More than 100 arrested during anti-Black Pete protest in the Netherlands
- Despite a day-long ban, demonstrators took to a holiday festival in Maassluis to protest the ongoing national reverence for Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), a controversial figure black Dutch and allies say perpetuates racist stereotypes.
- The figure has been under fire for years as its status as a national holiday tradition has been called into question for its ties to the Netherlands’ racist colonial history, including by the U.N.
- Adding to the controversy is the frequency with which Black Pete is performed by white people in blackface in parades and other celebratory events.
“Dutch police detain 100 Black Pete protesters” (AFP/Deutsche Welle)
“Dutch Santa’s black-faced helper stokes anti-racism protest, police arrest 100” (Africanews)
“Dutch race hate row engulfs presenter Sylvana Simons” (BBC)
(Image Credit: via Africanews)
Tanzania suspends funding for HIV/AIDS programs supporting queer men as crackdown grows
- The country’s health minister indicated the programs had been suspended “pending a review,” while programs supporting adolescent girls, drug users, and others will continue uninterrupted.
- The government has accused some community-based and internationally funded programs of normalizing same-sex relationships as part of their outreach to queer men, some 25% of whom are living with HIV.
- Though same-sex relations are punishable by up to 30 years in prison in the country, the government only recently broke its silence on the issue to condemn groups “promoting” homosexuality, with a number of officials having announced anti-LGBT campaigns.
“Tanzania suspends HIV/AIDS programs in new crackdown on gays” (The Washington Post)
“Tanzania suspends some HIV programs for gay men, says health minister” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
“‘Seeds of hate’ sown as Tanzania starts LGBT crackdown” (The Guardian, August 2016)
(Image Credit: Kevin Sieff/The Washington Post)
Popular Malaysian political cartoonist detained for work critical of PM
- Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, also known as Zunar, faces charges for cartoons allegedly insulting scandal-embroiled Prime Minister Najib Razak, the latest in a series of sedition charges he faces.
- Zunar’s work has satirized Najib’s lavish lifestyle and the scandal involving the alleged diversion of hundreds of millions of dollars from a Malaysian development fund into the PM’s personal bank account, which has led to Najib’s use of a colonial-era sedition law to quell critics’ dissent.
- The detention came after the disruption of Zunar’s exhibition at the George Town Literary Festival, where Penang Umno Youth members stormed the festival and demanded the removal of his work.
“Malaysian cartoonist ‘Zunar’ arrested at literary festival, charged with sedition – again” (Deutsche Welle)
“Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar arrested under sedition law” (Reuters)
“Mob storms cartoonist Zunar’s show” (The Malay Mail)
(Image Credit: Zunar, via Deutsche Welle)
Asylum center attack the latest in a series in Austria
- Unidentified assailants threw a molotov cocktail at the center near Vienna, damaging a wall but leaving occupants uninjured.
- Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, with anti-immigrant sentiments having ratcheted up ahead of the upcoming presidential election pitting the independent incumbent against a far-right nationalist candidate.
- The attack follows the arson of a newly built but unoccupied refugee center in Altenfelden earlier in the year.
“Austrian asylum center hit by Molotov cocktail” (Reuters)
“Haunted by asylum center fire, divided Austrian town prepares to vote” (Reuters)
“Austria sees 13 attacks on refugee centres in 3 months” (The Local Austria, June 2016)
Raising the Voices of the Visually Impaired in Armenia
As the Internet has created new channels for the inclusion of marginalized communities, people with disabilities in particular have looked to the technology as a chance to discover and create new, accessible labor and creative opportunities. In Armenia, government agencies and international NGOs have worked together to promote information literacy and use among blind and visually impaired Armenians. One new program, Radio MENQ, has bridged the technical with the creative, offering blind and visually impaired people the chance to work as presenters and sound technicians for an internet radio station focused on issues and interests of relevance to the visually impaired community. Global Voices sat down with two of the project’s leaders to discuss the history and future of Radio MENQ and how opportunities like the station help combat pervasive unemployment and marginalization in the community.
“How is Online Radio Helping to Empower Visually Impaired People in Armenia?” (Global Voices)
(Image Credit: via Global Voices)