Jordan arrests six after deadly clashes
AMMAN: Jordanian authorities have arrested six men over attacks last week on government buildings in the restive southern city of Maan, a security official said Tuesday. “Their case has been sent to the (military) state security court, and the suspects are currently being interrogated,” he told AFP. He said “the situation is calm” in Maan but refused to elaborate. Violence in Maan erupted on April 20 when gunmen opened fire at police guarding a courthouse, seriously wounding one of them.
Security forces launched a manhunt for the gunmen, triggering clashes in which a 20-year-old man was killed outside his home, witnesses said. The following day, angry residents blocked roads, torched three banks and a tax office, and gunmen fired on police and other government buildings, witnesses said. A security source said “outlaws” opened fire from rooftops on police and “threw petrol bombs at government buildings.”
Cop beating injures 10 RMG workers in Savar
At least 10 garment workers were injured yesterday when police baton-charged several hundred workers demonstrating against termination of 12 co-workers on the factory premises in Savar, on the outskirts of the capital. The injured workers of Zeysha Fashionwear Ltd in Hemayetpur only needed first aid. One of the sacked workers, Nazrul Islam, said they came to know about the termination yesterday morning when the guards did not let the 12 in.
The authorities did not even inform them why they were sacked, he added. Then the sacked workers along with others gathered before the factory gate and started demonstration demanding to return at work. Police have been deployed on the premises in early April as all the workers have been demonstrating sporadically throughout this month demanding the authorities hand over the salary by the first seven days of every month and never sack a worker without a show cause notice.
Mostafizur Rahman, administrative officer of the factory, said the 12 were sacked as they led the demonstrations, causing unrest in the factory. Mostafizur said they did not have any knowledge about the baton-charging. Police said they were trying to disperse the group as they were discouraging other workers not to join the factory.
On hunger strike: Baloch students have replacement ready in case protester dies
KARACHI: A weak Latif Johar lies flat on a thin mat outside the Karachi Press Club. A doctor checks his pulse as a drip runs through it. His eyes have turned yellow. It has been several days since he last touched food yet the thought of dying does not frighten the young man. On Tuesday, Johar, 23, entered the eighth day of his hunger strike to demand the recovery of his leader, Zahid Baloch, who is the chairperson of the Baloch Student Organisation (BSO)-Azad. “We tried all means to raise our voice about our missing people,” he said.
“We protested and leaders, such as Mama Qadeer, walked on for miles. I am now doing this to highlight our plight to the world.” Johar will not give up until Zahid is released. Since he started the hunger strike on April 22, he has lost eight kilogrammes in eight days. “I am ready to die but I won’t give up. I am on a hunger strike till death.” His condition is deteriorating with every passing moment and he feels too weak to sit or talk. “He was not even drinking water,” said a worried supporter. “We forced him to but he throws up.” Johar’s ‘ustaad’, Baloch activist Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur embraced him, and requested him to end the hunger strike.
“I have come here to request him to end this strike. The point has been made.” But, the determined protester refused. Johar, who belongs to Awaran, has done his BA from Turbat College. Since 2008, he has been an official member of the student organisation. “We talk about our rights and give awareness to our people. We tell them about our history.” Several Baloch men and women are present in the tent with Johar. A senior vice-chairperson of the party, Kareema Baloch, said the decision to protest through a hunger strike was by taken by the central committee and many people volunteered for it. “If Johar is taken away or, God forbid, something happens to him, other members will step forward and take his place,” she said. “This cycle of hunger strikes will go on till Zahid Baloch is released.”
Uneasy Calm in Bavet as Factories Ordered Shut
BAVET CITY, Svay Rieng province – The government has ordered all factories here to shut down until Thursday at the earliest in a bid to keep escalating strikes from spiraling out of control and spreading nationwide. “[Provincial] Governor Chieng Am said in a meeting yesterday [Monday] that we should tell the factories they should close for a few days because the strike is getting bigger and bigger, but he did not say for how many days,” said In Visoth, the governor’s chief of administration.
“The government is worried the strike could spread if we do not take action soon,” he said. The strikes started off small after the Khmer New Year holiday earlier this month, when some workers heard that colleagues at another factory had been paid a one-time $50 bonus for having not gone on strike over the past few months and decided to demand the same deal for themselves. The strikers gradually rallied more workers to their case and brought work to a standstill on Monday at more than 30 Bavet factories employing some 30,000 workers.
Mr. Am, the provincial governor, could not be reached. But the deputy governor he has assigned to deal with the strikes, Rous Chhay, said the order to shut down factories had come from the “national level,” declining to elaborate. The Interior Ministry denied involvement. Bavet City deputy police chief Kao Horn said local commune and village chiefs were also told to stop any trucks from transporting workers to factories in the morning, and to do so until at least Thursday. At the Manhattan Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which houses 22 of the city’s garment factories and has seen the worst of the latest strikes, concertina wire stretched across the front gate. Armed military police officers newly posted to the entrance stood by in the shade of a leafy tree.
Resistance As Promised, Panamanian Indigenous Continue to Protest
Ngöbe-Buglé leaders promised to increase their resistance on the national stage and in the courts in Panama; part of that promise came to fruition in April. Two weeks ago they filed a suit challenging a law that allows the government to seize territory to be used for energy projects, such as the proposed Barrio Blanco hydroelectric plant that is the focus of many indigenous protests. Ngöbe-Buglé leader Silvia Carrera filed a lawsuit in Panama’s Supreme Court of Justice on April 9 asserting that the country’s Law 18 was unconstitutional in that it allows the seizing of property for developing energy projects and that that aspect of the law contradicts a section of the Panamanian Constitution. Carrera and her community have been protesting the seizing of their lands for the Barrio Blanco hydroelectric project since 2010.