· June, 2013

Stories about Feature from June, 2013

Could Fawzia Koofi be Afghanistan's First Female President?

  13 June 2013

The search for the next president of Afghanistan is underway. Last fall, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) slated presidential elections for April 5, 2014. Voter registration started at the end of last month and will continue until two weeks before the day of the vote. Although a list of candidates is still yet to be finalized, some of the names expected on the ballot are already the source of intense discussion.

Simultaneous “Sit-ins for Freedom” Held Across Saudi Cities

Small groups of Saudi women held simultaneous “Sit-ins for Freedom” across Saudi cities on June 10th, 2013, which were called for by anonymous advocacy group @almonaseron [The Supporters] to call for release of their imprisoned relatives. As a result, over 140 protesters, men and women, were arrested by Saudi forces during the previous two days.

PRISM Infects Russia with Cyberwar Scare

Since last week, when the world learned about PRISM, Russian state officials have expressed renewed concerns about foreign social networks posing a national security threat. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin recently told reporters that websites like Facebook and Twitter are elements of a larger American campaign against Russia.

Snowden Hides in Hong Kong, US-China Diplomacy Takes Center Stage

  11 June 2013

As Edward Snowden, a US whistleblower hides out in Hong Kong, a wave of nationalism has hit China's blogosphere. Many netizens see the US government's vast snooping as a chance for Beijing to score political points and strike back at the accusations of cyber-espionage that China often faces.

Puerto Rico: “Freedom for Oscar López Rivera, Now!”

  11 June 2013

More and more people have united in the campaign for the release of Oscar López Rivera, the longest-serving political prisoner in Latin America. Politicians of all ideologies in Puerto Rico, writers, artists, and members of the international community, have come together to ask for his freedom after being imprisoned in the United States during 32 years.

Billions of Japan's Post-Quake Relief Funds Didn't Help Victims

  10 June 2013

Japan's major newspaper reported that billions of budgets that had meant to employ the local people in disaster-stricken area were largely out-flowed to unrelated projects that victims of disaster-stricken area do not benefit. The news of misappropriation draw criticism among social media users.

Australia: Security Storm Surrounds Convicted Egyptian Asylum Seeker

  10 June 2013

Accusations of 'jihadist terrorism' against an Egyptian asylum seeker has stirred the political brawling in the lead up to Australia’s election on 14 September 2013. The Opposition parties’ election promises include turning back refugee boats and increasing funding to the intelligence and security agencies. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has responded by setting up an internal inquiry into the apparent security failure.

Israeli Social Justice Protesters Met with Violence by Jerusalem Police

A protest organized by three groups affiliated with the Israeli social justice movement (#j14) was held in Jerusalem on Saturday night (June 8). The protesters demanded a reversal of the decision to export most of Israel's natural gas reserves with only 12.5% of the value of the gas going to the State in taxes. The protesters also voiced objections against the budget of the new government, which is expected to significantly raise taxes on Israel's lower and middle-class, while at the same time cutting government services on which those classes rely. The protest, despite being peaceful and rather small (a few hundreds of protesters) was met with an unusually high level of random police brutality.

Rwanda: NGO's Pursuit for Justice against Perpetrators of Genocide

  9 June 2013

Rwanda remembered the start of the genocide on April 7, as they have done every year since 1994. In the 19 years following the genocide, the hunt for the perpetrators of crimes against humanity has never ceased. In France, the Collective of Civil Plaintiffs for Rwanda (CPCR) is one of the organisations that fight against impunity. Its Chairman, Alain Gauthier, answered some questions by Global Voices author Abdoulaye Bah:

Russians & Cigarettes: A Hard Goodbye

The Russian government aims to end Russia's love affair with cigarettes, and a new law passed June 1 will ban smoking in a wide array of public spaces, paving the way to even stricter regulations in the future. Not everyone in the Russian blogosphere, however, is happy about it.

Turkey: A Social Media Chronology of Occupy Gezi

On April 10, a hashtag on Turkey's Twitter proclaimed, #ayagakalk ("stand up"). This came from a small group of activists trying to preserve the standing park, Gezi Park in Taksim Square, against plans to build a mall on the area. Nobody expected to this little incident to turn into biggest protest in the country’s republican history

Istanbul Protests Through the Eyes of a Ukrainian Journalist

As the anti-government protests and police brutality in Turkey are making top headlines globally, many Ukrainians have started to follow the situation there with much interest, expressing support and admiration for the peaceful protesters. Their primary source of updates, photos and insight from Istanbul is Ukrainian journalist Osman Pashayev, the Istanbul bureau chief of the Crimean Tatar ATR TV channel.

Turkey: “A Tree Dies, A Nation Rises”

The situation in Istanbul turned violent when police cracked down on peaceful protesters on Friday, May 31. The peaceful sit-in started five days ago where several tens of people gathered to oppose plans by the government urban reorganization of Istanbul's only green spot: the Gezi Park. The brutality used by police forces — teargas, water cannons, fists and batons — to expel protesters from the park generated a national outcry.