Nonviolent Action around the World – 9 June 2009 (Part 2)

June 9, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA

Opposition journalist severely beaten in Kyrgyzstan
By: RFE/RL, June 8, 2009
A Kyrgyz journalist who wrote for an opposition periodical was severely beaten on June 5, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports. Abduvakhab Moniev, 34, of the opposition “Achyk sayasat” (Open Politics) weekly was hospitalized with multiple injures and bruises after unknown assailants attacked him in Bishkek on June 5. The newspaper’s deputy editor in chief, Ryskeldi Mombekov, told RFE/RL that the attack was connected to Moniev’s work.
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The great wall: The government of Uzbekistan to take total control over internet
By: Daniil Kislov, Ferghana, June 5, 2009
During the last four-five years the government of Uzbekistan has been strictly blocking the access of its citizens to “unwanted” web-sites. The target of prohibition is mostly independent political and opposition mass media. Such web-sites as Ferghana.Ru as well as many separate publications of other Russian internet agencies, telling the truth about life in the republic, were blocked long ago. It seems that Tashkent wants to take complete control over the Internet.
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TOP

 

EUROPE

Protests against Putin sweep Russia as factories go broke
By: Luke Harding, The Guardian, June 7, 2009
Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, is facing the most sustained and serious grassroots protests against his leadership for almost a decade, with demonstrations that began in the far east now spreading rapidly across provincial Russia. Over the past five months car drivers in the towns of Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, on Russia’s Pacific coast, have staged a series of largely unreported rallies, following a Kremlin decision in December to raise import duties on secondhand Japanese cars.
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Georgia: Opposition says not to give up street protests
By: Civil Georgia, June 6, 2009
Opposition is now considering “a new tactic” of protests, which will be announced in “next few days,” Levan Gachechiladze, an opposition political, said after meeting with a group of foreign diplomats accredited in Tbilisi. “We told [the ambassadors] that the ongoing protests will not slow down, until the crisis is resolved in Georgia, until our key demand is not achieved – Saakashvili’s resignation,” he told reporters after the meeting.
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Russian rights group protests arrest of prisoner rights activist
By: Peter Fedynsky, VOA News, June 5, 2009
A group of well-known Russian human rights activists recently issued a public statement protesting the arrest of Alexei Sokolov, a civic activist in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. As a vocal defender of prisoner rights in Russia, Sokolov has exposed inhuman beatings and harsh living conditions in the country’s detention facilities. Recently, Sokolov was arrested on charges of armed robbery and faces 15 years in the prison system he has sought to reform.
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Russian human rights activist seeks asylum in Finland
By: MosNews, May 30, 2009
Yelena Maglevannaya, Russian journalist working for the Volgograd-based newspaper Svobodnoe Slovo (Free Speech), has applied for political asylum in Finland, Russian website Lenta.ru reports. Collaborating with several human rights organisations in Russia, she has particularly focused on cases of persecution against Chechens. Maglevannaya has become the target of persecution herself after revealing facts about torture in Russian prisons.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

