ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Intimidation

Over In The Czech Republic.

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Yet another neofascist gets off scot free:

“Today the District Court in Písek, Czech Republic sentenced Jiří Gaudin, the author of a study entitled “The Final Solution to the Gypsy Question”, to a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. Gaudin had faced up to three years in prison for inciting racial hatred.

Until this year, Gaudin had been a member of the leadership of the ultra-nationalist National Party. The release of his study on “The Final Solution to the Gypsy Question” was celebrated last April by 20 members and promoters of the National Party at Lety, the site of a Nazi concentration camp for Roma during the Second World War.

The publication, which court experts said refers in its title to the Nazi plan to murder European Jews, was adopted as official National Party material last year. At the time, Gaudin said his study was a solid piece of work: “This is not a provocation, it’s a serious scholarly work including contributions from experts who are currently publishing.” The other experts’ names are not listed in the publication; Gaudin said this was because they did not want to encounter problems in their other work as a result of their participation in the project.

The extreme-right National Party entered the Czech political scene in 2002, agitating against the European Union and immigrants for several years before falling apart last autumn.”

Update 1: Jiří Gaudin has form, when he’s not attacking the Roma he likes to bait Muslims too.

Written by modernityblog

27/10/2010 at 01:20

19 And A Half Years.

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Blogging has been criminalised by the Iranian State.

Hossein Derakhshan has been jailed on spurious charges, which is intended to send a message to Iranian bloggers, “follow the State’s line or you’ll be locked up”.

Reporters without Borders has more:

“Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the extremely long jail sentence that has just been passed on Iranian blogger and journalist Hossein Derakhshan. He has been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison followed by a five-year ban on political and journalistic activities. He has also been fined the equivalent of more than 30,000 euros.

“Such a long jail term has never before been imposed on a blogger in Iran and is indicative of a desire to make an example out of Derakhshan,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Derakhshan defended the Islamic Revolution’s principles, supported Ahmadinejad’s policies and returned to Iran from Canada after being assured by people close to the president that he would not be arrested. Canada and the rest of the international community must press for this harsh sentence to be quashed and for Derakhshan to be freed at once.”

Derakhshan’s partner, Sandrine Murcia, said the judge in charge of the case telephoned the family today to confirm the verdict and sentence, details of which had been published on the pro-government website Asriran.

Derakhshan was convicted of collaborating with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, propaganda in support of counter-revolutionary groups, “insulting what is holy” and creating immoral websites. He can appeal against the verdict.

Arrested by Revolutionary Guards on 1 November 2008, Derakhshan was given a trial without due process and had remained in detention even since awaiting the court’s verdict. He is a collateral victim of in-fighting between the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence services.”

The Globe and Mail has background:

“Mr. Derakhshan, 35, is widely known by his online name “Hoder.” He was born in Iran, but moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen in early adulthood. He is a staunch advocate of free expression in Iran, and became known as the “blogfather” of Iran’s on-line community for training pro-democracy advocates to blog and podcast in the late nineties. Later, he apologized for his dissenting views, and emerged as an unlikely supporter of the regime, at one point comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a modern-day Che Guevara.

So when the Iranian government invited him to travel to Iran in 2008, he accepted, thinking he would help his country reach out to the world, according to friends and family. Upon his arrival, however, another branch of the government arrested him.

On Tuesday, he was convicted of insulting Islamic thought and religious figures, managing obscene websites and co-operating with “enemy states” because he visited Israel five years ago. He was also ordered to pay the equivalent of approximately $45,000 in fines.

“It’s not as bad as a death sentence, but it’s an awful and really bad sentence for someone that’s only writing,” Mr. Derakhshan’s former wife, Marjan Alemi told CBC’s The Current.

“He went back thinking he could go back to Iran and help,” she added.

Ms. Alemi said Mr. Derakhshan has spent most of the two years preceding his trial in solitary confinement.

He can’t exercise. He can’t have books. He can see his family for only five or 10 minutes a week,” Ms. Alemi said. Neither the family’s lawyer, nor any representative from the Canadian government were present at his trial.”

