independence activist

Independence activist

Hong Kong independence activist released from prison

Prominent Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung was released from prison on Wednesday after serving a four-year sentence for taking part in a protest in 2016.

The 30-year-old activist posted a message on his Facebook page saying he had been released from Shek Pik prison before dawn and was at home with his family.

“After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” he wrote while also thanking his supporters for their care and love.

Leung first came to prominence in 2016 as a spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, a group that has called for maintaining a separate identity for Hong Kong and a complete break with mainland China. He took part in the so-called Fishball Revolution protest against a police crackdown on unlicensed street food vendors in the Mong Kok district, which turned violent.

Leung was convicted in 2018 of assaulting a police officer and participating in a riot in connection with the Mong Kok incident and sentenced to six years in prison. According to local media, the sentence was reduced by two years for good behavior.

He coined the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his campaign for a seat in the city’s legislature in 2016, which was halted when he was disqualified for his pro-independence stance. . The slogan has since been banned under the draconian national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 in response to massive and violent protests the previous year.

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists have been convicted and sentenced to long prison terms under the law, which prohibits succession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion.

Some information for this report comes from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.

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Independence activist

Hong Kong independence activist Edward Leung released from prison

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time”, was released from prison after spending four years behind bars for a 2016 protest.

Mr. Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution.

Edward Leung coined the now-banned slogan ‘Free Hong Kong, revolution of our time’ (AP)

The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

Originally sentenced to six years, Mr Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

Mr Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years.

Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Mr Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

Edward Leung supporters
Fans pictured in 2019 hold a banner with a photo of Leung as they shout slogans outside the Hong Kong High Court (AP)

“As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

“After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to reunite with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Mr. Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

He is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

Shek Pik Prison in Hong Kong
Shek Pik prison in Hong Kong (AP)

The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned it, saying it had secessionist overtones that are illegal under the national security law that was implemented in 2020.

The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

Mr. Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

Crowd scenes outside a prison
Supporters surround a police bus carrying political activist Edward Leung as it leaves the High Court, after Leung was sentenced to six years in prison in October 2019 (AP)

However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

In a post on Mr. Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – his family urged supporters to let Mr. Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

The message also said that, following a legal notice, Mr. Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

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Independence activist

Hong Kong independence activist Leung released from prison

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time,” was released from prison on Wednesday after serving four years behind bars for a 2016 protest. .

Leung was a prominent independence activist and spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, an independence group in the city that was outspoken about “localism” and the need to preserve a distinct identity in Hong Kong.

In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and participating in riots during what is now known as the Fishball Revolution. The unrest began when authorities attempted to crack down on unlicensed hawkers selling street food during the 2016 Lunar New Year holiday in Mong Kok, but were met with protesters who objected to their actions as an attack against local traditions.

Originally sentenced to six years in prison, Leung had his sentence reduced by two years for good behavior, according to local media.

Leung’s release comes amid a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting the majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the past two years. Many of the city’s prominent activists are currently behind bars or have fled abroad to pursue their activism.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning, Leung said he had been released from prison and was back with his family.

“As required by law, I am under a supervision order upon my release,” he wrote in the post, adding that he would stop using social media and not take any interviews or visits. with the media.

“After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to be reunited with my family and resume a normal life with them,” Leung said, before thanking his supporters for their care and love.

Leung is known for coining the slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” for his election campaign, when he tried to run for a seat in the Legislative Assembly in 2016. He was later disqualified.

The phrase later became a popular protest slogan during the 2019 protests, but authorities have since banned the slogan, saying it had secessionist overtones which are illegal under the National Security Law which was implemented in 2020. The law prohibits secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion to intervene in city affairs.

Leung advocated a so-called forceful resistance against political violence in his campaigns, which was seen as a polarizing opinion and drew opposition from the city’s more traditional pro-democracy camp.

However, his stance of a more active form of resistance also caught the attention of younger voters, and many of his ideas, such as “leaderless” protests, were later used during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

In a post on Leung’s Facebook page on Tuesday – a day before his release – Leung’s family urged supporters to let Leung “find his family” and urged supporters to prioritize their own safety.

The post also said that, following a legal notice, Leung’s Facebook page would be taken down and the content would be removed on January 19 to protect him.

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Independence activist

Veteran Belarusian independence activist Anton Furs dies at 94

MINSK – Anton Furs, a veteran Belarusian independence activist and member of the Union of Belarusian Patriots, an underground Belarusian youth organization after WWII, is dead at the age of 94.

Furs’s son, Yuras Furs, wrote on Facebook early on October 20 that her father died at his home in the northern town of Pastavy. He did not disclose the cause of death.

While studying in the mid-1940s to become a teacher, Furs and his friends started an underground youth organization with the aim of promoting Belarusian language and culture.

In February 1947, Furs was arrested and accused of anti-Soviet activities. He was sentenced to death for his crimes, but the sentence was later reduced to 25 years in prison.

He served his prison term in Turin, a city in the Urals of Russia, and in Karlag, a notorious Soviet prison system near the city of Qaraghandy in central Kazakhstan.

In 1955, Furs took part in a notorious prison riot that spread to several prisons in Karlag. He spent nine years in the brutal Soviet prison system before being granted early release.

After that, Furs married Alesya Umpirovich, a Belarusian activist who also served prison time for her beliefs.

Until 1982, the couple lived in Kazakhstan. They then moved to Belarus, where in 1992 Furs and other members of the youth organization were exonerated by a state commission which ruled that the Union of Belarusian Patriots had committed no crime.

