AFRICA

Somaliland: Election postponed by two months
By: UNPO, March 5, 2009
A much awaited presidential election in Somaliland has been postponed to May 31 [2009], Radio Garowe reports.  Mr. Jama Mohamed "Sweden," Somaliland's election commission chairman, told a Monday [2 March 2009] press conference in the regional capital Hargeisa that the election commission has "authority on all election matters."  He indicated that there have been private meetings between the election commission, the three political parties and the agency (Interpeace) that facilitates donor funds to support Somaliland's democratic process.
http://www.unpo.org/content/view/9317/142/

Aid groups expelled from Sudan
By: Jeffery Allen, One World, March 5, 2009
The Sudanese government revoked the licenses of several aid groups today, just hours after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the country's president. Hundreds of thousands of people in the embattled region of Darfur will now have drastically reduced or no access to food, medicine, and other critical supplies.
http://us.oneworld.net/article/360746-aid-groups-expelled-sudan

ICC issues arrest warrant for Sudanís leader
By: Marlise Simons and Neil MacFarquhar, NY Times, March 4, 2009
Judges at the International Criminal Court ordered the arrest Wednesday of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan for atrocities committed in Darfur, but Sudanese officials swiftly retaliated, ordering Western aid groups that provide for millions of people to shut down their operations and leave.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/world/africa/05court.html?_r=1&ref=world

Madagascar in bid to snuff out protests
By: Mail and Guardian, March 4, 2009
Madagascan riot police fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse protesters gathering for a banned rally in the capital as the island's president vowed tougher measures to counter a drive to unseat him.  
http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-03-04-madagascar-in-bid-to-snuff-out-protests

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai urges unity government to uphold human rights
By: Zim Online, March 4, 2009
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday called on the countryís new unity government to uphold human rights and respect the rule of law, saying ìviolence has no part to play in our political cultureî.   Tsvangirai, who became the southern African countryís Prime Minister on February 11 after agreeing to join a power-sharing government with veteran President Robert Mugabe told Zimbabweís Parliament that any future human rights abuses could lead to arrest and prosecution and said the days of police violently breaking up demonstrations and needlessly arresting people had to come to an end.
http://www.zimonline.co.za/Article.aspx?ArticleId=4327

Zimbabwe: Three student leaders arrested at Bindura University demo
By: Lance Guma, SW Radio Africa, March 4, 2009
Three student leaders were arrested by police, following an impromptu demonstration by students at the Bindura University of Science Education on Wednesday. According to Blessing Vava, the spokesman for the Zimbabwe National Students Union, students arrived on campus in the morning to find gates at the institution locked. Security guards were only allowing in the students who had paid their campus fees. Within minutes students had mobilized themselves inside and outside the campus to demonstrate against the move and also denounce the fee reductions announced by the Ministry of Higher Education as inadequate.
http://www.swradioafrica.com/news040309/studentts040309.htm

Did Mauritania's military rulers decide to silence the "Pashmerga" media?
By: Menasset, March 3, 2009
Three Mauritanian journalists were jailed in late February ñ accused of defamation, blackmail and attempting to mislead the public. Itís the first case brought against members of Mauritaniaís press corps since General Muhammad Ould Abdel-Aziz took power in an August 2008 coup díetat. MENASSATís Sayyed Ahmad Ould Bab takes a closer look at how this case will affect these so-called ìPashmergaî reporters.
http://www.menassat.com/?q=en/news-articles/6089-did-mauritanias-military-rulers-decide-silence-pashmerga-media

Maneno, a multilingual blogging platform built for African bloggers
By: Ndesanjo Macha, Global Voices, March 3, 2009
Maneno is a new blogging platform that promises to offer blogging and communication solutions for bloggers with limited or narrow-bandwith in Sub-Saharan Africa. Maneno is a Swahili word, which means ìwords.î
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/03/03/maneno-a-multilingual-blogging-platform-built-for-african-bloggers/

Twin assassinations leave Guinea-Bissau in turmoil
By: Assima Balde and Rukmini Callimach, Yahoo News, March 2, 2009
The man who ruled this small African nation for nearly a quarter-century was assassinated Monday just hours after a bomb killed his longtime rival, the armed forces chief, leaving behind a precarious power vacuum as the country struggles to stem a booming cocaine trade.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090302/ap_on_re_af/af_guinea_bissau