Update 1: Iranian.com has a piece on him.

These are clips from Hossein Derakhshan before his return to Iran and arrest. He answered questions from his blog visitors.

Update 2: Free the blog father has a petition.

Update 3: I missed Terry Glavin’s earlier piece on this issue.

Plus the Free Hoder blog.

And the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran too.

Written by modernityblog

29/09/2010 at 21:44

The Independent’s 21st Century Racism.

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I am indebted to one of my readers, Sarah Annes Brown, for pointing out Mary Dejevsky’s comments in the Independent.

If you read Mary Dejevsky’s appalling article you might be struck, as I was, how attitudes towards the Roma haven’t really changed in the past 80 years.

The Roma have suffered stigmatisation, extermination and marginalisation yet the comment below did not come from a 1930s fascist publication, although given its contents it could have.

It comes from a Western broadsheet, renowned for occasionally provocative but reasoned articles. Surprisingly, in 2004 the Independent won the British Press Awards’ national newspaper of the year.

Mary Dejevsky argues:

“”As it is, though, they [the Roma] are parasites on a state of civilisation, material and cultural, they have done nothing to build and could not reproduce for themselves.”

How such a conspicuous festering pile of racism managed to seep past the Independent’s subeditors I can’t say, but rarely outside of fascist thinking do you see such arguments, and we shouldn’t forget how often they were repeated in the 1930s.

These forms of attack on the Roma are common currency amongst European neofascists, as members of the Vlaams Belang show:

“France’s policy of expelling Roma to Romania and Bulgaria has attracted a storm of criticism at home and abroad from human rights groups and churches but has found support among some far-right politicians.

Philip Claeys, one of two MEPs from the far-right Flemish party Vlaams Belang, said he wants to defend “French policy concerning Roma.”

“The dismantling of illegal camps, the struggle against petty crime, criminality and prostitution, and the expulsion of foreigners with no legal earnings are perfectly legitimate in a democratic constitutional state,” said the Belgian euro-deputy in a statement Thursday (2 September).

Getting rid of the Roma camps puts an end to “public order disturbance,” he continued.

France’s own far-right National Front also agrees with the deportations. Its leader Jean-Marie Le Pen described the situation as “a problem caused by the European Union opening the borders between European countries.”

The Independent really should make an effort to stop publishing this anti-Roma racism.

Update 1: As Sarah AB points out the article receives plenty of support in the comments box.

Written by modernityblog

04/09/2010 at 15:13

Ahmadinejad’s Regime Kidnaps Trade Unionists.

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After fiddling the Presidential election Ahmadinejad’s regime has taken to kidnapping trade unionists and their relatives, and holding them incommunicado as LabourStarts shows.

In their latest affront they have taken to attacking Mansour Osanloo’s family:

“According to reports received by “Human Rights and Democracy activists of Iran Roya Samadi, daughter-in-law of Mansour Osanloo, president of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, was kidnapped and savagely tortured by three agents of Intelligence Ministry.

On Wednesday 2nd of Tir (June 23, 2010) Ms. Samadi, while going home from work around 5:30PM, was attacked by three men as soon as she got off the metro train in Karaj. The agents grabbed her by hair and while pulling her by her hair were kicking and punching her. All of this in broad day light in front of all other shocked commuters. Ms. Samadi while crying for help kept repeating that she’s Mr. Osanloo’s daughter-in-law. The agents put a tape over her mouth as to silence her pleas, and kidnapped her to an undisclosed location.

At the undisclosed location she was put inside a cell, cuffed at hands and feet, with her eyes also covered, and was savagely tortured for a long while. The blows were concentrated on her face and head. Her head was repeatedly hit against the wall. Scars from the beating are evident all over her body. Her gums are torn, teeth broken, swelling of head, wound on her arms and the right foot, and bruises all over her body.

While being tortured the agents kept shouting at: “You have to promise to us if Osanloo is freed from jail, he can’t stay here, and should not do a thing.”

After hours of savage torture, beating and abuse around 9:45 PM, the agents left her shocked body under Sayed Khandan Bridge, and left her. They also emphasized to her that she shouldn’t complain about this to anyone, and if she does she’ll face the consequences.

