Showing posts with label Dissent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dissent. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Jordan: popular protests are escalating, civil disobedience is approaching, and security forces are mobilizing and arresting 44 people

    Saturday, December 17, 2022   No comments

Security authorities in Jordan have arrested 44 people who participated in the riots that erupted during protests over the rise in fuel prices in the kingdom, Jordan's Public Security Directorate announced in a statement published Saturday.

The Directorate said in its statement that it “dealt with riots in a number of regions of the Kingdom, and 44 people who participated in these acts were arrested in various regions,” explaining that “they will be referred to the competent authorities in addition to those who were arrested in the previous days,” without adding anything. details.

The Security Directorate added that it had "intensified its security deployment in the kingdom's governorates to ensure the enforcement of the rule of law and the preservation of citizens' security." At the same time, however, it indicated "a significant decline in the number and unity of riots from Thursday, especially in the southern governorates."

Since the beginning of this month, governorates in southern Jordan have witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, starting with truck drivers who were sometimes joined by taxi and public bus drivers.

Markets and shops were closed on Wednesday in Maan and Karak (about 114 km south of Amman) and Madaba Governorate (35 km south of Amman) in solidarity with this movement.

On Friday, the Public Security Directorate announced the death of Colonel Abdul Razzaq al-Dalabeh in southern Jordan, with a gunshot wound to the head while he was dealing with “riots,” during which an officer and a non-commissioned officer were wounded by gunshots, according to the directorate.

In its statement on Saturday, the Public Security Directorate indicated that the riots “were carried out by a group of vandals and outlaws in the Husseiniya area in Ma’an Governorate” (about 218 km south of Amman).

And she emphasized that “the investigations into the martyrdom of Colonel Al-Dalabeh are continuing, and will not stop until the perpetrator is arrested and handed over to the hands of justice so that he receives deterrent punishment, and we will not hesitate to protect lives, honor and property.”

On Friday, Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned the killing of the colonel, stressing that "we will not rest until the criminal receives his punishment before justice for his heinous crime."

In a statement on Friday, the notables and sons of Ma’an mourned Colonel Al-Dalabeh, stressing their “rejection and denunciation of any act outside the law.”

In its statement on Saturday, the Directorate called on "everyone to adhere to and stay away from riot sites and not to participate in them," expressing "thanks to all the citizens who cooperated with the Directorate and gathered around its men in rejection of the attacks and out of concern for the homeland."

Jordan is witnessing difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by foreign debts that exceeded fifty billion dollars and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governorates in southern Jordan have recently witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, which started with truck drivers a few days ago, leading to the closure of markets and shops, last Wednesday, in Ma’an, Karak and Madaba governorate, in solidarity with the protests.


Likewise, some other areas witnessed road closures with burning tires, in addition to quarrels between security forces and protesters, but they ended peacefully.


Currently, fuel prices in Jordan are nearly double what they were last year, especially diesel, which is the main fuel for trucks and buses, and kerosene, which is the main heating fuel for the poor.


A liter of "90 octane" gasoline is sold for 920 fils (about one and a half dollars), and "95 octane" for 1170 fils (1.6 dollars). As for a liter of diesel or diesel, it costs 895 fils (1.3 dollars), and kerosene costs 860 fils (1.2 dollars).


Jordan suffers from difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by the Corona pandemic, so the unemployment rate rose in 2021 to about 25%, according to official figures, while it rose among the youth category to 50%.


The poverty rate rose to 24%, and the public debt exceeded $47 billion, or more than 106% of the GDP.


The Jordanian government offered some solutions, including increasing shipping fees and distributing sums of money to the most affected families, but it seems that they were not sufficiently satisfactory to the protesters.

Gulf rulers signal their fears of similar protests in their countries by signaling to thier people to support the rulers of Jordan

Unlike their unconditional support to the violent protests in Iran, the Saudi rulers and their media platforms are expressing solidarity with the rulers of Jordan instead of supporting the legitimate demands of the protesters.

Gulf platforms interacted with the rapid events in Jordan, and street strikes and protests against the rise in fuel prices. Gulf activists wished Jordan safety, saying: Cool and peace, Jordan.

Saudi tweeters interacted with the incident of the killing of Jordanian Colonel Abd al-Razzaq al-Dalabeh in Ma'an Governorate at the hands of outlaws, and expressed their grief, and called on Jordanians to preserve their country and their monarchy, and to stand up to what they described as saboteurs, the same description used by the official Jordanian public security statement.


