Hundreds of journalists object to unconditional media support for regime

first_img Organisation February 1, 2021 Find out more February 6, 2021 Find out more January 22, 2021 Find out more Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison More than 500 journalists used online social media last weekend to proclaim their opposition to a joint statement by the editors of 17 state and privately-owned media in support of the anti-terrorism policies of a government that exploits security threats to persecute journalists with Al-Jazeera and other independent media. Follow the news on Egypt November 7, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Hundreds of journalists object to unconditional media support for regime The joint statement by the editors was posted on the newspaper Al-Wafd’s website on 26 October, two days after more 30 soldiers were killed in two militant attacks in North Sinai – the deadliest since Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013.The statement called for a new editorial policy designed to combat the “infiltration of elements supporting terrorism into the press” and, in effect, urged the media to rally behind the regime and ban any criticism of state institutions, including the police, armed forces and judicial system.“The new editorial policy adopted by some media does not represent the community of Egyptian journalists and threatens fundamental freedoms in Egypt, including freedom of information and media independence,” Reporters Without Borders programme director Lucie Morillon said.“The government is becoming more and more committed to a policy of gagging the press and systematically persecuting independent media on the pretext of combatting terrorism.”This decision by the 17 editors to give President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government their unconditional support is being criticized both within their own news organizations and by other media, which have condemned such submission to state control.As the security situation worsens, the regime is exploiting the threat of terrorism to reject any criticism of its human rights violations. Media personnel are among the leading victims of its authoritarian policies, with independent reporting routinely prompting censorship and arrests.Al-Jazeera journalists still in the regime’s sightsLawyers acting for Mohamed Al-Fahmy, an Al-Jazeera journalist with dual Egyptian and Canadian citizenship, appealed yesterday for his release on health grounds. Fahmy needs an urgent operation for a shoulder injury sustained at the time of his arrest. He also needs treatment for hepatitis C.Fahmy and two other Al-Jazeera English journalists – Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed – have been held for more than 300 days for allegedly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and have been given sentences ranging from seven to ten years in prison. The court of cassation is to hear their appeal petitions on 1 January 2015.A Cairo criminal court meanwhile sentenced Al-Jazeera presenter Ahmed Mansour to 15 years in prison in absentia on 11 October for supposedly torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square during the January 2011 uprising. Mansour, who says he learned of his conviction from media reports, insists that he was not in Egypt at the time of the attack on the lawyer. He also condemned the lack of credibility displayed by the judicial system in asking Interpol to issue an international warrant for his arrest. Interpol rejected the request on the grounds that it did not meet the required criteria.Abdul-Moqtader al-Wahsh, a 21-year-old student and freelance photographer was arrested on 26 October while filming a demonstration by workers in Mahalla against the terrorist attacks. He was filming it for Al-Jazeera. Now in pre-trial detention, he is accused of supporting a terrorist organization and disseminating false information.Eslam Al Shafi’i, a cameraman working for Y.N.N. (Yqeen), was arrested while covering the aftermath of an explosion outside Cairo University on 22 October. Although he showed his press card and ID, the police took him away in a vehicle without any explanation. He was released the next day after interrogation.Reporters Without Borders deputy programme director Virginie Dangles added: “We condemn these arbitrary arrests and convictions of journalists and we urge the authorities to release not only Al-Fahmy, who needs treatment, but also all the other unjustly detained journalists, and to drop all the charges against them.” News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Newscenter_img News Constant censorshipMahmoud Saad was suspended as presenter of Al-Nahar TV’s programme “Akher Al-Nahar” on 25 October after a guest mentioned the 1967 Six Days War on the day of the North Sinai attacks. As a result of this reference to an event regarded as damaging to army morale, not only was Saad temporarily replaced but the TV station’s programme organization was also overhauled.Dream 2 TV’s discussion programme “Al-Ashera Masa’an” was cut short in mid-broadcast on 19 October during a report about a child’s death in a school in Matrouh governorate. The station said the interruption was due to technical problems but presenter Wael El-Ebrashy blamed pressure from the government, especially the housing and education ministers.Egypt is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. RSF_en Receive email alerts to go further Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff Help by sharing this information EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution Newslast_img read more

USNS Montford Point Departs San Diego

first_img View post tag: Diego View post tag: USNS View post tag: Point View post tag: Defense View post tag: San View post tag: Defence View post tag: Naval July 12, 2013 Back to overview,Home naval-today USNS Montford Point Departs San Diego USNS Montford Point (MLP 1) departs San Diego today for Naval Station Everett, Wash. Montford Point is the Navy’s first mobile landing platform, delivered to the Navy in San Diego May 14 and expected to be fully operational in fiscal year 2015.The ship, crewed by 33 contract mariners working for a company under charter to Military Sealift Command, will perform system tests during the voyage to its temporary layberth. Montford Point is scheduled for final contract trials in September, with its core capability set installed later this year.The Navy’s second MLP, John Glenn, had its keel laid in December, with completion and delivery expected in March 2014.The MLP class of modular, flexible ships belongs to MSC’s Maritime Prepositioning Force as a mobile sea-base option that provides our Navy fleet with critical afloat capability supporting the flexible deployment of forces and supplies. Contract mariners will operate and navigate the MLP ships on behalf of the Navy and Marine Corps.“Montford Point will provide the key link – ‘the pier in the ocean’ – that will permit the military to engage in true seabasing sustainment of equipment and supplies to our troops ashore, from beyond the horizon,” said Mike Touma, assistant engineering officer in MSC’s Prepositioning Program.Designed to increase inter-theater agility, the MLP is ready to support our warfighters wherever and whenever needed. MLP is a highly flexible ship class that provides logistics movement from sea to shore supporting a broad range of military operations.Leveraging float-on/float-off technology and a reconfigurable mission deck to maximize capability, the MLP provides a seagoing pier when access to on-shore bases and support are unavailable. The platform includes add-on modules that support a vehicle staging area, vehicle transfer ramp, large mooring fenders and up to three Landing Craft, Air Cushioned vessel lanes to enhance its core requirements.Notably, the MLP can operate up to 25 miles from shore and transfer equipment at sea with 1.25-meter waves and when its mission deck is removed, it can serve as a semi-submersible platform, offering salvage and point-to-point capabilities as well.Military Sealift Command operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. Navy civilian-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world, and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces and coalition partners.[mappress]Press Release, July 12, 2013; Image: US Navy View post tag: Navy View post tag: Montford View post tag: Departs USNS Montford Point Departs San Diego View post tag: News by topic Share this article Training & Educationlast_img read more

