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Eritrea: UN Commission has urged referral to the International Criminal Court (28.10.2016)

Eritrea 25yrs

The Commission has concluded that the Government of Eritrea has neither the political will nor the institutional capacity to prosecute the crimes we have documented.

GENEVA, Switzerland, October 28, 2016 – States must heed the pleas of countless victims of crimes against humanity for justice and accountability, Sheila Keetharuth of the former UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in Eritrea urged the UN General Assembly today. The Commission has recommended that the situation in Eritrea be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Speaking for the Commission of Inquiry, Keetharuth, who is also UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, highlighted the Commission’s clear findings that crimes against humanity have been committed since 1991 by Eritrean officials, adding that such a dire assessment left no room for “business as usual” in the international community’s engagement with the Government of Eritrea.

“The crimes of enslavement, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, other inhumane acts, persecution, rape and murder have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic campaign against the civilian population. The aim of the campaign has been to maintain control over the population and perpetuate the leadership’s rule in Eritrea,” Keetharuth told the UN General Assembly.

“The Commission has concluded that the Government of Eritrea has neither the political will nor the institutional capacity to prosecute the crimes we have documented. The Commission therefore recommends that the UN Security Council refer the situation in Eritrea to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and that the African Union establish an accountability mechanism.”

“My plea to you, Excellencies, on behalf of the three members of the former Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, Mike Smith, Victor Dankwa and myself, is for you to pay heed to voices of victims of crimes against humanity in Eritrea.”

Keetharuth said the Commission had found that there was no material change in the country that could potentially have a positive effect on the situation of human rights.

“There is still no constitution, no parliament where laws are discussed, enacted, and where questions of national importance are debated; indefinite national service persists, with its adverse impacts on individual rights; there is no free press and no NGOs, except for Government-sponsored ones. The population lives in fear and the Government still controls their daily life, making the enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all Eritreans a remote possibility,” she said.

She noted that while several foreign delegations, journalists and others had been invited to visit Eritrea over the past year, the rampant human rights violations taking place in isolated locations and detention facilities were not apparent to the casual visitor.

Keetharuth noted that Eritreans were among the largest numbers of African nationals seeking asylum in Europe and that the overall recognition rate for Eritrean asylum seekers in European countries remained high.

“The findings of the Commission underscore that it is not safe to forcibly return those who have left Eritrea. The Commission, in its first report, documented that individuals forcibly repatriated, with a few exceptions, have been arrested, detained and subjected to ill-treatment and torture,” she said.

“I appeal to Member States to grant Eritreans access to their territory and asylum procedures. I strongly reiterate my call to protect all Eritrean asylum-seekers from refoulement and to refrain from any forced repatriation to Eritrea or to third countries where they may still be at risk or unwelcomed.”

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Opinion: Silencing people for profits; Thank you Social Media Corporations for your Self-Censorship!

thank-you-for-smoking

“Senator Finistirre is still fighting for his causes:

Interviewer: What do you say to the people who claim you are destroying cinema classics?

Senator Finistirre: mmm, no. All we’re doing is using digital technology to tastefully update movies of the past… by removing cigarette” (Thank You For Smoking, 2005)

Today the madness is clear, it is vindicated as the Youtube and their affiliates have censored and taken away advertisement monies from their channels and direct videos added on their page. If they are not up to standard fitting certain advertisement companies and their agents who pick videos fitting the standards of the companies that need to sell their products. Surely the chocolate industry doesn’t want to connect to the videos addressing the Syrian violence. As much as Political inspired videos who are steering a conversation is not something to connect H&M to. Still, the conversation made by certain by these videos broadens the perspective and also adds to genuine interest for otherwise intelligent debate.

If we just want water-downed sexed out headline whores of Donald Trump, than the Colgate and Nike can use the ratings to spike their sales, but that does not extend the democracy or the discussion we might need.

The reality today is that the giant corporations are really steering the conversation with their decisions. In the recent days and also earlier this year Facebook also showed their true colours. As they have actually taken away pictures of the Vietnam War Photo as the Aftenposten in Norway have written about the Iconic Photo. This been taken down because the little girl is naked on the photo and that is disturbing for the Internet Service and the Social Media.

Facebook have before also even deleted WikiLeaks Democratic Party E-Mail leaks post on their page. Just the same has happen on Twitter as the sensitive picture of the Vietnam War for them as well. The Mark Zuckerberg really suck; to be frank Suckingberg is the proper name for now. Zuckerburg and Facebook! Facebook owns Youtube who has been addressed already for their clearance and political motivated advertisement ban on the videos.  I am sure they have deleted pictures on Instagram as they own that to, because the Gram can’t handle certain political MEME’s.

