Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

February 24 2015


September 27 2014

September 23 2014

September 22 2014

September 21 2014

September 19 2014

March 10 2013

Saudi-Arabia: ANHRI Demands the Immediate Release of “Al-Hamid and Qahtani”

Cairo March 10, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the sentence issued by the Saudi penal court, which sentenced two of the rights’ activist and the close of “The Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association” (ACPRA).

The Penal Court of Riyadah, in the hearing hold on Saturday March 9, 2013, issued its sentence on two of the rights’ activists and members of ACPRA, as the court sentenced “Dr. Mohamed ben Fahad Qahtaini” for 10 years imprisonment and sentenced “Abu-Belal Abdullah El-Hamid” for 5 years imprisonment in addition to enforce the pervious sentence issued against him for 6 years, so the total of the period to be in the prison is 11 years. In addition, to ban them from travelling for equal period to their imprisonment after end the imprisonment duration on the background of long list of broadened charges. The court decided to dissolve ACPRA and confiscate all of its money in addition to stop all of its activities as it didn’t obtain the license. This sentence can be appealed during a period doesn’t exceed 30 days as of Tuesday March 12, 2013.

They have appeared before the penal court for (10) hearings, which was marred by several legal violations; comes at the top of these violations were to held the hearing in camera, which violated the principle of public hearing, in addition to mandate investigators from the criminal investigation to investigate them instead of investigation judges. They have faced several charges, such as “planting the seeds of the sedition”, “disobeying the rulers” and charging the judges by “allowing the torture” in addition to scorning the members of Council of Senior Scholars. “Hamid” was charged of destabilize the security, spread the chaos, violation to public safety, fragmentation of national unity, the destruction of the capabilities of the nation and its gains, planting the seeds of discord and dissent and publishing information on the Internet related to the interrogation procedures after his pledge not to publish for the purposes of excitement and confusion in order to influence public opinion and fair trial process.

ANHRI said that “the charges pressed on them from the Penal Court which is a court specialized in terrorism, is a serious violation to the freedom of expression against the members of ACPRA and eliminate every hope or expectations regarding to a breakthrough in the way of the Saudi-regime dealing with the freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration which mounted to the highest degrees of repression and dictatorship in the light of the disregarding of several international and regional parties to the violations committed by the regime against the intellectuals in Saudi-Arbia”.

ANHRI wonders how could two of the significant rights’ activists in Saudi-Arabia could appear before a court specialized in reviewing the terrorism cases and they didn’t commit any crime but to express their opinions peacefully.

ANHRI demands the immediate release of both of them and drop all the charges pressed on them in addition to guarantee their safety and to stop prosecuting them.
List of charges pressed on Qahtani
List of charges pressed on Hamid
For more information

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

A day in the life of King Abdullah

A day in the life of King Abdullah

Un entretien avec le fils du roi d'Arabie saoudite, sur la Syrie mais aussi sur les situation sociale dans le royaume

Welfare is increasingly the king's concern, said Prince Miteb. Between two million and four million citizens live below the poverty line, and Saudi Arabia also has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the region, with an estimated two million of 28 million Saudis without work .
“[King Abdullah] gets upset when he repeatedly hears about unemployment, shortage of housing or delay in providing medical treatment to citizens,” he said.
Since 2011, the King has widely expanded welfare spending, including a pledge to invest US$37 billion (Dh136bn) on new housing projects, wage increases and unemployment benefits.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

March 09 2013

Saudi Court Sentences Reformists to 10 and 11 Years in Prison

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia
Earlier today, March 9th, the Riyadh Criminal Court issued its verdict against the two prominent reformists and human rights activists Mohammad al-Qahtani and Abdullah al-Hamid, after being prosecuted for “breaking allegiance to the ruler and his successor” and “trying to impede the country’s developments”. al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10 years in prison and al-Hamid was sentenced to 5 years in prison in addition to completing his previous sentence (7 years, released after a year with a royal pardon). The judge stated that their presence outside prison was “dangerous” and ordered their immediate arrest. In addition, the judge ordered dissolving the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Associations (ACPRA), and confiscating all of its propriety immediately. The defendants have a right to appeal the decision within 30 days.

al-Qahtani and al-Hamid's trial started in June 2012, separately and secretly. After the first hearing, the judge merged both cases but he insisted that it shall remain behind closed doors. The two activists refused, saying that it was a political trial, and publicity was their only grantee for justice. By the fifth hearing, the judge finally capitulated, turning it effectively into a public trial.

al-Qahtani (right) and al-hamid (third on right) right before the session. via @drrayq

al-Qahtani (right) and al-Hamid (third on right) right before the session. via @DrRAYQ

Last night, al-Hamid tweeted [ar]:

إلى الإخوة المتشائمين والمشفقين من #محاكمة_حسم لئن سجنا فهو والله نصر كبير جدا للمشروع ومن السجن تشعل الشموع

@Abubelal_1951: To my brothers who are pessimist and pitiful about the ACPRA trial: if we get imprisoned, it's a huge victory for the project and from prisons candles are lit.

