Nonviolent Action around the World – 8 May 2009 (Part 2)

May 8, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA

Uzbekistan: How to get rid of unwanted journalist?
By: Ferghana, May 6, 2009
The case of prominent Uzbek journalist and human rights activist Dilmurod Sayid, arrested at the end of February 2009 on suspicion of blackmailing, finally came to conclusion. Today, the case is transferred to Samarqand oblast court on criminal cases. However, the date of trial is not announced yet. The journalist already spent two months in Kattakurgan pretrial detention center. Meanwhile, the government came with new accusation articles: “Repeated or dangerous recidivism blackmailing” and “Preparation, counterfeiting of documents, stamp, seals, forms and their distribution or use”.
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Kazakhstan: State support and censorship on the internet
By: Adil Nurmakov, Global Voices, May 6, 2009
The process of creating start-up projects and interesting web-ideas has already started last year naturally, as a consequence of lowered cost of Internet access and higher speed on the intra-Kazakhstani traffic. A number of blog platforms, social networks, photo- and file hostings, citizen journalism websites and podcast portals. In recent months, the state has revealed its steadfast interest in the virtual space.
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EUROPE

Georgia frees three activists arrested in protests
By: Ellen Barry, New York Times, May 7, 2009
Georgia on Thursday released three opposition activists whose detention sparked a violent protest, saying the move was a response to an appeal by the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II. Several opposition leaders, with a crowd of around 200 supporters, climbed over barricades and tried to break into a police building on Wednesday night, demanding the prisoners’ release. Police beat them back with clubs, and about 30 people were reported injured.
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Belarusians declared hunger strike in front of European Commission’s building in Brussels
By: Charter ’97, May 7, 2009
A hunger strike of protest has been announced by activists of the Belarusian-European Association (BEZ). Activists of the Belarusian-European Association are set to hold a hunger strike in front of the building of the European Commission and the Council of Europe in Brussels. During the rally leaflets with information about indefinite hunger strike of the political prisoner Mikalay Autukhovich and a call to Europeans to show solidarity are to be distributed, Radio Svaboda informs.
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Polish police and workers clash in Warsaw
By: United Press International, April 30, 2009
At least 50 workers were injured in a clash with Warsaw police during anti-government protests against job cuts, authorities said. Three policemen were also hurt when some 5,000 workers of the Polish National Railways and several hundred shipyard workers from the Baltic Sea port of Gdansk protested against the Polish government’s economic policy, Polish Radio said Thursday. In the demonstration Wednesday, protesters burned tires and tossed firecrackers at riot police.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

