Nonviolent action around the world – 8 January 2010 (Part 2)

January 8, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Kazakhs rally in Almaty to support jailed journalists
By: RFE, January 6, 2010
A rally was held in central Almaty today in support of jailed journalists in Kazakhstan, RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service reports. The event was held under the banner “Freedom to journalists convicted for their professional activities” and marked the first anniversary of the arrest of Ramazan Esergepov, editor of the weekly newspaper “Alma-Ata Info,” who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 for publishing classified documents.
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SOUTHEAST ASIA
Burmese journalist imprisoned
By: Terry Evans, Scoop, January 7, 2010
A Burmese freelance video reporter has been handed a 20-year prison sentence, bringing to 13 the number of imprisoned journalists and bloggers in Burma today. Hla Hla Win was first arrested on 11 September 2009. In October she received a seven-year sentence for possessing an illegally imported motorcycle. When the junta learned she was associated with an exiled news organisation, she was charged and found guilty of violating the Electronics Act, which prohibits the transmission of information critical of the military regime via the Internet. On 31 December 2009, Hla Hla Win had 20 years added to her original seven-year sentence.
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Burmese whistle-blowers sentenced to death
By: BBC News, January 7, 2010
Two Burmese officials have been sentenced to death for leaking details of secret government visits to North Korea and Russia, the BBC has learned. The officials were also found guilty of leaking information about military tunnels allegedly built in Burma by North Korea, a source in Burma said. A third person was jailed for 15 years, the source added.
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Burma must win ‘second independence’
By: Democratic Voice of Burma, January 5, 2010
Independence Day was marked by the opposition in Burma yesterday with calls for strength and unity in the “struggle to win the second independence” from military rule, an opposition politician said. Around 1500 people, including foreign envoys and ethnic leaders, gathered at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, the official opposition to the country’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), in Rangoon to mark the 62nd anniversary of independence from British rule.
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Burma: Army men edit ethnic Kachin newspaper
By: Phanida, Mizzima, January 6, 2010
This year the Burmese Army is editing the ‘JingHpaw Mungdaw Nsen’ newspaper published annually in ethnic Kachin language. The newspaper published by the ‘Manaw’ festival organizing committee commemorating Kachin State Day is now submitting all news, articles to the army under the Northern Command headquarters for editing once it is translated into Burmese language.
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Planting seeds of change for Myanmar
By: Nalea J. Ko, Pacific Citizen, January 6, 2010
Activists worldwide are using new technology and social networking sites to spread the word about the need for political change in Myanmar. Activists in Sydney, Australia hope a project to plant sunflowers worldwide will help nurture an open dialogue about the injustices in Myanmar. The founders of the nonprofit project “Sunflower For Suu” started planting sunflower seeds in late 2009 in community gardens, parks, near highways and in train yards. Bright sunflower beds scattered across Sydney soon captured the attention of the local media.
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EAST ASIA
Hong Kong:  Chinese official asks for protests to be peaceful
By: Straits Times, January 7, 2010
China’s top official in Hong Kong made a rare appeal for pro-democracy protests to remain peaceful as a politician close to the central government warned it will send in troops if the demonstrations get out of hand, a report said on Thursday. The remarks were made after thousands of people took to the streets on New Year’s Day to call for universal suffrage and for the release of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
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Vaclav Havel protests jailing of Chinese dissident
By: CNN, January 7, 2010
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel showed up at the Chinese Embassy in Prague Wednesday to protest the imprisonment of a Chinese dissident, the official Czech News Agency reported. Havel, himself a former dissident jailed by his country’s Communist regime in the 1970s and 1980s, was criticizing the 11-year prison sentence imposed on Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
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China:  China reportedly sends crowd-control armored vehicles to Iran
