country:turkey

  • The New York Times and its Uyghur “activist” - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/09/uygh-m09.html

    9 May 2019 - The New York Times has furnished a case study of the way in which it functions as the conduit for the utterly hypocritical “human rights” campaigns fashioned by the CIA and the State Department to prosecute the predatory interests of US imperialism.

    While turning a blind eye to the gross abuses of democratic rights by allies such as Saudi Arabia, the US has brazenly used “human rights” for decades as the pretext for wars, diplomatic intrigues and regime-change. The media is completely integrated into these operations.

    Another “human rights” campaign is now underway. The New York Times is part of the mounting chorus of condemnation of China over its treatment of the Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uyghur minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

    In an article on May 4 entitled “In push for trade deal, Trump administration shelves sanctions over China’s crackdown on Uyghurs,” the New York Times joined in criticism of the White House, particularly by the Democrats, for failing to impose punitive measures on Beijing.

    The strident denunciations of China involve unsubstantiated allegations that it is detaining millions of Uyghurs without charge or trial in what Beijing terms vocational training camps.

    The New York Times reported, without qualification, the lurid claims of US officials, such as Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Schriver, who last Friday condemned “the mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps” and boosted the commonly cited figure of up to a million to “up to three million” in detention. No evidence has been presented for either claim.

    The repression of the Uyghurs is completely bound up with the far broader oppression of the working class by the Chinese capitalist elites and the Chinese Communist Party regime that defends their interests. The US campaign on the Uyghurs, however, has nothing to do with securing the democratic rights of workers, but is aimed at stirring up reactionary separatist sentiment.

    The US has longstanding ties to right-wing separatist organisations based on Chinese minorities—Tibetans as well as the Uyghurs—that it helped create, fund and in some cases arm. As the US, first under President Obama and now Trump, has escalated its diplomatic, economic and military confrontation with China, the “human rights” of Uyghurs has been increasingly brought to the fore.

    Washington’s aim, at the very least, is to foment separatist opposition in Xinjiang, which is a crucial source of Chinese energy and raw materials as well as being pivotal to its key Belt and Road Initiative to integrate China more closely with Eurasia. Such unrest would not only weaken China but could lead to a bloody war and the fracturing of the country. Uyghur separatists, who trained in the US network of Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, openly told Radio Free Asia last year of their intention to return to China to wage an armed insurgency.

    The New York Times is completely in tune with the aims behind these intrigues—a fact that is confirmed by its promotion of Uyghur “activist” Rushan Abbas.

    Last weekend’s article highlighted Abbas as the organiser of a tiny demonstration in Washington to “pressure Treasury Department officials to take action against Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang abuses.” She told the newspaper that the Uyghur issue should be included as part of the current US-China trade talks, and declared: “They are facing indoctrination, brainwashing and the elimination of their values as Muslims.”

    An article “Uyghur Americans speak against China’s internment camps” on October 18 last year cited her remarks at the right-wing think tank, the Hudson Institute, where she “spoke out” about the detention of her aunt and sister. As reported in the article: “I hope the Chinese ambassador here reads this,” she said, wiping away tears. “I will not stop. I will be everywhere and speak on this at every event from now on.”

    Presented with a tearful woman speaking about her family members, very few readers would have the slightest inkling of Abbas’s background, about which the New York Times quite deliberately says nothing. Abbas is a highly connected political operator with long standing ties to the Pentagon, the State Department and US intelligence agencies at the highest level as well as top Republican Party politicians. She is a key figure in the Uyghur organisations that the US has supported and funded.

    Currently, Abbas is Director of Business Development in ISI Consultants, which offers to assist “US companies to grow their businesses in Middle East and African markets.” Her credentials, according to the company website, include “over 15 years of experience in global business development, strategic business analysis, business consultancy and government affairs throughout the Middle East, Africa, CIS regions, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and Latin America.”

    The website also notes: “She also has extensive experience working with US government agencies, including Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and various US intelligence agencies.” As “an active campaigner for human rights,” she “works closely with members of the US Senate, Congressional Committees, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the US Department of State and several other US government departments and agencies.”

    This brief summary makes clear that Abbas is well connected in the highest levels of the state apparatus and in political circles. It also underscores the very close ties between the Uyghur organisations, in which she and her family members are prominent, and the US intelligence and security agencies.

    A more extensive article and interview with Abbas appeared in the May 2019 edition of the magazine Bitter Winter, which is published by the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions. The magazine focuses on “religious liberty and human rights in China” and is part of a conservative, right-wing network in Europe and the United States. The journalist who interviewed Abbas, Marco Respinti, is a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Centre for Cultural Renewal, and a board member of the Centre for European Renewal—both conservative think tanks.

    The article explains that Abbas was a student activist at Xinjiang University during the 1989 protests by students and workers against the oppressive Beijing regime, but left China prior to the brutal June 4 military crackdown that killed thousands in the capital and throughout the country. At the university, she collaborated with Dolkun Isa and “has worked closely with him ever since.”

    Dolkun Isa is currently president of the World Uyghur Congress, established in 2004 as an umbrella group for a plethora of Uyghur organisations. It receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy—which is one of the fronts used by the CIA and the US State Department for fomenting opposition to Washington’s rivals, including so-called colour revolutions, around the world.

    Isa was the subject of an Interpol red notice after China accused him of having connections to the armed separatist group, the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation, a claim he denied. East Turkestan is the name given to Xinjiang by Uyghur separatists to denote its historic connections to Turkey. None of the Western countries in which he traveled moved to detain him and the red notice was subsequently removed, no doubt under pressure from Washington.

    Bitter Winter explained that after moving to the US, Abbas cofounded the first Uyghur organisation in the United States in 1993—the California-based Tengritagh Overseas Students and Scholars Association. She also played a key role in the formation of the Uyghur American Association in 1998, which receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Last year its Uyghur Human Rights Project was awarded two NED grants totaling $320,000. Her brother Rishat Abbas was the association’s first vice-chairman and is currently the honorary chairman of the Uyghur Academy based in Turkey.

    When the US Congress funded a Uyghur language service for the Washington-based Radio Free Asia, Abbas became its first reporter and news anchor, broadcasting daily to China. Radio Free Asia, like its counterpart Radio Free Europe, began its existence in the 1950s as a CIA conduit for anti-communist propaganda. It was later transferred to the US Information Agency, then the US State Department and before being incorporated as an “independent,” government-funded body. Its essential purpose as a vehicle for US disinformation and lies has not changed, however.

    In a particularly revealing passage, Bitter Winter explained: “From 2002–2003, Ms. Abbas supported Operation Enduring Freedom as a language specialist at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” In the course of the interview with the magazine, Abbas attempted to explain away her involvement with the notorious prison camp by saying that she was simply acting on behalf of 22 Uyghurs who were wrongfully detained and ultimately released—after being imprisoned for between four to 11 years!

    Given the denunciations of Chinese detention camps, one might expect that Abbas would have something critical to say about Guantanamo Bay, where inmates are held indefinitely without charge or trial and in many cases tortured. However, she makes no criticism of the prison or its procedures, nor for that matter of Operation Enduring Freedom—the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that resulted in the deaths of a million civilians.

    It is clear why. Abbas is plugged into to the very top levels of the US state apparatus and political establishment in Washington. Her stints with Radio Free Asia and at Guantanamo Bay are undoubtedly not the only times that she has been directly on the payroll.

    As Bitter Winter continued: “She has frequently briefed members of the US Congress and officials at the State Department on the human rights situation of the Uyghur people, and their history and culture, and arranged testimonies before Congressional committees and Human Rights Commissions.

    “She provided her expertise to other federal and military agencies as well, and in 2007 she assisted during a meeting between then-President George W. Bush and Rebiya Kadeer, the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs, in Prague. Later that year she also briefed then First Lady Laura Bush in the White House on the Human Rights situation in Xinjiang.”

    It should be noted, Rebiya Kadeer is the “the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs,” only in the eyes of the CIA and the US State Department who have assiduously promoted her, and of the US-funded Uyghur organisations. She was one of the wealthiest businesswomen in China who attended the National People’s Congress before her husband left for the US and began broadcasting for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. She subsequently fled China to the US and has served as president both of the World Uyghur Congress and the American Uyghur Association.

    The fact that Russan Abbas is repeatedly being featured in the New York Times is an indication that she is also being groomed to play a leading role in the mounting US propaganda offensive against China over the persecution of the Uyghurs. It is also a telling indictment of the New York Times which opens its pages to her without informing its readers of her background. Like Abbas, the paper of record is also plugged into the state apparatus and its intelligence agencies.