Today's session was attended by over 130 supporters, in addition to correspondents from Al Jazeera, Sky News and some national newspapers. The courtroom was filled with over 30 special force members. Outside, al-Hamid came early to collect attendees’ signatures demanding the dismissal of the Interior Minster Mohammad bin Nayef, and the repeal of all secret trial sentences.

Activist Waleed Abualkhair tweeted:

سحب الأقلام بالإضافة الى الجوالات وعدد الحضور وصل الى ١٠٥ حتى الآن بحسب الكشف وهناك ٣٠ لم يسجلوا

@abualkhair: They took our pens and mobile phones. According to the list, the attendees are now 105, there are 30 who haven't registered yet.

Some activists did not manage to enter. Hood al-Aqeel tweeted:

الان في داخل المحكمه وقد منعت من الدخول للقاعه بحجه عدم وجود أماكن فاضيه !!!

@h_141: I am in the court. They did not allow me in saying that there are no free spaces!

In the verdict, the judge said that al-Qaida and ACPRA are the two sides of the same coin. Moreover, he stated that coercive rule is legitimate. Mohammad al-Abdualkreem reported:

توصل القاضي إلى بطلان نظرية العقد الاجتماعي ومنافاتها لعقيدة المسلم، وجواز التغلب والتوريث والتعيين واعتبارها من أصول السلف

@alabdulkarim0: The judge concluded that the social contract theory is invalid and contradicts with the Muslim faith, and that coercive ruling, hereditary monarchy and appointment are fundamental to Islamic practice.

Back in May 2011, al-Qahtani participated in a Women2Drive campaign, demanding lifting the ban on women driving. Apparently, this led the judge to mention something about it in the verdict. Twitter user Jihad Abdullah tweeted:

القاضي قبل قليل يتهم القحطاني بأنه يركب سيارته وزوجته تقود السيارة ومعهم اجانب يتجولون داخل الرياض، طيب هو حر وزوجته وش دخلك ! #محاكمة_حسم

@CheJihad: The judge just accused al-Qahtani of riding his car with foreigners while his wife is driving. Well, he and his wife are free, you have nothing to do with it!

Twitter users noticed that the trial hashtag was filled by automatically-generated, repeated messages that attack the two activists and accuses them of treason. Mishari AlGhamdi tweeted:

نفس العبارة تكتبها عشرات المعرفات الوهمية .. شغل رديء .. حتى شغل التطبيل و التدليس خربه الفساد

@mishari11: The same statement is being written by tens of fake accounts. Poor job. Even kissing up and fraudulence were doomed by corruption.

This post is part of our Special Coverage: Reformists on Trial in Saudi Arabia

February 27 2013

[Webcast] Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past

Every Tuesday, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society hosts a public lunch gathering in our conference room in Boston. Each session involves a short presentation by a guest speaker or one of our community members, talking about a challenge that emerges from his or her current work. We are excited to partner with Global Voices to bring these presentations to a wider audience.

Title: Internet Censorship and the Remembrance of Infowars Past
Date: February 26, 12:30pm ET
Presenter: Jon Penney

With Internet censorship on the rise around the world, organizations and researchers have developed and distributed a variety of tools to assist Internet users to both monitor and circumvent such censorship. This talk will examine more closely some of the international law and politics of such censorship resistance activities through three case studies involving past global communications censorship and information conflicts— telegraph cable cutting and suppression, high frequency radio jamming, and direct broadcast satellite blocking— and the world community’s response to these conflicts. In addition to illustrating some of the legal, political, and security concerns that have animated historical instances of global communications censorship, the talk will aim to extrapolate lessons and insights for Internet censorship (and its resistance) today, such as the legality of censorship and its circumvention, the effectiveness of monitoring efforts, and the role of international institutions in disrupting (or facilitating) communications.

