EU stands with Russian civil society

Brussels 23.07.2021 “Russian authorities recently announced a number of new decisions targeting independent media outlets, journalists and civil society organisations” reads the statement by the European External Action Service spokesperson on the continued crackdown on independent media outlets, journalists and civil society in Russia.

“The Institute of Law and Public Policy (ILPP) and a number of journalists were designated as so-called “foreign agents”, and the media outlet Project Media, Inc. was declared a so-called “undesirable organisation”. In addition, the association of lawyers and journalists Team 29 (Komanda 29), defending human rights and fundamental freedoms in Russia, decided to cease its activities following pressure and unjustified accusations by the Russian authorities”.

“The cumulative impact of these latest developments, in conjunction with a raft of repressive measures targeting highly respected NGOs and individuals in Russia, results in further quashing dissent, opposition, critical voices and independent institutions from the Russian public sphere. This is particularly worrisome ahead of the State Duma elections in September”.

“The European Union has repeatedly condemned Russian laws on “foreign agents” and “undesirable organisations”, as they run counter to Russia’s international obligations and human rights commitments, including with regard to freedom of expression and association. We reiterate our call on the Russian authorities to reverse these decisions and to stop the unabated crackdown on civil society and independent media”.

“The European Union stands in solidarity with Russian civil society, human rights defenders and independent journalists and will continue to support them in their important work”.

Russia supports Ryanair highjack

Brussels 24.05.2021 Anna van Densky OPINION The defence of Belarus President Lukashenko actions, which have been already defined by some of the EU politicians as “state terrorism”, indicated that Russia has been informed or, even engaged in this operation, which also can lead to a suggestion the the liberation of Protasevich and the other political prisoners in Belarus would be possible through an asymmetric answer. The extensive presence of Russians at French Riviera, purchasing luxury mansions and palaces could become an key to the liberation of all political prisoners in Belarus, just through questioning the sources of their wealth.

“There is no reason why Western countries should be shocked by the Ryanair flight incident, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Monday, May 24, clearly defending the actions of Alexandar Lukashenko, who sent MiG29 jet to force civil aircraft landing with purpose of kidnapping the Belarus opposition journalist Roman Protasevich.

“What is shocking is that the West has described the incident in Belarusian airspace as shocking. The so-called civilised democracies’ tendency to follow the ‘quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi’ principle has long been irrelevant because the former leaders have lost leadership skills. The blood and suffering of millions of people across the world have yanked the pedestal from under Western demagogues, from where they have been preaching,” Zakharova has underlined.

“Or, they should be shocked by everything, including the moves to force down the Bolivian president’s plane in Austria at the United States’ request and the Belarusian aircraft carrying an anti-Maidan activist. Otherwise, such behavior should not come as a shock to them,” the Russian diplomat emphasized.

During Ryanair flight to Vilnius that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing at Minsk International Airport on Sunday, May 23, after a reported bomb threat, which came up empty. The Belarusian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case into the false bomb threat. Minsk’s federal authorities specified that Roman Protasevich, wanted in Belarus as a co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel deemed extremist, had been among the flight’s passengers. He was detained by law enforcement officers, media reports said.

A joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and the French Le Monde revealed the extent to which one of Russia’s most infamous oligarchs — Putin’s childhood friend Boris Rotenberg — is entrenched in the French Riviera. However he was not the only one. Would the EU show the political will for Protasevich liberation start questioning Russians wealth sources at French Riviera?

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.

Turkey in EURONEWS: qui prodest?

Brussels, 06.11.2020 Anna van Densky OPINION The strangling of Freedom of speech policy of increasingly authoritarian Turkey at home, in the European Union and across globe, preventing 400 million audience of the EURONEWS to receive an objective coverage of the events concerning Ankara actions, is paradoxically rooted in the EU public funds being abused by Turkish government and used for the purpose, opposite to its original concept.
Unfortunately, the European Commission continues to subsidise EURONEWS TV Channel in spite of the fact that Turkey is in all structures, aggressively opposing and blocking the adequate news coverage.

Even previously, in the 2019 report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has underlined that EURONEWS is “not a public service broadcaster in any member state”, and analysing a total of €122M of funding for the channel from 2014-2018, concluded that the Commission “does not have a system to verify whether EURONEWS is achieving the objectives agreed in the partnership agreements.”
Today the European Commission has confirmed the continuation of subsidising Euronews TV, regardless Ankara opposition of freedom of speech – core value of the EU, and the fact of incarceration of more than 200 Turkish journalists.
Apparently, following the answer of the European Commission spokesperson they had no mechanism foreseen to freeze the payments.

