Azeri Rioters Clash With Police in More Unrest in Northwest
Clashes resumed between security forces and residents in Azerbaijan’s northwestern Ismayilli district as riots entered a second day in the oil-rich former Soviet republic.
Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to protect the local governor’s office from a group of attackers, the Azeri service of Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty said today. The clashes were sparked by an incident yesterday between an employee of the Ciraq hotel and a group of Ismayilli residents, the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office said today in an e-mailed statement.
The employee caused a traffic accident while allegedly drunk, beating a local man and shouting insults at Ismayilli residents, according to the statement. In retaliation, residents burned the hotel and cars parked outside, with police preventing their attempt to torch a house owned by the son of the local governor, Nizami Alakbarov, according to the statement.
Four people, including three police officers, were injured. The hotel employee and another man involved in the incident were arrested, the authorities said. Thousands Riot As many as 3,000 people took part in the rioting, the APA news service said, citing local police.
The main opposition newspaper Yeni Musavat said the traffic accident was caused by a son of Labor and Social Protection Minister Fizuli Alakbarov. The local governor is the minister’s brother, and the hotel was run by the Alakbarov family, according to Musavat. The governor denied that his nephew played a role in sparking the events, Media Forum news website reported. Nizami Alakbarov said the incident involved several people, including the hotel’s manager, before “some unhealthy forces” led the protesters toward his house, according to Media Forum.
Belgian steel workers clash with police over job losses
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian police fired water cannons and pepper spray at masked protesters on Friday as a demonstration over job losses at ArcelorMittal’s Liege steel plant turned violent. Masked protesters threw broken paving stones at police who were barricading a street leading to the residence of Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. Traffic in much of central Brussels was paralyzed. Di Rupo on Thursday cancelled a trip to a summit in Latin America to meet with union leaders after ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, said it would shut facilities at Liege, in the east of Belgium, with the likely loss of 1,300 jobs.
Greek riot police break up striking subway workers’ sit-in
Greek riot police stormed a subway train depot in Athens early on Friday to disperse striking subway staff who defied a government order to return to work for a ninth consecutive day, a police official said. Scuffles broke out when police forced their way through a metal gate shortly after 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) and detained at least 10 workers, the official said on condition of anonymity. One woman was taken to hospital with light injuries, he added.
The escalating standoff has turned into the latest test for Greece’s fragile coalition as it faces down the unions to implement austerity measures demanded by foreign lenders as the price for bailout funds. Subway workers have ignored the order, issued under emergency legislation by the conservative-led government on Thursday, paralyzing the Athens subway in a week-long walkout.
About 90 workers stayed at the train depot overnight in protest. The subway workers, who have defied a court order to return to work, oppose being included in a unified wage scheme for public sector workers that would slash their salaries. Bus and railway workers are joining the walkout on Friday in solidarity. Under the emergency law, workers can face arrest and up to five years in jail. No arrests have been made so far, the official said.
Honduran Sectors Protest Against Unpopular Laws
Tegucigalpa, Jan 24 (Prensa Latina) Street demonstrations and sit-ins, reflect protest of many Hondurans today against unpopular laws passed by Congress and implemented by the Government. Representatives of teachers, working class and Libre party are carrying out a rally to speak out against the chaos brought about by decisions of the authorities.
The leader of teachers, Jimmy Sorto, said the government suffers from schizophrenia because madness has made them privatize or bankrupt state enterprises, and then turn them over to private capital. It has destroy the achievements and the rights of the people to replace the Labour Code with the Temporary Employment Law and suspend the Teachers’ Statute affecting the teaching, he said. Meanwhile, the labor leader, Eusebio Reyes, said the march is also against the policy of a state that has not generated more actions to solve the people’s needs and maintains a high degree of uncertainty.
