Posts tagged human rights

Post to YouTube? You'll Need a License for That

Via Global Voices Advocacy:

This week’s report begins in Saudi Arabia where government officials say they will soon require Internet users to obtain a state-issued permit in order to post videos on YouTube. Videos would be evaluated based on their consistency with Saudi “culture, values and tradition.” The policy could have troublesome implications for activists, whose strategic use of YouTube for actions like the Women2Drive campaign has brought international attention to the issue. Saudi citizens reportedly boast the highest YouTube usage rate per capita in the world.

A Saudi judge recommended that blogger Raif Badawi face charges of apostasy, or denouncing Islam, before the country’s high court. Individuals convicted of apostasy in Saudi Arabia typically receive the death penalty. Last summer, Badawi was convicted of insulting Islam on his blog, Free Saudi Liberals, and sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. The current recommendation came after Badawi’s lawyers appealed the decision.

FJP: Maybe the Kingdom’s tired of seeing videos such as these. Or these. Or these. Or these.

Looking Back at 2013 in Citizen Video

Via WITNESS:

Police brutality, torture, chemical weapons attacks. Through the lenses of bystanders, witnesses, and sometimes even perpetrators, we were transported to this year’s the darkest episodes of humanity, all with the ease of a click, and the speed of an upload…

…In 2013, the Human Rights Channel curated nearly 2300 videos from 100 countries. Collectively, they reveal not only what citizen journalists filmed this year, but how that video was seen and used. Never before have YouTube videos brought egregious abuse to such influential audiences. But as the importance of citizen video becomes clear, so too do the challenges it involves, including the need for verification and the potential of misuse.

Warning: Graphic Footage

Disclosure: WITNESS’ Human Rights Channel is a partnership between WITNESS – where I run digital – and Storyful. – Michael

jcstearns:

verificationjunkie:

Tool: ifussss (If You See Something Share Something)
Source: Edward Brooks
Description: ifussss share some similar qualities with apps being developed by WITNESS for reporting on human rights abuses but focuses on monetizing verified content. 10,000 Words reports “You see traffic on a bridge, for example. You shoot and upload it to the ifussss network. It’s automatically geo, time, and hash tagged. News editors can search and monitor the ifussss newsroom platform and, this is where it gets interesting, buy the content.” 
Relevant Links:
ifussss: http://www.ifussss.com/
10,000 Words: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/ifuss-video-sharing-for-journalists_b21315

From my new Tumblr - Verification Junkie.

FJP: Verification Junkie is a timely, useful, geeky, cool tumblr by Josh Stearns that highlights tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content. You can send him tips on twitter. In other news, a little known secret: In his non-FJP life, our lovely founder Michael is WITNESS' Digital Engagement Lead. Small world.

jcstearns:

verificationjunkie:

Tool: ifussss (If You See Something Share Something)

Source: Edward Brooks

Description: ifussss share some similar qualities with apps being developed by WITNESS for reporting on human rights abuses but focuses on monetizing verified content. 10,000 Words reports “You see traffic on a bridge, for example. You shoot and upload it to the ifussss network. It’s automatically geo, time, and hash tagged. News editors can search and monitor the ifussss newsroom platform and, this is where it gets interesting, buy the content.” 

Relevant Links:

ifussss: http://www.ifussss.com/

10,000 Words: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/ifuss-video-sharing-for-journalists_b21315

From my new Tumblr - Verification Junkie.

FJP: Verification Junkie is a timely, useful, geeky, cool tumblr by Josh Stearns that highlights tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content. You can send him tips on twitter.

In other news, a little known secret: In his non-FJP life, our lovely founder Michael is WITNESS' Digital Engagement Lead. Small world.

Final Embrace
Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable — it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number — not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious too. — Taslima Akhter.
Image: Two victims of a garment factory building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh by Taslima Akhter via Time Lightbox. Select to embiggen.
UPDATE: Via the New York Times, Clothing Is New Front in Movement for Fair Trade.

With fair-trade coffee and organic fruit now standard on grocery shelves, consumers concerned with working conditions, environmental issues and outsourcing are now demanding similar accountability for their T-shirts. And some retailers are doing what was once unthinkable, handing over information about exactly how, and where, their products were made.

The death toll from the Bangladesh factory collapse is now over 800.

Final Embrace

Every time I look back to this photo, I feel uncomfortable — it haunts me. It’s as if they are saying to me, we are not a number — not only cheap labor and cheap lives. We are human beings like you. Our life is precious like yours, and our dreams are precious too. — Taslima Akhter.

Image: Two victims of a garment factory building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh by Taslima Akhter via Time Lightbox. Select to embiggen.

UPDATE: Via the New York Times, Clothing Is New Front in Movement for Fair Trade.

