Friday, December 19, 2008

Blockade Continues as World Marks the 60th Anniversary

11 December 2008
Gaza: Blockade Continues as World Marks the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In a week when the world marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Israel’s blockade on Gaza shows no sign of ending. The people of the Gaza strip continue to be deprived of basic human rights such as food and fuel, whilst restrictions on foreign media entering the strip reinforces their isolation
“This is an insidious abuse that seeks to suppress legitimate cries for help and depictions of suffering from reaching the rest of the world. The rights to information and expression are fundamental human rights. They underpin all human rights and are central to human development, peace and security. In the context of a conflict, fulfilling these rights takes on particular importance: information can not only ensure that assistance is effective and locally relevant, but it can also save lives and preserve human dignity,” says Dr Agnès Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.On 4 November 2008, the Israeli authorities extended their blockade of Gaza to prevent food, fuel and essential supplies from entering the territory. Furthermore, on 6 November, the authorities imposed a news blackout by preventing international media from accessing Gaza. The blockade was eased briefly on the 27 November to allow limited amount of essential supplies, including UN food aid for only the fourth time since the start of the blockade. On 4 December, the Israeli government also lifted the ban on foreign media entering Gaza for the first time since the start of the month-long blockade. However the ban was reinstated the next day and remains in place. An Israeli Defence Force spokesman stated that the opening of crossings into Gaza would be reviewed daily and would be subject to the cessation of rocket attacks against southern Israel. However a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted that the intermittent opening of these crossings would “have little impact unless they remained open on a regular daily basis”.Speaking from Gaza, Ewa Jasiewicz, a Free Gaza organizer, journalist, and solidarity worker told ARTICLE 19 that “Israel was trying to hide the inhumane effects of the siege on the people in Gaza from the world.” Jasiewicz arrived on the Free Gaza movement ship “Dignity” which successfully broke through the Israeli blockade, arriving in the port of Gaza at 2:45pm on Tuesday 9 December. The ship was carrying essential medical supplies, high-protein baby formula, in addition to a delegation of international academics and humanitarian workers. “I am delighted to be here in Gaza,” Jasiewicz also told the Democracy Now news program. “I was banned from Palestine by the Israeli authorities and, as a journalist, I think it is important that journalists report independently from the ground, being here with people.”A severe shortage in fuel has further entrenched the isolation of Gaza as limited electricity supplies restrict access to communication channels such as the internet and satellite television.ARTICLE 19, together with the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), calls for the complete lifting on the ban on foreign media entering Gaza and not just an intermittent cessation of the ban. The people of Gaza deserve to be heard and, as nations celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, the world has a right to hear of their worsening plight. On 8 December, Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories emphasised in a statement that the UN “must implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity”.The UN Human Rights Council also issued a statement on the same day recommending the implementation of 99 measures to improve Israel’s human rights record. These include the “immediate cessation of Israel’s military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the lifting of the closure imposed on the Gaza strip, the reopening of the passage to and from the Gaza Strip and to fully respect its human rights obligations in the country, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”ARTICLE 19 and MADA join the UN Human Rights Council in urging Israel to fully respect its human rights obligations by lifting the blockade and reopening the passage to and from Gaza. We especially call for the ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza to be immediately lifted.

• For more information, please contact Hoda Rouhana, MENA Programme Officer at or tel +44 (0) 207 278 9292.• To speak to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA), contact Mousa Rimawi, MADA Coordinator at or tel +970 2 2976519. • MADA is an independent non-governmental organization established by Palestinian journalists and supporters of media freedom. The centre aims to develop Palestinian media and to defend the rights of journalists and media institution. Visit

Defending Free Expression and Diverse Voices for Twenty Years

13 December 2008
ARTICLE 19: Defending Free Expression and Diverse Voices for Twenty Years

LONDON – ARTICLE 19 has celebrated its twentieth anniversary with the launch of a groundbreaking publication Speaking Out for Free Expression in London.

Since its inception, ARTICLE 19 has been a bold voice in defense of freedom of expression. Upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the organisation’s primary aim is to hold governments and other powerful actors to account when they fall short of their obligations to protect free speech.Set against the backdrop of dramatic world events, Speaking Out for Free Expression charts the course of free expression over the past two decades. It offers a compelling story of 34 countries in five regions, and essays by international experts, comparing today’s reality with the situation for free expression two decades ago. “Our twentieth anniversary compendium celebrates the advances made for free speech in many countries, while also pointing to the newer terrains of struggle,” comments Dr. Agnès Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director. Its foreword has been jointly written by four special rapporteurs on freedom of expression from the United Nations, the Americas, Africa and Europe. Also weighing in with expert opinions are Reporters without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Privacy International, UNESCO, the World Association of Newspapers and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others. Since 1988, the world has been altered immeasurably both by the revolution in information technology and by the ending of the Cold War, which opened up a plethora of newly democratised states. Together, these forces have completely transformed people’s means of and access to expression, information and communication, particularly with the advent of internet and the spread of mobile phones. Yet today, freedom of expression remains under threat. The global war on terror launched in 2001 has rolled back freedom of expression and speech in many well-established and emerging democracies. ARTICLE 19 is at the forefront of efforts to protect these hard-won freedoms and Speaking Out for Free Expression demonstrates unequivocally the need for constant vigilance. “It is extremely poignant to be commemorating our twentieth anniversary at the same time as the world celebrates the sixtieth year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” says Callamard. “It reminds us that free expression underpins all other civil, political and economic rights and is the very oxygen of genuine democracy.”The book was launched at a celebratory event in London, attended by 80 guests representing a broad spectrum of political, media and non-governmental organisations. A message of support from Zwelakhe Sisulu, a former political detainee and previous South African board member of ARTICLE 19 stated, “ARTICLE 19 is an organisation that for many had made the difference between life and death, between pain and the ignominy of a lonely death.”
• To obtain a copy of Speaking Out for Free Expression, contact Nicola Spurr at or +44 (0)207 278 9292 / +44 (0)772 686 7868. Or visit • To read the full text of Zwelakhe Sisulu’s message, go to

Special Mandates Condemn Defamation of Religions

Special Mandates Condemn Defamation of Religions

The four special mandates on freedom of expression – the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the ACHPR (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information – today issued a Joint Declaration on Defamation of Religions, and Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Extremism Legislation, with the assistance of ARTICLE 19.

The Joint Declaration expresses concern about the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council on the subject of defamation of religions, calling on these and other international organisations to desist from adopting further statements on this issue. The Declaration also expresses concern about the proliferation, since the attacks of 11 September 2001, of anti-terrorism and anti-extremism laws which outlaw a range of legitimate political and critical speech. Among other things, the Declaration calls for:
The rejection of the very notion of defamation of religions, given that religions do not have a reputation of their own.
The repeal of laws which restrict criticism of ideas and beliefs, including religious ones (blasphemy laws).
Hate speech laws to be limited to advocacy of hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
A limited definition of terrorism as the perpetration of violent crimes with a view to inflicting terror on the general public so as to influence the actions of public authorities.
The rejection of vague notions such as the ‘glorification’ or ‘promotion’ of terrorism or ‘extremism’ in anti-terrorism laws.
Respect for the media’s role in informing the public about terrorism and acting as watchdog of government, as well as their right to protect their confidential sources of information.
ARTICLE 19 first brought the special mandates on freedom of expression together in 1999 and they have issued a Joint Declaration every year since then. Each Declaration serves to elaborate on the meaning of freedom of expression in a different thematic area(s). Collectively, the Declarations provide important guidance to those wishing to understand international human rights standards.

• The Joint Declaration is available at: • For more information: please contact Toby Mendel,, +44 (0)796 401 5083.

