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FBI offers $1M reward for info on American journalist Austin Tice, missing in Syria

FBI offers $1M reward for info on American journalist Austin Tice, missing in Syria A picture shows freelance journalist Austin Tice in Cairo in March 2012. CHRISTY WILCOX/AFP/GETTYIMAGES Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard More »

Maksim Borodin

Suspicion grows over death of journalist investigating Russian mercenaries in Syria

Suspicion grows over death of journalist investigating Russian mercenaries in Syria Friends of a journalist who investigated Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria have expressed their suspicion over his mysterious death. Maksim Borodin More »

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Don’t scrap Iran deal,500 MPs from UK, France and Germany urge US

Don’t scrap Iran deal, MPs from UK, France and Germany urge US Joint statement published in Guardian calls for rethink before 12 May deadline set by Trump An open letter to the More »

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DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’

DHS: Fears over journalist database ‘fit for tin foil hat wearing … conspiracy theorists’ By Clare Foran, CNN  Fri April 6, 2018 (CNN)The Department of Homeland Security is pushing back on reaction to More »

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PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/06/600157230/photos-gazans-protest-again-palestinian-officials-say-7-killed-by-israel

PHOTOS: Gazans Protest Again; Palestinian Officials Say 8 Killed By Israel Updated Saturday 9:42 a.m. ET Palestinian health officials say eight Palestinian protesters were shot dead by Israeli fire at border demonstrations More »

Gatineau police face ethics complaint after arresting journalist

gatinu police

Gatineau police face ethics complaint after arresting journalist
“We cannot tolerate this in a nation of laws. For me, this is an attack on democracy,” said Vania Atudorei

Published on: March 28, 2018 |

A Montreal CEGEP teacher says she’s filed an ethics complaint against the Gatineau police department after it arrested a Radio-Canada journalist.

“We cannot tolerate this in a nation of laws. For me, this is an attack on democracy. Tomorrow, it could be another journalist if we say nothing,” said Vania Atudorei, who teaches microbiology at Gérald-Godin CEGEP and describes the conduct of the Gatineau force as “third world.”

“I have friends at the United Nations who heard the news, it’s gone international, and they asked me: ‘Is it true that in Canada the police arrest journalists?’ ”

Atudorei says that the journalist in question, Antoine Trépanier, was her former student and she respects his integrity. She adds that her complaint is being studied by the province’s police ethics commission

Trépanier was arrested by Gatineau police on March 13 after Yvonne Dubé, who was at the centre of a journalistic investigation, filed a complaint against him for criminal harassment. Dubé is the director of the Big Brothers and Sisters organization in the Outaouais region.

Gatineau police chief Mario Harel has admitted that his personnel “did not adequately evaluate the situation” before placing Trépanier under arrest.

Quebec’s office of criminal prosecutions decided after the arrest that no criminal act had been committed.

Atudorei believes the officer who arrested the reporter didn’t make the necessary checks prior to acting, and hopes her complaint will result in a sanction being levied against them by the ethics board.

“When we make mistakes in our professional life, errors, there are consequences, no? … I’m not targeting an individual, I’m targeting a procedure and I’m targeting a dysfunction in our public services.”

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Mozambican journalist critical of gov’t kidnapped, beaten unconscious Ericino de Salema

mozambic journalist

Mozambican journalist critical of gov’t kidnapped, beaten unconscious

Association of North American ( CANADA_USA) call on Police to arrest those responsible for vicious attack of Ericino de Salema
March 28-2018

assailants on Tuesday kidnapped and assaulted a prominent Mozambican journalist and human rights activist who has been critical of President Filipe Nyusi and his government.

Ericino de Salema was snatched in the center of the capital Maputo, beaten and left unconscious on the capital’s ring road, state news agency AIM reported.

Salema is now being treated in hospital, AIM said.

He was abducted by two men and we are currently investigating the incident in order to find who did this

He was abducted by two men and we are currently investigating the incident in order to find who did this,” police spokesman Orlando Mudumane told reporters.

Salema, a veteran journalist and lawyer, criticised alleged corruption and largesse among Nyusi and his family in his regular appearances on independent television station STV.

