Entries in Anti-Government Protests (14)


Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Speaks Out Against Protesters

Photo by Kazuhiro Ibuki - Pool/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- Massive groups of anti-government demonstrators are rallying again on Sunday in Istanbul, the 10th consecutive day of protests against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan himself took to the top of a bus earlier on Sunday, telling his supporters that he had no intention of backing down in the face of the protests. Erdogan condemned his opponents as "looters," and according to BBC News, he urged his supporters to respond to the protests by turning out to vote in next year's local elections.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Protests Continue Throughout Turkey

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) -- Protesters continued demonstrations in a number of major cities in Turkey on Sunday, voicing frustration with authoritarianism and urging the government to resign after violence was used on peaceful demonstrators earlier this week.

The protests began after demonstrators protesting the destruction of Istanbul's Gezi Park were confronted with police violence on Friday. Since then, protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have broken out in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Many Turks accuse Erdogan of growing authoritarianism and spearheading Islamization.

Erdogan gave a defiant speech on Saturday in which he said that he could turn out one million people to the streets to defend him and that the true cause of violence was extremists among the protesters.

USA Today reports that over 933 people in 90 separate protests across the nation had been arrested in connection with the protests as of Saturday, but that some had been released.

In addition to the unpopular construction of a mall on the site of Gezi park, Erdogan has also created stringent restrictions on alcohol in the past month. He also recently stated publicly that women should have a minimum of three children, says USA Today.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


In Face of Crackdown, Some Russian Protesters Growing Weary

Moscow protest in December 2011. (Harry Engels/Getty Images)(MOSCOW) -- Protestors opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin have been denied permission to march through Moscow on Saturday, prompting defiance from some, but hopelessness in many others.

Alyona Bykova says that while she enthusiastically attended a similar protest a year ago, her enthusiasm has waned.  

Last December, “we had a feeling that history was happening right before our eyes," she recalled.  Now, she says, “I don't really see what could change.”

Police have warned Russians not to test them by marching.  In the past, they have responded with force, polarizing opposition members who have either grown more outraged or more cowed in the face of violence.

Bykova does not think the situation in Russia has improved. She is disillusioned with the repeated protests that she says have accomplished little over the past year. She sees little chance they'll work now.

"We can work on this downstairs level," she says, referring to local campaigns that she still remains involved in. "But upstairs is untouchable. There's nothing we can do. To make Putin go away, there's nothing we can do."

Authorities sent another shot across the bow today when they rolled out new allegations of money laundering against prominent protest leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and his brother. Navalny tweeted that his family’s apartments and businesses were being searched.

Even so, Bykova says she feels alienated from her former comrades.

"Now it seems like there are radicals on both sides," she added. "I don't really see the point of going out."

She still feels that Russia is on the cusp of change, but thinks it may be farther down the road than she had hoped.

"I would say we will see see some huge changes soon. Probably in the next three to five years. But right now it seems like things are getting worse just to get to the next step. I really hope that this is the case," she said. "It’s still going on, but not that fast."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Letter From Damascus: ‘It Feels Like This Will Never End’


On this first anniversary of the start of the Syrian uprising, I wrote to a friend in Damascus to ask how things are going and where they might be headed. Syria’s two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, have seen almost none of the violence that has gripped the rest of the country, except for a string of suicide bombings.

However, they certainly feel the effects of the regime’s crackdowns elsewhere and the impact of the harsh international economic sanctions that have followed.

The friend is Christian, middle class and agreed to let me publish her thoughts and observations here. I have made minor edits.

“Being in the capital things feel a lot less stressful than the outskirts. But still as girls we used to go out at night with no problems, now it’s definitely not as safe as it used to feel before. I try to be home by dark and if I need to park my car away from home and it’s late, someone from the house would have to meet me and walk with me to the house...Every once in a while you hear sporadic gunfire… Last night around 2:00 o’clock at night I heard four consecutive blasts.

“We have power cuts of six hours total a day and I try to arrange my schedules around the power cuts schedules. Talking to people and being part of it, everyone is so sick of the power cuts. In the suburban areas they have almost up to 12 hrs…

“The sanctions don’t end at the power cuts. For example now at the house we are running out of diesel and we are waiting for our turn for the fills. It’s more expensive and we just had enough to heat water for showers. There was a gas shortage ten days ago and there were long lines at the gas stations. Kids have to study and do homework on little lamps or even candles. The food has become expensive. Basic foods like eggs, milk for kids, chicken. Almost every product now costs double what it used to.

“It doesn’t matter anymore if I feel the regime is winning, which it looks like they are. The overall popular uprising will never stop, simply too many people have lost their dear family members and this will never stop. It feels more like when one area is silenced for couple of days another become active!

