Archive for category Youth

Turmoil in Egypt continues, as state of emergency is declared


JANUARY 30, 2013

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in three Suez Canal cities on Monday night, defying a night-time curfew and a month-long state of emergency declared by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a day earlier.

“Down with Mohamed Morsi! No to the emergency law,”they chanted.

In a televised address to the nation on Sunday, the Islamist President announced the imposition of martial law in the restive cities of Port Said, Suez and Ismailia in a bid “to end the bloodshed and protect citizens.” The move came in response to four days of street violence that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

Egyptian police fire tear gas in Alexandria

The latest wave of unrest was sparked by nationwide anti-government protests on the eve of the second anniversaryof the mass uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, that began on 25 Jan 2011. Opposition activists on Friday reiterated the now-familiar revolutionary slogans of “bread, freedom and social justice” and “the people want the downfall of the regime”.

They demanded quicker reforms and called foramendments to the Islamist-tinged constitution passed in a popular referendum in December. The situation deteriorated further after 21 defendants charged with involvement in last February’s violence at Port Said football stadium — the worst football-related violence in the country’s history — were sentenced to death on Sunday. The verdict triggered angry riots and attacks on police stations in Port Said.

The army has been deployed in Port Said and Suez in a bid “to restore stability and protect vital installations,” a military spokesman said on Egyptian TV. “Those who defy the curfew or damage public property will be dealt with harshly,” he warned.

In Alexandria, Egypt’s second city, demonstrators meanwhile staged rallies to protest the return of the much-detested emergency law, which was used for decades by Mubarak to round up opponents, silence voices of dissent and stifle freedom of expression. The protesters accused President Morsi of using the same repressive tactics as his predecessor.

“Morsi is Mubarak,” they shouted, “Down with the rule of the (Muslim Brotherhood) Supreme Guide.”

In recent weeks, a government crackdown on journalists critical of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood has fuelled concerns of restrictions on press freedoms gained after the January 2011 uprising. Several journalists have faced criminal investigations after being accused by Morsi’s Islamist supporters of “insulting the president”.

In December, a lawsuit was filed against Egypt’s answer to Jon Stewart of the Daily Show — satirist Bassem Youssef — for poking fun at the president on his weekly television programme Al Bernameg (The Programme) on Egyptian independent satellite channel CBC. Youssef appeared on the show hugging a pillow with the president’s picture on it — a gesture mocking Morsi’s repeated calls on Egyptians to “unify ranks and love one another”. While the court dismissed the charge, the case served as a reminder to journalists that the country’s controversial new constitution includes provisions forbidding insults.

Meanwhile the online editor-in-chief for state-sponsored newspaper Al Ahram, Hani Shukrallah, was forced into early retirement this month. Highly respected for his objectivity in covering the news, Shukrallah would not reveal the details surrounding his removal from the post, but some have suggested via Twitter that his dismissal was for not being pro-Muslim Brotherhood.

In December, Islamist protesters staged a sit-in outside the Media Production City calling for “the purging of the media” and accusing independent journalists and talk show hosts of vilifying the Islamist President.

In Cairo, security forces continued battling rock-throwing youths around Kasr-el-Nil, not far from Tahrir Square for a fifth consecutive day on Monday, disrupting traffic in the downtown area. The protesters hurled molotov cocktails at the police and set fire to a police armoured personnel carrier, in scenes reminiscent of“The Friday of Rage” on 28 January 2011.

Members of the 6 April youth movement that called for the mass uprising two years ago condemned the government’s slow response to the violence and warned that the state of emergency would further provoke Morsi’s opponents. They called for a political solution to address the root cause of the problem.

Emerging from talks with the president on Monday night, Ayman Nour, Head of the liberal Ghad Al Thawra Party said that the president had rejected the call for a national unity government but had agreed to amendments to the constitution including articles that opposition political parties say undermine women’s rights.

Rights groups denounced Morsi’s declaration of a state of emergency as “a backward step” that would allow police to resort to the heavy-handed tactics practiced under the ousted regime.

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch in Cairo lamented Morsi’s decision to re-impose martial law describing it as “a classic knee-jerk reaction that would pave the way for more abuse by the Ministry of Interior, causing more anger.”

