Tag: journalist

8 Things You Need to Know About The Wall

(TFC) – It’s expected to happen today: The President of the United States will order the construction of a 2000-mile long wall stretching across the nation’s southern border. While exact specifications of the wall are unknown, what is known is the…

Journalist Flees Kazakhstan Fearing Persecution

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.

Dakota Access Contractor With Blackwater Ties Heads Protester Surveillance, Violence Escalates

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.”

Greed and Rolling Stone

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.

Russia: Journalist Punished for Chechnya Reporting

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.

UK hides Bangladesh prison report as British journalist suffers in Dhaka jail

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.

Palestine: Crackdown on Journalists, Activists

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.”

Where is Burundian Journalist Jean Bigirimana?

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.

British journalist, 81, facing death penalty, enters 4th month of Bangladeshi detention

An elderly British journalist who could face the death penalty in Bangladesh will tomorrow have been jailed without charge for 4 months, amid worsening fears for his wellbeing.

Shafik Rehman, 81, is a well known journalist and editor in Bangladesh who has also worked as a speechwriter for the country’s main opposition party. On April 16th this year, he was arrested without a warrant in his home, by plainclothes officers who reportedly posed as a TV camera crew. Mr Rehman has been held ever since then without charge, but it is feared that if charged he may face trial for crimes which could carry the death penalty. A Supreme Court hearing later this month will consider Mr Rehman’s case.

President Obama Openly Supports War Criminal

While it isn’t over, the indications are the coup against Erdogan has failed. The stated goals of those behind the coup were to return to a secular government and reinstate the rule of law.

The President of the United States encouraged people to “support the democratically elected government of Turkey”. He said this while his administration is in the midst of a multi-year effort to overthrow the government of President Assad in Syria. The US, historically, doesn’t care about democracy or elections. The US wants Erdogan in power because he has more or less been an obedient lackey. While there are moments of discord, Turkey is still a faithful dog at the end of one of the many leashes held by the US. This allows Erdogan to behave in a manner that would not be tolerated from a non-puppet state.

Colombian Guerrilla Presumably Kidnapped Missing Spanish Journalist

Officials Say a Kidnapping Would Violate International Humanitarian Law

Though there is no confirmation that the National Liberation Army (ELN) has kidnapped Spanish journalist Salud Hernández, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a warning recently saying that if they did, it would be a violation of international humanitarian law.

The ELN said it will consult with its various fronts to see if they do or do not have the reporter, and will issue a response in the coming days.

“Should it be confirmed that it was a kidnapping by ELN, it would not only be a crime under Colombian law, but also a violation of international humanitarian rights,” José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director for HRW América, said.

Flint: Riots on the horizon

By now, most know the newspaper facts behind what happened in Flint over the Memorial Day weekend. A group of activists, some armed, traveled from over twenty states to bring water to a community poisoned and abandoned by those who should be protecting them. The water was distributed, a rally was held, activists took over the streets, and contacts were made. What happened in Flint was far more significant that that simple storyline.

First, it was an all-star cast of attendees. From high-profile activists like retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis to activists whose activities are a little more controversial in nature and who only go into print under aliases; “Yellow Laces” from my coverage of the Ferguson riots was there. They were men and women I recognized from many other news stories over the years and from across the country. There were veterans of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots, peace activists, an activist I was subpoenaed to defend in an assault on an LEO case, militiamen who stood their ground at Bundy Ranch and the Sugar Pine Mine, Anonymous activists who have outed pedophiles and shut down DC, even the crew who literally tortured me on the Statehouse steps in Ohio was there. Those who attended were very active activists. This ensemble crossed all ideological lines. The crowd spanned from the far-right to the far-left. Constitutionalists, socialists, anarchists, communists, Republicans, Democrats, and just about every other “-ist” were there is support of Flint. All of that was set aside. In front of City Hall, a local activist wanted to close the day with a prayer. Sam Andrews, a right-wing Constitutionalist, led the prayer. People in the crowd who I personally knew to be atheists bowed their heads, not out of conformity but in unity. Earlier, when a speaker referred to centralized government as “unnecessary”, the Constitutionalists (many of whom see the Constitution and The Bill of Rights as ordained by God) didn’t heckle.