Entries in Protesters (115)


Dozens of Protesters Killed in Egypt After Security Forces Open Fire

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- Dozens of protesters are dead and hundreds more wounded in Egypt after security forces opened fire on a Muslim Brotherhood rally early Saturday.

The protesters were camped outside of a mosque in Cairo demanding the return of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi when, security forces launched a pre-dawn raid against them.

Before the raid began, the Interior Minister appeared on a local TV stations to announce that there would be a move to clear that area in accordance with the law, complete with a decision announced by the public prosecutor beforehand. The BBC's Jim Muir was in Cairo, and says “none of that happened.”

Security forces used tear gas and live rounds to clear the protesters from Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in eastern Cairo. Muir said it was unclear whether that was the plan from the beginning or if “it's just a clash that's broken out on the ground because tensions are so very high [in Cairo] at the moment.”

Doctors at the scene said there were 65 deaths, while Muslim Brotherhood sources said that more than 120 people were killed, according to BBC News.

The Muslim brotherhood has accused soldiers of shooting to kill, a claim that the government denies.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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


Crowd of Protesters Swells to Tens of Thousands in Tahrir Square

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO, Egypt) -- Tens of thousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in Tahrir Square Tuesday, angered over President Mohammed Morsi's self-declared assumption of broad powers and a rushed drafting by the president and Islamist allies of a new constitution that will be put on a national referendum.

President Morsi left the presidential palace as the crowd of protesters grew and began hurling stones and pulling down barricades. Riot police fired volleys of tear gas and retreated.

Critics say the new constitution could make Egypt more Islamic and doesn't do enough to guarantee freedoms, particularly those pertaining to women.  Egyptians will have a chance to vote on the new constitution in two weeks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Protests Erupt at US Embassies in Yemen and Egypt

MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/GettyImages(SANAA, Yemen) -- Outrage over the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims spread across the Middle East on Thursday as protesters rushed the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, while further demonstrations began outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

Protesters in Sana'a managed to breach the area past the main gate at the U.S. Embassy, but were stopped at the security perimeter.

"Smoke is rising, they just flooded the security barriers.  [There are] no casualties.  [There is] shooting.  It's crazy," a Yemeni official told ABC News.

Tear gas was being thrown by Yemeni forces as protesters were seen scrambling over fences and over the main gate.  Gunshots were fired into the air by Yemeni forces to stop the demonstrators.

According to a U.S. embassy spokesman in Yemen, all personnel are safe.

"Initial reports are that all Embassy personnel are safe and accounted for," the spokesman said early Thursday.

A senior official on the Obama administration said that the Yemeni government has aided the U.S. in maintaining order.

"We are doing everything we can to support our mission in Yemen.  We've had good cooperation from the Yemeni government which is working with us to maintain order and protect our facilities and people.  These protests appear to be motivated by the film," the official said.

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C., released a statement condemning the attacks.

"The Government of Yemen condemns any and all acts of violence against diplomatic personnel and facilities.  We strongly urge all those that would wish to incite others to violence to cease immediately," the embassy said, adding that order had been restored.

In Egypt, the protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo turned violent again Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.  Security forces had to fight off the protesters with tear gas and warning shots, which managed to push the crowds back more than 600 feet to Tahrir Square.

Meanwhile, U.S. Navy forces have moved two missile destroyers off the coast of Libya as an extra precaution for increased security from Libyan extremists after the attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday.

All U.S. interests across the region are in a heightened state of alert, particularly now that the government believes the assault in Benghazi was a coordinated terrorist attack planned specifically for the 11th anniversary of 9/11, and not the result of anger over the anti-Muslim film that is being blamed for sparking the protest in Cairo.

It is still unclear exactly who the attackers in Benghazi were, but President Obama said Wednesday night at a campaign rally in Las Vegas that he is committed to justice and working with the Libyan government to track down the attackers responsible for the consulate deaths.

"I want to assure you we will bring their killers to justice and we want to send us a message all around the world to anyone who wants to do us harm.  No act of terror will dim the light and the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America," Obama said.

The Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, is now at emergency staffing levels.  All non-essential employees have been ordered to leave.

The attack on the consulate in Benghazi Tuesday came shortly after protesters in Cairo scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag in an angry demonstration against the film Innocence of Muslims, which depicts the founder of Islam, Muhammad, as a fraud and a womanizer.