Pattern of Repression

Around Africa November 2008
Pattern of Repression

In November, a pattern of repression of journalists and human rights defenders Around Africa raised anxiety among activists. Sudan has been particularly severe in its repression of the press and journalists had earlier in the month organised protests, including hunger strikes, against the pre-publication censorship of newspapers. In response, the Sudanese National Security Services (NSS) unleashed even more aggressive attacks on the media including the interrogation, arrests and torture of journalists aimed intimidating them into silence. Our partners describe a brutal push by the NSS to prevent reporting of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) indictment of President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for crimes in Darfur and neighbouring Chad. ARTICLE 19 urges all governments, their embassies in Khartoum, regional groups and the international community to intercede and defend the framework for peace in Sudan, which includes right of free expression. Somalia has all but forbidden journalists to do their work. Daily arrests, kidnappings, and even deadly violence are increasingly part of media professionals’ experiences. Radio journalists have been a particular target. Now media repression is spreading to Somaliland which had been seen as relatively progressive on free expression. In November, three journalists were seriously injured in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland in northern Somalia, when a bomb detonated as they worked. Freelance journalist Hadis Mohammed Hadis was held for two weeks at the Criminal Investigation Department in Hargeisa before being released. ARTICLE 19 calls on Somaliland authorities to maintain its progressive advance toward rule of law including respect for the right of free expression.Repression also resurfaced in Swaziland where officials are exploiting a counter-terrorism act passed in May 2008 to muzzle the press Political activities have been outlawed, marches and demonstrations have been banned, and television camera crews, journalists and political activists have been arrested and interrogated “for making remarks in support of terrorism”. ARTICLE 19 appeals for restraint in Swaziland. Counter-terrorism should not be a pretext for repression and muzzling of free expression.
News Roundup
Official resistance to freedom of expression was palpable Around Africa throughout the month of November. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, journalists (Congolese and foreign) were abducted. Nzonzo Bitwahiki Munyamariza, a 27-year-old journalist and presenter at a community radio station Radio Communautaire Ushikira (Racou), reportedly died from a bullet wound during a stampede that followed the attack on his village of Kiwanja. The journalist's killer is unknown and some of his colleagues were released after a brief detention. Tunisian authorities have charged independent Tunisian independent television station reporter Fahem Boukadous with “belonging to a criminal association” and “spreading reports liable to disrupt public order” last July. Boukadous has since been in hiding. The indictment accuses Boukadous of establishing contacts with demonstrators, as part of his work as a journalist. ARTICLE 19 joins with Reporters Sans Frontières in calling for a withdrawal of the charge against Boukadous. Guinea’s National Communications Council (CNC) took community radio Familia FM, off the air for allegedly broadcasting information that the CNC claimed could “disturb the public peace”. Familia FM is a popular private community radio station that specialises in social issues, but only has the right to broadcast news bulletins. ARTICLE 19 joins the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in calling on the Guinean authorities to reverse this decision.
Events and New Directions
ARTICLE 19 attended a November roundtable with Foster Dongozi, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) during his recent visit to the UK. At a roundtable meeting organised by National Union of Journalists in London, Dongozi provided an update on challenges facing media organizations and professionals in Zimbabwe. He described an anxious work environment where many journalists including bloggers “have compromised ethical conduct”. Dongozi commented,“With the muzzling of most independent and local press, including community radio, online journalism has blossomed, providing an outlet for the younger generation such as new graduates”, but also lamented the fact that they often have “little or no sense of professional standards”. Dongozi called for wider support to strengthen the policy and regulatory environment after the political turmoil ends. He said the power-sharing deal between the Movement for Democratic Change and ZANU-PF includes a recognition that the media landscape is abnormal, “yet violations of free expression and attacks on the media have continued”. Dongozi said the ZUJ would welcome support for training in ethical news gathering and quality reporting. ARTICLE 19 calls on Zimbabwe’s political and community leaders to ensure an enabling environment where journalists can uphold basic standards of ethics in news reporting.
Strengthening Media Policy and Regulation in Africa
In November, ARTICLE 19 with PANOS Institute for West Africa (PIWA) and the Broadcasting Regulatory Authority of Senegal (CNRA) convened a workshop of media regulators from the French speaking zone of West Africa in Dakar, Senegal. This pilot workshop was based on the recently published French version of ARTICLE 19’s Training Manual for Regulators, aimed at strengthening regulatory frameworks for enabling pluralistic and diverse broadcasting in Africa. A similar workshop with the English speaking zone was conducted 2006 when the manual was first published. “Through shared principles of media policy and regulation, we have a unique opportunity to broaden freedom expression and media pluralism across Africa,” says Dr. Agnès Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19 who attended the Dakar workshop. Plans for a Portuguese version of the manual are ongoing. Both the English and French editions are available at:
New Trade Group Aims for Progressive Media Industry Practice
ARTICLE 19 welcomes the launch of a new professional body, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), which is poised to advocate progressive terms of employment for media practice on the continent. Delegates from journalists' unions and associations from 31 African countries convened in Nairobi on 21-22 November for the launch of FAJ, following its first working congress to discuss issues affecting the media industry in Africa. The congress adopted a constitution, which expresses unwavering support for fundamental principles of trade unionism, press freedom and freedom of expression. Delegates also established rules of the organisation, a two-year working programme and elected a steering committee of seven members for a three-year term.

• For more information: please contact Africa Programme Officers Cece Fadoupe, or Roxanne Abdulali +44 20 7278 9292



Last month, veteran crime reporter José Armando Rodríguez was shot to deathat his home in Ciudad Juárez on the Texas border, setting off another roundof condemnation from IFEX members about the relentless violence that isstifling critical journalism in Mexico. According to ARTICLE 19-Mexico and the National Center for SocialCommunication (CENCOS), Rodríguez is the 13th journalist to be killed inMexico this year alone. His murder cements Mexico's position as the mostdangerous country in the Americas for journalists and media professionals,even surpassing Colombia. And like the other 12 murders of journalists inMexico this year, impunity prevails: Rodríguez's killers have not beenbrought to justice. With the government doing little to protect its journalists, ARTICLE19-Mexico and CENCOS launched their own campaign last week against thebrutal and targeted killing of their colleagues. "Te hace daño no saber"("What you don't know can hurt you") is the slogan of their nationwidecampaign to protect journalists in Mexico and, by default, the "right ofsociety as a whole to be informed." "Journalists are under fire because of the work they do ... Their presencehas become uncomfortable for drug cartels, police and authorities up to thefederal level. The campaign seeks to ensure that violence againstjournalists and impunity become a national outcry, and a national priorityagainst which all actors will take action," said ARTICLE 19, which, withCENCOS, presented the campaign on the occasion of the 60th anniversary ofthe Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The campaign already has the backing of more than a dozen national andinternational civil society organisations that have already "carried outvarious actions to make visible the problems in (the) country." Theyinclude IFEX members the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters(AMARC), the Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET) and ReportersWithout Borders (RSF). It also boasts the support of high-profile press freedom advocates. Guestsat the launch included Lydia Cacho, a Mexican reporter who has been thetarget of death threats, sabotage, defamation suits and police harassmentbecause of her work uncovering prostitution and child pornography networks,and Rosa Isela Caballero, the wife of journalist José Antonio García Apac.García disappeared two years ago in Michoacán. In the early stages of the campaign, CENCOS and ARTICLE 19 have unveiled a"Practical Guide on Freedom of Expression in Mexico" - a backgrounder thatgives a history of free expression in the country, detailed info on whichpolitical and judicial organisations protect free expression, and even anannex of violations this year. They have also released a guide on how todocument and monitor attacks on journalists - and methodologies they andothers in the industry have used. All of this and more are available on the"What you don't know can hurt you" campaign website: ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS said their next step is to replicate the campaign inother countries in the region, such as in Guatemala, El Salvador, Hondurasand Nicaragua - where violence against media workers and violation of thepublic right to know are endemic. Their overall objective is to strengthenlocal capacities and build a continent-wide protection network. "It is time for journalist organisations, media owners and directors toassume their role in demanding the level of safety needed to truly exercisepress freedom," said ARTICLE 19. "The core demands have to come fromwithin."