    #Chine #Xinjiang_Weiwuer_zizhiqu #USA #impérialisme #services_secretes

    新疆維吾爾自治區 / 新疆维吾尔自治区, Xīnjiāng Wéiwú’ěr zìzhìqū, englisch Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

  • Egypt’s Former President Morsi Dies in Court : State TV | News | teleSUR English
    https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Egypts-Former-PresidentMorsiDies-in-Court-State-TV-20190617-0010.htm

    Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi died after fainting during a court hearing.

    Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has died in court, state television reported Monday.

    It said Morsi had fainted after a court session and died afterward. He was pronounced dead at 4:50 pm local time according to the country’s public prosecutor.

    “He was speaking before the judge for 20 minutes then became very animated and fainted. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he later died,” a judicial source said.

    “In front of Allah, my father and we shall unite,” wrote Ahmed, Morsi’s son on Facebook.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan paid tribute to Morsi saying, "May Allah rest our Morsi brother, our martyr’s soul in peace.”

    According to medical reports, there were no apparent injuries on his body.

    Morsi, who was democratically elected after the popular ouster of Hosni Mubarak, was toppled by the military led by coup leader and current President Abdul-Fattah el-Sissi in 2013 after protests against his rule.

    “We received with great sorrow the news of the sudden death of former president Dr. Mohamed Morsi. I offer my deepest condolences to his family and Egyptian people. We belong to God and to him we shall return,” Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wrote on Twitter.

    The United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric offered condolences to his supporters and relatives.

    State television said Morsi, who was 67, was in court for a hearing on charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip that is under blockade by the current Egyptian government and Israel.

    He was facing at least six trials for politically motivated charges according to his supporters. The former president was also serving a 20-years prison sentence for allegedly killing protesters in 2012.

    Morsi was suffering from various health issues including diabetes and liver and kidney disease. During his imprisonment, he suffered from medical neglect worsened by poor prison conditions.

    Mohammed Sudan, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said that Morsi’s death was "premeditated murder” by not allowing him adequate health care.

    "He has been placed behind [a] glass cage [during trials]. No one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn’t received any visits for months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn’t get his medicine. This is premeditated murder. This is a slow death,” Sudan said.

    Morsi was allowed 3 short visits in 6 years. One in November 2013 after being forcibly disappeared for 4 months, and another in June 2017 when only his wife and daughter were allowed, and the third in September 2018 with security official recording the whole conversation.
    — Abdelrahman Ayyash (@3yyash) June 17, 2019

    #Égypte #islamisme #prison

  • Opposition mayor bans Syrians from beach in western Turkey

    Syrians have been barred from public beaches by the mayor of Mudanya, a coastal district in the western Turkish province of Bursa, who said that he would not allow Syrians disturb Turkey’s own people, Karar newspaper reported on Saturday.

    Hayri Türkyılmaz from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who was elected for a second term as Mudanya’s mayor on March 31, also attempted to ban Syrians from using beaches in 2014, Karar said.

    “Nobody has the right to bother others or restrict their freedoms”, tweeted Türkyılmaz. “While our children are dying (in Syria), our mothers are crying, our economy is going downhill, we won’t tolerate our people being annoyed as they live a life of comfort”.

    Turkey hosts some 3.6 million registered refugees from Syria, according to the latest United Nations figures published in May. Many in Turkey object to their presence, and the tensions have been fuelled in part by viral reports – often fake – of misdeeds by refugees, as well as inaccurate reports on the benefits offered them by the Turkish government.

    Turkish news site Gazete ABC reported that a high number of Syrians had been a fixture on the beaches in Mudanya for months, likening them to an “invasion”.

    The Syrians had been moved off the beaches and municipal police posted to ensure they did not return, Gazete ABC said.

    “They can either conform to us or they can go back to their own country”, Türkyılmaz said.

    With a reported 79 percent of Turks holding unfavourable views of the refugees, nationalist politicians have brought the issue to the agenda over recent years. This year another newly elected CHP mayor, Tanju Özcan of the north western Turkish province of Bolu, announced that he was cutting aid to Syrian refugees.


    https://ahvalnews.com/syrian-refugees/opposition-mayor-bans-syrians-beach-western-turkey
    #ségrégation #racisme #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Turquie #plage

    Ajouté à cette métaliste :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/773978

  • Asia Times | Mysterious oil company a key player in Idlib | Article
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/06/opinion/mysterious-oil-company-a-key-player-in-idlib

    Watad, la très étrange société pétrolière active sur le marché d’Idlib, avec inévitablement la bénédiction de Daech et des Turcs...

    Fuel and cooking gas are in very short supply in the parts of Syria controlled by the Assad regime. Yet in Idlib, the last rebel-held pocket of the country and currently the target of an intense military offensive, these and other essentials are not only available, but affordable. This is thanks to a company named Watad Petroleum.

    But who or what is Watad? If suspicions are true, Watad – about which little is known – represents yet another way in which Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an organization labeled a terrorist group by much of the world, is strengthening its grip on Idlib.

    Life in this province of northwestern Syria has, without a doubt, been made easier by Watad’s presence. But with no information available publicly about who owns or runs it, there is a persistent suspicion about it.

    The first that anyone had heard of Watad was in January last year, when it was granted a monopoly over the fuel market in greater Idlib, with exclusive rights to import oil and gas from Turkey and to regulate their sale, price and distribution. Ostensibly, the deal, which also eliminated any domestic competition, was struck with Idlib’s Salvation Government, but in reality it was with HTS, the de facto power in that area.

    Before then, people in Idlib were reliant on motor fuel and gas transported from government-controlled areas and on crude oil brought in from northeastern Syria, which is now controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. But economic sanctions and the Turkish-led offensive to capture the predominantly Kurdish region of Afrin led to those supply lines being severed. Enter Watad Petroleum.

    Some reports say the company was founded in Idlib in 2017, while others maintain it was established in early 2018 by a group of Syrian businessmen living in Turkey. What is certain is that the mysterious Watad Petroleum has become a key player in Greater Idlib.

    #syrie #business

  • Statistiques de la conférence de presse des organisations syriennes et de la défense civile aujourd’hui sur les résultats de la récente campagne sur les zones libérées, #Idlib :
    - 600 victimes
    - 5 marchés populaires ciblés
    - 22 installations médicales ont été détruites
    - La fermeture de 55 établissements médicaux
    - Utilisation de chlore à Canibiet
    - 80 enfants tués
    - 50 écoles ciblées
    - 45 000 enfants sont sortis de l’éducation
    Déplacés 307 000 plus de 50 000 familles
    - 27 mosquées détruits
    - Destruction de 9 fours de production du pain
    - Brûler des cultures avec du Phosphore

    #guerre #conflit #victimes #statistiques #chiffres #phosphore #armes_chimiques Canibiet #destruction #écoles #enfants #déscolarisation #morts #décès

    Reçu d’un ami réfugié syrien qui vit à Grenoble, via whatsapp, le 01.06.2019

    • Stop the carnage: doctors call for an end to Syria hospital airstrikes

      Dozens of prominent doctors have called for urgent action to halt the bombing campaign by Syrian and Russian planes that has targeted more than 20 hospitals in Syria’s north-west, putting many out of action and leaving millions of people without proper healthcare.

      Coordinates for many of those hit had been shared with the regime and its Russian backers by the United Nations in an effort to protect civilians. The Syrian opposition were promised war planes would avoid identified sites on bombing raids; instead they have endured more than a month of fierce attacks.

      Since late April, in defiance of a truce brokered by Moscow and Ankara last year, regular airstrikes on opposition-held territory in northern Idlib province have killed hundreds of civilians and displaced hundreds of thousands more, rights groups say.

      They have also destroyed key parts of the healthcare system, says a letter from doctors around the world published in the Observer. “We are appalled by the deliberate and systematic targeting of healthcare facilities and medical staff,” they warned. “Their [the medical staff’s] job is to save lives, they must not lose their own in the process.”

      Signatories include Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist who won the Nobel peace prize last year, Peter Agre, a physician who won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2003, MP and doctor Sarah Wollaston, and Terence English, former president of the Royal College of Surgeons, as well as David Nott, a surgeon who works in war zones, and Zaher Sahloul, a Syrian exile, doctor and founder of a medical charity. They urged the UN to investigate the targeting of listed hospitals and asked the international community to put pressure on Russia and Syria to stop targeting medical centres and reverse funding cuts to surviving hospitals and clinics that are now overwhelmed by refugees.

      One paediatrician, Abdulkader Razouk, described to the Observer how he and his colleagues evacuated an entire hospital including dialysis patients, mothers in labour and premature babies in incubators, as airstrikes began in their town, at least 12 miles from the frontline. “After the airstrikes, but before the direct attack, we knew the hospital would be targeted,” he said in a phone interview about the Tarmala hospital, which was eventually hit on 10 May. “Only a few medical staff stayed to provide emergency response.”
      Letters: The BBC’s wish for a finger in every pie
      Read more

      The airstrike destroyed more than half the hospital and much of its equipment from beds and generators to the operating theatres, emergency services and pharmacy. Staff went back briefly to hunt through the rubble for any supplies that survived the onslaught but the building is now abandoned. “It would be impossible to rebuild and reopen now,” Razouk said. “The airstrikes are continuing and still targeting the hospital until this moment, even though it’s empty.”

