Iran's media could make it happen, if we let it
By:  Abbas Djavadi, RFERL, October 15, 2009
A listener from the central Iranian city of Isfahan complained to me last June that Radio Farda did not immediately report a protest action they had staged in front of Isfahan University. "We stage the protest meeting during the day and sit in the evening of the same day to hear the news about it from Radio Farda and watch it on BBC Persian TV," he said. "We will win only if the news is spread and more people are drawn into the protests."

Neda was Nazanin and Nazanin is Neda
By: Babak Daad, Persian to English, October 14, 2009
These days there are two names going around. These two names are familiar to all Iranians: Neda Agha-Soltan and Nazanin Afshin-Jam. The former became a symbol of innocence for all Iranians through her death, and shook the foundation of the despot regime. The latter is shaking the coup government with her purposeful life. Now, many Iranian girls have found two role models, both for a more purposeful life and for an effective death.

In Iran, a grieving mother who refuses to be silent
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFERL, October 14, 2009
Parvin Fahimi, a tiny woman with a strong personality, has emerged as one of the heroes of Iran's Green movement, which opposes the legitimacy of Mahmud Ahmadinejad's presidency. The grieving mother has refused to remain silent over the fate of her son, Sohrab Arabi, who was shot dead under unclear circumstances during Iranís postelection crackdown. In publicly expressing her outrage, she has become the voice of other mothers mourning loved ones lost during the unrest that followed the disputed June 12 presidential vote.

Iran investigating prominent opposition cleric
By: J. Fleishman and R. Mostaghim, LA Times, October 14, 2009
Iranian authorities launched a provocative attack on the opposition movement Tuesday by announcing a special investigation of prominent cleric Mehdi Karroubi over his accusations that security forces raped and tortured protesters after the disputed June reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The move against Karroubi, a revered figure from Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, is an attack on the heart of the opposition. It's an indication that the government is increasing pressure on top dissenters, even clerics, and it follows death sentences handed to at least two anti-government protesters.,0,7422993.story

Ebadi says U.S. turns blind eye to Iranian rights
By: RFERL, October 14, 2009
Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi has accused the United States of turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Iran as it seeks to rein in Tehran's nuclear program. A Nobel Peace laureate, Ebadi congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on being awarded the prize last week and suggested she hoped it would widen his view of peace to include the basic rights of people to live in freedom and dignity.

Daughter of Iran official requests asylum in Germany
By: Iran Focus, October 14, 2009
The daughter of a top adviser to hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sought asylum in Germany. Narges Kalhor, whose father Mahdi Kalhor is the cultural and media affairs adviser to Ahmadinejad, requested asylum while attending the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival, a spokesman for the festival said on Tuesday.

Iran's Karroubi faces legal move
By: BBC, October 13, 2009
Iranian pro-reform cleric Mehdi Karroubi may be prosecuted over allegations he made following post-election unrest, state media says. Mr Karroubi had said that some of his supporters, detained after protests over the presidential poll in which he was a candidate, suffered abuse.

Iran death sentences seen as move to intimidate opposition
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFERL, October 11, 2009
The death sentences have raised concern over the fate of scores of reformists, intellectuals, and activists arrested and put on trial following the street protests against the reelection of Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in June. Observers say the death sentences appear to be part of efforts by the Iranian authorities to create fear and to silence the opposition movement that continues to challenge Ahmadinejad's reelection. Many Iranians believe that he won as a result of massive fraud.


Honduras de facto regime opens fire in poor neighborhoods
By: D. Emanuelsson and M. H. Emanuelsson, Up Side Down World, October 14, 2009
The Honduran people have set an example for people throughout Latin America through three months of steady resistance to the coup in their country. But there are powerful groups within Honduras and abroad organizing to neutralize this unprecedented force and block the resistance from growing in strength and numbers. These groups above all seek to prevent the nation from carrying out a Constitutional Assembly to modify the outdated constitution. Along with the reinstatement of the elected President Manuel Zelaya, this demand is central to the popular movement against the coup as a necessary tool to bring the country and its people out of poverty.