Analysts have expressed fears meanwhile, that the newly-declared state of emergency will plunge the country — battered by weeks of street violence — into deeper political and economic turmoil, and further polarising the already divided country. The emergence of the mysterious “Black Bloc”, a group that has vowed “to protect the goals of the revolution and rid the country of the fascist regime” has raised alarm. Islamists have so far exercised restraint and have stayed away from the protests, in order to avoid the kind of bloody confrontation witnessed in December outside of the presidential palace. They have warned warned however, that their patience is wearing thin, and that they are preparing for combat should the need arise. Such warnings have led some to even express fears of a collapse in Egyptian society. A scenario that would present Egypt’s powerful military with a fresh opportunity to return to power.


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SYRIA: Map of the Fallen | Middle East Voices

SYRIA: Map of the Fallen | Middle East Voices.


Ministry of Thugs Egypt

A photo on Face Book group The Eyes of Freedom can provoke extreme reactions by certain people. People on this picture are injured. Most of them have a taped eye. The result of the attacks by security forces in Cairo. Men, women and children. For the military council no exception is made.  A proof, the protests in Egypt are far from over. Even though I am well aware of  pro Mubarak or Tantawi people among the protestors, it still comes as a surprise. Especially when these people become active on Face Book and seek the confrontation with contacts outside of Egypt.

Shahira Amin, a wonderful person who became famous by resigning at Nile TV, the English news channel from the Egyptian State television, at the beginning of the protests against Hosni Mubarak. She walked away and joined the protestors on Tahrir Square. A very brave decision as her life could be in severe danger. Shahira is now very active in Egypt and internationally. A free lancer for BBC World and CNN. Beside that she does several talk shows and knows how to bring up the essentials of each interview.

Shahira shared the photo of the Face Book group The Eyes of Freedom on her profile. As I do always, I read the post and try to comment. Surprisingly a man from Egypt, reacted quite irritated on the this posting but started as well to attack my comments. My comment was; “Victims of he Ministry of Thugs.” Pointing out to the rulers of Egypt, responsible for the many killed and injured protestors what we see everyday. This is one of the comments he made:

“ya3ni 7adretek u r posting this so that people like frank yi2oolo comments about our ministries??? i find that sick.. they do it the other way araound 3al 3ilm ya ostaza shahira.. i m against inno any outsider would call any egyptian a thug.. thats ashame.”

Beside the phonetic Arabic words it is obvious, this writer is against every interference from a non Egypt person. Shahira reacts quite calm on him and tries to make him clear that not her message is sick but what happened to these young people in the streets is sick. This comment makes him more irritated as he cannot understand an Egyptian person agrees with a non Egyptian. This was his next comment: “hey franky!! watch ur words when u speak about an egyptian puppsy..

Obviously more irritated he adds this one minute later: “including our police and military forces.” I made him very clear that he is not impressing me with his words and my reaction was:” @Ahmad: I am not going to watch out for your words.” After several reactions both sides, this is what he wrote before I made him clear not willing to continue to argue with him:

“@ frank , I dont need to know about u to judge whether you re allowed to speak about any egyptian of any age and filling any job. its a red line buddy. u dont cross the red lines. i dont care what you think of israel, nor what u think of our x president, nor what you think of our coming one!! 🙂 frankly frank 🙂 just stick ur nose where it belongs. thats not just u franky, its to any outsider 🙂

This man is not hiding his point of view and with him there are thousands. People who create unrest and division among the young people who risk their lives every day to free themselves from suppression. By either thugs or military oppressors. This strategy by Mubarak, sending members of the security forces to the Squares to pretend being activists as well, copied by the new military rulers.  These people are ordered to create unrest, act as criminals giving the protestors a bad name.

The young people of Egypt and all their supporters from many other countries are one. Thanks to them, people like Ahmad get no chance to spread their nationalistic point of view to a wide audience. This is why the young people in the streets will overcome and eventually overthrow the military rulers. Just as they did with Mubarak and thugs.


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F1: Don’t race in Bahrain!

This week, the Bahrain government is desperately trying to cover up its crackdown and show it’s now fit to host the Grand Prix. But if we expose their abuses, we can keep wavering F1 teams out of brutal Bahrain.

Six months ago the regime was shooting protesters and Avaaz got F1 teams to unanimously refuse to race in Bahrain. Now the Bahrain government is again trying to whitewash its image. But this weekend a young boy’s mutilated body washed up on the beach — a tragic sign of continued repression of democracy activists. We know Red Bull and Mercedes care what we think — let’s call on them to stop the race again until independent observers say regime violence is over and democratic voices are free.