His wife, whom he met through the youth organization, was exonerated in 1993. She died in August 2017 at the age of 92.

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Independence activist

Indonesian police arrest Papuan independence activist on suspicion of treason following 2019 unrest – benarnews

Indonesian police have arrested an independence activist in Papua on suspicion of treason and sedition in connection with anti-Jakarta protests that turned into deadly riots in the region two years ago, authorities said on Monday.

The arrest of Victor Yeimo, chairman of the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB), a Papuan civil organization seeking to hold a referendum on self-determination for Papua, came over the weekend against a backdrop of escalating tensions in the Far East region.

The Indonesian president has ordered a crackdown on armed Papuan separatist rebels after he assassinated the government’s intelligence chief for the region in late April.

Yeimo was arrested in the provincial capital Jayapura on Sunday after being on the run for almost two years, said Iqbal Alqudusy, police spokesman for a counterinsurgency task force known as the ‘Operation Nemangkawi.

“He was named a suspect based on testimony which described him as the leader of the protests, who delivered speeches on Papua’s independence,” Iqbal told BenarNews.

Yeimo, 42, faces up to 12 years if convicted of treason, police said.

His arrest was not his first run-in with the law.

In 2009, Yeimo was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for leading a rally demanding a referendum on self-determination for Papua. The Melanesian-majority region, which includes the provinces of Papua and West Papua, was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a UN administered ballot.

In 2019, more than 40 people were killed in Papua in protests and riots sparked by the harsh and racist treatment of Papuan students by government security personnel in Java in August.

Papua Police Chief Inspector General Mathius Fakhiri said Yeimo fled to neighboring Papua New Guinea after the 2019 unrest.

“Yeimo admitted that he returned to Jayapura in September 2020,” Fakhiri said, as quoted by

On August 19, 2019, Yeimo shouted “Free Papua” as he delivered a speech outside the provincial governor’s office, Fakhiri said, accusing Yeimo of being the “mastermind” of mass protests that “took place. ended in anarchism and damage to public facilities. “

In 1963, Indonesian forces invaded the region of Papua – which constitutes the western half of the island of New Guinea – and annexed it.

Many Papuans and rights groups said the 1969 vote, known as the Free Choice Act, was a sham because it only affected around 1,000 people.

Last year at least 13 Papuan activists and students were convicted of waving Morning Star flags – the symbol of the Papuan independence movement – at pro-referendum rallies in 2019 as part of nationwide protests against racism against Papuans . They were sentenced to between nine and eleven months in prison for treason.

“A far-fetched accusation”

Last month, the Indonesian government designated the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) and its armed wing, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), as terrorists.

This happened after the TPNPB claimed responsibility for the murder of the army brigadier. General I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya in a roadside ambush in the Puncak regency on April 25. Putu Danny led the State Intelligence Agency’s Papua operation.

The TPNPB also said it killed two teachers, a motorcycle taxi driver and a 16-year-old teenager in separate incidents in April. The rebels said the civilians were working as spies for the government.

The killings prompted President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to order government forces to step up operations against the rebels.

Sam Awom, the Papuan coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), called Yeimo’s arrest “arbitrary” and said it was the result of the government’s designation of the separatists as well as terrorists.

“We, the activists, are very worried about this, because the designation [of Papuan rebels] because terrorists will not solve the problem. In fact, what the government needs to do is open as much space as possible for dialogue between the government and the OPM, ”he told BenarNews, referring to the Free Papua Separatist Movement.

By using the anti-terrorism law to prosecute the Papuan rebels, the police will have the power to arrest more people because they do not need hard evidence, Awom said.

“There is a huge potential for human rights violations such as forced detention and summary executions,” he said.

Awom defended Yeimo, claiming he led a protest in Jayapura in September 2019 that ended peacefully.

“Victor being the mastermind of the riots is a far-fetched accusation, I think,” he said, urging the government to release all political prisoners instead.

Veronica Koman, an Indonesian lawyer who has represented Papuan activists in the past, said Yeimo’s arrest could lead to more unrest in the region.

“Indonesia is giving West Papuans a boost to come back to the streets. Anger has built up since the terrorist labeling, ”Koman said in a message posted on Twitter.

“Several organizations have announced that they would mobilize if Victor Yeimo was not released.

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Independence activist

Indonesia: police arrest independence activist – JURIST

Indonesian police arrested Victor Yeimo, an independence activist, according to a statement from Iqbal Alqudusy, the head of the Nemangkawi special commission, on Monday.

Yeimo is known as the former spokesperson and current chairman of the National Committee for West Papua, a group of peaceful protesters calling for a self-determination referendum. He was arrested on charges of makar who, according to local reports, refer to treason, subversion and rebellion. The makar charges are brought under the country’s controversial Penal Code.

The accusation refers to Yeimo’s alleged public statements inspiring unrest and allegedly spreading lies. This follows his involvement in anti-racism protests in 2019. The protests drew thousands, left dozens dead and sparked an internet blackout.

Alqudusy commented that the police “arrested a person [Yeimo] on the wanted list in a case of racism and riots in Papua in 2019. ”

Indonesian police also suspect Yeimo of having insulted the country ”[a]s referred to in the wording of article 106 in conjunction with article 87 of the penal code (KUHP) and / or article 110 of the KUHP and / or article 14 paragraphs (1) and (2) and l Article 15 of Law No. 1/1946 on Penal Regulations.

