GAZA: RSF calls for investigation

Bruxelles 17.05.2021 “Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to include Israeli air strikes on more than 20 media outlets in the Gaza Strip in her investigation into the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Targeted Israeli airforce attacks have destroyed the premises of 23 Palestinian and international media outlets in the past week. The latest airstrikes destroyed the bureaux of the US news agency, the Associated Press, and the Qatari TV broadcaster Al Jazeera. According to the Israeli military, these attacks were justified because the “military intelligence” wing of Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s ruling Islamist movement, had equipment in these building.

Deliberately targeting media outlets constitutes a war crime,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “By intentionally destroying media outlets, the Israel Defence Forces are not only inflicting unacceptable material damage on news operations. They are also, more broadly, obstructing media coverage of a conflict that directly affects the civilian population. We call on the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to determine whether these airstrikes constitute war crimes.”

The first Israeli attack on media outlets occurred four days ago, after Hamas fired a series of rockets into Israel. In the early hours of 12 May, Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Al-Jawhara Tower, a 10-storey building in Gaza City that housed 14 media outlets including the Palestine Daily News newspaper and the pan-Arab TV channel Al-Araby.

The next day, an Israeli airstrike destroyed Gaza City’s Al-Shorouk Tower, a 14-storey building that housed seven media outlets including the Al-Aqsa radio and TV broadcaster. The IDF said they were “striking Hamas weapons stores hidden inside civilian buildings in Gazaconcludes the RSF press-release.

Israel is ranked 86th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

US-Russia meeting in Reykjavik

Brussels 13.05.2021 Russian Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the timeline of bilateral Russia-US contacts by phone Wednesday, May 12, including the proposed highest-level Russia-US Summit, and agreed to hold a separate meeting during the Arctic Council ministerial session in Reykjavik.

“The sides discussed the timeline of other Russian-US contacts for the upcoming period, including Washington’s proposal on the organization of the Russia-US summit,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

The sides also touched upon the interaction between the two countries in the Arctic Council – in particular, in regards to the upcoming Russian presidency in the organisation, which will begin on May 20.

“Lavrov and Blinken agreed to hold a separate meeting on the sidelines of the [May 20] session to review key issues of bilateral relations and the international agenda,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Russia denies Donbass takeover plans

Brussels 13.05.2021 Russian Federation has no plans for taking over the territories of Donbass that are beyond Kiev’s control, Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov said in response to EU allegations Russia harbored some intentions to take over the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk breakaway regions.

“Russia has never had any takeover plans, nor will it have any in the future. It has never done anything like that,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Peskov had reiterated more than once that the question of taking over Donbass was not on the Kremlin’s agenda. At the same time he stressed that Russia was taking a consistent and responsible stance in favour of protecting the interests of the Russian-speaking population in that territory.

Russian Navalny doctor vanishes

Brussels 10.05.2021 Russian doctor Alexander Murakhovsky who first treated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after he collapsed on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow last year, has disappeared, Russian police said on Sunday, May 9.
The physician was last seen leaving a hunting base in a forest in the Omsk region — around 2,200 km (1,370 miles) east of Moscow — in an all-terrain vehicle on Friday, police said.

A search effort was already underway including emergency services, drones, a helicopter and volunteers on the ground. The doctor was promoted to the position of regional health minister last November.

The doctor falsely announced that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was not poisoned but had a bout of pancreatitis and hypoglycemia has disappeared in a swampy forest, according to several Russian media outlets. Kremlin-friendly outlet Life.ru suggested that “there could have been an accident” after two bears were spotted where the doctor was last seen.

Alexander Murakhovsky, who was promoted to become minister of health of the Omsk Region days after he publicly refuted claims that someone had tried to kill Vladimir Putin’s most public foe, went hunting on a four-wheeler May 7 and has not been seen since. His hunting companions reportedly say his four-wheeler got stuck in muddy terrain behind them, and he set off on foot. He spoke to one person on his walkie-talkie but later did not respond.

Bible-loving politician under trial

Brussels 09.05.2021 The trial against Finnish Christian politician Päivi Räsänen, accused of hate speech towards minorities for citing the Bible concerning gay people, is regarded as a new step in the intensifying persecution of Christians in Western democracies.

The trial i the first time when a politician with such a status is being prosecuted for expressing Christian doctrine concerning human sexuality.

Räsänen is the former head of the Finnish Christian Democrats and a former Minister of the interior. She is now serving a Member of the Parliament elected first time in 1995.

The police which conducted the initial investigation have underlined that Räsänen’s tweet from 2019 was not a reason to initiate action against her. The tweet had an attached photo of a Bible text which included a fragment of the Saint Epistle to the Romans:

Räsänen is a politician of a clear rhetoric, defending the Christian doctrine on sexuality and family. Yet, that was enough for the prosecution to impose two years of prison sentence regardless the freedom of belief.
This whole affair poses serious questions concerning freedom of the fundamental freedoms in the concept of a liberal democracy. It means that these freedoms are increasingly more threatened, especially concerning the Christianity.

Brussels: arrests for sake of healthcare

Brussels 01.05.2021 “We contacted the Brussels Capital police as the minister’s office invited us to do and we were surprised to learn that the person we named in our email to the minister has been arrested and will be deprived of liberty”, reads the text on the page of organisers of the La Boum youth event.

Federal Police announcement (DH.be)

This Friday, April 30,2021, in the middle of the afternoon, the Federal Police published a search notice on its official Facebook page (Belgian Federal Police Facebook page). The content annoys, since citizens who were present at the Bois de la Cambre in Brussels one month ago on April 1, because they were asked to “denounce” the people who had gathered “illegally” in that place that day.

“Who recognizes these individuals? La Boum gathering at Bois de la Cambre in Brussels on 04/01/2021”, we can read, with the photos of the individuals wanted. A publication that has been widely commented, in just a few hours, and which has had more than 1,000 shares. And above all, a publication that has been strongly contested by a majority of Internet users. With some rare exceptions opinions expressed were unflattering for the law enforcement. Subsequently the gulf between youth and Interior ministry deepens.

After the young people understood that the government is ready to destroy them physically for sake of healthcare sending horsemen, dogs, water-cannons, helicopters to disperse their gatherings – their opinion of using sanitary rules as pretext for transfer of the societies into DIGITAL DICTATORSHIPS only solidified.

Organisers of La Boum2 call for peaceful gathering of youth to ensure their Constitutional liberties.

On Twitter network the pictures from Brussels Cental Station appeared. A few hundred people were dancing their together in a flash mob event.