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Media freedom threatened by wave of violence and harassment

first_imgReporters Without Borders is worried by a decline in the media’s ability to work freely in Bangladesh and, in particular, by a spate of physical attacks and threats against journalists by criminal gangs in the past few weeks as well as cases of harassment by the authorities. “There has been no let-up in the climate of violence against journalists and in fact there has been a marked increase in the number of physical attacks,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By allowing harassment and violence to become so widespread, the government is directly contributing to the decline in media freedom in Bangladesh. We again urge the government to react quickly and to take measures to stop this wave of violence.”In one of the most recent cases of harassment, the Dacca police brought charges of conspiracy, vandalism and planned arson of government property on 26 September against 15 students who work as journalists for local papers and who had been covering protests by fellow students at Jagannath University against the withdrawal of government subsidies. The Jagannath Journalists’ Association called for the immediate withdrawal of the charges against the 15 journalists – Jamil Khan of The Independent, Solaiman Salman of The Daily Sun, Jasim Reza of Dainik Kaler Kantho, Sadiqul Islam Niyougi Ponni of Dainik Jugantor, S.M. Mohsin of the BSS news agency, Tanvir Raihan of Dainik Shokaler Khabor, Abdur Rahman Khan Lemon of New Age, Suzaul Islam of Dainik Naya Diganta, Moazzem Shakil of Bangladesh News Network (BNN), Jonayed Ahmed and Atiqul Islam of Focus Bangla News, S. A. Malek of Dainik Inqilab, Zaber of Dainik Sangram, Ibrahim Prince of Dainik Khabar Patra and Mohammad Yasin Hossain of Sheersha News. Political parties In one of the latest cases of violence, S.M. Zakaria, the Dainik Bhorer Kagoj newspaper’s correspondent in the central district of Narsingdi, was attacked and beaten with an iron bar by the local leader of the ruling Awami League’s student wing on 25 September over a report implicating him in several cases of extortion. Zakaria has been repeatedly threatened in the past over similar stories.Aboul Assad, the editor of Dainik Sangram, a daily that supports the Islamic opposition party Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested at his home in the Dacca neighbourhood of Maghbazar by members of the Rapid Action Battalion, a special crime prevention unit, on 20 September.His arrest came one day after clashes between police and Jamaat-e-Islami protesters who had been demanding the immediate release of five party leaders who had been arrested for war crimes allegedly committed during Bangladesh’s independence war in 1971. Assad’s lawyer, Mohammad Abdur Razzak, said Assad was freed on bail on 23 September.Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the leading opposition party, firmly condemned Assad’s arrest and called for the withdrawal of the “trumped-up” charges brought against him. On the day of his arrest, Federal Union of Journalists members protested against his “baseless” detention by forming a human chain outside the National Press Club.The staff of Bangla News 24 (http://www.banglanews24.com/English/), a bilingual (English and Bengali) news website, were threatened at the time by members of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing who had participated in violent clashes with the police. Bangla News 24 editor Alamgir Hossain said he had received email threats. Criminal gangs Mohsin Ali, a reporter for Dainik Bhorer Dak and Dainik Mathabanga in the western district of Meherpur, was seriously injured when members of a criminal gang went to the school where he also works early on the morning of 26 September and beat him with iron bars. The attack came just hours after Dainik Mathabanga, a local daily, ran a front-page story about the arrest of drug traffickers in possession of contraband medicine. Ali was hospitalized but doctors said his life was not in danger.Ikramul Kabir, a reporter for privately-owned Somoy Television, and Dijen Singh, his cameraman, were attacked by members of a criminal gang in the northeastern city of Sylhet on 18 September. The attack was prompted by a Somoy Television report about the gang’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking and the black-market sale of train tickets.The police said Kabir and Singh were attacked while filming earthquake damage at the main Sylhet railway station, which is regarded as the gang’s “territory.” The gang apparently took advantage of their presence to take revenge for the report. Kabir was hospitalized for 24 hours for treatment to head injuries from being hit by sticks and iron bars. The journalists filed a complaint and identified one of their attackers, who was arrested.Reporters Without Borders already voiced concern about violence against journalists by the Rapid Action Battalion and media freedom violations by members of the government in a release on 15 September (http://en.rsf.org/bangladesh-is-government-really-interested-in-15-09-2011,40990.html). to go further Receive email alerts February 26, 2021 Find out more BangladeshAsia – Pacific News Organisation Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Bangladesh RSF_en BangladeshAsia – Pacific center_img News May 19, 2021 Find out more News News Bangladeshi writer and blogger dies in detention Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists RSF calls for the release of Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, unfairly accused of espionage October 4, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Media freedom threatened by wave of violence and harassment February 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Ghanaian muslim man joins Syrian militants Islamic State (ISIS)