Nyusi denies allegations his family have benefited unduly from state funds and has pledged to crackdown on corruption that has blighted Mozambique in the past.

Salema had received threatening phone calls the previous day, AIM reported.

In May 2016, another political commentator, Jose Jaime Macuane was also kidnapped and later found on the same Maputo ring road, having been shot in both legs.

No one has faced charges for this abduction and shooting and very few people in Maputo believe in the police’s capability to resolve such crimes.

Three Indian journalists run down deliberately and killed by vehicles

3 indian journalists

Three Indian journalists run down and killed by vehicles
Sandeep Sharma, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh claimed to be victims of deliberate attacks

#Association of North American( CANADA _USA ) Ethnic Journalists and writers condolences to family , friends and colleagues of Sandeep Sharma, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh in India

March 28 -2018
Three Indian journalists have been struck by vehicles and killed in recent days in what their families and rights groups claim were deliberate attacks.

The deaths of the reporters Sandeep Sharma in Madhya Pradesh state, and Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh in Bihar state, have underlined India’s status as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist, particularly in languages other than English and outside large cities.

Sharma, 36, had recently conducted an undercover “sting” that claimed to have produced footage of a senior police official in his area agreeing to accept a 25,000-rupee (£272) bribe each month in exchange for allowing sand mining in a protected crocodile sanctuary.

“After that he was getting lots of threats from people,” said Rizwan Ahmad Siddiqui, editor-in-chief of News World, the local television news channel where Sharma worked.

“He was denied police protection and the police asked for the camera he had used to conduct the sting,” he said. “They took the original recording and never gave it back.”

CCTV footage has been released showing Sharma’s motorcycle disappearing under an accelerating truck on Monday morning on a road in Bhind district, about 310 miles from the state capital, Bhopal.

Police in the district formed a special investigative team and arrested the driver, Ranbir Yadav, on Monday. The Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Shivraj Singh, on Tuesday ordered India’s elite Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate Sharma’s death.

News World has been airing segments on Sharma’s death and tributes to the journalist since Monday morning and Siddiqui called for the CBI to also investigate his claims about the illegal sand mining.

Sand is a key ingredient in modern construction and as India rapidly urbanises, the pursuit of the material has been linked to increasing reports of corruption and violence.

The amount of sand used for construction in India has tripled since 2000 by some estimates and supplies around major cities have been depleted. Developers have been travelling to more remote regions to source the material, often bringing them into conflict with communities that complain the dredging process severely damages rivers and coasts.

Villagers pay tragic price as Indian building boom drives demand for sand
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Organised sand mafias, often alleged to have close ties to authorities, are believed to be involved in most of the illegal extraction, and Reporters Without Borders has noted that journalists “who cover India’s sand mafia are often the victims of violent reprisals”.

“The shocking manner in which Sandeep Sharma was murdered is a terrible warning to journalists who investigate the sand mining mafia phenomenon,” the group said in a statement.

The day before Sharma was killed, Nishchal and Singh were also run down by a vehicle allegedly driven by an ex-village chief, Mohammad Harsu.

Police said on Monday they had arrested Harsu and were investigating the circumstances of the incident.

The pair had finished reporting on a Hindu festival for their publications when they got into an argument with Harsu at a tobacco stand, said Rakesh Kumar Singh, bureau chief of the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, where Nishchal worked.

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“As they were leaving the tobacco stand they were rammed by a car driven by the ex-village head,” Singh said. “[Harsu] used to pressure local journalists to write in his favour and had lots of grudges against these two journalists.”

Singh said journalists in small Indian cities and villages were frequently threatened by local authorities. “These local dons are the big figures,” he said. “If you don’t greet them with a smile you get four slaps. They want you to fear them. They put a lot of pressure on us journalists.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a report last year that 27 journalists had been killed “with complete impunity” in India since 1992. It listed another 25 murders it was investigating to ascertain a connection to the journalists’ work. At least another six journalists have been killed in the time since the report was published.

The CPJ ranks India 13th in its global impunity index, highlighting countries where the murders of journalists are least likely to be punished. The organisation claims not a single journalist’s murder in the country has been solved in the past 10 years.

In September the journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh was gunned down on her doorstep in Bengaluru. Earlier this month police arrested a man with close ties to Hindu nationalist groups.

