Comments for CounterVortex Resisting the Downward Spiral Sun, 25 Oct 2020 03:57:55 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Revolution in Kyrgyzstan: who is in control? by CounterVortex Sun, 25 Oct 2020 03:57:55 +0000 Kyrgyzstan delays parliamentary elections

The Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan voted Oct. 22 to postpone new parliamentary elections until a constitutional reform supported by acting president Sadyr Japarov can be enacted. The current constitution currently bars Japarov from running in the election while he is serving as acting president. (Jurist)

Comment on Guinea: violence mounts ahead of election by CounterVortex Sun, 25 Oct 2020 03:54:33 +0000 Guinea presidential rivals both claim victory

Deadly clashes broke out following presidential elections on Oct. 18. Incumbent President Alpha Conde and opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo have both declared victory, raising fears more violence is to come. The military has been called out to the streets of Conakry to “maintain peace.” (DW)

Comment on ICE detainees in Newark on hunger strike by CounterVortex Sat, 24 Oct 2020 08:55:57 +0000 California court orders San Quentin prison population cutThe California Court of Appeal First Appellate District has ordered San Quentin State Prison (SQ) to reduce its population by half. The move is intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order follows a writ of habeas corpus filed by Ivan Von Staich, an inmate in the prison. Staich, 64, suffers from respiratory problems. When he filed the petition, Staich and a 65-year-old cellmate had tested positive for COVID-19. In fact, 75% of SQ’s inmate population and dozens of prison staff have tested positive. In the petition, Staich stated that conditions in the prison made social distancing impossible. (Jurist)

Comment on Human rights violations seen in NYPD repression by CounterVortex Sat, 24 Oct 2020 08:54:04 +0000 Seattle, New York and Portland sue Trump

The cities of Seattle, New York and Portland filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, challenging his efforts to withhold federal funding from those cities for having permitted “anarchy, violence and destruction” as alleged in a presidential Memorandum issued in early September following a wave of protests and civic disturbances largely animated by concerns over racial justice and police brutality. The plaintiffs argue that the withholding of federal funds is “a blatant violation of the separation of powers.” (Jurist)

Comment on Will human rights be betrayed in US-Taliban deal? by CounterVortex Sat, 24 Oct 2020 00:36:55 +0000 Shariah rule in Herat —even without Taliban

In the city of Herat, religious vigilantes loyal to a local cleric patrol the streets, routinely detaining and interrogating couples they suspect are unmarried. Then the vigilantes take the suspects to the cleric’s tribunals that enforce his interpretation of Shariah law, which forbids public contact between a single woman and an unrelated male. The penalty for violators: the man is whipped or clubbed, and the woman is returned to male relatives for likely punishment.

The cleric, Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari, has also posted billboards declaring that any man whose wife does not completely cover herself in public is a coward. And he has banned music and concerts, while also declaring that COVID-19 was sent by God to punish non-Muslims.

Mawlawi Ansari, 36, has carved out his own fief in the conservative Gozargah district of Herat, a western Afghanistan city renowned for art and culture. Residents say his followers have seized control of the district from the police, who rarely interfere with their enforcement of strict Shariah law. While he denies affiliation with the Taliban, his edicts are an echo of that movement’s harsh Islamic codes—and perhaps a portent of what could come as the insurgency negotiates a power-sharing deal with the government. (NYT)

Comment on #JeSuisCharlie hypocrisy goes off the charts by CounterVortex Fri, 23 Oct 2020 01:05:50 +0000 France outlaws Islamist group after murder of teacher

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced on Oct. 21 that France will ban the Islamist group found to be directly involved in the brutal killing of a French school teacher last week.

Samuel Paty, a history teacher, was beheaded by Abdoulakh Anzorov, a teenager of Chechen origins, over Paty’s use of the “blasphemous” Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad during a class on freedom of expression. Anzorov, who has since been linked to the Islamist group known as the “Sheikh Yassin Collective,” was shot dead by the police.

Paty’s killing prompted massive protests in France, with thousands of people gathering in Paris to pay tribute to the teacher. The founder of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, Abdelhakim Sefrioui is currently in custody and under investigation over charges of incitement of religiously-motivated violence. (Jurist)

Comment on Judge blocks indefinite detention of asylum seekers by CounterVortex Thu, 22 Oct 2020 04:02:31 +0000 Parents of 545 children separated at border still not found

A court-appointed “steering committee” filed a joint status report Oct.  20 providing an update on its efforts to reunite migrant children separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” immigration policy in 2017 and 2018. According to the report, of the 1,030 children identified as a class in Ms, L v, ICE the steering committee has been unable to contact the parents of 545. It is estimated that two-thirds of the parents have been removed to their home countries without their children. About 60 of the children were under the age of five when they were separated, the documents show. (JuristNYT)

Comment on China elected to UN rights council: Orwellian irony by CounterVortex Wed, 21 Oct 2020 05:20:18 +0000 ‘Massacre’ in Lagos as soldiers fire on protesters

Soldiers fired on Nigerians protesting against police brutality in the Lekki district of Lagos, killing several, witnesses say. The army is denying that their troops were on the scene, with the general command tweeting that the reports are “FAKE NEWS!” But video from the scene has been posted online, seeming to show soliders opening fire. Protests had continued in defiance of a curfew imposed days earlier. (ReutersSahara Reporters)

Comment on Yes, the Russians. Wake up and smell the vodka. by CounterVortex Wed, 21 Oct 2020 04:44:41 +0000 Russian military officers charged for worldwide cyberattacks

The US Department of Justice indicted six military officers from the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) on Oct. 19.

The charges against the officers include using malware to cause blackouts in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016; $1 billion in losses to three corporations in 2017; disrupting computers supporting the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics; hack-and-leak efforts against French President Emmanuel Macron’s party prior to the 2017 elections; and targeting Georgian companies and government entities in 2018. The officers are also accused of damaging computer networks in France, Georgia, the Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the UK and the US. It is likely the six officers will only see the inside of a US courtroom if they are caught in a country with an extradition treaty with the US.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers accused Russia of weaponizing its cyber capabilities maliciously and irresponsibly, and “wantonly causing unprecedented collateral damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite.” In support of his allegations, Demers pointed out that the attacks on the Ukrainian power grid took place during winter. (Jurist)

Comment on Xi proves: capitalism, totalitarianism no contradiction by Bill Weinberg Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:46:32 +0000 Xi pledges ‘property rights,’ protections for entrepreneurs

Shenzhen will strengthen property rights and protection of entrepreneurs, Xi Jinping said Oct. 14 in a speech to marking the establishment of China’s first economic zone in the southern city four decades earlier. The Shenzhen government will get more leeway to pursue reforms and become a “model city for a strong socialist country,” Xi said. (Reuters)

How do they square it? I mean, really—how do they square it?