Honduras:  Talks seek solution to 102-day crisis
By: Juan RamÛn Dur·n, UpSide Down World, October 14, 2009
Talks began Wednesday between delegates of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti, under international observation, to seek a solution to the crisis triggered by the Jun. 28 coup. At the ceremony to start the talks, which will be overseen by foreign ministers and Organisation of American States (OAS) diplomats, the regional body's Secretary General JosÈ Miguel Insulza said "we are not here for mutual recriminations, but to seek concrete solutions."

Micheletti declares revenge on US in World Cup qualifying match
By: BelÈn Fern·ndez, Narco News, October 13, 2009
A few weeks prior to the October 10 World Cup qualifying match between Honduras and the United States, the appointed Costa Rican referee was replaced with a Panamanian one. The substitution of nationalities was explained in Saturdayís La Tribuna as being due to the fact that Panama was not also a World Cup contender; my newspaper vendor had a slightly different take on the situation, which was that Costa Rica intended to skew not only the internal politics of Honduras but also its athletic legacy in favor of the United States.

The moment has come for a new constitution in Honduras
By: Selvin Fern·ndez, Narco News, October 12, 2009
On this, the ìdia de la Raza,î GarÌfunas commemorate 517 years of indigenous, black and popular resistance, in the middle of a political and institutional crisis that affects their precarious social-economic conditions more than before. Contrary to in previous years, this time the Afro-descendants have silenced their drums and matraca noisemakers. They wonít be out in the streets, because the political and economic conditions to do so donít exist.


US: Attorney reports human rights abuses of GI resisters
By: Dahr Jamail, Truthout, October 13, 2009
Attorneys and veteran's groups are alarmed by recent reports that two US Army soldiers imprisoned at the Fort Lewis Regional Correctional Facility (RCF) have been subjected to human rights abuses and violations of their constitutional rights.     Travis Bishop, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq and is now recognized by Amnesty International as a "Prisoner of Conscience," resisted deployment to Afghanistan.  The civilian defense attorney for both soldiers, James M. Branum, told Truthout that both soldiers have been strip-searched while possibly being filmed.

US: 'Nuclear threat' to power grids
By: BBC, October 13, 2009
Scientists have warned that Iran and North Korea could produce a weapon capable of paralysing Western electricity grids for months or years. Experts fear that a missile-launched nuclear bomb exploded above the earth's atmosphere could cause a catastrophe. They told the British government that high-altitude electromagnetic pulses could lead to an "economic shutdown".

US: Tactic - Tweeting for equality
By: Talie Whyte, DigiActive, October 12, 2009
On Sunday, thousands of gays and lesbians gathered in Washington, D.C. for the National Equality March, which was billed as the largest event of its kind since 2000. While many in the gay community were divided over the reasoning for having such a march, this was also one of the first massive gay rights protests to use social media ñ tools that are being used by the new generation of LGBT activists.

US: 25-mile seniors march against MTR ends
By: Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette, October 12, 2009
Only a handful of hecklers and angry motorists met a group of gray-haired environmental activists Monday as they finished a five-day, 25-mile march to protest mountaintop removal mining and arrived at a Massey Energy coal complex. At a roadside press conference with a speaker on the hood of a car, they declared a small victory. If nothing else, they said, they spread awareness of a particularly destructive form of strip mining that they believe is destroying lives and communities across Appalachia.


Puerto Rico: Ready for the national strike
By:  Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Global Voices, October 13, 2009
Puerto Rico is getting ready for the national strike on Thursday, October 15. Since Governor Luis FortuÒo layed-off about 17,000 government employees the first week of October, there has been tremendous mobilization from different sectors of the civil society: workers and members of trade unions, women, environmentalists, students, and professors, among others. There have been multiple demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience to protest the economic policies that the government has assured are necessary due to the financial crisis.


