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Human-Rights Activist Robert Bernstein on Alliance With Movements.org

The following article first appeared on The Daily Beast. To access, click HERE.

In his 25 years at Random House, Robert Bernstein published authors from William Faulkner to Dr. Seuss. After traveling to the Soviet Union in 1973, Bernstein began a second long career in the human-rights movement, advocating for Soviet dissidents and fighting to publish writers, like Vaclav Havel, who were censored in their own countries. Now Bernstein’s organization, Advancing Human Rights, is merging with Movements.org, another small human-rights group founded by 30-year-old Jared Cohen, a former State Department official who now leads Google Ideas....

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Tragedy Brings First Successful Cyber Campaign in Iran

Just before 5PM local time on August 11, 2012, two large earthquakes with respective magnitudes of 6.4 and 6.3 hit the northeastern region of Iran within eleven minutes, causing a continuous string of aftershocks and over 300 deaths.

In response to the poor coverage of the tragedy by Iranian State-sponsored television, citizens and lawmakers swiftly organized search-and-rescue groups via Facebook. The speed of this cyber campaign fostered an effective citizen-based recovery effort, mobilizing volunteers from the capital of Tehran to the provincial capital of Tabriz. Volunteers gathered and distributed water, blankets, sandals and...

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Activist Arrested Over ‘Innocence’ Allegations

The following excerpt was taken from The Daily Beast.  To view the original, click here.

As Egypt’s Coptic Christians worry they’ll become targets of the unrest, Mike Giglio reports on the harrowing ordeal of a Christian man attacked by an angry mob in Cairo over accusations he posted a link to the anti-Muslim film on Facebook.

On Thursday night, as demonstrators clashed with police in central Cairo over the anti-Islam amateur film that has sparked outrage across the Muslim world, Alber Saber was hiding at home. An angry crowd chanting Allahu Akbar was massed outside his door. Saber, a 27-year-old activist, had a long history of...

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Robert L. Bernstein: Saudi Textbooks Incite Hate, Say Leaders in American Publishing

The following article was taken from the Daily Beast on October 17, 2012.  To view the original, click here.

As current and former heads of major American publishing houses, we know the value of words. They inform actions and shape the world views of all, especially children. We are writing to express our profound disappointment that the Saudi government continues to print textbooks inciting hatred and violence against religious minorities.

A ninth-grade textbook published by the Ministry of Education states, “The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims.” An eighth-grade textbook...

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Five-year sentence for Egyptian Activist Arrested During Pilgrimage to Mecca

Egyptian lawyer and human rights advocate, Ahmad Al-Jizawi, was sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes by the Jeddah General Court in Saudi Arabia. Jizawi has made himself a thorn in the side of Egyptian and Saudi authorities by speaking out against arbitrary detentions, but this time he was charged with attempting to smuggle over 21,000 of the anti-anxiety pill Xanax into the country, pills that are deemed to be narcotics by the Saudi authorities.

Last April, Al-Jizawi was taking a trip with his wife to Saudi Arabia,  performing the Islamic ritual of the “umrah”, or pilgrimage, when he was detained.  Many activists believe that...

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Movements.Org Sponsors Dictator Appreciation Month

An earlier version of this piece appeared on Foregin Policy magazine’s Democracy Lab blog under the title: Why Dictators Don’t Like Jokes.

To help Movements.org launch Dicatator Appreciation Month, Srdja Popovic and Mladen Joksic, veterans of Serbia’s cutting-edge revolutionary movement Otpor, break down how ‘laughtivism’ is changing the way revolutionary movements are tearing down dictatorships. Stay tuned throughout June as guest bloggers give us look inside authoritarian countries and how activists in each are becoming laughtivists.

Revolutions are serious business. But even the most somber of revolutionaries can’t afford outdated...

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