Nonviolent action around the world – 9 September 2009 (Part 2)

September 9, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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ASIA/SOUTH ASIA
Freedom fading fast in Hong Kong
By: Taipei Times, September 9, 2009
Hong Kong’s media today still enjoy a level of freedom their Chinese counterparts have never tasted. Two incidents this week were grim signals that Chinese authorities consider that freedom a threat and that very different rules apply in China. On Sunday, Hong Kong reporters were beaten by Urumqi police and threatened at gunpoint after being caught taping police using tear gas against protesters. The following day, five other Hong Kong reporters covering the Urumqi protests were detained and harassed. Media reaction in Hong Kong was quick. Dozens of reporters held a protest outside Beijing’s liaison office to condemn the abuse and call for media freedoms in China proper.
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UN investigator calls North Korean rights `abysmal’
By: Edith M. Lederer, AP, September 5, 2009
A U.N. human rights investigator strongly criticized the North Korean government for its “abysmal” human rights record, citing food shortages, public executions, torture and pervasive repression that has left millions of people living in fear. In a report to the General Assembly circulated Friday, Vitit Muntarbhorn urged authorities in the reclusive communist nation to ensure access to food and other necessities for all 8.7 million people who need help. He called on the government to stop punishing people seeking asylum elsewhere, end public executions, and “institute a democratic process, shifting the military budget to the social sector.”
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China web sites seeking users’ names
By: Jonathan Ansfield, NY Times, September 5, 2009
News Web sites in China, complying with secret government orders, are requiring that new users log on under their true identities to post comments, a shift in policy that the country’s Internet users and media have fiercely opposed in the past. Until recently, users could weigh in on news items on many of the affected sites more anonymously, often without registering at all, though the sites were obligated to screen all posts, and the posts could still be traced via Internet protocol addresses.
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China ousts top official after protests
By: Keith Bradsher, NY Times, September 5, 2009
The top Communist official in Urumqi in western China was dismissed on Saturday as a large deployment of the military police appeared to have brought a measure of peace to the city after two days of large street protests. Li Zhi, the party secretary of Urumqi, lost his post, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday evening. He became the most senior person to be removed since ethnic tensions erupted there in rioting in July.
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China: Politics permeates anti-corruption drive
By: David Barboza, NY Times, September 3, 2009
Shortly after Huang Guangyu was named the second richest man in China by Forbes last October, the 39-year-old entrepreneur disappeared. Nearly a week later, Beijing’s Public Security Bureau issued a brief notice saying he had been detained on corruption charges. Soon after, other prominent individuals were arrested or charged with corruption or bribery. Chinese authorities say the arrests are part of the Communist Party’s latest anticorruption campaign. But analysts say that prominent corruption cases in China are often the outgrowth of power struggles within the Communist Party, with competing factions using the “war on corruption” as a tool to eliminate or weaken rivals and their corporate supporters.
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CENTRAL ASIA
Uzbekistan: Sentenced for religious practice
By: Forum18, September 7, 2009
Two mass trials which ended in July have brought to 47 the number of followers of the late Turkish Muslim theologian Said Nursi known by Forum 18 News Service to have been sentenced to long prison terms under various articles of the Criminal Code in Uzbekistan in 2009. A total of 21 men – all in their twenties and thirties – received sentences of between eleven and five years’ imprisonment at separate trials in Samarkand and Khorezm.
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Azerbaijan: Detained video bloggers go on trial
By: Onnik Krikorian, Global Voices, September 4, 2009
Despite significant international outcry from leading human rights and freedom of expression advocates, detained video bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli today went on trial in Baku. Now facing an additional charge of assault, the two youth activists face up to 5 years in prison if convicted. Hajizade and Milli were attacked in downtown Baku at the beginning of July, but when the two activists reported the incident to the police they were instead arrested and charged with attacking their assailants. The arrests came soon after Hajizade’s OL! youth movement and Milli’s AN Network posted a video mocking the authorities for importing donkeys and introducing legislation intended to restrict the activities of civil society in the oil-rich country.
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EUROPE
Albanian opposition boycotts parliament
By: Balkan Insight, September 8, 2009
Albania’s opposition Socialist Party boycotted the first session of parliament on Monday, and says its will maintain its absence unless its demands are met.  Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the head of the party, Tirana mayor Edi Rama, warned that the Socialists would have a conditional relationship with the assembly, based on the will of the majority to investigate electoral fraud in the June 28 parliamentary elections. “We want transparency in the election [process] and under these conditions will intensify our contacts with the citizens, because we cannot accept a deformed reality,” Rama said in a press conference.    
