Turkey’s Erdogan Slams Germany For Bowing To The Will Of The People

 

 

Turkeys Dictator Erdogan has blasted German politicians for bowing down to the wishes of the German people. To me, that sounds exactly like a man who has his own position through fraud, in other words, a Dictator. He is just like Russia’s President Putin when it comes to free open and honest Democratic elections because as Mr. Putin said “you never know who is going to win.” A little over one year ago there was a Coup in Turkey as some members of the military tried to over throw Erdogan while he was out of the country. Many think that this was a coup designed by members of Erdogan’s inner circle to draw out the Presidents opponents so that they could be eliminated. Whether this is true or not, who really knows? One thing that is for sure though is that Mr. Erdogan has used that event to totally crackdown on anyone that he personally does not like. Mr. Erdogan has proved without any doubt that he does not care what the people of his or any other country want.

 

What Mr. Erdogan is upset about is that the German leadership including the Chancellor Mrs. Merkel are singing a different tune concerning continuing to allow many thousands of people from Islamic countries to filter through Turkey into Europe. As most people in Europe have learned that way to many of the people flooding into their countries through Turkey are bringing their strict versions of Islam with them causing havoc on their countries legal and welfare system. The world is learning that the Islamic culture is not compatible with European culture, religions or laws or anywhere else in the world for that matter. When people move into your country and form their own communities then insist that the people of the host country change their laws and customs to conform to the Islamic culture there is always going to be friction. Host countries have two main options here, one tell the visitors that it is they who will conform to the host countries cultures or two, get out and go back to your home country. The will of the people in Germany is not the will of Mr. Erdogan and this obviously upsets him. How dare the political leaders of Germany bow down to the wishes of the lowly citizens.

 

There is one other main issue being discussed throughout Germany, Brussels and throughout the rest of Europe and that is the politicians and the citizens of Europe and the European Union do not want to allow Turkey to join the EU. When Tony Blair was Prime Minister of England a decade or so ago he was asked about Turkey joining the EU and he said “no, their not part of Europe so why should they be allowed into the EU?” This is the view that I have held ever since I first heard of this idea being broached. You can not allow a country that is ruled by a Dictator to become part of your country’s monetary, or legal system because their system is a deadly cancer to democracy. This would apply to countries like Russia also as long as they are ruled by the current Dictator Mr. Putin. This long Chess game that has been played between the EU and Turkey is about to come to a close and it is not going to end in Mr. Erdogan’s favor. The reason I say this is because if it did, the current politicians will be voted out of their political positions by those dastardly lowlife citizens. This is a concept that people like Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan makes sure cannot happen in their countries. The same goes for countries like Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba and China, places that the will of the people mean nothing.

Turkey accuses German politicians of ‘bowing down to populism’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Turkey accuses German politicians of ‘bowing down to populism’

Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, on June 13, 2017.

(CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her election rival Martin Schulz of “bowing down to populism and prejudice” after both candidates called for an end to Ankara’s European Union membership talks in a live TV election debate Sunday night.

In a series of tweets posted Monday morning, presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that the two candidates chose to attack Turkey and Erdogan “while ignoring Germany and Europe’s fundamental and critical issues” and accused Germany of embracing the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that the Turkish government has branded a terrorist organization.
Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Sismek, also reacted on Twitter. “EU never had a credible commitment to let Turkey in,” he wrote Monday. “Merkel isn’t only shooting herself in the foot but also jeopardising the future of Europe.”

EU never had a credible commitment to let Turkey in. Merkel isn’t only shooting herself in the foot but also jeopardising future of Europe! https://twitter.com/katipiri/status/904428499192217600 

In the debate Sunday night — three weeks before Germany’s federal election — Merkel called for accession negotiations to be stopped in an apparent change of stance on Turkey’s bid to join the EU.
“Turkey should not be a member of the EU,” Merkel said. “I will discuss with colleagues again to see if we can come to a joint position and end these accession negotiations.”
But she insisted that it was important for the two countries to keep talking, especially in light of the Germans currently being held as political prisoners in Turkey.
“I have no intention of ending diplomatic relations with Turkey,” Merkel said.
More than 10 Germans are being held. Two were arrested Friday, according to German authorities, but one has since been released, according to CNN affiliate N-TV.

