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In crude intimidatory tactic, state ads withheld from Pakistani daily

first_img“It is unacceptable that a newspaper that just reports undisputed facts in the public interest should be punished with such a drastic form of economic strangulation,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We unreservedly condemn this crude intimidatory tactic designed to dictate the editorial line journalists should take. This method, which bears the military establishment’s hallmark, harks back to the worst moments of military dictatorship in Pakistan.” Iqbal Khattak of Freedom Network, RSF’s partner NGO in Pakistan, added: “This civilian government won the 2018 election with the slogan ‘Tabdeeli’ (Change) but the decision to withdraw all state advertising from the newspaper Dawn is a blatant continuation of governmental news control methods. We urge Prime Minister Imran Khan to intercede personally to end this unjustified measure and to defend press freedom in Pakistan.” Still speaking on condition of anonymity, a member of the Dawn group’s management told RSF that, for the past two and a half years, Dawn had received absolutely no advertising from commercial entities linked to the military, such as the Fauzi and Askari groups, whose activities include banking, energy, food processing and construction. PakistanAsia – Pacific Media independence Freedom of expressionPredatorsEconomic pressure Organisation May 23, 2019 In crude intimidatory tactic, state ads withheld from Pakistani daily RSF_en Follow the news on Pakistan Help by sharing this information April 21, 2021 Find out more Dawn’s story was based on quotes from the official transcript of the press conference but certain government officials clearly did not like the angle taken by the newspaper’s reporters, or the fact that what the prime minister said while abroad was being reproduced for domestic readers. The authorities have offered no explanation for their treatment of Dawn but the newspaper thinks it knows the reason. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a member of its management told RSF: “Our understanding is that this ad ban started a day after we published Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments at a press conference in Tehran, when he said militants based in Pakistan had been involved in attacks inside Iran.” News Receive email alerts “There have been instances in which one of these companies has reserved advertising space in one of Dawn’s supplements and then withdrawn the order at the last minute without giving any reason,” the source said. Journalists are exposed to reprisals if they venture across the red lines imposed by the military, which include any criticism – even implicit ­– of the armed forces or government, any reference to movements that defend the rights of minorities, and even any mention of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the military’s bugbear. News Red lines This was retaliation for an earlier offence in October 2016, when Dawn dared to publish a story containing explosive details of the way the military and intelligence agencies defy the civilian government. The story’s author, Cyril Almeida, and editor Zaffar Abbas were threatened with serious reprisals and Dawn has been in the deep state’s sights ever since. Launched in 1941 as part of the fight against British colonialism, Dawn is now one of the last bastions of press freedom in Pakistan. It was because of an interview with Sharif that Dawn deputy editor Cyril Almeida was charged with treason last September. Distribution of the newspaper was arbitrarily blocked when the interview was published on 12 May 2018. This is also an effective way to jeopardize a newspaper’s survivability, as advertisers are reluctant to buy space in a publication whose circulation is being restricted. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists In one of the most insidious forms of coercion, Dawn was suddenly deprived of any income from federal government advertising on 24 April. Its sister media outlet, DawnNews TV, was subjected to the same treatment two days later. News control to go further As Pakistan is a country where almost no advertising revenue is available from a fledgling private sector independent of the government, this advertising ban poses a grave threat to the media group’s economic viability. Last bastion PakistanAsia – Pacific Media independence Freedom of expressionPredatorsEconomic pressure The month-old withdrawal of advertising from the Dawn group is typical of the harassment, intimidation and censorship methods used by Pakistan’s “deep state,” a euphemism for its armed forces and intelligence services, which cannot stand journalistic freedom. After falling three places, Pakistan is ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index which RSF published last month, drawing attention to the “cycle of fear” that has taken hold in many countries. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled by the withdrawal of state advertising from Pakistan’s prestigious daily Dawn for the past month, and calls for an end to this method of pressure and intimidation, which is jeopardizing the editorial independence of the country’s oldest newspaper. Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Launched in 1941 by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the Pakistani nation, Dawn is the country’s oldest and most prestigious newspaper. The cartoon (right) that was published on this year’s World Press Freedom Day (3 May) succinctly shows what happens to media outlets that dare to cross the notorious “red lines” (photo: Rizwan Tabassum / AFP – Cartoon: RK / Dawn). News News Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire June 2, 2021 Find out more January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Four Reporters Without Borders activists released

