Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bahraini forces rape, kill female poet

Bahraini forces rape, kill female poet
Bahraini poet Ayat al-Ghermezi
Thursday Apr 21, 2011
A female Bahraini activist who has composed anti-government poems has been killed, after being arrested and raped by Manama forces.


Ayat al-Ghermezi, 20, had recited her poems, in which she slammed the ruling regime and Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifah Ibn Salman al-Khalifah, during protests in Pearl Square in the capital city, Manama, Fardanews reported.

Shortly afterwards, Ghermezi received an influx of insulting and intimidating letters and emails, but when she referred to the police to report the threats, she was insulted and mocked by officers, her family says.

In late March, security forces raided Ghermezi's home twice, threatening her family to reveal Ayat's whereabouts, otherwise they would “destroy the house over your heads, by the order of high-ranking officials.”

After the security forces coerced Gehrmezi's family into disclosing her hideout, the family heard no word from her, Ayat's mother said.

When the family started searching for Ayat, the police told them they have no information about Ayat and tried to force them to confirm through a letter that their daughter had gone missing.

In mid-April, an anonymous call was made to Gehrmezi's family, informing them that Ayat was in coma at an army Hospital.

At the hospital, doctors confirmed that Ayat had gone into coma after being raped for several times.
Eventually, the physicians' efforts failed to save Ayat's life and she died at the army hospital.

So far, several other women, including doctors, university professors and students, have been kidnapped or arrested by Bahraini security forces.

Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have poured into the streets, calling for an end to Al-Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for almost forty years.

On March 13, Saudi-led forces were dispatched to the Persian Gulf island at Manama's request to quell the countrywide protests.

According to local sources, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds arrested so far during the government clampdown on the peaceful demonstrations.

This is while the independent sources in Bahrain have not yet commented on this matter.

source : Press TV



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Journalist brutally assaulted by members of ruling party's youth wing

8 June 2011

source: IFEX

Journalist brutally assaulted by members of ruling party's youth wing

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - A serious incident involving an attack on a journalist has come to Freedom Forum's attention. The incident occurred on the evening of 5 June 2011 in the city of Biratnagar, southeastern Nepal.

Members of the Youth Force (YF), a sister organisation of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), attacked Khilanath Dhakal, a reporter for the "Nagarik" national daily paper. The journalist was criticised for having reported on an attack by YF cadres on a police team at the Morang district court.

Dhakal was brutally beaten by a number of YF cadres, including the driver of the group's district chairman, Parshu Ram Basnet. The reporter's nose was broken and he suffered serious injuries to his head and other parts of his body.

The attack was orchestrated by Rohit Koirala, who heads the YF in Biratnagar. He approached the journalist near the district education office and took him to a secluded area under the pretext of having a conversation. Dhakal was then surrounded by the YF cadres and brutally beaten.

Managing to escape, Dhakal was picked up by a police patrol and taken to hospital. "If the police had not come across me on time, I would have been finished off right there," the journalist was quoted as saying in "Nagarik" newspaper.

The reporter has filed a complaint with the police. On 7 June, local journalists also submitted a written complaint against Basnet and his aides, Koirala and Manoj Rai, at the Morang District Police Office.

In response, Basnet, who is the prime accused in the attack, warned the journalists of "dire consequences" if the complaint lodged against him and his two aides was not withdrawn.

"He (Basnet) called me today, saying the complaint can be withdrawn even after it lands in the office of the government attorney and warning us to take it back," journalist Gokul Parajuli told a gathering of fellow reporters on 7 June. "He said he has given us a chance to withdraw the complaint and asked us to consider this option."

The police arrested Koirala on 7 June but Basnet and Rai are still at large. The police administration has been reluctant to arrest Basnet, which suggests that the Morang district chairman has likely been given political protection.

Meanwhile, the legislature has condemned the brutal attack. Addressing a parliamentary meeting on 7 June, UCPN (Maoist) Spokesman Dinanath Sharma said, "The incident of a journalist being attacked by the members of the prime minister's own party's youth organization, the Youth Force, is very serious. The incident sends the wrong message to the people."

Freedom Forum condemns the attack on Dhakal and wishes for his speedy recovery. It strongly urges the CPN-UML, and its sister organisation the YCL, not to repeat such inhuman acts which are an assault on the free press, human rights and democracy.

Freedom Forum also condemns the threats issued against the journalists by Basnet. It urges the government and other concerned authorities to immediately arrest the prime accused and bring him to book in accordance with the law. If he is not sanctioned, impunity will prevail and journalists will face increasing insecurity. Moreover, it would be an indication that media freedom is being gagged by the weakening democracy in the country.


Source:

Freedom Forum
P.O. Box: 24292
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Nepal
info (@) freedomforum.org.np
Phone: +977 01 4102022
Fax: +977 01 40102030

Nominate someone for the Gleitsman International Activist Award

25 May 2011

Nominate someone for the Gleitsman International Activist Award

Source : IFEX
Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership is seeking out the next winner of its Gleitsman International Activist Award. Nominate individuals you believe have initiated great social change in their communities or countries. The deadline for nominations is 30 June 2011.