The comments about Turkey came during a live TV debate between Merkel and Schulz on Sunday night.

Her Social Democratic rival also said he would seek to end membership talks. “We would be accepting someone who is now visibly calling into question all of the basic values of European cooperation,” Schulz said.
Turkey has “overstepped all red lines.”

Deteriorating relations

The exchange of blows marks a further escalation in tensions between the two countries.
Relations between Berlin and Ankara have been in a downward spiral since last summer, when a failed coup against Erdogan sparked a crackdown on civil liberties and mass arrests of the political opposition, activists and journalists, including German citizens.
Speaking at her annual summer news conference last week, Merkel said Turkey’s jailing of Germans was further damaging already fraught ties between the two countries, saying their imprisonment was “unjustified.”
Among the prisoners is German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was arrested in Turkey in February on charges of terror propaganda, and human-rights activist Peter Steudtner, held since July with nine others and charged with “committing crimes in the name of a terrorist organization without being a member.”

Journalist Deniz Yucel has now been held in Turkey for more than 200 days, according to German authorities.

Germany threatens trade and travel restrictions

Germany has changed its tactics over Turkey in recent months, threatening to impose travel and trade restrictions if journalist Yucel and activist Steudtner aren’t released from prison.
In July, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned Germans against traveling to Turkey and suggested that the German government would review corporate investments in Turkey.
“Someone who detains law-abiding visitors to their country on the basis of outlandish, indeed absurd, accusations and throws them into prison has left European values behind,” Gabriel said, calling for Steudtner’s release. “We cannot continue as before.”

Nobel laureate on Erdogan's Turkey

Nobel laureate on Erdogan’s Turkey 06:45
A few weeks earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry criticized an art installation in Berlin depicting Erdogan as a dictator that coincided with the G20 summit in Hamburg, calling it “a new example of rising racism and xenophobia in the country.”
Soon after, the Turkish government blocked German lawmakers from visiting German troops stationed in Turkey participating in NATO operations in Syria.
Earlier this year, German officials prevented top politicians, including Erdogan, from addressing Turkish rallies in Germany in the lead-up to an April referendum that handed Erdogan sweeping new powers.
In response, Erdogan likened the German government to that of Adolf Hitler. “I thought that Nazism was over in Germany, but it turns out that it is still going on,” he said. “It is still going on, it is clear.”

Merkel warns Erdogan over election

Germany heads to the polls in September

Germany heads to the polls in September 02:22
Relations with Turkey are a key issue in the days leading to federal elections in Germany, where there are some 3 million people with Turkish roots.
Earlier this month, Erdogan called on voters of Turkish origin to boycott the two biggest parties — Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats — along with the Green Party in the election, describing them as “enemies of Turkey,” according to CNN affiliate NTV.
The call drew a fierce rebuke at the time from Merkel, who warned Erdogan against interfering in the election.
Germans go the polls September 24, with Merkel widely expected to secure a fourth term.

Cambodia Arrests Opposition Leader, Accusing Him of Treason

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Photo

Kem Sokha was arrested at his home in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, early Sunday. His daughter said his whereabouts were unknown. CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The leader of Cambodia’s main opposition party, Kem Sokha, was arrested early Sunday at his home and accused of treason for participating in what the government said was a Washington-backed plot to undermine the country’s leadership.

A top official for Human Rights Watch in Asia called the arrest a “disastrous setback” for Cambodia as its long-ruling authoritarian prime minister, Hun Sen, consolidates power in advance of elections scheduled for next year and marked a further deterioration in its relations with the United States.

