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The dream of "Yellow Dogs" Iranian murdered in Brooklyn

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

 

They fled Iran to go after their dream rock. Invited in 2010 by the SXSW festival in Texas, the Soroush and Arash Farazmand (guitarist and drummer respectively) brothers had decided not to return home. The musicians had sought asylum in the United States and began to make a name in the grunge bars in Brooklyn.

In Iran, where rock is an "illegal activity" deemed contrary to religion, Yellow Dogs [Yellow Dog Ed] occurred in garages and basements for underground concerts . But the United States, post-punk their sound weird and exotic words were warmly welcomed. Prominently in Rolling Stone, they were invited to play all over the country with the other two members of their group: Siavash Karampour singer and bassist Koory Mirz. There are three weeks, the entire group produced the famous Brooklyn Bowl. On its website, the club described the Yellow Dogs as a "roaring life, spirit, tension and imagination" group.

Monday, November 11th in the morning, the two brothers were found dead, shot to death, along with their roommate and Iranian musician and songwriter Ali Eskandarian, 35. Their killer, Ali Akbar Mohammadi Rafie, a former member of another Iranian group, the Free Keys, has committed suicide shortly after the incident.

Shot dead in their apartment

According to the spokesman for the police, John J. McCarthy, interviewed by the New York Times, Rafie accessed the apartment through the roof. He had placed his gun in a guitar case. It was first shot Ali Eskandarian through a lounge window. Then in the chest Soroush, 27, who was lying in bed. Then came the turn of Arash, 28, shot in the head while he was on his computer.

Another resident of the apartment, the Iranian street-artist Sasan Sadeghpourosko, was shot twice in the shoulder and elbow, but survived. Rafie smashed the door of another apartment in the building, finding himself born in born with Pooya Hosseini, also a musician. The latter fought with him and escaped unharmed. Rafie is then returned to the roof of the building where he was shot in the head.

Salehezadeh Ali, who was the manager of the group and lived in the same block, told Reuters they had cut off contact with Rafie after he e , ty excluded Free Keys for stealing money. "When he was fired from his own group, we almost severed all ties with him. We were not really friends with him, "said Ali Salehezadeh in a telephone interview from Brazil. Himself had trouble finding a possible motive for the killings. "I do not know if it is right for them, for us, or for revenge because a member of the Free Keys live with us."

"Good boys"

Bassist and singer Koory Mirz Siavash Karampour were not there at the time of the attack. Monday, they posted a message on the group's Facebook page to announce the news, thanking their fans for the many messages of condolence still kept coming Tuesday.

Brian Kiernan Devine Jr., a member of a film crew who made a documentary about the group, said he was "shattered" by the news. "This is the youth group of the warmest, sincere and idealistic we had the chance to know artists. They managed to escape from Iran, were granted political asylum in New York to pursue their creative dreams (…) All this to be slaughtered in their beds. It is incomprehensible. This is madness. "

Yanira Lantigua, cashier of a local grocery store where young people would do their errands, calls "lovely and quiet boys who have never had a cross word." Monday, around 1 am, she heard the police helicopters flying over the area. It made him a shock to learn that she knew the victims. "They came to buy sandwiches and coffee as recently as a few days ago," she tells FRANCE 24. "The brothers were inseparable. They were really good boys. "

Alireza Tabiban an Iranian expatriate based in Austin, Texas, who had met and had seen them twice in concert, describes them as "very cool boys who just wanted to play their music and have fun. "He added that his family and friends in Tehran would be horrified by the details of this story. "There are not many murders by firearms [in Iran], since it is illegal to possess weapons," he told FRANCE 24. Mehdi Saharkhiz, an Observer FRANCE 24 who met the group in 2010 and spoke of them with passion, tweeted Monday: "This is hell. I still can not believe it. "

Slaughtered on the rise

The Yellow Dogs had built a solid fan club in the United States and beyond. The last member of the group to be granted asylum in the United States had received his papers there are only a few months. The rockers were planning a tour of Europe and Turkey, where they hoped to happen to their family and friends. "Our parents have never seen us play!" Confided Soroush Farazmand in April 2012 in an interview with eMusic.