first_imgNazir Nortei AlemaThe family of a young man from Ghana is in shock after their son joined the Syrian militants Islamic State.The man Nazir Nortei Alema, a University graduate, told them he had travelled to an Islamic State training camp.Nazir’s becomes the first known recruit from the West African nation to join the militant group.With a degree in Geography and Rural Development, he is one of the 10 suspected Muslim youth from Ghana who have finally taken the decision to join the terrorist grouping, whose stock-in-trade is public beheading of their opponents or those they regard as infidels, attracting a worldwide anger.Their decision has activated the alarm bells over a subtle recruitment drive for vulnerable Muslim youth in especially public tertiary institutions in the country.His brother, Kabiru Alema, said he and his parents were caught completely unawares.“I noticed some changes in his posts on Facebook his teachings like, but I was ignorant about the ISIS flag because he used ISIS flag on his WhatsApp, he used some pictures of some Arab guy on a horse with a sword but it never occurred to us he will do such a thing because I was ignorant about ISIS,” Kabiru Alema said.“We are devastated. Since the news came his mother has been crying,” Alema’s father Abdul Latif Alema told Reuters, adding that he believed Islamic State should be crushed.Islamic state militants About a third of Ghana’s population of 27 million is Muslim. They co-exist peacefully with the Christian majority and have so far apparently avoided the influence of the kinds of radical Islam that have taken root in neighbouring Nigeria and Mali.Alema, a university student, spent much of his spare time online and it is almost certain he was radicalised through his interactions on Facebook rather than through anything taught in mosques in the Osu neighbourhood of Ghana’s capital, his family and friends said.He finished a government internship in July and had initially told his parents he was travelling from his home in Accra to Prestea, a mining town in the west of the country.“Two weeks later on Aug. 16, we got a Whatsapp message from him saying he was at a training ground to join the Islamic State group in an unknown country,” his brother Kabiru Alema told Reuters.Thousands of foreigners from more than 80 nations have joined the ranks of Islamic State and other radical groups in Syria and Iraq.Nigeria’s Boko Haram, West Africa’s deadliest Islamist militant group, swore allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in March.Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, adviser to Ghana’s chief Imam, condemned Nazir Alema’s claims that he was joining the militant group to fulfil God’s work.last_img read more

Roma Rejected Arsenal’s €40m’ Offer for Manolas

first_img“Roma refused an almost €40m offer from Arsenal for Kostas in the summer. The Gunners were really interested but Roma’s demands exceeded what they were willing to pay.“A transfer in January? There is no news there. There is no guarantee he will move in the summer but there will probably be some offers. But in general it is hard to predict anything in football.“A move to China? We are talking about excessive offers. The figures being touted are stunning but Kostas has the option to play at the highest level and I would say China does not suit his ambitions.“Football in Europe has much more to offer than just money, like fame and recognition.”Sky Italia claimed last week that Everton were the latest Premier League club to show an interest in Manolas.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Roma rejected a bid of nearly €40 million (£34.6m) from Arsenal for Kostas Manolas ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, the centre-back’s agent, Ioannis Evangelopoulos, has claimed.The Premier League side were heavily linked with the Greece international during the close-season, but a move never materialised as they strengthened their defence with Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia instead.Manolas’s representative has now suggested that Roma’s asking price was the main reason behind the collapse of the deal, before adding that the 25-year-old could be on the move after all come June, although he has ruled out a move to China.“I cannot say where Kostas would like to play but it will be interesting to see which teams will come knocking for him,” Evangelopoulos told Sport FM.last_img read more

Know your football? Then try National Football Exhibition’s football quiz!