Visit these links:- "What you don't know can hurt you": - ARTICLE 19: CENCOS: IFEX Mexico page:



Human Rights Day, which marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is celebrated throughout the world every year on 10 December. Perhaps even more so this milestone year, the 60th anniversary of the declaration. And yet the day was marked in China by the arrests of several human rights activists who were organising activities around the anniversary, report PEN American Center and Reporters Without Borders (RSF). IFEX members and other rights groups are commemorating the occasion by standing up for these activists in China, along with other human rights defenders, journalists and others who speak out for their right to free expression - as enshrined in Article 19 of the declaration - in the face of increasing repression. Here is a sampling of the global events and celebrations. AFRICA The independent trust Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) notes with disappointment that Zimbabwe's restricted media landscape has remained unchanged since Human Rights Day last year. Repressive media laws are still being used to gag alternative sources of information, the country is still without any private daily newspapers, community radio stations or independent television, and journalists are still harassed, unlawfully detained, tortured and murdered, says MMPZ. All these violations are despite the power-sharing agreement signed in September by Zimbabwe's majorpolitical parties acknowledging the need for a free and diverse media environment. Among other recommendations MMPZ is urging whichever government that emerges to repeal the draconian laws. Read them here:
"What you don't know CAN hurt you," say ARTICLE 19 and the National Center for Social Communication (CENCOS), who have launched a campaign for the protection of journalists in Mexico. Yes, Mexico - a country that many saw as a model of democracy and economic growth - is now the most dangerous country to practise journalism in the Americas. See more on the campaign below, "ARTICLE 19 and CENCOS Unveil Campaign to Protect Journalists". The World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) secured top First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams to speak at its annual lecture, held at the United Nations in New York on the eve of Human Rights Day. Abrams tackled the heady topic of religious defamation, arguing that if the UN adopts recent recommendations to criminalise defamation of religion, it would be undermining its own free speech provisos as laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The full text of Abrams's talk will be madeavailable on the WPFC website: Those who stuck around could see Freedom House's senior scholar Leonard R. Sussman be crowned the first champion of the Dana Bullen Press Freedom Advocacy Prize, named in honour of WPFC's first executive director. Sussman, who was Freedom House's ED for 21 years (1967-88) and has written 10 books on press freedom, is the man behind Freedom House's respected annual press freedom survey.


Human Rights Watch was also in New York celebrating a personal achievement on 10 December: they were one of five winners of the 2008 United Nations Prize for Human Rights for their "outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights." Executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth said the prize would help Human Rights Watch in its campaigns to stop the killings in Darfur, end the use of cluster bombs worldwide, shut down Guantanamo, free child soldiers and protect civilians during armed conflict. "By raising the cost of abuse, we make governments think twice about violating the rights of their people. In the process, we save lives and promote fundamental freedoms," Roth said. Human Rights Watch is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. Check out some of their achievements:
On 8 December, prominent Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo and fellow activist Zhang Zuhua were arrested at their homes. While Zhang was released the following day, Liu faces subversion charges and faces up to three years in jail. Their crime? They were some of the many signatories of Charter 08, a declaration sent round on the eve of Human Rights Day that outlines bold political reforms and calls for greater human rights and democracy in China. American Pen Center is calling for Liu's release: .
Read Charter 08 here: Meanwhile, police have detained, interrogated and harassed plenty of other activists to prevent them from participating in activities that commemorate the 60th anniversary of UDHR. RSF reports on the arrests: , as does PEN American Center:
The International Federation of Journalists' affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) observed the anniversary by holding a candle-lighting ceremony in memory of slain journalists. In the Philippines, 98 journalists have been killed since 1986, 62 since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001, and seven this year alone, says NUJP. See:
Defamation was the hot topic in Indonesia this year, thanks to some recent legislation that cements it in the criminal code - like the new Internet law that makes spreading defamatory material online punishable with up to six years in jail and a US$15 million fine. So to fight back, an alliance of Indonesian journalists, lawyers and press freedom groups are using Human Rights Day to call on the government to remove defamation from the criminal code, and for parties to use civil defamation law instead. Read more on the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) website:
A 1998 media freedom law in Mongolia forbids censorship and state ownership of any media, and now, there are almost 400 media outlets across the country. But Globe International, IFEX's member in Mongolia, registers about 40 free expression violations of free expressions every year: many of them government denials of access to information requests, or pressure on journalists to reveal their sources. Globe held a roundtable on "Article 19 and Independent Journalism" on 8 December to tackle these challenges. Email:

Freedom House is urging Uzbek President Islam Karimov to release all human rights defenders in Uzbekistan "as a sign that he is committed to upholding the declaration." Read the letter: Kudos to Panayot Elias Dimitras, the spokesperson for IFEX member Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM). He has picked up the first Human Rights Champion Award, given by the Macedonia-based Civil Society Research Center. The pure gold medal is conferred to an individual from southeastern Europe who reflects the ethos of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Through GHM, Dimitras has advocated for human rights of marginalised groups in Greece and Europe, particularly of Roma, and contributed to theirprotection. Email:


There's not a lot to celebrate in the Middle East and North Africa, says a new report by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS). "From Exporting Terrorism to Exporting Repression" documents the human rights situation in 12 Arab countries, and finds that attacks on the already limited freedoms in the region have actually increased. Read snippets of the report here:

And in the year when the concept of religious defamation is being hotly debated at the UN, CIHRS, as well as nearly 100 Arab intellectuals and rights organisations, is appealing to religious institutions and movements in the region on Human Rights Day to set aside "the religious perspective" when considering free expression. "We are convinced that disentangling religion and freedom of expression is one of the main prerequisites for the resurgence of our Arab societies, which will enable us (to) join the march of history instead of being excluded from it," said the signatories. Read the full statement:
RSF marked the 60th anniversary by releasing a damning report on the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council. "States with repressive governments are elected to the council and thus tasked with ensuring respect in other countries for rights they themselves are abusing on a daily basis. Until this absurd situation is ended, the United Nations cannot be said to be fulfilling its goal of protecting human rights," RSF said. The council has hardly challenged the worse abusers, such as China and Burma, and Iran and Uzbekistan have escaped sanctions, says RSF. Meanwhile, the dangerous concept of defamation of religion continues to be added to council resolutions. Read more criticism of the main UN human rights body in the report, and RSF's recommendations on how the council canredeem itself: The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) knows that free expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in international law - and wants to ensure the world knows it too. IAPA has kicked off a public awareness campaign under the slogan "One word can make a thousand changes in your life, and you have the right to say the next one." For materials, see:

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), is asking people not to forget that this December also marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Thanks to the declaration, the Observatory says local and international organisations haven't been afraid to carry out protective actions, resulting in the release of defenders or the end ofthreats and harassment against them. But the situation of human rights defenders remains extremely worrying in a number of countries, says the Observatory - consider the arrest of Uzbek and Chinese activists involved in preparing local events to celebrate Human Rights Day. The Special Rapporteur on the situation for Human Rights Defenders issued a similar warning - as well as "10 messages to know defenders better". Did you know, for example, that there is not a regional human rights mechanism for the protection of defenders in Asia? Read all the messages here:

If you have made it this far, it's time to take action. Amnesty International is asking you to "Fire Up!" Join thousands of people around the world and light a candle, fire or flame as part of a mass demonstration in support of human rights. There are confirmed Fire Up! events happening in 27 countries with more than 100 cities and towns taking part. Candles will also be lit online by people taking part in Fire Up! on their websites and blogs. See your country's local Amnesty International website for more details. While you're there, "Sign Up!" by adopting the Passport for Human Rights - the belief that that everyone has rights, regardless of their race, colour, creed, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or age. See: Finally, check out the UN's "Dignity and Justice for All of Us", a worldwide campaign to stop human rights abuses by governments, businesses and others. "The declaration remains as relevant today as it did on the day it was adopted," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when he announced the campaign last December. "But the fundamental freedoms enshrined in it are still not a reality." For the official version of events onInternational Human Rights Day, visit:

source :
The "IFEX Communiqué" is published weekly by the International Freedom ofExpression eXchange (IFEX). IFEX is managed by Canadian Journalists forFree Expression ( ) on behalf of the network's 80member organisations.