      The May bombing was not the first attack on the hospital. That came in 2015, first with the Syrian military’s wildly inaccurate barrel bombs, and later by Russian missiles, that destroyed a residential building next door but spared the clinic itself. In 2018 there was a direct hit on the clinic but then it was able to reopen after repairs.

      However the damage after the latest attack was so severe that it is beyond repair, and anyway most of the civilians it served have fled, Razouk said.

      “This was the worst attack, it has been very tough, there is no possibility whatsoever to continue work there,” he said. “Life can’t return to this area, especially under these brutal attacks. There are no people, not even animals, there’s nothing left in there, it’s like a doomed land. There is no hope to go back.”

      He and other staff are opening a new temporary hospital near the Turkish border, where most of the residents of Tarmala have fled and are now living in refugee camps. It will have some of the neonatal incubators and dialysis machines evacuated before the strike, but there is a desperate need for more supplies.

      Around 80 medical facilities – including clinics and hospitals – have been shut because of damage in attacks or because of fear they will be targeted, said Mohamad Katoub from the Syrian American Medical Society. The huge number of refugees displaced by attacks has left those that are still operating overwhelmed.

      “The tactic of attacking health and other civilian infrastructure in Syria is not new, displacement is not new, these are all chronic issues. But this is the biggest displacement ever, and it is much further beyond our capacity as NGOs to respond,” he said.

      Turkey, which backs Idlib’s rebel groups, is already home to 3.6 million Syrians and faces the dilemma of whether or not to absorb any of the newly displaced. A group were reportedly planning a protest march to the border at the weekend.

      The de-escalation deal brokered last autumn saved Idlib and the surrounding countryside from an impending government assault. At the time, aid agencies warned that a military campaign would put the lives of 3 million civilians at risk, and trigger the worst humanitarian crisis of an already protracted and bloody war.

      But the agreement has unravelled since January, when the hardline Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) wrested control of the area from more moderate rebels.

      Damascus and Moscow have said the HTS takeover legitimises the current campaign against Idlib as they are targeting terrorists not covered by the ceasefire deal.

      Many civilians in Idlib now feel they have been caught between the harsh rule of HTS and the intensified regime assault, and say that life has all but ground to a halt.

      “I was studying at Idlib university but I’ve had to stop going. So has my sister,” said 22-year-old Raja al-Assaad, from Ma’arat al-Nu’maan, which has been under heavy attack.

      “Some people have left to try to go to Turkey but the truth is that there is nowhere to go. Nowhere in Idlib is safe. And in my town we already have lots of people who have been displaced from lots of other areas of Syria.”

      “All normal life has shut down and there is nothing for us to do except wait for death.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/02/doctors-global-appeal-stop-syria-bombing-hospitals-idlib

    • Russie/Syrie : Nouveau recours à des #armes interdites

      Ces attaques qui aggravent les souffrances des civils violent les normes du #droit_international.

      Les forces armées russes et syriennes ont utilisé de manière indiscriminée des armes interdites en vertu du droit international contre des zones civiles dans le nord-ouest de la Syrie au cours des dernières semaines, a déclaré Human Rights Watch aujourd’hui. Selon les Nations Unies, cette région est actuellement habitée par environ trois millions de civils, dont au moins la moitié sont des personnes déplacées ayant fui d’autres régions du pays.

      Depuis le 26 avril 2019, l’alliance militaire russo-syrienne a mené quotidiennement des centaines d’attaques contre des groupes antigouvernementaux dans les gouvernorats d’Idlib, de #Hama et d’#Alep,, tuant environ 200 civils, dont 20 enfants. L’alliance a utilisé contre des zones civiles densement peuplées des armes à sous-munitions et des armes incendiaires, pourtant interdites selon le droit international, ainsi que des barils d’explosifs (« #barrel_bombs ») largués sur ces zones, d’après des secouristes, des témoins et des informations disponibles via des sources en accès libre. Le 17 mai, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies a tenu une deuxième réunion d’urgence au sujet de la situation dans le nord-ouest de la Syrie, sans pour autant élaborer une stratégie précise pour protéger les civils qui y résident.

      « L’alliance militaire russo-syrienne utilise de manière indiscriminée contre des civils piégés une panoplie d’armes pourtant interdites par le droit international », a déclaré Lama Fakih, directrice par intérim de la division Moyen-Orient à Human Rights Watch. « Entretemps, la Russie exploite sa présence au Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies pour se protéger et pour protéger son allié à Damas, et pour poursuivre ces exactions contre des civils. »

      Les armes à sous-munitions peuvent être lancées depuis le sol par des systèmes d’artillerie, des roquettes et des projectiles, ou bien larguées depuis le ciel. Elles explosent généralement dans l’air, dispersant plusieurs petites bombes, ou sous-munitions, au-dessus d’une vaste zone. De nombreuses sous-munitions n’explosent toutefois pas lors de l’impact initial, ce qui laisse au sol de dangereux fragments explosifs qui, à l’instar des mines terrestres, peuvent mutiler et tuer, des années après.

      Les armes incendiaires, qui produisent de la chaleur et du feu par le bais de la réaction chimique d’une substance inflammable, provoquent des brûlures atroces et sont capables de détruire des maisons et d’autres structures civiles.

      La Convention de 2008 sur les armes à sous-munitions interdit l’utilisation d’armes à sous-munitions, tandis que le Protocole III de la Convention sur les armes classiques interdit certaines utilisations des armes incendiaires. La Russie et la Syrie ne font pas partie des 120 pays ayant adhéré à la Convention sur les armes à sous-munitions, mais la Russie est un État partie au Protocole sur les armes incendiaires.

      https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/06/03/russie/syrie-nouveau-recours-des-armes-interdites

    • La battaglia per Idlib

      Dal 26 aprile le forze del governo siriano, sostenute dall’assistenza militare russa, hanno intensificato un’offensiva a Idlib, nella provincia nord-occidentale della Siria, l’ultima roccaforte dell’opposizione armata al presidente Assad. A Idlib vivono quasi tre milioni di persone, metà delle quali sfollate internamente. Per questo gli accordi di Astana firmati proprio dalla Russia, insieme a Turchia e Iran, indicavano Idlib come una zona di de-escalation delle violenze. Un accordo però che non sembra più aver valore. Ieri la Russia ha bloccato una dichiarazione del Consiglio di sicurezza dell’ONU, con la quale il consiglio voleva lanciare un allarme per l’intensificarsi del intorno alla provincia di Idlib, con l’intento di scongiurare un disastro umanitario.

      Anche nel conflitto libico i civili sono quelli a pagare il prezzo più alto. Attualmente in Libia ci sono oltre 1 milione di persone bisognose di assistenza umanitaria e protezione. Non solo migranti e rifugiati, ma anche sfollati libici che vivono in condizioni di estrema marginalità sociale, senza accesso a cure e servizi essenziali e martoriati dal conflitto in corso. La campagna #Oltrelefrontiere ” promossa da CIR vuole migliorare il livello di protezione di migranti, rifugiati e sfollati interni, fornendo assistenza umanitaria e promuovendo la ricerca di soluzioni durature, per contribuire alla progressiva normalizzazione delle loro condizioni di vita.

      https://www.raiplayradio.it/articoli/2019/06/Rai-Radio-3-Idlib-Siria-4e42d346-f7d0-4d71-9da3-7b293f2e7c89.html

  • BBC - Capital - The city in the shadow of an ageing nuclear reactor
    http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190527-the-city-in-the-shadow-of-an-ageing-nuclear-reactor

    Metsamor has been described as one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear power plants because of its location in an earthquake zone.

    It sits just 35km (22 miles) from Armenia’s bustling capital, Yerevan, with distant views of snowy Mount Ararat across the border in Turkey.

    The plant was constructed around the same time as Chernobyl in the 1970s. At the time the Metsamor reactor provided energy for the growing needs of a vast Soviet Union, which once had ambitious plans to generate 60% of its electricity from nuclear power by 2000.

    #nucléaire #arménie #ex-urss #soviétisme #metsamor

  • Iran building new crossing on Syria border that would let it smuggle weapons, oil, experts say | Fox News
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-border-crossing-syria-smuggle-weapons-oil-experts

    La contribution de Fox à l’effort de guerre US contre l’Iran....

    The images, obtained exclusively by Fox News and captured earlier this week, show a new construction in the Albukamal Al-Qaim crossing.
    A new construction in the Albukamal Al-Qaim crossing was seen via satellite.
    The area is under the control of Pro-Iranian Shiite militias. Last summer, Iran increased its presence in the area.

