Showing posts with label International Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Press. Show all posts

April 26, 2017

Gay Reporter Broke The Gay Persecution in Chechnya Gone Into Hiding

A prominent Russian reporter who revealed horrific details of a crackdown on gay men in Chechnya has told CNN she is in hiding after receiving death threats.

Elena Milashina, a journalist at the Russian-language Novaya Gazeta newspaper, said she abandoned her apartment in Moscow and plans to leave Russia altogether after Muslim clerics in Chechnya delivered a fiery sermon calling for “retribution" against her and other journalists.

"This is the first time we got that kind of threat, when 15,000 people got together in a mosque and announced jihad against all the staff of Novaya Gazeta," Milashina told CNN in an interview. “It will last forever until the last of us dies.”

Speaking to a packed mosque in the regional capital, Grozny, the clerics adopted a resolution calling for the "instigators" of the reports to be held to account. The sermon was broadcast in full on regional state television in Chechen and independently transcribed for CNN.

The editorial board of Novaya Gazeta released a statement calling the sermon "an incitement to massacre journalists." Shortly afterwards, the newspaper received two envelopes filled with white powder.

"We still don't know what the powder is. We have asked the security forces to check it," Milashina told CNN. “But all of us, including me, consider this situation is very serious."
The threats come after a series of reports first written by Milashina focusing attention on allegations of mass arrests and torture of gay men in the mainly Muslim republic of Chechnya, in southern Russia.

CNN has spoken to several victims who say they have fled the region after being detained and suffering horrifying abuses.

"They tied wires to my hands and put metal clips on my ears to electrocute me," said one victim, whose identity CNN agreed to hide for his safety.
"When they shock you, you jump high above the ground," he told CNN at an undisclosed location.
Chechen authorities have refused to acknowledge the violence, denying that there are any gay men in Chechnya.

The Kremlin says it has no confirmation of any gay men in Chechnya suffering abuse.
But the reports have clearly struck a nerve. Local Chechen television has broadcast footage of Muslim clerics condemning what they called “women's gossip" and "lies" in newspaper reports.

Threats against journalists not new

In a country where journalists are routinely beaten up or even killed for their work, the clerics’ remarks have been taken as a worrying development.

Novaya Gazeta is no stranger to violent threats against its staff. In 2006, its star Chechnya reporter, Anna Politkovskaya, was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building.
And since 2000, at least five other Novaya Gazeta journalists have also been killed in Mafia-style hits, a grim testament to how dangerous reporting in Russia can be and the bravery of reporters like Milashina who continue to report on Chechnya.

"The only way to stop people who might possibly think of murdering my colleagues is to show them there will be another one," she told CNN.
Asked if she was prepared to put her life on the line for that ideal, Milashina replied: "Yes. Absolutely. That makes me much stronger than my enemies in Chechnya.”

February 5, 2013

Saudis Making a Priority in Teaching English in Schools

Saudi ministry of education sees learning English as top priority

Teaching Saudi students the English language is a now a top priority for the Ministry of Education in the kingdom. (AFP)
Teaching Saudi students the English language is a now a top priority for the Ministry of Education in the kingdom. (AFP)
To enable students to overcome challenges, teaching English is going to a top priority in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Education, Nora al-Fayez, was quoted as saying in an interview published in the local newspaper, al-Madina.

Professor of Computer Science at King Abdul Aziz University, Hussein Sendi, said the lack of proficiency in English among Saudi students could be attributed to three factors, which include: the Saudi culture, education shortcomings and shortage in the resources required to learn English.

“First, we need to improve the cultural factor in order to advance the learning of English in the kingdom,” he told Al Arabiya.

Sendi explained that parents need to know that English is not just one of the many languages spoken across the globe, but is now the most important of them, especially when it comes to technology.

“Almost 80 percent of internet servers are in the United States and they all operate in English and around 75 percent of the internet’s most important sites in the fields of knowledge and culture are also in English.”

December 9, 2012

First Gay Community Magazine in Egypt Halts Production

The creators of Ehna Magazine, an online publication for the homosexual community in Egypt, are anonymous and appear to be isolated from rights organizations in the country. (Facebook image)

The closing down of an online magazine catering for the gay community in Egypt, believed to be first of its kind, has stirred concerns from rights activists about the status of homosexuals in the country.

Ehna, which translates from Arabic to “us,” halted its online circulation earlier this year in hushed circumstances, with an abrupt statement, after launching its first issue.

On the magazine’s Facebook page, once abundant with empowering slogans, links and screenshots from the magazine’s web pages, a lone message posted on May 27, reads:

“We have been forced to shut down the online magazine due to security reasons. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”
Ehna had a bold mission statement: To become the voice for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning (LGBTIQ) communities in Egypt. The magazine attempted to defend their rights, tackle homophobia in the country and raise awareness on issues such as HIV, spotlighting celebrity members of the gay Egyptian community.

But as the site’s announcements gathered pace, the site came to a standstill.

Commenters who had breathed a sigh of relief that an online magazine for the homosexual community had launched, were left stumped.

October 1, 2012

FARS Iran News Agency is Sorry For Something! They F*up

Screengrab of Fars news agency website


An Iranian news agency has apologised after being fooled by a spoof story from a US satirical website.
Fars news agency said on its website that its news item "was extracted" from the Onion website on Friday, but was taken down in less than two hours.
The Onion's story claimed that rural Americans preferred Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Barack Obama.
Fars' editor-in-chief said he still believed that US politicians were deeply unpopular with their public.
"Although it does not justify our mistake, we do believe that if a free opinion poll is conducted in the US, a majority of Americans would prefer anyone outside the US political system to President Barack Obama and American statesmen," the Fars story quoted the unnamed editor as saying.
"FNA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of its reports, however very occasionally mistakes do happen."
The report then goes on to list errors it says have been made by other news organisations over the years, including the BBC, New York Times and ITV.
Fars, which is affiliated with the powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), did not credit the Onion for its original report.
The story quoted a West Virginia resident as saying the Iranian leader "takes national defence seriously, and he'd never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does".
Homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment or, in some cases, death in Iran.
The Onion has a history of its reports being picked up by news outlets.
In 2004, China's state-run Beijing Evening News carried an Onion report that said the US Congress was threatening to move out of Washington unless a new Capitol was built.
And in 2009, two Bangladeshi newspapers apologised after publishing an Onion article claiming the Moon landings were faked.


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