Although almost 24 hours has passed Ms. Zoya Samadi is still in shock and has not recovered.

For some months now she has been intimated by phone calls from Intelligence Ministry interrogators, she was once even ordered to show up at the 14th District “Islamic Revolutionary” ( read reactionary) Court. When the family showed up in the court they were told that such orders had never been issued. She was also beaten up last year and they attempted to kidnap her back then.”

Update 1: Entdinglichung has more:

“Zoya Samadi also suffered a miscarriage after the attack: http://iranlaborreport.com/?p=967 … and their are reports, that Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab jalalian is in danger of execution: http://www.astreetjournalist.com/2010/06/28/un-must-interfere-to-save-zeynabs-life/

Written by modernityblog

30/06/2010 at 10:51

William A. White

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As if more depressing news is required, just in from Canada:

“An American neo-Nazi who advocated killing an Ottawa activist and overthrowing the Canadian government by force has been acquitted of uttering threats.

William A. White was charged in 2008 after he wrote repeatedly on his website and in his magazine that Canadian human rights lawyer Richard Warman should be assassinated.

Apparently angry at Mr. Warman’s successful campaign against racist Internet sites, White called him an “enemy,” wrote that he “must be killed” and provided his home address.

A jury convicted White of threatening Mr. Warman but this week a U.S. District Court judge in Virginia overturned the verdict, ruling his actions did not amount to threats.

Mr. Warman has launched scores of human rights complaints and lawsuits over Internet postings, many of them by far-right extremists. His complaints have resulted in hefty fines but have made him a target.

White, 69, who heads a Virginia neo-Nazi group, had also written that Canada was a “petty tyranny” and called for parliament to be stormed and the government executed. “Overthrown your government! Put your Jews to the sword,” he wrote.

Unbelievable.

Written by modernityblog

06/02/2010 at 22:18

Nicely Put.

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Read it:

“It concerns the issue of liberty: the liberty to publish well-argued opinions without fearing that the local police will drop by for a “friendly chat” aimed at nudging you towards removing posts from your own blog which may have offended someone else’s cherished self-image. For one thing, finding the police at you door on a Sunday morning is not exactly an image of friendliness conjured up by law-abiding conscientious citizens. For another, the preservation of another person’s cherished self-image should not really be the business of our law-enforcement personnel.

I think this is a very simple principle to grasp and to agree with.”

Written by modernityblog

01/02/2010 at 01:27

The State Of Play and Rev. Sizer.

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Hopefully one of my final posts on Sizergate, as I get the impression from Richard Wilson’s blog that Dr. Sizer would like to dampen down matters.

Understandably so, otherwise he might have to answer why did he use an ex-Royal Marine to try to track down Seismic Shock?

I would recommend that readers take the time to study the comments from Rev. Sizer’s associate, Mordechai ‘Motkhe’ Cohen.

The comments are rather nasty, and whilst my memory is faulty it was one of the exchanges that I remember clearly from Seismic Shock’s site, given the ferocity and venom of the remarks.

Richard Bartholomew has put up a spirited defence of Rev. Sizer. A pity, I expected a bit more.

Contrary to Richard’s assertion, we can see the previous blog or parts of it from the google cache, as I highlighted in this post.

Readers might want to re-read Seismic Shock’s old blog and decide for themselves.

[Use these key words in Google, site:seismicshock.blogspot.com Sizer, about 49 entries are return with a fair few of them cached and readable about 18.]

The Leeds University’s student newspaper covers matters too.

Concluding, so what in fact you had was:

1) an Anglican vicar annoyed at criticism of his strongly held views
2) an effort was made to warn off that critic
3) when it failed a ex-Royal Marine’s assistance was sought
4) when that failed the Police were used to intimidate the blogger
5) said Anglican vicar gloated about his apparent success at seeing off a critic, and then threatened another blogger.

Less of a rose tinted view of events than we are often told, and I am sure more will come out, eventually.

Written by modernityblog

30/01/2010 at 17:52