About Jon

Jon is a lawyer, Research Fellow at the Citizen Lab / Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and a doctoral student in information communication sciences at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where his interdisciplinary research explores regulatory chilling effects online.

In 2011, he was a Google Policy Fellow at the Citizen Lab–where he helped lead the ONI Transparency Project while contributing to projects like the Information Warfare Monitor–and, at Oxford, was Project Coordinator for the Privacy Value Networks Project, a large scale EPSRC funded research project on data privacy. A native Nova Scotian and graduate of Dalhousie University, he studied at Columbia Law School as a Fulbright Scholar and Oxford as a Mackenzie King Scholar, where he was Associate Editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal. He has also worked as a federal attorney, policy advisor, and taught law at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

His research interests include constitutional/human rights law, intellectual property, and digital media policy & culture, particularly where these areas intersect with censorship, privacy, and security.

Follow Jon on Twitter: @jon_penney

February 24 2013

Les populations superflues

En Grèce, « forcée de fournir le portrait anticipé de ce à quoi vont devoir ressembler les sociétés occidentales, remaniées sous la férule du néolibéralisme déchaîné » se dessine « une nouvelle biopolitique de l’espèce », « chargée d’assainir le corps social de toutes les existences parasitaires ». Par Dimitris Vergetis, psychanalyste, directeur de la revue grecque αληthεια.




À cet égard, la réponse qui nous semble s’imposer est la suivante : les politiques appliquées à la Grèce sous prétexte de redressement économique visent à mettre en place un nouveau paradigme de société entièrement transitif aux automatismes du capital et aux lois du marché. La technicité de leur langage d’exposition ne fait qu’écran à leur objectif qui consiste à réterritorialiser l’ensemble du lien social sur la forme-marchandise. Le projet expérimenté en Grèce aspire à neutraliser, et à la limite à éradiquer, la politique comme instance de médiation entre l’économie et le social, à démanteler tendanciellement tous les dispositifs de protection sociale, à privatiser la prise en charge de tout risque de la vie et à abolir le droit du travail, pour créer des zones spéciales d’exploitation – formes dérivées des « camps », mais hautement rentabilisées, et charitablement humanisées. Ces zones de développement spéciales constituent une illustration paradigmatique de ce que Badiou a isolé sous le terme de « zonage ».


Les dirigeants européens répètent en chœur et à satiété que la Grèce est un cas particulier. En fait, loin d’être traité comme un cas particulier qui fait exception à la norme européenne qu’elle devrait impérativement intérioriser, la Grèce est forcée de fournir le portrait anticipé de ce à quoi vont devoir ressembler les sociétés occidentales, remaniées sous la férule du néolibéralisme déchaîné. Tout en restant dans le cadre du mode de production capitaliste, nous sommes donc au seuil d’un changement d’époque. Or celui-ci s’annonce sous des auspices littéralement macabres en tant qu’il couve une nouvelle biopolitique de l’espèce. Il importe d’en restituer la pente et les mécanismes d’accomplissement.




Avec la mondialisation et la mobilité forcée des travailleurs, les « ressources humaines » sont désormais renouvelables à vil prix. Il est facile et hautement profitable d’importer non seulement de la main-d’œuvre mais aussi du personnel très qualifié formé dans des contrées lointaines. Le coût de la formation d’un informaticien aux États-Unis, depuis sa naissance jusqu’à l’acquisition de ses compétences, est cent fois supérieur à celui de la formation de quelqu’un né aux Indes. Il est aussi hautement profitable de délocaliser pour aller capter sur place une force de travail privée de droits et à prix dérisoire. Bref, la machine capitaliste peut se procurer de la marchandise humaine à prix très avantageux, sans avoir à se soucier de sa formation et de sa reproduction. Le cas de la Grèce, de l’Espagne et du Portugal, pour rester dans le contexte actuel, qui voient leur jeunesse hautement qualifiée aspirée par l’Allemagne, pays en dépérissement démographique, fournit une démonstration exemplaire de ce processus.




l'article complet:

February 22 2013

Wenn Minister Persönlichkeitsrechte verletzen

Dass der bayerische Innenminister keine gute Figur macht, ist nicht neu. Neu ist vermutlich aber, dass er die Rechte einer Bürgerin direkt und unmittelbar durch seine Aussagen verletzt.