By: Persian to English’s Blog, January 6, 2010
Finally, with the arrival of the first shipment of armoured vehicles, China has officially joined in to repress the Iranian people, most likely to prevent the downfall of the “Supreme Leadership” and its own illegitimate interests in the region.
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Liu Xiaobo’s case shows harsh Chinese sentencing trend for freedom of expression
By: Sarah Cook, Jurist, January 5, 2010
When Chinese democracy activist and author Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison last week, many around the world appeared stunned by the length of his sentence and absence of due process rights. Such harsh punishment for offering rational, constructive criticism of the government seems more compatible with Soviet times or Burma’s ruling junta than the modernized economic world power that China has become.
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China: Writers rally for Liu Xiaobo
By: The Daily Beast, January 4, 2010
On New Year’s Eve, Don DeLillo, Edward Albee, A.M. Homes, and others gathered to demand the release of Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison. Read full article and watch the video…
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China: Xinjiang bans separatist talk
By: RFA, January 4, 2010
Legislators in China’s troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have passed a new “ethnic unity” law banning pro-independence speech and writings, following last year’s deadly ethnic violence between minority Uyghurs and Han Chinese. The “Law on Education for Ethnic Unity in Xinjiang” was voted into law by regional legislators last week, and will take effect from Feb. 1.
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China: Jailed dissident appeals
By: RFA, January 4, 2010
Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has appealed his subversion conviction, according to one of his defense lawyers. Liu, 54, met with two of his attorneys in a detention center in Beijing, informing them that he had filed an appeal against his conviction Dec. 29. One of the lawyers, Mo Shaoping, released a statement from Liu, who maintained his innocence.
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OCEANIA
Three books on Papua to be banned
By: Free West Papua, January 6, 2010
The Indonesian government still thinks it is necessary to ban books considered dangerous to the nation’s unity. Certain books could form the wrong collective conscious and trigger a separatist time bomb. “We do not want to see Indonesia separated,” said the Head of Research and Development of the Justice and Human Rights Department Hafid Abbas in his office yesterday. He deemed that separatists know the hardship of armed resistance so they chose to do their campaign through publications.
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AFRICA
Bus strike chaos in Kenya
By: Xan Rice, The Guardian, January 5, 2010
Owners of “matatus”, which serve as the main form of public transport in Kenya, say they were protesting harassment and extortion by police officers. Millions of Kenyans were forced to find different and occasionally dangerous ways of getting to work and school – including hanging on to the sides of trains – during a second day of strikes by commuter minibuses.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
GFI releases “New Haven Declaration” as a step forward in the fight for human rights
By: Monique Perry Danziger, Global Financial Integrity, January 7, 2010
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) released today a statement-dubbed the New Haven Declaration-which debuts a new partnership between humans rights and financial transparency advocacy groups. Today’s announcement follows a meeting of prominent human rights and financial transparency organizations at Yale University in early December, 2009. The groups discussed the link between illicit financial practices, secrecy in global finance and their adverse impact on human rights.
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How the mobile internet could change everything
By: Luke Allnutt, RFE, January 6, 2010
While the defining technological shifts of the 2000s were the ubiquity of mobile phones and the growth of the Internet, in the next decade these two trends will converge: the rise and rise of the mobile Internet. It is a shift that will present great opportunities for prosperity and democratization, but also grave possibilities for tyrants and extremists.
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Ten tactics rights activists can use
By: Mary Joyce, Information Activism, January 4, 2010
Tactical Technology Collective is the premiere international training organization for rights activists interested in using information and digital technology to create positive change. They have recently released a film that beautifully presents 10 key tactics in info-activism.
Watch the video…