Before leaving Iran, the group formed in 2006 in Tehran appeared in a documentary about the underground music scene of the Iranian capital, "Persian Cats". The film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 2009. That same year, in a CNN report, Siavash Karampour judged its affiliates as "closer than [his] brothers."

In the last interview that Soroush Farazmand gave before being killed, he explained to Vice magazine: "We have decided to live in Brooklyn because it's a place where we can grow. "Their apartment 318 East Williamsburg became a gathering place for artists and Iranian musicians.

"It was a small group of punk underground from Iran who was turning heads," explains Ali Salehezadeh their manager in an interview with Reuters. "They always said, 'If you want to get there, we must do so in New York,'" he relates. "But they have not been so lucky."

Adapted by Steven Jambot in Paris.

SAUDI ARABIA: Women Driving: Saudi women to run the emancipation

Friday, October 25th, 2013

 

"Driving is a choice." Behind this lies a banal slogan fight is far from it: the Saudi militant million for the right to drive. The women are so called Wahhabi kingdom, Saturday, Oct. 26, to drive to challenge the political and religious authorities of the country in the world where they are deprived of this right.

"On October 26, the women in Saudi Arabia say they are determined (…) and that this issue must be resolved," he told AFP Manal Al Sharif icon Women movement to drive for two years now. On 17 May 2011, the Saudi 32 years, computer consultant, was posting a YouTube video of her driving a car. This weapon is earned him taste the Saudi jails for nine days and revive an old fight over 20 years.

It all began in November 1990, during the war in the Gulf. While women of the U.S. military lead on military bases in the kingdom, 47 Saudi decided to organize a convoy through the streets of Riyadh, said CNN. Immediately arrested, some even lose their job. In a country steeped in patriarchal and religious traditions, Islam is then waved to give a societal taboo law. In 1991, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom and issues a fatwa prohibiting women from driving. The reason? Leave them alone in vehicles must lead to the "diversity" and thus the "social chaos."

"The fact that a woman driving a car is a source of many evils and unfortunate consequences. This leads in particular to meet men when they are not on their guard. This encourages them to commit grave sins, because where such activity is prohibited, "asserted while Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, the Washington Post reports. Following the recommendations of the highest religious authority, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud al-then Minister of the Interior issues a decree endorsing the fatwa. Women's driving becomes illegal.

A promising mobilization

On the eve of the operation "driving is a choice," the mobilization is already waiting for you. "More than 50 videos showing women being drive" have been uploaded since the launch of the campaign on social networks, said Manal Al Sharif, who now lives in Dubai ,. An online petition launched in early September collected 16,000 signatures before being blocked two weeks later, said the Middle East Online website.

Saturday, October 26, no parade of women driving is expected, the law banning any gathering. Each activist who received the precious abroad is invited to drive individually and post photos and videos on social networks.

Faced with the unprecedented media coverage of the movement, a hundred religious has already Risposte gathering in front of the royal palace in Jeddah on Tuesday 22 October. Last month, the Conservative Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan protested by advancing either religious arguments but pseudo-medical. "The conduct automatically affects the ovaries and pelvis back, he has advanced the sabq.org site. This is why children born to women who drive regularly suffer from physical disorders to varying degrees. "

A first step to extract more rights

Given the hypocrisy of Saudi society, thirty three female members of the influential Advisory Council Majlis al-Shura, named in January by King Abdullah, decided to act. Dr. Al-Shalan Latifah, Dr. Haya Al-Manee and Dr. Mona Al-Mushait thus filed an appeal on 10 October to lift the de facto ban on women driving, recalls the USA Today website.

This recommendation does lead one day to a royal decree? This is the wish of Saudi who believe that only the king can reform society. "The king said that this is the company to decide. But this is impossible, the religious will never agree. It is for him to decide because it is a political issue, "the indignant blogger Tamador Al Yami on the site" Madame Le Figaro ".

