Headlines for Thursday, January 10, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 5:33 minutes (5.08 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
PKK co-founder found murdered in Paris
Three Kurdish activists were shot dead overnight inside the Kurdish Information Center in Paris, France. It’s widely suspect the killings were politically motivated. FSRN’s Lili Eskanazi reports.
Among the three women killed was Sakine Cansiz, the co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. The separatist group has led a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government. The other two victims were Kurdistan National Congress representative Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez, a young Kurdish activist. All were shot in the head. As news of the killings spread, hundreds of Kurds in Paris gathered outside Information Center to protest. They chanted in support of the PKK. There’s wide speculation about the motivation for the killings. Turkish officials have suggested an internal feud within the PKK. Protesters blame Turkey for the assassinations. The killings come as the Turkish government and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan are negotiating a peace deal. The tentative plan, reported Tuesday, includes eventual disarmament in exchange for greater rights for the Turkey’s Kurdish minority. Lili Eskinazi, FSRN, Marseille.
Deadly day in Pakistan as bomb blasts target civilian areas
A major bomb blast in Pakistan’s Swat Valley has left more than 20 people dead. The explosion appeared to target a religious center that has traditionally been left alone by local militant groups. FSRN’s Gabe Matthews reports.
Forty-six year old Ijaz Khan traveled in cold weather to the mosque in Swat to attend a weekly religious gathering. He was near the spot where the bomb exploded, and still has two family members who are missing. “I was coming out of the mosque when there was an explosion. I didn’t know what was happening. I saw a huge flash, and lost control of my body. I fell down, but was conscious, and I knew it was a bomb. I felt extreme pain in my leg, and I asked people around me to take me to the hospital.” The blast killed 23 people, and left more than 70 injured. This is the first attack on the preaching center in Swat. Most Taliban militants have respected the center’s religious leaders in the past. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. I’m Jeannine Etter, reading for Gabe Matthews in Pakistan.
In related news from Pakistan, a pair of bombings at a market and billiards hall in the southwest city of Quetta killed at least 20 people today. BBC reports a Balochistan separatist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Liberal Chinese newspaper back in production after government censorship conflict
After days of stalemate and protests, a prominent Chinese newspaper is back on newsstands today. Editors at the Southern Weekly reached a deal with state propaganda departments after earlier denouncing government censorship. Charges that censors had radically altered the magazine's New Year's address sparked employee and reader protests in Guangzhou, where the paper is headquartered. For FSRN, Rebecca Valli has more from Beijing.
In this week's edition of the liberal magazine Southern Weekly, there was no direct mention of the dispute that triggered anti-censorship protests earlier this week. Online reports say this was part of a Wednesday deal reached with state propaganda departments. Censors had made a key editorial change to last week’s edition. After editors denounced the interference, they demanded that the local propaganda chief be dismissed. Officials did not answer that call, and neither sides publicized information about their negotiations. David Bandurski heads the China Media Project in Hong Kong, a website that tracks media and censorship in China. "This could send a message to other propaganda leaders, local propaganda leaders especially, across the country that you can't meddle with media like this. There are limits to control, and do not step over those lines… because they don't want to create another incident like this.” This week's edition of the Southern Weekly carried several hard-hitting reports on economic and environmental issues, a trademark of the publication. Rebecca Valli, FSRN, Beijng.
Vietnam continues crackdown on activists with 14 newly-sentenced
A Vietnamese court has sentenced 14 pro-democracy activists to prison terms ranging from three to 13 years on charges of subversion. FSRN's Mike Ives reports from Vietnam.
The court found the activists guilty Wednesday of attending a training course on nonviolent struggle organized by the US-based dissident group Viet Tan and for protesting against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. The US Embassy called for the activists' immediate release and said the verdict is 'inconsistent' with Vietnam's obligations under international law. Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch, said the 14 activists were targeted for speaking out about land grabs and religious freedom. "Once again we have the Vietnam government imprisoning people for crimes that shouldn't be crimes." In other news Wednesday, an eighth-grade student in central Vietnam was suspended for a year after posting a Facebook message that parodied one of independence leader Ho Chi Minh’s revolutionary speeches. Mike Ives, FSRN, Hanoi.