Dansk journalist afhørt og deporteret af Marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker: Ville til Vestsahara

Marokko forsøger med alle midler at fastholde sit medie-blackout omkring landets sikkerhedsstyrkers overgreb og drab i protestlejren nær Aaiun, i den besatte del af Vestsahara, den 8. november. Denne gang gik det ud over en dansk journalist, freelanceren Mads Ellesøe.

Mads Ellesøe blev i går, den 28. november, tilbageholdt, forhørt, og deporteret af Marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker til Paris, hvor han nu befinder sig. Harddisken på hans og kærestens computer blev desuden pillet ud uden hans vidende. Read more of this post

Dansk udviklingspolitik i moralsk havsnød

Danmark skal åbenbart i stigende grad føre udviklingspolitik for vores egen skyld. For at sikre billige importprodukter. For at sikre markeder til vores forarbejdede varer. Og for at inddæmme konsekvenserne af den stigende fattigdom, og deraf følgende ustabilitet og terrorisme, så flygtninge kan hjælpes ”i nærområderne”.

Inden for det seneste årti er udviklingspolitikken således for alvor blevet koblet til en bredere udenrigs- og sikkerhedspolitik i Danmark. Man taler nok om demokrati, menneskerettigheder og bæredygtig udvikling, men den udviklingspolitik der implementeres er drevet af frihandels-mantraet og privatsektordrevet egennytte.

”Dansk udenrigspolitik i nyt farvand”

Den 23. november 2010 lancerede udenrigsminister Lene Espersen oplægget ”Kurs mod 2020 – Dansk udenrigspolitik i nyt farvand”. Ifølge udenrigsministeren skal oplægget starte en debat Read more of this post

The European Parliament ‘strongly condemns’ Morocco’s attack on camp in Western Sahara

Apparently, Morocco’s heavy-handed strategy in Western Sahara has finally backfired with the global attention that the raid of the protest camps in the occupied territories has received.

Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution that “expresses its greatest concern about the significant deterioration of the situation in Western Sahara and strongly condemns the violent incidents which occurred in Gdaim Izyk camp while it was being dismantled and in the town of Laâyoun”. The resolution also “deplores the loss of human life” during Morocco’s brutal raid on the peaceful protest camp, and insists that the parliament is generally “concerned” about the human rights situation in Western Sahara. Read more of this post

NANGO: Zimbabwean civil society must stand together and pressurize the government

“If we loose our credibility as civil society we are gone. And much of civil society in Zimbabwe has failed to pressure ZANU-PF”. Cephas Zinumwe, NANGO‘s Chief Executive Officer, is talking to Africa Contact on a cold November morning in Copenhagen. He is in Denmark to discuss and highlight the decreased political space in vulnerable states such as Zimbabwe.

Cephas is worried that parts of civil society in Zimbabwe are failing to live up to their role as society’s political watchdog. The mission of civil society is after all to take the moral high ground and leave the compromises to the politicians. But the distinction between civil society and party-politics is becoming increasingly muddled in Zimbabwe, as it tends to do in countries such as Zimbabwe where most of the money flows through the top echelons of the state, and where the state and government are entwined. Read more of this post

Danish Minister for Development Cooperation concerned about the political situation in Swaziland

In a letter to Danish organisation Africa Contact, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Søren Pind, stated that “we are worried about the human rights situation in Swaziland”. The minister was replying to a letter sent to him by Africa Contact, urging his ministry to act on the unprovoked detainment and beating of three members of the organisation in September.

Søren Pind insisted that he took the issue of mistreatment of Africa Contact’s members seriously. “Denmark has officially raised the matter with Swaziland through the embassy in Pretoria, emphasizing that we are seriously worried about these events. At the same time, we have stressed that we obviously expect the authorities to investigate this matter thoroughly, and that the necessary conclusions must be drawn from these investigations.” Read more of this post

Hvorfor skal der lig på bordet før verden interesserer sig for Vestsahara?

Aviser og andre medier rundt omkring i verden har dækket det – også i Danmark.

Mange menneskerettighedsorganisationer, med Amnesty International i spidsen, har fordømt det.

