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According to reports by the Committee on the Rights of the Detained, a 22 year old held in the quarantine ward of Evin prison in Tehran died in detention. The committee, set up by human rights activists and former political prisoners, aims to track the situation of those detained in the recent protests in Iran, explained that prisoners released from Evin on Sunday provided the information on Sina Ghanbari’s death and that the cause of his death was unclear.

On Monday, Tayebeh Siavashi, an MP from Tehran, announced that she had inquired about the case and that security officials had explained that Ghanbari had committed suicide while in detention. People are demanding accountability and are angry at the news, which has only increased concern about the situation of the more than 1,700 protesters, according to official figures, who have been arrested during the recent unrest in Iran.

The arrest of student activists started after students at some universities staged protests in support of national protests, which started on December 28 in Mashad and quickly spread across the country. Iranians and foreign observers alike have widely criticized the mass arrest of student activists as unnecessary and illegal.

Source : Anger and Fear Grow about Fate of Detained Protesters in Iran – LobeLog

Ok, I am feeling silly, but I find this funny!
In the US, it is OK to destroy property, burn media trucks, attack people, if you are demonstrating to support a man who hid the sexual abuse of one of his staff for so many years, but god forbid you demonstrate for your rights and want to make real changes in the society!

I can hear the chants of the crowd screaming, USA, USA, USA!

Penn State and Berkeley: A Tale of Two Protests

Student activists interlock arms as police in riot gear move in to clear a field of grass in front of Sproul Hall on the University of California at Berkeley campus Wednesday, November 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

On Wednesday night, two proud universities saw student demonstrations that spiraled into violence. On the campus of Penn State University in State College Pennsylvania, several hundred students rioted in anger after the firing of legendary 84-year-old head football coach Joe Paterno. At the University of California at Berkeley, 1,000 students, part of the Occupy USA movement, attempted to maintain their protest encampment in the face of police orders to clear them out.

At Penn State, students overturned a media truck, hit an ESPN reporter in the head with a rock and made every effort at arson, attempting to set aflame the very heart of their campus. They raised their fists in defense of a man fired for allegedly covering up the actions of a revered assistant who doubled as a serial child rapist. The almost entirely male student mob was given the space by police to seethe and destroy without restraint.

At Berkeley, the police had a much different response. Defenseless students were struck repeatedly with batons, as efforts were made to disperse their occupation by Sproul Hall, the site of the famed Mario Savio–led free speech battles of the 1960s.

Two coasts and two riots: a frat riot and a cop riot. Each riot, an indelible mark of shame on their respective institutions.

The difference is that at Berkeley, the Occupiers—a diverse assemblage of students, linking arms—pushed back and displayed true courage in the face of state violence. They would not be moved. These students are a credit to their school and represent the absolute best of a young generation who are refusing to accept the world as it is.

At Penn State, we saw the worst of this generation: the flotsam and the fools; the dregs and the Droogs; young men of entitlement who rage for the machine.

No matter how many police officers raised their sticks, the students of Berkeley stood their ground, empowered by a deeper set of commitments to economic and social justice.

No matter how many children come forward to testify how Joe Paterno’s dear friend Jerry Sandusky brutally sodomized them on their very campus, the students at Penn State stood their ground. They stood committed to a man whose statue adorns their campus, whose salary exceeds $1.5 million and whose name for years was whispered to them like he was a benevolent Russian czar and they were the burgeoning Black Hundreds.

Theirs was a tragic statement that proud Penn State has become little more than a company town that’s been in the lucrative business of nursing Joe Paterno’s legend for far too long.

I spoke this morning to a student who was at Sproul Hall and another resident who was a bystander at State College. The word that peppered both of their accounts was “fear:” fear that those with the space and means to be violent—the police at Berkeley and the rioters at Penn State—would take it to, as Anne, a Berkeley student said to me, “a frightening point of no return.”

I would argue that this “point of no return” has now actually been reached, spurred by Wednesday night’s study in contrasts.

November 9 was a generational wake-up call to every student on every campus in this country. Which side are you on? Do you defend the ugliest manifestations of unchecked power or do you fight for a better world with an altogether different set of values? Do you stand with the Thugs of Penn State or do you stand with Occupiers of Berkeley? It’s fear vs. hope, and the stakes are a hell of a lot higher than a BCS bowl.

Torture is Systemic in Afghan Prisons, UN Report Finds — News from Antiwar.com

Torture is Systemic in Afghan Prisons, UN Report Finds

 John Glaser On October 10, 2011

Detainees in Afghan prisons are hung from the ceilings by their wrists, severely beaten with cables and wooden sticks, have their toenails torn off, are treated with electric shock, and even have their genitals twisted until they lose consciousness, according to a study released Monday by the United Nations.

