posts about or somewhat related to ‘Al Jazeera’
Iâve been locked in my cell 24 hours a day for the past 10 days, allowed out only for visits to the prosecutor for questioning, so the chance for a walk in the weak winter sunshine is precious.
So too are the books on history, Arabic and fiction that my neighbors have passed to me, and the pad and pen I now write with.
I want to cling to these tiny joys and avoid anything that might move the prison authorities to punitively withdraw them. I want to protect them almost as much as I want my freedom back.
Peter Greste, A letter from Tora prison.
The News, via ABC (Australia):
Australian journalist Peter Greste will be detained in solitary confinement in Egypt for at least another 15 days.
Greste was arrested in Cairo in late December along with two [Al Jazeera] colleagues, bureau chief Mohamed Adel Fahmy and producer Baher Mohamed.
Egyptian authorities are accusing the crew of holding illegal meetings with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by the military-installed government.
However, the trio says it was merely reporting all sides of the story.
As Greste writes, “The three of us have been accused of collaborating with a terrorist organization [The Muslim Brotherhood], of hosting MB meetings in our hotel rooms, of using unlicensed equipments to deliberately broadcast false information to further their aims and defame and discredit the Egyptian state. The state has presented no evidence to support the allegations, and we have not been formally charged with any crime. But the prosecutor general has just extended our initial 15-day detention by another 15 days to give investigators more time to find something. He can do this indefinitely – one of my prison mates has been behind bars for 6 months without a single charge.”
Hassan El-Laithy, Egypt’s ambassador to Australia, says the detention isn’t personal. Instead, it’s aimed at Al Jazeera as a news organization.
“It has nothing to do with Peter Greste as a person, definitely,” El-Laithy told ABC. “But it is whether those working for a specific television station are abiding by the laws of that specific host country or not.”
Small solace, we imagine, for Greste and his colleagues.
The website of Qatar-based satellite news network Al Jazeera was apparently hacked on Tuesday by Syrian government loyalists for what they said was the television channel’s support for the “armed terrorist groups and spreading lies and fabricated news”.
A Syrian flag and statement denouncing Al Jazeera’s “positions against the Syrian people and government” were posted on the Arabic site of the channel in response to its coverage of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad which began in March last year.
Via the BBC:
Al-Jazeera says it has been forced to close its English-language bureau in Beijing after its reporter was expelled.
China’s decision not to renew the press credentials and visa of Melissa Chan is the first such action against a foreign reporter for many years.
Officials have also refused to allow a replacement for Ms Chan, al-Jazeera’s China correspondent since 2007.
China’s foreign ministry refused to say why the reporter had been expelled.
"We stress that everybody must abide by Chinese laws and regulations and must abide by their professional ethics," spokesman Hong Lei said, responding to repeated questions.
Al-Jazeera said it would “continue to request a presence in China”.
The channel expressed its disappointment in a statement, adding that it had been requesting additional visas for correspondents for ”quite some time”. The move does not affect its Arabic-language service.
The move will be viewed as an attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign media operating in the country, says the BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing.
Good case study for a journalism ethics class.
Via Al Jazeera:
Al Jazeera has said it will not air a video that it received showing three shooting attacks in Toulouse and Montauban in southern France this month.
The network on Tuesday said the video did not add any information that was not already in public domain. It also did not meet the television station’s code of ethics for broadcast.
The video shows the attacks in chronological order, with audible gunshots and voices of the killer and the victims. But it does not show the face of the confessed murderer, Mohammed Merah, and it does not contain a statement from him…
…Merah boasted of filming his killings and witnesses told police that he appeared to be wearing a video camera in a chest harness.
…Zied Tarrouche, Al Jazeera’s Paris bureau chief, said the images were a bit shaky but of a high technical quality. He also said the video had clearly been manipulated after the fact, with religious songs and recitations of Quranic verses laid over the footage.
— Zeina Awad, writing about the issues faced by female journalists and encouraging dialogue on the subject. Read the full piece from Al Jazeera.
Journalist Zhanara Kasymbekova in The Fight to Publish, a film about Kazakhstan’s only mass-produced opposition paper.
(via Al Jazeera)
After Kazakhstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, a system of double standards was created. To the outside world, the language of democracy is used to attract foreign investors. On the inside, journalists must navigate the dangerous realities of imprisonment, fines, interrogations by secret police, and raids of editorial offices. In two decades of independence, not a single murdered journalist’s case has been solved. Ostrovsky’s film follows journalist Zhanara, Staff reporter as the Golos Respubliki newspaper, as she covers stories from her base in Almaty - and when breaking news of the riots in Zhanaozen takes her to the aftermath of the bloodiest day in Kazakhstan’s modern history.
The Respublika newspaper did not come out of this frightening period unscathed. The editorial staff were threatened when the beheaded corpse of a dog was hung outside the newspaper’s window. It turned out that this was only a prelude to the arson of our editorial office, which was burned to the ground. At the same time, our editor-in-chief, Irina Petrushova, was charged with tax evasion and forced to flee the country. By 2009, the newspaper had been forced to shut down by one of its creditors, the government-controlled BTA bank. But despite all the pressure, the newspaper reopened under the new name it uses today: Golos Respubliki.
FJP: A wake-up call to the realities faced by journalists around the world. Zhanara has to fight to cover news objectively, risking her life in the process.
Watch the film. 25 minutes, worth it.