We have only days before the decision. Let’s stop the Bahrain F1 and show the regime that only an end to brutality will unblock business. Sign the urgent petition now and send this to everyone — when we reach 200,000 signatures, we’ll deliver directly to the teams.

To Mercedes and other F1 teams:

As the Bahraini government continues to kill, injure and imprison peaceful protesters, we call on you to safeguard your reputation, and Formula 1’s by agreeing not to race in Bahrain this year. The Grand Prix should only return to Bahrain once it’s released and compensated political prisoners and taken verifiable steps towards democracy.

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Iranian Judiciary Punishes Political Activist Asal Esmaeilzadeh with Prison Sentence

Source: Persian2English
Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)

Yesterday morning, branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced political activist Asal Esmaeilzadeh to four months in prison and eight months *suspended imprisonment. Her charges are: “Propaganda against the regime” and “Gathering and Colluding…”. She is currently not imprisoned.

Esmaeilzadeh was recently arrested in Behesht Zahra cemetery along with activists Peyman Aref and Sharar Konoor Tabrizi under the charge of praying at Neda Agha Soltan’s grave site.  Esmaeilzadeh and Konoor Tabrizi were released after a few days on bail. Peyman Aref remained jailed until last month.

Esmaeilzadeh was also arrested by plainclothes agents in her home back in May 2011. She endured 31 days in solitary confinement in ward 209 of Evin prison. She was released on June 1, 2011 on a $100 thousand [USD] bail.

* A suspended imprisonment sentence means that the sentence will not be implemented, unless the person is found guilty on another charge. There is usually a time limit associated with the suspension. 

هرانا؛ محکومیت عسل اسماعیل‌زاده، فعال سیاسی به یک سال حبس

يكشنبه 18 دی 1390 ساعت 01:01 |

خبرگزاری هرانا – صبح روز گذشته دستگاه قضایی “عسل اسماعیل‌زاده”، فعال سیاسی را به یک سال حبس محکوم کرد.

بنا به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا از تهران، صبح روز گذشته ۱۷ دی ماه شعبه ۲۶ دادگاه انقلاب تهران عسل اسماعیل‌زاده را به اتهام “تبلیغ علیه نظام” و “اجتماع و تبانی” به تحمل چهار ماه حبس تعزیری و ۸ ماه حبس تعلیقی محکوم نموده است.

وی چندی پیش به همراه پیمان عارف و شرر کنور تبریزی در بهشت زهرا و به جرم فاتحه خوانی بر مزار ندا آقا سلطان دستگیر شده بود که پس از چند روز به همراه شررکنور تبریزی، به قید التزام آزاد شد.

خانم اسماعیل‌زاده هم‌چنین ۱۱ اردیبهشت‌ماه سال جاری در حین بازگشت به منزل توسط نیروهای موسوم به لباس شخصی بازداشت شده بود و مدت ۳۱ روز در سلول انفرادی بند ۲۰۹ به سر برد و یازدهم خرداد ماه با قرار وثیقه یکصد میلیون تومانی به طور موقت آزاد شده بود.

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Who is to Blame?

Still many people around the world have a problem with Germany due to the Second World War. Young generations in Germany blamed for something their grandparents did. How many jokes do exist all over the world about germans? Especially in West Europe. How often, young germans need to defend themselves in discussions about an era of horror? A discussion they don’t even want be  involved at but unfortunately they have no choice or else they are accused of Nazism.

From 1933 till 1945 the Nazis of Germany aimed for a totalitarian system and an empire that covers the world. The Third Reich (Realm or Empire). Adolf Hitler wanted to follow the footsteps of the Holy Roman Empire leaders from Germany, the First Reich. Not to confuse with the ancient Roman Empire. The Second Reich was the Hohenzollern Germany, installed after the Franco – Prussian war of 1870 till 1871. It was Arthur Muller van den Bruck who mentioned the Third Reich already in one of his books in 1923. Muller was probably a great example to Hitler. The Nazis brought an end to the Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in Germany after the First World War.