IFEX Communiqué ( )

In a year when religious extremism tore through Pakistan, the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has honoured the editor of two Pakistani independent, secular publications with its annual Golden Pen of Freedom Award. Najaam Sethi is the editor of the "Friday Times" and "Daily Times", papers known for their strong editorial line condemning autocracy and religious fundamentalism. Being at the helm of the newspapers has put Sethi at odds with both the Pakistani authorities and religious groups for years. He has been threatened with death by the Taliban and other radical Muslim groups, and has been jailed and beaten for offending the government. His home and office are now under constant guard. Despite the risks, Sethi says he will not be silenced. "Extremists have always used coercion to silence their critics and that is exactly what is happening now," Sethi says. "This is a battle that the media and the country cannot afford to lose." "All journalists are aware of the dangers of inciting extremists who violently oppose reporting that is contrary to their view of the world," said WAN's board when it announced their decision. "Sethi has chosen, in a region fraught with such dangers, to brave them. His commitment to providing truthful and independent coverage in this region, despite great personal danger and sacrifice, is in the best traditions of journalism. We think the award will inspire others to resist such pressure." The award will be presented at WAN's World Newspaper Congress and WorldEditors Forum, which will be held in Hyderabad, India from 22 to 25 Marchnext year: More details of the award and a list of laureates can be found at:


Source : IFEX Communiqué (
Four international bodies that have special mandates on free expression have issued a declaration calling for international organisations to reject the notion of defamation of religion and vague definitions of anti-terrorism, reports ARTICLE 19, the body that brought them together. The four free expression special rapporteurs in the UN, Europe, the Americas and Africa declared that international organisations, such as the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, should refrain from adopting statements that criminalise "defamation of religion" and blasphemy laws. They said the concepts do "not accord with international standards." They also expressed concern about the proliferation of anti-terrorism laws since the 11 September 2001 attacks, and advised that the definition of terrorism should be restricted to "violent crimes… (that) inflict terror on the public." Their definition rejects the vague ideas of "providing communications support" or "promoting" extremism or terrorism. The declaration also called for respect for the media's role in informing the public about terrorism and acting as watchdog of government, as well as their right to protect their confidential sources of information. "The four global mandates' annual joint declarations for promoting freedom of expression are an excellent example of international cooperation in the field of human rights advocacy," said Miklos Haraszti, the special rapporteur from the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). "Just like the OSCE media freedom commitments, these documents are directed at updating international mechanisms on freedom of opinion, expression and the media." ARTICLE 19 first brought the special mandates on freedom of expression together in 1999 and they have issued a joint declaration every year since then. "The declarations provide important guidance to those wishing to understand international human rights standards," says ARTICLE 19. Read more on the declaration from ARTICLE 19 at: Read the full text of the declaration at:


source: IFEX Communiqué ( )

Authorities in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Tunisia prevented four Arab journalists and human rights activists from attending the Arab Free Press Forum, an annual gathering in Beirut, Lebanon organised by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and "An-Nahar" newspaper. The forum, held on 12 and 13 December, examined how independent media can be effective despite widespread repression in the region. WAN, and the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG), which held a special event during the forum, condemned the travel restrictions. "We can at least thank the authorities of Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Syria for this eloquent and timely demonstration of their contempt for, and fear of, free expression, as we open this forum," said Timothy Balding, WAN CEO. Among those prohibited from travelling were Tunisians Lofti Hidouri and Mohamed Abbou, who were scheduled to participate in the TMG event. Airport police in Tunisia on 10 December prevented journalist Hidouri and human rights lawyer and writer Abbou from boarding the plane to Beirut. Hidouri was detained overnight as a result of a small fine he received two years ago, which the authorities claim he had not paid. He was released the next day after Abbou went to court on his behalf with evidence that he had paid the fine, reports the Observatory for Freedom of the Press, Publishing and Creation (OLPEC), IFEX's member in Tunisia. It was the fifth time Abbou was prevented from travelling since his release from prison in July 2007. Speaking at the TMG event, Naziha Rjiba and Sihem Bensedrine of "Kalima" online magazine and OLPEC said the jailing of Hidouri perfectly illustrates the repression of independent journalists and rights activists in Tunisia. Rjiba said of Hidouri, who was travelling with her, "He was right next to me. I looked left, I looked right, and he vanished. It was like the magician David Copperfield. All that was left of him was his suitcase." Bensedrine read a poetic speech by Abbou, in which he said, "I take this opportunity to say to all who contributed to defending and supporting me when I was imprisoned under the tyranny of dictatorship that their effort did not go in vain, and without their support, my imprisonment would have been much harder. Without this solidarity, those who threatened my family would have carried out their threats." Representatives of the Tunisian government in attendance failed in their attempts to disrupt the event, proving again the lengths the authorities will go to in their efforts to silence free voices. TMG chair Rohan Jayasekera noted the strength of the TMG comes from its composition: there is strong regional representation among the 18 members. Half of the TMG members were in attendance in Beirut. Video of the TMG event and Abbou's speech will be posted online at the TMG website shortly at: Another recently released prisoner of conscience, Abdel Karim al-Khaiwani, former editor-in-chief of "Al-Shoura" in Yemen, was allowed to travel despite a previous ban. Speaking at the forum, he said, "The lack of press freedom in the Arab world is like a disease," and he fears it will infect even those countries where the press is relatively free. "There are a lot of Arab states that are talking about reform and democracy, but they remain in bad shape. The reports of the international organisations show that the democracy claims are false," he added. Al-Khaiwani, the father of five children, told the IFEX Clearing House that he and his family are in danger if he picks up his pen again, and he appealed for continued international support. The forum closed with the presentation to Ibrahim Issa, editor-in-chief of Egypt's "Al-Dustour" newspaper, with the 2008 Gebran Tueni Award, the annual WAN prize that honours an editor or publisher in the Arab region. The prize is made in memory of Gebran Tueni, the Lebanese publisher and WAN board member who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut on 12 December 2005. It was presented by WAN in recognition of "Issa's commitment to freedom of the press, his courage, leadership, ambition and high managerial and professional standards." In his acceptance remarks, Issa called on journalists in the Arab world to band together to fight restrictions and to oppose the fight against press freedom, what he called "the only war Arab rulers have ever agreed upon." Read Issa's full speech at: and see more news from the Arab Free Press Forum at:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The whole World stands with the people of India

The whole World stands with the people of India

The showering Condolences from nations around the globe

Obama and his wife, Michelle
"deepest condolences to the loved ones of the American citizens who lost their lives in the outrageous terrorist attacks in Mumbai." "Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with all who have been touched by this terrible tragedy."
"stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-fill ideology." "root out and destroy terrorist networks"."ready to assist and support the Indian Government".
Brooke Anderson
"These co-ordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism," "President-elect Obama strongly condemns today's terrorist attacks in Mumbai," "These coordinated attacks on innocent civilians demonstrate the grave and urgent threat of terrorism," "The United States must continue to strengthen our partnerships with India and nations around the world to root out and destroy terrorist networks. "We stand with the people of India."
The State Department
"We are monitoring the situation very closely and stand ready to support the Indian authorities as they deal with this horrific series of attacks,"

White House National Security Council Ben Chang
"We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life. We continue to seek more information,"
A State Department official of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
"The secretary will be reaching out to officials at the US embassy in New Delhi and at the consulate in Mumbai. She will be reaching out to Indian government officials as well. The situation on the ground is extremely fluid,"

Jordan's King Abdullah II to Pratibha Patil
The king said terrorism threatens international peace and stability. It is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestations regardless of justifications or motives. He strongly condemns the cowardly act of terrorism, voicing his sincere condolence and deep sorrow over the great loss in the attacks. The king also affirmed that Jordan will side with India and its people to overcome this ordeal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Merkel phoned Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday to express shock at the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
In her message of condolence, Merkel said Germany condemned "these criminal acts in strong terms," and "our thoughts are with the victims and their families." "I was appalled to hear the shocking news about the terror attacks on your country. As well as the sad fate of the many dead I'm particularly moved by the terrible situation of those who've been taken hostage. The Federal Republic strongly condemns these criminal acts. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to you and the people of your country."