Yeimo has already been the subject of police action. He has been arrested several times during his activism, largely for his involvement in the protests.

Likewise, many human rights defenders and activists face sanctions for their work. Arrests are a method commonly used by Indonesian authorities in an attempt to discourage dissent.

The arrests of peaceful protesters and dissenting voices raise concerns over Indonesia’s respect for international law. Indonesia signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2006. The treaty provides for a right of peaceful assembly in article 21. Article 19 provides for the right of individuals to hold opinions without interference and to freedom of expression.

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Independence activist

Western Sahara: harassment of an independence activist

(Washington) – Moroccan security forces have maintained an almost constant massive presence outside the home of a Western Sahara independence activist for more than three months, Human Rights Watch said today. They provided no justification and prevented several people, including family members, from visiting them.

The surveillance and violations of activist Sultana Khaya’s right to freely associate with others, at her home in Boujdour, Western Sahara, are emblematic of Morocco’s intolerance of calls for self-determination Sahrawis in defiance of Morocco’s claim to the territory. Khaya is known locally for her displays of vehement opposition to Morocco’s control of Western Sahara. She often demonstrates in the street, alone or with others, waving Sahrawi flags and chanting independence slogans in front of members of the Moroccan security forces.

“Moroccan authorities may well dislike Sultana Khaya’s pro-independence views and her blunt style,” said Eric Goldstein, acting director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch. “Yet expressing oneself peacefully remains her right, and nothing justifies blocking her home without any legal basis.”

Khaya returned to her family on November 19, 2020, after a visit to Spain. While she was out that day, members of the Moroccan security forces raided the house. During their operation, they hit her 84-year-old mother on the head, Khaya told Human Rights Watch. Security guards have since remained outside the house.

Human Rights Watch viewed several videos, shot on different dates between November 19 and today, showing groups of uniformed security forces mixed with men in civilian clothes, some stationed near police vehicles, at the outside Khaya’s home as she shouts for independence slogans from a window or a few feet from the front door. Some show the men blocking the way to visitors or pushing them back.

Since November 19, Khaya has left the house less than a dozen times, walking a few meters, filming members of the security forces with her phone, then re-entering the house. She said she often stood at a window, waving the Sahrawi flag and chanting independence slogans.

Khaya has only ventured further from her home once since November 19, she told Human Rights Watch. At the end of December, she said, she walked about 150 meters from her door, until a group of security forces gathered near her. “They didn’t stop or touch me, but I felt threatened and feared for my life, so I walked home,” she said.

The Moroccan authorities have long firmly kept aside any public demonstration against Moroccan domination in Western Sahara and in favor of self-determination of the territory. They beat activists in their custody and in the streets, imprisoned and convicted them in trials marred by due process violations, including torture, hindered their freedom of movement and openly followed them. Moroccan authorities have also denied entry to Western Sahara to dozens of foreign visitors in recent years, including journalists and human rights activists.

On January 18, 2021, police officers prevented Khaya’s cousin from entering the house. They also brutally pushed Khaya, who was standing outside, through her front door, she told Human Rights Watch.

On February 13, while filming the police from an open window, Khaya was hit in the face by a stone that a member of the security forces threw from the street. The National Human Rights Council, an organ of the Moroccan state, on February 16 asked the Boujdour prosecutor to investigate the incident.

Human Rights Watch interviewed Hassanna Duihi, a Sahrawi independence activist who lives in Boujdour. Duihi said he had tried to visit Khaya four times since December. The first two times, members of the uniformed security forces pushed him back, providing no reason other than that they had “orders,” Duihi said. Human Rights Watch reviewed a video of one of the incidents, provided by Duihi. Filmed from inside the house, the one-minute video matches Duihi’s description of the incident. Duihi was able to visit Khaya on February 19 and 21 in the early hours of the morning, he said.

At around noon on February 21, a man in civilian clothes snatched Khaya’s cell phone from her as she stood in the street outside her front door, filming members of the security forces as they blocked a visitor. Duihi and Babouzid Buihi, another independence activist interviewed by Human Rights Watch, witnessed the incident from inside Khaya’s home, which Buihi had also reached earlier in the day. Both men said she held a sit-in outside her front door until 11 p.m. The phone was slipped under her door half an hour later, but Khaya said she refused to use it, fearing spyware had been installed there.

On February 23, Khaya said, a police officer attempted to give him a summons to appear before a prosecutor. She refused to take the document, claiming that she did not recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, and therefore jurisdiction over it. Human Rights Watch does not know the basis for the summons.

In response to an investigation by Human Rights Watch, the Moroccan inter-ministerial delegation for human rights said, “Neither (Khaya) nor his family are subjected to any form of harassment or surveillance. They added that on November 19, Khaya, returning from a trip, was “greeted by a group of people on the street in front of her house”, and that authorities urged the group to “respect security measures” in response. to the Covid-19 pandemic. . This request, they said, resulted in Khaya’s mother “losing consciousness” for reasons they did not specify.

Khaya said no local official had ever mentioned Covid-19 to justify the continued presence of police forces around his home since November or to block some visitors. Duihi said Moroccan authorities did not impose any Covid-19 security measures on Boujdour beyond the nighttime curfew they imposed across Morocco and Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. He said that to his knowledge, the police did not maintain such intense surveillance outside any other private residence in the city and that the pandemic had not prevented various overcrowded events in the city, including pro-political rallies. Moroccans.

