Youths arrested in Corsica / Amazigh activist in hunger strike / Agreement on Sardinian language on TV, radio

3 to 9 March

Sardinian government and RAI sign agreement.
Sardinian government and RAI sign agreement. Author: TGR RAI Sardegna @ Twitter
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. We are paying attention this time to recent events in two Mediterranean islands: Corsica one the hand, where a wave of arrests of pro-independence young activists has taken place, and Sardinia on the other, where a new agreement will allow the broadcasting of Sardinian programs on the public radio and TV. We are also reporting on the extreme situation that an Amazigh activist has reached in Algeria, and on a prison sentence against a Kurdish artist.


19 pro-independence Corsican youths arrested by the Gendarmerie.The arrests, on March 7, took place in the framework of an investigation on a set of 2016 incidents in Corti. The 19 youths —many of them members of the Ghjuventù Indipendentista students’ union— were released the same day without charges. Corsican government president Gilles Simeoni criticized the “logic of repression” by the French authorities, further said that the arrests had no foundation, and warned the French government that this path entails “political risks” and a “potential degradation” of the situation in the island. The union speaks of “serious provocation by the French state against the youth of our country.”


Autumn 2018 makes “common sense” for second referendum in Scotland. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has told this to the BBC, but UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon nonetheless warned that the UK government “doesn’t see any need” to call a second referendum on independence. An IPSOS-Mori poll forecast a technical tie between supporters and opponents of secession.

Sardinian language broadcasting comes back to public radio and TV. After a two-year hiatus, Sardinian language programs have reappeared on RAI Tre and Radio Uno schedules since March 6. The broadcasting is the result of an agreement between RAI and the Sardinian government, which says the agreement is just a stopgap solution: what is needed, the government holds, is a general deal between the Italian government and RAI including Sardinian audiovisual content.

Kurdish artist sentenced to 2 years and 10 months for painting destruction. Zehra Dogan has been sentenced over a painting that portrays the destruction by Turkish armed forces in the city of Nisêbîn, and also over an article she wrote in 2015. The court, however, has cleared the artist of terrorism charges. Dogan had been arrested on 21 July 2016. She was also the editor of Kurdish feminist JINHA news agency, that Turkish authorities closed down in October.

Amazigh hunger striker in serious condition. Kamel Eddine Fekhar, a leader of the Mzab pro-autonomy movement, has now been for two months on a hunger strike against his provisional detention in Algeria, that has been lasting for more than one year and a half. Fekhar’s life is in serious danger, the Izmulen Association for the rights of the Mozabite people reports. Seriously concerned about his health, a group of intellectuals and activists have asked Fekhar to stop the protest.

Communist Party (Marxist) says federalism in India is in danger. Secretary-general of the CPI (M), Sitaram Yechury, has said that “diversity” is being denied by Hindu nationalism and economic liberalism. The party rules the states of Kerala and Tripura.

China again warns Taiwan and Hong Kong on independence. Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang has reiterated that his government “will never tolerate” any action aimed at ensuring the independence of Taiwan, and has called on citizens of the two countries to “firmly advance peaceful reunification of China.” Meanwhile, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Assembly Zhang Dejiang has reminded to Hong Kong’s pro-independence movement that China will not tolerate secession.