AMERICAS

Dissident says Cuba pushing him to emigrate
By: Latin American Herald Tribune, March 5, 2009
Cuban dissident Hector Palacios on Wednesday said the government has refused to grant him permission to travel to Spain, where he had received medical treatment until last year, unless he agrees in writing not to return to the communist-ruled island.
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=329032&CategoryId=14510

Unions suspend 44-day-old strike in Guadeloupe
By: Andre-Jean Vidal, Miami Herald, March 4, 2009
Union leaders on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe agreed late Wednesday to suspend a 44-day-old general strike as most of their demands continue to be met.  The LKP collective warned it would resume the strike if government officials and business owners renege on their promises, which include lowering gasoline prices and raising some workers' pay by 200 euros ($252) a month.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/AP/story/933138.html

Another Cuban journalist in trouble with the dictatorship
By: Uncommon Sense, March 4, 2009
You probably take for granted the ability to travel, say from Florida to Texas, or New York City to L.A. It's one of our fundamental rights, limited only by our ability to pay or maybe, the weather.  In Cuba, it's a lot more complicated, as the Castro dictatorship limits freedom of movement as a way to keep an eye on Cubans, especially those who dare oppose the regime.
http://marcmasferrer.typepad.com/uncommon_sense/2009/03/another-cuban-journalist-in-trouble-with-the-dictatorship.html

New Miami Herald section for Cuba's critical voices
By: Miami Herald, March 2, 2009
Starting Monday, March 2, The Miami Herald's online Cuba page will display a special Dissident Voices section that will contain reports from non-government sources on the island.  The reports will cover a broad range of developments in Cuba, from cultural events to detentions of dissidents to high food prices, housing collapses and street crime.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/928895.html

US: Climate change conference rocks DC
By: Michael Beer, Nonviolent Action Network, March 2, 2009
11,000+ students and youth are in Washington DC for a massive convention on clean energy and climate change.  Called Powershift, it is sponsored by a broad range of environmental and youth organizations, called Energy Action.  The politics of the conference are progressive and at times radical in many respects.  Climate Justice which focuses on the needs of the poor, minorities, and the global south is front and center.
http://nonviolentaction.net/?p=97

US: Protesters want to close Capital Hillís power station
By: Alan Harten, Fair Home, March 2, 2009
The US Congress gets its electricity from its own coal-fired power station.   The Capitol Hill facility, which stands in front of the dome, was built almost a century ago to give Congress an autonomous supply of power, but is now used only for air conditioning and heating.  The plant is viewed as confirmation that a strong coal industry has been able to influence Congress the way it wants.
http://www.fairhome.co.uk/2009/03/02/protesters-want-to-close-capital-hills-own-power-station

Mexico: The ìMovement of Movementsî in Oaxaca hosts ìOrganizers of Organizersî
By: Nancy Davies, Narco News, March 2, 2009
On the chilly Sunday evening of March 1 I learned that the mother of all marches is being promoted by three men traveling the world to organize organizers. Before coming to Oaxaca the group, called Gandhi International, spent four days in Chiapas, stopping in the Zapatista towns of Oventic, San Cristobal de Las Casas and Acteal. Prior to their Mexico visit (next stop Mexico City), they met with organizers in Latin America, contacting the poor and landless in Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.
http://www.narconews.com/Issue56/article3417.html

Take action: Community activists in Chiapas, Mexico face harassment and intimidation
By: Don Durrito de la Lacandona, Indybay, March 2, 2009
Human rights and community leaders in Mexico continue to experience threats - including death threats. They ask for help from global activists to protect their lives and their community work.  Current threats follow previous repression, including the unjust prosecution of local organizers of the Civil Resistance against the high cost of energy in the southern state of Campeche. Last December, in response to an emergency action, letters of solidarity with Sara Lopez and Joaquin Aguilar brought authorities in Campeche to the negotiating table.
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/03/01/18574246.php

Chile: Government unleashes anti-terror law on Mapuche activist
By: Pamela Sep˙lveda, IPS, February 23, 2009
"They burst in aiming machine guns at us. They found him in the hallway, they grabbed him by the hair, they threw him on the floor and they beat him up," Ida Huenulef told IPS, describing the arrest of her son Miguel, the first indigenous Mapuche activist to be charged under the Anti-Terrorist Law by the government of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45861