Most of Western Sahara has been under Moroccan control since Spain, the territory’s former colonial administrator, withdrew in 1975. In 1991, Morocco and the Polisario, the Western Sahara liberation movement, agreed of a ceasefire negotiated by the UN to prepare a referendum on self-determination. This referendum never took place. Morocco sees Western Sahara as an integral part of the kingdom and rejects demands for a vote on self-determination that would include independence as an option.

“The muscular police surveillance around Sultana Khaya’s home illustrates Morocco’s determination to maintain pressure, including psychological ones, on those who reject its claim to sovereignty over Western Sahara,” Goldstein said.

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Independence activist

The independence activist who named the accusers of Alex Salmond on social networks is jailed

A Scottish independence activist who named the women who testified against Alex Salmond has been jailed for six months.

Clive Thomson, 52, has broken a strict court order barring the identification of plaintiffs who testified at the former prime minister’s trial last year.

Edinburgh High Court learned of how Thomson, of Rosyth, Fife, twice named women on Twitter in August last year.

Lady Dorrian – the judge who presided over the trial which resulted in Mr Salmond’s acquittal of all charges – made the order during the trial.

Mainstream journalists working in Scottish courts do not name complainants in sexual assault cases in order to prevent complainants’ privacy being violated.

However, the defense industry worker ignored the order and named the women on the social media network.

The court heard he knew he wasn’t supposed to name the women, but went ahead and did it anyway.

He believed he was immune from prosecution because he was on vacation abroad at the time of one of the offending tweets.

The court also heard that it had also sought advice from other Twitter users on how to get around the court order.

Defense lawyer Mark Stewart QC on Thursday urged Lady Dorrian, Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews not to send his client to jail.

Mr Stewart said Thomson was looking after his wife who is currently protecting herself from the coronavirus pandemic. He was also the main breadwinner.

But Lady Dorrian said what Thomson had done was so wrong that jail was the only option available to the court.

She said: “The court took into account that this was a deliberate and planned contempt of court. This is a very serious matter. There are very good reasons why complainants in sexual offense cases enjoy anonymity. “Protection is extended by convention to complainants in all cases – not just the one that concerns us.

“It turns out that the protection in this case was backed up by a specific court order to stress the importance and you knew that order had been made.

“Nonetheless, you have deliberately taken up this order and posted the names of those involved, for the second time thinking that you thought you were safe from contempt of court proceedings by being abroad.

“You had been thinking about how you were going to get by – you went so far as to ask advice about it on Twitter.

“Obviously, you’ve decided to take a calculated risk. The reason for such protection extends beyond the complainants in this case is that the risk of the public knowing their identity can have a significant deterrent effect on others against filing complaints with public authorities.

“This was a blatant and willful violation of the order which was likely to cause serious stress and concern to complainants and interfere with the protection afforded them by the order.

“We have listened to the points made on your behalf this morning.

“We are aware of the effect prison will have on your life and the lives of your family members.

“However, for such premeditated contempt, we are convinced that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence and we therefore propose to impose a sentence of six months imprisonment from the date of ‘today.”

Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 counts of sexual assault earlier this year. Another charge of sexual assault had already been dropped by prosecutors.

The former prime minister proclaimed his innocence throughout the two-week trial held in March 2020.

The women who brought the allegations against Mr Salmond included an SNP politician, a party member and several current and former Scottish government officials and officials.

In an article posted on a fundraising website, Mr Thomson requested financial assistance for his case, saying he needed a QC and a legal team “regarding a contempt of court charge , in the Alex Salmond case “. Last month he had raised £ 275 of a £ 5,000 goal.

During proceedings last month, Mr Stewart told the court that the first post was deleted shortly after it was posted. The second post was deleted within 24 hours of posting.

The sentence had been postponed for the court to obtain reports on Thomson’s background.

Mr Stewart told the virtual hearing on Thursday that his client had been suspended from working at Babcock’s in Rosyth.

He also said that Thomson had played a key role in his family, taking care of his wife and being an important breadwinner.

Mr Stewart also said that Thomson felt remorse for his conduct.

He said: “As a result of the process, he fully understood both the importance of his conduct; the potential effect his conduct might have on those involved in the criminal justice process and also the seriousness of the conduct.

Lady Dorrian interrupted Mr. Stewart’s submission at that point and asked him, “That’s what they call barring the stable door once the horse is locked.”

Mr Stewart then referred to a report by a court appointed social worker and continued: “My lady, there has to be an element of that and I have to accept it but as far as this process goes, it has one that he has now accepted the gravity of the situation – though that doesn’t excuse him not fully appreciating the gravity of his conduct – it’s something in my opinion that he fully understands and that he fully understands what he has done.

“He has, according to the senior social worker, someone who feels remorse and understands that it is important that these rules are in place and that these rules are followed as well.

“Mr. Thomson appreciates and understands that police custody is a significant risk in relation to the resolution of this case.

“He understands the nature of his offense and he understands his position in this court.

“I would respectfully ask the court to accept that this was an act of extreme madness on the part of someone acting in a way that was not calculated but was in fact an act madness and bravado and I would ask the court to take into account his remorse, guilt and immediate recognition of his wrongdoing when considering his elimination.

Twitter was criticized last month for failing to remove a post by an anonymous user that identified one of the women who accused Mr Salmond.

A friend of women told the Daily Record: “Twitter is extremely irresponsible and ignores its responsibilities to uphold the law.

“It is frankly shocking that they continue to allow trolls to name witnesses whose anonymity has been guaranteed by the courts.”

