Posts Tagged ‘demonstrators’

Kashmir death toll rises as India faces fresh protests

August 8, 2010
Women attend the funeral of Mohammad Iqbal, a Kashmiri youth, in Srinagar this week. Kashmiri separatist leaders have appealed for calm in the biggest anti-India protests in two years, which have killed dozens of people. Photograph: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

RAHUL BEDI in New Delhi, The Irish Times, August 7, 2010

THE DEATH toll from the recent round of recurring clashes between demonstrators and the security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir province is now close to 50.

Most of the dead were shot by the security forces for defying a curfew.

Since the middle of June, the Kashmir valley has been rocked by violent agitation. Protesters, angry over decades of repressive Indian rule over their disputed Muslim-majority Himalayan province, have hurled rocks and set government buildings and vehicles alight.

The demonstrators, mostly young men, have been joined by thousands of women, some carrying sticks and stones and chanting: “We want freedom” and “Blood for blood”.

Continues >>

Police Violently Attack Peaceful Indigenous Blockade in the Peruvian Amazon

June 7, 2009

From Axis of Logic

By Press Release
Amazon Watch, Saturday, June 6, 2009

The clash is the latest in a series over land rights in Peru. AFP

Bagua, Peru (June 5, 2009) – At approximately 5 am this morning, the Peruvian special forces police staged a violent raid on a group of indigenous people at a peaceful blockade on a road outside of Bagua, in a remote area of northern Peruvian Amazon. Several thousand Awajun and Wambis indigenous peoples were forcibly dispersed by tear gas and real bullets, among them are confirmed reports of at least 50 injured and 22 indigenous people and 9 police officers dead.

At 2am police began to approach the demonstrators as they were sleeping along the Fernando Belaúnde Terry road. Demonstrators refused to move from the roadblock as helicopters dropped teargas bombs from overhead. Eyewitnesses report that police attacked from both sides firing real bullets into the crowd as people fled into the steep hillsides. Many had no where to go. As the unarmed demonstrators were killed and injured some wrestled the Police and took away their guns and fought back in self-defense. The violence was clearly provoked by the Police as protesters had been peacefully blockading the road for over 56 days.

In local radio reports, the chief of Police claimed that the indigenous demonstrators were armed with guns necessitating the use of bullets for dispersal. This claim is refuted by dozens of local eyewitnesses including local journalists. A local conservationist reported from the scene that the Amazonian demonstrators have been entirely peaceful and only bear   traditional spears and in no way provoked any violence. However several conservative media sources are propagating the government’s misinformation campaign that aims to blame the victims for the violence.

The Garcia Government yesterday accused the indigenous movement of being violent, conflating non-violent civil disobedience with violent rebellion to justify its actions. The President issued an order for the police to begin forcibly removing indigenous demonstrations that have paralyzed the Amazon region of Peru for nearly two months.

Gregor MacLennan of Amazon Watch who is currently in Peru stated: “It is outrageous and absolutely untrue that indigenous   peoples provoked violence. Rather, they are engaged in peaceful and non-violent civil disobedience. It has been the Peruvian Government forces who have provoked violence against peaceful people who are trying to protect their forests, their sacred   lands from shortsighted pollution and industrial development. They are sacrificing a lot to safeguard the Amazon for future  generations and for all Peruvians.”

Indigenous peoples have vowed to continue protests until the Peruvian Congress revokes the “free trade” decrees issued by  President Garcia under special powers granted by Congress in the context of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

In the past two weeks, the constitutional committee of Congress has ruled that legislative decree 994 and 1090 were unconstitutional. The Peruvian Congress was scheduled to debate the revocation of decree 1090 again yesterday, however, Garcia’s political party for the third time prevented the debate preferring instead to attack the peaceful blockades. The   government Ombudsman office has filed a legal action with the constitutional tribunal on the unconstitutionality of decree 1064, which affects the land rights laws in Peru.

The protests have provoked national debate about government policies in the Amazon that ignore indigenous peoples and encourage large-scale extractive industries and the privatization of Amazonian lands. Indigenous peoples claim that new laws undermine their rights and open up their ancestral lands to private companies for mining, logging, plantations and oil drilling.