Mr. Kem Sokha took over as the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party earlier this year, after his longtime predecessor, Sam Rainsy, who is living in exile, resigned from the post after being pursued in several criminal cases.

Mr. Kem Sokha’s daughter, Kem Monovithya, who also is a party official, said more than 100 police officers arrested her father and his bodyguards without a warrant. A video posted on Facebook showed Mr. Kem Sokha wearing handcuffs as he was escorted into an unmarked sports utility vehicle by officers wielding AK-47 assault rifles.

Kem Sokha and all bodyguards are taken away by 100-200 police without warrant after they raided his home,” she posted on Twitter shortly after his arrest. “We don’t know where they take him.”

Continue reading the main story

Late Sunday, she said, her father had been taken to a remote prison on the Vietnamese border known as CC3 and was being held without access to a lawyer.

The government said it had evidence that Mr. Kem Sokha was involved in a secret plot and had conspired with foreigners to damage the country. “The above act of this secret conspiracy is treason,” the government said in a statement.

Although Mr. Kem Sokha has parliamentary immunity, the government said he could be arrested without a warrant because he was caught committing treason “in flagrante delicto.” As evidence, it cited a four-year-old video of Mr. Kem Sokha, in which he says in a speech that he received advice from the United States on building an opposition movement.

Arend Zwartjes, a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh, had no comment about the accusations by Cambodia that Washington had conspired with Mr. Kem Sokha. But he said that the government had noted the arrest “with grave concern,” adding that the charges “appear to be politically motivated.”

Founded in 2012, the Cambodia National Rescue Party poses the first genuine challenge in years to Mr. Hun Sen’s rule. In an interview with The New York Times in June, Mr. Kem Sokha said he hoped his party could win parliamentary elections next year and effect a peaceful transfer of power.

“The bottom line is that the people have already decided for change,” he said. “That is, they have already made up their mind, and if the ruling party is in some way preventing that change through free and fair elections, the international community needs to use all the leverage they have to counter that in order to avoid violence.”

Speaking to a group of garment workers on Sunday, Mr. Hun Sen reiterated the accusation that Mr. Kem Sokha had conspired with the United States. A similar claim was made on the official Facebook page of the prime minister’s son Hun Manith, a two-star general and head of military intelligence for the Cambodian Army. “Kem Sokha betrayed Cambodia,” he wrote, adding that he confessed “to long term plans with the United States of America.”

David Chandler, a professor emeritus at Monash University in Australia who worked as a United States Embassy official in Phnom Penh in the 1960s, said that the situation in Cambodia had become “genuinely scary” in recent months.

He said that Mr. Hun Sen has long been suspicious of Washington’s intentions and believes that a strong element of United States policy is regime change.

“I can’t see why or how Hun Sen will turn back from where he seems to be headed,” Mr. Chandler said, “and I don’t think he wants to.”

In recent weeks, Mr. Hun Sen’s government has cracked down on independent news outlets and democracy advocates, after local elections in June in which the opposition party made unprecedented gains.

An independent newspaper owned by an American family, The Cambodia Daily, said it would halt publication on Monday because of a dispute over a tax bill of more than $6 million, and at least 15 radio stations have been ordered to stop broadcasting programming from the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

The government also ordered the expulsion of the National Democratic Institute, a pro-democracy nonprofit organization that is loosely affiliated with the Democratic Party of the United States.

It has become common in recent months for Cambodian officials to accuse the United States of hypocrisy and interference in Cambodian affairs. A government spokesman, Phay Siphan, denied any tensions with the United States, however, describing the recent developments as “a coincidence” and proof of the government’s commitment to rule of law.

Mr. Kem Sokha’s arrest was quickly condemned by opposition leaders and international human rights activists.

“The arrest of Kem Sokha is a disastrous setback for Cambodia’s human rights situation,” said John Sifton, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

He urged other nations to put pressure on Mr. Hun Sen. “The international community, which provides a major percentage of the Cambodian government’s annual budget, should put Hun Sen on notice that if he doesn’t reverse course, it will be impossible to consider next year’s elections free and fair,” he said.