Über die junge Frau, die unlängst in München Opfer von brutaler Polizeigewalt wurde, hatte Innenminister Herrmann im Landtag behauptet, bei ihr habe bereits vor Monaten einmal eine vorläufige Unterbringung in der Psychiatrie im Raum gestanden.

Wenn diese Behauptung wahr ist, handelt es sich hierbei um die Preisgabe einer sensiblen Information aus der Privatssphäre der Frau und damit um eine schwerwiegende Persönlichkeitsrechtsverletzung. Sollte die Aussage unwahr sein, wäre zudem eine üble Nachrede gegeben.

Ungeachtet dessen stellt sich natürlich die Frage, was uns der Minister mit dieser Information eigentlich sagen will. Dass Polizeigewalt eher zu tolerieren ist, wenn sie sich gegen psychisch Kranke richtet?

Jetzt hat hier auch keine Privatperson gehandelt, sondern ein Minister im Rahmen seiner Amtsausübung. Und das macht die (zivilrechtliche) Persönlichkeitsrechtsverletzung zugleich zu einem Grundrechtseingriff. Es ist daher mehr als verständlich und auch dringend notwendig, wenn jetzt die Wellen hochschlagen.

Nur unwesentlich besser sind die Aussagen des Abgeordneten Florian Herrmann – der mir als Anwaltskollege aus Freising bekannt ist – der den Anwalt der jungen Frau der Lüge bezichtigt.

In Bayern drängt sich einmal mehr die Schlussfolgerung auf, dass der Fisch vom Kopf weg stinkt. Der Filz wird schlicht und einfach zu dick, wenn eine Partei irgendwo zu lange regiert. Und das gilt allgemein, unabhängig von der Couleur.

February 20 2013

Documentaire: Dérives

De 1990 à 2010, le mouvement étudiant a fait l'objet de plus de 1000 arrestations.

En 2012, en 6 mois seulement, ce nombre a été multiplié par 3.
Nous dédions ce film aux arrêtéEs et aux blesséEs du conflit.

"Dérives" a pour but premier de remettre certaines pendules à l'heure quant aux dérives policières et médiatiques qui ont marqué le Printemps érable.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

February 13 2013

"A Crisis Of The State? The End Of The Post-Westphalian Model" by Carlo Bordoni

Carlo bordoniBefore we delve into the reasons for the crisis of the state it is necessary to clarify the meaning of ‘nation’. Nation has a cultural connotation and its distant origins are historically much older than state: it is still recognisable as a nation even when its borders have not been marked out and, at least formally, it is still not a state with its own laws. A population that is recognised as a nation feels free in the territory in which it lives and does not need to set limits on their freedom of movement within that space that they feel belongs to them.

And yet a country can continue to exist only if it exists as a state, that reinforces its identity and ensures precise territorial limits, because while the idea of “nation” is a feeling, the state – more pragmatically – needs a territory in which to take root. According to Jürgen Habermas, on the other hand, “national community does not precede the political community, but it is the product of it” (The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Polity Press, 2000, p. 76). A statement which is partially accepted, if we admit that the idea of nationality can mature only within a state, which, however, does not take into account the presence of a core of national feeling (although not institutionalised) on which to build a state.

State and nation go together and support each other, but something began to change in the late seventies and subsequent decades, in correspondence to the dissolution of modernity.

The anthropologist Arjun Appadurai was the first to report that the concept of nation is entering a crisis (Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, University of Minnesota, 1996), because it is the very cultural identity that is first damaged by the change taking place. What is called into doubt is the idea of the national community, based on the same language, same customs, same religion, same culture.

The opening of borders is preceded by a cultural openness that upsets the age-old certainties. The idea of nation endures while the presence of linguistic, religious or political minorities is “confined” temporarily or geographically in “enclaves” in ghettos, in refugee camps or in shelters. Then, when the diasporic communities begin to see recognition of their rights as citizens with full rights, and then demand recognition of their “diversity” with respect to the obligation to integrate (the customary path towards equality), the ‘unity of the nation begins to crumble.

Already in the nineties, Appadurai talked about post-national states, where diasporic communities are no longer occasional or temporary events, but long-lasting ones built into the system, which have become an integral part of the culture and history of a country. The term post-national better defines the earlier concepts of multinational and international, that remain fairly strongly related to economic, legal and practical dependence with the state as reference, until the entire system is weakened.

We live in a constant state of crisis, and this crisis also involves the modern state, whose structure, functionality, effectiveness (including the system of democratic representation) are no longer suited to the times in which we live.