first_imgThe National Football Exhibition are hosting a football themed table quiz and raffle with proceeds going to Cara House, Letterkenny. The quiz, on September 26, is a part of the National Football Exhibition, which is rolling into Letterkenny this month.The Exhibition is a celebration of Irish football and 60 Years of European Championships. Donegal is the fifth of seven venues outside of Dublin hosting the National Football Exhibition. The Exhibition is heading to the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny from September 20-29Register your team of four by clicking here – https://www.fai.ie/domestic/national-football-exhibition-donegal-table-quiz – and payment can be made at the event.For individual registration, please email [email protected] quiz takes place at Arena 7, Letterkenny, at 9pm on Thursday, September 26. Teams of four cost €35 or entry fee of €10 per person. The free Exhibition, which has attractions for all ages, welcomed a wide variety of visitors to date and has proved a hit for school groups and family outings. The National Football Exhibition App which is available to download from the App Store or Google Play Store has a supplementary audio guide available in English or Irish, which gives visitors an extended insight into some of the items on display.Know your football? Then try National Football Exhibition’s football quiz! was last modified: September 10th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Consumer centres for rural towns

first_img4 March 2010South Africa’s National Consumer Forum (NCF) has opened its first Access to Knowledge (A2K) centre – a hub for skills training, research and consumer advice – in the small rural town of KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga province.The facility is supported by Nestle South Africa and Metropolitan Holdings, in the interests of consumer empowerment through learning, particularly in economically marginalised areas.It is hoped that this centre will be the first of many to be established around the country.“The A2K centre in KwaMhlanga promises to be a valuable pilot scheme for us to roll out in other areas,” NCF chairman Thami Bolani said in a statement last month. “Training and advice builds knowledge and confidence, which in the long run is the consumer’s best protection against abuse by the private or public sector.”Consumer education vitalNestle South Africa chairman and MD Sullivan O’Carroll said that as a leading nutrition, health and wellness company, consumer education in South Africa was a priority for Nestle.“Through this partnership with the NCF, we aim to enhance the quality of life of communities by providing information and training on nutrition, health and wellness,” he said.Metropolitan Holdings’ Nathi Choco said his organisation had been involved with various initiatives with the NCF over the past two years, and they had no doubt that the new partnership would be invaluable in empowering consumers.“Only knowledgeable consumers can exercise their rights and responsibilities with determination and confidence,” he said.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

World Cup: SA’s great leap forward?

