Sunday, September 25, 2022

Exiled Dissident Fuelling the Hijab Protests in Iran

                    (Dexter Filkins’s article from the NEW YORKER on 24 September 2022.)

Since 2014, Masih Alinejad has published videos of Iranian women removing their head scarves. When a twenty-two-year-old died last week in the morality police’s custody, the country exploded.

Women from across Iran are pulling off their hijabs and lighting them on fire, flouting the country’s gray-bearded theocrats in dramatic scenes of a population struggling to set itself free. Of all the astonishments pouring forth from the Islamic Republic, perhaps the most remarkable is the fact that Iran was brought to this point, at least in part, by an unpaid forty-six-year-old mother working from an F.B.I. safehouse in New York City.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist who was driven into exile thirteen years ago, has helped galvanize the country’s women, amassing some ten million followers on her social-media sites and spurring them to trash the most potent symbol of the regime’s legalized gender-apartheid: the hijab, the hair covering mandated for every adult woman.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Elon Musk’s Starlink Fighting for Iranian Women

                      (Staff article from The ALJAZEERA on 24 September 2022.)

Elon Musk greenlit to activate Starlink internet for Iranians: Legal guidance by the American government on expanding internet services to Iranians was changed despite US sanctions on the country.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been given the green light by the United States government to activate the satellite internet service Starlink to help Iranians protesting against the death of a woman in police custody.

Access to social media and some content is tightly restricted in Iran and significant internet outages were reported across the country on Saturday, with one of the biggest mobile phone operators disrupted, leaving millions of Iranians offline.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Myanmar Dog-soldiers Sodomized Frontier Journalist

              (Ye Mons’ article from The FRONTIER MYANMAR on 16 September 2022.)

I reported on the military’s abuses, and then I became a victim: In a rare first-hand account, Frontier journalist Ye Mon recounts being beaten and sexually abused by regime soldiers in December 2021 after being detained at Yangon International Airport.

I couldn’t see the soldiers through my blindfold, but their words were terrifying enough. “If they refused to answer our questions, we raped them – women and men – and then killed them.” Despite the casual delivery, it was clear that the soldiers were threatening me. I had read numerous reports about soldiers sexually assaulting people in detention but I never imagined it would happen to me.

After covering the aftermath of the February 2021 coup along with my Frontier colleagues, I quietly flew out of Yangon to Thailand in October. The State Administration Council, as the junta calls itself, had been increasingly targeting journalists and I no longer felt safe. I had been living in a safe house for months, and soldiers and police visited my former residence at least twice looking for me.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Burma Rebel Surgeon – Dr. Soe Min

         (DR. Than Naing Oo’s post from the EURASIA REVIEW on 06 September 2022.) 

The 21st Century Burma Surgeon – OpEd: Dr. Soe Min stared at the monsoon downpour that varied between drizzling and torrential rain from inside his makeshift field hospital—a squat building with open sides, a corrugated roof, and wooden floor. 

The dirt road leading to the hospital had become a mud field.  He has just operated on a villager who stepped on a landmine. His next case was a routine one, an appendectomy.  Not far from the hospital, at the village of Sezin, a fierce fight had recently taken place between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) joined by the newly minted Peoples Defense Forces (PDF). 

They were squaring off against Burma’s military known at the Tatmadaw who were reinforced by the local Shanni Nationalities Army (SNA).  The fighting had produced a flood of refugees, many badly wounded.  There is a risk the hospital may need to be closed or relocated should the fighting spread.  Dr.  Min has made contingency plans for such a scenario – he has to; after being in this war zone for the past 12 months, he must prepare for everything.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Burmese Gold Smuggled Across Border Into India

                          (Staff article from The FRONTIER MYANMAR on 20 July 2022.)