With fair-trade coffee and organic fruit now standard on grocery shelves, consumers concerned with working conditions, environmental issues and outsourcing are now demanding similar accountability for their T-shirts. And some retailers are doing what was once unthinkable, handing over information about exactly how, and where, their products were made.

The death toll from the Bangladesh factory collapse is now over 800.

Remembering Rwanda
Via Pieter Hugo:

In 2004, most of the photojournalists I knew were heading to South Africa to cover that country’s decade of democracy celebrations. Following a succession of terrible events – widespread famine, Somalia’s endless civil war, the scourge of Aids and finally the genocide in Rwanda, which led to the war in former Zaire – people were desperate to tell positive stories from Africa. Publications and academics demanded it, claiming that it was irresponsible to continue depicting Africa as a continent tethered to war, famine and disaster. Yet, not engaging with the complexities of Rwanda seemed thoughtless to me.
As I still worked primarily as a photojournalist at the time, I tried petitioning every foreign publication I knew to send me to Rwanda. None obliged, so I decided to go on my own and stayed there for a few months photographing and contemplating these sites.
Rwanda did eventually rebury its dead ceremoniously in 2004. After President Paul Kagame stated that France ‘knowingly trained and armed the government soldiers and militias who were going to commit genocide and they knew they were going to commit genocide’, the French junior foreign minister, Renaud Muselier, cut his trip short.
These photographs offer a glimpse of what I saw there before the reburials took place, and a very limited forensic view of a few of the genocide sites. At many of the places there is nothing happening and historical knowledge is needed to support the images; through the stillness the atrocity continues to resonate. At some of the sites human remains and the personal effects of the dead are still present. I hope these images in some small way bear testament to the personal anguish of these individuals.

April 7 was the United Nations’ Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. Human rights organizations estimate that 800,000 people were killed within a one hundred day period.
Image: Bodies Covered in Lime, Murambi, by Pieter Hugo.

Remembering Rwanda

Via Pieter Hugo:

In 2004, most of the photojournalists I knew were heading to South Africa to cover that country’s decade of democracy celebrations. Following a succession of terrible events – widespread famine, Somalia’s endless civil war, the scourge of Aids and finally the genocide in Rwanda, which led to the war in former Zaire – people were desperate to tell positive stories from Africa. Publications and academics demanded it, claiming that it was irresponsible to continue depicting Africa as a continent tethered to war, famine and disaster. Yet, not engaging with the complexities of Rwanda seemed thoughtless to me.

As I still worked primarily as a photojournalist at the time, I tried petitioning every foreign publication I knew to send me to Rwanda. None obliged, so I decided to go on my own and stayed there for a few months photographing and contemplating these sites.

Rwanda did eventually rebury its dead ceremoniously in 2004. After President Paul Kagame stated that France ‘knowingly trained and armed the government soldiers and militias who were going to commit genocide and they knew they were going to commit genocide’, the French junior foreign minister, Renaud Muselier, cut his trip short.

These photographs offer a glimpse of what I saw there before the reburials took place, and a very limited forensic view of a few of the genocide sites. At many of the places there is nothing happening and historical knowledge is needed to support the images; through the stillness the atrocity continues to resonate. At some of the sites human remains and the personal effects of the dead are still present. I hope these images in some small way bear testament to the personal anguish of these individuals.

April 7 was the United Nations’ Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. Human rights organizations estimate that 800,000 people were killed within a one hundred day period.

Image: Bodies Covered in Lime, Murambi, by Pieter Hugo.

China Forces Removal of Unapproved Satellite Dishes in Tibet

Via The Tibet Post:

Chinese officials continued their crackdown on access to foreign media in Tibet on March 10 through the dismantling of satellite dishes at the Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery in Labrang erea (Gansu province), Amdho region, eastern Tibet.

Observed as the official ‘Uprising Day’, March 10 is the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in Lhasa, rallies are held worldwide on this day n support of the Tibetan cause.  

Monastery administration was ordered to remove and then burn their satellite dishes. They were then told these should be replaced, alongside new receivers, with smaller state sanctioned ones. These new devices only receive state controlled programmes; thereby blocking Tibetans from obtaining international media.  

These new receivers are fitted with an automatic recorder and camera which are used as surveillance devices by the Chinese government television control office. If phrases such as “Free Tibet” of “His Holiness the Dalai Lama” are detected on this device then the officials are alerted and sanctions are carried out.

Earlier in January, Chinese authorities confiscated televisions and dismantled satellite equipment from 300 monasteries in the western part of the region. Cash rewards were announced for anyone informing the authorities about Tibetans holding back ‘illegal’ devices. Arrests and fines are imposed on those who are found to have such devices in their possession.

