Each week, ICNC features 5-10 news stories from around the world related to nonviolent conflict. These stories are shared with you via our website, our News Digest, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Featured news stories are ones that can stimulate conversation about the phenomena of nonviolent conflict and civil resistance. ICNC does not necessarily endorse any of the views expressed in these articles or any comments left by visitors to our site. Featured articles remain posted for 30 days, after which time they can be found by searching our nonviolent conflict news database.
Husain Abdulla, Foreign Policy in Focus, May 20, 2013
More than two years after peaceful demonstrators took to the streets to demand reforms, Bahrain’s uprising has not abated. Activists and opposition groups continue to demand the basic human rights and political reforms promised to them by their government. Rather than meet the opposition’s calls for reform, the government of Bahrain has responded by subjecting citizens to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and abuse.
Peter Kenyon, NPR, May 20, 2013
Iranians choose a new president next month, and one thing Iran's leaders are intent on avoiding is a repeat of the massive street protests that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial re-election in 2009. The sponsors of those protests, known as the Green Movement, have been effectively silenced inside Iran, but not online. The heroine of a graphic novel about the violent suppression of dissent in 2009 is now launching a virtual campaign of her own. Her name is Zahra, a wife and mother in Tehran who starred in the 2010 online graphic novel.
Rebecca Vincent, Slate, May 20, 2013
On May 17, Azerbaijani youth activist Ilkin Rustemzade was arrested on charges of hooliganism for his alleged involvement in a Harlem Shake video filmed in the country’s capital city, Baku. The video is completely apolitical, and Rustemzade does not even appear on-screen. The real reason Rustemzade has been targeted is because of his online activism and his criticism of the government as part of the Free Youth Organization.
Erica Chenoweth and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Journal of Peace Research, May 2013
The events of the Arab Spring of 2011 have made clear the importance and potential efficacy of nonviolent resistance, as well as the general inability to explain the onset and outcome of major nonviolent uprisings. Until recently, conflict scholars have largely ignored nonviolent resistance. This issue features new theoretical and empirical explorations of the causes and consequences of nonviolent resistance, stressing the role that unarmed, organized civilians can play in shaping the course of conflicts.
Felicity Clarke, Narco News, May 14, 2013
As one of the key figures in the Clamshell Alliance in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Cushing was effective in organizing a movement that played a major role in freezing the construction of new nuclear power projects in the United States for decades. Through the use of multiple strategies, tactics and activities, most notably the mass occupation of the Seabrook power plant construction site in New Hampshire in April 1977 — in which 1,414 were arrested —and the original (and successful) demonstration on Wall Street in 1979, the anti-nuclear movement assimilated local concerns and nationwide sentiment to effect real change.
Aishath Velezinee, Minivan News, May 18, 2013
With less than four months to the elections it is undeniable to all observers on the ground in the Maldives, including the skeptics, the political opponents and the grudge bearers who form the majority opposition to Nasheed, that he has won the hearts and minds of the Maldivian public. It has become increasingly obvious that the only way to prevent Nasheed’s return is to ensure his name stays off the ballot paper. Fifteen months since his forced resignation, the public has continued to rally around Nasheed who has come to be popularly known as the “elected president”.
Carole Reckinger, Erenlai Magazine, April 23, 2013
Since 2007, a small village in the island of Jeju, South Korea, has led a nonviolent resistance against the construction of a naval base next door to a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The military base had been planned to enable better policing of the sea-lanes and faster response to any acts of aggression by North Korea. The Jeju anti-naval base protests and their persistence and endurance in the face of mainstream media demonization, raising fines and government pressure, is a sign of a civil society awakening in South Korea.
<em>Sven Pöhle, DW, May 14, 2013</em><p>
Mike McDonald, Reuters, May 13, 2013
A Guatemalan court ordered the government on Monday to apologize for atrocities committed against indigenous people in the country's civil war after former dictator Efrain Rios Montt was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity. Judges sentenced Rios Montt to 80 years in prison on Friday after finding him responsible for deliberate killings by the armed forces of at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil population during his 1982-83 rule.
DW, May 2, 2013
A year after Vladimir Putin began his third term as president, democracy in Russia continues to be undermined. The state is assisted by a repressive security apparatus and a compliant judiciary, as well as by laws that make it easy to take arbitrary action against the opposition. The trials of punk activists Pussy Riot and opposition blogger Alexei Navalny, as well as raids on NGO offices, are examples. The opposition is not a single movement with one voice, but is united in frustration of a leadership which they believe is guilty of repression, patronage and enriching itself.