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Showing posts from July 16, 2009

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Why Africa depends on handouts

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Why Africa depends on handouts: "Barack Obama, the charismatic US president, whom I like and much respect, came to Africa bearing a message and a gift. Both spoke of Africa's need for self-determination.

This was part of his message: 'Governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than governments that do not ... This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them.

'Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.

'That is not democracy, it is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.'"
This touched a deep and profound nerve within me. I am a child of Africa. I saw my parents - both journalists and broadcasters - suffer repression at the hands of those in power, bec…

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Chechen president blamed for murder

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Chechen president blamed for murder: "A Russian human rights group has blamed Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president, for the kidnap and murder of an award winning activist.

Natalia Estemirova's body was found on Wednesday near the city of Nazran in Ingushetia, the region neighbouring Chechnya, just hours after she was seized from her home in Grozny, the Chechen capital.

'I know, I am sure of it, who is guilty for the murder of Natalya ... His name is Ramzan Kadyrov,' Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial, said in a statement posted on the group's website late on Wednesday.

'Ramzan already threatened Natalya, insulted her, considered her a personal enemy.

'We do not know if he gave the order himself or his close associates did so to please their boss.'

Memorial and Human Rights Watch (HRW) had earlier this month issued a report accusing Chechen security forces of punishing families of alleged fighters by burning…

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian activist found murdered

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian activist found murdered: "A prominent Russian human rights activist, Natalia Estemirova, has been found dead in the North Caucasus.

She was bundled into a van and abducted as she left her home in Chechnya on Wednesday morning, a colleague said. Her body was found in Ingushetia.

The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed 'outrage' at the murder, and ordered a top-level investigation.

Ms Estemirova had been investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya for the independent Memorial group.

Memorial is one of Russia's best known rights groups, working to document Soviet-era abuses and those taking place more recently, especially in Chechnya.

In recent months, she had been gathering evidence of a campaign of house-burnings by government-backed militias.

Forcefully taken

Ms Estemirova, who was 50 according to Russian prosecutors, had worked in the past with the activists Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in 2006, and Stanislav Markelov, who was …