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Latest update : 2010-03-04

Survivors of the Rwandan genocide welcome Agathe Habyarimana's arrest

In this edition: The widow of Rwandan president Habyarimana arrest was closely followed online; Polish web users win a battle in web censorship war in their country; and on YouTube, MysteryGuitarMan plays Mozart with beer bottles.

 

RWANDA GENOCIDE PERPETRATORS
 
Agathe Habyarimana, the widow of the Rwandan president whose assassination was one of the main events which triggered the genocide of 1994, was arrested in France and subsequently released on bail. Just several days after Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Rwanda, Kigali has accused her of helping to plan the mass killing of Tutsis and is demanding her extradition.

Organizations that work to protect and defend survivors of the genocide have welcomed the news. This collective had filed a complaint against Agathe Habyarimana before the French Court. Their web site echoes their combat to track down those genocide perpetrators currently hiding in France.
 
The journalist Maria Malagardis met with survivors on the trail of those involved in the genocide which claimed 800 000 lives. In this online interview, she describes their commitment.
 
« It gave meaning to their lives and helped them deal with the trauma or the pain and it also met their need for justice.”

Many of those involved in the genocide fled abroad afterwards and are still escaping justice. Fugitives wanted by Interpol, which in collaboration with The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has issued these descriptions of wanted persons on YouTube.
 
Others have campaigned via the web for France to shed light on the role it played in the country at the beginning of the 1990s. The NGO “Survie’ French for survival, is asking for the ‘secret défense’ status to be waived on dossiers concerning France during the genocide.
 
WEBCENSORSHIP IN POLAND
 
In February Polish web users won a fight against possible web censorship in their country. The Prime Minister, with the backing of the Constitutional Tribunal, had planned to create a register of banned websites and services. Thanks to online mobilisation, the bill was withdrawn.
  
The man who led the protests, the blogger Piotr Waglowski, had criticized the Prime Minister from the outset and declared his opposition to the plans. In this video he sings a song from the old Polish film “Forbidden Songs”
  
An open letter to the Polish president has been put online by another web user. It has been signed by many bloggers and also members of NGOs, lawyers, teachers and even politicians. There has also been mass mobilisation on Facebook.
 
 
The organization Blackout Europe, which organized a number of demonstrations, was leading people to a false web site, on which the Prime Minister delivers a message saying the site could be dangerous and has been banned by the Ministry.
  
The organization also posts a link to this video. The songs says that if the community does not take action, if it does not fight for its rights and it’s freedom, censorship will happen soon.
 
  
In February, the Prime Minister finally decided to meet with bloggers, which resulted in the bill being withdrawn.
  
PARTENOPE

A town where there’s no crime and the inhabitants have a strong sense of civic spirit. Here is “Parthenope”, the ancient name of Naples. It’s a dream shared by a group of Neapolitan web users. They want to refound the old city and base it on ethical and moral values. The portal has a daily online newspaper as well as a virtual town hall to discuss city matters. Parthenope currently has over 3000 inhabitants. The next step: to expand its influence in the real world by submitting proposals to Naples City Council.
 
HAVE YOUR FRIENDS BEEN THERE ?

See what your friends have been looking at on the Internet. This new service, called “Have your friends been there?” allows you to dig through your contacts’ browsing history. You just have to send a particular Internet site address to the person of your choice and when that person clicks on the link, some software will search through their browser history, looking for addresses of pornographic websites.
 
TODAY’S VIDEO
 
Here’s one of MysteryGuitarMan’s lastest videos. He’s playing Mozart using beer bottles. It’s not his first masterpiece, this American man of Brazilian origin, whose real name is Joe Penna, is already a star on Youtube and has 430 592 fans.
 
 
 

 

By FRANCE 24

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