Since you’re here …

Mexican police officers found guilty of murdering journalist

Moises_Sanchez_Cerezo-periodista_desaparecido_Veracruz_MILIMA20150103_0090_8

Mexican police officers found guilty of murdering journalist in rare conviction
Two officers sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted in the killing of newspaper owner Moisés Sánchez in Veracruz

March 28-2018
Association of North American Ethnic Journalists and Writers welcoming news on conviction of Newspaper owner Journalist in Mexico .

Two police officers have been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of a Mexican journalist, marking a rare conviction in a country where crimes committed against media members almost always remain in the realm of impunity.

The police officers, identified as Luigui Heriberto N and José Francisco N, were convicted of killing newspaper owner Moisés Sánchez in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the most lethal jurisdiction for journalists in the hemisphere.

They were also ordered to pay $18,000 (£12,900) in compensation, according to a statement from the Veracruz prosecutor’s office.

Mexican town’s entire police force detained over journalist disappearance
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Press freedom advocates and members of Sánchez’s own family say the convictions fall short as the local mayor – who is accused of ordering the murder – remains a fugitive, and six other police officers – accused of forming a drug-dealing gang and acting on the mayor’s orders – have not been prosecuted.

During the initial murder investigation, state prosecutors detained 36 officers – the entire police force of the town of Medellín de Bravo – for questioning.

“Two convictions of former police officers for breach of their legal duties is progress, but it is not justice,” Sánchez’s son Jorge wrote in Plumas Libres, an online news organisation.

Sánchez was kidnapped 2 January 2015 outside his home in the municipality of Medellín de Bravo in Veracruz state. His lifeless body was found three weeks later.

As he was pulled from his home, Sánchez pleaded with the assailants, “Please don’t hurt my family,” CPJ reported.

Veracruz officials originally said that Sánchez was not a journalist – a common practice by the authorities in states with atrocious records of infringing on press freedoms.

Sánchez moonlighted as a taxi driver to sustain his weekly newspaper, La Unión, and had reportedly angered the mayor by highlighting the poor state of municipal services and revealing the existence of citizen vigilante groups forming as a response to rampant insecurity.

Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters and media workers.

Three journalists have been murdered in Mexico so far in 2015. Leobardo Vázquez was shot dead on 21 March in northern Veracruz as he worked at a taco stand next to his home. Like Sánchez, he worked in his taco business to subsidise a news venture.

Another Journalist shot dead Mexico journalist shot dead in Gulf state of Veracruz Leobardo Vázquez, 48, killed in town of Gutiérrez Zamora Vázquez ran news website in area known for drug cartel activity

Leobardo Vázquez

Association of North American Ethnic Journalists and Writers ( Canada – USA ) condolences death of Leobardo Vázquez Mexican journalist . We call on Mexico police and Government to bring those responsible before court of law.
Another Journalist shot dead Mexico journalist shot dead in Gulf state of Veracruz Leobardo Vázquez, 48, killed in town of Gutiérrez Zamora Vázquez ran news website in area known for drug cartel activity

A Mexican journalist has been shot dead in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, becoming the latest victim in a relentless string of attacks on the country’s press.

Leobardo Vázquez ran an online news outlet called Enlace Informative Regional and previously reported for other media in the region.

He was shot dead on Monday night at the taco stand he operated next to his home in the vanilla-producing municipality of Gutiérrez Zamora, according to a statement by Veracruz state officials.

‘We work under siege’: the journalists who risk death for doing their jobs
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Officials have offered no motive for the slaying, though Mexican media reported he has received threats over his reporting on an illegal land “invasion” by squatters.

Vázquez moonlighted at his fast-food stand to make ends meet, while also covering crime and the police in northern Veracruz, an area rife with underworld activity.

Press freedom groups consider the region a “zone of silence”, where the reporters practise self-censorship to stay safe and keep the details of crime and corruption cases vague.

Vázquez was the third Mexican reporter to be killed in 2018. Last year 12 media members were murdered in the country.

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Mexico’s war on drugs

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2017 was Mexico’s deadliest year on record, and the murder rate has kept climbing in 2018: in the first two months of the year, Mexico recorded 4,937 homicides, an 18% increase the same period of 2017.