    According to analysts for ISI, which captures satellite data, the existing border crossing is still closed and destroyed, and the Iranians have put a lot of effort and resources into building the new one.
    Iran has put significant effort into building the new crossing, analysts said.

    Photos obtained by Fox News showed an Iraqi army base near the deserted post.
    The existing border crossing remained closed, analysts said.

    The border crossing would enable Iran to maintain land access in Syria, Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional and western sources said the Iranians are planning to use this new route for smuggling operations, including trafficking weapons and oil, to avoid the looming U.S. sanctions. Without Syrian or Iraqi supervision, Iran and its allies would have an unprecedented advantage in transferring whatever they wish, experts say.
    An Iraqi army base seen near the deserted crossing.

    This development sheds new light on the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, which escalated after President Trump canceled the temporary waivers permitting countries, including Iraq, Turkey, Japan and China, to purchase Iranian oil without violating U.S. sanctions.

    #iran #puissance_du_mal

  • How China will protect one-quarter of its land
    http://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01563-2

    China’s dramatic growth has brought staggering air and water #pollution. So some people are surprised to learn of a major initiative to protect more than one-quarter of the Chinese mainland — an area almost the size of France, Spain, Turkey, Germany and Italy combined, totalling more than 2.4 million square kilometres.

    Called the China Ecological Conservation Red Line (ECRL), the initiative began in 2011, building on ten years of local practice and drawing on economic, population, ecological and other government and academic data. The ECRL implements strategies I developed in 2010 to identify and protect important ecological systems. Plans are already in place for 15 provinces, including Beijing and the Yangtze River economic area. The rest will be completed by the end of the year.

    #Chine #environnement

  • » Palestinian Immigrant Drowns To Death Near Greek Coast
    May 21, 2019 10:54 AM - IMEMC News
    https://imemc.org/article/palestinian-immigrant-drowns-to-death-near-greek-coast

    The Greek Coastguards have announced locating the corpse of a Palestinian immigrant, who went missing 17 days ago, after trying to immigrate to Greece from Turkey, without documents.

    The Palestinian has been identified as Mahmoud Hasan Awadallah , 22, from the Gaza Strip; his corpse was found near the shore of Samos Island in Greece.

    His family said they lost contact with him nearly 17 days ago, after he left Turkey in an attempt to reach Greece.

    Two weeks ago, another Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Bahissy , from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, died under similar circumstances near the Turkish coast.

    #migrants_palestiniens #Gaza

  • The Second Drone Age
    https://theintercept.com/2019/05/14/turkey-second-drone-age

    How Turkey Defied the U.S. and Became a Killer Drone Power Finding oneself in the crosshairs of a military drone is, for most people, not the most comforting situation. Yet at an air show last fall, tens of thousands of people had a different reaction. A military drone took off from a runway, and moments later it began transmitting its view to a giant screen on stage. The video from the drone was clear enough to pick out your own face among the crowd. It was exactly what the drone’s pilot, (...)

    #drone #militarisation #aérien #vidéo-surveillance #surveillance

  • Global Report on Internal Displacement #2019

    KEY FINDINGS

    Internal displacement is a global challenge, but it is also heavily concentrated in a few countries and triggered by few events. 28 million new internal displacements associated with conflict and disasters across 148 countries and territories were recorded in 2018, with nine countries each accounting for more than a million.

    41.3 million people were estimated to be living in internal displacement as a result of conflict and violence in 55 countries as of the end of the year, the highest figure ever recorded. Three-quarters, or 30.9 million people, were located in only ten countries.

    Protracted crises, communal violence and unresolved governance challenges were the main factors behind 10.8 million new displacements associated with conflict and violence. Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Syria accounted for more than half of the global figure.

    Newly emerging crises forced millions to flee, from Cameroon’s anglophone conflict to waves of violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region and unprecedented conflict in Ethiopia. Displacement also continued despite peace efforts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and Colombia.

    Many IDPs remain unaccounted for. Figures for DRC, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen are considered underestimates, and data is scarce for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela. This prevents an accurate assessment of the true scale of internal displacement in these countries. ||Estimating returns continues to be a major challenge.

    Large numbers of people reportedly returned to their areas of origin in Ethiopia, Iraq and Nigeria, to conditions which were not conducive to long-lasting reintegration. ||Urban conflict triggered large waves of displacement and has created obstacles to durable solutions. Airstrikes and shelling forced many thousands to flee in Hodeida in Yemen, Tripoli in Libya and Dara’a in Syria. In Mosul in Iraq and Marawi in the Philippines, widespread destruction and unexploded ordnance continued to prevent people from returning home.

    Heightened vulnerability and exposure to sudden-onset hazards, particularly storms, resulted in 17.2 million disaster displacements in 144 countries and territories. The number of people displaced by slow-onset disasters worldwide remains unknown as only drought-related displacement is captured in some countries, and only partially.

    The devastating power of extreme events highlighted again the impacts of climate change across the globe. Wildfires were a particularly visible expression of this in 2018, from the US and Australia to Greece and elsewhere in southern Europe, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, causing severe damage and preventing swift returns.

    Global risk of being displaced by floods is staggeringly high and concentrated in towns and cities: more than 17 million people are at risk of being displaced by floods each year. Of these, more than 80 per cent live in urban and peri-urban areas.

    An overlap of conflict and disasters repeatedly displaced people in a number of countries. Drought and conflict triggered similar numbers of displacements in Afghanistan, and extended rainy seasons displaced millions of people in areas of Nigeria and Somalia already affected by conflict. Most of the people displaced by disasters in Iraq and Syria were IDPs living in camps that were flooded.

    Promising policy developments in several regions show increased attention to displacement risk. Niger became the first country to domesticate the Kampala Convention by adopting a law on internal displacement, and Kosovo recognised the importance of supporting returning refugees and IDPs, updating its policy to that end. Vanuatu produced a policy on disaster and climate-related displacement, and Fiji showed foresight in adopting new guidelines on resettlement in the context of climate change impacts.

    https://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-report-internal-displacement-2019-grid-2019-0
    #IDPs #déplacés_internes #migrations #asile #statistiques #chiffres

    ping @reka @karine4

  • Explainer: Why the war in Syria’s Idlib escalated again - Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syria-security-northwest-explainer-idUSKCN1SF0P7

    WHY HAS THE CONFLICT ESCALATED AGAIN?

    The Russian-Turkish deal created a demilitarized zone from which jihadists were required to withdraw, effectively putting the onus on Turkey to tackle the problem while leaving the northwest within a sphere of Turkish influence.

    But Russia’s patience has been wearing thin over what it views as Turkey’s failure to curb Tahrir al-Sham. Damascus, determined to recover “every inch” of Syria, has also publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the status quo.

    #Idleb #Syrie #Turquie #Russie

  • Antiquities looted in Syria and Iraq are sold on Facebook - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47628369

    Private groups also discuss how to illegally excavate ancient tombs, according to research by academics.

    Facebook says it has removed 49 groups following the BBC’s investigation.

    The BBC has also seen evidence that antiquities are still being smuggled from Iraq and Syria into Turkey, despite a police clampdown and the retreat of the Islamic State group.

    #antiquités #pillage #syrie #irak #Turquie

  • Refugee, volunteer, prisoner: #Sarah_Mardini and Europe’s hardening line on migration

    Early last August, Sarah Mardini sat on a balcony on the Greek island of Lesvos. As the sun started to fade, a summer breeze rose off the Aegean Sea. She leaned back in her chair and relaxed, while the Turkish coastline, only 16 kilometres away, formed a silhouette behind her.

    Three years before, Mardini had arrived on this island from Syria – a dramatic journey that made international headlines. Now she was volunteering her time helping other refugees. She didn’t know it yet, but in a few weeks that work would land her in prison.

    Mardini had crossed the narrow stretch of water from Turkey in August 2015, landing on Lesvos after fleeing her home in Damascus to escape the Syrian civil war. On the way, she almost drowned when the engine of the inflatable dinghy she was travelling in broke down.

    More than 800,000 people followed a similar route from the Turkish coast to the Greek Islands that year. Almost 800 of them are now dead or missing.

    As the boat Mardini was in pitched and spun, she slipped overboard and struggled to hold it steady in the violent waves. Her sister, Yusra, three years younger, soon joined. Both girls were swimmers, and their act of heroism likely saved the 18 other people on board. They eventually made it to Germany and received asylum. Yusra went on to compete in the 2016 Olympics for the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. Sarah, held back from swimming by an injury, returned to Lesvos to help other refugees.

    On the balcony, Mardini, 23, was enjoying a rare moment of respite from long days spent working in the squalid Moria refugee camp. For the first time in a long time, she was looking forward to the future. After years spent between Lesvos and Berlin, she had decided to return to her university studies in Germany.

