Guangxi city riots over police handling of smuggler
Police have clashed with thousands of protesters in the Guangxi city of Dongxing. The protests began after a suspected smuggler was almost killed by police who drove into him whilst he was riding his motorbike. Dongxing is in the far south of Guangxi province, right on the border with Vietnam where cross-border smuggling is a common problem. The South China Morning Post quoted a local official as saying:
“Some people in the crowd thought the motorcyclist was dead and they refused to let the police vehicles leave… they began overturning and torching police cars”. The protests quickly grew and several thousand people were involved. Riot police were called and many cars, including police cars, were damaged. The Post also quoted the local public security bureau Weibo account as saying: “Five policemen were lightly injured and nine anti-smuggling vehicles were damaged… no one (else) at the scene was injured or killed,” “During the incident the police did not adopt overly violent behaviour.”
Anti-fascist group claims Greek far-right party bombing
ATHENS (Reuters) – A little-known anti-fascist group said on Saturday it was behind a bomb attack on an office of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party this week that ripped through a wall and smashed windows but caused no injuries.
The dynamite-packed device was planted outside a branch of the party, whose popularity has surged during Greece’s debt crisis. The Anti-Fascist Front said in an Internet statement that it was behind Tuesday’s pre-dawn attack near Athens. It said it was affiliated with the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), a group which has claimed several attacks across Europe, mostly in Italy. “We decided to hit Golden Dawn’s offices because we believe that you have to hit out at fascists first, before they hit you,” the Front said.
Police Break Up Protest Against Guatemala Mining Project
GUATEMALA CITY – Security forces used tear gas Friday to break up a demonstration against a gold mine project in southern Guatemala, arresting four people. Clashes with the protesters occurred while officers were unblocking the access road to the project site in the municipality of San Jose del Golfo, National Police spokesman Pablo Castillo told reporters, adding that no one was injured. Protests against Guatemalan company Exploraciones Mineras de Centroamerica, which in October acquired the 50 percent it did not already own in the project from Canadian joint-venture partner Argonaut Gold, began in March.
The project is located three kilometers (1.9 miles) from the center of San Jose del Golfo. Local residents told reporters they oppose the El Sastre project because it will cause pollution and could deprive the community of potable water. A study by Argonaut Gold showed the site could contain 500,000 ounces of gold reserves. A group of protesters demonstrated Thursday outside the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala City against mining activity by Canadian firms Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources in parts of northwestern Guatemala.
Basque man appeals against extradition to Spain
A Spanish man fighting extradition from NI over a terrorist murder and bombing campaign, was allegedly tortured, the High Court has heard. Fermin Vila Michelena, 42, is seeking to overturn a ruling that he be returned to Spain. Authorities there want him to stand trial for offences linked to the Basque separatist group ETA. The case was adjourned until January. Mr Vila Michelena will remain in custody until then. The charges relate to separate killings of a military general and police officer in Madrid 11 years ago. He is also wanted in connection with a car bomb attack on a bank in the Spanish capital in 2001 which injured 18 people and caused 1.7m euros damage.
Further allegations include attempted murder, possession of explosives, causing terrorist havoc, and forgery. Mr Vila Michelena was detained by the PSNI on a European Arrest warrant. His extradition was ordered in October following a hearing at Belfast Recorders’ Court. However, his removal has been put on hold pending the outcome of an appeal to the High Court. Mr Vila Michelena’s legal team isseeking to show that statements issued against him by two co-accused were obtained through the use of torture or inhuman treatment. Senior judges heard details of the alleged ill-treatment they suffered while in the custody of Spanish police.
Barry Macdonald QC set out how one of the co-accused, a woman, claimed officers threatened to kill her, pulled her hair and punched her repeatedly. “There is reference to being hit on both sides of the head, (she says) ‘My head was hurting, I couldn’t see properly’,” the barrister told the court. In another part of her statement she claimed to have been surrounded by people before “the madman” began assaulting her. Her initial detention period was said to have lasted for up to five days. Mr Macdonald argued that the lower court failed to properly consider how the other co-accused retracted his admission statement, claiming he had been tortured too.