Violence against the media has been especially acute in the state of Veracruz. During the 2010-2016 administration of the governor Javier Duarte – currently in jail on corruption charges – at least 20 media workers were murdered and many more were forced to flee the state.

“The death of Leobardo Vázquez is a clear sign that the conditions for journalists in the state have not improved since Duarte left,” said Jan-Albert Hootsen, Mexico representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“Reporters are still badly exposed to violence. Nearly all of the murders of journalists in Veracruz remain unpunished and the impunity incentivises more violence.”

Mexico has implemented some measures to prevent the bloodshed, including a mechanism for protecting journalists under threat and a special prosecutor’s office for investigating the crimes committed against them. But reporters and press freedom groups have complained that the official response has been half-hearted and ineffective.

Mario Vargas Llosa: murder of Mexican journalists is due to press freedom
Read more
Earlier this week, the noble laureate Mario Vargas Llosa provoked outrage by asserting that the targeting of journalists was a reflection of improved press freedoms.

“The fact that more than 100 journalists were murdered is, in grand part, to be blamed on the freedom today, which allows journalists to say things that were not permitted previously. Narcotics trafficking plays an absolutely central part in all of this,” he said in a radio interview.

Many journalists rebuked Vargas Llosa, saying he had failed to consider Mexico’s rampant impunity – and the close connection between organised crime and the country’s politicians.

Article 19, a freedom of expression advocacy organisation, issued a report earlier in March noting that only 8% of the nearly 2,000 aggressions – threats, harassment or attacks – against journalists in Mexico last year could be attributed to organised crime.

Public officials, meanwhile, committed 48% of the aggressions against journalists.

Journalist faces unprecedented criminal charges over coverage of Muskrat Falls protest

muskrat-falls-protest

Journalist faces unprecedented criminal charges over coverage of Muskrat Falls protest
JESSICA LEEDER
PUBLISHED 2 DAYS AGO
UPDATED 1 DAY AGO
When Justin Brake made the move that would ultimately result in criminal charges against him, the journalist did not see himself as breaking the law.

He thought it would protect him.

A journalist with Newfoundland online news outlet The Independent, Mr. Brake was in the midst of an intensive stint of reporting on the tensions inflamed by Muskrat Falls, the controversial Labrador-based hydroelectric project, on the day he filmed protesters cutting through a locked gate. When they flooded onto the project site in spite of an injunction blocking trespassers, Mr. Brake followed and continued to film.

While other media remained at the gate, Mr. Brake embedded himself with a largely Indigenous group of protesters (which he refers to as “land protectors”) while they occupied workers’ accommodations. He live streamed their protest for several days.

As a result of his work, Mr. Brake now finds himself at the lonely centre of a rare legal scenario thought to be unprecedented in Canada. More than a year after covering the protest, Mr. Brake is fighting both civil and criminal charges for violating the injunction that protesters ignored. He is thought to be the only journalist ever to have been charged both civilly and criminally for reporting on a matter of public interest in this country.

“To lay criminal charges against journalists is a very rare thing to do,” said Paul Schabas, a Toronto-based lawyer with expertise in media and constitutional law. “Here it strikes me as particularly extraordinary given that they are also proceeding with a civil remedy,” said Mr. Schabas, who is not involved with Mr. Brake’s case. “What’s the need to also pile on a criminal charge?”

Newfoundland provincial court judge Wynne Anne Trahey said earlier this month that the criminal charge is “intended to address matters of public interest” while the civil proceedings “resolve issues between competing parties.” Her comments were part of a ruling that rejected Mr. Brake’s legal request to have the criminal charges stayed.

Open this photo in gallery
Journalist Justin Brake in the APTN bureau in Halifax.

DARREN CALABRESE/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The journalist, who now works in Halifax for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, is awaiting another judge’s decision, which could come any day, on a separate appeal to have the civil charges tossed out. But the likelihood that Mr. Brake will be forced to defend his 2016 decision to favour journalism over an injunction seems increasingly firm.

While much is at stake for Mr. Brake personally – the young father faces jail time plus increasing legal bills – media advocates and legal experts argue that his case, which happens to be unfolding in courtrooms on the geographical margins of the country, ought to be setting off alarm bells nationwide.

