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Protests in Malaysia against alleged ...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
By FirstName LastName
08 May 2013

Umbrellas and flags in the rain at opposition rally.

Protests in Malaysia against alleged “fraudulent” election
Malaysian protestors defy police ban to rally against election results
By Phillippa Stewart, Kuala Lumpur
Thousands of protestors risked arrest to attend a rally to protest against what opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has called “the worst electoral fraud” in Malaysia’s history.

Local election watchdogs have also questioned the results of the election.

A joint report released Wednesday by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) said that the election was “only partially free and not fair.” http://ideas.org.my/?p=6799

The report said the election was carried out “on a very uneven field” citing: a pro-government media bias in mainstream media, lack of transparency in campaign spending, questions over the lack of trust in the integrity of the electoral roll, the impartiality of the Election Commission, exploitation of racial issues, and unreliable indelible ink.

The United States and European Union also acknowledged concerns over electoral “irregularities,” according to AFP.

The government has denied any wrongdoing.

Dressed in black protestors packed into Kelana Jaya stadium on the outskirts of the capital; cars left abandoned on the motorway.

Waving flags, blowing vuvuzelas and rocking out to upbeat tunes the mood was more festive than fearful. Opposition leaders roused the crowds with statements like: “we will win the war”, “today we start the fight back” and “reformasi” (reform).

Aman Shah Ahmad, 47, a construction work was helping his brother sell black t-shirts at the entrance to the stadium.

“We have problems with authoritarian rule. Everything looks democratic but there’s lots of hanky-panky going on behind the scenes. I want the election result to be reviewed. We want a re-election. Please tell the world,” he said.

Asked if he was afraid of being arrested, he said: “how are the police going to arrest all of us? There’s not enough space in the police stations to luck us all up!”

Mukhzani Alia, 18, a student, said: “we want change in the government. They’ve spent the last 55 years cheating on us, it’s time for change.”
Sharon Balon, 22, and her family were outside the stadium holding yellow flowers and anti government placards.
“We’ve had to leave the stadium,” she said. “It’s too hot in there – so many people. We are all so angry, that’s why we’re here tonight.” Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, reported that the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, had warned that rally participants would be arrested. http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v7/newsindex.php?id=948221

Evoking the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the police said the rally was illegal because organisers did not apply for a police permit for the event. Organisers must also inform the police 10 days before an event.

According to AFP, the opposition acknowledged the rally was “not within the letter of the law.”

However, there was no visible police presence at the rally.

Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was returned to power Sunday, although with a reduced majority. The Barisan Nasional coalition has been in power since 1957.

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Authority for the Promotion of Virtue
Aleppo, Syria
By salem_rizk
26 Feb 2013

At times appearing beneath a banner with the name "The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria," a man referred to as Abu Sulayman introduces "The Committee for the Protection of Virtue and Defense of the Oppressed." The name of this committee is similar to that of the police that enforce Sharia Law in Saudi Arabia, called, "The Committee for the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice." In his statement, Mr. Sulayman describes the provision of aid and the provision of security and policing as two core aspects of the committee's mission. Following his statement are a series of brief interviews, including people seeking assistance from the committee as well as a member of the committee apparently interacting with one of their detainees in a temporary holding cell.

Partial transcription below. Full transcription, including time code, is available on request.

[Transcript from the video statement]: We are members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Defense of the Oppressed. We work primarily on security and policing. Our security arm operates throughout all of the liberated areas. As everyone knows, many violations and crimes have occurred and are occurring at the hands of both civilians and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

God willing, we will now be able to provide security by utilizing our committee's Islamic civilian police force so that we might stand against all criminals and violators who would damage public or private property. As far as our security and policing operations in the liberated areas, we go on patrols, set up checkpoints and send committee forces to provide the security and curb theft and other transgressions.

We always seek peaceful solutions, especially when it involves any armed groups (FSA members), by sending respected religious authorities to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. If this approach does not succeed, then we use force to arrest the offending party, whether it is an individual or a group. The offender is then brought to our Sharia Law Committee.

As mentioned, our work in this committee is multi-faceted, and includes providing assistance to those in need. The aid side is a very important aspect of our work.

[Excerpts from the interviews]:


[A civilian woman]: I have come here because my children are hungry and I am hungry, and we have been for the past 3 months; and for 3 months they have been promising assistance, and I haven't seen anything. My cousin came here asking for a house and they haven't provided her with one.

[Mr. Sulayman, speaking to one of the religious authorities, apparently also on the committee]: "To avoid the temptation that a woman living alone can introduce in the community, we need to provide this woman with a home."

[Mr. Sulayman, speaking to the same woman, who has approached the committee for housing assistance]: "Take care of your home (don't break sharia law), be a good muslim, keep your children with you, and we will provide you with a house."