Student leader insists on IACHR visit to Venezuela
By: El Universal, October 13, 2009
Julio Rivas, a student who was released a few weeks ago from jail, once again, on behalf of the dissenting student movement, urged the government of President Hugo Ch·vez to allow the visit of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to Venezuela.  "The government has the responsibility to enforce the people's will. Their only choice is to do what people say. We will ask the government to allow the visit of the Inter-American Commission to Venezuela and we will achieve our goal."

Mapuche women step up
By: RocÌo Alorda, LA Press, Ocotber 11, 2009
Life in Araucania is tense and distressing. Residents in this southern Chilean region, where 30 percent of the Mapuche population lives, say the police routinely violate their rights and face constant threats of losing their lands to transnational companies. The historical demand to recover communal lands is at the root of a bitter struggle with the state, which has responded with repression. Women¥s leadership is recognized as an important part of maintaining the Mapuche language and culture. In the Araucania region, there are two women¥s Mapuche groups óWeichafe Domo and Newen Domo, the latter an umbrella group of six grassroots organizations.


Russian lawmakers protest rigged local elections
By: Maria Rybakova,AP, October 14, 2009
Dozens of Russian lawmakers staged a rare walkout from parliament Wednesday to protest what they and independent monitors describe as rigged local elections across Russia. It was the first time in nine years that all factions except the main Kremlin-favored United Russia party had walked out in protest.

French President takes heat from civil society activists over Astana visit
By: Eurasia Net, Regis Gente, October 13, 2009
Activistsí dissatisfaction stems from Sarkozyís October 6 visit to Astana, where he held talks with Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The heavy emphasis on business dealings deeply disappointed civil society activists, who had hoped the French president would make concerns about Kazakhstanís democratization process the focal point of the trip. Kazakhstan is set to take over the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010. Over the past year, however, several moves taken by the Kazakhstani government have caused activists to question Astanaís commitment to democratization principles.


Guineans protest in Lagos, want Camara ousted
By: Ademola Adeyemo, This Day, October 15, 2009
Guineans resident in Nigeria yesterday protested in Lagos against the continued stay in power of the military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, urging President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and the international community to intervene urgently and return the country to democratic rule.

Zimbabwe imprisons and indicts opponent
By: Celia W. Dugger, NY Times, October 14, 2009
Roy Bennett, a leader of the political party that long fought Zimbabweís president but now shares power with him, was sent back to prison on Wednesday in the eastern city of Mutare and formally indicted on terrorism charges.

Zimbabwe: Students lose funding for backing MDC
By: ZimOnline, October 14, 2009
Zimbabwean students studying at a South African university claim that Zimbabwe secret service agents are harassing and victimizing students aligned to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangiraiís MDC party. The students, who came to Fort Hare University (FHU) on a scholarship fund started by President Robert Mugabe a few years ago, claim that a number of them have been stripped of the scholarships because of their affiliation to the MDC, the former main opposition that formed a coalition government with Mugabeís ZANU PF party last February.

Police fire on South African protests
By: Al Jazeera, October 13, 2009
South African police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators protesting against poor living conditions during a rally in the country's northeast. Riot police opened fire on Tuesday to disperse protesters who had torched a municipal office in the eastern town of Belfast, the Associated Press. Police also clashed with demonstrators in several other northeastern towns, where protesters are calling for better sanitation, electricity and housing in impoverished townships.

ZINASU leaders arrested & beaten for ëdenigratingí Mugabe
By: Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa News, October 13, 2009
Five senior members of the Zimbabwe National Student Union were arrested Saturday - on charges of misconduct and undermining the office of the President and Cabinet - for saying ìRobert Mugabe is the major outstanding issue that is stalling progress for the inclusive government.î

Guinea strike enters second day
By: Al Jazeera, October 13, 2009
The streets remained empty across Guinea on the second day of a general strike called to protest against a violent army crackdown last month in which at least 150 people were killed. Thousands of Guineans stayed indoors on Tuesday; a day after the strike began, bringing Conakry, the capital, to a standstill. A collection of unions called for a two-day strike to mark the killing of protesters at a September 28 rally in the capital.

