(TFC) – I was laying in bed and it was early morning. There was a knock at the door. “There’s the feds,” I said and rolled over to look out the window. There were a few local cop cars and the…
The chief editor of a leading news website in Kazakhstan has announced that he has left the country out of concern that he may be targeted for prosecution.
Bekzhan Idrisov, who edits Radiotochka.kz, made the announcement on his Facebook page on December 26. The publisher of his website and editor of Central Asia Monitor newspaper, Bigeldy Gabdullin, was detained by the authorities in mid-November on suspicion of committing fraud.
Stories of reporters feeling compelled to flee Kazakhstan are a stark reminder of the problems face by independent media in the country as they negotiate financial constraints and pressure from the government to refrain from critical coverage.
Millions around the world are again gawking over police brutality against water protectors. Following DAPL’s (Dakota Access Pipeline’s) corporation dishonoring Obama’s requests the to halt construction, a new wave of violence hit the protest camps. However, whereas these acts are obvious, those of contracted intelligence firms remain more insidious.
“Do not believe that your cellphones or your computers are clean and uncompromised”, said journalist Jeremy Scahill. “I guarantee you that they’re using the entire suite of surveillance devices.” Scahill was giving water protectors, and fellow journalists in Standing Rock advice on Democracy Now.
“I know that people have been complaining that their cellphones have been down”, he continued, “their internet has been down. That can be caused by surveillance weaponry targeting their devices.” Scahill describes how phones and computers belonging to water protectors can be used as “geo-tracking devices.”
For the first time, an outside investor has bought into Rolling Stone. The outside investor is a social media entrepreneur from Singapore. What is being described in the media as a “minority share” of the once illustrious counter-culture magazine is a 49% stake. The sale is indicative of what is happening to many traditionally anti-establishment and counter-culture outlets. They’ve become properties on the Monopoly board of the international publishing world.
From Vice to Rolling Stone the pop culture counter-narrative is dying. So where can readers find a substitute? It was greed that got us into this mess, and hopefully it will be Greed that gets us out of it.
A court in Chechnya on September 5, 2016, sentenced a local independent journalist to three years in prison on dubious drug possession charges, Human Rights Watch said today.
The journalist, Zhalaudi Geriev, worked for the Caucasian Knot, a Russian media portal covering current developments in the Caucasus and well known for its reporting on abuses by Chechen authorities. Geriev will appeal the sentence.
“We have no doubt that Geriev is being punished for his work as a journalist and hope that justice will prevail on appeal,” said Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director at Human Rights Watch.
Britain’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has refused to declassify files about its work with Bangladeshi prison guards, as an elderly British journalist enters his fourth month of detention without charge.
International human rights charity Reprieve is concerned that Shafik Rehman, an 81 year old former BBC journalist, could face a potential death sentence.
In 2015, the MoJ’s commercial arm, Just Solutions International (JSi) carried out a feasibility study of Bangladesh’s prisons. Reprieve made a freedom of Information request for copies of files from this JSi project, asking in particular for details about healthcare and facilities for elderly prisoners. However, the MoJ recently refused the request claiming that releasing the files would damage international relations.
Chilling Effect on Free Expression
The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza are arresting, abusing, and criminally charging journalists and activists who express peaceful criticism of the authorities. The crackdown directly violates obligations that Palestine recently assumed in ratifying international treaties protecting free speech.
“Both Palestinian governments, operating independently, have apparently arrived at similar methods of harassment, intimidation and physical abuse of anyone who dares criticize them,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch. “The Palestinian people fought hard to gain the protections that accompany membership in the international community, and their leaders should take their treaty obligations seriously.”
One Month On, Search for Missing Reporter Continues
It is exactly one month since 37-year-old journalist Jean Bigirimana vanished after leaving his home in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, for Bugarama, a town about 40 kilometers away. There are unconfirmed reports that he was arrested there by members of the intelligence services, but his whereabouts remain unknown.
As the days passed without news, Jean’s young family, friends, and colleagues at Iwacu newspaper began wondering if he might be dead. The cruel nature of such cases means there’s no certainty about the victim’s fate, and no possibility of closure.
It wasn’t until Jean’s colleagues at Iwacu launched a campaign that the government ended its silence. Three days after he vanished, police spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye flatly denied that the security forces had arrested Jean. A week later, the president’s communications advisor, Willy Nyamitwe, tweeted that the government was investigating and was deeply concerned. He implied the opposition might be responsible, and said he feared the worst.