Monday, April 30, 2012


Turkish human rights activist, writer and publisher Ragip Zarkolu condemns serious freedom of speech violations in Turkey in this revealing letter that the he sent from the Selimiye Prison where he was held prisoner until last week:
"A friend of mine, who worked at the same publishing house as I did, had told me about the prison long before I was sent to it. Her husband had spent almost ten years there. This kind of prison establishments are called F. Tipi (Type F), in other words, they are prisons for criminals suspected of terrorism. In Turkey the notion of terrorism is fairly arbitrary; the existing political will and thus the state decides what is meant by terrorism. Merely to have once met somebody involved in so-called illegal political activity can be enough to make one suspect of similar ‘terrorist’ activities."
For the complete letter please refer to the The Dissident Blog, Turkey's freedom of speech is crumbling (Raqip Zarakolu Translation from Swedish: Jan Henrik Swahn)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Escape from Camp 14 is a new book that provides an in-depth look at a North Korea, which in my view is the most totalitarian state of our times. It gives testimony of North Korea's harshest concentration camps (the so called Camp 14) through the eyes of Shin Dong Hyuk, a native of Kaetchon and the only living survivor of those camps. 

For further information on North Korea I refer you a photo gallery that I titled 'North of Totalitarianism'

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


What is his name? His name is Andrés Carrión Alvares. He is 38 years old, with a BA in Social Rehabilitation and a native of Santiago de Cuba.

What did he do? He dared to speak out and shouted 'FREEDOM FOR CUBA,' 'DOWN WITH THE DICTATORSHIP' 'DOWN WITH COMMUNISM' during Pope's Benedict XVI mass at the Antonio Maceo Square in Santiago de Cuba on March 26, 2012.

Consequences? He was detained and beaten by agents of the Cuban State Security. Up to this day Carrión is arrested in Santiago de Cuba pending trial. 

With his act of bravery, Carrión reminds the world of those like China's tankman, the anonymous hero who captured the world's attention when he stood up in font of a column of tanks to prevent the Chinese army from massacring protesters during the Tianamen Rebellion on June 5, 1989.
Note: Andrés Carrión was released today (April 23, 2012). It is significant to note that the pressure exerted by blogs, social networks (Twitter, Facebook) and other media outlets worldwide led the Castro regime to take this decision. Carrión's release is conditional. He will be on a police watch list and will be detained every time a public demonstration takes place in Cuba.

Top 3 photos of Andrés Carrión referred via Twitter from Aguaya Berlín
Photo of China's Tankman taken from China Digital Times