Category Archives: Algeria

M.P.O. (BBC) Hong Kong activists arrested: Joshua Wong and others charged

China has lost forever Hong Kong as we know it.
It will have the land, but not it’s skills or money.
The capital flght from HK is already huge.
It will become out of control any time.
China’s reputation will be harmed for a long time for not respecting the 50 years agreed of maintaining the HK rights and style of living.
Efectively the US has won the first match against China.
Hong Kong as we know it will be no more.
Only a foul would stay after this.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira


Media captionHong Kong activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow vow to continue protests after their release on bail

A number of prominent pro-democracy activists and lawmakers have been arrested by police in Hong Kong.

Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, from the Demosisto party, were arrested and charged on Friday, while party chairman Ivan Lam, who is not currently in Hong Kong, was charged in his absence.

Three pro-democracy lawmakers have also been arrested.

It comes after a mass march, scheduled for Saturday, was banned by officials and called off by organisers.

If demonstrations went ahead, it would mark the 13th consecutive weekend of protests in Hong Kong.

The movement started as rallies against a controversial extradition bill – now suspended – which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

They have since expanded in scope, becoming a broader pro-democracy movement in which clashes have grown more violent.

Who has been arrested?

At least three activists and three lawmakers were detained during the 24-hour police crackdown.

The Demosisto party said Mr Wong, 23, was “suddenly pushed into a private car on the street” while walking to a train station at around 07:30 (23:30 GMT Thursday).

Both he and Ms Chow were taken to police headquarters in Wan Chai and were charged with unlawfully organising a rally on 21 June, at which protesters blockaded police headquarters for 15 hours.

Media captionJoshua Wong: Why activists broke into parliament

The case was adjourned until November and the activists were released on HK$10,000 (£1,045) bail.

Mr Wong tweeted on Friday to say their “fundamental rights” were being “eroded”.Skip Twitter post by @joshuawongcf

Joshua Wong 黃之鋒@joshuawongcf

My arrest shows the government answers our request for a dialogue with batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrest. Our freedom of assembly and other fundamental rights are eroded.13.9K12:19 PM – Aug 30, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy6,892 people are talking about thisReport

End of Twitter post by @joshuawongcf

The 23-year-old first rose to prominence as the poster boy of a protest movement that swept Hong Kong in 2014.

Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party which campaigns for the territory’s independence, also said he was detained on Thursday night while trying to board a flight from Hong Kong airport.

Amnesty International called the arrests “an outrageous assault” on free expression and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini labelled the latest developments “extremely worrying”.

“We expect the authorities in Hong Kong to respect the freedom of assembly, expression and association as well as the right of people to demonstrate peacefully,” she said.

Three pro-democracy lawmakers, Cheng Chung-tai, Au Nok-hin and Jeremy Tam Man-ho, were also arrested for offences relating to past protests.

About 900 people have been arrested since the demonstrations began in June.

Analysis box by John Sudworth, China correspondent

In almost three months of increasingly violent clashes, hundreds have already been detained, but the latest, high-profile arrests are being seen as much more political in nature.

At a press conference, the police insisted they were following the law, with commander Kwok Pak Chung making it clear there might be further arrests.

With unconfirmed reports that Beijing has turned down a request by Hong Kong’s chief executive to formally scrap the controversial extradition bill that first sparked the protests, the authorities are toughening their message.

That may dissuade some protesters, but past experience suggests others are likely to be enraged even further.

Presentational grey line

What about Saturday’s march?

The Civil Human Rights Front, a group behind other record-breaking gatherings, cancelled an anti-extradition law march scheduled for Saturday after failing to overturn a police ban against it.

Organiser Jimmy Sham apologised to the public, but said their priority was to hold protests that were both legally and physically safe.

Another organiser, Bonnie Leung, told the BBC she believed that people would “be clever” and find “legal and safe ways” to protest in spite of the cancellation.

Media captionHow Hong Kong got trapped in a cycle of violence

“I don’t think the movement will end at all,” she said. “If the government is trying everything to threaten people away, or it’s trying to wait for the movement to die down, it’s not going to achieve that.”

Hong Kong police on Friday appealed to members of the public to cut ties with “violent protesters” and warned people not to take part in the now-cancelled march.