Steinmeier also offered his condolences to Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
"I would like to extend to you and to the Indian people, also on behalf of my fellow Germans, our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy,"
"The Federal Government condemns these cold-blooded attacks, which were clearly planned far in advance, in the strongest possible terms," "even more closely at international level to combat terrorism,"

Senator John Cornyn of Texas
"stay united""The attacks in Mumbai are a sad and solemn reminder that the threat of terrorism remains very real and present. Now more than ever, our nation and our allies must stay united in the fight against terrorism to protect innocent life and the freedoms we hold so dearly" "My family and I want to offer our heartfelt condolences to our friends in India, fellow Americans and all those who lost loved ones in the senseless terrorist attacks in Mumbai""Sadly, our nation is no stranger to the wrath of terrorists with no regard for human life. While we know firsthand the feelings of shock and grief, we also know how tragedy can bring a nation together to rebuild and grow even stronger."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
"COWARDS and murderers" "This cowardly attack on India's stability, peace and democracy reminds us all that international terrorism is far from defeated.
"Whichever group has perpetrated this attack, they are cowards, absolute cowards and murders." "This is an assault on all of us who cherish the values of free society. It is a reminder that the terrorist threat to freedom has not retreated and we must remain as vigilant and courageous, as stalwart and forthright in our opposition to terrorism as ever."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
‘outrageous’ "the UK stands solidly with his Government, and to offer all necessary help".
"These outrageous attacks in Mumbai will be met with a vigorous response,"
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband
“remind us, yet again, of the threat we face from violent extremists”.
United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
"Such violence is unacceptable."
"The secretary-general reiterates his conviction that no cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians,"

French President Nicolas Sarkozy
"I strongly condemn the indiscriminate violence that hit your country through this series of ugly and odious terrorist acts. In this sad moment, I wish to give my sincerest condolences to the families of the innocent victims of these reprehensible attacks and express my sympathy and my wish to the injured for rapid recovery."

The French presidency of the European Union
"with horror and indignation" and "condemns them in the strongest possible terms".
EU "shares the mourning of the Indian nation and stands by its side during this dramatic test".
EU Presidency
"We share the sorrow of the Indian nation and are at its side at this tragic moment,"

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the heinous terrorist attacks throughout the city of Mumbai. I convey my most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and my sympathy to the Indian authorities. To those who were injured, I wish a speedy recovery. These acts show once again the need for the international community to stand united against terrorism and fight it with determination."

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon
"savage terrorist attacks" "Canada strongly condemns the savage terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which have left hundreds of innocent civilians injured or killed. These cowardly attacks are truly appalling. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured."

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe
"tremendous sadness and condemnation of the attacks".

"strong condemnation of all forms of terrorism"

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
"The monstrous crimes of terrorists in Mumbai arouse our wrath, indignation and unconditional condemnation. The inhuman terrorist attacks on hospitals, hotels and other public places aimed at killing peaceful civilians, taking and murdering hostages are crimes directed against the very basis of civilized society. Those guilty of them should be severely punished."
The UN Security Council
"The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Indian authorities in this regard,"

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski
"acts of barbarity and expressed solidarity with the victims". "The Mumbai terrorist attacks show that the fight with terrorism is necessary," "These acts of terrorism shows that the problem exists and it can't be easily solved. The fight with it (Terrorism) is justified, even if some mistakes have been made,"

The Swiss government
"Switzerland condemns these terrorist acts as absolutely unjustifiable. The people and authorities of Switzerland extend their condolences to the Indian authorities and their deep sympathies to the families of the victims,"

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Pakistan denounces terror strike
“We condemn these attacks,”
Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed
"mindless act" "Bangladesh stands firm with her friends in India at this hour of grief,"
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa
"My government and I hasten to condemn most vehemently the brutal acts of terrorism that killed more than 100 persons and injured many more in the attacks carried out in the Indian city of Mumbai last night. Our thoughts to go out to the families of those killed and injured and in these acts of terror; we express our deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased and wish a speedy recovery to those injured and the safe and early release of hostages.

Pope Benedict XVI
"deeply concerned" "kindly to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in these brutal attacks, and to assure the public authorities, citizens and all those affected of his spiritual closeness. The Holy Father prays for the repose of the souls of the victims and implores God's gift of strength and comfort for those who are injured and in mourning."
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the mindless and indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Attacking innocent people, tourists and patients in hospitals is despicable and cowardly. On behalf of the Alliance, I am relaying the sincerest words of solidarity and sympathy to the Indian authorities, to Indian people and especially families of the victims."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai
"The government and people of Afghanistan stand by India in the aftermath of this horrific and inhuman act of terror. Nothing is more heinous and deplorable than taking the lives of innocent people in such a cowardly attack on public places. ... Terrorism is a threat to us all, affecting India, Afghanistan and the region. Responding to this threat requires nothing less than a joint strategy to defeat this menace."
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura
"The Japanese government disapproves of any act of terrorism, and we emphasize that there is no justification for any act of terrorism. We wish that the people of India will quickly be able to overcome such suffering. Japan and India will continue to work closely to fight against terrorism."
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
"strongly condemned" the attacks and that China is "firmly opposed to terrorism of any form."
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
"I condemn the terror attack that is still ongoing in Mumbai it is another painful testimony that terrorism is the main challenge that Israel and the International community are dealing with."
South African government
"The South African government extends its condolences to the government and people of India following a spate of attacks on a number of hotels, hospital and a restaurant in Mumbai, which left a number of people dead and wounded while others have been taken hostage."
Singaporean government
"Singapore strongly condemns the attacks. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the victims, their families, the government of India and its people. The Mumbai attacks underscore the common terrorist threat that we continue to face today. Singapore stands firmly behind the Indian government in its fight against terrorism."


We, all Indian stand in solidarity with the families of our protectors, brave soldiers, and unsung heroes whose lives have been dedicated for this country.

We appeal to all Indians to stay united and foil the evil designs of the terrorists whose main objective is to spreading violence and hatred. We urge the political leaders not to exploit these terrorist acts for political goal.

We are alarmed over the sophistication and military level planning seen in these coordinated attacks and on the failure of the intelligence agencies in preventing such a huge and widespread attack. We demand that the federal and state governments bring the perpetrators of these actions to justice swiftly.

Rainbow Artists and Writers Foundations

Sunday, November 30, 2008

In search of ideas and chances for global peace

In face of terrorism we are all united, save this planet
double click the pictures to see enlarged
The picture shows how terrorists are killing, maximum impact minimum efforts.
Beware of double standard people among us, who support terrorism in disguise.

Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi's popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.
Double standard people are within us help terrorists escape and hide.we have to find them out. Keep an ear open to all religious temples where they speak through alien languages, all religious shrines are victim and occupied by terror elements, and a shelter of terrorists. keep watch.

The picture below shows how terrorists are growing.