“A case where a journalist is effectively charged with a criminal offence for what appears to be doing their job is something that should concern everybody,” said Mr. Shabas.

Duncan Pike, co-director of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, said Mr. Brake’s case is “incredibly dangerous for press freedom in Canada.”

“Canadians are very complacent with the state of our freedoms and think that these things don’t happen in Canada – that reporters don’t get arrested for their coverage,” Mr. Pike said, adding: “He was there as a journalist, doing his job.”

With his focus on indigenous rights, Mr. Brake had spent weeks in isolated Happy Valley – Goose Bay interviewing locals, uncovering fault lines and getting a pulse on the remote community’s opposition to the Muskrat Falls dam, which included worries about methylmercury contamination.

On the day that protesters cut the lock on a gate to the work site, Mr. Brake, armed with two iPhones, felt he could not stay behind.

“You have to follow that story,” Mr. Brake said, recalling his decision in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail. “This was me recognizing a major story and making a decision to cover it. I didn’t think anybody would try to apply that injunction to me, recognizing that I was there as a reporter … I took comfort in knowing that we have press freedom enshrined in our constitution and this was a story.”

Born in Newfoundland and raised in Ottawa, Mr. Brake said his aim is to “practice journalism as responsibly as I can.” A key element of doing that involves covering Indigenous issues and ensuring marginalized voices are heard (during a two-year stretch, he said he worked without pay as an editor for The Independent as part of an effort to keep the publication afloat).

Mr. Brake, who does not identify as Indigenous but recently learned he has some Mi’kmaq ancestry, is an advocate for media reform. He has not been shy on social media about criticizing mainstream media when he deems coverage to lack balance.

“I’ve done journalism that is unconventional,” Mr. Brake said. “But I don’t think I’ve been necessarily an activist.”

In defending himself on charges, though, Mr. Brake finds himself advocating for a broader cause.

“I fear that journalists watching my case unfold might be influenced, might be deterred from following such stories,” he said. “Regardless of whether or not I’m convicted in the end, the chill effect is huge.”

Investigative journalist Marie-Maude Denis says confidential sources ‘worth fighting for’ The Radio-Canada reporter has been ordered to reveal her sources by Quebec Superior Court

marie-maude-denis

Association of North of American Ethnic Journalists and Writes support journalist Marie-Maude Denis for protecting her source on Quebec corruption case.

Investigative journalist Marie-Maude Denis says confidential sources ‘worth fighting for’
The Radio-Canada reporter has been ordered to reveal her sources by Quebec Superior Court

One of Quebec’s most prominent investigative journalists plans to appeal a Superior Court decision compelling her to reveal her sources.

Marie-Maude Denis has worked with Radio-Canada’s investigative program, Enquête, for years.

Denis reported on corruption within the construction industry, which sparked the Charbonneau Commission and led to the resignations of Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, as well as Montreal mayors Gérald Tremblay and Michael Applebaum.

In 2012, Denis reported a story involving deputy premier and Liberal MNA Nathalie Normandeau, alleging ties to the construction industry.

Normandeau was later arrested by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit, UPAC, alongside Former Liberal cabinet minister Marc-Yvan Côté in 2016. They now face several corruption-related charges.
However, lawyers for the defence are alleging that media reports — such as those by Denis and Enquête — mean that it’s impossible for their clients to get a fair trial.

In addition, defence lawyer Jacques Larochelle is arguing that the leaks to the media that sparked the reports came from within the UPAC, in an attempt to purposefully incriminate Normandeau and Côté.

Now, Denis has been asked to testify and divulge her sources — something she claims would violate her journalistic integrity.

Denis spoke to CBC Montreal’s Daybreak the day after a Quebec Superior Court judge ordered her to testify.

She shared her reaction to the order, her concerns regarding the repercussions of such a request and how far she’ll go to defend her sources.

Here are excerpts from that interview, which have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Were you upset when this ruling came down on Thursday?
MMD: You know, it’s something that we always have to fight as journalists.

We don’t have that many tools as journalists, especially as investigative journalists, to convince sources to trust us. We don’t pay sources. Many of them don’t have an advantage to speak to us, and they take very, very big risks.

