By Yuan Weijin (THE WASHINGTON POST, 12/10/06):
DONGSHIGU, China -- On Aug. 20, the Yinan County People's Court in Shandong province sentenced my husband, Chen Guangcheng, to four years and three months in prison on charges of "intentionally destroying property" and "assembling a crowd to disturb traffic."
Local officials punished my husband because he provided advice about the law and human rights to village women who were forced to undergo abortions. Officials in charge of birth control were afraid that they would be disciplined as a result of his peaceful activities.
I have not seen my husband since March, when he was formally detained after we both had been under house arrest and residential surveillance for six months.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jim Hoagland (THE WASHINGTON POST, 12/10/06):
North Korea has, in its own inimitable fashion, paid tribute to a little-noticed U.S. push to get the world's bankers to isolate regimes that promote nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Who else would claim to have conducted a nuclear weapons test and then threaten more blasts to get their way in a $24 million banking dispute?
Don't they have any good lawyers in Pyongyang?
North Korea's efforts to blame its crossing of the nuclear-testing threshold on U.S. "economic hostility" would be laughable if the regime weren't led by world-class paranoids and fantasists capable of believing their own odious propaganda.… Seguir leyendo »
By B. R. Myers, an associate professor of North Korean studies at Korea University, is the author of 'Han Sorya and North Korean Literature' (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12/10/06):
HOURS after Monday’s nuclear test, President Bush issued a stern warning to North Korea — but only against the passing of nuclear technology to other states or non-state entities. The president’s declaration thus reflected a confident consensus in Washington that while Kim Jong-il may try selling his nukes, he would never dream of using them himself. Why not? The explanation was given by a former national security adviser, Donald Gregg, on Monday: “Don’t panic.… Seguir leyendo »
By Richard Horton, the editor of the Lance (THE GUARDIAN, 12/10/06):
Many people refused to believe the Lancet report in 2004 from a group of American and Iraqi public-health scientists who surveyed homes across the country and found that about 100,000 additional Iraqi deaths had taken place since the coalition invasion in March 2003. Several government ministers were deployed to destroy the credibility of the findings and, in large part, they succeeded. But now their denials have come back to haunt them, for the figures from Iraq have been confirmed by a further study.
The same team from Johns Hopkins University worked with Iraqi doctors to visit over 1,800 homes in Iraq, selected randomly to make sure that no bias could creep in to their calculations.… Seguir leyendo »
By Thomas de Waal, the Caucasus editor at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, and the author of the introduction to Anna Politkovskaya's book 'A Dirty War' (THE GUARDIAN, 12/10/06):
The murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya leaves a terrible silence in Russia and an information void about a dark realm that we need to know more about. No one else reported as she did on the Russian north Caucasus and the abuse of human rights there. Her reports made for difficult reading - and Politkovskaya only got where she did by being one of life's difficult people.Since 1999 she had made dozens of trips to Chechnya and the surrounding regions, reporting on the bombings, torture camps, abductions and corruption in Moscow's second campaign in Chechnya.… Seguir leyendo »
By Timothy Garton Ash (THE GUARDIAN, 12/10/06):
I have been meaning for some time to write a column in defence of the hijab, on the same grounds on which I defended free speech last week. In a free country people should be able to wear what they like, just as they should be able to say what they like, so long as it does not imperil the life or liberty of others. My only reason for hesitating was the thought that I, as a non-Muslim man, am not self-evidently well qualified to judge what the hijab means to Muslim women. If a female Muslim journalist were to write about, say, the problems of jockstrap-wearing among rugby forwards, a similar objection might be made.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Antoni Segura, catedrático de Historia Contemporánea y director del Centre d'Estudis Històrics Internacionals (CEHI) de la Universidad de Barcelona (EL PAÍS, 12/10/06):
Desde la adopción del principio de "guerra preventiva", las relaciones entre el mundo musulmán y Occidente han empeorado. En el último estudio de opinión de The Pew Research Center (The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims view each other, junio de 2006) se apunta que, "después de un año marcado por los disturbios de las caricaturas de Mahoma, el mayor ataque terrorista en Londres y la continuación de las guerras en Irak y Afganistán, muchos musulmanes y occidentales están convencidos de que las relaciones entre ambos son malas.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo, historiadora y directora del Gabinete del secretario general del PP (EL MUNDO, 12/10/06):
«Bienvenida a la Cataluña civilizada y democrática del siglo XXI». El mensaje de texto se coló entre las decenas de llamadas que fuimos recibiendo a lo largo de la noche. La ironía, después de tanta angustia y tensión, resultaba balsámica. He escrito muchas veces, bajo la luz de neón de una redacción reconfortante por familiar, sobre la política catalana, la hegemonía del nacionalismo, el retroceso de las libertades y la necesidad de una profunda regeneración democrática en Cataluña y también en España.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Pascal Boniface, director del Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales y Estratégicas de París. Traducción: José María Puig de la Bellacasa (LA VANGUARDIA, 12/10/06):
Corea del Norte realizó una prueba nuclear el pasado 8 de octubre pese a los ruegos unánimes de la comunidad internacional para que renunciara a ella. Desde luego era bien sabido hace tiempo que Corea del Norte disponía de armas nucleares, y el propio país así lo había proclamado en febrero del 2005. Esta última prueba no modifica por tanto de manera radical los parámetros estratégicos en el sentido de alumbrar un nuevo Estado nuclear en el planeta.… Seguir leyendo »