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Cameroon’s bogus account of journalist’s death is “obscene,” RSF says

first_img Help by sharing this information Cameroon is ranked 134th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index, three places lower than in 2019. News CameroonAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityViolence According to this official version, Wazizi died in a military hospital in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, on 17 August 2019, four days after being transferred there from Buea, and his death was the “result of a severe sepsis” not of “any act of torture.” The statement also claimed that his family was “in close contact” with him while he was in the hospital and was “informed” of this death. RSF_en A presenter on Buea-based Chillen Media Television (CMTV), Wazizi was arrested in Buea on 2 August 2019 and was held at the police station in Muea, a suburb of Buea, until 7 August, when soldiers came and took him to the headquarters of the 21st Motorized Infantry Battalion in Buea.            Follow the news on Cameroon This was categorically denied by one of Wazizi’s brothers, when reached by RSF. He said neither Wazizi’s lawyers nor any member of the family had any contact with him after soldiers removed him from Muea police station in Buea on 7 August 2019 and no member of the family was ever informed about his death. He also insisted that Wazizi was “in perfect health” at the moment of his arrest by the police on 2 August 2019. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the bogus account of regional TV presenter Samuel Wazizi’s death that the Cameroonian authorities have provided after finally admitting he died while in military custody ten months ago, and calls for an impartial and independent investigation into the circumstances leading to his death. “The explanations provided by the Cameroonian authorities are obscene and unacceptable,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “Samuel Wazizi’s family was never notified of his death. His brother’s emotion was unmistakable when RSF reached him by phone and he realized the information was now official. The circumstances of this journalist’s death deserve an impartial and independent inquiry that includes an autopsy. He was well at the time of his arrest. Given the many grey areas and the scant credibility of the belated explanations so far provided, only an additional and transparent investigation will establish the facts.” RSF has established that Wazizi’s lawyer, was one of the last persons to see him alive. Wazizi told him his arrest was linked to comments he had made on the air criticizing the government’s handling of the unrest in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions. None of his lawyers and no member of his family was able to contact Wazizi after that meeting between him and Nkea in Muea police station. News Cameroonian reporter jailed since August, abandoned by justice system June 6, 2020 Cameroon’s bogus account of journalist’s death is “obscene,” RSF says News RSF has seen several photos of Wazizi that were reportedly taken in Yaoundé on 13 August 2019. They show injuries to a foot, hand and shoulder suggesting that he had been tortured while in custody during the preceding days. Ever since his arrest, Wazizi’s lawyers had constantly been requesting access to him and asking what charges were being brought against him. They were never told that he had died. CameroonAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityViolence Receive email alerts News Case against Amadou Vamoulké baseless, French lawyers tell Cameroon court May 19, 2021 Find out more Cameroonian journalist Paul Chouta sentenced and fined in defamation case Organisation May 31, 2021 Find out more The statement signed by the defence ministry’s press spokesman that was read out on the state radio and TV broadcaster CRTV yesterday fell far short of providing a credible explanation of how Wazizi came to die two weeks after his arrest in Buea, the capital of the English-speaking South-West Region, in August 2019. to go further April 23, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

She was in the ‘happiest moment’ of her life,’ says mother of slain DC jogger Wendy Martinez