There are many critical issues facing the modern state and the causes are many: some induced by deep historical and cultural changes that took place between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the third millennium, others by political and economic choices that led to consequences in people’s daily lives, further exasperating the distance from the institutions.

In the first place, the end of the post-Westphalian model. It appears crucial to an understanding of the present condition starting from the loss of meaning of this model of balance between states, which has stood for centuries and has been the cornerstone of international relations. The Treaties of Westphalia (Münster and Osnabrück) in 1648 (then essentially reconfirmed by the statute of the United Nations) have established some basic principles on which to base the rights and limits of the modern state, the new civil system that was born from the ashes of feudalism and that Hobbes represented as metaphoric in Leviathan: a form of monstrous strength made up of all the men who gathered together and recognised each other in a superior unity.

Based on the principle of limited sovereignty, the post-Westphalian model recognises in the modern state absolute and indivisible sovereignty over its territory and ownership in international relations, of which it is the sole subject.

If for a long time the state and nation have been able to live together, united on a historical and legal level by the insolubility of the fundamental principles that modernity assured, it was thanks to the agreements made in the Treaties of Westphalia, at the end of the long religious war, that had shattered Europe for thirty years. Since then, modern states, in the form that we have known for centuries, have standardised the so-called “post-Westphalian model”, which sets down the rules of universal stability and recognises the full sovereignty of a state within its own borders.

In the third millennium, it is the very post-Westphalian model that enters into crisis, dragging with it the crisis of the modern state, which is determined not only by the opening of borders, but by the inability demonstrated in maintaining its commitments to its citizens. In this phase, it is the “internal” boundaries that create problems. Security, defence of privilege, identity, recognition and cultural traditions, which once coincided with the boundaries of the post-Westphalian state, are now altered, uncertain, liquid. They are no longer reliable.

The dissolution of geographical or temporal limits imposed on diasporic communities determines the well-known phenomenon of the turnaround: if in the past it was the majorities that enclosed the minorities in “enclaves”, now it is the same majorities that shut themselves inside the “gated communities”, guarded by private security guards, by electronic control and security systems; jealous of the privacy that is no longer guaranteed on the outside.

Now it is clear how this model entered into crisis with the development of globalisation, whose explosive force has erased the boundaries between states and undermined any claim of absolute sovereignty. But the consequences of globalisation are not limited only to undermining the rules of international relations; they have led to a further upheaval, removing the power and raising it to a higher level. Now it is distant and spread on a global level, thus separated from politics, with which, up to now, it had been intimately linked. Hobbes’s Leviathan, deprived of its operating arm, is reduced to a mutilated body that wallows in its impotence. It gets agitated, argues and proclaims, but can not do anything even when it has made momentous decisions because the operational side is the responsibility of others. This no longer belongs to it.

The separation of politics and power is lethal to the modern state. Especially if it is a democratic state, whose constitution has promised its citizens to let them take part in common decisions that but now are taken by bodies that are non-democratically appointed or controlled from the bottom. The tragedy of the modern state lies in its inability to implement at a global level the decisions taken locally. The citizen, for example, elects their representatives to the European Parliament, who, in turn, elect committees and subcommittees, where executive decisions are taken by the last organisational bodies, formed on the basis of a series of institutional changes, the complexity of which should be a guarantee of impartiality and independence.

If it were just a matter of bureaucracy, complicated by the presence of more than one body, the system would still retain some form of democracy, although there is no direct relationship (no feedback, no opportunity to reply) between the last of the voters of a small European country and the drafter of a Community regulation. The problem is more serious, from the moment when the most important decisions on an economic, financial and developmental level are taken not by institutional bodies, as required by a democratic system, though it be a rather loose network, but by groups of power, by holding companies, multinationals, lobbies and the so-called “market”, that is by a summation of personal actions, technical consequences, emotional reactions, political will and particular interests that overlap in a very confusing manner and determine the fate of millions of people without any liability. Everything seems to happen because this is how the world turns and no one is able to oppose it. Not the people taking to the streets, protesting, whose only result is, at best, to sensitise public opinion that is otherwise distracted by an excess of information. Not even the nation-state, which does not have the instruments needed to operate at global distances and never had, since the issue had never been raised before.

Before being physical, political, legal and economic, in compliance with the post-Westphalian model, borders have always maintained that balance of strength and relationships which now no longer exists.