Responding to a complaint from the woman, who said she believed her safety was in danger, Twitter said: “We are writing to inform you that after reviewing the available information, we found no violations. of our rules in the content you have posted.

Earlier this year, blogger Craig Murray appeared in court accused of posting information that could have led readers to identify women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

He denied the allegation. His lawyer, John Scott QC, described Murray as a “beacon of integrity”.

The court will make its decision on whether Mr. Murray violated the contempt order in the near future.

Earlier this month, Rape Crisis also urged Members of the Scottish Parliament not to release information that could identify the women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

Spectator magazine also went to court to try to have the contempt order amended.

Lady Dorrian told Thomson, who watched the virtual hearing from another location, on Thursday that she had 48 hours to get to a police station to be taken to jail.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “The Crown has reviewed a number of potential cases of contempt of court arising from the prosecution of Alex Salmond.

“Where measures were warranted, either to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial or the identity of complainants, measures were taken.

“The decision in each case was made after applying the same professional, independent and impartial approach that the Crown takes to all of its decisions.

“When the Crown takes formal action, it is for the court to rule whether contempt of court has occurred and to determine the appropriate response.”

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Hong Kong police accuse independence activist Tony Chung of ‘secession’ – Radio Free Asia

Authorities in Hong Kong have accused 19-year-old independence activist Tony Chung of “secession” under a draconian national security law that went into effect in the city on July 1.

“Chung has been formally charged with one count of ‘secession’, one count of” conspiracy to publish seditious material “, as well as two cases of” money laundering “,” the group said. now disbanded Chung activists Studentlocalism on his Facebook page.

Chung appeared in West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning, where his application for bail was denied, the statement said.

Chung was arrested on October 27 for allegedly violating Article 21 of the National Security Law, which prohibits anyone from providing assistance to anyone who breaks the law and which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

He is accused of “actively organizing, planning, implementing or participating in acts aimed at dividing the country and undermining national unity in Hong Kong from July 1 to October 27 this year, along with others.” , according to the charges against him.

The money laundering charges relate to a crowdfunding campaign by Studentlocalism, which called for donations only from those who supported Hong Kong’s independence, and payments totaling nearly HK $ 700,000 made to the bank account Chung staff between January 2018 and July 2020.

Chung is also accused of conspiring to publish seditious publications in Hong Kong between November 30, 2018 and June 9 this year, before the National Security Act came into force.

After the hearing, Chung was taken to the infamous Pik Uk Correctional Facility, where he will remain in detention for at least the next 10 weeks pending another hearing in January, the group said.

The judge’s decision to deny bail came after the prosecution claimed Chung was likely to reoffend and run away if released, given that the alleged offenses took place while he was out on bail pending a different charge.

Four under arrest

Chung was one of four youths arrested by Hong Kong police on July 26 on suspicion of “secession” under the National Security Act, which came into force on July 1.

The arrested persons, aged 16 to 21, were taken into custody during raids in the districts of the New Territories of Yuen Long, Shatin and Tuen Mun, suspected of having “organized and incited secessionist activities”.

Police said they were suspected of posting ads online calling on people to fight to establish a “Hong Kong nation”, to declare that they will use whatever means necessary to achieve this goal and to call for the union of separatist groups.

Studentlocalism was dissolved before the law was implemented, but as the posts were published after the new law came into force, they fell under articles of the law prohibiting “incitement” to secessionist activity, he said. police said at the time.

Chung and two other activists were separately arrested by the national security police on Tuesday after Chung was refused permission to enter the US consulate, where he is said to have planned to seek political asylum. The other two arrested, former studentlocalism members William Chan and Yanni Ho, have been released on bail.

Hours later, when news of Chung’s arrest became public, four more activists entered the consulate, but were told that they could not be protected and were finally ordered to leave. one of them later told Voice of America (VOA).

News commentator Liu Ruishao said that the fact that Chung has been charged means authorities expect to make an example of him.

“The fact that they are making such accusations means that they (…) expect a result that will be in favor of the government,” Liu said. “In fact, it will probably have the effect of restricting everyone’s behavior in the future.”

“The effect of [such a prosecution] will be magnified, which means that a much larger portion of the population is actually targeted, “Liu said.” That’s what they want to achieve: a crippling effect where people limit their own behavior. “

Call for release

Rights groups denounced Chung’s arrest and the charges against him as a violation of his right to free speech.

The overseas-based Chinese Network of Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) called for Chung’s immediate release, in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

“The charges against Chung, a former member of the Studentlocalism group, relate to posts he made on social media platforms and his advocacy, in violation of his fundamental rights to freedom of expression and association, ”the group said.

Chung is the second person to be charged under the National Security Law since it came into force. The first was Tong Ying-kit, who rode his motorbike among a group of police officers during a July 1 protest while carrying a flag bearing the popular protest slogan “Free Hong Kong, Revolutionize Now!”

“The National Security Law, imposed in Hong Kong by the Chinese legislature on June 30, criminalizes the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly under the pretext that non-violent speech or behavior can ‘put endangering national security, ”the CHRD said.

He called for an independent international review, led by the United Nations, of human rights violations in China.

Broken promises

Under the 1997 handover agreement, Hong Kong was promised to maintain its traditional freedoms of expression and association, as well as universal suffrage.

But Beijing’s decision to exclude fully democratic elections in 2014, its insistence on the prosecution and disqualification of key opposition figures, and its subsequent imposition of the national security law following mass popular protests against declining freedoms throughout 2019 have shown that the ruling Chinese Communist Party has no intention of keeping those promises.