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Demonstrations in Bangladesh calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the dissolution of Parliament

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022   No comments

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, demanding the dissolution of parliament in order to make room for new elections, and also the resignation of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid.

The mass protest in the capital on Saturday was organized by the opposition Bangladesh National Party, which accuses Hasina of failing to tackle soaring fuel prices and the cost of living.

The demonstration comes amid a wave of protests calling for Hasina to step down and calling for new elections.

Hasina responded by calling the opposition leaders "terrorists" and warning people not to allow the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, to return to power.

Several people were arrested in the run-up to Saturday's protest.


Police arrested two senior BNP leaders, including the party's general secretary, Mirza Alamgir, last Friday.


Authorities said Alamgir faces charges, without giving further information. At least one man was killed during clashes between protesters and police last Wednesday, when security forces fired tear gas to disperse people gathered in front of the National Party office in the capital.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Germany: We agree with America to shift focus with Iran from the nuclear file to issues of rights and to exert pressure on Tehran to stop repression

    Monday, November 21, 2022   No comments

Germany agrees with the United States in shifting its focus away from reviving the nuclear deal with Iran to supporting the Iranian people in the face of the country's violent crackdown on mass protests, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"We are indeed moving along the same tracks," the spokesman said at a routine government briefing.

"Currently, our focus is on supporting the Iranian people and putting pressure on the Iranian ruling regime to stop suppressing the rights of its people," he added.

This coordianted action seems to be in line with the US shift from reviving the nuclear deal it abondoned in 2018 to freeing Iran.

Germany, the state whose policy during the first half of the 20th century was the full extermination of the German Jews is now concerned for human rights in Muslim-majority countries.



Friday, November 04, 2022

Biden: "We Will Free Iran"; Raisi: "Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined to never become a milk cow."

    Friday, November 04, 2022   No comments

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden vowed to "liberate" Iran.

On Friday, a White House spokesman flet the need to clarify: President Joe Biden was expressing his solidarity with protesters in Iran by telling a crowd of his supporters, "We will liberate Iran."

White House national security spokesman John Kirby made the remarks to reporters a day after Biden made his comment at a rally in California.

On Friday, too, Iran's president said that the country had been freed by the 1979 Islamic revolution in response to a vow by US president Joe Biden to "free Iran". Ebrahim Raisi said: “Maybe he said this because of a lack of concentration...He said we aim to liberate Iran," 

“Mr. President! Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined not to become your captive again. We will never become a milk cow.”


   


Monday, August 22, 2022

Pakistan: Charges of terrorism against Imran Khan and prevents broadcasting of his speeches

    Monday, August 22, 2022   No comments

Pakistani authorities deploy the "terrorism" label to address political dissent, risking instability and further uncertainty.

On Monday, Pakistani police charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan with terrorism charges, who is leading popular demonstrations calling for early elections.

The former prime minister of Pakistan accused the government of briefly blocking YouTube in the country to prevent Pakistanis from listening live to his speech at a political rally on Sunday evening.

"The importing government blocked YouTube in the middle of my speech," Khan said in a tweet.

Demonstration in Pakistan against the continued detention of a leader in the "Insaf" party

Supporters of the Pakistan "Insaf" party led by Imran Khan demonstrated against the authority's continued detention of the party's leader, Shahbaz Gul, 10 days ago.


The demonstrators demanded the release of Shahbaz Gul, who is the deputy head of the party. Simultaneously, the local government in Punjab - led by allied with Imran Khan - issued an arrest warrant for 12 officials in the ruling party.


Saturday night's protest gathering was followed by the arrest of a prominent leader of the "Insaf Movement", who was accused by the authorities of making statements against the army on a TV channel whose broadcast was later suspended.


Criticism of the military establishment that has ruled Pakistan for nearly half of its 75-year history is a red line.


Asad Omar, a senior official in the "Insaf Movement", denounced the move by the media regulator to ban Khan's speeches. "Banning Imran Khan's speeches is another attempt to find an administrative solution to a political problem," he told AFP. He added that his party would file an appeal against the decision before the court.


Simultaneously, a decree was issued banning TV channels from broadcasting live speeches by former Prime Minister Imran Khan.


The media regulator issued this decision against the background of a speech in which Khan criticized police and judicial officials after the arrest of one of his party leaders.


The authority said that Khan "is making baseless accusations and spreading hate speech," adding that "his provocative statements against state institutions and officers will cause disturbances - most likely - to public peace and tranquility."