FJP: About 100 Tibetans have self-immolated themselves since 2009 in protest against human rights conditions and China blames foreign influence for the continued practice.

For example, in February, it accused the US-backed Voice of America of encouraging immolations. A charge the State Department denies.

Yoani’s first public appearance in the US
fjp-latinamerica:

Yoani Sanchez, world-famous Cuban dissident blogger, will make her first public appearance in the U.S today at 8pm. She will be speaking at the Columbia Journalism School in New York and her talk will be live streamed here.Sanchez will also meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C, next week.FJP: During Yoani’s visits to Brazil and Mexico, several groups of pro-Castro protesters have managed to interrupt her public acts by screaming at her. Some journalists, including brazilian magazine Veija, have reported that these anti-Yoani, pro-Castro mini-mobs are funded by the Cuban government. It’s going to be interesting if they’ll follow Yoani to the US, or as they call it, ‘el imperio Yanqui’.
Image: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism LiveStream channel.

FJP: The Webcast is here and begins at 8pm.

Yoani’s first public appearance in the US

fjp-latinamerica:

Yoani Sanchez, world-famous Cuban dissident blogger, will make her first public appearance in the U.S today at 8pm. She will be speaking at the Columbia Journalism School in New York and her talk will be live streamed here.

Sanchez will also meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C, next week.

FJP: During Yoani’s visits to Brazil and Mexico, several groups of pro-Castro protesters have managed to interrupt her public acts by screaming at her. Some journalists, including brazilian magazine Veija, have reported that these anti-Yoani, pro-Castro mini-mobs are funded by the Cuban government. It’s going to be interesting if they’ll follow Yoani to the US, or as they call it, ‘el imperio Yanqui’.

Image: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism LiveStream channel.

FJP: The Webcast is here and begins at 8pm.

Child Marriage: South Sudan

humanrightswatch:

This visually stunning short film tells the story of child marriage in South Sudan. According to government statistics, close to half (48 percent) of South Sudanese girls between 15 and 19 are married, with some marrying as young as age 12.

Read more after the jump.

FJP: Chilling. “This girl is the property of the family… If she still refuses [to get married], we will beat her and force her to get married.

Tibetan Jailed For Having Photos of Self-Immolators on Mobile Phone

Via Radio Free Asia:

A young Tibetan traditional artist was sentenced to two years in jail with hard labor for having photos on his mobile phone of two compatriots who self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule, according to exile sources Saturday.

Ngawang Thupden, 20, was detained in October last year in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), but relatives learned of the prison sentence for “subversion” only four months later, the sources said, citing contacts in the Himalayan region…

…Chinese authorities have been cracking down hard on any efforts by Tibetans to publicize self-immolation protests after steps taken by Beijing to stop the burnings failed. 

Thupden was accused of “subversion, propagating incorrect political messages, and  causing disharmony among ethnic minorities.”

In recent months, a team of researchers part of Canada’s Citizen Lab have been conducting network scans of public servers in countries on almost every continent. Today, they released their findings—which appear to show that networking technology made by Blue Coat, a Silicon Valley-based company, is being used in a host of countries with questionable human rights records.

The equipment in question can serve a legitimate purpose—like filtering out spam or malware. But in the hands of an authoritarian regime it can easily be turned into a tool for monitoring users or blocking content. Citizen Lab says it found Blue Coat filtering technology capable of censorship operating in countries including Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. It also found Blue Coat technology that can be used for surveillance and tracking of Web users in Afghanistan, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Ryan Gallagher, Slate. Report: Silicon Valley Internet Surveillance Gear Used by Authoritarian Regimes.

For more, see Citizen Lab, Blue Coat and the report itself. Bonus: a prior investigation on Blue Coat (via the article above.)

Considering Journalist Safety, Worldwide

Visiting the campaign site for the Committee to Protect Journalists is quite startling. There are maps, statistics, and there are the numbers of journalists killed recently, and as far back as 1992

We spoke with them recently the state of journalist safety worldwide, and their new digital campaign: Speak Justice

Here’s what Maria Salazar-Ferro, the Coordinator of CPJ’s Impunity Campaign, told us about violence and threats against journalists:

CPJ tracks a wide array of attacks on the press worldwide. Here are some numbers from several of our indicators.

* In 2012, 57 journalists have been killed in direct retaliation for their work worldwide. With this background in mind, the countries with the worse records in targeted murders of journalists this year are Somalia with 12 journalists murdered in retaliation for their work; Pakistan with five, and Syria with three.

* As of December 1, 2011, the countries with the highest number of jailed journalists were Iran, China, Eritrea, Burma, and Vietnam. We will be putting out new stats for 2012 next week.

* The top countries for impunity in murders of journalists—that is where journalists are routinely killed for their work and their killers go free are: Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Colombia.

