posts about or somewhat related to ‘zimbabwe’

After going through torture and persecution and such a long court case, I am devastated. This sends the signal that we are no longer free to express ourselves.

Edson Chakuma, a trade union leader in Zimbabwe, after a court found him and five others guilty of conspiring to commit public violence.

The crime: screening a film about the Arab Spring.

Via the Independent:

The group was charged with treason in February last year after they and 40 others were arrested at a trade union office, at which a film consisting of television news clips of the rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt were shown.

The six say they were tortured in custody -– by being beaten with planks of wood –- until they confessed to plotting to overthrow President Mugabe, 88. The 40 others were released and, in a case that has lasted more than a year, the charges against the six were eventually downgraded from treason, which carries the death penalty.

Sentencing occurs today.

The Independent, Guilty — of watching a film on the Arab Spring in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

It's Hard to Report When Your Subject is Anonymous →

Despite high profile activity such as Distributed Denial of Service attacks against Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa, the digital activist group Anonymous is notoriously difficult to report on.

Unlike traditional groups, there’s no clear leader or spokesperson. 

Instead, Anonymous organizes like the Web it uses as its platform: as a series of weak and strong links, with a variety of hubs representing the group’s activities. 

For example, over the past two months, Anonymous has claimed responsibility for digital attacks in support of pro-democracy movements against governmental agencies and resources in Egypt and Tunisia, and against Zimbabwe for its censorship of WikiLeaks documents.

Most recently, Anonymous exposed internal emails from the security firm HBGary Federal that demonstrate how it was about embark on a disinformation campaign against pro-union organizers in the United States.

Still, news organizations can’t quite put their finger on who they are, and why they do what they do.

Writes Gillian Terzis in The Altantic:

For the most part, the mainstream media remains befuddled by Anonymous, not knowing quite what to make of the group’s mélange of illegal activity, political motivations and sardonic sense of humor. Moreover, as the group does not visibly toil on any ideological coalface, media outlets have been tempted to portray Anonymous as a group of lonesome hackers with nebulous but shadowy intent. Mass rallies — like the ones in Wisconsin — make for an easy, linear media narrative. But electronic subterfuge and virtual activism are often depicted as a bloodless sport — the least compelling kind.

Or, as Chris Landers wrote a few years back:

Anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you know they’re a group? Because they’re travelling in the same direction. At any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely.

In some places, watching the news can very much hurt you.
Via Wired:

Munyaradzi Gwisai, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s law school, was showing internet videos about the tumult sweeping across North Africa to students and activists last Saturday, when state security agents burst into his office.
The agents seized laptop computers, DVD discs and a video projector before arresting 45 people, including Gwisai, who runs the Labor Law Center at the University of Zimbabwe. All 45 have been charged with treason — which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or death — for, in essence, watching viral videos.
Gwisai and five others were brutally tortured during the next 72 hours, he testified Thursday at an initial hearing.

In some places, watching the news can very much hurt you.

Via Wired:

Munyaradzi Gwisai, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe’s law school, was showing internet videos about the tumult sweeping across North Africa to students and activists last Saturday, when state security agents burst into his office.

The agents seized laptop computers, DVD discs and a video projector before arresting 45 people, including Gwisai, who runs the Labor Law Center at the University of Zimbabwe. All 45 have been charged with treason — which can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or death — for, in essence, watching viral videos.

Gwisai and five others were brutally tortured during the next 72 hours, he testified Thursday at an initial hearing.