Tag Archives: journalists

Trump reluctant to blame Crown Prince Khashoggi assassination

President Donald Trump called a CIA assessment accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggivery premature” and said he will receive a complete report on the case in coming days.

On his trip to California, Trump said the killing “should never have happened.” The report on Tuesday, November 20, will explain who the U.S. government holds responsible for killed Khashoggi and what the overall impact of his assassination is, Trump added. It was unclear who is producing this final report.

Trump also said the CIA finding that Crown Price was responsible for the killing was “possible.” Trump made the remarks hours after the State Department said the government was still working on determining responsibility for the death of Khashoggi, a US based Washington Post columnist.

Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.

End impunity for crimes against journalists!

“Democracy cannot live without free, diverse and independent media. Journalists and media actors across the globe hold states, government officials, corporations and society at large accountable for their actions. But far too many among them face threats and attacks simply for carrying out their work, while the perpetrators of these attacks often act with total impunity” says the Declaration by the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini on behalf of the bloc on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists – 2 November 2018.

“On this day, which has been proclaimed as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, by virtue of the UN General Assembly Resolution 68/163, we pay tribute to all those journalists around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks in the exercise of their profession. We also pay tribute to all those brave journalists who are taking up the work of their colleagues who can no longer pursue their investigations.

“The assassinations of investigative journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak in the EU, demonstrate that no region of the world is immune to this. These despicable crimes need to be thoroughly investigated and prosecute, as it is the case for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. We have asked and expect that Saudi Arabia cooperates on a thorough, credible and transparent investigation and we insist on the need for clarity on the circumstances of his death and full accountability of all those responsible for it.

“There is in many countries a worrying tendency to erode and shrink the space for free journalism, often by putting indiscriminately in question the credibility of media to discredit and weaken their work. Journalists need an environment where they are able to work in safety and security, both online and offline, without fear of harassment, political pressure, censorship or persecution. A robust legal system must protect media houses and journalists all around the world so that they can fulfil their work in full independence. In a time where disinformation is on the rise, the safety of journalists must be guaranteed to allow them to promote accurate reporting for the benefit and in the interests of all our citizens.

“The EU will continue to use all appropriate external policy and financial instruments to enhance the quality of journalism, access to public information and freedom of expression. It will continue funding the European Centre for Press and Media freedom (ECPMF) and providing targeted protection through Human Rights Defenders Support programmes.

“All states within and outside the European Union have a duty to fulfill their obligations to protect freedom of expression and the safety of journalists by providing an enabling legal environment, by taking threats against journalists seriously and by vigorously prosecuting actual attacks. We expect all to reinforce preventive measures, mobilising all actors and creating national safety mechanisms, in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

“Free journalism is the backbone of free societies: undermining it means undermining our own freedom” – the Declaration concludes.

Clashes with Taliban in Ghazni continue

Fighting continued around Ghazni city just south of Kabul during weekend a day after Taliban fighters stormed its center in a brutal show of force, with at least 25 police and one journalist killed, officials said.

Defense ministry officials said Ghazni was under complete control of the security forces but at the same time indicated clearance operations were continuing and additional troops were being sent to boost the city’s defense.

“Afghan National Army reinforcements are making their way to Ghazni city to help the Afghan National Police search and clear the city of insurgents that may still be hiding in the city,” said Major Mohammad Farooq, Afghan army 203rd Corps spokesman.

There is no update of information on casualties, but Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said that 25 policemen had been killed, along with one Afghan journalist, whom he did not identify.

 

 

 

 

Journalists killed in Kabul suicide blast

Two suicide blast at rush hour in Kabul claimed lives of more than 20 people, and left many injured. In a first explosion, a suicide bomber detonated himself close to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the main Afghan intelligence agency, TOLOnews reported quoting official sources.

In another explosion that followed 20 minutes later, a second suicide bomber targeted emergency medical workers and journalists who had arrived at the scene.

Reporting from Kabul, Afghan medid said ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd of press, rushing to the place of the first attack.
AFP chief photographer Shah Marai (pictured) three other journalists were among 21 killed in two suicide blasts in Kabul.

 

Baku’ assaults regime critics

The courts of Azerbaijan condemned at least 25 journalists and political activists to long prison terms in politically motivated, unfair trials in 2017, Human Rights Watch concluded in its World Report 2018.
Azerbaijan laws and regulations for nongovernmental organizations created a frame, making impossible for independent groups to fund and carry out their work. Harassment, torture and ill-treatment in custody in total impunity is common, and legal changes reduced the number of lawyers accepting politically sensitive cases.
President Ilham Aliyev (pictured) clearly draws a red line for freedom of speech, and fundamental rights, sending a clear message that anyone who crosses it is charged as a criminal. The situation with fundamental rights in Azerbaijan has been in down spiral for years, while criticism of the regime and especially the Aliyevs family, is a taboo, blocking democratic developments in oil rich Caucasus country.
“Azerbaijan does have a de facto royal family. They pretend the Aliyevs are democratically elected” – writes the son of the assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Matthew.

#Kabul: BBC jounralists among injured

Four BBC workers and their Afghan driver were among the victims of the suicide bombing outside the Federal Republic of Germany Embassy in  in Kabul, the corporation announced .

 The driver, a father in his late thirties who had worked for the BBC for more than four years, was killed in the blast. Four journalists were injured, though their wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, the BBC said in a statement.

The huge blast killed at least 80 people and injured more than 350 after what local media reported was a truck or tanker filled with explosives entered the heavily guarded diplomatic quarter.

No group has yet claimed responsibility, but the Taliban has denied involvement.