Tag Archives: totalitarianism

North Korea Demands the Return of Defectors

The background of this story is here.

North Korea on Saturday reiterated its demands for South Korea to send back 12 North Korean restaurant workers who came to the South in 2016, saying such a move would demonstrate Seoul’s willingness to improve relations.

The statement by North Korea’s Red Cross came a week after Seoul said it would look more closely into the circumstances surrounding the women’s arrival following a media report that suggested some of them might have been brought to the South against their will.

A claim that is highly dubious to say the very least.

 

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New Editor of Phnom Penh Post Defends His New Start

For the new Year Zero:

The new owner of Cambodia’s beleaguered Phnom Penh Post on Friday denied links to the country’s authoritarian government and defended a stormy takeover which saw journalists resign en masse over fears for editorial independence.

The May 4 takeover of the English-language daily by Malaysian investor Siva Kumar G after he purchased the paper last month sent a shudder of dread through advocates of free expression in the kingdom, where premier Hun Sen has crushed all criticism in the run-up to July elections.

The buyer also owns Asia PR, a company that once worked for Cambodia’s government, stirring alarm over apparent cosy links with the ruling party.

Hun Sen has dismantled the fragile democracy’s once-vibrant media scene over the past year, with the Post one of few remaining watchdogs in the graft-riddled country.

The paper’s main rival, the Cambodia Daily, was among media closed last year as part of a wider crackdown on critics ahead of 2018 polls that Hun Sen is determined to win.

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Venezuelan Opposition Votes Against Maduro

Gunmen in Venezuela shot into a crowd of voters on Sunday, activists said, killing one woman and wounding three others during an unofficial referendum organized by the opposition to push for an end to two decades of socialist rule.

The opposition Democratic Unity coalition said a pro-government “paramilitary” gang opened fire in Caracas’ poor neighborhood of Catia, where thousands were participating in the opposition event. Video footage showed people scattering as gunshots rang out, many taking sanctuary inside a church.

“The day was stained by the killing of a Venezuelan woman who protesting and exercising her rights,” said opposition leader Freddy Guevara of the killing of Xiomara Escot. “But violence cannot hide what has happened. The people are not afraid and are clear in their decision.”

Sunday’s symbolic poll, which asked voters’ opinion on President Nicolas Maduro’s plan for a controversial new congress, was aimed at denting his legitimacy further amid a crippling economic crisis and months of anti-government protests in which some 100 people have been killed.

Maduro, 54, has denounced the plebiscite as illegal and meaningless. Instead, the former bus driver and union leader is campaigning for an official July 30 vote in support of the proposed new assembly, which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.

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