Connect with us

News

Belarus: Tense situation ahead of fresh anti-Lukashenko protests | News

Published

on


The situation in the Belarusian capital Minsk was tense on Sunday in the run-up to a planned mass demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Independence Square in the centre of the city was sealed off with metal barriers and guarded by security forces as the interior ministry warned citizens not to take part in the unauthorised rally.

The pro-democracy movement ignored the threats and said Lukashenko should see that people were against him as he celebrates his 66th birthday on Sunday.

The movement added that after ruling for 26 years, his time in power was up.

Mass protests

On the last two Sundays, hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Belarus to protest against Lukashenko, who has been dubbed “Europe’s last dictator”.

The protests are the largest and most sustained challenge of Lukashenko’s years in office, during which he consistently repressed opposition and independent news media.

On Saturday, Belarusian authorities stripped the press accreditation of many journalists covering the anti-government protests and deported some foreign journalists.

According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, at least 17 journalists were stripped of their accreditation issued by the foreign ministry.

Among them were a video journalist and a photographer from Reuters news agency, two from the BBC and four from Radio Liberty.

In the past few days, other demonstrations were disbanded and people arrested, indicating the power apparatus might not permit a fresh mass demonstration.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressly promised Lukashenko support from his country’s security forces in what is seen as a ploy to intimidate the protest movement.

The head of state of the ex-Soviet republic was recently cheered by supporters at public appearances.

Since the controversial presidential election on August 9, a division between the supporters and opponents of the president has emerged.

The protests and strikes in state-owned enterprises that emerged afterwards are the largest since Belarus gained independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

Chad President Idriss Deby has died: Army spokesman | Chad News

Published

on

By


President Idriss Deby, who won a 6th term on Monday, has died of injuries suffered on the frontline, an army spokesman said.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby has died of injuries suffered on the frontline where he had gone to visit soldiers battling rebels, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.

The news came a day after Deby won a sixth term, as per provisional election results released on Monday.

The 68-year-old Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, took 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the results showed.

More soon.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

News

RSF raises alarm over ‘deteriorating’ press freedom in Greece | Freedom of the Press News

Published

on

By


Athens, Greece – Concerns around press freedom in Greece have been raised by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), as the media watchdog publishes its World Press Freedom Index.

In the list, which is released annually and ranks 180 countries in the world from “good” to “very bad”, Greece has dropped five places.

The European Union member state is now at 70, down from 65 in 2020, a rating considered as “problematic”.

The fresh index comes as concerns mount over the case of Giorgos Karaivaz, a Greek crime reporter working for private broadcaster Star TV, who was shot outside his home as he returned from work in south Athens two weeks ago.

It remains unclear if the murder was related to his work but the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called it a “despicable, cowardly act” in a tweet, adding, “Europe stands for freedom. And freedom of the press may be the most sacred of all.”

In the past year, there have been several reports of journalists being harassed by police while covering protests in lockdown.

In February, the Paris-based RSF called for an investigation after seven journalists were tear-gassed and beaten with batons and shields during a demonstration.

RSF described that incident as an “unprovoked attack by the police”.

‘Strangling pressure’

Journalists interacting with government officials have also reported significant challenges.

Greek journalist Dimitra Kroustalli said in January she had been forced to resign from her job at the To Vima newspaper after “strangling pressure” from the Greek prime minister’s cabinet.

Kroustalli had been covering the flaws in the systems used to track and monitor COVID-19 cases.

Grants totalling 20m euros given to blogs and media outlets to fund COVID awareness campaigns also came under scrutiny last year when it was revealed in June that some of the media outlets had no webpages.

Stavros Malichudis, a freelance journalist based in the capital, Athens, said that the recent murder of a media worker had put the spotlight back on press freedom in Greece.

“Until Karaivaz’s murder, Greece wasn’t considered as a country where journalists might be killed for doing their job. Press freedom, though, definitely has been an issue,” Malichudis told Al Jazeera.

“The coverage of public TV has always been in favour of the government, instead of the public it ought to serve. Journalists working for major media know there are specific topics they can’t even pitch a story about and large corporations seldom get covered in the press where only their adverts appear.

“Another issue is the restriction of coverage on refugees by the Greek government, which has already been criticised by media watchdogs.”

‘Tight control of information’

Meanwhile, journalists working on refugee issues have faced hostility from local authorities on the Aegean islands.

Multiple media freedom groups wrote to Greek authorities after local police detained a group of journalists working for the German Climate Foundation on the Greek island of Samos last October.

The group, which was making a documentary about climate-induced migration, were denied access to a lawyer and strip-searched before being released without charge.

Pavol Szalai, head of RSF’s EU/Balkans desk, told Al Jazeera the NGO was concerned by the current situation in Greece.

“Press freedom in Greece has been rapidly deteriorating.

“Right now, Greek journalists are having a hard time in scrutinising the government policies and reporting on the handling of the pandemic or the refugee crisis.

“The recent brutal killing of crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz has brought an additional layer of serious concern for investigative journalists. Quite frankly, the current situation is a dangerous cocktail for press freedom.”



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

News

5th Edition of Y+ Summit Kicks Off

Published

on

By


The 5th edition of the Y+ Summit has on Tuesday, kicked off.

Initiated in 2017, the Y+ Summit is a national assembly bringing together young people living with HIV and key influencers in the HIV response.

The summit is a platform for networking, comparing ideas, perspectives in combating HIV.

This year’s theme is ‘Opening Opportunities for Young People living with HIV.’

“We have about 1.2 million people on Antiretroviral treatment around the country of which half of these are young people living with HIV, 25 years and below,” said Isaac, Lekdyang, the executive director Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA)

“Our message to them is that as much as the pandemic has been a very big problem to the entire world, there are also opportunities to every downside. We would love to open our minds to what opportunities are available to us as YPLHIV and be able to compete in the market place,” he said.

Dr Maggie Kigozi, a business consultant explained that main opportunities exist for YPLHIV.

“We are looking at young people staying healthy, being able to get educated and also able to be employable and start their own businesses.”

She noted that in the past years, there have been gaps like scarcity of drugs, but currently, progress has been made and research on HIV vaccines is on going.

Dr Kigozi further said that young girls, 15-24 years are 4 times more likely to have HIV than boys the same age, due to various factors like Gender Based Violence, sexual abuse, lack of access to education, health services, social protection and information.

Lisa Nelson, country director for Centre for Disease Control noted that children and youth need support systems to help them navigate the transition to adulthood: make the complicated and difficult choices of adolescence and manage and maintain mental, emotional, and physical health, which is crucial to living long, happy and productive lives.

She pledged continued support from the United States government in strengthening Uganda’s health sector.

The post 5th Edition of Y+ Summit Kicks Off first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

Continue Reading

Trending