Cyprus electricity workers clash with police in selloff protest
NICOSIA Feb 24 (Reuters) – Workers at Cyprus’s state electricity utility clashed with police as they tried to enter parliament on Monday to protest plans to sell off government assets under the terms of the country’s 10 billion euro international bailout. Around 300 to 400 demonstrators burst through police barricades, hurling water bottles at riot police before they were pushed back at the entrance of the parliament building in central Nicosia, a Reuters witness said. Cyprus has so far seen little of the industrial upheaval experienced in other nations bailed out in the euro zone. Demonstrators attempted to enter parliament from a side door, forcing lawmakers to briefly interrupt a meeting with the finance minister and move to a different location in the building.
Greek Prison Hospital Inmates Protest Conditions
Inmates held in Greece’s only prison hospital are refusing food and medication as part of a protest campaign against what they see as dire conditions in the institution. The hospital in the Korydallos prison complex west of Athens is designed to hold 60 men but currently houses more than 200, rights groups and prison staff said Monday. Many are HIV positive and many others suffer from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and scabies.
Employees of petrochemical plant in Tehran stage protest
About 50-60 employees of “Isfahan” petrochemical plant in Iranian capital, staged a protest, Iranian Fars news agency reported on Feb. 24.The people protested that after the plant has become privatized, it is unclear whether they will receive their pensions.
Mexicans Fear Lawful Social Protests could be Criminalized
A little-noticed security reform in Mexico threatens a major erosion of liberty by exploiting public fear to introduce a sweeping definition of “terrorism.” On February 11, the Mexican Senate approved a reform of the laws concerning terrorism. The bill will soon reach the desk of the president, Enrique Peña Nieto, to be ratified-a likely outcome, since he initiated the proposal last June. The reform envisages jail terms of 15 to 40 years and fines from 27,000 to 80,000 pesos (roughly US$2,045 to $6,056) for those who use chemical, biological or radioactive weapons or arms of any other kind to carry out acts that seek to generate fear among the population.
The bill states that this punishment will be applied to those who “intentionally commit actions affecting public or private goods or services against the physical or emotional integrity of people, or their lives, that cause alarm, fear or terror in the population or in a group or sector of the population, that threaten national security or pressure the authorities or individuals to make a determination.” If the so-called terrorist attack affects publicly accessible property or the national economy or if hostages are taken, the penalty will be increased by half.
A linked proposal to eliminate Article 139 of the Federal Penal Code raises fear of abuses. It currently stipulates that “manifestations made by social groups in the exercise of human, social or constitutional rights, which do not threaten the rights or property of people or that do not have a purpose to pressure the authorities to make a determination in a particular way over a demand, shall not be considered as terrorist actions.”