anch3Iran: Movement of one thousand bloggers supports Mousavi for presidency
By: Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices, May 6, 2009
Supporters of two leading reformist presidential candidates, former prime minister Mir Hussein Mousavi and former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karroubi are using the internet, including blogs and Facebook, to beef up their chances of being selected as presidential candidates by the Guardian Council in June’s election. In this post, we look at Mousavi supporters as a first journey into Iran’s election cyber-battleground. Around 1000 bloggers have announced that they support Mir Hussein Mousavi…
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Iran: Number of journalists and bloggers arrested on May Day increases to five
By: Reporters Without Borders, May 6, 2009
Reporters Without Borders has learned with concern that two other Iranian journalists and bloggers were arrested in Tehran during the May Day demonstrations in the centre of the city on 1 May. Their arrests bring the total number of journalists and bloggers currently held in Iran to 14. Among them three women. The newly reported arrests were those of Nikzad Zangane, who keeps a blog (http://www.nik-nevesht.blogspot.com/), and Amir Yaghoubali, who writes for the daily Etemad and the website Wechange, also known as Change for Equality (http://www.4equality.info/).
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Deep disquiet over Iraq press law
By: Basim al-Shara, Hadeel Kamil, and Dhirgham Muhammed Ali, IWPR, May 6, 2009
Journalists warn proposed media legislation does little to help them hold authorities to account. A proposed law designed to protect the press may end up obstructing it because of a failure to guarantee access to information, they say. Journalists admit the planned legislation addresses some of the threats they encounter in their work. But, they say, it ignores many of the obstacles.
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Israeli activist to be jailed for caring
By: Neve Gordon, Guardian, May 6, 2009
Ezra Nawi was ridiculed and arrested for trying to protect people’s homes. His “crime” was trying to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins from Um El Hir in the South Hebron region. These Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for almost 42 years; they still live without electricity, running water and other basic services and are continuously harassed by Jewish settlers and the military.
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Iran: Court to review journalist’s conviction
By: Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post, May 6, 2009
An Iranian appeals court will review the conviction of imprisoned Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi next week, a judiciary spokesman said Tuesday. The announcement of the review came after Saberi’s family agreed not to employ a group of prominent lawyers headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.
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Palestine: Numbers game
By: Simona Weinglass, The New Republic, May 6, 2009
Though Shaheen is not a Hamas soldier, he is on the front lines of a different battle: the P.R. war that has erupted since the end of hostilities. As head of the Economic and Social Rights Unit for the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), he is one of the people behind the fatality figures beamed across the world this past winter. On March 12, the PCHR released its most recent statistics: 1,417 dead, including 926 civilians, 255 non-combatant police officers, and 236 fighters.
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Iran: Saberi ends hunger strike
By: BBC News, May 6, 2009
The jailed US-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi has ended a two-week hunger strike, her father Reza Saberi says. Roxana Saberi, 32, began eating again on Monday evening. She started the fast on 21 April to protest against an eight-year jail sentence for spying.
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Egyptian journalist experiences police state first hand at May 4 anti-Mubarak demo
By: Sarah Carr, Menassat, May 5, 2009
Egyptian activists held demonstrations on Monday, Hosni Mubarak’s birthday, to protest what they said were the Egyptian president’s failed domestic policies. Five people were arrested and 17 detained throughout the day. Journalist Sarah Carr, who had her equipment confiscated during the demonstration, has this personal account of the days protests.
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Yemen ‘curbing freedom’ of press
By: BBC News, May 5, 2009
Two media freedom campaign groups have criticised Yemen for what they say are attempts to suppress reporting about protests in the south of the country. The groups say the popular al-Ayyam newspaper has faced harassment and the confiscation of thousands of copies.
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Iran: Report on second day of widespread protest by teachers
By: Iran Human Rights Voice, May 3, 2009
On Monday, according to an announcement by the Iranian Teachers Union Center, thousands of teachers, protesting a breach of contract and presenting other demands, stayed away from their classes and entered the second day of protest.
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Palestine: Rorschach “Rachel”
By: Andrew O’Hehir, Salon, May 3, 2009
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Simone Bitton’s documentary “Rachel,” which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, is what’s not in it. Bitton, a Moroccan-born Jewish filmmaker who spent many years in Israel and now lives in France, conducts a philosophical and cinematic inquiry into the death of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old American activist who was killed under ambiguous circumstances in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip in March 2003.
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Group says Iran, Turkmenistan among ’10 worst countries to be a blogger’
By: Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, May 1, 2009
The Committee To Protect Journalists says Iran, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, and China are among the “10 worst countries to be a blogger. “In a new report, the New York-based journalism advocacy group says Myanmar, ruled by a military regime that heavily censors print and broadcast media, is the worst place in the world to be blogging.
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Syria: UN rules dissident’s detention illegal
By: Amnesty International, April 29, 2009
Syrian authorities should immediately free Dr. Kamal Labwani, a prominent political and human rights activist, following a UN finding that his detention is arbitrary and thus unlawful, a group of leading human rights organizations said today. The groups called on nations engaged in dialogue with Syria to make the release of Dr. Labwani and other activists a priority.
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Egypt after Mubarak
By: Stephen Glain, Middle East Online, April 28, 2009
Cairo is burning — in installments. It is a distinctively Egyptian joke, resonant as it is with politics, history and resignation. Last year, several of the city’s landmark buildings burned under mysterious circumstances. In August, the top floor of the Parliament’s Shura Council went up in flames as firemen, apparently short of adequate water supplies, looked on. A month later, the National Theatre was gutted. In November, thugs attacked the offices of the opposition El Ghad party with blowtorches while party members huddled inside and riot police stood by.
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OCEANIA

Maldives: President scoops up human rights award
By: Maryam Omidi, Minivan News, May 6, 2009
President Mohamed Nasheed has been awarded the Anna Lindh prize, a human rights award given in commeration of the Swedish foreign minister who was assassinated in 2003. The US$19,000 prize was awarded to Nasheed for his role in bringing democracy to the Maldives as well as his commitment to human rights and climate change.
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articlesARTICLES OF INTEREST