The loosely-worded new security law threatens anyone who criticizes Chinese or Hong Kong authorities anywhere in the world.

The dreaded Chinese State Security Police have now established a seat in the city to enforce the law, while the government has warned that slogans linked to last year’s protest movement, including “Free Hong Kong, do the revolution now! “, will come under the mandate of the law. .

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) earlier said the law would be “devastating” for the protection of human rights in the city.

It created specialized secret security agencies, denied the right to a fair trial, granted expanded new powers to the police, increased restrictions on civil society and the media, and weakened judicial oversight, the group said in a statement. report published on its website.

The law will also affect the right to education and freedom of information, opinion and expression in schools, as political statements and discussions are prohibited in city classrooms and the books of prominent figures. -Democracy are being removed from its public libraries, HRW said. .

Reported by Lu Xi and Man Hoi-tsan for the Cantonese and Mandarin services of FRG. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Backlash as ‘despicable’ independence activist organizes anti-British protest at Edinburgh Airport

A notorious independence activist has been called “despicable” for his latest coup which saw him unveil an anti-British banner at Edinburgh airport.

Sean Clerkin of the activist group Action for Scotland has been condemned by politicians and aviation authorities after yesterday displaying a sign proclaiming ‘England Get Out of Scotland’ near the terminal of the country’s busiest flight hub.

The activist, who is used to organizing small-scale protests, said his group wanted the border between Scotland and England closed for non-essential travel in order to “protect” the Scottish public from Covid-19.

Borders MP John Lamont said: “It is racist and disgusting. Nationalism at its height.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh Western, said: “I’m leaving to have a 20 foot banner made saying ‘Racist bams – Get out of West Edinburgh. “

And Conservative adviser Thomas Kerr said: “It is time we called these people out for who they are, racists.

“Their poisonous views have been allowed into mainstream Scottish politics for too long – enough is enough.”

Clerkin said: ‘Our protest today is yet another call to reasonable men and women south of the border to make their stay south of the border and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Scotland.

“There will be other protests in the days and weeks to come.”

An Edinburgh Airport spokesperson said: “It is a despicable act.

“This group knows their brand of hate would be challenged by thoughtful people and chose to sneak and perpetrate it away from the terminal.

“They do not represent the Scotland in which we live and work nor the Scotland which is known for its friendliness and tolerance around the world.

“We condemn them wholeheartedly and will not accept it.

“We have contacted the Scottish Police and asked them to pursue this matter urgently.”

Action for Scotland describes itself as “a group that wants Scottish independence” that worked to highlight the ways the Union was lacking in the country.

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Independence Activist Su Beng Dies at 100 | Taiwan News

Independence Activist Su Beng Dies at 100 | Taiwan News | SupChina

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Taiwan mourns the death of independence activist and academic Su Beng | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Friday, September 20, Su Beng, a longtime Taiwanese independence activist, whose first name was Shih Chao-hui (施朝暉), died at the age of 100, just over one month of what would have been his 101st birthday on November 9 by Western calculations. He was pronounced dead at 11:09 p.m. at Taipei University Medical Hospital.

Known as Shi-Ming (史 明) in Taiwan, Su Beng was an iconic figure in the history of the Taiwanese independence movement. historian and political advisor. Su Beng’s name was chosen as the pen name for the book “Taiwan’s 400 Year History”, which he wrote during a period of exile living in Tokyo, Japan.

He was born in the Shilin district of Taipei when Taiwan was still a colony of the Japanese Empire in 1918. Su, who graduated from Waseda University in 1942 with a degree in politics and economics, developed a strong anti-colonial sentiment during the Japanese colonial period. Before the end of World War II, Su Beng would have worked in China with the Communist Party, but he was never an official member of it according to most accounts.

Su Beng at Waseda University in Japan in 1937 (Wikimedia Commons)

After the Kuomintang (KMT) withdrew from Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War, Su also returned to Taipei as a Taiwan independence activist. Su was unhappy with the treatment Taiwanese received from the Chinese Communist Party and the nationalist government led by the KMT.

In 1950, Su created the Taiwan Independence Armed Corps which plotted the assassination of Chiang Kai-shek. This resulted in him being identified as an enemy of the state by the KMT government.

After several months on the run, Su snuck onto a ship bound for Japan and ended up in Tokyo, where he was jailed for a brief period, but was ultimately granted political asylum. Su then opened a noodle shop in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, where he will remain for decades. During this time, Su returned to scholarship and wrote his book “Taiwan’s 400 Year History”, which was first published in Japanese, then in Mandarin and English.

In 1993, he finally returned to Taipei, where he launched the Taiwan Independence Action Motorcade, which roams the streets of Taipei with loudspeakers, banners and gongs advocating Taiwan independence. As a leading scholar and activist, Su Beng was an influential figure who helped develop a historiography centered on Taiwan as a means of promoting national consciousness among Taiwanese.

For the past few years, Su has served as a senior advisor in the president’s office. Su celebrated her 100th birthday in November 2017 (the traditional Asian method of calculating age includes time spent in the womb) with a large crowd of supporters, including President Tsai and prominent figures from the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP). .

Su was a staunch supporter of the Tsai administration. As he celebrates his centenary, he urged the country to support Tsai’s candidacy for a second term “because it can provide the leadership needed to carry out the reforms Taiwan needs and move towards a free society. and democratic, ”Su said.