Terrorism atacked India time and again and indian leaders are soft on it, this resulted 26/11. and unless the world leaders do something in stringent manner-- a stern action the human race will face an awkward situation. Freedom of Expression is already had jolts and brushes.
Dec. 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Pakistan-based terror groups were blamed for the attack. pic. above

In search of ideas and chances for global peace : Let us rethink about other angles what we can do our best

by - Albert AshokText Color
This is a global war against terro r. From 9/11 to 26/11 this planet of human abode is ashamed of its failure to curb demoniac force. The terrorism unleashes catastrophes and relishes its victory over human blood. This globe has shown enough mercy and compassion toward terrorism. But this long restraint has sent a wrong signal to this evil force. The terrorists think we are really weak and spineless. Though they know they will never succeed to their goal but they can try hitting lives, bringing disaster, damaging private properties. They think they are doing some jihad ( religious glorious act, the world spit on them) and their double standard patronisers are within us, they come forward for them with plea of mercy whenever they ( the terrorists) are in danger. The masked people should be sorted out, and mark them in public.

How long it will take to eliminate this cancerous growth of the disease for this planet? We, common men are made of flesh and blood. We can not restrain ourselves from being struck time and again, our calmness, coolness and priceless patience has definite limit. If government forces, world leaders , big human right forces, institutions can not bring solutions, meaningful peace to protect each and every peace loving human souls let us give licenses to kill attackers and eliminate terrorists. I am not against any race , colour, religion and other human values of common. I am against only all forms of terrorism. We believe we have power, we shall not attack any body, not allow attackers on us, to remain on our stand if our messages of love fails than we can DO what IT EXACTLY DEMANDS. We are the victims of terror mongers. We, also believe that our heart is humble enough, we have respect for all creeds, race, religion and other human values, and when we are in public we do not stand tall than others. Our respect for mutual relation is equal, and we stand colourful harmoniously in solidarity of human kind. But when you come in public and you boast your religion, race, colour, ethnicity etc. are taller than other -- it means you are violating common codes and norms, you are the root of evil. We are strong enough to weed out evil at least for the sake of mass and stop play havoc.Let us consider (if needs be) sacrifice one to save thousand. We want license for arms to protect ourselves. We understand the use and responsibility of arms.Let peace be fully armed to protect its modesty. We have respect for love. Love can yield fruits of paradise. But we also know no seed can grow on rock, and seedlings have certain conditions of germination. You need the right climax on right track. You never go to wild beasts with out proper security and never ever preach love and non violence to wild animals.Terrorists have no name , no relation, they are beasts of hell. Shoot them at sight. People Who prevent you mark them, watch them they are double standard. As soon as you find them are terrorist eliminate, then and forever.

Look what is their demand! Do they beg money to you? No. Do they want shelter to you? No. Do they preach freedom for any country? No. Do they want to bring a new government ? No. Do they have want release of a political leader? No then What they want? They only want unrest, chaos, barbarity and follow their religious scriptures. They want to rule this world according their religious law book. Do you agree with them. I understand we want peace and avoid their aim and movement. We have receded back a lot of space and sympathy has been poured on them to correct their way. But beasts will remain beast, like coal never changes its colour, at least they have proved.Today, it is clear who are terrorists, a few decades in past have documents who they are, from which religion they descended, which religion they practice and preach, which countries support them , where they find the fund and resources, who are their helpers. The whole world spit on terrorism and on its very roots. The share also divided by their brotherhood. I hope history repeats. The religion will be destroyed by their own demoniac creature unless their own people curb and control. Do you remember Frankenstein, who created the monster! Some religious leaders are playing Frankenstein. They are defeated time and again, still they are with their evil design,with thirst of blood. Vampires. The religion supports them I don’t think the major part are proud when they feel the heat from global index fingers. If they want their lives be secured they should come clean doing some exemplary action against terrorism and a confession in public .Mr Qureshi of Pakistan and other ministers of Pakistan, You may close your eyes and see none, all your expression say in other words that you are guilty and supporters of this most hatred crime against India and humanity. You may be under the pressure of your crime generating religious and political leaders, but we expect you should have least honesty with your neighbouring country. You sold yourself to other countries many times in past in the name of eliminating Taliban and Al-qaeda. You deceived them. You are doing business in the name of curbing terrorism. You have rented your soil to criminals that attacked India time and again. From 1993 we have definite proof that you acted like cunning jackals. Your words and deed never match. You close eyes everytime a raising pointed finger of global allegations towards you. And it fuels anger in double. We are frustrated by your ISI activities and underhand connected with terrorism. You people are provoking the common people of the globe to resort for counter violence. We don’t expect it from you.We urge to world leaders to bring a pact of peace and take a stern action against Terrorism, eliminating all roots and its sponsored groups. Try to divide intelligently religion and civilized government. Those countries ruled by religion oust them from the pact and peace process, mark them stop them getting benefits from rest of the world. No secular country should allow extra facilities to a religion be it a minor or major. ( let them help if need arises, in different way, never acknowledge any religion above law and supremacy of country, It can keep every one equal in rank)In Terrorism, you can not deny that religion has no part. It is main root. When you deny you are denying the truth. We must not forget the truth. Taliban and al-qaeda had based religion and its scriptures. And it started ruling with barbaric way of terrorism. Now their path are accepted in all countries by their own people wherever the religion exists and spreads terrorism.

If we close our eyes we are deceiving our selves. We kept our mouth shut for long and tried to correct themselves but result says we are completely failure. Many years are lost. And how many years shall we be spending under their mercy? The terrorism is growing taller day by day. We are growing smaller with love, Don’t we know smash terrorism and confront any kind of war for the resolution of peace?Yes, We can. In the name of civilization no one can snatch our right to protect ourselves from enemy when leaders of most are basically selfish and not coordinated, depends on vote bank. we have no more faith on government it fails time and again. And there is no system that assures punishment of corrupted leaders, responsible leaders and government.

Bring an end of this heinous crime. Let us stand once again united above all our identities.

Do not forget vigilance every moment is only guard . keep your eyes and ears open at every religious temples. The leaders, preachers , priest that speak alien language, has no respect for its country, that boast its superiority above others, are suspicious. The religious institutions should be monitored by government and security forces. PEACE and INTEGRITY is above all

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Again India is under the attack and mercy of terrorists

Again India is under the attack and mercy of terrorists called Decan Mujahideen (muslim fanatics )
It started from:
March 12, 1993: A series of thirteen explosions in Mumbai, then called Bombay, resulted in 257 deaths and over 700 injuries. The blasts were orchestrated by the organized crime syndicate called the D-Company, headed by Dawood Ibrahim.

Feb. 14, 1998: Coimbatore bombings: 46 deaths, 200 wounded as a result of 13 bomb attacks in 11 places.

Oct. 1, 2001: Militants attack Jammu & Kashmir Assembly complex in Srinagar, killing about 35. The Muslim extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was allegedly involved.

Dec. 13, 2001: Attack on the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi led to the killing of a dozen people and 18 injured. Pakistan-based terror groups were blamed for the attack.

Sept. 24, 2002: Akshardham temple in Gujarat: The first major hostage taking since Sept. 11 in the U.S.; 31 people were killed and another 79 wounded.

May 14, 2002: Militants attack on an Army camp near Jammu, killing more than 30 people.

March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai killed 11.

Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai killed at least 52 people and injured 150. Indian officials blamed a Pakistan-based terror outfit.

Aug. 15, 2004: An explosion in the northeastern state of Assam killed 16 people, mostly school children.

July 5, 2005: Militants attack the Ram Janmabhoomi complex, the site of the destroyed Babri Mosque at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

Oct. 29, 2005: Three powerful serial blasts rocked the busy shopping areas of south Delhi, two days before the Hindu festival of Diwali, killing 62 and injuring 200. A Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, the Islamic Inquilab Mahaz (believed to have links with Lashkar-e-Taiba) claimed responsibility.