Captured gold bars at India-Burma border.
After the gold rush: How the Myanmar junta created, and then crushed, a surge in smuggling. Shwe Bon Thar Street in downtown Yangon has been the bustling hub of Myanmar’s gold trade since the colonial period, when it was known as Mogul Street. In recent months, however, its gold shops have gone unusually quiet.

Traders have deserted the market since mid-May due to a series of arrests and other interventions by the military regime aimed at controlling the trade and fighting rampant smuggling, speculation and hoarding.

In Myanmar, gold is a popular hedge against economic downturns. Sales have spiked since the February 2021 coup d’état, which sparked widespread resistance and crushed confidence in the economy.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Zawahiri Shredded into Pieces by Flying Ginsus

                 (Sandra Favier’s article from The LE MONDE on 03 August 2022.)

Ayman al-Zawahiri's death: What is the Hellfire R9X missile that the Americans purportedly used? Washington is reported to have used a 'ninja bomb' equipped with six blades that deploy before impact to shred its target without any blast effect.

After President Joe Biden's August 1 announcement of the death of Al-Qaeda's number one operative, Ayman al-Zawahiri, information about the weapon used remains unclear. Mr. Biden referred to a drone strike in his short speech from the White House. An American official told the press on condition of anonymity that the drone had dropped two Hellfire missiles and that no American military presence on the ground had been necessary.

Kabul, for its part, initially denied a drone strike, referring to a "rocket" that had hit "an empty house," before acknowledging on Tuesday morning that an "air attack" had been carried out by "American drones."

There were no traces of an explosion on the targeted building or collateral victims, although the family of the Al-Qaeda leader was present in the house. All these clues point to the use of a secret missile, which is believed to have been involved in other targeted assassinations of extremist leaders, but whose use the Pentagon has never confirmed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

World Condemns Myanmar For Hanging Demo Activists

                            (Staff article from The REUTERS on 25 July 2022.)

World condemns Myanmar junta for 'cruel' execution of activists: Myanmar's ruling military announced on Monday it had executed four democracy activists accused of aiding "terror acts", sparking widespread condemnation of the country's first executions in decades.

Sentenced to death in secretive trials in January and April, the men were accused of helping a civilian resistance movement that has fought the military since last year's coup and bloody crackdown on nationwide protests.

Among those executed were democracy campaigner  Kyaw Min Yu, better known as Jimmy, and former lawmaker and hip-hop artist Phyo Zeya Thaw, an ally of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The two others executed were Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. State media said "the punishment has been conducted", but did not say when, or by what method. Previous executions in Myanmar have been by hanging.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Father of al-Qaeda Terrorist Deported From US

                (ICE Removal Statement from The US ICE on 08 July 2022.)

DENVER — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Denver Field Office removed a noncitizen associated with known terrorists from the United States on June 13 to Afghanistan via commercial air flights.

Mohammed Wali Zazi, 66, was convicted of visa fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice in February 2012. Zazi entered the United States Aug. 8, 1990, and became a naturalized citizen, Oct. 23, 2007.

A U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York convicted Zazi for conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, and visa fraud Feb. 10, 2012. He was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Myanmar Army’s Fake Peace Talks In Burma

                 (David Scott Mathieson’s  article from The ASIA TIMES on 07 July 2022.)

Myanmar soldiers: Killed & Wounded
Myanmar’s ‘peace talks’ a dangerous diversion: Myanmar's military regime is talking about peace while waging brutal war.  

Myanmar is in conflict freefall, as the State Administration Council (SAC) junta regime fights a myriad of proliferating resistance groups on fronts across the country, many galvanized to arms by the military’s democracy-toppling February 2021 coup.

Fighting in western regions such as Sagaing, Magwe and Chin State has surged in recent months, as scores of People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) ambush military columns and battle pro-SAC militias.

The military, in turn, has pulverized civilian villages with air strikes, heavy artillery and army columns in expeditionary arson campaigns that have destroyed close to 20,000 houses, by some estimates. Internal displacement in the country, meanwhile, has surpassed one million.