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· May, 2009

Stories about Human Rights from May, 2009

Indonesia: Jailed For Complaining

31 May 2009

The case of Prita Mulyasari, a mother of two, is currently the hot topic among Indonesian bloggers. Prita shared her experience of being maltreated by a private hospital on a mailing-list. The hospital took legal action against her. The online complaint may result into six years jail term and maximum fine of 1 billion Rupiah (nearly US$ 98,000).

Russia: Bloggers’ Memories of Soviet Maternity Hospitals

31 May 2009

Last year, Sinisa Boljanovic translated a number of heartrending childbirth stories, written anonymously by Serbian women and posted on the "Mother Courage" award-winning site, launched and maintained by Serbian blogger Branka Stamenkovic/Krugolina Borup. This month, LJ user germanych, a Russian blogger, asked his readers to share experiences of giving birth in the Soviet Union. While Branka Stamenkovic's "Mother Courage" initiative is an attempt to change the situation for the better, the Russian blogger's goal has been to document a lesser-known chapter of the Soviet history.

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East Timor: Thoughts on Abortion A Few Days Before Law Approval

30 May 2009

A heated debate about the provisions of a new draft penal code pertaining to abortion is taking place right now in East Timor. If the law is passed, abortion will become a crime and those who perform it will be punished with 2 to 8 years imprisonment, even in cases of incest or rape. The blogosphere reacts, Timorese women raising their voices and questioning why the more pressing issue of underage prostitution is not being debated instead.

Trinidad & Tobago: Police Presence

29 May 2009

From Trinidad and Tobago, Mauvais Langue cannot believe that “in the year 2009 they [the police] still saying they have no vehicles”, while B.C. Pires takes great pride in the way his friend, through a letter to the Editor, comes “around the wicket, to send one right up into the...

Jamaica, Cuba: Amnesty International Report

29 May 2009

Iriegal and Jamaica Salt comment on Amnesty International’s criticism of the Jamaican police force, while Havana Times notes that the organization”recognized…that the US blockade on Cuba has a negative effect on the general population.”

China: Police harassment

29 May 2009

Joel Martinsen from DANWEI translated Ai Weiwei's blog posts on how he was harassed by security “rice streamers” (meaning stupid polices) and lawyer blogger Liu Xiaoyuan's article explaining Ai's rights. Ai Weiwei's blogs hosted on Sina and Sohu have been suspended.

Hong Kong: SC group censored June 4th special feature

29 May 2009

Daisy, an editor from Esquire, a lifestyle magazine under South China media group in Hong Kong, disclosed in her blog that the top management banned the publication of 15 pages June 4th special feature in its latest issue. The top rank company staff, after looking at the layout, said the...

Serbia: Torture or Therapy?

29 May 2009

Last week, on May 21, a short film about torture in the Spiritual Rehabilitation Center "Crna Reka," located in south-western Serbia, was shown on the web site of Vreme, a Serbian weekly magazine. The patients of this center are drug addicts and its head is Branislav Peranovic, a Serbian Orthodox priest. Nearly all Serbian media have shown the horrible scenes from the short film, in which Peranovic is shown beating one of the patients brutally with a spade and with his fists. Sinisa Boljanovic reviews Serbian bloggers' responses.

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Mexico: Television Comedy Show Makes Light of Actor's Mental Disability

28 May 2009

The Human Rights Commission of Mexico DF has asked the television network Televisa to apologize the actor known as Sammy, after the contestants of a comedy game show played a prank on him, even though it is widely known that he suffers from moderate mental disability. The incident brought to light the frequency that Mexican comedians mock others or their situations in order to get laughs.

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Singapore: First LGBT Rally

28 May 2009

More than 2,500 people in Singapore gathered at Hong Lim Park to form a human Pink Dot - a symbol of love and inclusiveness. It was Singapore’s first public rally in support for the Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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Bangladesh, India: No To Tipaimukh Dam

27 May 2009

The Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project is being constructed near the confluence of Barak and Tuivai rivers, in Manipur, India and within 100km of Bangladesh border. The project will submerge a huge portion of land, thereby making thousands of people homeless and threatening the habitats of Indigenous population in India. The downstream neighbor Bangladesh will also face severe environmental and economic consequences.

Cuba: Gay Expression

27 May 2009

Diaspora blogger Uncommon Sense says of the arrest of the President of the Cuban Lesbian, Gay, Transexual and Bisexual Foundation: “After 50 years, the Castro dictatorship has yet to get over its hang-ups over Cubans – gay or straight – expressing themselves.”

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Palestine: Israeli Armed Police Disrupt Literature Festival

26 May 2009

The Palestine Festival of Literature is a traveling cultural roadshow touring across the West Bank, in Palestine, from May 23 to 28. The aim is to take literary activities to Palestinians, who aren't allowed to travel under the occupation. However, the opening was marred when armed Israeli police ordered the theatre where the event was hosted to shut down. Bloggers from around the world reacted to the incident.

Cuba: Antúnez Arrested

26 May 2009

“Former Cuban political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’ and six other anti-government activists were arrested in Havana…”: Uncommon Sense has the details.

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