Needless to say, that being in EURONEWS editorial Turkish broadcaster TRT uses their right to veto all the unflattering information about their country, preventing the global audiences to access to the information of tremendous significance, alerting public about Turkish actions alike supporting Muslim Brotherhood, defined a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates.

Not least crucial is information of transfer of 2 000 jihad fighters from Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh by Turkey, reported by some media, but denied by Ankara. However at present it is impossible to deliver objective coverage of conflict taking place in Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan in spite of the generous subvention to EURONEWS, because Turkish editorial is there to block it.

On top of using the channel to condemn the freedom of speech policy of the EU member-states in the articles of the Turkish editorial, Ankara earns from EURONEWS, being a shareholder, while the EU citizens pay tens of millions yearly to ensure the channel function, they supply profit to Turkish oppressive state which cashes on TV advertising.

Obviously when in February 2009, the Turkish public broadcaster TRT became a shareholder of the channel and joined its supervisory board, the context was different, and there were no major objection for Ankara to joint the team. The same year the TRT purchased 15.70% of the channel’s shares and became the fourth main partner after France Télévisions (23.93%), RAI (21.54%), and VGTRK (16.94%). Turkish was added as the ninth language service in January 2010 as a result of this purchase.

The EURONEWS TV channel was established in 1993 by ten European public broadcasters to “reinforce European identity and integration” and the EU has provided it with a generous financial support since then. In recent years, the channel has changed its ownership structure by acquiring private investors.

Continue reading “Turkey in EURONEWS: qui prodest?”

#YellowVests: reporter Gaspard Glanz handcuffed

Anna van Densky: According to reports from Paris reporter Gaspard Glanz has been handcuffed. Arrests have multiplied, also a journalist from French newspaper Le Figaro has been taken to custody by an agent of anti-riot police during 23 week of protests of Yellow Vests named Acte XXIII. The Vth Republic under Macron‘s leadership swiftly degenerates into Banana Republic, using police batons to oppress wide-spread public discontent. Citizens with shot off eyes, ripped off limbs, and reporters handcuffed – is that EuropeanRenaissanceMacron’s party “En Marche” is marching to?..

“I adore to inhale the smell of tear gas in the morning“, wrote Gaspar Glanz on his Twitter micro blog page. “Ideals are peaceful history is violent” is the second line, defining his vision.

One tries to prevent independent journalists by fear. The censorship of absence on spot” Gaspard Glanz writes, explaining governments’s policy towards independent press, covering Yellow Vests protests against Macron‘s presidency.

 

#Khashoggi assassination as Trump’s ordeal

Anna van Densky OPINION There is no surprise that President Donald Trump is reluctant to accuse the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Jamal Khashoggi assassination, even if there is an overwhelming evidence delivered by CIA, for a simple reason that the President-businessman perceives as a sheer nonsense the sacrifice of such a generous client as Saudi Arabia in name of a  memory of such a nuisance as a journalist.

The ‘Holy warsPresident Trump is waging against press loyal to Democrats are notorious, however it is more than a political argument, but a profound conviction of obsolete character of the profession as such. An avid user of social media, electrifying communications with his 220W Tweets, President does not see much sense in existence of press, on contrary, he experiences it as a malicious and destructive force, intentionally deforming his ideas and policies in mass conscious. Additional scars were left after the press vehement attacks on the First Lady,  and the First family.

Clearly it would be rather naive to expect the President to demonstrate solidarity with Washington Post mourning one of its columnists after all caustic the editorial has poured on the White House. 

However this would be a strategic mistake to think that Khashoggi’s assassination is limited to a newspaper employee or a citizen of a country, because any journalist on planet Earth, irrespective of his political conviction is associating himself with the victim, whose gruesome torture, leading to an atrocious death profoundly shocked even used to regular murders press communities. Shooting, exploding, raping, – even for journalists, who systematically suffer loss of their colleagues, the way Jamal Khashoggi was tortured, assassinated and disposed was too much to bear.

… And the cynicism of the Crown Price, staging the handshake with the killed journalist young son, was tormenting to see…

Will President Trump favor humanism over profits? Will he defend the freedom of speech? Will he condemn the crime? Or will he return to the laws of Ancient Babylon, accepting compensation for the killings signing multi million contracts with Saudis?..

Each day postponing of the final conclusion on Khashoggi’s murderers is damaging the image of the Presidency irreversibly. With indulgence to Prince bin Salman less and less journalists respectful of Trump‘s left around, and their absence may become regrettable in the next elections.  #Justice4Khashoggi