first_img News News April 27, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News June 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on China Four Reporters Without Borders activists were detained today just after they had displayed mock detour signs for the Chinese delegation attending a summit with the EU. The delegation was symbolically redirected towards the International Criminal Court. Reporters Without Borders wanted to draw EU leaders’ attention to the 26 journalists and 62 cyber-dissidents imprisoned in China. March 12, 2021 Find out more Organisation Four Reporters Without Borders activists who were arrested by Dutch policein The Hague on 8 December were released after being held in separate cellsfor the legal maximum of six hours.They were arrested after they hung mock detour signs symbolicallyredirecting the Chinese delegation to the EU-China summit to theInternational Criminal Court (ICC). The signs were hung in front of thebuilding where the summit was being held, at a road intersection which theChinese delegation had passed a few minutes earlier.______________________________________________________________08.11.2004The Hague police detain four Reporters Without Borders activists in China protestFour Reporters Without Borders activists were detained by police in The Hague this morning just after they had displayed mock detour signs (see image below) symbolically redirecting a visiting delegation from China towards the International Criminal Court (ICC). The signs were unfurled outside the building where the Chinese delegation is participating in a summit with the European Union. The delegation had passed the intersection a few minutes before the arrests took place.center_img to go further ChinaAsia – Pacific China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes The government of Premier Wen Jiabao, head of the Chinese delegation to The Hague, is responsible for massive and systematic crimes against freedom of expression, said the worldwide press freedom organisation. Its leaders should therefore present themselves before the ICC, for the international justice that the People’s Republic has used every possible means to stifle.The organisation aims to draw the attention of European authorities and public opinion to the state of freedom of the press and expression on the Internet in China. At least 26 journalists and 62 cyberdissidents are currently imprisoned in the country.It earlier urged the European delegation, particularly European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, to call for the release of these prisoners of opinion and for an end to censorship of the press and Internet in China. News ChinaAsia – Pacific RSF_en China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures December 8, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Four Reporters Without Borders activists releasedlast_img read more

Just give in to NRA and arm school kids

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI have a common sense solution to school shootings. At the start of the school day, each student will be given a loaded handgun, .22 caliber for grades K-6, .38 caliber for grades 7-12. The guns will be returned at the conclusion of the school day. Problem solved.The only way to stop a bad kid with a gun are good kids with guns. God bless the NRA and its spineless AR-15-loving whores in the Republican Party.Paul SatorGloversvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Broadalbin-Perth’s Tomlinson seizing the day by competing in cross country and golf this fallEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Dozens killed in tribal clashes in southern Libya

first_imgDozens have been killed in clashes between two tribes in the biggest city in southern Libya, officials said on Tuesday as a security vacuum grew in a remote corner of the oil producer.A power struggle between two governments fighting for control in the north of the desert nation has hit the poor south hard, hampering supplies of anything from fuel and food to central bank money as flights to Tripoli are halted.Fighters from two tribes, the Tuareg and Tebu, have exploited a security vacuum to vie for control in a vast area long neglected. Clashes broke out four days ago in a suburb of Sabha, said the city’s mayor, Hamed Rafa al-Khayali.  A Tebu official said the clashes had started after a Tebu was killed at a checkpoint.last_img read more