Pakistan opposition warns Khan's arrest would cross 'red line' after being reported under anti-terror law


Pakistani opposition leaders warned Monday that the authorities would cross a "red line" if they arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan, after he was reported under the Anti-Terrorism Act over comments he made about the judiciary.

Since being ousted in a no-confidence vote in April, Khan has organized rallies across the country, warning state institutions including the military not to back the coalition government led by his longtime political rival Shahbaz Sharif.

Hundreds gathered outside Khan's home on Monday, apparently with the aim of preventing police access, but Khan has been facing a raft of charges for several months, and he has yet to be arrested.

For his part, former Information Minister Fouad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter, "Wherever you are, go to Bani Gala today and show solidarity with Imran Khan," referring to Khan's home. "Imran Khan is our red line," he added.

An initial police report was filed on Sunday as the first step in a process that could lead to formal charges and an arrest.

A light police presence was observed outside Khan's residence Monday, as about 500 supporters of his party gathered in the affluent suburb.

Muhammad Ayub said he traveled overnight from Peshawar in the northwest to be on site to show support for Khan.

"We will protest and block the roads if Khan is arrested," he told AFP.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said in a statement that the latest accusations against him were "frivolous".

"We have serious reservations about this politically motivated step, which leads to more instability in the country," he added.

Khan on Saturday criticized a judge responsible for keeping a party official in police custody, after party leaders said he was tortured in custody.

Khan's main goal is to hold an early general election before the expected date before October 2023, but the government has shown no indication that it is willing to go to the polls at a time when it is facing significant economic problems.

Since he was ousted from power by a vote of no-confidence last April, Imran Khan has organized a series of popular anti-government demonstrations.


The ban came into effect immediately on Saturday night, the same day Khan held a rally in the capital where he criticized police and judiciary officials over the arrest of one of his party leaders.


Khan remains popular among young people, with his speeches attracting the highest viewership ratings on television channels, while his highlights are widely shared on social media.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saudi youth agitate protesting lack of jobs and corruption; government restores perks to state employees to fend off unrest

    Thursday, April 27, 2017   No comments
Calls have been growing on social media for Saudi Arabia's jobless to protest on Sunday, after a similar appeal before the government

Demonstrations are banned in the conservative kingdom, and the previous calls for civic action led police to flood Riyadh on April 21.

Media access is also controlled, though Saudis are very active on social media including on Twitter, where many post anonymously with fabricated usernames.

Under the hashtag "Unemployed rally April 30", several Saudi Twitter users posted calls for demonstrations outside government employment offices on Sunday.

"Because of the April 21st movement, the benefits were returned, my brother citizen do not deprive yourself and come out on April 30, may God assist you to overcome your troubles," wrote one Twitter user under the name @Hussain_Khalid.

Another using the hashtag wrote "we are only looking for jobs," while another posted: "We're not Daesh, we're not with Iran, all we want is to be employed, nothing else."

The comment referred to Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran and the jihadist Islamic State group, known by the Arabic acronym Daesh.

A post from another user accused the government of spending money on projects abroad while it is "in deficit to the people" at home.

The new campaign appeared modelled on a similar movement on social media that had called for demonstrations last Friday over a range of political and economic issues.

There were no signs of major demonstrations on Friday and the Sabq online newspaper, which is close to authorities, reported that the day had passed quietly with no protests.

But on Saturday King Salman announced an end to austerity measures that Saudi authorities had imposed in September -- including a freeze on salaries and limited benefits for civil servants -- as part of austerity measures following a collapse in global oil prices since 2014.
restored benefits to civil servants last weekend.

Government agents and government supporters, too, took to social media to talk up the ruling family leadership and connection to the public.


Sample of the pro- and anti-government posts on social media:























Saturday, December 10, 2016

#Aleppo: About 50,000 civilians have fled the rebel enclave over the past two days

    Saturday, December 10, 2016   No comments
About 50,000 civilians have fled the rebel enclave over the past two days, a Russian defence spokesman said.

He added that more than 1,000 rebels had laid down their arms as pro-government forces close in.

Meanwhile Western powers have renewed calls for Syria and its ally, Russia, to allow people to leave Aleppo.

The statement came at a meeting of officials from the US, Europe, and some Arab countries.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who attended the talks in Paris, said: "Russia and [Syrian President] Assad have a moment where they are in a dominant position to show a little grace."
Earlier Russian defence ministry spokesman Gen Igor Konashenkov said Syrian troops had suspended their offensive to allow the evacuation of civilians.