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Russia’s beleaguered anti-fascists
By: Vlad Tupikin, Open Democracy, September 2, 2009
On Tuesday 4 August 2009 the St. Petersburg City Court examined the appeal in the case of Alexei Bychin, a young anti-fascist arrested in the summer of last year. According to witnesses, the trial lasted around three minutes and upheld Bychin’s sentence: five years in a maximum security prison. From three to five, as people say in jest. But this time the story isn’t funny at all.
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Fremen movement against sex-tourism in Ukraine
By: English Russia, September 2009
Members of Femen women’s movement, mostly Ukrainian college students, came out against the growth of sex-tourism in the state. To attract interest on a national and international level they headed to Maidan Nezalezhnosti wearing revealing attires and carrying demonstration posters, which said “Ukrainian girls are not for sale!”
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Pakistani Taliban attack Shiite children
By: Huma Yusuf, Christian Science Monitor, September 8, 2009
Taliban militants killed four schoolchildren in a remote town in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt on Tuesday. Local officials say the attack has sectarian dimensions as militants – who hail from the majority Sunni sect – targeted students of the minority Shiite sect. Previously, the Taliban have singled out minority sects as part of their strategy in Pakistan.
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Libya’s regime at 40: A state of kleptocracy
By: Fred Halliday, Opend Democracy, September 8, 2009
The protection-racket formation that has ruled Libya since 1969 is now being embraced by western businessmen and diplomats. But it belongs to the past, says Fred Halliday.
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Coptic Christians in Egypt call for strike to protest mistreatment
By: Assyrian International News Agency, September 6, 2009
In the last week of July a Coptic rights movement dubbed “Copts for Egypt,” using the social network Facebook as platform, called upon all Copts in Egypt to stage a general strike on September 11, which coincides with the Coptic New Year. In its communiqué, which first appeared on the Facebook site, the group stated the action is meant to express the resentment of all Copts over the Egypt’s position on the repeated attacks on the homes and property of Copts because some of them have been used for religious observance.
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Coptic priest supports Egypt strike
By: Bikya Masr, September 4, 2009
Archbishop Maurice Aziz, the priest in charge of Cairo’s Hanging Church, who is currently residing in the United States said that the calls for a general strike by the “Copts for Egypt” movement on September 11 should be upheld and a strike commenced. The strike is being led by Coptic organizations abroad and calls for a common law for the construction of places of worship, the abolition of customary reconciliation meetings that occur following sectarian incidents and the enforcing of punishments against those responsible.
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Fatah: We never relinquished the right to armed struggle
By: C. Jacob and B. Chernitsky, Memri, September 3, 2009
During and after Fatah’s Sixth General Conference, senior Fatah officials and columnists repeatedly emphasized that Fatah had never relinquished the right to armed struggle. [1] The armed resistance was also a main theme in a series of pamphlets titled “Al-Mutamar 6” (“The Sixth Conference”), published just before the conference, and during its first three days, in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam. These pamphlets, concerning the Fatah movement, its values, and its icons, glorified the armed struggle and the Fatah leaders who carried it out. The following are collected statements by Fatah officials and by PA columnists on the armed resistance, as well as excerpts from the pamphlets published in Al-Ayyam.
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OCEANIA
Human rights worsening in Fiji
By: Amnesty International, September 8, 2009
The interim military government in Fiji has used a wide range of repressive tactics to stifle any protests and intimidate its critics, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The report is based on Amnesty International’s research in Fiji during the crackdown that began in April 2009.
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Media censorship in Fiji
By: Roy Greenslade, The Guardian, September 8, 2009
Fiji’s military-led government is using systematic human rights violations, including beatings, arbitrary arrests and media censorship, to control the South Pacific island nation, according to an Amnesty International report, Fiji: Paradise Lost. The situation has worsened following a military crackdown in April, in which the constitution was abrogated and the coup leader, Frank Bainimarama, was reappointed prime minister. “Security forces in Fiji have become increasingly menacing towards people who oppose the regime, including journalists and human rights defenders,” said Apolosi Bose, Amnesty International’s Pacific researcher.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
From slacktivism to activism
By: Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy, September 5, 2009
As someone who studies how the Internet affects global politics, I’ve grown increasingly skeptical of numerous digital activism campaigns that attempt to change the world through Facebook and Twitter. To explain why,  let me first tell you a story about a campaign that has gone wrong.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Soudan: Loubna echappe aux coups de fouet
By: France Television Infos, September 8, 2009
La journaliste soudanaise Loubna a échappé à la flagellation pour avoir porté un pantalon mais sera incarcérée un mois pour avoir refusé de payer l’amende de 500 livres soudanaises (145 euros).Son procès a suscité la réprobation d’une partie de la communauté internationale.
