Malaysia police arrest 42 foreigners after riot at export factory
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian police have arrested 42 men after a riot by up to 1,000 mostly Nepalese workers sparked fires and destroyed parts of an electronics export factory, highlighting accusations of poor conditions for many of the estimated four million foreign workers in the Southeast Asian country. The riot broke out in the southern industrial hub of Johor state on Tuesday at a factory run by JCY International , a Malaysian firm that makes parts for electronic giants including Samsung, Hitachi and Western Digital. Workers had accused the firm of negligence after an employee at a nearby JCY factory died last Thursday after complaining of chest pains, according to local news reports.
The unrest spilled over to the firm’s other factory in Kulaijaya, police said, culminating in a stand-off between riot police and protesters. The factory suspended operations on Wednesday. “This was caused by a misunderstanding between the employer and employees over the terms of their work,” the district’s deputy police chief, Mohad Idris Samsuri, told Reuters. Those arrested would be charged under the anti-rioting law, he said.
Namibia rocked as protester shot dead in rare political unrest
Windhoek (AFP) – A young woman was shot dead in Namibia on Wednesday in clashes between police and the children of fallen independence fighters, a rare incidence of political violence in the country. Frieda Ndatipo, 26, was killed during a demonstration calling for jobs in front of headquarters of the country’s ruling party, the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO). Two police officers were also seriously injured. Ndatipo was one of the so-called “struggle kids” — a group of young Namibians who are calling on the government to employ them. Most of the group have parents who died in the guerrilla war for independence from South Africa, which ended in 1990.
Addressing parliament, Prime Minister Hage Geingob described Ndatipo’s death as “a highly tragic and regrettable event.” An AFP reporter saw Ndatipo’s body laying by the side of the road, as police cordoned off the area. Wearing pink jeans and a blood-soaked blue tee-shirt she appeared to have suffered a bullet wound to the upper left torso. Officers claimed that demonstrators had been armed with sticks and stones as well as firearms, but demonstrators denied the accusation.
Arab East Jerusalem seethes with protests and raids
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Violent protests in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem have been raging nightly beyond the spotlight on the Gaza war, leading to a crackdown by Israeli police in which hundreds of Palestinians have been detained. Street clashes with police in riot gear, military-style raids on homes late at night and stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles have marked the most serious outbreak of violence in Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago. The protests erupted in July after the murder of a Palestinian teen in an alleged revenge attack by three Jews, who are standing trial. That followed the killing of three Israeli youths in the occupied West Bank by Hamas Islamist militants.
The seething tensions have underscored deepening divisions in a city that Israel claims as its “indivisible capital”. Damage caused by Palestinians to a Jerusalem light railway, which links Arab and Jewish neighborhoods and was once hailed by Israeli authorities as a symbol of coexistence, put a third of its carriages out of commission. Security sweeps across East Jerusalem have arrested more than 600 Palestinians, including 150 minors, according to the Israeli police. Most have since been released on bail or put under some form of restriction. Lawyers and family members say the raids resemble the military tactics of Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, including doors being blown off hinges, rather than urban law enforcement.
Labor protest disrupts Argentine capital
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A labor organization opposed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez caused traffic jams and disrupted life for many in the capital Wednesday at the start of a 36-hour strike. Members of the Central Workers Union, which includes many public-sector employees, joined demonstrations that blocked major thoroughfares in Buenos Aires in a protest over taxes, wages and the overall cost of living in the country. Union members also called on the government to halt a wave of private-sector layoffs.
Farmers protest for third day in southeastern Turkey
Fire and barricades blocked the roads in the third day of farmers protesting their electricity and water being cut off in the southeastern districts of Derik and Kızıltepe, Mardin province, on Thursday. Residents of these districts were angered by the lack of water and electricity, taking to the streets in response. They have created large barricades of stones and tires, halting traffic and causing long queues of cars. Farmers from 170 villages in these districts have been blocking two sections of highway since Monday. Security forces have failed to negotiate the dismantling of these barricades with the protestors.
Having initially protested for several hours, the farmers went to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ) building and entered by force. After the farmers and TEİAŞ officials had debated for some time, the farmers took to the Mardin-Kızıltepe highway that runs in front of the building, creating barricades of burning tires and stones. The farmers also removed the protective plates from the median strips and added these to the barricades. After a further seven hours of protests, gendarmerie forces and riot police were ordered to intervene. During the intervention, controversial footage was taken of a masked police officer cursing and shouting at the farmers. The security forces used tear gas and pressurized water cannons to disperse the protestors. This allowed traffic to pass through for a few hours, but protestors later returned and cut off the roads again.
Hundreds Block Kyrgyz Highway To Protest Mining Operations
Hundreds of residents of a village in northern Kyrgyzstan have blocked a highway to the capital, Bishkek, to demand an end to iron-ore mining in the area. A local official, Omur Nogoev, told RFE/RL that the protesters say mining by the RedMet Company could damage the environment. He put the number of protesters at 300, while activists said there were 800 people protesting near the village of Voznesenovka village in the Chui region. Dozens of vehicles have reportedly been stranded on the highway by the protest.