That all of these Social Media and Video Provider are their own businesses; they are free to do as they please, but still worrying as they are common networks for sharing information in the modern world. It is a reason why some become members to Facebook just to get invited to certain parties and social events as they are not sent through slow-mail and not even E-Mail. With this common knowledge the internet providers and Social Media power of Facebook and Youtube, can either be investor and advertisement friendly or like they are becoming a Censorship haven for Political Correctness and not for conversation. Because if an Iconic Photo from the Vietnam War becomes an issue and if videos with cursing and discussing not so humble topics; than the Youtube and Facebook can become the innocent little cry-baby that will not change discourse, but trade their soul to Kelloggs.

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Is that what Zukerberg want to do to M-Pesa as well, so it can become PC and act as tool for technical monopoly and control the internet companies? We can question that because it is interesting that the photos of old have to shade because of nudity. That is similar to the quote I started this piece with. Thank You For Smoking is social political satire, but it is happing in front of our eyes as entertainment usually mirroring the reality. That is what is happening now and the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other media are doing it. They just don’t know it.

They are doubled edged swords who cut themselves in the tail while suiting their suitors just like dictators pays of their media houses and their loyal elites to cling to power. The same ways does Facebook, Youtube and Twitter to fit the programme of H&M, Nestle and Unilever. That proves the capacity of indulgent media who trades their justice for a buck. Trade of their own freedoms to fit the marginalized boards and owner of multi-national corporations instead of the world citizens; than we can do two things!

First, we can buckle under and cry havoc over the misfortune of the corporate misgivings, the Zukerberg’s who wants to friends with Corporate buddies instead of us, the people. Or we can stop using their social medias and create own. That if we want it free, just as the other portefolios of the past of information has gone from being government censorship into the public. With the public and commons decisions the Media Houses and Entertainment companies had for instance accept that the people we’re taping music on cassettes instead of buying Hank Williams at the Gas Stations for long car-trips to the coast. I am sure they felt the same with the VHS where we captured and taped the magnificent stories of Lassie and Walt Disney Corporations; even if the Disney Corporation felt insulted as they didn’t earn enough cents on the dollar on The Great Mouse Detective (1986).

With this in mind, the people can as number two still use it, but sanction the companies that are behind the insulting censorships, meaning the corporations who are dropping advertisements on Facebook, Youtube and elsewhere. Because if their hit for inability to give the people ability to converse and to share their thoughts. The censorship show the access of free speech and trust between corporations and people are dwindling.

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The Media Houses have already been compromised by less budgets and less adverts as the Internet and free content on places like Social Media are stealing funding. As the tabloid click-based fuelled non-questionable content are spreading like wildfire.  Instead of the pictures like the back-in-day photo of Vietnam War who actually once upon the time changed discourse. That should say something about Political Correctness, the Advertisement friendly environment of Social Media and disillusioned Zuckerberg’s who in quests of getting dollars have forgotten a key aspect of the people. The people share their opinions, their pictures. Not all make sense to add like pornography or nude children per say. The reality is that the Vietnam War pictures showed the cruelty and massive assault on the fellow human beings. Would the same corporation have trouble with starving kids of Biafra as they wasn’t nude, but we’re describing malnutrition and adverse civil-war in Nigeria in the 1960s? A piece of me saying that wouldn’t care, would you?

This will not stop here as the giant corporations and their partly ownership of the Social Media will not stop here. Not now and not in the near future as the Ads and paid sponsorship of the corporations owning the Social Media need the fuel of money from the giant multi-national corporations and their standards. They want to be on the right side of them; so they can be feed and earn their money. Still, that does not mean we got to accept this blatant disregard for the past and for the present. There are difference between child-porn and iconic pictures. Something the Facebook should have ability to do and be able to correct. If not then they are not serious shop and having hired the right personnel to look over the content added on the page. A wise-guy like Zuckerberg should have the capacity to see that, but he is excusing himself with poor words of non-sense. Time to man up and kiss the ring. If not, than he wouldn’t know what hit. The worst that would happen would be dozen of using suspending their use and spot using the Social Media and Corporations owned by Facebook. If we did they surely would know why the sanctions against the conversation… against the truth and against freedom of speech. Something that is worthy fights and we the commoners always have fought the battle to be able to speak without fear and with censorship from our master. Now it is just digitally and not directly on paper. Otherwise it is the same ways as in the past. The elite, the rich want us to be silenced and they want to earn on us without being questioned. We the people shouldn’t accept that. Peace.