Obama addressed the United States' relationship with Egypt on Wednesday night in an interview with Telemundo.  "I don't think that we would consider them [Egypt] an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said.

Obama instead characterized the relationship with Egypt as a "work in progress," expressing hope that the fledgling Egyptian government would be "responsive" to U.S. security concerns.

Egypt's embassy, along with embassies located in Armenia, Burundi, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia, all issued warnings on Wednesday, advising Americans to be particularly vigilant.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Protesters Want Dogs Taken Off the Menu

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- A small group of animal rights activists caged themselves in protest against eating dog meat.

The protest came on “malbok,” which falls on the last day of summer according to the lunar calendar. The day is often celebrated in South Korea with a dog stew called “bosintang,” which translates to "body nourishing soup."

The protesters picked Tuesday to highlight their claim that 1.2 million dogs are consumed every year in Korea.  

South Korea banned dog meat sales in 1984, classifying it as “repugnant food,” but laws are not strictly enforced.  Hong Kong also banned the killing and sale of dog in 1950. Dog meat is still consumed today in Switzerland, China and Vietnam, and in European countries like Belgium, France and Germany there are records of dog meat consumption in the 19th to early 20th century.

The protesters strongly disapprove of the traditional process of slaughtering the dogs by beating them to death. They are also against illegal dog farms and slaughterhouses that are unsanitary and that cage sick dogs, for example, with eye infections.

Most dog meat at South Korean restaurants is imported from China and North Korea, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who died last December, was reportedly a dog meat lover.

What may be most surprising to learn, though, is the price of what some consider a properly prepared “bosingtang” meal for four persons -- almost $1,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vladimir Putin Rolls Back Freedoms, Ups Efforts to Intimidate Opposition

OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/GettyImages(MOSCOW) -- When riot police forcibly dispersed a crowd that lingered after an anti-Putin protest in central Moscow a day after Russia’s presidential election in March, many in the crowd sensed an ominous change in the air.

By the time protestors clashed with riot police on May 6, the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration, there was little doubt in most people’s minds: Putin’s patience with the opposition was over.

The next day, as Putin’s motorcade drove through Moscow’s deserted streets on the way to an opulent swearing in ceremony in the Kremlin, police raided cafes popular with opposition leaders and detained anyone wearing the opposition’s iconic white ribbons.  For the next week, police harassed roving groups of protestors who were guilty of little more than gathering without signs in a public square.

The incidents marked a dark shift in the Russian government’s approach to the unprecedented wave of protests that have called on Putin to go since December.

Although Putin mocked the protest movement at first, accusing them of being U.S. agents and comparing the white ribbons to condoms, police did not intervene and city authorities granted them permits.

Since Putin’s inauguration, however, the Kremlin has pushed through several pieces of legislation and orchestrated an apparent attempt to systematically restrict and intimidate the opposition.

“The government has switched to a repressive mode,” Masha Lipman, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, said in an interview.  “Punishment for a few, I think, is aimed at intimidating others.”

For his part, Putin has said he respects the right of the people to protest, but again mocked their efforts.  The white ribbons, he said, were yesterday’s protest tactic.

“I am not saying anything against people, who use such symbols.  But it hurts my feelings to see people using foreign-developed technologies,” he told a youth forum on Tuesday.

Lipman says any hope that Putin would pursue reform after last winter’s protests was overly optimistic.

“Putin’s way of governing hasn’t changed.  But only now he is facing challenges he didn’t face before and he wants to remove the challenge,” she said.

That effort has only increased in recent weeks.

Several pieces of legislation were rushed through the legislature and signed into law by Putin.  Several more are pending.  The new laws, which are ostensibly to protect stability and decency, include restrictions on public gatherings, a drastic increase in the fines and penalties for organizing or joining unsanctioned protests and the creation of an Internet blacklist that critics warn could lead to censorship.  Others are the re-criminalization of libel, a requirement that foreign-funded NGOs and perhaps soon even media might have to publicly declare themselves “foreign agents” (a term tinged with hints of espionage), and efforts to control the waves of volunteers who rushed to help flood victims in southern Russia.

Police have also raided the homes of several prominent opposition leaders, ostensibly to investigate violence during the May 6 rally, and have detained several dozen others accused of attacking police during the skirmish.  Many leaders say they are being followed everywhere they go.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Call for Protests in Egypt Ahead of Presidential Election

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CAIRO) -- As Egypt prepares to elect its new president this weekend, liberal activists in Cairo have called for a demonstration Friday evening to protest two rulings made by the country's highest court on Thursday.