ASIA/ SOUTH ASIA

India's attempt to stop Gandhi auction rejected
By: Mark Magnier, LA Times, March 5, 2009
India has made a last-minute attempt to halt the sale of Mohandas Gandhi memorabilia scheduled for today in New York, arguing that they are part of the nation's heritage. But auctioneers are moving ahead and say the controversy could result in record prices.  The items, owned by James Otis, a Los Angeles-based pacifist and documentary filmmaker, include Gandhi's 1910 Zenith pocket watch, steel-rimmed eyeglasses, sandals, and brass bowl and plate.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-gandhi-auction5-2009mar05,0,724549.story

China: Band says Beijing canceled concert over Tibet
By: Edward Wong, NY Times, March 5, 2009
The popular British rock band Oasis has said that the Chinese government canceled the bandís scheduled debut concerts in China because a band member appeared at a Free Tibet concert in New York in 1997.  The band said in a posting on its Web site this week that the government told the band on Feb. 28 that officials were revoking a performance license already issued for the band, and that two shows scheduled for early April in Beijing and Shanghai were being canceled.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/world/asia/06tibet.html?_r=1&ref=world

Dissidents report harassment as China congress opens
By: Khaleej Times, March 5, 2009
Dissidents said Thursday police had restricted their movements for the start of Chinaís parliament, as Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to allow more political openness and freedom of expression.  Chinese authorities nationwide were also rounding up people to stop them travelling to Beijing during the session and petitioning the government over various grievances, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders said.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2009/March/international_March373.xml§ion=international

China: 50 years after revolt, clampdown on Tibetans
By: Edward Wong, NY Times, March 4, 2009
Enraged nomads stormed through this windswept town on the Tibetan plateau a year ago this month, raiding a police compound, setting fire to squad cars and forcing police officers to flee. To the north, Tibetans on horseback galloped into a schoolyard, ripped down a Chinese flag and hoisted a Tibetan one, shouting ìFree Tibet!î
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/05/world/asia/05tibet.html?_r=1&ref=world

The China Central TV fire: A voice without restraint
By: Li Datong, Open Democracy, March 4, 2009
The fact that China is one of the worldís largest economies means that it is deeply affected by the financial crisis enveloping the globe. The Chinese media is full of bad news of a severe downturn: the stock markets crashing, property prices falling, car sales declining, businesses disappearing, 20 twenty million migrant workers retreating homewards after losing their jobs, up to a million new university graduates struggling to find work.
http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/the-cctv-fire-a-voice-without-restraint

Burma: Generation Wave activists sentenced
By: DVB, March 3, 2009
Generation Wave members Nyein Chan and Aung Ko Min were handed down jail terms by Sanchaung township court on 27 February for distributing leaflets marking the one-year anniversary of the groupís formation.  The two are currently being held at Insein prison and will be transferred to remote prisons.  
http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=2279

Pakistan's democracy in peril
By: Madhavi Bhasin, WPR, March 3, 2009
The Pakistani Supreme Court ruling on Feb. 25, 2009, that effectively upheld a ban on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections could signal yet another sabotage of democracy in Pakistan. Sharif's electoral ban quells any possibility that his PML (N) might mount a political challenge to President Asif Ali Zardari in the 2013 elections.
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=3382

China: Petitioners targeted during major meetings
By: RFA, March 3, 2009
Petitioners in the Chinese capital report heavy police surveillance and tight security as Chinaís two largest annual policy meetings get under way.  Officials at the lianghui or ìtwo big meetingsî are expected to focus on alleviating social pressures associated with the global economic crisis.
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/security-03032009170723.html

China: Sichuan activist detained for reporting on protests and clashes
By: CHRD, March 3, 2009
CHRD learned today that Xing Qingxian, a rights activist based in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, has been criminally detained on suspicion of ìdisturbing social orderî by the National Security police under Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau (PSB).
http://crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200903/20090303165728_14040.html

Digital photography giving voice to Nepal's Dalits
By: Thomas Phillips and Ida Wahlstrom, OneWorld, March 2, 2009
Thirteen members of the historically marginalized Dalit community in Nepal are harnessing the power of digital media to document their people's struggles and work for social justice.   
http://us.oneworld.net/article/360651-project-brings-digital-media-dalits-nepal

CENTRAL ASIA

Uzbekistan: 2008 Human Rights Report
By: Turkish Weekly, March 3, 2009
Uzbekistan is an authoritarian state with a population of approximately 28.2 million. The constitution provides for a presidential system with separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In practice, however, President Islam Karimov and the centralized executive branch dominated political life and exercised nearly complete control over the other branches.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/65905/2008-human-rights-report-uzbekistan-official-and-full-text-.html

