RSF calls for end to prosecutions of Kyrgyz media and journalists

first_img News June 23, 2017 – Updated on June 26, 2017 RSF calls for end to prosecutions of Kyrgyz media and journalists KyrgyzstanEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expression RSF_en Organisation Follow the news on Kyrgyzstan RSF calls for the immediate release of Uzbek journalist News Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP Kyrgyzstan used to be seen as an exception in Central Asia as regards media pluralism, but the first half of 2017 has been marked by criminal proceedings against media outlets for “insulting” President Almazbek Atambayev, the blocking of the independent news website Ferghana, arrests of journalists and verbal attacks on the media by the president. “In a democracy such as Kyrgyzstan, the presidential election being held in October ought to be an opportunity for encouraging a climate of debate and an exchange of critical ideas but instead the Kyrgyz authorities seem to want to imitate their neighbours and adopt their repressive methods,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. “It is vital that the European Union should use the next round in its human rights dialogue with Kyrgyzstan as a platform for urging the Kyrgyz authorities to put a stop to this offensive against critical media.” The prosecutor-general brought no fewer than seven complaints against two independent news websites in March and April, accusing them of “insulting the president’s honour and dignity.” The first two complaints were brought against Azattyk, the Kyrgyz offshoot of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), and were prompted by two articles that quoted opposition politician Omurbek Tekebayev as claiming that President Atambayev and others had bank accounts in Cyprus. The five other complaints, also prompted by critical stories, targeted the news website Zanoza and its co-founders, editor Dina Maslova and reporter Naryn Aiyp. In all, the prosecutor-general sought nearly 50 million Soms (650,000 euros) in damages. Access to the offending articles was blocked and, in March, a court in the capital, Bishkek, ordered the freezing of the two website’s bank accounts. The proceedings against Azattyk were dropped after RFE/RL president Thomas Kent met with President Atambayev in May. Those against Zanoza still stand but the constitutional court has to rule on their constitutionality before the cases can proceed any further. The attempts to gag independent media outlets have continued in June. At the start of the month, a Bishkek court ordered the blocking of the Ferghana website, a leading source of news about Central Asia. Criminal proceeding have also been brought against Ferghana’s correspondent in Kyrgyzstan, Ulugbek Babakulov, who is accused of “inciting inter-ethnic hatred” in a 23 May article about social network hate messages targeting Kyrgyzstan’s Uzbek minority. As the subject of inter-ethnic relations is largely off-limits for the media in Kyrgyzstan, Babakulov has also been the target of a death threats and a smear campaign in the state-owned media. A report on the state TV channel OTRK branded him as an “enemy” of the country and several legislators have called for him to be stripped of his nationality. He has fled the country. Ferghana editor Daniil Kislov points out that Atambayev is not seeking reelection and says this “purge” of the media is designed to guarantee his immunity after his term ends. The purge is above all targeting independent media outlets that have covered corruption case implicating Atambayev. On the official website of the president’s office, Atambayev accused a “small group of independent journalists, media and politicians” in March of trying to destabilize the country. And in a subsequent meeting with foreign ambassadors, he described certain journalists as “immoral idiots.” Kyrgyzstan is ranked 89th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. As the European Union prepares for the next round in its human rights dialogue with Kyrgyzstan in Brussels on 27 June, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges EU representatives to seek more guarantees for the protection of the country’s media, which have been the victims of repeated attacks in recent months. August 26, 2020 Find out morecenter_img to go further RSF asks authorities, opposition to guarantee reporters’ safety during Kyrgyzstan protests Help by sharing this information August 14, 2020 Find out more News RSF is concerned about the fate of an Uzbek journalist extradited by Kyrgyzstan Receive email alerts News October 9, 2020 Find out more KyrgyzstanEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expression last_img read more