COVID-19 now a real threat to year-end polls

first_imgEpidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono said such a lack of discipline in social distancing during elections would definitely increase the risk of COVID-19 transmissions in the country, attributing it to the failure of the KPU to impose stricter sanctions on offenders.He warned that the transmissions would further escalate if people kept neglecting protocols in the coming campaign season, which will run from Sep. 26 to Dec. 5.“Therefore, the sanctions must be firm. If they repeatedly violate the rules, the KPU should drop their candidacy,” Tri said on Tuesday.Read also: ‘We should not stop being democratic’: Govt insists on holding regional races in December Democracy and public health are under threat as the 2020 simultaneous regional elections in 270 regions across Indonesia may emerge as new sources of COVID-19 infections in the country, experts and lawmaker have warned.The Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has found that 243 prospective candidates ignored health protocols when they brought along large entourages to register their candidacies with the local offices of the General Elections Commission (KPU) from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6.These prospective candidates and their supporters violated a KPU regulation that prohibits mass-gatherings during all stages of the elections, from the preparations starting from June 15 to the final vote count a week after the Dec. 9 polling day. The regulation says the KPU can only issue a warning to the candidates and campaign teams. Netty Prasetiyani of House of Representatives’ Commission IX overseeing health said stricter sanctions were key to preventing transmissions during elections and that all candidates should educate their supporters better about COVID-19 prevention.”The KPU announcement [of eligible candidates on Sept. 23] and campaign events should be carried out virtually. Prospective leaders must prioritize their people’s health,” she said.The government and the House insisted in late May on holding the elections on Dec. 9 despite the health risks. The KPU has since found itself under pressure to draft special health measures.Read also: So much work, so little time: KPU under pressure over regional pollsExperts and activists have repeatedly urged authorities to postpone the elections, as the COVID-19 outbreak in the country could continue late into the year, but so far to no avail.They say the elections, to choose 270 regional leaders comprising nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors, will put voters and election organizers at risk of contracting the disease. They have also expressed concern about low voter turnout should the outbreak in the country show no signs of abating, thus discouraging people from showing up at polling stations and eventually undermining democracy.Now, with three months to go to polling day, the KPU has found that 46 out of 734 prospective candidates have tested positive for COVID-19. Several hopefuls have died of the disease even before placing their bids.KPU commissioner Hasyim Asy’ari told The Jakarta Post the commission would continue verifying the 46 names online rather than in person.If they pass the verification, they are still eligible to run in the elections despite having the disease. However, they will not be allowed to hold campaigns as they will be required to focus on their recovery, according to the KPU.Political parties endorsing candidates who have died of COVID-19 after registering with the KPU can replace them with new names by providing death certificates of the former candidates, Hasyim said.A Democratic Party-backed regent candidate in Karo regency, North Sumatra, Kena Ukur Karo Jambi Surbakti, 74, died from COVID-19 on the last day of registration for regional elections on Sunday. The party later replaced him with his daughter after the supporting parties, the Golkar Party and the National Mandate Party, agreed to the substitution.But Fadli Ramadhanil of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) recommended that the government, the KPU and the House postpone the remaining election stages, including the campaign period.“In a critical situation like this, they should consider whether these election stages should continue or not,” he said.Read also: Majority of public wants regional elections delayed: SurveysPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was quick to comment on the issue, saying that the elections could not be postponed because the government could not predict when the outbreak would end.Jokowi, whose eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution are running in the Surakarta, Central Java, and Medan, North Sumatra, mayoral races, respectively, doubled down on his message for election organizers to enforce strict health protocols in the lead-up to and on voting day.“The safety and health of the public is everything, so enforcing health protocols is non-negotiable,” Jokowi said.KPU head Arief Budiman said the commission was set to apply stricter health protocols for the coming campaign period, the conditions of which have been laid out in the prevailing regulation.The commission will allow only 100 participants during face-to-face campaign rallies, which will be limited to one session for each mayoral and regency candidate and two sessions for each gubernatorial candidate.Above all, the commission is urging candidates to refrain from hosting campaign rallies in person and instead turn to online platforms.Bawaslu head Abhan said the agency was now considering reporting those candidates in the future who neglect health protocols to the police. “We are exploring numerous possibilities. One option is to use criminal offenses under the Criminal Code or the Health Quarantine Law.”Topics :last_img read more