EUROPE

Russia: Shelved - did Kremlin make my Stalin book disappear?
By: Orlando Figes, Guardian, March 4, 2009
Yesterday the Russian publishing house Atticus cancelled the publication of an acclaimed book by the Russian scholar Orlando Figes about life under Stalin. The publisher said it was dropping the book for economic reasons, but the historian believes that the decision was the product of political pressure and reflects a desire by the Kremlin to rehabilitate Stalin.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/04/orlando-figes-stalin-publisher

Turkey: Children being jailed under anti-terror laws
By: IFEX, March 4, 2009
A 15-year-old boy will spend more than three years in prison for taking part in a protest organised by the Kurdish militant group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Turkish court ruled last month. He's just one of the dozens of children who has been tried or sentenced under anti-terrorism laws, report IFEX members in Turkey the Initiative for Freedom of Expression (Antenna-TR) and IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET).
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/101279/

UK: Students highlight Fruit of the Loom connection to death threats
By: Indymedia, March 3, 2009
Today students from across the UK gathered outside the entrance to Fruit of the Loomís UK headquarters in Telford. They were protesting about worker repression at a Honduran factory where trade unionists face death threats, targeted dismissal and the eventual closure of their factory.
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/03/423396.html

Belarus: Journalists fined 700,000 Br for coverage of oppositional rally
By: Belarusian Legal Portal, February 28, 2009
On 25 february the court of Tsentralny district of Homel Maryna Damnenka fined members of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zmitser Karmazin and Aleh Razhkou 20 basic units (700,000 Br, or USD 245).  Independent journalists have been called responsible for ìviolation of the rules of holding street ralliesî, though they were just collecting information about the rally in support of the native language on February 21, Radio Svaboda informs.
http://prava-by.info/en/archives/473

MIDDLE EAST/ NORTH AFRICA

Court examines travel ban on Palestinian human rights leader
By: The Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2009
Shawan Jabarin, the head of a prominent Palestinian human rights group, has turned to the Supreme Court to lift a travel ban preventing him from traveling to Europe to accept a prize. The court was hearing arguments in Jerusalem on Thursday surrounding the case .  Israel has barred him from traveling to the ceremony in the Netherlands next week on security grounds, and Israeli human rights groups are challenging the ban.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1236246866955&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Egyptian bloggers unite in the face of terrorism
By: Marwa Rakha, Global Voices, March 4, 2009
Eman AbdElRahman wrote about how the Egyptian blogosphere reacted to Al Hussein bombs on February 22 that resulted in the death of a French tourist and the injury of more than 20 people.  Today, I will write about a group of Egyptian bloggers and their initiative to combat terrorism.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/03/04/egyptian-bloggers-unite-in-the-face-of-terrorism/

Egypt: Hundreds still held over Gaza protests
By: HRW, March 4, 2009
Egyptian authorities should immediately charge or free Diaa Eddin Gad, a blogger held since February 6, 2009, Human Rights Watch said today. Gad is among a number of bloggers and activists arrested in relation to protest in Egypt since the beginning of the Gaza offensive in late December 2008.  "Apparently it's not enough for the Egyptian government to imprison its own critics," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "It is now intent on silencing Egyptians who criticize Israel as well."
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/03/04/egypt-hundreds-still-held-over-gaza-protests

Iraqis protest visit of ex-Iranian president
By: AFP, March 4, 2009
Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated on Wednesday in Ramadi, capital of the Sunni Arab province of Anbar, to condemn former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's official visit to Iraq.  Waving Iraqi flags and banners that criticised the influential Iranian Shiite cleric, Sunni tribal and religious leaders marched for an hour in the city, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad, an AFP reporter said.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h0ENHc_wEn2-tMn8BNf7_X2LHgNg

Iranian Kurdistan: Womenís rights activists released
By: UNPO, March 4, 2009
Kurdish student Hana Abdi was released from prison on Thursday [27 February 2009] after spending nearly 16 months in detention. She had been charged with "enmity against God" and "gathering and colluding to harm national security".
http://www.unpo.org/content/view/9313/115/