So, the minimum I think as a journalist that I should be able to promise to a source is that I won’t be forced to reveal their identity.

This story had to do with collusion and funding for the Liberal government. Can you explain?
MMD: The story was about a water treatment plant in Boisbriand, and some apparently illegal financing for the Liberal party around this project. And so we aired this story in 2012 and now, six years later, there’s a debate about who gave me those confidential sources.

Marc-Yvan Côté and Nathalie Normandeau’s argument is that there’s a conspiracy high in the police or the justice system to leak some confidential information to journalists in order to have a parallel trial in the public opinion about them.

Marie-Maude Denis
Denis said protecting the identity of journalistic sources is ‘a principle that we have to defend’ as reporters in Canada. (CBC)

Radio-Canada wasted no time in saying that it will be appealing this ruling.
MMD: It was a great relief to see that our bosses — they didn’t even think for a second. It was just so obvious to them.

Because this principle of protecting journalistic sources is very important, and it goes far beyond what we do at Radio-Canada. It’s a principle that we have to defend as Canadian journalists in this country. And we’re the first ones to be called to fight it.

Of course, we know that this is going to go far, and is going to be tested probably up to the Supreme Court of Canada. But it’s such an important principle that we really think that we have to fight for.

I’m very grateful that I work for a company like Radio-Canada, a public broadcaster who defends these values and principles. I can think of journalists and smaller outlets that wouldn’t have the means to take on such a big legal battle.

How far are you willing to go? Would you go to jail over something like this?
MMD: I don’t think it’s proper to say something right now. We’ll just take every step and just cross that bridge whenever we get to the river.

But you know, I’m a journalist in my heart. When I say that I will protect the source, I will protect my sources. That’s what I can tell you.

Egypt expels British journalist, raising fears for press ahead of election Arrest and deportation of Bel Trew, a correspondent for the Times, is the latest incident in an unprecedented crackdown

sisi

Egypt expels British journalist, raising fears for press ahead of election
Arrest and deportation of Bel Trew, a correspondent for the Times, is the latest incident in an unprecedented crackdown

Egyptian authorities threatened a British journalist with a military trial and expelled her from the country with no stated cause, in advance of the country’s upcoming presidential election.

Bel Trew, a journalist with the Times, was arrested on 20 February while reporting in Shubra, a working-class neighbourhood of Cairo, and taken to a police station. Hours later, she was driven to Cairo international airport and forced to board a flight for London.

In an account published on Saturday by the Times, Trew wrote: “The charges were never revealed to me. [But] after seven hours of detention, I was threatened with a military trial, a legal process often used against terrorism suspects or dissidents.”

Egypt detains state TV host in latest crackdown on media
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“Less than 24 hours after I was first detained, I was marched on to a plane with nothing but the clothes I was standing up in. The choice before me – stay for a military trial or leave – was no kind of choice,” she wrote.

The arrest and deportation of a foreign journalist is the latest incident in an already unprecedented crackdown on press freedom in Egypt.

Foreign media workers have been subject to imprisonment or arrest in the past, but Trew’s expulsion has raised concerns about whether journalists are safe to report in Egypt ahead of the country’s upcoming presidential election on 26 March.

In a statement, the Times said that it had withheld news of Trew’s deportation while investigating if she could return to the country.

“The circumstances of her detention and the threats made against her were sufficiently outlandish to suggest that a mistake had been made, based on a misunderstanding. We have since been trying to ensure her safe return to Cairo, in time to cover the presidential election. It is now clear that the authorities have no intention of allowing her to return,” the newspaper said.

“As far as the Cairo authorities are concerned, I am on a list of ‘undesirable people’ and if I attempt to return I will be re-arrested,” wrote Trew.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Cairo said that the motivation for Trew’s expulsion was still unknown.

“We have provided support and raised our concerns at the highest levels. The foreign secretary has raised it directly with the Egyptian foreign minister. The Egyptian authorities have not shared any evidence of wrongdoing. We will continue to press them on this case,” she said.

The Egyptian government did not respond to requests for comment.

