Tag: repression

Tajikistan: Youth Group Intimidating Opposition

Repression of dissenters in Tajikistan is taking a worrisome turn, with family members inside the Central Asian country facing retribution for the actions of activist relatives abroad.

Events surrounding the annual human dimension implementation meeting, convened in Warsaw by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), have highlighted the issue of payback by proxy. On September 19, during the forum, supporters of political groups persecuted in Tajikistan staged a protest, holding up posters that highlighted reported abuses by the Tajik government.

Silence and fear: understanding repression in Mexico

We still need to better understand the logic of repression to be able to begin countering it, but the dimension it has taken lately urges the Mexican society to take action now.

In the novel 1984, it sends a shiver down my spine when O’Brien asks Winston, who is begging for mercy, “how does one man assert his power over another?” After hours of torture in Room 101, Winston’s answer might seem obvious to us: “by making him suffer.” This is precisely the purpose of repression: to hurt, humiliate, frighten, demobilise, divide, and silence. If there were an Oscar award for repression, the Mexican government would win one for its 50 year trajectory. In the acceptance speech, the country could mention the repression which was executed against peasant leaders following the failed attack on the Madera Barracks in 1965, as a milestone achievement. Or perhaps the participation of the Mexican army to quell student riots in the University of Michoacán, San Nicolás Hidalgo, in 1966. The most recent feat achieved by the Mexican government would without doubt be the police’s actions in Nochixtlán, 19 June 2016, in dispersing a road blocked by sympathisers of the National Organisation of Education Workers (CNTE), whereby 8 people were murdered and an additional 100 injured.

Hollywood Stars Cavort in Cuba while Arrests of Dissidents Hit New High

Apparently, Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba was just what the island needed to kick off its popularity. In the last few weeks, it has played host to a concert, a fashion show, the filming of a Hollywood movie, and visits from international celebrities.

All of that happening while, behind the scenes, Raúl Castro’s regime represses dissenters and the number of exiles continues to climb. Demonstrations and protests for the release of political prisoners — such as The Ladies in White and Unpacu — continue to be squashed and silenced.

On Wednesday, May 4, local press revealed that Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney Kardashian as well as rapper Kanye West had arrived to the island to get to know Cuban culture.
This Wednesday also saw Charlize Theron arrive to Havana to participate in the making of Fast and Furious 8, which started filming a week ago.

“To demand peace is not a crime”: Turkish academics on trial

Last Friday, April 21st, four Turkish academics, Meral Camci, Kivanc Ersoy, Muzeffer Kaya and Esra Mungan, after five weeks remanded in prison, were brought to the Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul to face charges of making “propaganda for terrorism” and of association with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), labelled as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US. The indictment accused them under Article 7(2) of Turkey’s anti-terror law and if convicted they could face sentences of up to 7 ½ years in detention.

Although at the end of the day, the prisoners were released, and the Judge adjourned the case to September 27th, confusion reigns among the academics and the lawyers.

China: New Law Escalates Repression of Groups

A newly adopted law in China gives police unprecedented power to restrict the work of foreign groups in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law will also limit domestic groups’ ability to obtain foreign funding and work with foreign organizations.

The National People’s Congress passed the draconian Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Government Organizations Activities in China (the NGO Law) on April 28, 2016, and will come into force on January 1, 2017.