Iran turns up pressure on rights activists
By: Scott Petersen, CSM, March 3, 2009
The black and red graffiti painted outside the apartment and offices of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi on Jan. 1 has yet to be removed.   She has left it up "so everyone will see it," says Ms. Ebadi, adding that the challenge "makes me stronger."  That choice probably suits the hostile crowd of militants who painted the messages while police watched ñ their handiwork part of a bid to unsettle Iran's best-known rights lawyer.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0303/p01s02-wome.html

From politics to sex, web users defy Arab authority
By: Mona Eltahawy, Forbes, March 3, 2009
Swingers do it. Islamists do it. Feminists do it. Even the pro-Palestinian crowd does it.  In Egypt, as in many other Arab countries, those disparate groups have one thing in common: They go online to chip away at authority--social, political, moral and religious. Few are spared the cyber-rage of the young and the marginalized, who, despite government crackdowns, are becoming bolder in speaking the unspoken and treading on any red line that gets in their way.
http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/03/islamic-palestinian-sex-opinions-contributors_egypt_swingers.html

Egypt arrests ìApril 6 Youthî activist - group plans for new strike
By: Menasset, March 3, 2009
Egyptian security forces temporarily detained Ramil Al-Swisi, a member of the April 6 Youth opposition movement, in a pre-dawn raid on March 2 according to the group. The detainment coincided with calls from the movement for a new general strike in Egypt on April 6. Last year, the movement organized a similar strike via Facebook that rallied massive online support.
http://www.menassat.com/?q=en/news-articles/6096-egypt-arrests-april-6-youth-activist-group-plans-new-strike

Iran: Identities of 25 Amir Kabir University students imprisoned in Evin Prison
By: IHRV, March 2, 2009
The names listed below are those of 25 students from the Polytechnic University whose detentions and transfers to Evin Prison have been confirmed.  There has been no further information on the statuses of the eight other students and their names will not be published until their conditions are clarified and confirmed.
http://www.ihrv.org/inf/?p=1940

Signs of life: Activists seek peace in Gaza
By: Stephen Zunes, Yes Magazine, spring 2009
In the wake of the death and destruction that resulted from the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, there is a positive story that has received little attention: People of conscience from around the world are organizing to support human rights in Palestine.
http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=3305

OCEANIA

Leading Tonga pro-democracy MP refutes claim that current reform moves are dangerous
By: Radio New Zealand, March 5, 2009
Tongaís leading pro-democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva, has denied a claim that parliament could put the country in a dangerous position by changing the system of government.  His comments follow an editorial on the Matangi Tonga news website that warns the country wonít be able to structure a new system of government with a fully-elected parliament by 2010.
http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=45156

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

Global week of actions for water justice
By: TNI, March 14 - March 22, 2009
As part of the call to the global water justice movements to mobilize against the false World Water Forum, we commit to mobilize for the Global Week of Actions for Water Justice. The global week of action serves as a common platform for movements, peoples' organizations, activists and citizens, elected representatives and governments committed to water justice for all communities to access safe, affordable water for drinking, fishing, recreational, and cultural uses in an equitable, effective, democratic way. These actions will support all the activities being planned by groups in Turkey to challenge the 5th World Water Forum.
http://www.tni.org/detail_event.phtml?act_id=19249

Join the power of women standing up for women
By: Helene Gayle, CSM, March 5, 2009
Anasuyamma stood her ground. Even when her husband and in-laws poured kerosene on her. Even when they lit the match and held it near. Anasuyamma refused to go back to the days when a daughter couldn't wed unless a bride price or "dowry" was paid to the groom's family.  "A dowry degrades women," Anasuyamma told me last year from inside her village home in India. Sitting on floor mats around her were the women who helped save her life that day four years ago. She broke free, and with the support of those friends, she prevailed. Her daughter married without payment.  Every day throughout the world, women fight for equality, asserting their rights. But they rarely succeed alone. As in Anasuyamma's case, progress most often depends on collective action.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0305/p09s01-coop.html

Democracy for export: Principles, practices, lessons
By: Daniele Archibugi, Open Democracy, March 5, 2009
Can democracy be introduced from outside, and what conditions make the effort legitimate? Answers to these crucial questions can be found by considering the global experience of democratisation in the post-1945 decades - and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - in light of the cosmopolitan project.
http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/democracy-for-export-principles-practices-lessons