The crisis of the state coincides with the crisis of the post-Westphalian model, whose certainties have been swept away by the opening of borders, by increasingly more rapid exchanges of communications, by an economy at a global or supranational level and, not least, by a culture which is no longer at a local level, and is deeply influenced by suggestions, information, and comments from all over the world. The global village of McLuhan was created (or is being created) thanks to economic and cultural exchange, but at the expense of system-states that it is no longer in line with the changing times.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

February 11 2013

"Hungary – A Very FIDESZ Democracy" by Carl Rowlands

carl rowlandsAdmiral Horthy may be long gone, but just lately he appears to have become all the rage in modern Hungary. Newspapers sympathetic to the governing Fidesz party continually run glowing editorials about this ‘honourable’ man, along with statues and parks being awarded his name.

Despite their legacy as ‘The Alliance of Young Democrats’, some in the ageing and increasingly authoritarian Fidesz party have found a historical hero who was certainly no democrat. As the 1930s progressed, the electoral franchise was progressively choked off in Hungary, quietly ensuring a succession of increasingly nationalistic and right-wing governments. Areas where the social democrats were strongest were effectively deprived of the vote through bureaucratic manipulation and banning of trades union activity. Meanwhile, in rural areas, landlord control of the franchise was overt. The ‘good old days’ to which many Fidesz supporters refer to, were also the days when Roma were physically segregated into remote slums, invisible but for the occasional presence of the gendarmerie, who would brutally and violently ensure that the locals knew their position at the very base of society.

When a leading Fidesz organizer and friend of the Prime Minister declares in an opinion column that ‘most gypsies are animals’ it is against this historical context. Yet it’s also against the context of a Hungarian Right which has established no clear institutional ethical boundaries against racism, and which has increasingly relied upon nationalist rhetoric in the last 20 years. The ruling party in 1990′s first post-transition government, the MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum) even included Istvan Csurka among its leaders. Csurka was an overtly anti-Semitic nationalist politician, dedicated to restoring Hungary’s pre-World War One borders. His presence at the centre of post-transition political life indicated the weakness of democratic forces, even at the height of their supposed triumph. Even as Csurka was expelled from the collapsing MDF administration, the government engineered a ceremonial reburial of Admiral Horthy’s bones in his home village of Kenderes.

The Hungarian right’s love of ceremony and pageant – in somewhat embarrassing homage to the anachronisms of the United Kingdom – extended to a huge parade marking the relocation of the Crown to Parliament in 2000 – investing Parliament with ‘holy’ authority. Such mystical references are common currency across the Hungarian right-wing, whether supporters of ‘center-right’ Fidesz or ‘far-right’ Jobbik. It’s part of the deliberately mixed messages being sent by Fidesz. One week the Prime Minister can meet for photo-opportunity with rabbis, the next week, the Fidesz Deputy President can attend a commemoration for a Hungarian Nazi writer. There is always an eye for an opening.

Horthy might be a strange hero to many people inside and outside Hungary, but it’s especially alarming to consider that the same political forces who indulge in Horthy-worship are also the people centralising control of the Hungarian state (especially schools), redrawing a constitution and creating a whole new set of apparently ad-hoc electoral laws, the ultimate effect of which would be to make it very, very hard to elect a new government. Having won a two-thirds majority, Fidesz are attempting to exploit an opportunity to remake the administration of Hungary, as well as cementing their dominance over the future electoral process.

Anyone who remembers the 2002 Election, in which Fidesz attempted to defend its position in office against the Socialists, will remember the partial and disgraceful overt manipulation of public media. Government spokesmen and supporters dominated the programming. The editors of the public broadcasting channels even started broadcasting Fidesz rallies live-to-air – risking the ire of those who were looking to consume the normal diet of soaps and cheap cop dramas. The new electoral law attempted to consolidate this control of public media by preventing commercial radio and television channels from running party political programmes or advertisements during the campaign, leaving only the state-controlled media to provide political analysis. The intention was to drive the opposition off air.

Already we can see the beginnings of the 2014 campaign, with posters plastered on buses and placards around the city, blaming the previous government for Hungary’s problems. It seems much of the funding for this is already coming from state sources. When added to a number of bogus consultations concerning the constitution and the ‘job protection’ campaigns, Fidesz are spending an absolute fortune on communications. The next logical step is to remove the official state budget for political parties, thereby ensuring such massive communications machines are funded from either secretive or ‘grey’ sources. If enacted, it ensures a system that retains the outward trappings of democracy, whilst engaging in multiple instances of manipulation at different levels. The open gerrymandering of electoral districts is, from a UK perspective, more normal, but will further reduce the prospects of change in Hungary, whilst the reallocation of seats has been entirely driven by use of the two-thirds supermajority, with no attempt to garner a consensus.