And here’s Maria on what many killed journalists were covering, and who they were:

Of course each case is different, and trends vary between countries and regions. Most journalists who have been murdered covered one of five beats: corruption, politics, crime, armed conflict or human rights—all issues of vital importance to everyday life, and to democracy. They covered these stories at a very local level, which made them more vulnerable. More than 10% were freelancers, which meant they had little institutional support. But most importantly, they received very little protection from authorities—this is evident in the fact that in about 4/10 cases of murdered journalists there had been threats prior to the murder, which meant that the killing could have probably been prevented.

And on their main concern — impunity:

CPJ has found that impunity is a cycle in which journalists are killed, authorities are ineffectual, and for fear, the rest of the press corps self-censors. Speak Justice is looking to demand justice for murdered journalists from the grassroots up, and gain convictions in countries with high rates of impunity. In 2013, our advocacy will focus on the Philippines, Mexico, Russia and Pakistan.

The Speak Justice site will go live next week.

FJP: We’ve covered the violence against Mexican journalists a great deal, and those interested may want to look under our Mexico tag, and see this piece, as well as our interview with documentary filmmaker Bernard Ruiz.

Today, I also read the diary written for the BBC (in Urdu) and published in the newspaper. My mother liked my pen name ‘Gul Makai’ and said to my father ‘why not change her name to Gul Makai?’ I also like the name because my real name means ‘grief stricken’.

My father said that some days ago someone brought the printout of this diary saying how wonderful it was. My father said that he smiled but could not even say that it was written by his daughter.

14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, in her 2009 diary for BBC Urdu, about life under Taliban rule.

She wrote the series under a pen name until the Taliban were driven out of Swat, after which her identity was known and she won a national award for bravery, as well as a nomination for an international children’s peace award. 

On Tuesday, she was shot.

BBC reports:

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack.

Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.

Malala Yousafzai was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded.

One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.

But a police official also told BBC Urdu that unidentified gunmen opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus.

She was hit in the head and, some reports say, in the neck area by a second bullet, but is now in hospital and is reportedly out of danger. Another girl who was with her at the time was also injured.

FJP: Horrifying. 

Photojournalism: Tim Hetherington Grant Application Opens

World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch are now accepting applications for the second Tim Hetherington Grant.

Created to celebrate the legacy of photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, the “annual grant, worth €20,000, will be awarded to a photographer to complete an existing project on a human rights theme. The judges will look for the qualities that defined Tim’s career when reviewing the applications: work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.”

Last year, Stephen Ferry used the grant for Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict.

Applications are due November 15 and can be found here.

Undercover Chinese Reporter Works in iPhone 5 Factory, Exhausts Himself
A reporter for the Shanghai Evening Post recently went undercover to a Foxconn factory, got a white coat, a room in the dorms, and a job placing oil marks on the back-plates of the new iPhone 5, which should be announced today. His conclusion: abysmal. Not the iPhone 5, but the conditions.
Foxconn has had controversies in the past — there was a suicide protest early this year, a factory explosion in 2011, and several suicides in years past, all related to the working conditions, poor food and dirty living quarters workers are often pushed into.
This story highlights the low quality of everything at Foxconn, except for perhaps the products they’re making.
via a translation by micgadget:

An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.

The article notes that it cannot verify the honesty of its reporter, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
H/T: The Atlantic Wire

Undercover Chinese Reporter Works in iPhone 5 Factory, Exhausts Himself

A reporter for the Shanghai Evening Post recently went undercover to a Foxconn factory, got a white coat, a room in the dorms, and a job placing oil marks on the back-plates of the new iPhone 5, which should be announced today. His conclusion: abysmal. Not the iPhone 5, but the conditions.

Foxconn has had controversies in the past — there was a suicide protest early this year, a factory explosion in 2011, and several suicides in years past, all related to the working conditions, poor food and dirty living quarters workers are often pushed into.

This story highlights the low quality of everything at Foxconn, except for perhaps the products they’re making.

via a translation by micgadget:

An iPhone 5 back-plate run through in front of me almost every 3 seconds. I have to pickup the back-plate and marked 4 position points using the oil-based paint pen and put it back on the running belt swiftly within 3 seconds with no errors. After such repeat action for several hours, I have terrible neckache and muscle pain on my arm. A new worker who sat opposite of me gone exhausted and laid down for a short while. The supervisor has noticed him and punished him by asking him to stand at one corner for 10 minutes like the old school days. We worked non-stop from midnight to the next morning 6 a.m but were still asked to keep on working as the production line is based on running belt and no one is allowed to stop. I’m so starving and fully exhausted.

The article notes that it cannot verify the honesty of its reporter, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

H/T: The Atlantic Wire