The arrest also drew fire from Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights, an association of members of Parliament from Southeast Asian nations.

Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian Parliament and chairman of the organization, said the arrest violated the immunity protection that should be afforded Mr. Kem Sokha as a member of Cambodia’s Parliament.

“With national elections on the horizon, it is clear that this is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to crush the opposition before the campaign even starts,” Mr. Santiago said. “For months, we have been witnessing the escalation of government attempts to cripple the opposition, but it appears now that Prime Minister Hun Sen is so afraid of what might happen in a genuine vote, he won’t allow for competition at all.”

China’s War on Dissent: Detained activists have two choices: vanish or confess

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DIPLOMAT NEWS AGENCY)

 

China’s War on Dissent

Phil Lynch, director of ISHR, said in his opening remarks that ISHR is deeply concerned by the widespread crackdown against human rights defenders in China. “Over the last several years, we worked hard to support Chinese human rights activists to elevate their voices using UN human rights mechanisms, especially the Human Rights Council, to pressure China for change and call for accountability.

Lynch discussed the case of Gui Minhai, disappeared since 2015. “He has missed his daughter’s graduation and her acceptance to a PhD program,” said Lynch. “She keeps on fighting for her father’s release.”

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.Lynch then gave the floor to three Chinese human rights activists. Yaxue Cao, the founder and editor of ChinaChange.org, said that detentions in China are increasingly arbitrary. “Recent charges against defenders and human rights lawyers are increasingly absurd; and the use of nonlegal methods of detention are increasingly frequent. The international community and UN mechanisms should, therefore, be increasingly alarmed and respond accordingly,” said Yaxue Cao.

Cao also raised the question of security of human rights activists who cooperate with UN human rights mechanisms. “Just to come to Geneva has become very dangerous. Human rights activists are being subject to reprisals for their cooperation with international organizations in Geneva. It is unacceptable and we demand from the UN and international community more active efforts to ensure our security,” said Yaxue Cao.

Sarah Brooks, Asia program manager at the ISHR, said that in the last two years more than 300 activists have been harassed, threatened, detained and disappeared. “This crackdown marked by arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, torture and ill-treatment and this is part of the policy of the Chinese government to close the space for civil society. The death of Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and enforced disappearance of his wife Liu Xia expose with painful clarity the costs of detention for defenders in China, and reminds us that this cost is also borne by friends and family. For all those at risk for their work to protect and promote human rights, we urge the Human Rights Council to press China for justice and accountability” said Brooks.

During the press-conference Zhang Qing, wife of the Guo Feixiong joined the discussion remotely to speak about her husband’s health conditions. Guo Feixiong has spent over a decade in detention for his human rights activities. She described the deplorable conditions her husband faced: “They locked my husband more than two years in a very small and confined space, where he hasn’t been able to move around. He hasn’t been allowed outside for exercise, or to see sunlight, and this has done huge damage to his health. It was a deliberate harm and a slow form of torture.”

Zhang told the member governments of the Human Rights Council that they could no longer ignore China’s willful mistreatment of activists in detention. “I express my gratitude to international groups and UN experts who raised the case of my husband at the UN. After international pressure he was transferred to another jail, where he recovered and his health is better now. His sister was allowed recently to visit him in the jail,” she said.

Yibee Huang, chief executive officer of Covenant Watch, spoke about reprisals against activists in Taiwan. She discussed the case of Li Ming-che, a manager at Taipei’s Wenshan Community College and a longtime democracy activist, who was detained in March 2017 and has been held incommunicado since. “We are deeply concerned about his health conditions. And the Chinese government shut down all communication means and we cannot receive any information about him” she said.

The activists also spoke about the case of the Chinese lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who disappeared on November 21, 2016. His whereabouts remained unknown for several months, and only at the end of 2016 did Chinese authorities admit that Jiang was held “under residential surveillance at designated location.” Kit Chan, president of the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group told The Diplomat about his recently concluded trial.