March 7, 2006: A series of bombings in the holy city of Varanasi killed at least 28 and injured 101. Indian police put the blame on some Pakistan-based terror outfits.

July 11, 2006: Seven bomb blasts occurred at various places on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, killing 200. Investigations revealed that terror outfits with a base in Pakistan were behind the blasts.
Sept. 8, 2006: At least 37 people were killed and 125 were injured in a series of bomb blasts in the vicinity of a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra. The blasts were followed by an explosion and most of the people killed were Muslim pilgrims. The students Islamic Movement of India was responsible.

Feb. 19, 2007: A train heading from India to Pakistan is torn apart by two bombs, sparking a fire that kills at least 68 people.

May 18, 2007: A bombing during Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad, killed 13 people. Four were killed by Indian police in the rioting that followed.

May 26, 2007: Six people killed and 30 injured in a bomb blast in India's northeastern city of Guwahati.

June 10, 2007: Gunmen killed 11 people in separate incidents of firing in Manipur's border town of Moreh.

Aug. 25, 2007: Forty-two people killed and 50 injured in twin explosions at a crowded park and a popular eatery in Hyderabad by Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami (HuJI) activist.

Nov. 24, 2007: A series of near-simultaneous explosions rip through courthouse complexes in the north Indian cities of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, killing at least 16 people.

May 13, 2008: A series of six explosions tore through Jaipur, a popular tourist destination in the Rajasthan state in western India, killing 63 people and injuring more than 150.

July 25, 2008: Seven blasts in quick succession across the south Indian tech city of Bangalore killed one and injured more than 150 people.

July 26, 2008: Serial blasts in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad killed 45 people and injured more than 150. A group calling itself Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 13, 2008: Five bomb blasts in New Delhi's popular shopping centers left 21 people dead and more than 100 injured. The Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

Sept. 27, 2008: A blast in a New Delhi flower market left one dead.

Oct. 30, 2008: Thirteen bomb blasts in India's northeastern state of Assam and three other towns left at least 61 people dead more than 300 injured.,8599,1858756,00.html Mumbai Attacks Kill Scores; Hostages Taken in Chaotic Night

Put your hand up if you’re British or American
GUNMEN who killed more than 80 people in Mumbai last night ordered hotel guests: “Put your hand up if you’re British or American.”
The Oberoi and Taj Mahal Palace hotels were among at least SEVEN locations attacked simultaneously as maniacs with machine guns and bombs staged massacres that rocked the teeming Indian city.
About 40 British and other foreigners Frightened hostages were marched off — and their fate was unclear.
At least 900 were wounded as the wild-eyed terrorists, thought to be Islamic fanatics, opened fire and lobbed grenades indiscriminately.
A rail station, restaurant and police HQ were also hit, along with a hospital where 58 perished.
For Britons Anyone concerned about friends or relatives should call the Foreign Office on 0207 0080000
Last night there were fears the Test may be called off.
Plans by Middlesex County Cricket Club to fly out today for the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League were scrapped.

The bloodbaths began at 10.33pm local time. Gunmen in jeans and carrying rucksacks fired AK47s and threw grenades at the crowded CST railway terminus — killing ten.
At the police HQ, a frantic cop yelled down the phone: “We are under fire, there is shooting at the gate.” The chief of the anti-terror squad was among three top cops reported killed.
Three more people died when a taxi was blown up near the airport.
Another target was the city’s famous Cafe Leopold — a mecca for tourists.
It was left pitted with bullet holes — with pools of blood on the floor where diners had fled leaving behind their shoes.
Journalist Sourav Mishra was wounded in the shoulder as he ate there with friends. Last night he was having to share a hospital bed with THREE other injured patients. He said: “I heard gunshots — something hit me. I ran away and fell on the road.”
Hospital officials said a Japanese man had died there and nine Europeans had been admitted, three of them in critical condition with gunshots.
An Indian government spokesman said four suspects had been killed in two incidents when they tried to flee in cars.
He added another more died at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and nine more were arrested.
Mumbai has frequently been targeted by Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2007 that killed 187 people.
A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to several media outlets.
state home secretary Bipin Shrimali said four suspects had been killed in two incidents when they tried to flee in cars, and Roy said two more gunmen were killed at the Taj Mahal. State Home Minister R.R. Patil said nine more were arrested. They declined to provide any further details.
Mumbai has frequently been targeted in terrorist attacks blamed on Islamic extremists, including a series of bombings in July 2006 that killed 187 people.

Indians have almost stopped reacting to terror incidents with shock and horror. But recent news of the arrest of 10 people linked with two relatively small terror attacks earlier this year has created a national furor, and is likely to skew political parties' calculations ahead of next year's general elections.
The arrests by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Maharashtra police have shocked India for two reasons. The nine accused are all Hindu right-wingers, confirming, for the first time, suspicions raised by political and security analysts that the Hindu extremist fringe has been organizing for terror attacks. Second, among the accused are a serving lieutenant colonel and a retired major of the army, an institution so far considered impervious to communal elements.
For years, Indian security and investigation agencies have had a trite, almost comically knee-jerk explanation for terror attacks — they have been blamed on Islamist fundamentalists aided by "foreign elements," meaning mostly Pakistan and China. Even where the majority of victims have been Muslims — such as the May 2007 blast at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, the attack on an Indo-Pak train in February 2007 and the April 2006 twin blasts at New Delhi's Jama Masjid — the first murmurs of suspicion have named Islamist groups.
India has lost more lives to terrorism than any country other than Iraq.

A terrorist

Mumbai map

Save lives of common
by albert ashok
A man’s first action is to protect his life, it is his birth right, The volunteers and organizations that deal with human rights should give priorities to fight terrorism. Terrorism today is a menace, a destroying force that is wiping out the peace and solidarity from this world.
We, human rights defenders should be very strict to fight this cancerous disease. It’s not politics, its not economy, its sheer perverted adventure for some youths belonging to some corrupt religious thought. We have seen in middle east, and south asian countries where terror-attacks often take lives. In Muslim and Islam dominated countries too the lives of common are not protected. Yes, though, we can not specifically tell it is Islam or Muslim people are terrorist but the fanatics and fundamentalists who are responsible for this terrorist act are ‘muslim’ and the people who embraced Islam. Many Britons and American out of adventure had joined this bandwagon terrorism, they used weapons and caused genocide in past. Their act never been approved by the civil society or civilized world. ‘Terrorism’ is most hatred word for peace loving world, who embraces in terrorism is a killer of humanism. A killer of humanism has no place in this planet. It should be wiped out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nepal : Beyond Hooliganism Underming of a free media