The recent protests have been characterised as leaderless and activist Nathan Law, who co-founded Demosisto, said nobody was inciting protesters.

“There is no leader or platform in this movement,” he said. “If someone is inciting citizens to go to the streets, it must be the harsh political violence of [Hong Kong’s leader] Carrie Lam.

Media captionHong Kong police fired a gunshot and used water cannon during Sunday’s protests

“Demosisto has never been ‘leaders’ of the movement. Every Hong Kong citizen who has come out has done so according to his own conscience. No matter how the Chinese Communist Party attempts to smear this, nothing can change that fact.

“We appeal to the public not to be afraid of political violence… and continue to fight for their rights. Hong Kong people, go!”

How is China responding?

Beijing has repeatedly condemned the protesters and described their actions as “close to terrorism”. Reuters news agency reports that earlier in the summer China denied a request by Carrie Lam to fully withdraw the extradition bill to help ease tensions and end the unrest.

The protests have frequently escalated into violence between police and activists, with injuries on both sides, and activists are increasingly concerned that China might use military force to intervene.

On Thursday, Beijing moved a new batch of troops into Hong Kong. Chinese state media described it as a routine annual rotation.

But an editorial in the China Daily newspaper emphasised the presence of Chinese troops was not symbolic, and they would have “no reason to sit on their hands” if the situation deteriorated.

(EuroNews) Algeria’s President Bouteflika resigns after mass protests


President Abdelaziz Bouteflika,  April 28, 2014

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, April 28, 2014 -CopyrightREUTERS- file

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has submitted resigned after a two-decade rule, according to a statement he issued to the state news agency APS.

The ailing 82-year-old president has been facing mounting pressure to step down following six weeks of nationwide protests and has rarely been seen in public since a stroke in 2013.

The resignation followed a demand by Algeria’s army chief of staff for an immediate constitutional procedure to remove Bouteflika from office.

Bouteflika also wrote in a letter “I have taken this step because I am keen to put an end to the current bickering.”

Adding, “I have taken the suitable measures needed for the continuity of the nation’s institutions during the interim period.”

Hundreds and thousands of Algerians have been flooding the streets since February after Bouteflika announced he would be standing for a fifth term in an election scheduled for April 18.

But he then reversed his decision to re-run for election and said he would postpone the election but he stopped short of saying when he would go, which further angered the protesters.

Most of the demonstrators have been young Algerians under the age of 30, hit hardest by the lack of economic reforms and a high rate of unemployment.

Scenes of jubilation unfolded on the streets of Algiers on Tuesday night.

Embedded video

Who is Bouteflika?

The National Liberation Front (FLN) party has ruled Algeria since the country won independence from France in 1962 after seven years of conflict.

Bouteflika came to power in 1999 and established himself by ending a civil war with Islamist militants that killed around 200,000 people.

What is article 102?

Article 102 of the Algerian Constitution will be invoked following his resignation. The Constitutional Council needs to get together and declare the presidency vacant. After that, this decision needs to be approved and upheld by the Parliament’s two houses: the lower house that is the People’s National Assembly, and the Council of the Nation, which is the equivalent of the Senate in France.

Under the constitution, once Bouteflika’s resignation is tendered and the presidency is declared vacant, the speaker of Algeria’s upper house of parliament, would act as interim leader for up to 90 days. The current speaker is 77-year-old Abdelkader Bensalah. If for some reason, the speaker’s seat is empty, the president of the Consitutional Council assumes office, equally for 90 days. Tayeb Belaiz, who is 70 years old, is the leader of the Council.

REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
Algeria’s Senate President Abdelkader BensalahREUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

At the end of the tunnel, a presidential election

During this period of 90 days, a presidential election must be organised, but the interim president does not have the right to contest the elections. Pending the outcome of the vote, no reshuffle or resignation of the government in place can be accepted.

What about the younger brother, Saïd?

Does Saïd Bouteflika, the mysterious and influential brother of the outgoing president, have a final card to play? Will the powerful military hierarchy, that has not yet lifted a finger, position itself strategically? Will the National Liberation Front be forced to let go of the reigns it held on to preciously since independence in 1962? The opposition, which has lost its credibility by remaining too passive, even by participating in power, could it find a real leader?

Many questions abound, but the answers remain elusive. What’s certain is that the Algerian population has lost its faith in the current ways of the state.