New Tactics in Human Rights: A Resource for Practitioners
By: Patrick Philip Meier, iRevolution, March 4, 2090
Iíve been wanting to read ìNew Tactics in Human Rights: A Resource for Practitionersî for a while and finally found the time on the flight back from Geneva. I would definitely recommend reading New Tactics (PDF). The report combines some of my main interests: nonviolent civil resistance, tactical early warning and response, civilian protection, preparedness, technology and complex systems.
http://irevolution.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/new-tactics-in-human-rights/

Video lecture: The Israel-Palestine Conflict: What we can learn from Gandhi
By: Norman Finkelstein, March 3, 2009
This lecture will divide into three parts. First, I will lay out the terms of the international consensus for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. Second, I will sketch Gandhi's doctrine of nonviolent civil resistance. Third, I will assess the relevance of Gandhi's doctrine for the Israel-Palestine conflict. I will argue that a moral legal consensus is a prerequisite for Gandhi's doctrine to succeed. In the case of the Israel-Palestine conflict such a consensus does exist, and consequently those seeking a just and lasting peace might benefit from giving Gandhi's doctrine a serious hearing.
http://www.partyvibe.com/forums/politics-media-current-events/35795-israel-palestine-conflict-what-we.html

Science and human rights
By: HRHW, March 2, 2009
Scientists are often regarded by society as methodical intellectuals solely fixated in their pursuit of medical and technological advances. However, as detailed by Sonia Shah in this month's centerpiece, the establishment of the Science and Human Rights Coalition by the American Association for the Advancement of Science may usher new members to the field of human rights advocacy as scientists are being called upon to actively participate in the promotion and protection of human rights.
http://www.hrhw.org/2009/03/science-and-human-rights.html

A defense of peace studies
By: Rebecca Snape, Whitworthian, March 2, 2009
My favorite thing about being a peace studies major is the way people react to my being a peace studies major. Some people glow with delight and tell me the world needs me.  Some half-expect me to hurl a picket sign at them. Most are confused as to what peace studies could possibly entail.
http://www.whitworthian.com/1.1592168-1.1592168

 
ARTICLE OF SPECIAL INTEREST

AFSC nominates Gene Sharp for 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace and social justice organization, has nominated Gene Sharp for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his lifelong work of studying and promoting the power of nonviolent action to resist oppression and aggression.  Countless democratic opposition movements worldwide have used his findings to improve social and political conditions in their countries.

Now 80, Sharp has devoted more than 50 years to studying nonviolent action, documenting the strategies employed for nonviolent transformation, analyzing how they have operated, and making the results of his research accessible to the widest possible audience.  Holding advanced degrees from Ohio State and Oxford Universities, Sharp is one of the founders of the academic discipline of peace and conflict studies.  Professor Emeritus of political science, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, for nearly 30 years Sharp held a research appointment at Harvard Universityís Center for International Affairs.  He continues his research and writing as Senior Scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) at http://www.aeinstein.org, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1983 to advance the study and use of strategic nonviolent action in conflict situations around the world.

A major theorist of nonviolent action, Sharp is probably best known for publishing a shelf full of books and monographs, most notably The Politics of Nonviolent Action, 1973, immediately recognized as the definitive work on nonviolent struggle and that continues to be widely used;  From Dictatorship to Democracy 1993; and Waging Nonviolent Struggle, 2005, hailed as ìthe practitionersí handbook for the 21st century nonviolent movementî by scholar-activist Elise Boulding.  Translated into more than 45 languages, many of his works can be downloaded directly from the AEI website.  They have influenced social activists in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, Burma, and Zimbabwe to help realize positive political change nonviolently.

Although himself a pacifist, Sharp emphasizes that nonviolent action can be employed even by those who are not committed to pacifism as a moral principle.  ìNonviolent struggle can be practiced by imperfect people in an imperfect world, who are nevertheless able to act without use of violence.  Such means are available to all people who share a desire for justice, freedom, and peace.  While few individuals are able to ëturn the other cheekí in the spirit of love and forgiveness, many more are able to understand that for their particular objectives nonviolent action offers the best chances of success.î

In 1947, AFSC, along with the British Friends Service Council received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Quakers worldwide for humanitarian service during and after two World Wars.  AFSC has its international headquarters in Philadelphia and offices in 22 countries.   Its programs emphasize the inherent dignity and worth of all people; its work is based on faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

John J. Meyer Clerk, AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Committee    email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES

20 Jahre Bund f¸r Soziale Verteidigung
By: Mindener Tageblatt, March 5, 2009
Minden (mt). Ohne Waffen, aber nicht wehrlos! - unter diesem Motto wurde 1988 auf dem gleichnamigen Kongress in Minden mit mehr als 1000 Teilnehmern der Grundstein gelegt f¸r die Gr¸ndung des Bundes f¸r Soziale Verteidigung (BSV) im darauf folgenden Jahr 1989. Getreu dem damaligen Leitspruch ist der Verband seit 20 Jahren t‰tig.
http://mt-online.de/mt/lokales/minden/?sid=616ed95b197a8af932987cf9ed173c74&cnt=28761739

Madagascar: Les forces de l'ordre bloquent un meeting d'opposants
By: Jeune Afrique, March 5, 2009
Les forces de l'ordre malgaches ont empÍchÈ pour le deuxiËme jour consÈcutif la tenue d'un rassemblement des partisans de l'opposant Andry Rajoelina dans la capitale Antananarivo, o˘ quelques ÈchauffourÈes ont ÈclatÈ.
http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/DEPAFP20090305T135552Z/-manifestation-police-Andry-Rajoelina-Les-forces-de-l-ordre-bloquent-un-meeting-d-opposants.html

Cuba: Damas de Blanco denuncian 'mayor represiÛn y hostigamiento'
By: Cubaencuentro, March 4, 2009
Las Damas de Blanco denunciaron este martes que desde el pasado 20 de febrero las integrantes de esta organizaciÛn "est·n siendo vÌctimas de mayor represiÛn y hostigamiento".  "El DSE (Departamento de la Seguridad del Estado) o policÌa polÌtica detuvo por varias horas a m·s de seis Damas, amenaz·ndolas y present·ndoles actas de advertencia. Adem·s les han planteado que no pueden asistir a las actividades que tenemos programadas para el mes de marzo", seÒala el comunicado del grupo, fechado el 2 de marzo en La Habana.
http://www.cubaencuentro.com/es/cuba/noticias/damas-de-blanco-denuncian-mayor-represion-y-hostigamiento-160283

Chine: PÈkin n'a toujours pas rÈussi ‡ dompter le Tibet
By: Courrier International, March 4, 2009
Un an aprËs les Èmeutes de Lhassa et les manifestations qui ont secouÈ toute la rÈgion, celle-ci reste sous haute surveillance pour le cinquantiËme anniversaire de la fuite du dalaÔ-lama en Inde.
http://www.courrierinternational.com/article.asp?obj_id=95245

Colectivos de defensa de los derechos humanos denuncian ´censuraª en La Mar de M˙sicas
By: LaVerdad, March 4, 2009
Diversas plataformas y organizaciones sociales de defensa de los derechos humanos, de cooperaciÛn internacional al desarrollo, de ayuda al inmigrante y sindicales han unido sus voces contra lo que consideran un acto de censura por parte de La Mar de M˙sicas, organizado por el Ayuntamiento de Cartagena y que se celebrar· en julio. La ConcejalÌa de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Cartagena, organizadora del festival anual, que ofrece exposiciones, literatura, cine y conciertos musicales en torno a un paÌs invitado, que este aÒo ser· Marruecos, ´ha apartado de su programaciÛn la posibilidad de contar con la participaciÛn de Ali Lmrabet y de Nadia Yassine para no provocar conflictos diplom·ticos con Marruecos, seg˙n ha afirmado un responsable de la organizaciÛnª, explican las organizaciones movilizadas.
http://www.laverdad.es/murcia/20090304/cultura/colectivos-defensa-derechos-humanos-20090304.html

Tchad: HissËne HabrÈ devant les juges ?
By: Courrier International, March 3, 2009
La Belgique a demandÈ ‡ la Cour internationale de justice d'ordonner au SÈnÈgal de poursuivre l'ex-dictateur tchadien. Les autoritÈs sÈnÈgalaises tentent de monnayer leur bon vouloir.
http://www.courrierinternational.com/article.asp?obj_id=95144

Exister cíest RÈsister: La rÈsistance non-violente des Palestiniens de la VallÈe du Jourdain.
By: J. Bernicat et M. Lherm, Association French Palestine Solidarite, March 2, 2009
Dans la VallÈe du Jourdain un vÈritable nettoyage ethnique est en cours, qui a dÈj‡ rÈduit, dans líignorance gÈnÈrale, la population palestinienne autochtone de 250 000 habitants en 1967 ‡ 50 000 actuellement. Les habitants que nous avons vus se dÈfinissent eux-mÍmes comme une ´ Bande de Gaza oubliÈe ª.
http://www.france-palestine.org/article11257.html