Alberto Pizango, left, president of the Peruvian Jungle Inter-Ethnic Development Association, speaks during a news conference in Lima, June 5, 2009. Karel Navarro

AIDESEP, the national indigenous organization of Peru presented a legal petition for “precautionary measures” to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requesting intervention to prevent more bloodshed. Orders for the arrest of leaders of AIDESEP, including Alberto Pizango was put in effect today.

Indigenous Peoples are planning a nationwide general strike starting June 11th.

A coalition of human rights and environmental organizations are urging the Garcia Government to stand down and cease violent   confrontations by the military and calling for solidarity demonstrations at Peruvian Embassies around the world. Today, there were demonstrations at the Peruvian Government Mission in San Francisco and Washington DC.

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Amazon Watch

Ahmadinejad, Chavez Call for World Summit on Gaza

January 11, 2009
Axis of Logic, January 11, 2009
By Fars News Agency – Teheran
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TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez called for organizing a global summit to find a resolution to end Gaza catastrophe.
During their phone talk, the two presidents condemned Israel’s slaughter of civilians in Gaza and stressed Palestine’s nation will overcome Zionists through resistance and perseverance.
The two presidents then emphasized leaders of different countries must hold a summit to find a way that ends the current situation in Gaza, the Iranian students news agency reported.
Iran’s President then appreciated Chavez for his revolutionary stances towards Israel and supporting Gazans and asserted through any possible way the Zionists must be prevented from continuing offensives against Gaza Strip.
Venezuelan President expelled Israeli ambassador as he put it in a “gesture of dignity” to show condemnation to Israeli massive offensives against Gaza.
On December 27 Israel launched military operation Cast Lead on Gaza Strip already crippled by a tight economic blockade. Palestinians death toll has passed 800 people and the number of injured reaches 3310.
Israel has acknowledged it will continue the operation despite UN Security Council resolution 1860 which has urged Tel Aviv to accept an immediate ceasefire.
Meantime, Venezuela expelled Israeli ambassador to Caracas in reaction to the massacre of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of Basiji students here on Thursday gathered outside Venezuelan Embassy in Tehran to thank Venezuelan government’s expulsion of Zionist regime’s envoy.
The Basijis offered wreath of flower to thank Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez government for expulsion of the diplomat from its territory.
They chanted “Hero Hugo Chavez, the supporter of the oppressed,”
“Oh revolutionary Chavez, thank you, thank you”,
“Long live freedom lover Chavez” and
“Compromising Arabs shame on you”.
Some of the demonstrators too asked Arab states to take lessons from Venezuelan government that expelled the Israeli ambassador.

Police arrest Kashmiri leader over anti-poll rally

October 24, 2008

Reuters North American News Service

Oct 23, 2008 02:33 EST

SRINAGAR, India, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Indian police arrested a Kashmiri separatist leader in an overnight raid after he led a rally urging people to boycott forthcoming state elections in the disputed Himalayan region, police said on Thursday.

Multi-stage state elections are due to start on Nov. 17 in Kashmir, where the past two months have witnessed some of the biggest anti-India protests since a separatist revolt against New Delhi’s rule broke out in 1989.

Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front who started an anti-election campaign in north Kashmir on Wednesday was detained at his house in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse scores of demonstrators protesting against the arrest.

Kashmir’s main separatist alliance the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, which is demanding an end to Indian rule in the region, has called for a complete boycott of the elections scheduled to be held in seven phases.

There had been pressure to suspend the elections, due this year, after at least 42 people were killed by security forces and more than 1,000 wounded in anti-India protests.

“New Delhi is trying to project the election as an alternative solution to Kashmir, but we will not allow it to happen,” Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told reporters. “We appeal to the people to boycott the elections.”

The government has announced a ban on public meetings of five or more people for one month.

There will be a massive deployment of security forces across the strife-torn region during the poll.

In the past, separatist guerrillas have attacked candidates, polling stations, party workers and rallies during elections, killing scores of candidates and workers.

But early this year, United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based militant alliance fighting Indian troops in Kashmir, rejected the use of violence to force a boycott of elections.

Violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly since India and Pakistan, which both claim the region, began a slow-moving peace process in 2004. (Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Alex Richardson) (For the latest Reuters news on India see, for blogs see

Source: Reuters North American News Service

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