    But when she went to the airport to leave, shortly after The New Humanitarian visited her, Mardini was arrested. Along with several other volunteers from Emergency Response Centre International, or ERCI, the Greek non-profit where she volunteered, Mardini was charged with belonging to a criminal organisation, people smuggling, money laundering, and espionage.

    According to watchdog groups, the case against Mardini is not an isolated incident. Amnesty International says it is part of a broader trend of European governments taking a harder line on immigration and using anti-smuggling laws to de-legitimise humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants.

    Far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently pushed through legislation that ends humanitarian protection for migrants and asylum seekers, while Italy and Greece have ramped up pressure on maritime search and rescue NGOs, forcing them to shutter operations. At the end of March, the EU ended naval patrols in the Mediterranean that had saved the lives of thousands of migrants.

    In 2016, five other international volunteers were arrested on Lesvos on similar charges to Mardini. They were eventually acquitted, but dozens of other cases across Europe fit a similar pattern: from Denmark to France, people have been arrested, charged, and sometimes successfully prosecuted under anti-smuggling regulations based on actions they took to assist migrants.

    Late last month, Salam Kamal-Aldeen, a Danish national who founded the rescue non-governmental organisation Team Humanity, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights, challenging what he says is a Greek crackdown on lifesaving activities.

    According to Maria Serrano, senior campaigner on migration at Amnesty International, collectively the cases have done tremendous damage in terms of public perception of humanitarian work in Europe. “The atmosphere… is very hostile for anyone that is trying to help, and this [has a] chilling effect on other people that want to help,” she said.

    As for the case against Mardini and the other ERCI volunteers, Human Rights Watch concluded that the accusations are baseless. “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives,” said Bill Van Esveld, who researched the case for HRW.

    While the Lesvos prosecutor could not be reached for comment, the Greek police said in a statement after Mardini’s arrest that she and other aid workers were “active in the systematic facilitation of illegal entrance of foreigners” – a violation of the country’s Migration Code.

    Mardini spent 108 days in pre-trial detention before being released on bail at the beginning of December. The case against her is still open. Her lawyer expects news on what will happen next in June or July. If convicted, Mardini could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

    “It seems like a bad joke, and a scary one as well because of what the implications are for humanitarian activists and NGOs just trying to save people’s lives.”

    Return to Lesvos

    The arrest and pending trial are the latest in a series of events, starting with the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011, that have disrupted any sense of normalcy in Mardini’s life.

    Even after making it to Germany in 2015, Mardini never really settled in. She was 20 years old and in an unfamiliar city. The secure world she grew up in had been destroyed, and the future felt like a blank and confusing canvas. “I missed Syria and Damascus and just this warmness in everything,” she said.

    While wading through these emotions, Mardini received a Facebook message in 2016 from an ERCI volunteer. The swimming sisters from Syria who saved a boat full of refugees were an inspiration. Volunteers on Lesvos told their story to children on the island to give them hope for the future, the volunteer said, inviting Mardini to visit. “It totally touched my heart,” Mardini recalled. “Somebody saw me as a hope… and there is somebody asking for my help.”

    So Mardini flew back to Lesvos in August 2016. Just one year earlier she had nearly died trying to reach the island, before enduring a journey across the Balkans that involved hiding from police officers in forests, narrowly escaping being kidnapped, sneaking across tightly controlled borders, and spending a night in police custody in a barn. Now, all it took was a flight to retrace the route.

    Her first day on the island, Mardini was trained to help refugees disembark safely when their boats reached the shores. By nighttime, she was sitting on the beach watching for approaching vessels. It was past midnight, and the sea was calm. Lights from the Turkish coastline twinkled serenely across the water. After about half an hour, a walkie talkie crackled. The Greek Coast Guard had spotted a boat.

    Volunteers switched on the headlights of their cars, giving the refugees something to aim for. Thin lines of silver from the reflective strips on the refugees’ life jackets glinted in the darkness, and the rumble of a motor and chatter of voices drifted across the water. As the boat came into view, volunteers yelled: “You are in Greece. You are safe. Turn the engine off.”

    Mardini was in the water again, holding the boat steady, helping people disembark. When the rush of activity ended, a feeling of guilt washed over her. “I felt it was unfair that they were on a refugee boat and I’m a rescuer,” she said.

    But Mardini was hooked. She spent the next two weeks assisting with boat landings and teaching swimming lessons to the kids who idolised her and her sister. Even after returning to Germany, she couldn’t stop thinking about Lesvos. “I decided to come back for one month,” she said, “and I never left.”
    Moria camp

    The island became the centre of Mardini’s life. She put her studies at Bard College Berlin on hold to spend more time in Greece. “I found what I love,” she explained.

    Meanwhile, the situation on the Greek islands was changing. In 2017, just under 30,000 people crossed the Aegean Sea to Greece, compared to some 850,000 in 2015. There were fewer arrivals, but those who did come were spending more time in camps with dismal conditions.

    “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    The volunteer response shifted accordingly, towards the camps, and when TNH visited Mardini she moved around the island with a sense of purpose and familiarity, joking with other volunteers and greeting refugees she knew from her work in the streets.

    Much of her time was spent as a translator for ERCI’s medical team in Moria. The camp, the main one on Lesvos, was built to accommodate around 3,000 people, but by 2018 housed close to 9,000. Streams of sewage ran between tents. People were forced to stand in line for hours for food. The wait to see a doctor could take months, and conditions were causing intense psychological strain. Self-harm and suicide attempts were increasing, especially among children, and sexual and gender-based violence were commonplace.

    Mardini was on the front lines. “What we do in Moria is fighting the fire,” she said. “You have people who are dying and living in a four-metre tent with seven relatives. They have limited access to water. Hygiene is zero. Privacy is zero. Security: zero. Children’s rights: zero. Human rights: zero… You feel useless. You feel very useless.”

    By then, Mardini had been on Lesvos almost continuously for nine months, and it was taking a toll. She seemed to be weighed down, slipping into long moments of silence. “I’m taking in. I’m taking in. I’m taking in. But it’s going to come out at some point,” she said.

    It was time for a break. Mardini had decided to return to Berlin at the end of the month to resume her studies and make an effort to invest in her life there. But she planned to remain connected to Lesvos. “I love this island… the sad thing is that it’s not nice for everybody. Others see it as just a jail.”
    Investigation and Arrest

    The airport on Lesvos is on the shoreline close to where Mardini helped with the boat landing her first night as a volunteer. On 21 August, when she went to check in for her flight to Berlin, she was surrounded by five Greek police officers. “They kind of circled around me, and they said that I should come with [them],” Mardini recalled.

    Mardini knew that the police on Lesvos had been investigating her and some of the other volunteers from ERCI, but at first she still didn’t realise what was happening. Seven months earlier, in February 2018, she was briefly detained with a volunteer named Sean Binder, a German national. They had been driving one of ERCI’s 4X4s when police stopped them, searched the vehicle, and found Greek military license plates hidden under the civilian plates.

    When Mardini was arrested at the airport, Binder turned himself in too, and the police released a statement saying they were investigating 30 people – six Greeks and 24 foreigners – for involvement in “organised migrant trafficking rings”. Two Greek nationals, including ERCI’s founder, were also arrested at the time.

    While it is still not clear what the plates were doing on the vehicle, according Van Esveld from HRW, “it does seem clear… neither Sarah or Sean had any idea that these plates were [there]”.

    The felony charges against Mardini and Binder were ultimately unconnected to the plates, and HRW’s Van Esveld said the police work appears to either have been appallingly shoddy or done in bad faith. HRW took the unusual step of commenting on the ongoing case because it appeared authorities were “literally just [taking] a humanitarian activity and labelling it as a crime”, he added.
    Detention

    After two weeks in a cell on Lesvos, Mardini was sent to a prison in Athens. On the ferry ride to the mainland, her hands were shackled. That’s when it sank in: “Ok, it’s official,” she thought. “They’re transferring me to jail.”

    In prison, Mardini was locked in a cell with eight other women from 8pm to 8am. During the day, she would go to Greek classes and art classes, drink coffee with other prisoners, and watch the news.

    She was able to make phone calls, and her mother, who was also granted asylum in Germany, came to visit a number of times. “The first time we saw each other we just broke down in tears,” Mardini recalled. It had been months since they’d seen each other, and now they could only speak for 20 minutes, separated by a plastic barrier.

    Most of the time, Mardini just read, finishing more than 40 books, including Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, which helped her come to terms with her situation. “I decided this is my life right now, and I need to get something out of it,” she explained. “I just accepted what’s going on.”