A protest against ‘protest chic’
By: Charlie Porter, Guardian UK, May 7, 2009
It was reported last week that Tilly Gifford from Plane Stupid has been photographed with her fellow protesters for Vogue, while newspaper supplements have written about “protest chic”, another example of fashion finding endless mileage in putting “chic” after any word to which it bears no real relation. It’s an editorial godsend: suddenly everyone has stopped spending money on luxury goods, but people are protesting – let’s write about their clothes instead.
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Religious bullying is a problem around the world
By: Walter Rogers, CS Monitor, May 7, 2009
Western civilization has become far too tolerant of religious intolerance that masquerades as freedom of religion. Young people today are taught not to be “judgmental,” but without making critical judgments, how can we curtail threats to individual liberty? And amid such intellectual tapioca learning itself becomes irrelevant.
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The political impact of new media in the middle east-A conversation with “Abu Aardvark”
By: Creig Zelizer,  May 5, 2009, Peace and Collaborative Development Network
New media technologies have reshaped political communications throughout the Middle East. Marc Lynch, widely known by his nom de blog, Abu Aardvark, looked at a variety of digital phenomena, from strikes in Egypt organized on Facebook and blogging by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to online citizen journalism in Jordan and Internet feuds in the Iraqi insurgency. Lynch assessed the significance of these phenomena and how they threaten-or tacitly support-the prevailing power structure in the Middle East.
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How technology can help human rights
By: Marcus Chan,  SF Gate, May 5, 2009
So it turns out that the popular Flip video camera is good for more than just capturing YouTube stunts or your son’s soccer game. And the virtual world of Second Life is more than a place to hook up. Try using those technologies to advance human rights. These were just a couple of examples mentioned at The Soul of the New Machine, a conference hosted by UC Berkeley to showcase how technology and new media are being used to promote justice and human rights around the world.
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The downside of friends: Facebook’s hacking problem
By: Claire Suddath, Time, May 5, 2009
You get a quick message from a friend on Facebook, click on the link and absentmindedly log in to a website pretending to be Facebook. This is what happened last week, when scammers unleashed a new attack on Facebook, collecting users’ log-in information and passwords and pilfering victims’ “friends” lists to target the next dopes.
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Study: Press freedom declining around the world
By: AFP, May 1, 2009
Press freedom declined around the world last year, deteriorating for the first time in every region, according to a study released on Thursday by Freedom House. Out of the 195 countries and territories covered in the study, 70, or 36 percent, were rated “free,” 61 (31 percent), were rated “partly free” and 64 (33 percent) were rated “not free,” the organization said. Freedom House, which is funded by the US government and private groups and has been conducting an annual study of press freedom since 1980, said that 72 countries and territories were rated free the previous year.
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noticesNOTICES

Event: Stand up, an evening of comedy for Palestine
By: The Jersusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, May 8, 2009
DC’s funniest stand up comedians (according to their Moms), live music, fundraiser for Palestinian charities. Mingle, eat and laugh for a good cause! Thursday May 21, 2009.
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Campaign: “Not for Sale” educates consumers on free labor companies
By: DigiActive, May 4, 2009
Co-founded by David Batstone and his former student, Mark Wexler, “Not for Sale” is an online campaign aimed at aiding activists against human trafficking. The campaign attempts to increase awareness of the global crimes of human trafficking and slavery, and provides a platform for finding solutions to the international crisis.  The Not for Sale Campaign “equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe.”
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Join the Peace X Peace Team: Program Director
By: Peace X Peace, deadline May 31, 2009
Peace X Peace is an international women-led organization that connects women over the internet to promote dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflict and to support actions that improve the status of women and families. We use circle principles of communication and we foster alliances with other like-minded groups. At http://www.peacexpeace.org, women share their experiences and expertise as other women connect with them across cultures for mutual benefit.
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Front Line: Small grants and fellowships
By: Front Line, May 8, 2009
Front Line has a small grants program which in 2008 awarded 142 grants worth 288,403 Euros to Human Rights Defenders at risk around the world. Grants are given to organisations working for human rights as well as to individual human rights defenders at risk. Grants are given for the specific purpose of strengthening the protection of human rights defenders at risk. Front Line has also launched an internship to provide support for the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.
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Women PeaceMakers Program
By: University of San Diego, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Made possible through a generous grant from the Fred J. Hansen Foundation, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice’s (IPJ) Women PeaceMakers Program invites four women from around the world who have been locally involved in human rights and peacemaking efforts. Women accepted into this program are seeking ways to further their peacemaking efforts in their home countries. The Women PeaceMakers Program is a selective program for leaders who want to document, share, and build upon their unique peacemaking stories.
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2009 Drivers of Change Awards
By: NGO Pulse, deadline July 10, 2009
The Southern Africa Trust invites entries for the 2009 Drivers of Change Awards, which recognise outstanding new ways of working to overcome poverty in Southern Africa.The Award has four categories of civil society, business, government and individuals. The judges will among other things look for outstanding examples of different sectors working together, particularly government, business, and civil society. In the business category, the awards encourage working with others to do responsible business.
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The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict is pleased to circulate this daily selective digest of world news related to past, present and potential nonviolent conflicts, including active civilian-based struggles against oppressive regimes, nonviolent resistance, political and social dissidence, and the use of nonviolent tactics in a variety of causes.  We also include stories that help readers glimpse the larger context of a conflict and that reflect on past historical struggles.

If you have specific items that you would like us to include in the daily digest, please send them to us.  If there is a news or information source that you believe we may not be accessing, for purposes of selecting items, please bring that to our attention. Thank you.