But the Wahhabi kingdom, women's rights have always aroused great controversy. In the 1960s, the opening of the first girls' schools had raised such a storm of protest, including radical clerics that King Saud had to send the army to the protected. Although some argue that "society is not ready", Saudi Arabia carries shy but many advances in recent years. In 2009, King Abdullah has opened the first coeducational university, the University of Science and Technology. In September 2011, the king granted them the right to vote and representation in the municipal elections of 2015. And in recent months, domestic violence is now prohibited by law. Small steps to some, but not for such a giant conservative regime.

Obtain the right to drive, the first step towards the emancipation? Manal Al-Sharif believes hard as iron. Saudi women dream of "a more important right", that "to be considered major" and no longer depend on the permission of a male guardian - father, brother or husband - to travel, work or even get married. A long struggle which should nevertheless lead. Saudi Arabia signed the UN convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Sooner or later, it will ratify.

RWANDA: Attack against Habyarimana South Africa remains deaf to the requests of the French judge

Friday, October 18th, 2013

 

According to Radio France Internationale (RFI), the French anti-terrorism judge Marc Trévidic wrote in March 2012, a letter rogatory in order to examine the general Kayumba Nyamwasa on the circumstances of the attack on April 6, 1994 during which President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed.

According to informed sources, this commission was passed in April 2012 in the Chancery and sent a month later to the South African authorities have never given only , suite. 

In July, the former chief of staff of the Rwandan army, now in exile in South Africa, had told RFI hold information that may involve the current Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the attack and he was ready to talk to a French judge.

Read the article exclusive Sonia Rolley on the RFI website.

FRENCH HERITAGE: The oldest cinema in the world rising from the ashes in La Ciotat

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

 

Behind its facade art deco yellow ocher is a monument in the history of Seventh Art reopens its doors on Wednesday, October 9 at La Ciotat, a half hour's drive from Marseille. Eden Theatre can indeed boast of being the oldest cinema in the world, with projections from the last years of the nineteenth century.

It is more precisely on 21 March 1899 the Eden Theatre hosts its first screening. Nearly 250 spectators médusésy then discovered the first films of Louis and Auguste Lumiere, less than four years after "the first public screening of film history" in the sumptuous family in Lyon.

A mythical time that makes the Eden Theatre oldest halls, sisters who disappeared over time. If she escaped this doom, thanks to the determination of a handful of Ciotadens refusing to see him die "a popular room where half the city ​​met the other half ", likes to tell the laughing eye, Michel Cornille, President of the Association" Lights of Eden ".

Tourism asset

Formerly the show and theater district, the Eden Theatre was forced to close its doors in 1995, after years of financial problems. It will take six million renovation to give new life to this legendary venue built on the seafront of La Ciotat. The building has been renovated respecting its identity inspired by the Italian theaters. The wooden structure that threatened to collapse has been strengthened, carpet éliméea been replaced by black oak flooring while E. were installed on the floor chairs in vintage velvet.

"In this beautiful place that tells a story," the Marseille architect André Stern has developed a set design depicting the transition from photography to the moving image, while at the Outside, the building will become the night locomotive - a tribute to the film of the Lumière brothers' Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat ", which had caused so much terror into the public - with a show on the front of the Seventh Art. 

Tourist attraction for the town of 35,000 inhabitants, the population triples in the summer, Eden "is not only a mausoleum in cinematic history," said Jean- François Chougnet, president of Marseille-Provence 2013, but a cinema in its own right after the highlight of the opening will be managed by a private operator ,. An operator who makes "his partner, his display," according to Mr. Cornille, because "with its 166 seats, it may be difficult to survive economically."

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Amnesty wants to disrupt the relay of the Olympic flame in Russia

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

 

The start of the Olympic torch promises to unfold under high tension. While Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sunday will kick off the relay of the Olympic flame will travel 65,000 miles across the country to the opening of the Olympics in Sochi on the 7th February 2014, Amnesty International will launch at that time a global campaign against violations of human rights in Russia

Arriving from Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics, the flame is expected Sunday at Moscow-Vnukovo airport at 10:45 GMT in the presence of Russian leaders and the French Jean-Claude Killy, Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Games of Sochi, southern Russia, from 7 to 23 February 2014.

