread discontent with the election results in Iran, reflected in large scale demonstrations and disturbances in the streets, the Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei had asked the Guardian Council to conduct a partial recount of the presidential election of June 12th. Mousavi, the challenger to President Ahmadinejad, is not satisfied with this procedure of a partial recount since it does not adequately address what he views as the election irregularities.
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Iran protests spotlight nonviolent action in Muslim societies
By: Amitabh Pal, The Progressive, June 26, 2009
Regardless of how things ultimately pan out in Iran, the protests against the election results in that country provide us yet another example of the use of nonviolent civil disobedience in the Islamic world. Indeed, defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi has invoked the name of the ultimate icon of modern pacifism-Mahatma Gandhi-in urging his followers to fight on.
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Iran: Ordinary women are extraordinary
By: Elham Gheytanchi, Anderson Cooper 360, June 25, 2009
Neda’s image and her brutal death in Tehran this past Saturday in a street protest demanding the annulment of the results of the country’s tenth presidential election has brought the role of women in this post-election crisis to light. At the forefront of these non-violent demonstrations violently suppressed by the government-backed militias (Basij) are brave Iranian women.
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AFRICA
Thousands in Niger protest President’s referendum plan
By: Nasdaq, July 6, 2009
Tens of thousands of protesters staged a demonstration in Niger Sunday opposing President Mamadou Tandja’s planned referendum to decide whether he can run for a third term. The demonstration, the third organised by the FDD since May, came two days after Tandja fixed Aug. 4 as the date for the referendum.
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African Union criticised over Bashir decision
By: Al Jazeera, July 4, 2009
The African Union’s decision not to co-operate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it ordered the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, has been heavily criticised by human rights groups. Amnesty International said on Saturday that the move showed “disdain” for the victims of violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region, where al-Bashir is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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Botswana: Parties block women candidates for upcoming elections
By: Ephraim Nsingo, allAfrica, July 3, 2009
As Botswana prepares for general elections in October, gender activists are protesting against the lack of female parliamentary candidates. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and its key opposition, Botswana National Front (BNF), have each fielded only three female candidates for the 57 contested parliamentary constituencies.
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Liberia: Truth and Reconcialition Commission finishes report
By: allAfrica, July 3, 2009
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia has finally concluded public hearings and submitted a report of its works with recommendations. The TRC has recommended that those associated with former warring factions, their leaders, political decision makers, financiers, organizers, commanders, foot soldiers shall be subject to public sanction in one form or another.
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Niger’s continuing crisis imperils democracy, Secretary-General warns
By: UN News Centre, July 2, 2009
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced deep concern about Niger’s continuing political and constitutional crisis, warning that it threatens to destabilize the country and undermine recent progress towards democratic governance and the rule of law. The recent decisions taken by the Niger Government “have made it extremely difficult for the country’s democratic institutions and the Constitutional Court to play their roles as guarantors of the rule of law,” Mr. Ban said.
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Zimbabwe Prime Minister Tsvangirai under pressure from his party over prosecutions
By: Blessing Zulu, VOA News, July 2, 2009
Faced with mounting dissatisfaction within his formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called for an urgent meeting with his partners in the country’s chronically troubled national unity government. Senior MDC officials have warned Mr. Tsvangirai that six of the party’s members of Parliament are at risk of losing their seats due to prosecutions by judicial authorities loyal to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF whom they accuse of bringing unfounded criminal charges.
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Women take up fight against landmines in Sudan
By: Mail and Guardian, June 24, 2009
“I never thought I would end up as a deminer,” Jamba Besta, the team leader, said. “All I wanted was to become a secretary, I even took the qualification, but when [this] offer came up, I took it.” Like Besta, all the deminers are women. They work in Bongo, a small community on the road from Juba to Yei in Southern Sudan, for international NGO the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) Mine Action.
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