    People can be held in pre-trial detention for up to 18 months in Greece. But at the beginning of December, a judge accepted Mardini’s lawyer’s request for bail. Binder was released the same day.
    Lingering fear

    On Lesvos, where everyone in the volunteer community knows each other, the case came as a shock. “People started to be... scared,” said Claudia Drost, a 23-year-old from the Netherlands and close friend of Mardini’s who started volunteering on the island in 2016. “There was a feeling of fear that if the police… put [Mardini] in prison, they can put anyone in prison.”

    “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people.”

    That feeling was heightened by the knowledge that humanitarians across Europe were being charged with crimes for helping refugees and migrants.

    During the height of the migration crisis in Europe, between the fall of 2015 and winter 2016, some 300 people were arrested in Denmark on charges related to helping refugees. In August 2016, French farmer Cédric Herrou was arrested for helping migrants and asylum seekers cross the French-Italian border. In October 2017, 12 people were charged with facilitating illegal migration in Belgium for letting asylum seekers stay in their homes and use their cellphones. And last June, the captain of a search and rescue boat belonging to the German NGO Mission Lifeline was arrested in Malta and charged with operating the vessel without proper registration or license.

    Drost said that after Mardini was released the fear faded a bit, but still lingers. There is also a sense of defiance. “We are standing [up] for what we are doing because we are saving people and we are helping people,” Drost said.

    As for Mardini, the charges have forced her to disengage from humanitarian work on Lesvos, at least until the case is over. She is back in Berlin and has started university again. “I think because I’m not in Lesvos anymore I’m just finding it very good to be here,” she said. “I’m kind of in a stable moment just to reflect about my life and what I want to do.”

    But she also knows the stability could very well be fleeting. With the prospect of more time in prison hanging over her, the future is still a blank canvas. People often ask if she is optimistic about the case. “No,” she said. “In the first place, they put me in… jail.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/feature/2019/05/02/refugee-volunteer-prisoner-sarah-mardini-and-europe-s-hardening-
    #criminalisation #délit_de_solidarité #asile #migrations #solidarité #réfugiés #Grèce #Lesbos #Moria #camps_de_réfugiés #Europe

    Avec une frise chronologique:

    ping @reka

  • The human rights monitoring ship #Mare_Liberum is being prevented from leaving port.
    Press release 29th of april 2019

    The Berlin based non-governmental organization (NGO) Mare Liberum e.V. conducts human rights monitoring in the Aegean Sea to draw attention to the deadly sea route between Turkey and Greece. The aim is to strengthen solidarity and promote fundamental human rights.

    Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transportation (Bundesverkehrsministeriums) sent an order of suspension for the ship Mare Liberum to the German association of traffic and transportation (Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehr)—which handles the registration, licenses and flags for ships—to further scrutinize civil rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

    “The ministry of transportation, led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) politician Andreas Scheuer, apparently wants to perfidiously prevent any civil presence in the Mediterranean Sea to document human rights violations and the effects of the European Union’s deadly border policy. We are urging for an accelerated response to repeal the decision,” says Hanno Bruchmann, spokesperson for Mare Liberum e.V.

    The suspension order presupposes that Mare Liberum is a rescue ship which should be classified in the same category as commercial freightliner and not, as hitherto customary, as a sport and leisure boat.

    The crew on Mare Liberum observes—without pay and in their spare time—the human rights situation in the Aegean Sea. With Mare Liberum’s presence on the water, authorities should be more inclined to rescue refugees and migrants and adhere to basic human rights standards while doing so. The ship Mare Liberum was never operated as a freightliner; nevertheless, the authorities incorrectly compare the 1917 built fishing boat which was converted to a houseboat in 1964 as a ship holding containers or tank vessels. The classification of Mare Liberum as a commercial vessel imposes equipment requirements that cannot be fulfilled by Mare Liberum.

    “The claim that we operate a freightliner leaves us stunned. It is an insult to our volunteers that our dedication for human rights is not recognized,” said Bruchmann.


    https://mare-liberum.org/en/presse

    #ONG #sauvetage #asile #migrations #Méditerranée #réfugiés

    Ajouté à la métaliste ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/706177

    • Mare Liberum interdit de mission d’observation des frontières maritimes

      Lesbos, Grèce : Les autorités allemandes ont interdit le départ du port du bateau humanitaire Mare Liberum (https://mare-liberum.org/en/our-mission), démontrant ainsi une énième fois que la politique de l’UE repose sur la pénalisation de la solidarité. Voir leur communiqué de presse (https://mare-liberum.org/en/presse).

      Le bateau Mare Liberum se trouve à Lesbos pour une mission de « surveillance des droits humains en Egée » ; l’équipage est chargé de vérifier si les autorités respectent bien la législation lors de l’arrivée des bateaux de réfugiés. C’est une mission d’observation qui concernent toute opération violente qui pourraient y avoir lieu- refoulement illégals, sabottages de bateau, etc- soit de la part des forces militaires turques, soit de la part des forces européennes qui patrouillent dans la région. Le gouvernement allemand justifie sa décision par un raisonnement fallacieux : il met en avant le fait que le bateau n’est pas équipé pour mener des opérations de sauvetage, ce qui n’est point sa mission. Par contre pour une opération de surveillance la certification d’un bateau de plaisance dont Mare Liberum est doté est largement suffisante. Mais, comme au large de la Libye, au large de Lesbos aussi, il ne faut pas qu’il y ait des observateurs internationaux, c’est-à-dire des témoins des crimes qui pourraient y avoir lieu.

      Au moment où Mare Liberum reste immobilisé au port, le bateau Open arms de l’ONG espagnole Proactiva est interdit d’accoster à Lesbos : il a été forcé de mouiller au large, à l’extérieur du port de Lesbos, avec à son bord 20 tonnes d’aide humanitaires pour les réfugiés en attente d’être déchargés. Il s’agit de l’opération décrite par l’InfoMigrants ici : https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/16402/spanish-ngos-to-deliver-aid-supplies-to-greek-islands.

      Open arms, après une opération de sauvetage en Méditéranée, a été immobilisé au port de Barcelone par les autorités espagnoles pendant 100 jours, avant de recevoir l’autorisation de naviguer, non plus pour des opérations de sauvetage cette fois-ci, mais pour transporter l’aide humanitaire récoltée par plusieurs ONG aux réfugiés confinés aux îles grecques.

      La cargaison était initialement destinée en partie au hot-spot de Samos où les autorités portuaires ont aussi interdit au bateau l’accès au port. A Lesbos, ce sont les douaniers qui ont stoppé le déchargement de l’aide humanitaire, pour vérifier la conformité des certificats qui l’accompagne. Ainsi pour l’instant l’aide humanitaire dont plusieurs tonnes de médicaments reste bloquée au bord du bateau. C’est la troisième fois dans un mois qu’un bateau humanitaire –soit transportant de l’aide humanitaire, soit en mission d’observation- est empêché de mener à bien sa mission : il y a quelques semaines, la présidente de la région nord de la mer Egée Mme Christiania Kaloghirou avait protesté contre le déchargement d’aide humanitaire par un bateau espagnol. Il s’agit très probablement du bateau Alta Mari, également en mission humanitaire dans la région voir ici : https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/16715/hoping-to-help-the-long-journey-of-a-spanish-rescue-ship-banned-from-r

      –---------

      Communiqué de presse :

      Press release Mare Liberum 29th of april 2019

      The human rights monitoring ship Mare Liberum is being prevented from leaving port.

      The Berlin based non-governmental organization (NGO) Mare Liberum e.V. conducts human rights monitoring in the Aegean Sea to draw attention to the deadly sea route between Turkey and Greece. The aim is to strengthen solidarity and promote fundamental human rights.

      Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transportation (Bundesverkehrsministeriums) sent an order of suspension for the ship Mare Liberum to the German association of traffic and transportation (Berufsgenossenschaft Verkehr)—which handles the registration, licenses and flags for ships—to further scrutinize civil rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

      “The ministry of transportation, led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) politician Andreas Scheuer, apparently wants to perfidiously prevent any civil presence in the Mediterranean Sea to document human rights violations and the effects of the European Union’s deadly border policy. We are urging for an accelerated response to repeal the decision,” says Hanno Bruchmann, spokesperson for Mare Liberum e.V.

      The suspension order presupposes that Mare Liberum is a rescue ship which should be classified in the same category as commercial freightliner and not, as hitherto customary, as a sport and leisure boat.

      The crew on Mare Liberum observes—without pay and in their spare time—the human rights situation in the Aegean Sea. With Mare Liberum’s presence on the water, authorities should be more inclined to rescue refugees and migrants and adhere to basic human rights standards while doing so. The ship Mare Liberum was never operated as a freightliner; nevertheless, the authorities incorrectly compare the 1917 built fishing boat which was converted to a houseboat in 1964 as a ship holding containers or tank vessels. The classification of Mare Liberum as a commercial vessel imposes equipment requirements that cannot be fulfilled by Mare Liberum.

