Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More repression in Turkey

PEN Turkey under investigation for ‘insulting the state’

English PEN is concerned that our sister organisation PEN Turkey is facing a preliminary criminal investigation as a result of critical comments about the ongoing prosecution of pianist and composer Fazıl Say.

Six members of the PEN Turkey board (President Tarık Günersel, Vice-President Halil İbrahim Özcan, General Secretary Sabri Kuşkonmaz, Treasurer Tülin Dursun, and board members Zeynep Oral and Mario Levi) and poet and critic Nihat Ateş (who uploaded the content to the PEN Turkey website) were called in for questioning today by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office.

In June 2012, PEN Turkey’s website carried a statement condemning the prosecution of the musician Fazil Say for religious defamation, in which the centre stated that ‘the international community has been put on alert in the face of fascist developments in Turkey’.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, PEN Turkey board members may face charges under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (publicly denigrating Turkish ethnicity, the government of Turkey, its institutions or its military/security forces), which carries a prison sentence of six months to two years. In addition, board members may face charges of ‘attempting to influence the judicial process’ under Article 288 of the Turkish Penal Code. According to reports, the accusation against PEN Turkey was made by a private individual.

English PEN believes that PEN Turkey was exercising its right to freedom of expression, and that it was making legitimate critical comment about a controversial trial. Article 301 protects the state and its institutions from being criticised by its citizens and restricts the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression in Turkey. Safeguarding dissent and critical expression is a crucial component of an open society.

Jo Glanville, director of English PEN said: ‘We strongly urge the Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin to repeal Article 301 and to drop the investigation against PEN Turkey at the earliest opportunity.’

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Russell Tribunal on Palestine, New York Session, on satellite TV

Dear RToP Community,

This message is to inform you that the Russell Tribunal on Palestine NY Session will be broadcasted on FSTV. FSTV will broadcast four 2-hour segments that were produced by Deep Dish TV. Each broadcast will be repeated several times, starting in January. Also, the FSTV broadcasts will be carried on as many as 200 public access stations, including MNN in New York.

The schedule is below. We hope you can tune in!

Russell Tribunal on Palestine - New York Session
Broadcast Schedule on Free Speech TV
Dish Network Channel 9415 (satellite)
DirecTV Channel 348 (satellite)

The Tribunal will be broadcast in four 2-hour blocs

Russell Tribunal on Palestine - New York - Program #1
Monday January 28, 10pm ET

Tue Jan 29 at 1pm ET, Wed Jan 30 at 10am ET, Thursday Jan 31 at 3am ET, Saturday Feb 2 at 4pm ET, Monday Feb 4 at 4am ET

Russell Tribunal on Palestine - New York - Program #2
Monday February 4, 10pm ET

Tue Feb 5 at 1pm ET, Wed Feb 6 at 10am ET, Thursday Feb 7 at 3am ET, Saturday Feb 9 at 4pm ET, Monday Feb 11 at 4am ET (repeats)

Russell Tribunal on Palestine - New York - Program #3
Monday February 11, 10pm ET

Tue Feb 12 at 1pm ET, Wed Feb 13 at 10am ET, Thursday Feb 14 at 3am ET, Saturday Feb 16 at 4pm ET, Monday Feb 18 at 4am ET (repeats)

Russell Tribunal on Palestine - New York - Program #4
Monday February 18, 10pm ET

Tue Feb 19 at 1pm ET, Wed Feb 20 at 10am ET, Thursday Feb 21 at 3am ET, Saturday Feb 23 at 4pm ET, Monday Feb 25 at 4am ET (repeats)

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Big Brother in New Zealand


January 18-20, 2013

The Kim Dotcom saga has certainly put the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and its Waihopai spy base smack bang into the glare of the spotlight.

Not coincidentally this is happening in the same year that the Government has got New Zealand back into ANZUS in all but name. NZ has hosted its first visit from a US Defense Secretary for 30 years and he offered to base US marines here. For the first time since the 1980s, American troops have trained here; NZ troops have trained in the US; and NZ warships have taken part in US-led naval exercises. How ironic that all this was happening at the same time as the country was celebrating the 25th anniversary of our nuclear free law.

The public face of New Zealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence in Afghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to the global American warfighting machine is, and has been for more than 20 years, the Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base, located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. It is controlled by the US, with New Zealand (including Parliament and the Prime Minister) having little or no idea what goes on there, let alone any control.

First announced in 1987, Waihopai is operated by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its satellite interception dishes intercept a huge volume of civilian telephone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications.

It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency (NSA). Its targets are international civilian communications involving New Zealanders, including the interception of international phone calls.

Post- 9/11 the GCSB and Waihopai now spy further afield, to those regions where the US is waging wars. The codename for this – Echelon – has become notorious worldwide as the vast scope of its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, and certainly not citizens.

Join us for the weekend of anti-war protest at this spy base. Come prepared for roughing it and camping out. We provide the food (we cater for vegetarians but vegans will have to bring their own). Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $40 (or $20 unwaged) to cover costs. No open fires.

How to find our camp at Whites Bay: turn off SH1 at Tuamarina (9km north of Blenheim or 20 km south of Picton) and drive to Rarangi on the coast. Follow the steep Port Underwood Road over the hilltop before descending to the Whites Bay turnoff. There is a DoC public camp at the bay with basic facilities. ABC has to pay a fixed charge per head.

Waihopai does not operate in the interests of New Zealanders or our neighbours.

Basically it is a foreign spy base on NZ soil and directly involves us in America’s wars.

Waihopai must be closed.

I want to take part in the Weekend of Protest




I enclose $40 ($20 unwaged) per person registration to cover costs $______

I want to make a donation to the Waihopai campaign $_______

I can help with publicity in my area or network – Yes/No

I want to join the Anti-Bases Campaign. Annual membership is $20 ______

(includes subscription to Peace Researcher)


Organised by the Anti-Bases Campaign, P.O. Box 2258, Christchurch.
Make all cheques to ABC

Anti-Bases Campaign
Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand

For details of our bank account for online payments, see  

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