Saudi Arabia’s first female minister needs permission to appear on TV
By: Mail Online, June 8, 2009
Saudi Arabia may have nominated its first ever woman cabinet minister – but she cannot appear on television without permission, it has been revealed. Noura al-Faiz’s appointment in February as deputy minister for women’s education was hailed as a huge step for the integration of women in conservative Saudi Arabia, where a puritanical form of Islam bans women from driving, voting and mixing with unrelated men.
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Israel: A response to the proposal to ban commemoration of the Nakba on independence day
By: Eitan Bronstein, Transcend Media Service, June 8, 2009
The proposal to legally bar the commemoration of the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day reflects growing trepidation in Israel about the inevitable encounter with the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding that the Nakba is a foundational part of Israeli identity. Until recently, the threat of exposing the Nakba was barely felt. There was no need to fight this repressed demon, which might suddenly reveal itself and disrupt the seeming calm of a harmonious Jewish democracy.
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Israel: Jewish town in Galilee demands “loyalty oath”
By: Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice, June 8, 2009
A community in northern Israel has changed its bylaws to demand that new residents pledge support for “Zionism, Jewish heritage and settlement of the land” in a thinly veiled attempt to block Arab applicants from gaining admission. Critics are calling the bylaw, adopted by Manof, home to 170 Jewish families in Galilee, a local “loyalty oath” similar to a national scheme recently proposed by the far-Right party of the government minister Avigdor Lieberman.
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Iran’s ‘macaca’ moment?
By: Nasser Karimi, Huffington Post, June 8, 2009
Supporters of Iran’s main pro-reform presidential candidate formed a human chain that stretched nearly the entire length of Tehran on Monday in their biggest display of political might, sending a powerful challenge to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s backers as both sides poured into the streets in the final days of the race. The showdown atmosphere reflects the increasingly bitter tone between Ahmadinejad and his main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, in the campaign blitz before Friday’s vote.
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Iran: Youth may be challenge for Ahmadinejad in poll
By: Zahra Hosseinian, Washington Post, June 8, 2009
The young Iranians cruising noisily around upscale northern Tehran in cars plastered with election posters have only one thing on their minds: denying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term. Millions of reform-minded Iranians stayed away from the polls in 2005, disillusioned by how hardliners had stymied former President Mohammad Khatami’s liberal initiatives. Ahmadinejad’s political fate may well hang on how many of those jaded voters turn out on June 12 — if only to thwart him.
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Iranian president’s rival says supporters targeted
By: USA Today, June 7, 2009
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s main reformist challenger said Sunday that the Iranian president has made false accusations against his supporters to try to sabotage his campaign with just days to go before Friday’s presidential election. Former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi wrote a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accusing Ahmadinejad and his supporters of taking unethical steps against his campaign.
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Egypt: Islamist urges al Qaeda to open up to Obama’s offer
By: Yahoo! News, June 6, 2009
Essam Derbala, a member of the leadership council of Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiya, or Islamic Group, made the appeal after President Barack Obama said in Cairo Thursday he wanted a “new beginning” in ties between Washington and the Muslim world. “I call on the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan and al Qaeda to look at this solution and put the American side to a real test of the extent of its sincerity in achieving peace with the Muslim world,” Derbala told Reuters.
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Palestinian protester killed in West Bank
By: Richard Boudreaux and Maher Abukhater, LA Times, June 6, 2009
An Israeli border police officer shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a teenage boy Friday during a violent demonstration against Israel’s installation of a barrier in the West Bank. The clash underscored the intensity of the conflict a day after President Obama, in a landmark address to the Muslim world, voiced sympathy with Palestinians for “the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation” but also admonished them to renounce violence in their struggle for an independent state.
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Palestine: Resistance in Gaza
By: Jordan Flaherty, Dissident Voice, June 6, 2009
A charismatic literature major named Ayman Meghames is a minor celebrity in Gaza City. Part of Gaza’s first Hip-Hop group – named PR: Palestinian Rapperz – Ayman dedicates his time to supporting and publicizing Gaza’s young music scene. For Ayman, making music is a form of resistance to war and occupation, and also a tool to communicate the reality of life in Palestine.
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Lebanese media freedom declines, management “opaque” on operations
By: Magda Abu-Fadil, Huffington Post, June 6, 2009
Lebanese media, long considered the Arab world’s trailblazers, have declined in terms of freedom and balanced coverage, with management reluctant to reveal details about inner workings and operations — a marked setback on the eve of a key legislative election. According to the National Observatory of the Freedom of Opinion and Expression’s 2008 report, many Lebanese journalists feel objectivity is a rarity, freedom is in short supply, and harassment they face on and off the job is increasing, for lack of union protection.
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Israel: Nonviolent resistance in southern Bethlehem undeterred despite harassment and arrest
By: PNN, June 6, 2009
The occupying Israeli administration released from prison on Friday a leader of the local nonviolent Palestinian resistance. Mohammad Briggia was violently arrested six weeks ago during the weekly demonstration against the Wall and settlements in the southern West Bank villages, namely Al Ma’sara and Umm Salamuna. He was fined 25,000 shekels in order to obtain release but must still go to military court along with four other residents who protest weekly in the area nonviolent demonstrations.
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Israeli forces kill Palestinian demonstrator in Ni’lin
By: PalSolidarity, June 5, 2009
The Israeli army shot Yousef Akil Srour, aged 36 years in the chest with 0.22 caliber live ammunition. He was dead upon arrival to Ramallah Hospital. Yousef Akil Srour is the 5th Palestinian to be killed by the Israeli army in Ni’lin during a demonstration against the theft of his land for the construction of the Annexation Wall. Israeli forces shot Mohammad Mouslah Mousa, aged 15 years, in the lower chest shortly before shooting Srour.
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Syria: A meeting in Damascus
By: Joe Klein, TIME, June 4, 2009
About an hour after Barack Obama’s excellent Cairo speech, I met with Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, at his office here to talk about the speech and the Israel-Palestine conflict. We spoke for several hours. Meshal speaks some English, but he feels more comfortable using an interpreter. He listened to my questions in English, asking occasionally for translation of a word or phrase, and gave his answers in Arabic. He never raised his voice or used militant language, but he never yielded on his basic position either.
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Iran: “Ahmadinejad’s Uncertain Future”
By: Project on Middle East Democracy, June 4, 2009
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace held a symposium on Iran’s upcoming presidential elections, the first round of which is scheduled for the 12th of this month. Speaking at the symposium were Robin Wright of the Wilson Center and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment. Haleh Esfandiari of the Wilson Center moderated.
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Iran’s Ebadi says election may help human rights
By: Fredrik Dahl, Reuters, June 4, 2009
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi says Iran’s human rights situation has worsened under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but that moderate rivals in this month’s election offer hope for improvement. Ebadi said the number of arrests of student, labour and women’s rights activists had increased over the past four years and also that more convicted criminals were being executed, including juvenile offenders.
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Iran: Young woman commits suicide in prison after torture
By: Iran Focus, June 4, 2009
A female prisoner has committed suicide to escape “unbearable torture” by prison guards, according to reports from Ward 7 of Gohardasht Prison. Mahnaz Akbar Tehrani, 22, was initially taken to the Protection and Security Department in prison and was subjected to “brutal torture”, human rights activists say. “She was tortured severely to a point that she had to be helped to walk to her cell and was left with a bloody face.”
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Media watchdog slams Yemen’s press crackdown
By: Daily Star Lebanon, June 2, 2009
The Yemeni government has “sacrificed” press freedom in attempting to control unrest in the southern regions, a Doha-based media watchdog charged on Monday. “There can be no doubt that the Sanaa authorities have sacrificed press freedom in their efforts to control unrest in the south of the country,” the Doha Center for Media Freedom said in a statement. The government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh decided in May to close eight newspapers it accused of inciting separatism in southern Yemen, where 16 people have been killed in clashes since late April.
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Some Lebanese pick highest bidder to be their next ‘oppressor’
By: Yara Bayoumy, Daily Star, June 2, 2009
Many Lebanese have a nose for money and it is never more sensitive than at election time. Some candidates in next Sunday’s parliamentary polls are trying to tilt close contests in key constituencies by offering voters anything from cash and health perks to airline tickets, Lebanese say. And some voters are equally keen to cash in, setting their price or offering their ballots to the highest bidder.
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Islamists lose ground in the Middle East
By: Joshua Muravchik, Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2009
The results of Kuwait’s elections last month — in which Islamists were rebuffed and four women were elected to parliament — will likely reinvigorate the movement for greater democracy in the region that has stalled since the hopeful “Arab spring” of 2005. It also puts pressure on the Obama administration to end its deafening silence on democracy promotion.
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OCEANIA