A ceremony is then provided on the Red Square, where the Russian president will officially launch the relay of the Olympic flame in Russia.  "Drawing attention to the extent of violations of human rights"

The NGO Amnesty International has already announced Monday - the day when the Olympic Torch Relay will begin its journey through the streets of Moscow - a global campaign to denounce violations of human rights in Russia. "The Olympic flame can shed light on violations of human rights that the authorities prefer to hide with the celebrations," the NGO said in a statement .

"Supporters of Ottawa to Puerto Rico via Warsaw, Paris, Brussels, and Moscow will hold demonstrations in public places and in front of the Russian embassy to draw attention to the magnitude of human rights freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Russia, "Amnesty said in a statement.

In Moscow, the NGO plans to hold a rally on Pushkin Square in the heart of the capital, but the Russian authorities refused, she has said.  

Extensive safety device

Thousands of police will be mobilized from 6 to 8 October in Moscow where the Olympic flame arrives Olympics in Sochi. "Around 12,000 police personnel assigned to the Ministry of Interior and volunteers will be mobilized for public order and public safety during the Olympic torch relay in Moscow" ,, police said in a statement.

In addition to the police, about 6,000 security officers will be mobilized for the event, said on his part the Russian daily Izvestia Friday. The Russian Army will also participate in security operations.

The Sochi Olympics are an event that is particularly Vladimir Putin, who has used his influence to get the organization that wishes to make a showcase of Russia which he is the strong man for 13 years.

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FRANCE: Book Price: MEPs vote anti-Amazon legislation

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

 

It will now be impossible for operators such as Amazon, to accumulate a 5% discount on books with free shipping. The decision was adopted unanimously Thursday, October 3 by members.

The right and left have denounced in unison that "dumping" and adopted the text submitted by the UMP, as amended by the Government. It will now go to the Senate.  

These costs offered free by Amazon, which owns 70% of the market for online sales transport are considered as unfair competition by traditional bookstores, already in poor condition financially , re.

Amazon practice "strategy of dumping, selling at a loss," he denounced during the debate the Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filippetti. "The evidence is that they do not practice in this free country, where there is no single price of the book. […] Once they are in a dominant position and have crushed our network of booksellers, they ascend the price, "she said.

The bill inserts in the Lang Law of 1981 the price of one book, a paragraph stating that, in the case of a book shipped to the buyer, the seller may not receive both a 5% discount and free shipping.

France has one of the densest networks of libraries in the world, with some 3500 traditional bookstores (including 600 to 800 "independent" does not belong to an e , publisher, distributor, chain or a large surface area) against just 1,000 in Britain. 

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CENTRAL: Report on Central: "What we are experiencing is worse than anything"

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

 

Already shaky before - - Since the overthrow of President François Bozizé and installing the power of ex-rebels Seleka, the state apparatus has almost disappeared in Central Africa. Many of the 25,000 fighters Seleka coalition no longer obey their immediate superiors, who cut strongholds across the country.

Friday, September 13, the president of Central Michel Djotodia transition came to power at the head of the Seleka on March 24, announced in Bangui the immediate dissolution of the rebel alliance . He had already ordered several times publicly disarmament and cantonment of combatants of the former rebels. In Bangui, it was even forbidden to participate in any operation policing.

These announcement effects had not hitherto had little results. If observers noted a slight improvement in the situation in Bangui, there is nothing in the province. Fighters - "uncontrolled" according to the authorities - committing abuses, violence and looting repeatedly against the population, as could be seen Stephen Huver and Boris Heger. FRANCE 24, they took the road to Bossangoa (250 km northwest of Bangui) on 11 September.

The two journalists were accompanying a convoy on the road, under military escort FOMAC Force (interposition of Central Africa). They crossed dozens of deserted villages while since more than a week, civilians are directly targeted by both sides who oppose. Along the way, they crossed vigilante groups who harass government troops.