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Little-known independence activist

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Little-known independence activist

Fri 3 December 2021 | 21:36

Little-known independence activist

Posted: 04/04/2019 16:57

Updated: 2019-04-05 09:18

By Choe Chong-dae

Seo Young-hae (1902-56) had been forgotten. He is better known to scholars who study French literature and the history of diplomacy than to his compatriots. His exceptional dedication to the Korean independence movement was revealed in a recent book titled “Seo Young-hae, Activist for Independence in Paris”, written by Jung Sang-chun, an official of the Presidential Committee for Balanced National Development.

Seo was an independence activist, novelist, journalist and diplomat who dedicated himself to the restoration of Korean sovereignty against Japanese colonial rule through remarkable diplomacy in Europe. Driven by patriotism, Seo participated in the independence movement on March 1 in 1919 at the age of 17. Fearing arrest by Japanese police, Seo went into exile in China and joined the Republic of Korea Provisional Government’s establishment in Shanghai as its youngest member. He went to Paris in 1920 to continue his future studies. A graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris, a higher education institution, he established “Agence Korea” (News Agency) in 1929 and was appointed representative of the Liaison Office of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in 1936, later promoted to Ambassador to Paris.

During his 27-year stay in Paris, Seo made remarkable efforts to restore Korean sovereignty and devoted time to reporting and writing extensively on the brutal Japanese colonial rule to European media. Remarkably, Seo’s life was exposed to the world through his novel “La vie d’un Coréen” (Around a Korean Life) published in French in 1929, followed by other sensational novels. Her first novel describes the oppression suffered by Koreans under Japanese imperialism as well as Korean history, culture and customs that have helped raise awareness of the plight of Koreans and aspects of Europe.

Two years after Korea’s liberation, he finally returned to Korea in 1947. He was sent to Pyongyang with Kim Koo to join the South and North Korean Conference in 1948. He was one of the two iconic figures. who played a central role in the pursuit of Korean independence abroad. ; one was Seo Young-hae in France, the other was Syngman Rhee in the United States

Although Seo maintained a close friendship with Rhee who became Korea’s first president in 1948, he opposed Rhee’s policy of creating a separate state in the South, while supporting Kim Koo who wanted to establish a unified government for all of Korea. As a result, his life in Korea was unstable. He worked at the Korean Provisional Government Affiliate School for Personality Education for Korean Residents in Shanghai until 1956 without contacting his family in South Korea. After that, his traces are not known.

Seo’s remarkable diplomacy for Korean independence in Europe has had a profound impact on my mind and reminds me of the quote “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Author Jung Sang-chun compares him to Philippe Aries (1914-84), the French pioneer historian. He called himself a “Sunday historian,” proud to write outside of college in his spare time. Jung devoted himself to studying during the holidays to avoid official influence.

Jung went to Paris to study on a state scholarship in 1994-96 and in 2000 while working at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a diplomat. During his stay in Paris, he immersed himself in the search for Seo who dreamed of Korean independence.

Coincidentally, Jung’s father Jung Il-yeong, a former journalist, taught English at Gyeongju High School in the early 1960s, where he had a close relationship with my family. Currently, Jung’s studies are focused on researching the history of Korea’s independence movement with my brother Choe Chong-kan, a ceramic artist.

Seo’s extraordinary dedication to the Korean independence movement as a pioneering diplomat in Paris would most likely have remained in the shadows had it not been for author Jung’s outstanding research into Seo’s life.
Choe Chong-dae ([email protected]) is a guest columnist for the Korea Times. He is president of Dae-kwang International Co. and director of the Korean-Swedish Association.

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“They treat Hong Kong like parts of China”: independence activist Andy Chan condemns decision to censor talks

Independence activist Andy Chan said the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s attempt to block his speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club proved that Hong Kong’s attempt to ban his party was a “political incident” beyond the local government.

The Club will welcome Chan, chairman of the Hong Kong National Party, for a luncheon on August 14. Announced on July 30, the speech is titled “Hong Kong Nationalism: A Politically Incorrect Guide to Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule.” The party faces a ban, with authorities asking Chan to respond to a 900-page dossier by September 4.

A representative from the Chinese commissioner’s office in Hong Kong visited the FCC, urging it to reconsider its decision to host Chan.

Andy Chan Ho-tin. File photo:

“From top to bottom, it was planned by the Chinese government, the script was written,” Chan told HKFP.

See also: Explanation: How Hong Kong seeks to ban an independence party using existing national security laws

“This bold exercise of pressure on the FCC is a clear suppression of freedom of speech and the freedom to conduct interviews. They treat Hong Kong like parts of China, where information can be blocked. “

In a statement, the commissioner’s office said the independence forces have seriously violated the Chinese Constitution, the Basic Law and the laws of Hong Kong, and harmed the country’s national security and territorial sovereignty.

“We strongly support the government of the Hong Kong SAR to deal with the matter in accordance with the Basic Law and the laws of the Hong Kong SAR. We strongly oppose any attempt by outside forces to provide a platform for supporters of “Hong Kong independence” to spread their falsehoods, “he said.

Journalism and free expression NGOs criticized the decision.

“Such a move may result in self-censorship on the part of groups to avoid sensitive topics and speakers, as our annual report on freedom of expression points out. We support the FCC which stands by its principles, ”Shirley Yam of the Hong Kong Journalists Association told HKFP.

Cédric Alviani, director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia, told HKFP that he denounced the attempted intimidation of the FCC, “a club which represents the very spirit of press freedom in Hong Kong” .