Bangladesh: Face au doute, les paramilitaires se rebellent
By: Courrier International, March 2, 2009
La mutinerie des Bangladesh Rifles, le 25 fÈvrier, a pris le pays par surprise. Pourtant, le malaise profond qui s'est emparÈ de la sociÈtÈ laissait prÈsager ce genre d'ÈvÈnement, estime la presse locale.
http://www.courrierinternational.com/article.asp?obj_id=95131

Video: TÈmoignages et mobilisation : dÈfenseurs des droit...
By: AOL Living
Reportage au Palais de Chaillot, o˘, parallËlement aux manifestations officielles organisÈes ‡ l'UNESCO et ‡ l'ElysÈe, des Organisations Non Gouvernementales (ONG) ont ouvert des "Etats gÈnÈraux des droits de l'Homme". Les participants ont reÁu le soutien de l'opposante Birmane et Prix Nobel de la Paix 1991 AUNG SAN SUU KYI, par le biais d'un enregistrement vidÈo. Interview de participants dont Salima GHOZALI, AlgÈrienne, de Birod NEPAL, d'Amnesty international NÈpal, de Ratna SARUMPAET, d'IndonÈsie, d'AÔcha DABARE de Djibouti, qui font le point sur la situation des droits de l'Homme dans leurs pays respectifs.
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/tmoignages-et-mobilisation-dfenseurs-des-droits-de-lhomme/288230392892168302/?icid=VIDURVLIF09

BOOK REVIEW

Civic Driven Change: Citizen's Imagination in Action
By: Alan Fowler and Kees Biekart, TNI, March 2009
The Civic Driven change Initiative is a recent thinking and debating process to explore and communicate a perspective of change in societies that stems from citizens rather than states or markets. The initiative is meant to kick-start a public debate about and beyond aided-development.
http://www.tni.org/detail_pub.phtml?know_id=290

NOTICES

Bi-Partisan group of prominent scholars and experts urge President Obama to make democracy in the Middle East a top priority
Press Conference: Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
National Press Club, Lisagor Room
529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20045
More than 80 scholars and experts--including Egyptian democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim and former deputy prime minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim --are urging President Obama to adopt a consistent and credible policy that supports democracy in the Arab and Muslim world. The group will formally issue an open letter to the president at a press conference Tuesday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington.
To view open letter: http://islam-democracy.org/documents/pdf/Letter_to_Pres_Obama_about_Democracy_-_3-5-09.pdf
Contact for more information: Radwan Masmoudi, 202-251-3036, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Shadi Hamid, 202-470-2509, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A few new funding opps for mobile innovators
By: Mobile Active, March 2009
UC Berkeley Human Rights Center Mobile Challenge: The Human Rights Center is sponsoring a challenge to encourage innovations for applying mobile technologies for human rights investigations and advocacy; New Media Women Entrepreneurs Grants: The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs program will give one-time funding of $10,000 to women who have the vision, skills and experience to launch a new venture; N2Y4 Mobile Challenge: The N2Y4 Mobile Challenge is a call for Project submissions that engage the use of mobile technology for progressive social change; Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellows Program: Each year, Pop!Tech selects 10-20 high potential change agents from around the world who are working on highly disruptive innovations in areas like healthcare, energy, development, climate, education, and civic engagement, among many others.
For more information: http://mobileactive.org/few-new-funding-opps-mobile-innovators

Funding available for nonviolent capacity building - Application deadline 6 March 2009
By: New Tactics in Human Rights, March 2009
The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute is committed to nonviolent radical change and to supporting the peace and justice movement. The Institute's grants and sponsorships have supported grassroots projects around the world that work to end war, oppose nuclear power, stop the death penalty, fight for racial and sexual equality, and promote the use of nonviolent action. The International Nonviolence Training Fund provides grants of up to US $3,000 for projects that are designed to build capacity and leadership among people engaged in nonviolent struggles, that prepare participants for specific nonviolent actions or campaigns, and that focus on "training the trainers" in order to expand and multiply nonviolence training throughout the community. The next application deadline is March 6, 2009.
For more information, visit http://www.ajmuste.org/guidintf.htm