One allows former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, to run for president against Mohamed Morsi from the Muslim brotherhood.  The other leads to the dissolution of parliament.  The freely-elected body was arguably the biggest democratic achievement since the fall of Mubarak last year.

The court rulings sent shockwaves through Egypt, with many accusing the ruling military council of engineering a judicial coup.

There is also no new constitution, so whoever wins this weekend's run-off presidential election will have undefined -- and potentially unchecked -- powers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Anti-Putin Rally to Be Held in Moscow After Cops Raid Protesters' Homes

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Another massive opposition rally is scheduled to take place in central Moscow on Tuesday as protesters seek to keep up the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, Putin launched a pre-emptive strike, as police raided the homes of several prominent protest leaders.  They reportedly seized laptops, anti-Kremlin material and over a million dollars in cash.  Those leaders have also been called in for questioning on Tuesday, a national holiday in Russia.  This will likely prevent them from attending the march and rally.

Authorities said the raids were part of an investigation into violence against riot police during the last protest in May, on the eve of Putin’s inauguration.  Analysts, however, say the raids were meant to intimidate the opposition and discourage protests.

Moscow authorities granted a permission for 50,000 people to gather near Pushkin Square and march to a rally point Tuesday afternoon.  Opposition leaders, however, remain divided about how best to keep up the momentum and what the next steps should be.

Crowds at protests since Putin won a third term as president in March have been much smaller than the ones that turned out spontaneously in December after the ruling United Russia was accused of massive fraud in parliamentary elections.  Such protests would have been unimaginable in Russia just months before.

During the last protest on May 6, tens of thousands of people -- an unexpectedly large crowd, but still smaller than December’s turnout -- marched to a spot near the Kremlin, but a planned rally never took place.  What happened next remains unclear, but a group of protesters tried to advance past lines of riot police, either to try and approach the Kremlin or to spread out into a nearby park.

After a brief sit-in, skirmishes between some protesters and riot police ensued.  Rocks, chunks of asphalt and bottles were thrown at police, who surged into the crowd to grab those who they believed were responsible for the violence.  Some appeared to be detained at random, and many who resisted were severely beaten.

By the end of the day, dozens of police were injured, hundreds of protesters were arrested and a handful of riot helmets were bobbing in the nearby river.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Violence Intensifies as Greek Parliament Debates Austerity Bill

People warm themselves by a fire on a baricade during the demonstration against the new austerity measures in Syntagma Square on February 12, 2012 in Athens, Greece. (Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)(ATHENS, Greece) -- Greece Prime Minister Lucas Papademos says his country faces "uncontrolled economic chaos" and a "social explosion" if it does not accept the European Union's latest austerity package.

According to the BBC, the Greek parliament is debating what many feel is an unfavorable austerity bill in exchange for a $170 billion bailout that would avoid default by the country. Papademos said failing to accept the package would "set the country on a disastrous adventure."

Such a scene has already begun to unfold in Athens between police and demonstrators, who were protesting the package Sunday for a second straight day. The BBC reports police have fired tear gas in an effort to deter protesters from acts of destruction. There were several reports of violence Sunday, as historic buildings, cafes, and cinemas were engulfed in flames.

Protesters were also throwing stones and petrol bombs at buildings outside parliament as demonstrations intensified on Athens' Syntagma Square.

Police estimate as many as 80,000 people have joined the demonstrations in Athens, according to the BBC.

A vote on securing a new bailout is expected Sunday night.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arab League Quits Mission in Syria

JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The Arab League understood it was involved in a losing cause when it announced over the weekend that its mission in Syria would be discontinued.

Observers were sent in earlier this month to determine if President Bashar al-Assad's government was following an agreement to remove soldiers and heavy artillery from cities in an attempt to end a 10-month violent crackdown on political dissidents.

Instead, the violence, which has taken 5,500 lives, grew worse and the Arab League decided its mission was having no effect while putting its own members in danger.

By Sunday, government forces were battling protesters and army deserters in areas of the capital city of Damascus, resulting in casualties on both sides.

The Arab League wants the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution calling for sanctions against Syria but faces a roadblock from al-Assad's ally Russia if it attempts such a move.

Meanwhile, there's also little hope that the president will follow an Arab League directive to step aside so that a transitional government can be formed in advance of general elections.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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