For its part, The National Coalition of Environmental and Social Networks of Honduras (CNRA), involving about 20 organizations, demanded the immediate suspension of the Mining Law, which it is described as submissive. It seems that this action reinforces the public perception that MPs are committing a new offence of treason, stated the CNRA in a communiqué issued here. That is why the organization demand the judges to proceed against President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and the 110 MPs, who had approved the decree to create those Special Development Arrangements.
More than 50 protest handcuff death
KAJANG, Jan 25 — More than 50 people protested at a police station here today the alleged police killing of a handcuffed security guard. Yesterday, eyewitnesses said that policemen had handcuffed 39-year-old C. Sugumaran before allegedly assaulting him fatally together with a mob of more than 20 near his house in Batu 12, Hulu Langat on Wednesday.
Sugumaran’s family, relatives and friends, as well as PKR and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) members, gathered outside the Kajang district police headquarters here under the blazing sun, hurling vitriol at the police. “I can’t accept the report,” Sugumaran’s uncle A. Kuppusamy told the crowd here near a busy road today, referring to the post-mortem that said Sugumaran had died of a heart attack. “The government is not right,” he added, gesturing angrily as the crowd chanted “Bohong bohong (lies, lies).” Sugumaran’s family lawyer N. Surendran called for a criminal investigation under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
“Don’t try to cover up this case,” said Surendran, who is also a PKR vice-president. The protestors held banners showing pictures of Sugumaran lying dead on the ground, his shirt pulled up to reveal his torso, his face smeared with a yellow substance and hands handcuffed behind him. Kajang OCPD ACP Abdul Rashid Abdul Wahab said yesterday that a separate police investigation into Sugumaran’s death would not be held as the Serdang Hospital post-mortem had revealed that the latter died of a heart attack. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, however, said today that Abdul Rashid did not have the authority to rule out an investigation into the death.
Hishammuddin also refused to state if an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) should be set up. Abdul Rashid stressed yesterday that neither the police nor anyone else had beaten up Sugumaran, whom he said was running amok in the middle of the road in Hulu Langat, destroying public property with an iron rod. He added that the police did not splash turmeric powder in Sugumaran’s face and insisted that three policemen, assisted by about 10 people, had handcuffed Sugumaran as the latter resisted arrest. Kajang assemblyman Lee Kim Sin, also known as Cikgu Lee, told the crowd today that Sugumaran’s death was not an “Indian issue”, but a “people’s issue.”
Sugumaran’s mother, K. Manimagalay, leaves the Serdang Hospital mortuary after viewing his body yesterday. — file pic The predominantly Indian crowd shouted “Cruel police” and “Killer police” several times as vehicles passed by, with some passers-by snapping pictures of the protest with their handphones. Surendran told The Malaysian Insider that the family would request for a second post-mortem most likely at the University Malaya Medical Centre, formerly known as University Hospital (UH). “UH is a semi-government institution. They’ve done post-mortems before…public hospitals tend to favour the authorities,” he said.
Sugumaran’s aunt M. Munianah was teary-eyed as she told The Malaysian Insider, “We all live hard lives. Now this happened. He never had heart disease, only mental illness. That’s all.” Sugumaran’s mother K. Manimagalay cried and refused to address the crowd. The crowd grew angry when the police refused to allow more than five people into the police station to lodge a police report. Surendran then announced that the family would lodge a police report at the Bukit Aman police headquarters instead next Tuesday. “There are more than 20 family members,” Surendran told reporters, pointing out that at least 15 people, including the family members, lawyers and activists, needed to be present to lodge a report.
“In the police report, we would call for a criminal investigation under 302 for murder, demand a second post-mortem and a special team by Bukit Aman (to investigate Sugumaran’s death),” added the lawyer. Sugumaran’s mysterious death joins a list of other headline-grabbing alleged police killings like the custodial deaths of Chang Chin Te earlier this year, A. Kugan and R. Gunasegaran in 2009, as well as the deadly police shooting of schoolboy Aminulrasyid Amzah in 2010, and various other fatal police shootings in the past two years. A United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 2010 visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported in 2011 that between 2003 and 2007 “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities”.