"People are moving in a constant stream through humanitarian corridors into the government-controlled districts,'' he told reporters.

He said 30,000 people had left on Friday and 20,000 so far on Saturday.
Source: BBC

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Turkish minister: 95% of the Turkish people believe Gulen is behind the coup....

    Thursday, July 28, 2016   No comments
ISR comment: ... and we have arrested the other 5%.


Turkish ruling party's pursuit of a purge and the revelation that Gulen was behind the failed coup before any credible investigation took place adds credence to the claim made by Gulen that Erdogan might be behind the coup.
Some European officials also voiced concern that Turkish authorities appear to have had a prepared list of the people they arrested or fired immediately after the coup.
Turkish officials are not helping their case either.

To claim that that 95% of the Turkish people believe that Gulen is behind the coup is to suggest that Turkish authorities operate on suspicions not on facts backed by evidence. After all, how did this minister know that 95% of the Turkish people believe that Gulen is behind the coup? Did he have to exaggerate?

In fact there are actual surveys, but they put that number at 64%, not 95%.
Looking at the images of Erdogan's supporters brutally beating soldiers, one gets the impression that it is actually Erdogan who launched a successful coup.


Friday, April 08, 2016

If true, report of "U.S., Russia Said to Team Up to Draft New Syria Constitution" proves once more that Syria's war was a proxy war

    Friday, April 08, 2016   No comments
Russia and the U.S are working on drafting a new constitution for Syria, according to three Western and Russian diplomats, in the clearest sign yet of the two powers’ determination to broker a solution to a five-year civil war that has sent a wave of refugees toward Europe.
The joint efforts are at an early stage, and Russia’s current proposals are closer to the Syrian government’s position, said one Western diplomat. The two countries are continuing to exchange ideas, a Russian diplomat said. All three envoys spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.


The U.S agreed with Russia on a target of August to create a framework for a political transition and a draft constitution for Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks in the Kremlin on March 24. The United Nations is leading peace talks in Geneva where the government and opposition are negotiating a settlement.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Competing narratives of armed conflicts: Turkey corrects the BBC, "members of PKK are not militants, they are terrorists"

    Friday, August 21, 2015   No comments
Turkey has accused the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of “openly supporting terrorism” by making “written and visual propaganda” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during a broadcast on Aug. 20.

“Such broadcasting about an organization which is listed as a terrorist [organization] by many countries, particularly EU countries, is open support for terrorism,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Aug. 21.

The broadcast, which portrayed the PKK as “an innocent organization struggling against another terrorist organization and encouraged [people] to join the PKK, is not acceptable in any way,” the ministry said in a written official statement.

This is not the first time that Turkish authorities have targeted U.K. media outlets’ reporting on the PKK, which is listed as terrorist organization by a large portion of the international community including the European Union and the United States, in addition to Turkey.

In 2005, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harshly criticized the BBC and Reuters for describing PKK members as militants and guerillas instead of terrorists.

Watch a report on 60 Minutes:



read more >>

Monday, April 06, 2015

Obama: Gulf states biggest threat is from inside their own countries, not Iran

    Monday, April 06, 2015   No comments
Excerpts from the NYT interview: 
...
As for protecting our Sunni Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia, the president said, they have some very real external threats, but they also have some internal threats — “populations that, in some cases, are alienated, youth that are underemployed, an ideology that is destructive and nihilistic, and in some cases, just a belief that there are no legitimate political outlets for grievances. And so part of our job is to work with these states and say, ‘How can we build your defense capabilities against external threats, but also, how can we strengthen the body politic in these countries, so that Sunni youth feel that they’ve got something other than [the Islamic State, or ISIS] to choose from. ... I think the biggest threats that they face may not be coming from Iran invading. It’s going to be from dissatisfaction inside their own countries. ... That’s a tough conversation to have, but it’s one that we have to have.”

That said, the Iran deal is far from finished. As the president cautioned: “We’re not done yet. There are a lot of details to be worked out, and you could see backtracking and slippage and real political difficulties, both in Iran and obviously here in the United States Congress.”

On Congress’s role, Obama said he insists on preserving the presidential prerogative to enter into binding agreements with foreign powers without congressional approval. However, he added, “I do think that [Tennessee Republican] Senator Corker, the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, is somebody who is sincerely concerned about this issue and is a good and decent man, and my hope is that we can find something that allows Congress to express itself but does not encroach on traditional presidential prerogatives — and ensures that, if in fact we get a good deal, that we can go ahead and implement it.”