Finally, and in tune with 1930s Hungary, the new electoral laws proposed a move away from a simple system of voter lists, to a system of voluntary registration. It is here that the government have been placed most under pressure, both internally and externally. Originally, the registration process was intended to involve people presenting themselves physically in a governmental office with the necessary forms of ID. Access to these offices could therefore be made as obscure, or as irregular as necessary, and would be a daunting test of organization and finance, as all parties would need to ferry many of their voters to the offices, or at least ensure as many were registered as possible. The Constitution Court has rejected the electoral laws, indicating dissent in the ranks – but it remains the undeniable case that the party leadership, Viktor Orban himself, wanted to push these changes through.

We could argue that Fidesz, at root, is nothing more than an electoral/communications machine, and in this sense is not so different to many other European political parties nowadays. This machine has even provided an easy cultural identity for Joe Public to adopt, a system of patronage for supporters and friends, plus a flexible and easily adaptable set of policies, which vary from economic liberalism, to nationalism, to oligarchy, depending on the lay of the land.

Yet the rancid nationalism and overt racism of many Fidesz supporters stops it being a question of abstract political science, and illustrates the dilemma that Fidesz has built for itself. For such a machine would obviously not want to risk being thrown out of office –a negative democratic verdict would be too costly to the many interests at stake in such a centralized system of patronage. Yet at the same time, Fidesz retains those same people who were part of the democratic opposition in the communist era, and whose political self-image is based partially upon being democrats in opposition to undemocratic communists. Fidesz need to distance itself from the far-right in some ways, whilst also retaining its nationalist rhetoric and feeding the monster it has helped to create.

By understanding that Fidesz are increasingly being torn in both directions, we can surely begin to appreciate that while the Association of Young Democrats may have a somewhat elastic understanding of the word ‘democracy,’ internal rivalries and dubious decision-making increasingly question the viability of Orban’s all-encompassing governing project. Paradoxically, this coincides with the continued consolidation of absolute power.  This should not obfuscate – the prospects for democratic change and political engagement with social realities in Hungary appear singularly bleak, regardless of right-wing factionalism.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

February 07 2013

Wir brauchen eine gesellschaftliche und politische Diskussion über Polizeigewalt

Ein neuer Fall von Polizeigewalt rüttelt gerade die Öffentlichkeit auf. Ein Polizeibeamter bricht einer 23-jährigen Frau mit Faustschlägen ins Gesicht Nase und Augenhöhle, die Polizei versucht das als Notwehrhandlung darzustellen. Die Frau befand sich dabei wohlgemerkt auf einer Polizeidienststelle, war offenbar bereits gefesselt und von Beamten umringt. Die gefesselte Frau soll dann – in Gegenwart von sieben Polizisten – versucht haben, einem Beamten mit dem Kopf ins Gesicht zu stoßen. Um sich dagegen zu schützen, habe der Beamte der Frau dann den Faustschlag versetzt, so die Darstellung der Polizei.

Henning-Ernst Müller bringt es auf den Punkt, wenn er sagt, dass seine Phantasie nicht ausreichend ist, um sich in der geschilderten Situation eine Notwehrlage des Polizeibeamten vorzustellen. Wenn die Darstellung in der Presse nur halbwegs stimmt, dann kann dieses Verhalten nicht gerechtfertigt sein.

Der Ruf der Polizei leidet in zunehmendem Maße darunter, dass Fälle von Polizeigewalt immer öfter publik werden, was mit der Erkenntnis verbunden ist, dass es sich wohl nicht um seltene Ausnahmefälle handelt.

Wenn Polizeibeamte glauben, Kollegen die derart ausrasten, anschließend auch noch decken zu müssen, handeln sie aus einem falsch verstandenen Korpsgeist heraus und schaden damit über kurz oder lang dem Ansehen und der Glaubwürdigkeit der Polizei.

Diese Form des Korpsgeists setzt sich häufig anschließend bei den Staatsanwaltschaften und Gerichten fort, bei denen ebenfalls eine deutliche Neigung erkennbar ist, derartige Fälle auf den Kopf zu stellen, indem man die Opfer wegen eines angeblichen Widerstands gegen Vollstreckungsbeamte strafrechtlich verfolgt.