Foreign correspondents club. Photo: Government of Hong Kong.

“We urge Beijing to respect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which are explicitly written in the basic law signed by China before the handover,” Alviani added.

Acting club president Victor Mallet confirmed that the Bureau made a statement to the FCC: “Our position is that we are a club which is a very strong defender of press freedom and freedom of expression. .

See also: “Enemy of the State” – National Party Founder Andy Chan Says Party “Unmasked” Hong Kong Political Reality

Police last month told the government there was a strong enough case in the interests of “national security, public safety, public order, protection of liberty and the rights of others”For the security secretary to ban the party, citing section 8 (1) (a) of the Companies Ordinance for the first time after the surrender.

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Independence activist returns home to Western Sahara

Aminatou Haidar had been on a hunger strike for 32 days, but was eventually sent home after Morocco admitted her to Western Sahara.


  • Aminatou Haidar finally returns home after 32 days of hunger strike in Spain
  • Morocco allowed her to return home to Western Sahara
  • Haidar was hospitalized the day before after complaining of abdominal pain
  • Haidar still refuses to recognize Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara

Madrid, Spain (CNN) – An award-winning independence activist returned home to Western Sahara early Friday from Spain.

She ended a 32-day hunger strike when Morocco admitted her to disputed territory following multinational negotiations over her case.

A Spanish government plane carrying activist Aminatou Haidar, 43, left Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands at around 10:30 p.m. local time on Thursday for El Aaiun airport in Western Sahara. CNN’s partner channel CNN + reported.

On his arrival, the Moroccan authorities returned his passport to him. They had taken the passport last month when they refused entry to her at the same airport when she refused to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Lamine Baali of the separatist Polisario Front told CNN.

“This is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara,” Haidar said in Lanzarote before boarding the plane.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement, saying: “I was delighted to learn of the Moroccan government’s decision to readmit Aminatou Haidar on humanitarian grounds after her month-long hunger strike in Spain.

“This humanitarian gesture reflects the true spirit and generosity of the Moroccan government and people, and underlines the urgency of finding a permanent solution to the conflict in Western Sahara,” Clinton added.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who met Clinton in Washington last Monday, said in Brussels on Friday that Spain had “made no concessions”.

“We have had broad negotiations with the Moroccan authorities. And we have worked in a coordinated manner with the United States and France” to find a solution, said Moratinos.

It is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara
–Aminatou Haidar

On Thursday evening, Haidar left a hospital in Lanzarote, where she had visited a few hours earlier complaining of abdominal pain, and returned to the airport, where she had conducted most of her hunger strike from 32 days. She then took the plane to her home.

The plane took off moments after the Spanish prime minister’s office issued a statement claiming that Spain “shares the concern of the international community” over the status of the disputed territory of Western Sahara, but that pending a agreement negotiated by the United Nations, Spain “confirms that Morocco’s law applies to the territory of Western Sahara.

Haidar had demanded that she be able to return to Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, without having to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over it.

Baali said Morocco this time did not ask Haidar to fill out a disembarkation card upon arrival, which was a flashpoint last month, when she wrote on a disembarkation card that her nationality was Sahrawi and not Moroccan, Baali said.

Haidar arrived at the airport on the island of Lanzarote – just off the west coast of Morocco – on November 14, shortly after the Moroccan woman refused entry at El Aaiun airport.

She began her hunger strike on November 16, but it ended shortly after she returned home on Friday in the Hay Hazari neighborhood of El Aaiun, about a 30-minute drive from the airport. Baali said, as supporters allegedly cheered her on.

Haidar was initially taking fluids to regain strength, Baali said, and was with her two children and other family members.

Earlier Thursday, the European Parliament abruptly stopped before voting on the Haidar affair when German lawmaker Martin Schulz told parliament it appeared “there would be a solution today”.

“We can help Mrs Haidar more by remaining silent rather than passing a resolution,” Schulz said, according to the parliament’s press office.

During her hunger strike, Madrid offered her Spanish nationality or political asylum, but she refused.

In an emailed statement to reporters, Haidar thanked Spain but said: “I have no intention of applying for Spanish, American or Italian citizenship. I live under Moroccan occupation and I defend, like the rest of the Saharawi people, for ourselves. -determination. “

Spain officially withdrew as a decades-long colonial power in Western Sahara in early 1976, shortly after the Moroccan king led a “green march” with 350,000 Moroccan civilians in the territory to claim it. .

A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front – a group made up mainly of Sahrawis, which promotes the independence of Western Sahara – ensued and was finally halted, after more than a decade, in 1991, thanks to a ceasefire. fire brokered by the United Nations, according to the CIA World Factbook.

A referendum organized by the UN on the final status of the territory has been postponed several times. Morocco presented an autonomy plan to the United Nations, but the Polisario responded with an independence plan for the 405,000 inhabitants of the territory, Muslims of Arab or Berber origin.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, DC, awarded Haidar a Human Rights Fellow last year.

Haidar was recently in New York City to receive another award, the Train Foundation Civil Courage Award for 2009, just before flying to Western Sahara and being denied entry in November, a spokesperson for the foundation, Barbara Becker.

A senior Moroccan government official, Khalihenna Ould Errachid, told CNN + earlier in December in an interview that Haidar “has always been Moroccan”.

“She was never part of the former Spanish Sahara”, added the Moroccan official, “and I say that Aminatou Haidar must regain her Moroccan nationality and say it clearly, and tomorrow she will be able to return, without problem” .

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