The award will be given in the fall of 2011 and includes a $125,000 prize and a specially commissioned sculpture designed by Maya Lin, the creator of the Vietnam War Memorial. Past honorees include Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Yunus, and, most recently, Karen Tse, founder of International Bridges to Justice.

Please note that the award is not presented posthumously, nor is it granted to groups or organisations. Self nominations cannot be considered.

Missing journalist found dead

8 June 2011

Missing journalist found dead; newspaper bombed


Noel López Olguín
Noel López Olguín


And in a separate attack in the northern state of Coahuila two days earlier, a grenade was thrown at the headquarters of a newspaper that exposed organised crime and corruption, report the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and other IFEX members.

A columnist for the newspaper "La Verdad de Jáltipan", López was kidnapped on 8 March by gunmen in two SUVs. His body was found after an organised crime leader arrested by the Mexican army confessed to killing the journalist.

According to RSF, the journalist had appealed to the public to report abuses by the authorities and organised crime. He had also worked for the weeklies "Noticias de Acayucan" and "Horizonte" in Veracruz. But drug-related violence has fostered a culture of fear in the region, and after he was kidnapped media outlets either denied knowing López or said he had contributed to their publications a long time ago, presumably because they feared reprisals, reports CPJ.

Veracruz is a major transit point for drugs being trafficked to the U.S. and the much-feared paramilitary group Los Zetas is said to be very active around Jáltipan, the town where López Olguín lived and worked.

In Saltillo, Coahuila state on 30 May, a grenade was lobbed at the headquarters of an independent and prestigious newspaper, the "Vanguardia" - the oldest and largest newspaper in the city. No one was injured, but the newspaper did not report the grenade in its print or online editions due to fear of more attacks. The paper has received threats in the past for its reports.

In 2010, more than a dozen news facilities in the country were attacked with either guns or explosives. "In Mexico, organised crime continues to spread terror among members of the media without any consequence. The government of President Felipe Calderón must not tolerate criminal intimidation of the press into silence," said CPJ.

Friday, June 3, 2011

G8: New Unjustified Internet Restrictions Would Hamper Free Flow of Information

ARTICLE 19

PRESS RELEASE

May 2011

G8: New Unjustified Internet Restrictions Would Hamper Free Flow of Information
Paris 26.05.2011: ARTICLE 19 is very concerned by apparent efforts by the G8, led by French President Nicholas Sarkozy, to impose tighter controls of the Internet. ARTICLE 19 once again calls on all states, including G8 member states, not to violate their freedom of expression obligations by imposing unjustifiable restrictions on the Internet. They should instead follow the recommendations in the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom expression’s new report, which emphasise the applicability of international human right standards to the Internet.
During his address to the e-G8 Forum in Paris on 24 May 2011 - which included leaders of the world’s most powerful Internet companies but few representatives from civil society - President Sarkozy asserted that there is a “collective responsibility” upon G8 states to forge a global consensus on rules relating to the Internet. He told delegates at the meeting that the internet is not a parallel universe where legal and moral rules do not apply. Previously, he has repeatedly called for the development of a “civilized internet.” According to AFP, the G8 is reported to be developing a statement which will call on states to develop new rules to promote "respect for the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the protection of intellectual property.”

ARTICLE 19 strongly urges all G8 states to reject any attempt to impose stricter regulations of the Internet. To the contrary, we urge G8 states and other states to fully implement their international human rights obligations on freedom of expression with respect to Internet access according to the UN Special Rapporteur’s specific recommendations,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.

At this time of heightened debate on Internet-based speech, ARTICLE 19 welcomes the important and timely report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, on the internet and freedom of expression, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on 3 June 2011.

The UN Special Rapporteur expressed “deep concern” about “increasingly sophisticated technologies to block content, monitor and identify activists and critics, criminalisation of legitimate expression, and adoption of restrictive legislation to justify measures,” as well as the lack of transparency surrounding such measures, particularly when they appear to be used to prevent the dissemination of information that is embarrassing to governments.

ARTICLE 19 strongly endorses the UN Special Rapporteur’s recommendations, which stipulate that there should be as “little restriction as possible to flow of information via the Internet, except in a few, exceptional and limited circumstances.”
ENDS

NOTES :
• For media inquiries, please contact Mona Samari, Senior Press Officer, +44 (0) 7515 828 939 mona@article19.org
• For more information, please contact: Sejal Parmar, Senior Legal Officer sejal@article19.org +44 20 7324 2500
• The G8 is meeting in Deauville, France, on 26 and 27 May 2011
• For the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and promotion of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue 16 May 2011 A/HRC/17/27, please click of the following link:
http://www.article19.org/pdfs/reports/report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-the-promotion-and-protection-of-the-righ.pdf
• For ARTICLE 19’s summary of the key points of the Special Rapporteur’s report, please click on the following link:
http://www.article19.org/pdfs/analysis/summary-report-on-internet-and-freedom-of-expression-the-report-of-the-un-sp.pdf

Three Depressed terrorists

Three Depressed terrorists
Terrorism is inhuman act, an evil concept
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