In einem ersten Schritt ist es also notwendig, dass das Phänomen Polizeigewalt nicht länger totgeschwiegen wird. Eine Polizei, die mit unsachlicher Argumentation rechtsstaatlich gebotene Maßnahmen wie eine Kennzeichnungspflicht für Polizeibeamte ablehnt, wird die erforderliche Aufarbeitung aber nicht von sich aus leisten. Was wir deshalb brauchen, ist eine politische und gesellschaftliche Diskussion des Phänomens der Polizeigewalt.

Reposted bykrekkwonkoKingBalance

February 03 2013

Prison et cinéma. Créteil le 8 février

Le rapport d’activité de décembre 2012 du Contrôleur général des lieux privatifs de liberté et plusieurs reportages ont particulièrement attiré l’attention sur les conditions matérielles dans les prisons en France aujourd’hui. Plusieurs films ont été réalisés spécifiquement sur les prisons, en particulier depuis quelques années, dont "Prisons, la honte de la république", "Nos jours absolument doivent être illuminés" de Jean-Gabriel Périot, "A l’ombre de la république" de Stéphane Mercurio… et, dans le cadre du Festival international du Film des droits de l’Homme, est projeté le 8 février 2013 à Créteil (94), au cinéma du Palais ( le film réalisé en 2012 par Catherine Rechard, "Le déménagement "  [1], suivi d’un débat avec la réalisatrice et Augustin Rosenstiehl, architecte et spécialiste de l’architecture pénitentiaire.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

January 03 2013

Play fullscreen
KenFM im Gespräch mit: Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider über: Freiheit & Souveränität - YouTube


Kann ein Staat souverän sein - oder nur seine Bürger? Haben nicht alle Völker das Recht auf Selbstbestimmung? Was hat das Grundgesetz mit Immanuel Kant zu tun und wäre ein Kant-Studium als Vorbereitung auf ein Rechtsstudium ratsam? Philosophische Fragen die der Jurist und Staatsrechtslehrer Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider im Gespräch mit Ken Jebsen beantwortet. Schachtschneider ist zudem Referent auf der Compact-Konferenz am 24.11. in Berlin-Dahlem (Anmeldung unter ).

November 28 2012

02mydafsoup-01 - Leistungsschutzrecht für Presseverlage | Bundestag - Termin


UPDATE 22.11. 12:55 Uhr

Bereits gestern Abend hatten LINKE und Grüne im Bundestag angekündigt, dagegen zu protestieren, dass die erste Lesung des Leistungsschutzrechts ohne echte Debatte im Plenum durchgewunken werden sollte. Heute morgen haben Mathias Schindler und dazu aufgerufen, sich bei den Fraktionen im Bundestag dafür einzusetzen, dass es eine echte Debatte zum Leistungschutzrecht gibt. Mittlerweile hat auch der Parlamentarische Geschäftsführer der SPD im Bundestag, Thomas Oppermann, angekündigt, sich für eine echte Debatte einsetzen zu wollen.

Darüber hinaus haben Tabea Rößner von den Grünen und Petra Sitte von der LINKEN am Mittag angekündigt, ihr Rederecht auf jeden Fall wahrnehmen zu wollen.

Heute tagt der Ältestenrat des Bundestages um die Tagesordnung für kommende Woche offiziell zu beschließen. Dabei wird auch der Protest der Oppositionsfraktionen für eine echte Debatte zur Sprache kommen. Wir werden weiter berichten.


UPDATE 23.11. 11:10 Uhr

Der Ältestenrat hat gestern einstimmig beschlossen, das Leistungsschutzrecht am 29.11.2012 unter TOP 19 zu debattieren. Nach der jetzigen Aufsetzungsplanung wäre die frühestmögliche Uhrzeit 20:45. Das ist aber nur ein theoretischer Wert: Realistisch ist 22:00 Uhr, möglich ist auch 23:15.


UPDATE 27.11. 13:45 Uhr

Laut Tagesordnung des Bundestags von heute findet die erste Lesung am 29.11.2012 von 01.50-02.25 Uhr statt – also Freitag zu nachtschlafender Zeit …



oAnth: doch wohl eher Donnerstag (29.11.2012) "...zu nachtschlafender Zeit..."!?



Beitrag von Thierry Chervel, Mitglied der Redaktion von

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!