Ten tactics for turning information into action
By: Tactical Technology Collective, January 2010
Following are two case studies on exploring how rights activists use information and digital technology to create positive change. These tactic provides original and artful ways for rights advocates to capture attention and communicate a cause.
Tactic 1 Case Study…
Tactic 2 Case Study…

 

NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Reprise du procès de la militante islamiste Nadia Yassine, maintes fois reporté
By: France 24, January 7, 2010
L’affaire Nadia Yassine débute le 2 juin 2005, à la suite d’un entretien accordé à l’hebdomadaire marocain “Al-Ousbouiya al-jadida”. Dans cette interview, elle exprime clairement ses positions concernant la monarchie et le système de gouvernance du Maroc. Elle déclare préférer “la république à la monarchie”, cette dernière “ne [convenant] pas aux Marocains”, avant d’ajouter que “les jours de la monarchie sont comptés” dans le pays. Poursuivie pour “atteinte à la monarchie”, son procès débute le 28 juin 2005. À peine ouvert, il est immédiatement reporté. À son arrivée au tribunal, quelque 300 militants sont là pour lui manifester leur solidarité, de même que les télévisions du monde entier, venues couvrir l’événement.
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Un vidéaste tibétain condamné à six ans de prison
By: RSF, January 6, 2010
“A l’issue d’un procès marqué par les violations des droits de la défense, un vidéaste autodidacte, dont la seule intention était de recueillir des témoignages de Tibétains, a été condamné à une longue peine de prison. Ce verdict est indigne de la Chine”, a affirmé Reporters sans frontières. “Nous demandons aux autorités judiciaires de permettre à Dhondup Wangchen de faire appel, afin qu’il puisse bénéficier d’un nouveau procès juste et équitable, avec notamment la présence d’un avocat de son choix et d’observateurs internationaux”, a ajouté l’organisation.
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Une collaboratrice de la Democratic Voice of Burma condamnée à vingt ans de prison : un “verdict effrayant”
By: RSF, January 5, 2010
“En cette année électorale, on espérait une ouverture et des gestes de clémence de la part de la junte militaire, mais cette condamnation extrêmement lourde d’une jeune vidéaste Hla Hla Win et les récents propos menaçants du chef de la junte laissent peu d’espoir que les élections seront libres. Nous sommes indignés par cette peine de vingt ans de prison infligée à une femme de 25 ans”, ont affirmé Reporters sans frontières et la Burma Media Association.
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BOOK REVIEW
SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa
By: Sokari Ekine, The Progressive Pan-African Publisher, January 2010
SMS Uprising provides a unique insight into how activists and social change advocates are addressing Africa’s many challenges from within, and how they are using mobile telephone technologies to facilitate these changes. This collection of essays by those engaged in using mobile phone technologies for social change provides an analysis of the socio-economic, political and media contexts faced by activists in Africa today.
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A Thousand Suns
By: Link TV, January 2010
A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.
Watch the video…

 

NOTICES
Ethiopia: Conference to ask what future might hold
By: UNPO, January 6, 2010
The Oromo-American Citizens Council will convene on 13 March 2010 its fourth international conference looking at human rights and democracy for Oromo.
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IN PAST NEWS
Egypt:  Bloggers name and shame torturers
By: Cam McGrath, IPS, December 21, 2010
People might expect fresh-faced Noha Atef to spend a lot of time writing blogs and perusing social networking sites, but they are often surprised by the content of her posts and tweets. The 25-year-old Egyptian journalist uses the Internet to expose police abuse and torture in her home country. Atef’s blog, ‘Torture in Egypt’, is the most comprehensive site of its kind in the Middle East, with reports, photos, video clips and a library of articles aimed at exposing the brutality of Egypt’s police and security forces.
Read full article…

Gandhi and the new popular movemenets in Europe
By: Tord Björk and Marko Ulvila, Demokratiafoorumi, April 15, 2008
In this paper the authors discuss the impacts  of Gandhi and other Indian thinkers and actors on new popular movements in Europe. Through particular case studies of personalities and movements they show how some
of the key actors in the European movements have been in direct or indirect contact with Gandhi or his followers, and how this contact has shaped their thinking and had lasting impacts on the movements.
Read full article…

 

SPECIAL NOTE
ICNC was one of the 60 international educational or policy organizations cited in recent news articles listed above, as having been “banned” or “blacklisted” by the Iranian regime – which has alleged that these groups are “overthrowing organizations” that have engaged in a “soft invasion” or “soft war” against the Iranian state and have incited “post-election unrest.”  None of these claims is true about ICNC, which is an educational foundation that provides knowledge – in the form of books, articles, videos and workshop content – about the use of nonviolent resistance in campaigns for rights, self-rule, justice and democracy.  Iranians as well as people from more than 80 other countries have requested and obtained this information, which the Iranian regime has made a criminal offense.  Any regime which criminalizes the receipt of educational information indicts its own motives, rather than the motives of groups providing that information.