first_imgKagiso Lediga was one of the South Africancomedians who kept an overwhelminglySouth African audience of more than 3 000doubled up with laughter at London’s RoyalAlbert Hall in May.(Image: Bafunny Bafunny)MEDIA CONTACTS• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 [email protected]• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 [email protected] • Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World CupLocal Organising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 [email protected] ARTICLES• SA, UK’s unique relationship• The vuvuzela: Bafana’s 12th man• Gallery: United for Bafana Bafana• Bafana frenzy grips the nation• Gallery: Mandela meets Bafana BafanaJohn BattersbyAn extraordinary thing happened recently in the iconic chamber of London’s cavernous Royal Albert Hall.With 21 days to go before South Africa hosts the 2010 Fifa World Cup, eight South African stand-up comedians representing a kaleidoscope of the country’s racial diversity kept an overwhelmingly South African audience of more than 3 000 doubled up with laughter for three side-splitting hours.The show – called Bafunny Bafunny, a word-play on the national football team Bafana Bafana (“the boys”) – was an irreverent attempt to build national enthusiasm for the world’s largest sporting event among South Africa’s largest expatriate community – sometimes referred to as the 10th province of South Africa.It was catharsis of the kind that has been kindled – and could be fast-forwarded – by the national convergence and unity of purpose thrust on South Africans by hosting the world’s largest and most diverse sporting event.“The hosting of the 2010 World Cup will change the way the world sees South Africa and the African continent forever,” said South African President Jacob Zuma, who kicked a mean football while serving time for resistance to apartheid in the country’s notorious Alcatraz-like Robben Island prison.Just as the 2006 World Cup had Germans smiling, drinking beer and waving the national flag en masse for the first time in 60 years, so the first African World Cup in South Africa could have an equally dramatic effect on promoting social cohesion in a country with a legacy of deep racial inequality.Inside the hall there were two gigantic South African flags on either side of the massive organ and nothing to remind the audience that they were sitting in the heart of London.The crowd, a tiny fraction of the estimated 600 000 South Africans in the UK, was mobilised by word-of-mouth without a single advertisement in mainstream media.Trevor Noah, Nick Rabinowitz, Loyiso Gola, Mark Lottering, John Vlismas, Kagiso Ledega, Mark Banks and Barry Hilton took the gloves off with slick, witty and hugely varied performances.Their repartee – peppered with four-letter words – slaughtered a series of favourite targets: Fifa, the fiery African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema, the police shoot-first policy, violent crime and the biggest and most sensitive no-go area of all: race.Inevitably, the controversial “kill-a-boer” song featured prominently in the comedians’ repertoire.How do you justify a song coveted by one group of South Africans when it calls for the killing of members of another? Do you laugh or cry?At the Royal Albert Hall on 20 May the only tears to be found were those generated by excessive laughter.For three hours, a diverse audience of South Africans laughed at themselves, at each other and with each other at things that many could not talk about outside the comfort zone of their racial or cultural groups even a few years ago.In recent months, South Africans of all races have been donning Bafana football shirts on Fridays, flying the national flag from their car windows, wrapping their rear-view mirrors in socks sporting the national flag and chanting slogans about Africa’s time having come: “It’s here. Can you feel it?” There is a rare inclusive outpouring of patriotic fervour.As the row about the noisy but uniquely African trumpet – known as a vuvuzela – is debated on breakfast television shows at home and abroad, South Africans are undergoing a seismic shift in terms of social cohesion and identity which is set to be galvanised by hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup.White South Africans, previously wedded only to rugby while football was (and remains) an overwhelmingly black sport, are starting to take ownership of the national team and willing it to victory despite its low international ranking.As the finishing touches are given to the 10 awesome stadiums, three transformed airports and a range of new transport and access routes, the level of national excitement is palpable.Estimates of foreign arrivals have come down to 300 000 since the build-up began, which will mean that far more South Africans will get a seat at the stadiums.The physical benefits for the country’s economic infrastructure are there for all to see despite a healthy debate about whether the large numbers of poor and unemployed South Africans will benefit from the expenditure of some R40-billion (US$5.2-billion) on stadiums and related infrastructure.But the most enduring benefactor of the World Cup will be the national psyche and the quest for a common national identity to transcend a deeply divided past.As former President Thabo Mbeki said when he spoke at the handover ceremony in Berlin in 2006, the German World Cup succeeded in restoring some of Germany’s self-respect after its legacy of national socialism.“We are confident that the 2010 soccer World Cup will do the same to consolidate our self-respect and dignity gained when we attained our freedom and democracy in 1994 and, in a unique way, also help our own nation and the continent of Africa,” Mbeki said.Long before the World Cup kickoff, Bafana Captain Aaron Mokoena took the lead in ensuring the legacy of the 2010 World Cup will benefit future generations of football players.A year ago he launched the Aaron Mokoena Foundation, which will ensure that those who were denied an opportunity in the past will benefit from the coaching and mentoring services the foundation will provide initially in the sprawling townships south of Johannesburg including his home town of Boipatong in Sedibeng.“The future of the country is in the hands of the youth,” said Mokoena. “I want to make a contribution to ensure that they have the opportunity to reach for the stars.”An initiative such as John Perlman’s Dreamfields project is ensuring that thousands of would be football players are getting access to kit and playing fields often in the most remote rural reaches of the country.Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan, who has become synonymous with the World Cup, sees the staging of the event as a culmination of the anti-apartheid struggle which so effectively used sport to defeat apartheid.In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela used the Rugby World Cup to galvanise conservative white support for the country’s first black majority government. The story has been movingly told in the book Invictus by John Carlin and the film of the same name starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon.Mandela was also instrumental in securing the 2010 Fifa World Cup for South Africa.“Reconciliation is an important aim of the World Cup.” Jordaan told the Independent on Sunday. “We want to make this country better and more united and I think we will achieve that.“It will chart a new course in our country’s history.”John Battersby is a former southern Africa correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor and a former editor of the Sunday Independent in Johannesburg. He is co-author of Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photographs published by Sterling in the United States in January 2010. Battersby is a trustee of the Aaron Mokoena Foundation. He is currently UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa. This article was first published in the Christian Science Monitor (online)last_img read more