“After detention incommunicado of 274 days, Jiang’s trial took place on 22 August at the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court. The trial was manipulated and the public were deliberately barred from attending it, and the areas around the Court were roadblocked with police officers. We demand the court give Jiang a non-guilty verdict and immediately release him. We also call on the international community not to be deceived by the illustrations and rhetoric of the rule according to law, but follow closely and speak up on the case of Jiang Tianyong and that of lawyer Wang Quanzhang, ” said Chan.

Incommunicado detentions have become routine and families struggle to hear any news about vanished activists. Wang, who Chan reference, was detained by the Chinese authorities in August 2015. His wife, Li Wenzu, told the BBC that she hasn’t heard from him and does not know if he is alive or not. “I had no information at all. He has simply disappeared from the face of the Earth.”

Law enforcement authorities in China are notorious for their use of torture against human rights defenders and political dissidents. It seems that incommunicado detainees have only two choices: make confessions that are then broadcast by state-run TV or refuse and remain vanished.

Li told the BBC that Wang’s continued incarceration might be because he is holding out. “I think it might be because my husband hasn’t compromised at all,” Li said. “That’s why his case remains unsolved.”

When they do confess, lawyers admit guilt and say that they were brainwashed by Western media and activists. For example, Chinese lawyer Xie Yang made a confession on state television in May. He had been charged with “inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order.”

“My actions go against my role as a lawyer,” he said in the video released by the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court, “we should give up using contact with foreign media and independent media to hype sensitive news events, attack judicial institutions and smear the image of the nation’s party organs while handling cases.”

Liu Xiaobo, a symbol of Chinese pro-democratic movements, was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2010 “for his long and nonviolent struggle for human rights in China.” He could not attend the ceremony in Stockholm and was represented by an empty chair because he was still in custody. Liu died of liver cancer in July, under guard at the hospital to which he had been released the month before — his cancer beyond treatment.

The international community has been worried about the destiny of his wife Liu Xia, whose location is still unknown. She has lived under constant police watch, and international organizations have been calling on Beijing to allow her to leave China if she wishes.

The main concerns of those gathered in Genea last week are that there are more and more activists being arbitrary detained and vanished, and cooperation with UN mechanisms and international organization have become more dangerous for Chinese defenders.

Cholpon Orozobekova is a researcher at the Bulan Institute for Peace Innovations.

China’s Views on International Law and Cyber Warfare

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘LAWFARE’)

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Tentative Observations on China’s Views on International Law and Cyber Warfare

By Julian Ku

Saturday, August 26, 2017, 1:00 PM

As I noted in my post yesterday, the Chinese government has declined to clarify how and whether it believes the international law governing the use of applies to cyber warfare. Its refusal to do so has drawn sharp criticism from the U.S. and other cyber powers. But while the Chinese government has not set forth a clear statement on these issues, Chinese scholars and media commentators have outlined important principles that may become part of official government policy. Drawing on my recently published paper for the Hoover Aegis Paper Series, this post sketches out some key themes on international law and cyber warfare gleaned from Chinese legal scholarship.

First, much of the Chinese commentary I reviewed is deeply suspicious of the motives of any effort to build a consensus on the rules of cyber warfare, including the Tallinn Manual, an important effort by scholars from around the world to develop academic consensus on the rules of international law and cyber warfare. In China’s view, the fact that most of the scholars in the original Tallinn Manual hailed from NATO countries made its motives suspect. As one Chinese media commentary put it, the United States is attempting to “spur the international community into drawing up rules for cyber warfare in order to put a cloak of legality on its ‘preemptive strike’ strategy in cyber warfare.”

Chinese scholars did participate in the “Tallinn 2.0” effort, but Chinese media remained skeptical of the whole approach.  China has long argued that instead of discussing how existing international law should be interpreted to regulate cyber warfare, all cyber activities should be handled through a new treaty negotiated at the United Nations. As another Chinese commentator noted, the West usually enjoyed “bragging about its ‘carrying of the flag’ for international law,” yet the West is now the main obstacle to international legislation in this area.

