More than 400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reforms

A human rights activist says more than 400 people have been arrested during a pro-democracy protest that brought thousands of people onto the streets of the Algerian capital.

More than 400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reformsALGIERS, Algeria (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – A human rights activist says more than 400 people have been arrested during a pro-democracy protest that brought thousands of people onto the streets of the Algerian capital.Ali Yahia Abdenour says women and foreign journalists were among those arrested during Saturday’s demonstration, which came a day after mass protests toppled Egypt’s autocratic leader.

Abdenour, who heads the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights, said some 28,000 security forces were deployed in Algiers to block the march and disperse the crowds.

Organizers of the march said 10,000 people turned out, but officials put the turnout at only 1,500.

Thousands of Algerians defied a government ban on protests and a massive deployment of riot police to march in the capital Saturday, demanding democratic reforms just a day after the same demands toppled Egypt’s authoritarian leader. Continue reading

The Telegraph (UK): The world wants to think the best about India. So we turn our back on Kashmir

Kashmiris run for cover as Indian paramilitary soldiers fire teargas shells


By Dean Nelson

Think of India and it’s all Gandhian saintliness, Ravi Shankar’s sitar, a whiff of incense and the feel-good beats of Bollywood Bhangra. These memories, sounds and smells conjure images of the world’s largest democracy, where tolerance and spirituality supposedly reign over realpolitik.

We don’t think of it as a country whose troops are jailing opposition leaders or placing them under house arrest, denying people the right to gather in prayer, beating children to death, or massacring stone-throwing protesters. The words “shoot to kill” are a grim relic from our own recent past, and certainly nothing we ever associate with India.

That’s why India is the world’s first “soft superpower”. It can barely do wrong for doing right, and if it does we don’t really want to know. As David Cameron made perfectly clear during his recent visit, we’re interested in India as the world’s second fastest-growing economy and by its contribution to the war on terrorism, but not how it treats its own people. Continue reading