Civilians referred

At 50 kilometers from Bossangoa, in 11, the convoy discovered the horror in a burned a few hours earlier village. In total, six people were killed with machetes. According to the Presidency, the abuses of this type are made by supporters of the former president who prey on people of Muslim faith. Michel Djotodia being the first Muslim president of an overwhelmingly Christian country.

The continuing conflict fueling tensions between Christians and Muslims, raising fears of sectarian war. Each community now has its dead and wounded. More than 6,000 Christians dare not leave the diocese of Bossangoa. The sanitary conditions are extremely precarious: a single water point, two latrines, no drugs. Father Frederic Tonfio, vicar general of Bossangoa is exceeded: "That's unheard of. There were riots, rebellions, but what we are experiencing is worse than anything. "

The 8 and 9 September, clashes between forces of the new regime and supporters of General Bozizé had a hundred dead near this location, on a non-final balance provided by the pre , residence. According to the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the "atrocities were committed by both sides in the conflict."

SYRIA: Damascus and Moscow suggest a better control of Syrian chemical weapons

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

A few hours after Moscow's proposal that called Damascus to its chemical weapons under international control, Syria welcomed the request of his Russian ally.

"Minister Lavrov put forward an initiative related to chemical weapons. I declare Syria welcomes Russia's initiative, based on the concerns of Russian leaders on the lives of our citizens and the security of our country, "said Walid Moallem, the Minister the Syrian Foreign Affairs, quoted by Russian news agencies. He also praised the "wisdom of Russian leaders who are trying to prevent U.S. aggression against our people."

The United States, skeptical of the initiative said, through a spokesman of the State Department, they would "carefully consider the Russian statement […] to understand exactly what the Russians offer. "

For his part, Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, said that the Russian proposal was "acceptable". "The proposal of Sergei Lavrov, deserves careful examination," said Laurent Fabius claiming that the Syrian president "agrees promptly to bring under control International and let them destroy all of its chemical "arsenal, and requesting a referral to the International Criminal Court to be tried for the authors of the chemical attack of August 21 in the re region of Damascus.

"Destroy" chemical arsenal

Russia had proposed to Syria, Monday, September 9, to place its stockpiles of chemical weapons under international control and destroy them, hoping that this proposal could prevent military action against Damascus regime. 

"We call on the Syrian leadership to not only take place under international control its stockpile of chemical weapons, and then to destroy, but to fully join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chemicals ", said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Sergei Lavrov had spoken while his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, had also formulated earlier, the same proposal Bashar al-Assad: "Obviously he [Assad] might restore its entire chemical weapons to the international community in the coming week, to everything, without de lai (…) But he is not ready to do, and he can not do ", said John Kerry.

Jen Psaki, spokesman for the State Department had then insisted on the "rhetorical" nature of the remark of John Kerry, saying it can not be interpreted Tee design as an ultimatum or an offer to negotiate at a "brutal dictator" and untrustworthy.

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SYRIA: chemical weapons in Syria Washington, Damascus is "accountable"

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

 

"What we saw last week in Syria shocked the world's conscience. It defies any code of morality. The indiscriminate killing of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders with chemical weapons is morally indecent. " Monday, August 26, John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, has once again raised its voice against the Syrian regime accused of using weapons chemical.

Such attacks are, according to statements by Barack Obama in April 2012, a "red line" beyond which actions should be taken against the Syrian regime. And indeed, the international community increase the tone and is threatening since August 21, the day of the massacre with chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus, denounced by the Syrian opposition.

Threats of intervention

"President [U.S. Barack] Obama thinks that those who use the most horrific weapons against the most vulnerable people on the planet are accountable," said John Kerry.

These statements echo the comments made by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, one of Europe Monday, said: "It is proportioned reactions, measure, act with both determination and composure and that's going to be settled in the coming days. The options are open. The only one I did not expect is to do nothing. "

Earlier, his British counterpart suggested that it was possible to do without the unanimous agreement of the Security Council of the UN. "Otherwise we would not respond to such crimes, such violence," he said.