Guinea and China 'agree big deal'
By: BBC, October 13, 2009
Guinea's military rulers have agreed a huge mining and oil deal with China, officials have told the BBC, amid continuing criticism of the junta. Mines minister Mahmoud Thiam said a Chinese firm would invest more than $7bn (£4.5bn) in infrastructure. In return, the company would be a "strategic partner" in all mining projects in the mineral-rich nation. Guineans are currently on strike to remember dozens of protesters killed by soldiers during a rally two weeks ago.

In passing - Zimbabwe human rights defender Keith Goddard, 1960-2009
By: IntLawGrrls, October 12, 2009
Keith Goddard, a human rights defender of tremendous courage and tenacity, died this weekend after a short illness. The Director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), Goddard helped transform what had been primarily a social organization with a mostly white and middle-class membership into a political group whose membership both reflected and served the broader LGBTI community in Zimbabwe.


Egypt opposition launches anti-succession campaign
By: Sherine El Madany, Reuters, October 15, 2009
A prominent Egyptian opposition leader said on Wednesday he was launching a campaign to block President Hosni Mubarak from passing on his post at the helm of the most populous Arab country to his politician son Gamal. Ayman Nour, who came a distant second to Mubarak in a 2005 presidential vote before being jailed for over three years on forgery charges, said he was launching the campaign alongside other opposition activists including Islamists and liberals.

Egyptian women protest ban on austere veil
By: CNN, October 14, 2009
There's more to wearing the "niqab" -- the austere, all-covering veil favored by ultra-religious Muslim women -- than meets the eye. A recent declaration by a leading Egyptian cleric that women will not be allowed to wear the niqab in university areas frequented only by women has sparked demonstrations by female students in Cairo determined to wear the all-encompassing veil wherever they go. Egypt's Al-Azhar university, the highest seat of Sunni Islam, recently convened an all-male committee to rule on what women can wear at Egypt's public universities.


Cambodia: Draft law covering protests blasted
By: The Phnom Penh Post, October 15, 2009
Government and opposition parliamentarians engaged in heated exchanges Wednesday as the National Assembly opened its debate into a proposed Law on Nonviolent Demonstrations, which critics said could severely curtail freedom of expression throughout the country. Although Article 2 of the draft law guarantees the peopleís freedom of expression through peaceful demonstrations, the same article states that demonstrators must not use these rights to abuse other peopleís freedom and reputations, negatively affect the traditions of the nation, or affect public order and national security.

Vietnam: Lawyer plans appeal
By: RFA, October 12, 2009
The lawyer for a Vietnamese democracy activist convicted of anti-government activities has called the manís sentence ìunfairî and vowed to appeal the case to Vietnamís highest court.  Prosecutors had accused Pham of sending e-mails and exchanging documents calling for multiparty democracy in Vietnam. Vietnamís official Voice of Vietnam he had abused his ìright to freedom of democracy and speechî by ìreducing public trust in the [Communist] Party and the State.î


Rogue elements in Maldives police impede freedom
By: Dhivehi Observer, October 14, 2009
Freedom of assembly was a basic right granted to the people even in the ëGolhaaí constitution but the dictator never had the balls to tolerate dissent and always used force to crush them. In his regime, the police had one duty, which is to protect him and his government. Until the riots of September 2003, the outburst of public anger over the brutal murder of Evan Naseem and other inmates in Maafushi Jail, Maldivian people had been afraid to take to the streets and express their feelings.


China: Blocking Twitter's third party applications
By: Oiwan Lam, Global Voices, October 14, 2009
In the past few days, Chinese twitterers reported that the Chinese censor has blocked a number of popular Twitter's third party applications. Since Fanfou, the Chinese micro-blogging website, has been ordered to shut down earlier this year, many bloggers moved to Twitter to spread their ideas. Net activists believe that it is impossible to block Twitter as there are many third party applications that allow users to read and post information without accessing the site.