West Papua: Indonesian judiciary and police are afraid of the words freedom and self determination
By: Free West Papua, June 3, 2009
In West Papua people are not allowed to peacefully express themselves. Two West Papuan Human Right Activists, Bucthar Tabuni and Sebby Sambom, attended the Jayapura High Court today. Buchtar Tabuni has now attended the court 12 times, and the judge has never allowed full eye witness report or provided evidence of the ‘offence’ that Buchtar Tabuni is accused of committing.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST

Podcast: Tutu’s daughter a force for human rights
By: NPR, June 7, 2009
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Nontombi Naomi Tutu, grew up in South Africa under apartheid, where she faced discrimination and segregation. She is now an internationally-recognized human rights activist. Tutu joins host Liane Hansen to talk about her role as the keynote speaker at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and her role in human rights activism.
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NOTICES

Campaign: Solidarity with Iranians
By: Leila Zand, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, July 2 – July 14, 2009
The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) invites you to join us in a two-part campaign this coming month focused on a tangible act of building peace and solidarity between the people of Iran and the United States. First, we ask that you participate with us in a national candlelight vigil on July 3, 2009. On the 3rd of July, our delegation will take a trip to the Persian Gulf and pay respects to those who lost their lives when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner in the Persian Gulf in 1988.
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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.