The study, which covered 47 facilities sites in 22 provinces, found “a compelling pattern and practice of systematic torture and ill-treatment” during interrogation by US-supported Afghan authorities. Both US and NATO military trainers and counterparts have been working closely with these authorities, consistently supervising the detention facilities and funding their operations.

The report detailed instances where detained suspects not yet charged with crimes signed confessions only after days of torture, sealing their fate as a convict in Afghanistan.

Before the report was published, the Afghan government got word of its findings and officials sternly denied the claims of torture. Gen. John R. Allen, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, saw a draft of the report and halted transfers of suspected insurgents to 16 of the 47 facilities uncovered in the report.

The Afghan government claims that although the torture was widespread and systemic, they do not condone torture. It has reportedly set up an “assessment unit” to look into the issue and has already dismissed some of the employees at one particularly abusive facility. No prosecution for the torturers has yet been initiated.

The negligence of the US and NATO administrators, and of the Obama administration in Washington, overseeing the detention facilities in Afghanistan could be prosecutable, although chances for accountability in that respect are very remote. The revelations may trigger restrictions on US aid to Afghanistan, under a provision of law called the Leahy law.

Saudi Woman Sentenced to 10 Lashes for Driving, Others Await Trial

Source: My Right2Dignity Initiative.

Breaking News: We have received unfortunate news about a Saudi lady, Shaimaa, who was called in court for driving her car, she has attended three sessions in Jeddah and they have sentenced her for 10 lashes. She rejected the verdict and will appeal in court. This is completely unacceptable and certainly breaks laws and regulations as well as international treaties that Saudi Arabia has signed. Two other ladies have been called to court, Ms. Najlaa Al Hariri was forced to sign a pledge not to drive again and is scheduled to appear in court for trial in one month in Jeddah and another lady is under trial in the Eastern Province. What is happening to our women today is unfortunate and violates the rule of law and legal rights and is contrary to the reformist direction that was launched by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. We deplore what has happened and what is happening, and we appeal to The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, to look into our [Saudi women driving] issue which has long been silenced and which has caused shedding off our rights, and our dignity. A right that was promised to be granted to us by King Abdullah and one which has been legitimized by laws and codes yet was seized by so-called customs. We declare [once again] that there is no legal provision that criminalize women for driving their cars, and which if found, would legally be considered a flagrant violation of women rights and would infringe treaties and conventions that was signed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, such as the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). We hereby announce that The Initiative will offer lawyers, if needed, for any woman who is subjected to legal accusations for driving her car, and we shall continue this until The King hears our voices. We will send telegrams to The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, on the issue of Ms. Najla Al Hariri for driving her car, and other ladies who have been interrogated or prosecuted for driving their cars. We hope that other citizens who denounce the above incidents will communicate with officials by sending telegrams or by callingTelegraph on 969 from any phone owned by the person to bring our collective voices to key decision-makers.

Signed, My Right2Dignity Initiative

Source: My Right2Dignity Initiative.

وردتنا اخباء مؤسفه عن استدعاء السيدة شيماء لمحاكمتها بسبب قيادتها سيارتها و حضرت ثلاث جلسات في المحكمة قبل الحكم عليها بالجلد عشر جلدات ، هذا الامر بالتأكيد غير مقبول تماما و قد كسر القوانين و اللوائح و المعهدات الدولية التي وقعت عليها المملكة العربية السعودية ، مثل معاهدة سيداو ،، كذلك تم استدعاء سيدتين أخريين للمحاكمة بسبب قيادة السيارة ، احداهن في رلمنطقة الشرقية و الأخرى السيدة نجلاء حريري التي اجبرت على توقيع تعهد بعدم القيادة و حددت لها جلسة في المحكمة الشهر القادم في جدة ،، ما يحدث مع نساءنا اليوم شيء مؤسف و مخالف للقواعد الشرعية و القانونية و يخالف بالوقت ذاته التوجهات الإصلاحية التي دشنها خادم الحرمين الشريفين. ونحن نشجب ما حدث ويحدث ونناشد خادم الحرمين الشريفين بالنظر لموضوعنا الذي طال السكوت عنه وأريقت كرامتنا مرات ومرات بسبب مطالبتنا بحق شرعي بشر به الملك عبدالله و كفلته كل القوانين والشرائع وصادرته أعراف ما أنزل الله بها من سلطان. ونعلن مرة أخرى أنه لا يوجد أي نص قانوني يجرم أو يمنع قيادة المرأه للسيارة وأنه لو وجد فسيعد انتهاك صارخ لحقوق المرأة ونقض لكل المعاهدات والمواثيق الدولية التي وقعتها المملكة العربية السعودية ومنها اتفاقية سيداو لازالة كافة أشكال التمييز ضد المرأة. وهنا نعلن أن المبادرة ستتكفل بتوكيل محامين لأي سيدة تتعرض لمسائلة قانونية عند قيادتها للسيارة ولن نمل حتى يصل صوتنا لخادم الحرمين الشريفين. مبادرة حقي كرامتي