Opinion: The Written Word and Media losing power in our day and age; because of Self-Censorship!

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Sometimes I wish I knew nothing, was clueless, and didn’t have the curiosity or learning ways of finding the information. Finding the sources and looking out for the ones that really said it and not hearsay.

In this world of constant dropping of instant news that are composed in a tabloid fashion suited to the political belief of either the sponsors, owners and the ones that get clicks. The reality and the true sources don’t matters. The Stories getting copied and bought; they don’t get written the newsagents drop them like a grocery-bag and it flees the hurdles before the shade of dark comes in.

The popularity and the spreading on social media makes the marginal papers, the marginal sources silenced as the big-media houses and conglomerates control the discussion and conversations. The minor ones might have a smidge of control and ones in while find a story or picture, even glimpse of reality that the world needed to know. But the houses are silent if there isn’t a buck in it or the righteous owner doesn’t approve it.

It has to be cleared and corrected made in a way that the population can accept it and the ad-revenue can come, either on TV, Online or in the Press. The grandest of them shows loyalty to the ruling regimes and dances with the Multi-National Companies without questions. Therefore the stories are fitted so the Colgate can be sold while the ruling regime can be smug on the front pages; there might not strict rules for censorship! Still the censorship can be made by company just to sell and the integrity doesn’t matter. The digging and questioning cannot happen as long as the journalist has to think about the owners and their wealth; not about generally praising the governments and the giant companies who subsidize their rule.

The Advertisements and Owners control it, instead of the thought of giving the public the intelligence or the follow-up of stories; unless the leaks nearly have to be addressed. I am so tired of these notices and little margins of stories. The PanamaPapers and others are truly remarkable events that made certain papers look into the conspiracies and into the darker sides of the world. Where even the trails of papers found world-leaders, NGOs and Companies that wouldn’t’ like to be associated with fraud, Tax Evasions and other economic forgery. Still, the Apple Company and Amazon don’t care if they rig their LLC in ways in Europe to systematically not pay what they have due on their profits.

Fox News

Still, the little smidge of barren, the little smidge of proper work or shown as the microwaved cases and the questions for a quick “BREAKING NEWS” as the Senator or MP calls the Network to come to the steps of Court or Parliament to discuss the plenary session on the “Bushwick” Tax; that are for the regulation of growth amongst the bushes. The Bushes that are a problem in the nation; this happens while the media doesn’t question the tenders, the payments and deals made for Oil Drilling and why the Petroleum Commission doesn’t show any signs of transparency towards the companies getting the contracts, the tax they pay on the dollar and the Crude Oil rate for developing the Pipeline. Still, it’s easier just to get a grand quote from the Senator or MP than asking the hard questions towards the Central Government.

The tricks and notion that the Government and Multi-Nationals doesn’t have anything is a lie. They just don’t want us to know as their knowledge and their mechanisms wouldn’t be controlling if we knew. The certain estimate if the Norwegian people for instance the grades that the food-producing companies paid the three great conglomerates (NorgesGruppen, Reitan Gruppen and COOP) for space on the aisles or placements fees directly to the Supermarket Company. Well, this will be kept secret and the agreements are happening in the shadow as the laws and regulations are not steep towards the conglomerates as they are supporting the campaigns of politicians and they doesn’t want to lose their Party funds. They might not say it, but why hasn’t anybody had the clue of curving the power of these companies and their near monopoly on food in the nation?

Well, the media doesn’t care and doesn’t question the powers enough. There certainly exemptions that some tries and somebody does ask questions. But they are wild roses and not common flowers in the gardens as they should be.

Where is these reports and these seldom good ones get lost in the trail of the tabloid and hearsay stories as the click-bait are more commonly shared. The dumbing down and the simplistic words portrayed for the masses. We have to get the media to be more responsible to the viewership, to ask the questions as the dumbing down are happening. As he the journalistic integrity is dying and the media-houses are making easier pieces. Lastly we have to pay for men and woman to dig deep it takes time and doesn’t come for free. The hardcover reports doesn’t come over night, it takes work and persistence. The persistence to find and correct the powers and follow the money takes time. It is a reason if you follow the trail of money, you will find the heart of them. That is because we spend money where our heart is or where our heart desire. The ones that claim otherwise think about how you spend your own monies and cater to your needs. There you have it right?