Og Danske politikere, med Mogens Lykketoft i spidsen, har afkrævet Lene Espersen et svar på det.

Jeg taler her om Marokkos uprovokerede angreb på civile Saharawier, de internationalt anerkendte oprindelige indbyggere i Vestsahara, i protestlejren Agdaim Izik i det besatte Vestsahara. Over 20.000 Saharawier var i gang med en fredelig protest imod de umenneskelige forhold som de må leve under i det Marokkansk besatte Vestsahara, da marokkanske tropper angreb lejren ved daggry den 8. november. Mindst 20 blevet dræbt og hundredvis sårede i angrebet, og menneskerettighedsovertrædelserne i området fortsætter fra Marokkos side gennem tæv og rettergange baseret på tilståelser afgivet under tortur. Read more of this post

Abba Malainin: Ethnic cleansing in occupied Western Sahara continues

“The crimes of Morocco still continue”, says the representative of the Polisario Front in Denmark, Abba Malainin. “Foreign Media and international observers, including European MPs, have been denied access to the occupied territories. Even so, there is plenty of evidence that the Moroccan Security Apparatus in the besieged city continues its use of repression, violence, unfair trials, and other abuse against the Saharawis who have been part of the protest camp. According to some reports the latest toll of this raid is more than 19 deaths, 4500 people injured, and 2000 unaccounted for.”

Abba Malainin is talking to Danish organisation, Africa Contact, about the after-effects and ongoing human rights violations of Morocco that are happening in the wake of Morocco’s brutal crack-down on the peaceful Agdaim Izik protest camp in occupied Western Sahara.  The objective of the camp, says Abba Malainin, was “to protest through peaceful and civilized means their dissatisfaction with their living conditions and the denial of their economic, social and political rights making them second-class citizens in their own country, while Morocco plunders their natural resources.” Read more of this post

SUDF finally holds congress

After some initial hiccups, the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) finally assembled last weekend to hold an eagerly awaited congress. The congress was held, amongst other things, to ensure that a new leadership was in place to initiate a capacity-building project with Danish organisation Africa Contact.

The delay in holding the congress was due mainly to internal disagreements and the recent formation of a united labour movement, and members of the executive now expressed hope that the newly founded labour movement would be the “main vehicle of the SUDF”. Other members of the democratic movement welcomed the merger as a step forward in the struggle for democracy in Swaziland. A representative of the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice called it “a giant leap forward in as far as unifying the trade union fraternity in the country is concerned”, and further stated that “no earthly force can stand in the way of unity”. Read more of this post

Fakta om Swaziland

Swaziland er et land i det sydlige Afrika, der grænser op til Sydafrika og Mozambique. Landet er omkring 17 500 kvadratkilometer stort, og har en befolkning på ca.1,1 millioner mennesker. Swaziland tjener primært sine penge på sukker, træ, og turisme. Man har desuden nogle få mineraler, især asbest, og nogle få kul og stenminer er stadigvæk operationelle.

Siden Swazilands uafhængighed fra Storbritannien i 1968 har Swaziland været et kongerige, der ledes af en enevældig monark, og siden den stadigvæk gældende undtagelsestilstand i 1973 har alle politiske partier desuden været forbudt. Read more of this post

Send frihedsministeren til Swaziland!

”Befolkningen i Swaziland har ingen politiske rettigheder overhovedet – hvis du kritiserer regeringen bliver du betragtet som terrorist. Undertrykkelsen vokser dag for dag men lande som Danmark er tavse”. Maxwell Dlamini er ved at beskrive situationen i sit hjemland, Swaziland. Et land hvor fortalere for demokrati dagligt bliver chikaneret og tortureret. Et land hvor to tredjedele af befolkningen lever i fattigdom. Men også et land hvor kongen og hans familie lever i en nærmest forargelig luksus. Maxwell har selv prøvet at blive truet på livet af politiet og det der er værre.

Maxwell er en spinkel, veltalende ung mand på blot tyve år. Han er præsident for Swazilands studenterforening for højtuddannede, Swaziland National Union of Students, og er i Danmark for at forsøge at skabe opmærksomhed om situationen i Swaziland. Read more of this post

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