Border posts go hi-tech

first_imgSouth Africa’s borders are monitored as closely as possible by patrols consisting of police, defence force personnel, and other state departments.(Image: South African Police Service) Trade across South Africa’s borders is a whole lot easier with the modernised system in place. Although neighbouring countries are not yet in a position to implement a similar modern system, steps are being taken to find the best solution in the meantime.(Images: Wikipedia)MEDIA CONTACTS • Zweli MnisiMedia liaison officer, South AfricanPolice Service+27 12 393 4341 or +27 82 045 4024Janine ErasmusThe modernisation of South Africa’s border control technology is easing the process for people taking cargo across national borders, and making it harder for criminals to dodge the system.Besides making trade a lot smoother, the process is also facilitating the entry of tourists into the country.Modernisation of the customs procedure is the single biggest change ever made to its decades-old operating model, according to the South African Revenue Service (Sars), and is set to improve trade into and out of South Africa by falling in line with international best practice.The country’s border environment is overseen by the Border Control Operational Coordinating Committee, which was established in 2005 and is affiliated with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, a body chaired by the minister of justice and constitutional development.The committee is made up of representatives from the national departments of transport, public works, agriculture and health as well as Sars.South Africa shares 1 840km of border with Botswana, 909km with Lesotho, 491km with Mozambique, 969km with Namibia, 430km with Swaziland, and and 225km with Zimbabwe.The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), the world’s oldest such body, exists to facilitate the free exchange of goods between the member countries of South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho.Sacu dates back to an agreement set up in 1889 between the Cape colony, run by the British at the time, and the Orange Free State boer republic. The current customs agreement came into force in 1970 and replaced the 1910 agreement that was extended to include the entire Union of South Africa as well as other Southern African territories.While the neighbouring countries may not yet be in a position to implement a similar modern system, says Sars, it and Sacu will work with them to provide the best solution in the meantime.Speedy processing and clearanceAfter a decade of research and planning, the modernisation process was introduced in 2010 with the aim of improving cross-border trade. To achieve this, an overhaul of the system and the introduction of information technology was necessary.Besides streamlining, standardisation across the various modes of transport – sea, rail, air and land – was an important consideration.Other aspects of the plan cover automation of processes such as import and export customs clearance, the secure recording of any movement of goods, and notification of impending goods arrival or departure.The modernisation process provides for the assessment of regular importers and exporters according to their Sars profiles, and if they pose a minimal risk, their goods could be cleared either orally or without a formal customs clearance, or even if the declaration is incomplete. In the latter case, a supplement to the declaration will later give all the necessary information.An integral part of the new system, according to Sars, is the introduction of an efficient, automated risk management system which pulls together information from a number of state departments and agencies. Without this, customs officials would have to personally check all incoming and outbound shipment, but with the so-called customs risk engine in place, non-risk-related shipments will be speedily released.Lastly, customs staff are receiving thorough training to become confident in using the progressive new system, which is light years removed from the way shipments were handled as recently as 20 years ago, when processing of paperwork for just one shipment could take weeks.Streamlined systemAutomation of many customs processes means that human error or intervention is eliminated, cutting down on possible unnecessary delays and corrupt activity.Today, when an importer or exporter wishes to move goods across the border, he or she can submit documentation electronically. Taxes are calculated, payment is made via the Sars website and before the consignment even departs for its final destination, all paperwork is taken care of and approval has been received – or denied.At this point the risk management engine comes into play and carries out the risk assessment.Depending on the individual profile presented by the engine, the shipment may be allowed through unhindered at the border, or may undergo an inspection.This automation has cut the time spent on processing a shipment from over five hours to under 30 minutes, on average.However, no shipment will cross without a clearance document issued to the importer or exporter once the initial application is taken care of – this is carried by the driver, who hands it in on arrival and receives barcoded forms in exchange. The barcode is shipment-specific and alerts officials at the exit point as to whether or not all the required procedures have been followed – if not, the vehicle may be subject to further inspection.In a whole new twist, Sars customs officials carry iPads with which they can take photos of consignments and send and receive information on the spot. The photos can also be used as evidence should an investigation arise. This is a world first, according to Sars.The same electronic clearance is also available to smaller businesses and infrequent traders, but they will have to visit a Sars branch beforehand to arrange the documentation.last_img read more

Peace and calm returns to South Africa

first_img29 April 2015Peace and calm have returned to communities wracked by xenophobic violence in recent weeks, according to Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, who sought to reassure the country and the world following the attacks on foreign nationals.“We want to reassure those who have plans to travel to South Africa that our government is in charge. The violence has stopped. We are now working hard to ensure that nobody within the borders of our country is victimised based on their country of origin,” Radebe said.He was speaking at the first Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) briefing on migration held in Pretoria on 28 April. The IMC was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to deal with the underlying causes of tension between communities and foreign nationals. The briefing was called after the president and various ministers consulted various organisations and sectors representing both South Africans and foreign nationals in the country following the earlier this month.Radebe said the government continued to actively support displaced foreign nationals in the country through provision of food, shelter and other necessities. The Department of Social Development was leading the intervention and psychosocial support had been provided to 812 individuals on site at the shelters.Trauma counselling“We encourage those who require counselling services to call 0800 428 428. The trauma counselling call centre is operational 24 hours a day.“We have so far provided 2 000 mattresses, food, blankets, dignity packs, baby formula and clothing items to displaced persons at the various shelters,” said Radebe, who is the chairperson of the IMC.The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) had set up a help desk to manage any enquiries and complaints from displaced persons at shelters. The social services department had also done an assessment at the temporary shelters in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to establish the immediate needs of women and children.“Pregnant women and people with disabilities have been transferred to secure shelters. Retired social workers were also deployed to the temporary shelters to strengthen the psychosocial services.”Reintegration of displaced peopleRadebe said reports that some foreign nationals had begun to return to their communities were encouraging. “As the situation continues to stabilise, we call on foreign nationals who are still in shelters to work with the Department of Co- operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) and Community Safety to ensure a smooth reintegration process.”The IMC urged communities to open their arms to returning foreign nationals and to assist in their reintegration. Radebe said the return of displaced persons to their communities resulted in the official closure of Elsburg Shelter on 23 April.“Those who were not yet ready to be reintegrated have been accommodated at the Primrose Shelter.”The Department of Health closely monitored, co-ordinated and delivered health and medical services to foreign nationals in any area needed as well as at the temporary shelters. Services available included emergency medical services, primary health care services, communicable diseases control, environmental health services, health promotion, forensic pathology services and mental health services.Documentation of foreignersRadebe said foreign nationals who were in the country illegally were either detained for prosecution or deportation by the Department of Home Affairs, and the department was helping displaced people to verify their status. “In cases where the displaced persons have no documentation or they are in the country illegally, the department still captures their details. Their information and fingerprints are captured in order to provide documentation to facilitate their repatriation.”He said the Department of Home Affairs was working closely with foreign missions in South Africa to ensure the smooth repatriation of those wanted to return voluntarily to their home countries.“We have thus far repatriated a total of 1 997 undocumented migrants from both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng temporary shelters, 911 to Malawi, 316 to Mozambique, 753 to Zimbabwe, and 17 to Tanzania.”He said about 1 507 documented people were awaiting repatriation and the government would continue to engage with their missions to ensure a smooth process.A lasting solutionThe government was committed to finding a lasting solution to the problem to prevent the shameful attacks from happening again, said Radebe.“We believe that issues of migration can only be resolved by taking a holistic approach that deals with all issues highlighted by communities. This includes identifying and resolving challenges highlighted by local traders.”The Ministry of Small Business Development had also been tasked with identifying the issues that were relevant to small business.Despite the events of the past weeks, Africans from other countries still considered South Africa a safe place to visit, Radebe said, adding that in March, 10 548 people from Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe visited South Africa. The republic had welcomed 13 533 people from the same countries from the beginning of April to date.“We are heartened that our brothers and sisters on the continent still consider our country a multicultural society that welcomes and promotes interaction among people of different backgrounds.”Source: SANews.govlast_img read more