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Protests In Bahrain Challenging Ban O...
Duraz, Bahrain
By Media Made by Bahraini People
02 Nov 2012

Carrying posters of Sheikh Issa Qassim, the Bahraini people, challenging authorities' decision to ban all political gatherings, succeeded today, Friday, November 2, 2012, in organizing marches, demanding that officials free a well-known opposition leader Mr. Hassan Mishaima who is allegedly complaining of symptoms from cancer. Demonstrations occurred in several villages around Manama with protesters calling for real transformation, democracy and freedom.

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Egyptians Differ on Morsi’s Decision ...
Cairo, Egypt
By U.S. Editor
13 Aug 2012

The recent controversial decisions of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi to retire and replace former head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and former Major-General Sami Anan created a debate among Egyptians.

Several revolutionary figures hailed Morsi's Sunday decisions, yet remained skeptical to their potential impact.

The debate also involved military experts and political analysts; especially because Morsi cancelled the SCAF Complementary Constitutional Declaration that used to limit his powers as President.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Talaat Mesallam, retired military general, strategic expert:
“I see that these decisions represent a constitutional coup which cancels the constitutional declaration according to which the president had been elected. The more that he has given to himself unprecedented authority without limits as he will issue the new constitutional declaration.” SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed, political analyst, Al-Ahram state-run newspaper:
“These decisions were a chance to finalize the conflict between the military authority and the civil authority for the sake of one authority which is the elected one, to run the country as well as to allow the SCAF to return back to its normal role as protector of the country’s national security. Therefore the decisions were welcomed and widely accepted by several different sectors of the Egyptian society as well as revolutionary forces.”

Morsi appointed Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as SCAF Chief and Defense Minister to replace Tantawi and Judge Mahmoud Mekki as his Vice-President.

Some Egyptians see that Morsi’s decisions were a step on the right track to restore his full powers as the legitimate elected civilian president.

Others believe that Morsi’s decisions are against the constitution and represent a step in the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to control the country.

SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) - Sayyed Ibrahim, employee:
“As for the decision made by President Mohamed Morsi, I see that it is a bit late too late but it is 100% right because authority cannot be divided between two institutions, the President and the SCAF, so he practiced his legitimate and natural authorities which are recognized in all countries.”

SOUNDBITE 4 (Arabic) - Mohsen Mohamed, lawyer:
“Yesterday he violated the constitution and cancelled the complementary constitutional declaration which is a contrary to his powers. It is not within the authority of the President to cancel the constitutional declaration.”

Morsi said in a speech on Sunday evening that the decisions he made were in the best interest of Egypt and that they were not intended embarrass certain individuals or institutions.

The decisions seem to be broadly welcomed by Islamist, non-Islamist and revolutionary parties.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: August 14, 2012 (and archive)
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: August 14, 2012
Length: 0:02:57
Video Size: 145 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS and Egyptian State TV

SHOTLIST:

1- Pan right, Egyptian Presidency headquarters in Cairo
2- Medium shot, President Mohamed Morsi in a press conference (archive)
3- Medium shot, Presidency logo
4- Medium shot, Morsi speaking in a press conference (archive)
5- Various shots of former SCAF Hussein Tantawi and former Chief of Staff Sami Anan shaking hands and watching a military parade (archive)
6- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Talaat Mesallam, retired military general, strategic expert:
“I see that these decisions represent a constitutional coup which cancels the constitutional declaration according to which the president had been elected. The more that he has given to himself unprecedented authorities without limits as he will issue the new constitutional declaration.” 7- SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Ahmed Sayyed Ahmed, political analyst, Al-Ahram state-run newspaper:
“These decisions were a chance to finalize the conflict between the military authority and the civil authority for the sake of one authority which is the elected one to run the country as well as to allow the SCAF to return back to its normal role to protect the country’s national security. Therefore the decisions had been welcomed and accepted by popularity and a lot of different sectors of the Egyptian society as well as revolutionary forces.” 8- Various shots of newly appointed Vice-President Mahmoud Mekki taking oath of office before Morsi (archive)
9- Various shots of newly appointed SCAF Chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi taking oath of office before Morsi (archive)
10- Various shots of Egyptians in the streets
11- SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) - Sayyed Ibrahim, employee:
“As for the decision made by President Mohamed Morsi, I see that it is a bit late too late but it is right 100% because authority cannot be divided between two institutions the President and the SCAF so, he practiced his legitimate and natural authorities which are recognized in all countries.” SOUNDBITE 4 (Arabic) - Mohsen Mohamed, lawyer:
“Yesterday he violated the constitution and cancelled the complementary constitutional declaration which is a contrary to his powers. It is not from the authorities of the President to cancel the constitutional declaration.” 12- Wide shot, the attendees at Al-Azhar University conference hall applauding for Morsi (archive)
13- Pan left, Morsi heading to the podium to deliver his speech (archive)
14- Various shots of Morsi during his speech (archive)
15- Wide overview shot, Cairo and the River Nile