Barack Obama dragging its feet

Westerners use the threat of military intervention. Are they going to enforce it? "It is, in any case, the rumor in Washington," says Stanislas de Saint Hippolyte, FRANCE 24 correspondent in the United States.

According to Frédéric Pichon, PhD in Contemporary History, London will not be without getting a green light from the United States. "The conditions are not met for intervention to take place in Syria," he says, arguing also the possibility that Washington opts for the use of drones if the United States consider necessary action. "Congress has just authorized the use of drones to carry out actions in Syria," slides specialist.

According to a recent poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos, Barack Obama would risk alienating a large portion of the American public if he decided to fight a war in Syria: 60% of Amer ; Ricans are against intervention in the country, and only 9% support such an operation. A war against the regime in Damascus, even as Washington tries to put an end to the U.S. presence - very expensive - in Afghanistan, would be electorally risky for Barack Obama.

But Isabelle Lasserre, a journalist with "Le Figaro", a specialist in military and strategic issues, says rather a likely response. According to her, the same operation would already underway through Syrian rebel fighters handpicked and trained in Jordan by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos.

"There are two possible scenarios [in the case of foreign intervention], she says. One can imagine targeted strikes against military targets that could be taken from the American warships stationed in the Mediterranean and cruise missiles. One can also imagine the establishment of a no-fly zone that allows both to protect civilians and provide shelter for soldiers Free Syrian Army, those and even trained in Jordan. "

"We can decide to bypass the UN"

According to Chuck Hagel, U.S. Secretary of Defense, the United States "considering all options." "If any action is taken, it will be with the assistance of the international community and within the framework provided by the laws."

However, the legal provisions that evokes likely to happen to an agreement of the Security Council of the UN, which Russia opposes, since the conflict began, veto and any resolution against the Syrian regime. "For all military actions, one can go through the UN and decide to get around, says Isabelle Lasserre. This has already happened several times: in 1999, when the United States launched an intervention against the Serbs during the conflict in Kosovo. NATO has conducted the game and the UN is later linked to the international process. "

"The problem, she says, is that if we wait for a decision by the UN on Syria, we might have to wait a very long time, because of the Russian veto and Chinese. And for now, we do not know what could push Russia towards the rest of the international community. "

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa: A year after the tragedy of Marikana mine, "nothing has changed"

Friday, August 16th, 2013

 

A year ago, South Africa lived the drama of the Marikana mine (north of South Africa). August 16, 2012, the South African police, overwhelmed by hostile strikers opened fire on the crowd in front of the platinum mine operated by the British group Lonmin, killing 34 people and 78 injured. This massacre, the worst since the end of apartheid, had caused a trauma in the population, recalling the dark days of apartheid apartheid was abolished in 1994.

The workers demanded a wage increase. Since nothing seems to have changed. For Anderson Ka-Nduku, a minor at the Lonmin factory, "life is always difficult. We still live in the same way since my colleagues were killed on the hill. Nothing has changed, not even the wages we expected, they still refuse to pay us. "

The tension is never really settled last year. And rivalries between unions have not helped. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), close to the ruling party but stalled, opposed the radical union AMCU recognized this week by the majority leadership of Lonmin, to the chagrin of the NUM.

This union rivalry continues to cast a pall over the region last year, murders, suicides and intimidation succeeding until earlier this week with the summary execution in front of his house, of a militant NUM.

The investigation is stuck

At these trade tensions add constant distrust the police and the absence of findings of the inquiry, launched by the President to shed light on the drama. "We still do not know exactly what happened in Marikana, the commission has not made its findings, we are not ready to be able to determine who is responsible for death of 34 miners, "said political analyst and Eusebius McKaiser.

Kututwa for Christmas, Deputy Director of Amnesty International Africa Department, "the long-term consequences in terms of respect for human rights in South Africa will be in serious cases failure of the authorities "to identify the culprits.

The South African government and the African National Congress (ANC ruling party) have announced their decision to stay away from the commemoration of the massacre.

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