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

U.S. officials: Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015   No comments
Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict.

The buildup follows a southward advance by Iranian-backed Houthi Shi'ite militants who took control of the capital Sanaa in September and seized the central city of Taiz at the weekend as they move closer to the new southern base of U.S.-supported President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The slide toward war in Yemen has made the country a crucial front in Saudi Arabia's region-wide rivalry with Iran, which Riyadh accuses of sowing sectarian strife through its support for the Houthis.

The conflict risks spiraling into a proxy war with Shi'ite Iran backing the Houthis, whose leaders adhere to the Zaydi sect of Shi'ite Islam, and Saudi Arabia and the other regional Sunni Muslim monarchies backing Hadi.


The armor and artillery being moved by Saudi Arabia could be used for offensive or defensive purposes, two U.S. government sources said. Two other U.S. officials said the build-up appeared to be defensive.

One U.S. government source described the size of the Saudi buildup on Yemen's border as "significant" and said the Saudis could be preparing air strikes to defend Hadi if the Houthis attack his refuge in the southern seaport of Aden.

Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington had acquired intelligence about the Saudi build-up. But there was no immediate word on the precise location near the border or the exact size of the force deployed.
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Friday, January 09, 2015

Hezbollah chief says terrorists damage Islam more than cartoons

    Friday, January 09, 2015   No comments
Jan 9 (Reuters) - The leader of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah said on Friday that Islamist terrorists had done more harm to Islam than any cartoon or book, a reference to the attack by suspected Islamist militants on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said what he called "takfiri terrorist groups" had insulted Islam more than "even those who have attacked the messenger of God through books depicting the Prophet or making films depicting the Prophet or drawing cartoons of the Prophet."


Takfiri is a term for a Muslim who accuses others, including another Muslim, of apostasy. Hezbollah considers members of ultra-hardline Sunni-dominated groups like al Qaeda and Islamic State to be takfiris.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

AKP prefers ISIL over PKK and Assad government

    Wednesday, October 08, 2014   No comments
Following an avalanche of criticism on social media, a prominent member of Parliament from Turkey’s ruling party has deleted a controversial tweet that favored jihadists over the supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).


“What did the young man whose head was crushed do wrong? The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] can’t beat those who did it to him. ISIL kills, but at least they don’t torture,” Emrullah İşler, a member of Parliament from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a former deputy prime minister, tweeted on Oct. 7.

A young member of the Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) was reportedly among the people who were killed, numbering at least 18, during the violent protests against ISIL in Turkey.



Monday, August 18, 2014

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race

    Monday, August 18, 2014   No comments
Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.


You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

On May 14th, 10 days after Kent State ignited the nation, at the predominantly black Jackson State University in Mississippi, police killed two black students (one a high school senior, the other the father of an 18-month-old baby) with shotguns and wounded twelve others.

There was no national outcry. The nation was not mobilized to do anything. That heartless leviathan we call History swallowed that event whole, erasing it from the national memory.



Sunday, May 18, 2014

    Sunday, May 18, 2014   No comments
 The self-declared Libyan National Army led by a renegade general told civilians on Saturday to leave parts of Benghazi before it launched a fresh attack on Islamist militants, a day after dozens were killed in the worst clashes in the city for months.

Families could be seen packing up and driving away from western districts of the port city where Islamist militants and LNA forces led by retired General Khalifa Haftar fought for hours on Friday.


Dressed in military uniform, Hafter - whom the speaker of parliament accused of plotting a coup - said his troops had temporarily withdrawn from Benghazi for tactical reasons.

"We'll come back with force," he told reporters at a sports club in Abyar, a small town to the east of Benghazi.

"We've started this battle and will continue it until we have reached our goals," he said.

He said government and parliament had no legitimacy as they had failed to achieve security. "The street and the Libyan people are with us," he said, adding that his troops were spread out in several parts of eastern Libya.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Erdoğan allegedly punches a protester in Soma, his aide kicks a mourner

    Thursday, May 15, 2014   No comments


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan allegedly punched a young man several times in Soma on Wednesday, after a large crowd angrily protested the recent mining disaster in which an explosion and fire killed at least 282 mineworkers.