78.25 per voter cent turnout in fifth phase of WB polls

first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 30 (PTI) The fifth and penultimate phase of West Assembly polls in 53 constituencies today recorded a voter turnout of 78.25 per cent and polling was peaceful, even as FIRs were registered against two Presiding Officers and a TMC candidate for alleged intimidation of voters and for helping a particular party.ECs Deputy Election Commissioner and in-charge of West Bengal, Sandeep Saxena told a press conference that, “based on SMS-based information from polling officers, at 5 PM the voter turnout in fifth phase was 78.25 per cent.”This is against 82.77 per cent final voting recorded during the 2011 assembly elections in the three districts of Hoogly, Kolkata South district and South 24-Parganas, that went to polls today. In 2014 Parliamentary elections, the said area recorded a polling percentage of 80.22 per cent. “Three FIRs have also been registered in an otherwise peaceful polls and 17 arrests have been made so far and more arrests are likely,” he said. An FIR was registered against Sonali Guha, the Trinamool Congress candidate from Satgachhia assembly constituency, for allegedly intimidating voters by instructing her polling agents to shoo away the voters of opposite candidate. Another FIR was registered against presiding officers in Tarkeshwar and Arambagh, for allegedly helping a particular candidate and party. (MORE) PTI SKC RGlast_img read more

9 months agoShearer: Man Utd matchwinner Rashford now great to watch

first_imgShearer: Man Utd matchwinner Rashford now great to watchby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United legend Alan Shearer hailed the performance of Manchester United matchwinner Marcus Rashford for victory at Tottenham.Shearer wrote for The Sun: “Nobody has ever doubted his ability but he has finally been set free under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — and it is great to watch.”Rashford is the main man at Manchester United now and has every attribute in his locker to thrive as a striker going forward.”His movement is excellent and constantly improving, he has the pace to terrify any defence and his finishing has come on leaps and bounds.”It was a world-class pass from Paul Pogba to set him up and the strike from Rashford shows just how confident he is right now.”He is showing a calmness in front of goal now which we have not seen before, but that comes with experience.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

7 days agoPaolo Maldini losing the confidence of AC Milan owners Elliott

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Paolo Maldini losing the confidence of AC Milan owners Elliottby Carlos Volcano7 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePaolo Maldini is losing the confidence of AC Milan owners Elliott Management.Maldini returned to Milan last year to take up a director’s position. However, after overseeing his third coaching appointment, Maldini’s position is now in doubt.Fellow director Zvonimir Boban is in a more secure place and TMW says it was his decision to sack Marco Giampaolo.In contrast, Giampaolo had the confidence of Maldini.It’s also emerged that Elliott will demand a big January sale, with the need to cover a major reported debt. last_img read more