The Second World War became hell on earth. Hitler knew how to deal with the misery in Germany after World War I. He promised the nation jobs, a great economy and a powerful country with an important role in the world. This is exactly what he did but not as many had expected. Hitler wanted his Third Reich at all costs. He blamed the jews for the poverty of many germans. He had a strong frustration against these people for their successes in business. Jews always knew how to make money from nothing. They knew how to survive and how to take care of their families. For Hitler this was a good opportunity to put the blame on them and this made him popular by all these Germans living in a hopeless situation. After having his war machinery at a high level he conquered Europe in no time with his Blitzkrieg (Lighting war). The  European people suffered for five years long. Six million jews murdered as well over a million people of other groups like gipsies, polish but as well people with another beliefs. In these five years 47 million civilians died before the allied forces from the West and the East ended the bloodiest war the world has ever experienced.

The first postwar Chancellor of Germany, Konrad Adenauer realised in what situation Germany was in after the Third Reich collapsed. It was his duty to bring Germany back. To find a way to pay the debts and at the same time to increase the economy. The toughest job ever for a politician. He knew well what Hitler did in Europe and how many people suffered under this regime. It was the  4th Chancellor Willy Brandt who showed the pain and quilt from the German people and kneeled on december 7th 1970 for a monument in Poland for all the victims and cried. A turning point for many polish people. They believed the good intentions of this man. A new relation was born and thanks to the Marshall Plan,an aid program by the USA, to build a new Europe, people could start to look forward and to see future opportunities for them and their families.

The system of Germany was to work hard to build up the country and to understand what they have caused in Europe. New generations learned in schools what happened exactly in World War II and they learned to deal with it. They also learned to deal with the discriminatory feelings of other nations against them but they worked hard and since the millennium they are proud being German again. They wave their flags at big sports events and believe in what their country stands for. They have learned from the past and dealt with the guilt for many decades. Something many countries still didn’t do.

Two years after WWII, the Netherlands murdered many opponents in Indonesia, a colony until 1949 to reinstall the dutch monarchy after the Japanese left in 1945. Until today this history is still not mentioned in schoolbooks and the official apologies from the government came in 2011. Many generations in the Netherlands don’t know anything about this genocide. In England, children learn about the once so powerful United Kingdom and its pride but what do they know exactly about the cruelties the army caused in Ireland, Scotland and many countries overseas? Or Austria, a country what finds it hard to talk about their dictatorial era from 1933 till 1938. The chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss ruled the nation as a dictator until it was annexed by Nazi Germany. What about Italy? About ten years ago I drove down to Naples and at a gas station you could buy busts of Mussolini, a war criminal and friend of Hitler. We have many more examples about countries who are afraid until today to deal with the horrors their grandparents caused to millions of innocent people.

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The Contradiction of Kazakhstan

Until the 17th of December the riots in Kazakhstan only took place in the city of Zhanaozon but spread slowly all over the country. It is now Shetpe, not far from Zhanaozon where fights broke out. The police ordered to shoot the protestors to keep up the peace. Since Friday the first oil workers protested against mass releases of workers and labour circumstances for many others. The death toll is 12 after 2 days of protests.

In the 16th century Kazakhstan inhabited by several ethnic groups of nomads. In fact nobody noticed this country until the Soviet Union annexed the area with the size of West Europe. Joseph Stalin, the paranoia leader of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialists Republic) from 1941 till 1953 decided to move complete ethnic groups from the far east to the west of the Soviet Union  and vice versa. Kazakhstan became a home for Kazakhs, Russians,Uyghur,Ukrainians,Uzbeks,Tatars and Germans. 63 percent of the inhabitants are from Kazakhs origin. Now Kazakhstan has a great diversity of ethnic groups. In 1991 the country declared itself independent from the Soviet Union. The country ranked the 72nd place of the world economy.The capital moved from Alma-Ata in 1998 to Astana, the second largest city of Kazakhstan.

In 1999 the new government managed to make the country an important oil and gas exporter. Unfortunately the benefits are only for a small group of people. The majority of the nation still lives in poverty. It is Astana only what we see from Kazakhstan. The great new buildings, the huge sports complexes  and luxury cars. It is the élite group of friends of the president who profit from the economic boost.

The president Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered a three-week state of emergency to unleash extreme police force on the protestors. Internet and mobile phone traffic is unavailable since last Friday to prevent the young people to call for a nationwide protest via social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This action of the authorities is probably a turning point in the history of Kazakhstan. The bold action of the government challenges the people for harder reactions. It is only a matter of time before the majority of the nation awakens by the few protestors  nearby Astana. The first steps to freedom, dignity and a future are set. The freedom fights spread to Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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