Nepal : Beyond Hooliganism Underming of a free media

24 November 2008
The escalating number of violent attacks on certain parts of the Nepali media
can no longer be regarded as hooliganism – instead they point to an organised
assault on freedom of expression in Nepal.
On the morning of 24 October, the CEO of leading media house Himalmedia was attacked on his way to work. Just a few weeks later, bundles of Himalmedia’s newly printed Himal Khabar Patrika (Himalaya news magazine) were doused in petrol and burned. On 16 November, twenty-five men circled the depot whilst eight ransacked the building, cutting off phone lines and stealing mobile phones before threatening to kill the distribution staff. The edition carried as lead story an exposé on the growing violence carried out by youth groups associated with political parties.
Himal Khabar Patrika’s Editor Kanak Mani Dixit told ARTICLE 19: “There is a
planned effort underway to weaken the resolve of journalists amidst a growing
political polarisation in Nepal today. Besides verbal intimidation, there have been physical attacks. Our own media house has been victim to planned attacks in the last couple of weeks; first an attack on the vehicle carrying our CEO, and lately an act of arson and the torching of our latest issue at our Kathmandu distribution centre.” A number of similarly unconcealed attacks on the media have continued to occur over the last few weeks and have been reported by ARTICLE 19 partners in Nepal.1 Staff and buildings of the Regional Bureau office of Avenues Television were attacked on 18 November, while similar assaults took place against Nuwakot Jagatan on 17 November and the government-controlled Rastriya Samachar Samiti on 13 November.
In October there were also attacks on a Gorkhapatra correspondent on 28 October, Basudha Editor Rammani Upadhyay on 24 October, the offices of Tarai Times on 20 October and a Himalayan Times correspondent on 11 October. According to local staff, media personnel continue to be phoned and given death threats. Escalating harassment against media staff in a coordinated manner by what appears to be organised groups demonstrates both an increase in impunity in Nepal and a decrease in political interest in protecting Nepal’s vibrant media. It may also point to support for such attacks from higher up in the government. As Kanak Mani Dixit continued: “It is important that a culture of self-censorship does not develop to weaken the role of media in a developing democracy. We have fought hard for media freedom in Nepal over the years, and it would be a shame to let it come under a cloud at a time when [the] media should be a partner for critiquing those in power, bringing transparency in political relationships, and helping create a healthy environment for the drafting of a new constitution.” It is interesting to note that the timing of these attacks on the media coincide with government’s systematic blocking of legal reforms, called for by local and international organisations, including ARTICLE 19. The government has consistently ignored orders given by the Supreme Court of Nepal to reform both the Printing and Publications Act and the Offences Against the State and Punishment Act, which were found to be in contravention of the Interim Constitution 2006.
ARTICLE 19 calls upon the Nepali government to implement the changes in
legislation required by the very constitution that they drafted in 2006. ARTICLE 19 also calls on the government to create an environment whereby the media can carry out its work free from interference or violence.
It seems likely that these attacks are not simply random criminal acts but form part of a sustained and deliberate assault on freedom of expression. The impunity of those involved and the lack of any legislative changes ordered by the Supreme Court not only generate a “chilling effect” within the local media, but also amongst the NGO community and civil society itself.
ARTICLE 19 therefore also calls upon the international community to monitor and raise the profile of any such organised crimes against freedom of expression directly with the Nepali government, and to lobby for the implementation of laws to end impunity and guarantee media freedom and independence.
· For more information: please contact Oliver Charles,, +44 20 7278 9292
· ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees free speech.
ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
Web: / Email:

Swaziland: Counter - terrorism not a pretext for repression

Swaziland: Counter - terrorism not a pretext for repression

ARTICLE 19 is seriously concerned about the constricting environment the
government of Swaziland is imposing on Freedom of Expression. Under a
controversial Suppression of Terrorism Act that has been passed by the
Parliament in May 2008, Swazi journalists, political activists and human rights
defenders have apparently become persona non-grata, battered and/or arrested.
The Swaziland Act is the latest in a series of anti-terrorism laws that have been
enacted since the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Freedom of expression has been especially challenged by the adoption of these new laws which prohibit speech that is considered “extremist” or supporting of terrorism. Under the guise of the fight against terrorism, these new laws are used to suppress political and controversial speech. As recently as September at the 40-40 celebration, the Monarch’s 40th birthday and Swaziland’s 40 years of independence, King Mswati III promised his people better governance for economic renewal. ARTICLE 19 asserts that the restriction of free expression and pro-democracy activities of human rights defenders will hinder genuine economic progress.
“Frankly, terrorism is a specious argument for repression of free expression in
Swaziland. At issue in the recent crackdown are legitimate political grievances
which, instead of being addressed through the democratic process, are demonized.” said Dr. Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE19. In recent weeks, political activities have been outlawed, marches and demonstrations have been banned, and television camera crews, journalists and political activists have been arrested on suspicion of making remarks in support of terrorism. ARTICLE 19 strongly urges the government of Swaziland to reverse this course of action. Its resources would be much better used in strengthening democracy and the rule of law, and addressing Swaziland’s significant social challenges, including poverty and HIV/AIDS. “The serious imperative to fight terrorism and the use of violence against citizens must not be used as an excuse to repress dissent and undermine freedom of expression. On the contrary: the protection of human rights and freedom of expression are central to political and social change, democracy and development in Swaziland and anywhere else in the world” said Dr. Callamard. org

Background: the use of anti-terrorism legislation to curtail free speech
ARTICLE 19 has noted with increasing concern the multiplication all over the world of restrictions on freedom of expression, or attempted restrictions, justified on the grounds of national security. These restrictions have included: the development of anti-terrorist laws, which are too often vague and overly broad, leaving them open to interpretation and potential abuses; the use of Official Secrets Acts to deny access to publicly held information, including information of vital public interest, such as whether or not Al Jazeera was considered as a potential military target during the recent Iraq war; etc. All of these situations have one thing in common: the desire to bury or silence controversial voices that authorities deem to pose a potential threat to
security. A recent report published by the Council of Europe has clearly shown that the use of anti-terrorism to curtail freedom of expression is also a European problem. Nations around the globe have adopted new anti-terrorism legislation or revised old laws in response to the attack on 11 September 2001. Most of these laws or revisions have expended the powers of governments to fight terrorism and other crime. Controls on these powers are often insufficient.
For instance, new laws designed to protection national security from terrorism and other threats limit journalists’ ability to access information. There have also been increased procedural powers to obtain information through surveillance, searches, demands for disclosure and other means. At the same time, the laws are used to prosecute journalists for obtaining information from sources and justify surveillance to identify the sources so that journalists can be prosecuted under secrets acts for violating their duties to keep information secret. Too often, these are used for political rather than public safety reasons.
In 1995, international experts around the world adopted the Johannesburg Principles which set out standards on the extent to which governments may legitimately withhold information from the public and prohibit expression for reasons of national security. Amongst other things, they provide that a restriction is not legitimate unless its purpose and effect is to “protect a country’s existence or its territorial integrity against the use or threat of force, or its capacity to respond to the use or threat of force” from either an internal or an external threat. The Johannesburg Principles also identify a number of illegitimate grounds for claiming a national security interest, such as protecting the government from embarrassment or entrenching a particular ideology. These are clearly not national security interests but, at the same time,
countries around the world continue to use and abuse these reasons.

ARTICLE 19 calls upon governments around the world to implement the Johannesburg principles.
· For more information: please contact Cece Fadope, ARTICLE19: Africa Programme: +44 20 7278 9292.
· For a copy of the Johannesburg Principles, please click here:
· For a copy of the Council of Europe’s report “Speaking of Terror”, please click here:
· ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name
ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
Web: / Email:

Diplomatic Embassies and High Commissions of Swaziland
European Union

118 Ave Winston Churchill

1180 Brussels Belgium .
Tel. ++32 2 3 47 47 71

Fax ++32 2 3 47 46 23 . . .

Honorary Consuls for Germany in Berlin and Duesseldorf .

United Kingdom

20 Buckingham Gate

London SW1E 6LB

United Kingdom .
Tel. ++44 20 7630 6611

Fax ++44 20 7630 6564 . . .

United States

Suite 3M

3400 International Dr

Washington DC 20008

United States .
Tel. ++1 202 362 6683 . . . . .
Diplomatic Embassies and High Commissions in Swaziland

Lilunga House, 3rd Floor

Gilfillan St

Mbabane Swaziland .
Tel. ++268 404 3174 . . . .

United Kingdom

Lilunga House.

2nd Floor Gilfillan St

Mbabane Swaziland

Postal Address: Private Bag,

Mbabane, Swaziland .
Tel. ++268 404 2581, ++268 404 2582, ++268 404 2583, ++268 404 2584 Fax ++268 404 2585 . . . .
United States Central Bank Building Warner St Mbabane Swaziland .

Three Depressed terrorists

Three Depressed terrorists
Terrorism is inhuman act, an evil concept