Speaker promotes LGBTQ acceptance

first_imgIn October 1998, Judy Shepard’s son Matthew was murdered in a hate crime. 17 years later, Shepard spoke as the keynote speaker for Ally Week 2016 to share a mother’s perspective on hate crimes and prejudice.On Tuesday night, Shepard spoke about the theme of acceptance and how it applies to members of any community that may experience discrimination, not just the LGBTQ community.“This is not just about the LGBTQ community — this is about everybody,” Shepard said. “This is not a new thing. Unfortunately, it’s something we deal with not in a positive way, so what we do now at the Matt Shepard Foundation is promote the idea that we should accept everyone for who they are. Not just members of the [LGBTQ] community, but everybody as fellow human beings because really, at the core of it, we are all the same.”In her victim statement, a statement read to the court by the victim or their loved ones so the court gets to know the victim during a trial, Shepard said she and her family started the Matt Shepard Foundation to solidify her son’s legacy.“While Matt was in the hospital, many people concerned about him began to send money to help defray medical costs,” she said. “As a family, we decided we would rather use that money to make something positive come from something so completely devoid of humanity. We have started the Matthew Shepard Foundation and are hoping that it will be helpful in encouraging acceptance and embracing diversity. It is one way we can honor our son.”Shepard said she does not understand why people struggle or refuse to accept members of the LGBTQ community for who they are.“You don’t tolerate people,” she said. “You accept them because they are who they are. You can’t change who you are. You are who you are, you love who you love and that’s just the way it is. How you choose to live your life is certainly up to you, but you are who you are and the idea that you can change any of that is, in my opinion, absurd.”Shepard said her son’s death was a direct result of the hate that had been normalized in society.“Matt is no longer with us because two men learned that it was okay to hate,” she said. “Somehow, somewhere they received the message that the lives of ‘the others, those people,’ are not as worthy of respect, dignity and honor as the lives of ‘us.’ They were given the impression that society condones or is at least indifferent to violence against ‘the others, the people.’”Even though progress such as the legalization of gay marriage has been made recently, the type of violence and discrimination Matt experienced remains prevalent, Shepard said.“When same-sex marriage became the law of the land — or should I just say when marriage, for everyone, became the law of the land — we began to feel pushback from places that did not want to honor marriage between same-sex couples,” Shepard said. “We’re facing actual, open discrimination now and we’ve taken many, many steps back when we thought we were moving forward … You can still be fired in over half the states for being gay.”Despite the remaining legislation discriminating against the LGBTQ community, Shepard said the 2009 Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which carries Matthew Shepard’s name, offers some hope.“Before, [LGBTQ] was not a protected class and now it is,” Shepard said. “It’s the first time that any federal legislation actually mentions the gay and lesbian community as a protected class. It is also the first time that any legislation is actually progress in the [LGBTQ] community, so this is really a special thing.”Tthe most powerful way to combat this discrimination is through education, Shepard said.“We’ve become a SIC society — silent, indifferent and complacent,” she said, “For all those who ask what they can do for Matt and all the other victims of hate and hate crime, my answer is this: educate, educate, educate … It’s the key. Everything stems from ignorance. Fear, violence [and] hate stem from ignorance.”However, Shepard said no legislation will ever be as effective as sharing a personal story and urged the audience to speak out.“If you tell your story, then other people begin to understand what that story is about,” she said. “No one knows how to help you, no one knows what they can do for you until you share your story. It makes it personal, it makes it real. It’s so much more difficult to hate a person or discriminate against a person than it is against an abstract idea … Storytelling is how we change the world.”Shepard placed an emphasis on the importance of allies also sharing their stories and said she believes her son’s death contributed to expanding the ally community.“If he were here, I’m not really sure where we would be in the land of progress,” Shepard said. “I think what happened to Matt woke up the straight world about what’s going on to the gay community. Of all the mail we received, easily over half was from the straight community.”Shepard said her and her husband’s work as allies is their attempt to carry on Matt’s work for him.“Dennis [Shepard] and I feel like we are doing what Matt would be doing if he were still here,” she said. “If Matt were still with us, if what happened to him had not happened, then he would be doing this work … I would not be here, you all would not know who I am — it would be Matt that would be here, and that would be just fine with me.”Tags: acceptance, allies, Death, Judy Shepard, LGBTQ, Matthew Shepard Foundationlast_img read more