Stop power - Chinaís transnational censorship efforts
By: Michael Allen, Democracy Digest, October 13, 2009
Beijingís attempt to stop dissident authors taking part in the Frankfurt Book Fair is part of an ìongoing pattern of interference, cooptation and intimidation beyond Chinaís borders used to muzzle voices critical of the Chinese government,î according to Christopher Walker, director of studies and Sarah Cook, an Asia researcher, at Freedom House.

China: Death sentences for rioters
By: RFA, October 13, 2009
Authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwest China have sentenced to death a further six people over bloody ethnic unrest in July, bringing the total to 12. Three of the six were given the death penalty with a two-year reprieve, a sentence usually commuted to life in prison, over the worst ethnic violence in China for decades. A spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress of ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs said the men did not receive a fair trial.

China's export of censorship
By: Christopher Walker and Sarah Cook, WSJ, October 12, 2009
The Chinese governmentís effort to prevent dissident authors from taking part in the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, an international showcase for freedom of expression, has offered Germany a close-up view of Chinaís intolerance of dissent.

China: Calls grow for web freedoms
By: RFA, October 12, 2009
Online writers and activists in China are calling on the government to extend protection to the country's 300 million netizens as they seek out and pass on information detailing growing curbs, rules, and surveillance used on anyone using the Internet. One document, published online last week and titled "Internet Human Rights Declaration," was signed by 15 prominent intellectuals, writers, and civil rights activists. It called on the Chinese government to loosen controls requiring real-name identification of Web users, and to end a sophisticated system of online filters.


Australia: Thirteen arrested at Climate Camp protests
By: Brett Cox, Ilawarra Mercuary,
Environmentalists broke into the Illawarra Coal Dendrobium mine and stalled operations for several hours as part of a Climate Camp protest held in the Illawarra over the weekend. Five protesters were arrested and charged with trespass after scaling and fastening themselves to a conveyer belt used to load coal in the Kemira Valley, near the Mt Kembla mine, at dawn yesterday. Another eight scaled a fence at the Metropolitan Colliery in Helensburgh later in the day and also faced trespass charges.


Voila! Stop tar sands en FranÁais
By: Greenpeace, October 9, 2009
Our tar sands campaign just spread from Canada to France when 30 Greenpeace activists entered Totalís refinery site, in Normandy, to highlight the involvement of the French oil company with the climate-changing tar sands in Alberta. Climate change is a global problem -- and this action is part of a global response to one of the worst climate offenders.  The world doesn't want Canada's dirty oil.


DR Congo: Arc of war, map of responsibility
By: Martin Shaw, Open Democracy, October 14, 2009
The political dynamics of conflict in Africaís most complex region must be understood if enduring solutions are to be found. Martin Shaw reads fellow openDemocracy contributor Gerard Prunierís book ìFrom Genocide to Continental Warî.


Congo: Global Witness dismayed at clampdown on activists in Katanga
By: Global Witness, September 25, 2009
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should intervene and ensure that the frivolous charges against Congolese human rights activist Golden Misabiko are dropped immediately, said campaign group Global Witness today. Misabiko, president of the Association africaine de dÈfense des droits de l'homme (ASADHO) in Katanga province, was sentenced to four months in detention and eight months' suspended prison sentence on 23 September.

Youth Activism
By: J. Denari and T. Verderame, Y Press, July 30, 2009
Genocide in Darfur, AIDS in Africa, child soldiers in Sierra Leone and Ugandaó these issues are publicized on teenagersí T-shirts across the country. With the help of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, youth around the globe can find hundreds of ways to organize and get involved with issues that transcend national borders. Compared to their counterparts of the last few decades, todayís youth activists would seemingly have come a long way.


Support Narco News and its School of Authentic Journalism
By: Authentic Journalism, October 15, 2009
With the generous matching support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict for up to $20,000 of smaller contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism, Narco News will be able to offer 24 scholarships to a ten-day session of The School of Authentic Journalism, February 3 to 13 on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.