first_imgWJLA(WASHINGTON) — Wendy Karina Martinez, the woman who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in Washington, D.C., was living the “happiest moment” of her life, her mother said Thursday.The 35-year-old Martinez had just gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Danny Hincapie, last week and was looking forward to planning her wedding, her mother, Cora Martinez, said.“She was very excited when she found out she was going to be engaged. So, as soon as she had the engagement ring, she let me know. She said, ‘Mom!! Look at this! I got it!’ I said, ‘No, you got him,” the mother said Thursday. “Wendy lived the happiest seven days of her life. She was in the happiest moment.”Cora Martinez said she had gone with her daughter to shop for a wedding dress.“When I saw her in that dress I never figured … that was the dress for her burial,” the mother said, adding that her daughter and Hincapie were planning two weddings, one in the United States and another in Colombia, where her family is originally from. Martinez was attacked and stabbed to death Tuesday night while jogging in the Logan Circle neighborhood of the nation’s capital.“This is incredibly unfair and senseless,” Martinez’s friend, Kristina Moore, said. “She was taken from us too soon.”Martinez lived about two blocks from where she was allegedly killed by Anthony Crawford, 23, who randomly targeted and stabbed her repeatedly, said Police Chief Peter Newsham of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.Crawford was taken into custody in a Washington, D.C., park on Wednesday night following 24-hour manhunt. He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder early Thursday, Newsham said. Though brokenhearted, Cora Martinez expressed sympathy for the man accused of stabbing her daughter seven times.“I feel relieved, in peace,” she said. “I have forgiven him completely. My heart has no room for hate, resentfulness. So, I just said, ‘We believe in the greatest judge, the ultimate person that is going to give what is deserved.’ So, I am asking my family to do the same. Just let it go. Wendy is happy, she is in peace.”Hincapie described Martinez as “our sunshine.”“She radiated love. She was full of energy. She was so excited,” Hincapie said. “She’s the representation of a lot of things we want to be: Kindness, helpfulness, how to be a friend, how to be a partner. I think that’s her representation of who she was, her legacy, and how she is living. She’s here with us.” He said Martinez was also an avid runner and that they met while competing in a half-marathon.“She gave me some advice, printed a copy of her tips and she wrote a couple of extra notes, and she actually ran the race with me,” said Hincapie.He said she had competed in marathons and was thinking of running in the Boston Marathon.“One of the last things she did was train me for my first full marathon,” he said. “So, I would like to keep that [up]. I would like to keep running.”The family planned to attend a community vigil for Martinez Thursday night in Logan Circle, near where she was killed.“I know she will be looking down smiling on us,” Hincapie said. “We want to keep our heads up and stay strong, and still remember her.”Martinez also lived in the Logan Circle neighborhood for about eight years and felt comfortable jogging daily in the area, her friends and relatives said.Cora Martinez said her daughter was a devout Christian and driven professional.Martinez worked as the chief of staff for FiscalNote, a software, data and media company headquartered in Washington. “Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community,” the company said in a statement.On Aug. 29, Martinez posted a message on Facebook saying how much she loved her job.“Two years ago today since I entered a new space that significantly changed my professional trajectory,” Martinez wrote. “Two years of pushing me outside of my comfort zone, while teaching me about the inner workings of building a company, and what it takes to reach success. This is my B-school, hustling and working with a team driven by the same purpose and goal to connect the world to its governments.” She was a 2012 graduate of Georgetown University, where she majored in Latin American studies.“Wendy was not only beautiful and not only brilliant and a hard worker … she was joyful, funny, loving and always there,” said Moore, adding that Martinez was “just determined to live out the American Dream.” Martinez’s brother, Juan Carlos Martinez, said he and his family have been touched by the outpouring of support they have gotten from the community and civic leaders.“Wendy was cherished and loved by a lot of people,” the brother said. “Wendy was a fantastic human being.”D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser said community residents are “outraged” by Martinez’s death.“We do expect safety in our neighborhoods, any and all neighborhoods,” Bowser said. “Whether in Logan Circle or Wellington Park, we want people to feel safe going about their normal activities. And a woman jogging on our streets is a normal activity.”Martinez was also a volunteer at the Central American Resource Center, or CARECEN, a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to Latinos.“Wendy gave back to the immigrant community by enthusiastically tutoring students as they prepared for the U.S. naturalization exam,” the organization said in a Facebook post. “Wendy will be missed by the CARECEN community but will live on through the students she helped to achieve U.S. citizenship.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

News story: Statement from the Justice Secretary on judgment re: John Worboys

first_imgI welcome today’s judgment and congratulate the victims who brought this unprecedented legal action. I want to take this opportunity reiterate my heartfelt sympathy for all they, and the other victims, have suffered as a result of Worboys’ hideous crimes. I took expert legal advice from Leading Counsel on whether I should bring a challenge. The bar for judicial review is set high. I considered whether the decision was legally rational – in other words, a decision which no reasonable Parole Board could have made. The advice I received was that such an argument was highly unlikely to succeed. And, indeed, this argument did not succeed. However, the victims succeeded in a different argument. They challenged that, while Ministry of Justice officials opposed release, they should have done more to put forward all the relevant material on other offending. They also highlighted very significant failures on the part of the Parole Board to make all the necessary inquiries and so fully take into account wider evidence about Worboys’ offending. I also received advice on the failure of process argument and was advised that this was not one that I as Secretary of State would have been able to successfully advance. The victims were better placed to make this argument and this was the argument on which they have won their case. Indeed, the judgment suggests that, had I brought a case, the standing of the victims may have been compromised. Given the very serious issues identified in this case, I can announce today that I intend to conduct further work to examine the Parole Board rules in their entirety. As a result of the work that has been completed to date, I have already decided to abolish Rule 25 and will do so as soon as possible after the Easter recess. This will enable us to provide for the Parole Board to make available summaries of the decisions they make to victims. In addition, I will bring forward proposals for Parole Board decisions to be challenged. I intend to consult on the detail of these proposals by the end of April alongside other proposals to improve the way that victims are kept informed about the parole process. I will make a statement to Parliament this afternoon and set out our response to the judgment – and our next steps – in more detail.last_img read more