Second, Chinese analysts have emphasized that, despite the Tallinn Manual, deep uncertainty and disagreement exists on ways to define and attribute cyberattacks that constitute “armed attacks” under international law.  Most importantly, Chinese commentary has criticized an expansive definition of the right of self-defense against cyber-attacks. Because the United States, in China’s view, has abused its right of self-defense in other contexts, China is reluctant to endorse any principle that would bolster doctrines such as preemptive self-defense. As a prime cyber target as well as cyber power, China is worried about legitimizing U.S. offensive cyber operations as forms of “self-defense.”

Other Chinese scholars have reiterated that the difficulties in attributing a cyber attack to a state remains a key obstacle to the effective application of international law. Yet in their view, the efforts of some Western scholars to loosen legal standards to make a state responsible for cyber activities of small groups or individuals are impracticable and dangerous.

I discuss all of this in greater detail in my paper, but overall, I think China’s position deserves more study and consideration. As I argued yesterday, China’s embrace of international law for cyber warfare may not actually be in the best interests of the U.S.  As this brief survey of Chinese commentary suggests, China is also skeptical that signing up for the U.S. version of international law will be in China’s best interests. It is therefore not surprising that U.N.-sponsored negotiations on the application of international law to cyber warfare collapsed this past June.

Macedonian Citizen Fined 400 Euro For Insulting Turkish President Erdoğan on Facebook

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘GLOBAL VOICES’)

(THIS IS COWARDLINESS IGNORANCE AT ITS FASCISTS BEST) (trs)

Macedonian Citizen Fined 400 Euro For Insulting Turkish President Erdoğan on Facebook

Photo by Flickr user zeevveez. CC BY 2.0

For the first time since the country gained independence in 1992, a Macedonian court has applied the lèse-majesté (royal insult) portion of the Criminal Code in order to protect a president — though not the president of Macedonia.

In their ruling, which concerned a Facebook post referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the court found the citizen guilty of posting “ironical statements and insult[ing] a leader of a foreign country.”

According to reports by Anadolu Agency and local media, the person, known only by the initials EA, bears Macedonian and Turkish citizenship. EA will have to either pay around 400 euros or serve a prison sentence.

The proceedings before of the Macedonian Criminal Court opened after the Turkish ambassador to Macedonia, Tulin Erkal Kara, filed charges against EA in late 2016, when Macedonia’s previous government was still in power. The court issued its ruling in mid-July and the ruling became public on August 24.

Article 181 of the Macedonian Criminal Code protects the “reputation of a foreign country” and stipulates that “a person who has the intention to publicly ridicule a foreign country, a flag, a coat of arms, an anthem or a head of state or a diplomatic representative will have to pay a monetary fine.”

But not a single judge in the history of the country’s independence has used this article to sentence someone for insulting a foreign country, flag, coat of arms, anthem or a head of state. On social networks, Macedonian citizens reacted to the news about this case with outrage and dismay.

Македонски Суд осудил лице за навреда на Ердоган? Поради пост на Фејсбук? This is a joke??

A Macedonian Court has sentenced someone for insulting Erdoğan? Because of a Facebook post? This is a joke??

Filip Medarski, a prominent lawyer from Skopje, tweeted that Macedonian Criminal Code Article 181 and the verdict from the judge are inconsistent with the practices of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR):

Самиот член,а посебно пресудата се спротивни на праксата на Стразбург.Најпозната пресуда во тој контекст е: https://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37188/en/ecthr:-eon-v-france 

The article itself, and especially the verdict are contrary to the Strasbourg law practice.
The most famous case in this context is: [Eon Vs. France]

Since Macedonia is a member of Council of Europe, the decisions of this court are binding for its judiciary.