Prestige market set for Spring surge with $2m-plus sales already on the rise

first_imgPools are a must, including this one at 168 Harts Road, Indooroopilly, that sold this week.Mr Adcock said there was also a surge in demand for homes that did not require any further work by buyers.“The type of homes that are resonating with the prestige buyers are those that are completely turnkey with no renovation required. They’re timepoor people,” he said.“Obviously they (also) expect all the bells and whistles: Four to five bedrooms, three to four bathrooms, a high level of fixtures and fittings, a pool and a decent yard.” 10/53 Paragon Street, Yeronga, sold for $2.05m on August 24.THE prestige house market is bracing for one of its biggest Spring seasons in a decade with $2m-plus sales already on the rise.Real estate agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige Brisbane sold three prestige houses above the $2 million market in the past week alone, with a fourth house deal struck but yet to go unconditional. One of three sales by Jason Adcock this past week, this at 10/53 Paragon Street, Yeronga.He sold 10/53 Paragon St, Yeronga, for $2.05m in six days after receiving four offers off a dozen buyers that inspected it.“(There’s) very strong interest from local buyers upgrading, professionals and business people, a lot of interstate buyers who were originally from Brisbane now coming back and Chinese buyers relocating to Brisbane as well.”Among the drawcards were proximity to universities and “really good schools”.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago 168 Harts Road, Indooroopilly, sold for $2.4m on August 25. Win for buyers as units set to boom The Block apartment asking prices revealed He sold 168 Harts Road, Indooroopilly, for $2.4 Million within 10 days of listing it, with 20 buyers through in seven days and four written offers. The property is just six minutes from the University of Queensland and located across the road from the greens of Indooroopilly Golf Club. 36 Morley St, Chelmer, sold after auctionOne of the homes he sold was 36 Morley Street, Chelmer — a Hamptons-style build that fetched $2.48m, a major feat considering the property was not on the river.Mr Adcock said it was a new off river record in Chelmer for a block under 700 sqm, and had 97 buyer enquiries with four written offers, selling after auction.The Spring Selling Season officially opens on September 1. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Riverfront property has seen strong demand including 10/53 Paragon Street, Yeronga, that sold this past week.“I’m expecting it to be probably one of the biggest Spring selling seasons I’ve seen in more than a decade. I’ve signed up six prestige auctions just in the last five days. It generally starts (revving up) after the school holidays but it’s started early,” he told The Courier-Mail.Not only were sellers keen to get on the market, but buyers were also out househunting in the prestige price range. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 9:24Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -9:24 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD288p288pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenCoreLogic Brisbane Housing Market Update – August 201809:25last_img read more

Best backs D’Arcy to return

first_img Press Association Boss Joe Schmidt omitted veteran centre D’Arcy from his 36-man training squad for Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam push. Head coach Schmidt has preferred Darren Cave and Keith Earls to the 35-year-old Leinster star for his midfield cover as Ireland gear up to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday. Hooker Best believes D’Arcy can force his way back into the Ireland squad, with Schmidt’s men still hunting their second Grand Slam in six years. “Gordon’s had a few injury problems this year and whenever you’re not in the squad you want to get back playing well and at least build a case to put to the coaches,” said Ulster hooker Best. “Gordon’s probably been written off a few times in his career, but he’s got a great attitude, he’s a great player and if you see him playing back well for Leinster I don’t think Ireland have enough players to be turning people down that are playing well.” D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll set the Test record as the most-capped centre pairing, ending their partnership in style by seeing off France 22-20 in Paris to claim the 2014 Six Nations title. O’Driscoll retired last summer as Ireland’s record caps holder, the former British and Irish Lions captain content with his lot and keen not to push too far beyond his prime. D’Arcy opted to drive on undeterred, quite clearly targeting the 2015 World Cup as his potential swansong. Now Leinster’s midfield pivot faces a serious battle to force his way back into Schmidt’s reckoning, with Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne tying down the two starting berths. Barring injury D’Arcy will not feature as Ireland bid to win back-to-back Six Nations titles for the first time since 1949. The trips to Wales and Scotland to finish the Six Nations are Ireland’s last competitive clashes before the autumn World Cup, but team manager Mick Kearney backed D’Arcy’s bid for potential reintegration. “That is a selection issue, yes,” said Kearney of D’Arcy’s absence. “Gordon has been an unbelievable servant for Irish rugby. “He’s back fit, back playing for Leinster, so certainly I wouldn’t rule him out for future consideration.” Gordon D’Arcy will prolong his Test career by proving he is too good to be overlooked by Ireland, according to Rory Best.last_img read more