The classroom, circa 2050

first_imgPerformer Michael Jackson may be a legend, but if some local high school students had their way, he’d be the namesake behind a futuristic school — Michael Jackson High School.Like the man, the school would be one of a kind, with beanbag chairs, one-way mirrors, and teachers who are holograms beamed into the middle of the circular classrooms. The team behind this stupendous brainwork includes Claudeline Leger, Sara Barbosa, and Andre Augustin of the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy, an intensive, six-week summer program that partners Cambridge Public Schools with the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Education Program (TEP).The free program, which offers local high schoolers an opportunity to boost their academics, also provides a learning opportunity for TEP students, who are paired with experienced teachers.Ed School student Jeremy Jackson, who studied engineering and design prior to enrolling at Harvard, helped the students with their intricate layouts and floor plans. “It was my first time ever teaching,” he said. “So I learned a lot because we were just thrown into the mix.”Amanuel Kidane participated in “Design a High School for 2050,” which was actually part of an old-fashioned geometry class. “Our school has three different buildings connected by a circular cafeteria and library,” explained Leger, a 10th-grader at Cristo Rey Boston High School. She, Barbosa, and Augustin were on hand to explain everything from the school’s cost to its design concept during the academy’s inaugural student exhibition on Wednesday (Aug. 10).Though the project theme was innovative — “Design a High School for 2050” — it was actually part of an old-fashioned geometry class. That’s not always a favorite subject, the students readily admitted. But combined with the funky approach and teamwork, geometry may be on the up and up.“We worked together. We had our ups and downs, but we came through,” said Augustin. And the teachers? “They’re cool people.”In another classroom, students were presenting their original essays based on the NPR program “This I Believe,” which invites the public to write and share the core values that guide their lives.Paula Baker, 16, of Cristo Rey High, believes in “going to guidance” — a phrase she gleaned from a former teacher, who frequently sent students to the guidance counselor. Baker and her friends use the phrase often. But, she explained, it’s really a metaphor for communication.“In our minds, when you go to guidance, you become educated about and fully understand a topic or situation: You know it. When it comes to relationships, I believe that you must go to guidance because truly knowing the people you surround yourself with, and letting others know you, will make you a happier person in the end.”Dante Chen solved a Rubik’s Cube in less than two minutes, all the while talking about humility. “I was a bratty kid. I always believed I was the best. I didn’t like that about me — no one likes someone who’s so arrogant,” he said. Baker and other students read from their essays, as well as their original poems. Some showed poster boards of their interests — ranging from soccer to superheroes to pediatrics — and others juggled and performed dance moves. But student Dante Chen solved a Rubik’s Cube in less than two minutes, all the while talking about humility.“I was a bratty kid. I always believed I was the best. I didn’t like that about me — no one likes someone who’s so arrogant,” he said. “It’s cliché, but everyone does have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a weak person who believes that their strengths are better than others.”More than 350 high school students benefited from personalized instruction this summer — a record number of participants. The academy now implements a project-based program that culminates in the students developing a concept that applies the skills and concepts they’ve learned.“The power of the program comes when the interns learn from master teachers about how to plan a course, design a project, and work really closely with students toward that outcome,” said Kyle Hartung, co-director of the academy. “And the students also learn from other students. Together they are able to encourage one another to think and learn in new ways.”“One of the best things about the academy was the small groups and five teachers I had,” said Baker. “We got to share and get personal in our classes.”Rachel Cohen, one of Baker’s instructors from TEP, said her experience at the academy was “fascinating, illuminating.”“It’s great to work in a place where you feel necessary. Working on a team with four of your peers and master teachers is empowering,” she said. “A lot of these kids have had a hard time in school, but they were so willing to participate. It made me feel a lot more optimistic about the students I’ll be teaching someday.”Presenting their project titled “Catholic Leadership High School” are Collette Obanor (from left), Leyda Frias, and Shaquille Evans.last_img read more