Evan Mawarire 13.07.2016

Just think about it and the words I am writing. It is just a wild approach into darkness. Because their beacons of hope, but very few. I am just a man who writes what I like and discuss what I see fit and digs into the stories I see needed be or find questionable. If not like with Dr. Kizza Besigye and his campaign where I am a hopeful man who wishes for regime change, and for governments that are accountable and transparent. Therefore I support the man and his cause. The same I does with Pastor Evan Mawarire and others who deserves be credited for their cause of freedom, liberation and justice for their citizens. The Citizens that needs and deserves government that represents their will and their institutions to deliver needed services to the people.

We need them to ask questions; we need them to dig deep and not just what the government want to publicise to make them look good. We need the dirty laundry out… and without a doubt without fear and without being censored for the will of profit, but for the will of common good. I know it is a lot to ask in corporate multi-national media-houses and the governments who do what they can to be embedded with them. This says what state we’re in and what we can do about it. Therefore I poke, to question. Not because I have answers, because I don’t; but because I have the will to question and seek for answers. Peace.  

WATCH | ANC veteran Zola Skweyiya calls for Zuma’s resignation (Youtube-Clip)

“Johannesburg, 03 September 2016 – ANC veteran Zola Skweyiya has added his voice to calls for an early elective conference. In an exclusive interview with eNCA, Skweyiya says he believes ANC leaders are out of touch with the aspirations of South Africans” (eNCA, 2016)

South Africa: South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Fires Journalists for Protesting Censorship (20.07.2016)

SABC 27.05.2016

The SABC is silencing journalists who protest censorship and advocate for press freedom, while its leadership appears more interested in protecting and serving a privileged few than the Public.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, July 20, 2016/APO/ —

In response to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) firing seven staff journalists and a freelance writer, who are collectively known as the SABC 8, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“It is deplorable that the SABC fired its own journalists for insisting on covering the news,” said Lynn Fredriksson, director for Southern Africa programs. “The SABC is silencing journalists who protest censorship and advocate for press freedom, while its leadership appears more interested in protecting and serving a privileged few than the public. The SABC should quickly reinstate the journalists and reverse its decision to censor news content.”

Background:
Seven SABC journalists and one contracted freelance journalist were fired between July 18-19 for protesting an SABC management decision not to report on violent protests, a directive issued by Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng in May 2016, ahead of violent unrest in Tshwane, the metropolitan area that includes Pretoria, the national capital. Critics of the SABC have likened its behavior to that of the Apartheid-era state broadcaster of the same name, in its use by the government as a propaganda tool.

The eight journalists say they will contest their firing in Labour Court and the Constitutional Court.

ANC structures must refrain from commenting on SABC: Mantashe (Youtube-Clip)

Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea welcomes strong resolution on HR in Eritrea (04.07.2016)

IsaiasAfwerki

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 4, 2016 The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea welcomes resolution 32/24, which passed without a vote on Friday, 1 July during the thirty-second session of the Human Rights Council.

Resolution 32/24 commends the Commission for completing its work in a transparent, impartial and consultative manner, while regretting the lack of cooperation by the Government of Eritrea, including the denial of access to the country by the Commission.
Mike Smith, Chairperson of the Commission, said: “The Commission welcomes this Resolution which fully endorses the work we have done over the past two years. We hope that justice for the people of Eritrea who have suffered gross human rights violations over the past 25 years has now taken a step closer to being realised.”

Amongst the 19 recommendations, Resolution 32/24 reiterates the Human Rights Council’s numerous calls upon the Government of Eritrea to end the use of arbitrary detention, to put an end to the system of indefinite national service and to allow unhindered access to the country to further missions of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including the consideration for the Office to be based inside the country.

The Commission hopes that Resolution 32/24 will provide a solid platform for the next steps to be taken by the Government of Eritrea, in partnership with the international community, and will bring justice for the Eritrean people.

The Commission also welcomes the transmission of all reports to all relevant organs of the United Nations for consideration and appropriate action.

The strong encouragement for the African Union to follow up on the report and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry by establishing an investigation, supported by the international community, with a view to examining and bringing to justice those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights identified by the commission of inquiry, including any that may amount to a crime against humanity is also welcomed.

The Commission of Inquiry strongly endorses the decision to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea for a further year.

The Commission of Inquiry is scheduled to present an oral update to the General Assembly in October 2016.

SABC Censorship Protest – Black Friday (Youtube-Clip)

Footage: Journalist who were disciplined are finally out of the building. Dirk Hermann from Solidariteit explaining what will happen now.

Footage: Some SABC staff are reportedly locked inside the building. Suspended journalists are currently in a disciplinary hearing.

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