      “The claim that we operate a freightliner leaves us stunned. It is an insult to our volunteers that our dedication for human rights is not recognized,” said Bruchmann.

      contact: press@mare-liberum.org

  • Turkey’s Policy in the Balkans: More than Neo-Ottomanism

    There is a fundamental misperception with regard to Turkey’s relationship with the Balkans. Turkey is not external to the region, the way Russia is for instance. Its history and geographic location make it a part of southeast Europe. Millions of Turks have their family roots in what was once known as ‘Turkey-in-Europe.’ This includes the founder of the republic, the Salonika-born Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Ties run deep at the political, economic, and societal levels.

    All those connections have drawn Turkey to the Balkans, especially after the end of the Cold War. The notion that Turks are now coming back does not hold. Closer engagement in the region started under President Turgut Özal in the early 1990s. But back then, Turkey balanced between bilateralism and multilateralism. It invested in economic and security ties with friendly countries such as Albania, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria while adhering to NATO as its response to the wars in ex-Yugoslavia. What changed under the Justice and Development (AK) Party, notably over the past decade, is the switch to bilateralism. That is understandable given the cracks in relations between Ankara and the West. All the same, it is concerning since it is coinciding with the push against the EU and NATO by Russia, which leverages history, religious identity and anti-Western rhetoric to legitimize its actions.

    Pundits and politicians often use ‘Neo-Ottomanism’ to describe Turkey’s forays. The label can be often misleading. Yes, Turkish President Recep Erdogan praises the Ottoman Empire and its legacy, domestically and beyond Turkey’s borders. But so did his predecessors in office. Within the country, liberals and Islamist conservatives alike all rediscovered the Ottomans from the 1980s onwards in questioning the Kemalist political order. The government has been reaching out to Balkan Muslims through TIKA, the Turkish developmental agency, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) for decades.

    Neo-Ottomanism is therefore the packaging, not the substance. Turkey’s objective is not to recreate the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. That is far beyond the country’s resources and capacity. The region is gravitating in economic, social, institutional and political terms to the West. What we have instead is Erdogan using the Balkans to make a case that he is the leader of the wider (Sunni) Muslim community in Europe and the Middle East. The main audience is his electorate in Turkey and only secondly Muslims abroad. The pre-election rally he held in Sarajevo in the run-up to last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections is a case in point.

    But Turkish policy in the Balkans cannot be reduced to the promotion of Islamic solidarity. Erdogan’s main achievement is the fact that he has built relations with leaders from countries that are majority non-Muslim. In October 2017, for instance, he was welcomed in Serbia by President Aleksandar Vucic. The visit gave some credence to complaints by Bosniaks (Slavic Muslims) that Turkey loves to talk brotherhood in Bosnia but when it comes to investing money it goes for Serbia. Similarly, Erdogan has strong links to Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who hosted the EU-Turkey summit a year ago. Bulgaria and Serbia are interested in hosting an extension of the TurkStream gas pipeline, a joint Russo-Turkish venture. Greece’s Alexis Tsipras also received the red carpet treatment during his latest visit to Turkey where he discussed ideas on decreasing tensions in the Aegean.

    Despite its quest for strategic autonomy, Turkey is still partnering with Western institutions. In addition, Ankara has been supportive of the Prespa Agreement and newly renamed North Macedonia’s accession to NATO, its quarrels with the U.S. and other key members of the Alliance notwithstanding. Collectively, EU members Romania, Bulgaria and Greece account for the bulk of Turkish trade with southeast Europe, with the Western Balkans trailing far behind. Greece and Bulgaria see Turkey as key to stemming the flow of asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and further afield. They are highly supportive of the EU-Turkey deal on migration from March 2016, renewed last year.

    Does the authoritarian system built by Erdogan pose an ideological challenge in the Balkans? Perhaps yes. For instance, pressure on governments to close educational institutions and surrender, without due process, members of the Fethullah Gülen community, which is implicated in the coup attempt in July 2016, undermine the rule of law. At the same time, the authoritarian drift observed in the Balkans is an indigenous product. It is not imported from Vladimir Putin’s Russia nor from Turkey under its new ‘sultan’.

    https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/turkeys-policy-balkans-more-neo-ottomanism-22835

    #néo-ottomanisme #Turquie #Balkans

  • #Columbia_University cancels panel on Turkey due to pressure from Turkish government”

    Colombia University effectively canceled a panel discussion on Turkey two days before the event, citing “academic standards.”

    Steven A. Cook, one of the panelists and a senior fellow for Middle East & Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, has tweeted that the decision was made after “the university came under pressure form Turkish government.

    “Disappointed to learn that @Columbia ‘s Provost effectively canceled this panel two days before the event, citing “academic standards.” One can only assume that the university came under pressure form the govt of #Turkey and its supporters. Terrible precedent,” Cook tweeted.

    The panel discussion was about the Turkish governments increasing authoritarian tendencies and human rights violations in the country since a coup attmept on July 15, 2016.

    Daniel Balson invited the university administratrion to explain “what (specifically) about this panel does not meet its “academic standards.”

    “This is stunning – @Columbia should be pressed to explain what (specifically) about this panel does not meet its “academic standards”. If they think the facts are wrong they should publicly correct. Too serious a precedent to ignore. @KachaniS, @ColumbiaVPTL @ColumbiaSpec,” Balson tweeted.

    https://turkeypurge.com/columbia-university-cancels-panel-on-turkey-due-to-pressure-from-turkis
    #université #Turquie #censure #liberté_académique #liberté_d'expression #USA #Etats-Unis #standards_académiques

  • German journalist who was held captive and gave birth in Syria speaks of her ordeal | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/21/german-journalist-who-was-held-captive-and-gave-birth-in-syria-speaks-o

    C’est une bonne chose d’apprendre qu’une jeune femme et son enfant ont survécu un enlèvement en Syrie. Cette jeune allemande a voulu faire ses armes avec un reportage dans une zone de guerre.

    Ses préparatifs font preuve d’une naïveté surprenante avec un résultat conséquent. Sachant qu’il y a d’autres reporters qui ont réuissi des reportages dans la même guerre et au même moment qui ne se sont pas faits kidnapper, je me demande pourquoi elle raconte son histoire et ce faisant expose aux monde entier son incompétence.

    Peut-être les perspective professionelles d’une jeune diplomée en éthnologie et sciences des religions comparées l’obligent à se démarquer du reste de la meute.

    Alors qu’on apprécie les actes qui font preuve d’une grande ambition, quelqu’un qui risque la vie de son enfant pour un scoop dépasse les limites du raisonnable. Qui voudrait ensuite employer et donner des responsabilité à quelqu’un qui est dépourvu de scrupules sur le plan humain et peu réfléchi dans ses démarches professionelles ?

    Derrière le scoop ce cache la triste histoire de la rencontre d’une jeune femme à caractère extrême avec le monde des science qui ne permettent plus à bien des scientifiques de vivre de leur métier.

    Janina Findeisen, who went to Syria when seven months pregnant, was released with her son in September 2016

    Philip Oltermann in Berlin, Thu 21 Mar 2019 19.01 GMT

    A German woman who was abducted in Syria and held captive for nearly a year has revealed how her kidnappers were prepared to “cut off my head in front of a live camera”, but ended up pampering her with chocolate, toys and luxury nappies after she gave birth to a baby boy while in captivity.

    The journalist Janina Findeisen, who was released with her child in September 2016, has spoken for the first time about the circumstances under which she travelled to a war zone on her own when seven months pregnant, and how she managed to survive the ordeal.

    In an interview published in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Findeisen said she travelled to Syria in October 2015 in order to make a documentary about a schoolfriend who had turned to jihad and joined a faction of al-Qaida’s former affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra.

    Her pregnancy, she said, had spurred her on rather than made her more aware of the risks. “I felt pressured – precisely because of my pregnancy. I wanted to tell this one more story before only being able to pick up work a few months after the birth. I was not aware of the fact that in that moment I was making the biggest mistake of my life.”

    Using a people smuggler in Antakya, southern Turkey, to drive her across the border into Syria, Findeisen said she had only shared her travel plans with the father of her child and not taken a mobile phone or a GPS tracker with her. While conceding that other people could have stopped her from going through with her plans, Findeisen said: “In the end it was my decision, and my mistake.”

    Even though her school friend had promised her in an email that she would not be harmed, Findeisen and her driver were ambushed as they tried to cross over back into Turkey. The then 27-year-old was blindfolded at gunpoint and taken to a house in a remote location.

    “On the first night I really believed that the security guarantee my friend had given me meant I would soon be released. But I soon realised that my hopes were in vain,” said Findeisen, whose book My Room in the House of War is being published in Germany next month. She said she does not believe that her friend was aware of the plan to kidnap her, though members of his group were.