In a statement for the Meta News Agency in Skopje, Medarski said that such a crime may exist in the Macedonian Criminal Code, but in another form because in principle, it should defend the symbolic aspect of flags, coats of arms and other representations of a state, in deference to the institution of the state — not to the individual who holds office.

“But here it is not about insulting the president as an institution, but an insult to the actual person currently in office, in this case – Erdoğan”, Medarski said, adding that this was also noted by the ECHR and in the verdict that he cited in his tweet.

In 2013, the European Court of Human Rights heard Eon Vs. France, a case that concerned the 2008 visit of now former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to the French city of Laval, where a citizen named Hervé Eon waved a small banner reading “Get lost, you prick” (Casse toi pov’con). Sarkozy himself had used the same phrase earlier that year at an agricultural rally, for someone that wasn’t so keen on greeting him. It later became a frequently used banner at different demonstrations and on the internet.

Eon was arrested and prosecuted for offending the President. He was found guilty and made to pay a fine of 30 euros. Later that decision was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in France and even by the highest court in the French judiciary, the Cour de Cassation. The applicant was immediately arrested and prosecuted for offending the President, an offense under the 1881 Freedom of the Press Act.

Consequently, Eon asked the European Court of Human rights to recognize that his sentence infringed his right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Eventually the ECHR confirmed that his freedom of expression had been violated. The Court concluded that by echoing the phrase used by the president, Hervé Eon had used “satirical impertinence” to express his criticism.

Unlike France, Macedonia has a record of high levels of corruption in all segments of society, low levels of respect towards the rule of law and undeniable attempts to restrict media freedoms and interfere with the judiciary. This was highlighted in the last report from the US State Department’s Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. “Political interference, inefficiency, favoritism toward well-placed persons, prolonged processes, violations of the right to public trial, and corruption characterized the judicial system,” the report read.

In May 2017, Macedonia ushered in a new government that introduced a bold and optimistic reform plan in order to expedite the country’s processes of integration into NATO and the EU, that were stalled by the previous rule of right-winged VMRO-DPMNE party and their inclination towards Russia. A major aspect of these plans is comprehensive reform of the judiciary.

China’s Censorship Keeps Growing Under Trumps “Friend” Dictator Xi Jinping

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHINA HERALD AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The first fallout of the CUP censorship – Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson

The decision by the Cambridge University Press to bow to Chinese censorship and block over 300 articles on its China site has shocked the academic world. Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, reports on the issue for the New York Times and tested from Beijing what he could no longer get.

Ian Johnson:

Until now, foreign academic presses were largely immune to this sort of censorship. In recent years, the websites of most foreign news organizations have been blocked in China, as have social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and the search engine Google.

But because of their small readership, and high subscription costs (one China Quarterly article costs more than $20), academic journals were not targeted.
The new measures seem in line with announcements made by President Xi Jinping in February 2016 that all media content on any platform must come under the Communist Party’s “guidance.”
“The same rules apply to any foreign content, academic or otherwise, that is accessible within China,” said David Bandurski, the co-director of the China Media Project and a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. “Given Xi Jinping’s determination to rein in dissenting views in the information space, foreign publishers are misleading themselves if they believe they can escape pressure like that facing China Quarterly.”
Searching for the word “Tiananmen” at the journal’s main page yields 50 results, with the top two relating to the “Tiananmen Papers,” a 2001 compilation of secret documents that is widely considered essential for understanding the events of 1989. Other top hits include an assessment of China’s universities in the aftermath of the student-led movement, and the effect of the crackdown on relations with Taiwan.
Performing the same search within China, however, yields only five hits, either tangential mentions or urban-planning articles about the square.
The block appears to go beyond Cambridge University Press’s website to include searches through third-party databases, including JSTOR, a digital library that academics around the world use to perform full-text searches of nearly 2,000 journals, including China Quarterly.
As of Friday night, it was unclear whether all JSTOR access was now blocked in China.
After news of the censorship spread, academics inside and outside China expressed alarm.
Ian Johnson is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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