Trew, 33, moved to Cairo shortly before the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Since the current president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came to power in a 2013 military coup, the climate for Egyptian and foreign media has grown increasingly repressive.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 20 Egyptian journalists are behind bars as of December last year.

Egypt is described as one of “the world’s biggest prisons for journalists”, by the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, ranking 161 out of a total of 180 countries on their annual World Press Freedom Index.

Advocates call for empathetic police practices after Fredericton woman left stranded by jail staff

serena-woods

Advocates call for empathetic police practices after Fredericton woman left stranded by jail staff

Serena Woods had to hitch a ride from a gas station outside Miramichi to Moncton, then to Fredericton, after correctional staff left her at the side of the road over the Family Day weekend. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

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New Brunswick’s ombudsman is questioning why a woman was recently left stranded by correctional staff outside a gas station with no way of getting home.

Serena Woods was in police custody for panhandling and spent the night in a Fredericton holding cell because she couldn’t pay $200 in fines. The following day, she was transported to the New Brunswick Women’s Correctional Centre in Miramichi and almost immediately released.

Woods was then left at a nearby gas station 200 km away from her home, with less than $20 in her pocket and no way of getting home.

“I had nobody to come pick me up, they just drove me to … the gas station and pointed in the direction of which way I should hitchhike,” she told CBC News.

Serena Woods was left to find her own way home from jail

 

00:00 01:18

 

Though certainly no stranger to living life on the margins, Serena Woods of Fredericton says there was no need of the way she was treated by Fredericton police, and sheriffs at the women’s prison in Miramichi. When she was found to have an outstanding small fine she couldn’t pay.Fredericton police drove her all the way to Miramichi to be jailed. After being turned over to sheriffs, they then decided she’s “served her time,” and would be released. 1:18

Ombudsman Charles Murray says officials should have responded to the distress Woods was in and could have reached out to government or volunteer agencies that could have helped.

“People need to just take off their hats as employees and put on their hats as New Brunswickers, or as human beings, and say, ‘What can we do now?'” he tells The Current‘s guest host Laura Lynch.

He’s considering an investigation into the incident and says the province needs to do better to ensure the safety and proper treatment of people in custody.

Going beyond protocol

Murray says it’s not being soft on crime to treat people with humanity “in a way that reflects our values as a society.”

“It’s not about the criminal. It’s about who we are as a people.”

He applauds the truckers who offered Woods a ride home late at night.

“It’s not their job to transport this woman but they saw a person in need. And they stepped up,” he tells Lynch.

“The disappointing thing in this case is that the people we employ as a province to look after these people didn’t see their duty in the same way.”

‘Everyone forgets the bad things that happen to people, well I don’t forget,’ said trucker Victor Poirier, who gave Serena Woods a ride to Fredericton from Moncton. (CBC )

In a statement sent to The Current, the New Brunswick’s Ministry of Justice and Public Safety said: “Upon completion of sentence staff within the facilities work with inmates on discharge planning. We can not keep them an extra day or extra time, this is true whether they are in jail one night or two years.”

In addition, they said correctional staff can offer assistance connecting the inmate with family of community resources and “if an inmate cannot develop a transportation plan, the correctional facility will transport him or her to a central transportation location within the community, for instance to a bus station.”

While standard protocol was being followed to transfer Woods to Miramachi, Murray argues Woods could have been spared the distress of being left outside far from home if someone made a phone call to the facility to discuss how to handle her situation.

“Had that call been made, the people in Miramachi would have quickly confirmed she will now get credit for that time served and be released immediately,” he says, adding that he intends to follow up with the department about why that call wasn’t made.

New Brunswick Ombudsman Charles Murray argues treating people ‘with humanity that reflects our values as a society’ is not an example of being soft on crime. (CBC)

Murray tells Lynch the government needs to create a culture that fosters empathy — a culture, he says, “where people feel that they have empowerment to do the right thing — to do the thing as human beings that they feel should be done — and that the department will back them when they do that.”

Punishing the poor

Radio-Canada reporter won’t face harassment charge

antoine-trepanier-radio-canada-gatineau-arrest-harassment

Radio-Canada reporter won’t face harassment charge

Big Brothers Big Sisters director complained to police about journalist Antoine Trépanier

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