Yusuf Yerkel, advisor to Tayyip Erdogan,
kicking mourner. Photo: MEHMET ERMIN

Many people in the crowd protested Erdoğan's presence, shouting that he is a “murderer” and a “thief,” reportedly forcing the prime minister to take shelter in a grocery store. However, some reports claim that Erdoğan entered the store not to avoid the protests but rather to follow -- and subsequently punch -- a young man who had shouted at him outside the store.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Lütfü Türkkan has claimed that he has spoken to the man who Erdoğan punched, saying that the young man's name is Taner Kuruca.
Sharing the details of the conversation via micro blogging site Twitter, Türkkan wrote: “I spoke to Kuruca. The man said that he was shopping at the store when Erdoğan attacked him, thinking that he was a protester. He said that he was also beaten by Erdoğan's bodyguards.. Kuruca told me that only thing that he clearly remembers was that Erdoğan assaulted him."

Reports allege that the young man, wearing a blue t-shirt, chanted slogans critical of Erdoğan and then entered the store. Erdoğan then followed the protester inside, grabbed the man and then punched him two or three times, according to eyewitness reports.

The owner of the store corroborated the reports, saying that he saw surveillance camera footage showing that Erdoğan was punching a man, adding, "The bodyguards took away the footage and suggested that I not mention the issue."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Turkey, Erdogan, denounced as "villainous" the leaking of a recording of top security officials discussing fabricating excuse for military action against Syria, blocks YouTube

    Friday, March 28, 2014   No comments
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday denounced as "villainous" the leaking of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military action in Syria to the video-sharing site YouTube (Watch part of the conversation on youtube).

Turkish authorities ordered the shutdown of the site.
Erdogan's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu called the posting a "declaration of war," an apparent reference to an escalating power struggle between Erdogan and rivals.
The anonymous posting was an audio file with photographs of the officials involved.

It followed similar releases on social media in recent weeks that Erdogan has cast as a plot by his political enemies, particularly a Turkish Islamic cleric based in the United States, to unseat him ahead of March 30 elections.
The posting took the campaign to a higher level, impinging on a highly sensitive top-level meeting of security officials.
"They even leaked a national security meeting," Erdogan said at a campaign rally. "This is villainous, this is dishonesty ... Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?"
Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the recording.
The account posted what it presented as a recording of intelligence chief Hakan Fidan discussing possible military operations in Syria with Davutoglu, Deputy Chief of military Staff Yasar Guler and other senior officials.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s new terrorism law and a series of related royal decrees create a legal framework that appears to criminalize virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism

    Thursday, March 20, 2014   No comments
The sweeping provisions in the measures, all issued since February 2014, threaten to close down altogether Saudi Arabia’s already extremely restricted space for free expression.

“Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups.”


The new regulations come amid a campaign to silence independent activists and peaceful dissidents through intimidation, investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment. On March 9, the prominent human rights activists Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammed al-Qahtani completed their first year in prison, serving 11 and 10-year sentences, respectively, for criticizing the government’s human rights abuses and for membership in an unlicensed political and civil rights organization.

Two other human rights activists, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Mikhlif al-Shammari, recently lost appeals and will probably begin their three-month and five-year respective sentences soon for criticizing Saudi authorities.


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thousands bid farewell to Gezi victim Berkin with anti-Erdoğan slogans

    Thursday, March 13, 2014   No comments
Tens of thousands marched through Şişli, İstanbul.
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the country to protest the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died on Tuesday after being in a coma for nine months after being hit on the head by a tear gas canister during last summer's Gezi Park protests, as Turkey bid a heartbreaking farewell to its youngest Gezi victim.

A huge crowd began to gather around the Okmeydanı cemevi in İstanbul where a funeral ceremony was held for the young boy. The crowd chanted slogans such as “Berkin Elvan, the child of hope,” “The murderer state will be called to account” and “Tayyip! Killer!” They called on Prime Minister Erdoğan to resign. Berkin's father, Sami Elvan, greeted the crowd and received their messages of condolence.

Berkin was on his way to buy bread on the morning of June 16 when he was caught up in street protests in İstanbul's Okmeydanı neighborhood. He was hit at close range by a tear gas canister fired by riot police. He slipped into a coma and fought for his life for 269 days. Berkin weighed just 16 kilograms the day he passed away.

Berkin's family announced his death via Twitter on Tuesday morning. “We lost our Berkin at 7 a.m. this morning. May he rest in peace,” the message said. Several police officers have been questioned about Berkin's head injury but no one has been charged



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