December 13th, 2016 | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

December 13th, 2016


UN Body Urges Albania to Identify Communist Victims
Almost 26 years after the fall of communism in Albania, those persecuted by the country’s Stalinist regime have little hope that the state will ever identify the remains of around 6,000 people who were executed or died in regime camps and prisons. Agim Musta, a researcher and former political prisoner under the communist regime, told BIRN that instead of identifying these remains, the government of Albania had let the issue become forgotten without ever seriously dealing with it.


The Forced Pregnancies of the Khmer Rouge
The Extraordinary Chambers of the Cambodian Courts (ECCC), jointly set up by the Cambodian government and the United Nations to hear cases related to the Khmer Rouge’s rule, has focused its attention on the forced marriages and rapes within marriages since August 22. The hearings finished by mid-October and a trial judgement is expected in late 2017. Many Cambodian women also suffered forced pregnancies, an atrocity that is not going to be investigated as a separate crime but as one related to forced marriages.


Study Reveals China Silently Censors WeChat Messages
Matthew Humphries, PCMAG
The Chinese government is well known for keeping tight control over what both media and individuals can say publicly. A recent study carried out by the Citizen Lab at the University or Toronto, reveals censorship is happening in real-time without any knowledge by Chinese users chatting to each other online. This latest study builds on previous work done by the Citizen Lab last year when it found WeChat censorship started heavily targeting politics and rumors discussions. Now it seems, anything and everything is being targeted, and nobody except the governments censors know when it happens.


Cuba Signs Deal for Faster Internet Access to Google Content
Cuba’s state-run telecommunications company Etecsa has signed a deal with Google that will enable faster access to content from the American company. Even though most Cubans are likely to see the deal with Google as a step forward, it will do little to change the overall online accessibility in the country. The majority of the population is not allowed access to the internet from home and must rely, instead, on expensive wi-fi points to get online.


Pretrial Detention of Crimean Tatar Activist Prolonged
A court in Russian-controlled Crimea has prolonged pretrial detention for jailed Crimean Tatar activist Ahtem Ciygoz for another three months. He was detained in January 2015 in connection with unrest outside the Crimean parliament on February 26, 2014, when Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian activists clashed with pro-Russian activists. Rights groups say Crimean Tatars and others who opposed Russia’s takeover have faced discrimination and abuse at the hands of the Moscow-imposed authorities.


Senate and House Leaders Call for Inquiry of Russian Hacking in Election
Jennifer Steinhauer, THE NEW YORK TIMES
The top two Republicans in Congress said on Monday that they supported investigations into possible Russian cyberattacks to influence the American election, setting up a potential confrontation with President-elect Donald J. Trump in his first days in office. “Any foreign breach of our cybersecurity measures is disturbing, and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, adding, “The Russians are not our friends.”


Venezuela Yanks Bills from Circulation
Venezuela is taking nearly half the country’s bank notes out of circulation beginning Wednesday, threatening to ruin the holidays season for Venezuelans already suffering from dire cash shortages, hyperinflation and an economic meltdown. The country’s largest bill, worth 100 bolivars or just 3 US cents on the black market, is to become illegal, in a move designed to combat contraband along Venezuela’s borders, the government said.