Watch the video:
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Luchando por la vida Voces desde el Movimiento Latinoamericano para la Justicia del Agua
By: Transnational Institute, August 24, 2009
Este pequeño libro presenta una serie de breves entrevistas con doce activistas por el derecho al agua de América Latina, así como las declaraciones de un encuentro histórico celebrado en la ciudad boliviana de Cochabamba en agosto de 2008, en el que se dieron cita dirigentes de movimientos sociales de las Américas para trabajar por una gestión del agua con base en las comunidades.
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El debate sobre la justicia en Kenia
By: Transnational Institute, July 30, 2009
El ex secretario general de la ONU, Kofi Annan es constantemente citado junto con el fiscal de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI), Luis Moreno Ocampo. Se debate quién debe juzgar a los culpables de haber planificado y financiado la violencia post electoral que entre diciembre de 2007 y enero de 2008 acabó con la vida de 1.100 personas y desplazó a alrededor de otras 300.000. La violencia fragmentó aún más a una sociedad multiétnica (Kikuyos, Luos, Kambas, Kissis, Luhya, Kalenjin, y otras 40 identidades) y dividida, y agudizó las pugnas por tierra y poder político entre las etnias, y entre pobres y ricos, unas difíciles relaciones desde la época colonial.
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Por una Honduras democrática y soberana
By: Transnational Institute, July 3, 2009
Hay una Misión Internacional de Solidaridad, Observación y Acompañamiento a Honduras, en la que participan – movimientos sociales, sindicatos, ONG, redes de mujeres y de ambientales y organizaciones de Derechos Humanos, grupos cristianos, cargos políticos y ciudadanos solidarios de America Latina, Europa, Estatos Unidos y de otras partes del mundo.  Esta Misión forma parte de la campana global de solidaridad con la resistencia del pueblo Hondureno contra el Golpe de Estado contra el gobierno de Zelaya. En Honduras sigue la lucha y se arrecia la represión.
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NOTICES
2009 Emerging Leaders for Democracy conference series
By: Project on Middle East Democracy, September 2009
The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) in cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Georgetown University’s Center for Democracy and Civil Society, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) are now accepting applications for our annual regional conferences in the Middle East. The conferences will examine political reform dynamics in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt and the role of U.S. foreign policy. The purpose of the conferences is to generate recommendations for U.S. policymakers for how to improve its impact and to effectively encourage democratic reform.
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The 33rd annual Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards
By: IPS, September 2009
IPS established the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Awards to honor their fallen colleagues and recognize individuals and groups in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas most dedicated to the struggle for human rights. We are delighted to hold the event again for the 33rd consecutive year, and applaud Domestic Workers United and La Mesa Nacional Frente a la Minería en El Salvador as they continue the struggle for basic human needs and demonstrate the courage and dedication which the awards were established to honor.
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Be a blogger for Change.org!
By: Jobs for Change, September 2009
Want to blog on an issue you are passionate about for an audience of over a million activists and nonprofit leaders?  Change.org is expanding our team of freelance bloggers to help broaden our coverage of the most important causes of our time. Each blogger will contribute to a daily blog covering news and offering commentary on a single social, political or environmental issue, convene leading nonprofits and activists working on the issue, and help people translate their passion into concrete action.
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IN PAST NEWS
Iran, Xinjiang and democratization in Eurasia: The impact of recent upheavals
By: Stephen Blank, CACI Analyst, August 19, 2009
Iran’s recent electoral protests and the more recent demonstrations in Xinjiang suggest that Eurasian societies are still fundamentally unsettled or possibly entering a new dynamic phase of political development. Both episodes underscore the inherent fragility of authoritarian societies and their susceptibility to internal violence. In Iran the government brazenly rigged its recent presidential election, then launched high-handed coercive efforts to strangle the ensuing protests. The world’s view of Iran has nevertheless changed.
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