“It seems that if the international community wanted this regime out, it would have been out a long time ago. Now the case seems to have shifted on humanitarian aid rather than the uprising generally.

“I feels like this will never end. Now there are two armed sides with lots of blood and the regime will not give up. The only way is through negotiations which have failed to even start.

“People are definitely worried and depressed, the young now feel like the world has shut the door to them. I know many that have offers to work in the [United Arab] Emirates after a year of unemployment or so in Syria. But now they can’t go because they can’t get visas.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Anti-Government Protests Continue in Egypt's Tahrir Square

ABC News(CAIRO) -- Cairo's central square on Wednesday is once again the scene of violent anti-government protests.

Egyptian riot police are using tear gas and firing rubber bullets, but a few thousand protestors are refusing to leave the area around Tahrir Square. Some of them are throwing rocks and firebombs at the police. Dozens have been injured.

Many of the protestors are reportedly relatives of the 850 people killed during the revolution that took place earlier this year, which prompted Hosni Mubarak to step down as Egypt’s president.

Demonstrators say they're angry that the new military government hasn't begun prosecuting the police who protestors believe are responsible for those deaths.  Others say they're frustrated by the slow pace of political reform.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Celebrations Erupt as Yemen President Departs for Saudi Arabia

AFP/Getty Images(SANAA, Yemen) -- Thousands of Yemen citizens flooded the nation’s capital on Sunday to celebrate the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh left the country on Saturday after being injured during an attack on his compound on Friday, and has reportedly gone to Saudi Arabia to seek medical treatment.

Saleh’s departure comes after four months of protests, as demonstrators called for him to step down as president. Upon learning of his departure, demonstrators descended upon Sanaa’s University Square and gathered on city streets, where they chanted and waved flags in a celebratory manner.

It remains unknown if Saleh will return to Yemen.

Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has assumed the role of acting president and commander of the armed forces.

Violence continued in Sanaa and the city of Taiz over the weekend, with fighting between Yemen security forces and members of Sadeq al-Ahmar’s tribe leaving at least 10 people dead, the BBC reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Signs New Sanctions Against Syrian President Assad

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of the violent crackdown by the government of Syria against demonstrators in its streets, President Obama today signed an Executive Order imposing sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six other senior officials of the government of Syria. The sanctions include a freeze of their U.S. assets and a ban on any individual or company in the U.S. doing business with them.

The six other individuals are all high-level offices in the Syrian government:

  • Farouk al-Shara: Vice President
  • Adel Safar: Prime Minister
  • Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar: Minister of the Interior
  • Ali Habib Mahmoud: Minister of Defense
  • Abdul Fatah Qudsiya: Head of Syrian Military Intelligence
  • Mohammed Dib Zaitoun: Director of Political Security Directorate

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House to Yemeni President: Sign Agreement, Get Out

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House called President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen on Wednesday to urge him to sign and implement the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered agreement that would result in his stepping down within a month.

John Brennan, President Obama's top adviser on counterterrorism and the point-man for Yemen, made the phone call, delivering the message that the agreement should be signed "so that Yemen is able to move forward immediately with its political transition," according to the official read-out of the call.

Under the agreement, Saleh would resign with immunity by the end of the month. His political party --  led by vice president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi -- would work with opposition leaders to form a unity government and a presidential election would be held within two months.

Saleh went back on the previously negotiated agreement with opposition leaders brokered by the six-nation GCC.

"For our part, we have agreed," Muhammad Naimi, the head of the opposition's political bureau, was quoted saying in the Los Angeles Times. "Whether the government will actually commit to the document, or backtrack again, that is another story."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Syria: Death Toll Continues to Rise

ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The death toll in Syria continued to rise Saturday, as there were reports that at least eight people were killed by security forces.

Thousands of mourners reportedly gathered at funerals in and around Damascus on Saturday, when witnesses say security forces opened fire on mourners, killing at least eight. Saturday’s fatalities followed a bloody day on Friday when at least 75 people were killed.

Anti-government demonstrators have been calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad from office. At least 280 people have reportedly been killed since protests began in March, according to BBC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libyan Rebels: Gadhafi's Forces Using Cluster Bombs

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images(MISRATA, Libya) -- Rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi engaged in heavy fighting in the Libyan cities of Adjabiya, Brega and Misrata on Saturday.

In one battle in Misrata, rebels accused pro-government forces of using cluster bombs, devices banned in most countries because of their indiscriminate danger. The devices explode not with one blast, but rather several smaller explosions capable of widespread destruction.

Libyan authories deny the use of such weapons.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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