    Asked about treatment while in captivity, Findeisen said: “There were a couple of unpleasant situations, but I fared comparatively well. But nonetheless it was clear that these weren’t nice, humane people […] They would have cut off my head in front of a live camera.”

    While she was held captive, the journalist kept a diary in tiny handwriting, using food packaging after she ran out of paper. She unsuccessfully tried to get the attention of people in neighbouring houses and secretly collected tools that could become handy to facilitate an escape.

    “Until the end I believed that I would be back in Germany for the birth of my child,” Findeisen told her interviewers. “It was unimaginable to me that I would give birth to my child in Syria. I ignored the reality of the situation. Until I could ignore it no more.”

    Her kidnappers blackmailed a doctor to deliver her child, and the birth took place without complications. “Suddenly everything was so very far away: the war, my kidnappers, it was just my son and I. He was so teeny, so fragile, but healthy.”

    After the birth, Findeisen said, her kidnappers’ treatment of her changed: “With a small child I was even more helpless than before. When my son woke at night and screamed, they asked me the next morning what was wrong.” Her abductors brought her chocolate, multivitamin juice and a teddy bear, and did not spare expenses when it came to nappies: “In Syria there are two kinds of nappies: the one kind is known as ‘Assad nappies’ and are quite flimsy. Then there are Molfix, the premium nappy brand there. They brought me those.”

    Asked if she thought that her son would one day reproach her for having him in such precarious circumstances, Findeisen said: “I have thought about that a lot. When the time comes, I will face up to it.”

    Findeisen, who studied ethnology and comparative religion before researching modern jihadism as a journalist, was eventually freed – not by German intelligence services, but another group of Islamists. After hearing shots outside her compound, the journalist found herself surrounded by a group of men in balaclavas who told her they would take her back to Germany.

    The group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham announced in an online statement that it had freed the German woman after a sharia court ruled her kidnapping un-Islamic in the light of the security guarantee given by her friend.

    Findeisen told Süddeutsche Zeitung she believed this to have been the case, and that she was not aware of the German state having paid any of the €5m (£4.3m) ransom her kidnappers had demanded.

    “I got a second chance,” Findeisen said. “Not everyone who got kidnapped [in Syria] was given one.”

    #Allemagne #Syrie #Daech #journalisme

    • The group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham announced in an online statement that it had freed the German woman after a sharia court ruled her kidnapping un-Islamic in the light of the security guarantee given by her friend.

      Vraiment ?...

  • Handshake, ENS and Decentralized Naming Services Explained
    https://hackernoon.com/handshake-ens-and-decentralized-naming-services-explained-2e69a1ca1313?s

    The Domain Name System has been in operation for decades and is the infrastructure that handles billions of queries over the internet. As a user, you rely on your operating system and browser to help navigate the internet. However, whats humming quietly is the back-end infrastructure that helps your device find the right website. The #dns is part of the internet infrastructure which is a distributed network that handles queries from billions of people. The query is sent to a resolving server and its only task is to find the IP address behind the website you requested.Recently many blockchain based solutions are starting to rise and they offer a compelling value proposition. Imagine being in Turkey the day they disabled the resolving server from seeking the Twitter IP address. How would (...)

    #cryptocurrency #ethereum #security #bitcoin

  • Syrian truckers fear for jobs as Turkish drivers cross border
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/syria-bab-al-salama-crossing-turkey-trucks-goods.html

    Turkey has reopened the Bab al-Salam/Oncupinar border crossing with Syria to Turkish truck traffic, effectively cutting half a workday off some truckers’ delivery times. Turkish trucks had not entered Syria through the gate for nearly eight years for security reasons following the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

    On March 5, Turkish authorities gave trucks laden with goods the green light to cross into Syria’s Aleppo province via the Bab al-Salam/Oncupinar crossing. Their cargoes now can be driven through the Syrian area controlled by the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA). Previously, once Turkish trucks reached the crossing, their goods were transferred onto Syrian trucks.

    Turkey’s official news provider, Anadolu Agency, reported that about 50 Turkish trucks crossed the border March 5.

    Anadolu quoted a truck driver as saying, “We had [previously] unloaded trucks in the buffer zone to be loaded onto Syrian trucks, but now we cross the border and unload the trucks directly where we need to.”

    The alternative to this unloading-loading process had been to use al-Rai crossing, which allowed trucks to enter Syria, but this then required a lengthy drive to reach their destinations in al-Bab, Azaz, Marea and other FSA-controlled areas.

    Anadolu quoted a Turkish official in the transport sector as saying, “Thanks to the opening of [Bab al-Salam/Oncupinar crossing] for direct transit, the drivers and transport companies can shorten their distance and time. We needed four hours to reach Azaz, and now it only takes us 15 minutes.”

    Not everyone is pleased with the change, however. The development has angered Syrian truck drivers, owners of shipping companies and employees.

    #syrie #normalisation (enfin, si on veut)

  • Russia, Turkey enter talks to reopen important Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-turkey-enter-talks-to-reopen-important-aleppo-gaziantep-highway

    The Russian and Turkish forces met in the northern city of ‘Azaz on Sunday to discuss the reopening of the imperative Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway. (...) If the Aleppo-Gaziantep Highway is reopened, this would be a major boost for the Syrian economy because it will allow residents to once again resume trade and commerce in Turkey.

    #syrie #normalisation

  • Turkey reopens first border crossing with Syrian government
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/turkey-reopens-first-border-crossing-with-syrian-government

    Turkey has reopened two Syrian border crossing this week, marking the first time in several years that Ankara has made Syria’s Latakia and Aleppo governorates accessible to the public.

    According to a source in Latakia, Turkey reopened the Kassab Crossing for the first time since the jihadist rebels forced its closure in 2014.

    Following the reopening of the Kassab Crossing, approximately 100 people were reported to have traveled from Turkey’s Hatay Province to Syria’s Latakia Governorate.

    While the Syrian and Turkish governments currently have no diplomatic ties, they both have made it clear that they do want to resume inter-border commerce and trade.

    Earlier this week, Turkey announced that they were reopening the border crossing near the Syrian city of Azaz in northern Aleppo.

    #syrie #normalisation

  • When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

    I first saw the photograph some years ago, online. Later, I tracked it down to its original source: “In Afric’s Forest and Jungle: Or Six Years Among the Yorubans,” a memoir published in 1899 by the Rev. R.H. Stone. It shows a crowd in what is now Nigeria, but what was then Yorubaland under British colonial influence. The caption below the photograph reads: “A king of Ejayboo. Governor of Lagos on right. For years the rulers of this fierce tribe made the profession of Christianity a capital crime.” This description is familiar in tone from anthropological literature of the period, though the photograph is hard to date precisely. “Ejayboo” is what we would nowadays spell as “Ijebu,” a subgroup of Yoruba. That catches my attention: I am Yoruba and also Ijebu. This picture is a time capsule from a world to which I am connected but had not seen before, a world by colonial encounter.

    By the middle of the 19th century, through treaties and threats of force, the British had wrested control of the coastal city Lagos from its king. They then turned their efforts to improving access to the goods and services in the Yoruba hinterland. The Yoruba were already by that time a populous and diverse ethnic group, full of rivalrous kingdoms large and small, some friendly to the British, others less so.

    Stone, a Virginian sent by the Southern Baptist Convention, lived among them — lived among us — for two spells, in 1859-63 and 1867-69, before, during and after the American Civil War. He had this to say about Yoruba people: “They are reasonable, brave and patriotic, and are capable of a very high degree of intellectual culture.” It is praise, but must be understood in the context of a statement he makes earlier in his book about living “among the barbarous people” of that part of the world. In any case, the Ijebu in the mid-19th century were largely wealthy traders and farmers who did not want to give the British right of way to the interior of the country; only through diplomacy, subterfuge and violence were they finally overcome.

    This photograph was made in the aftermath. The white governor of Lagos — based on the plausible dates, it is probably John Hawley Glover — sits under an enormous umbrella. On one side of him is another high-ranking colonial officer. On the other side is the Ijebu king, or oba, probably the Awujale of the Ijebu kingdom, Oba Ademuyewo Fidipote.

    The oba wears a beaded crown, but the beads have been parted and his face is visible. This is unusual, for the oba is like a god and must be concealed when in public. The beads over his face, with their interplay of light and shadow, are meant to give him a divine aspect. Why is his face visible in this photograph? Some contravention of customary practice has taken place. The dozens of men seated on the ground in front of him are visibly alarmed. Many have turned their bodies away from the oba, and several are positioned toward the camera, not in order to look at the camera but in order to avoid looking at the exposed radiance of their king.

    The invention of the daguerreotype was announced in 1839. By the 1840s, photography had spread like wildfire and become a vital aspect of European colonialism. It played a role in administrative, missionary, scientific and commercial activities. As the Zimbabwean novelist Yvonne Vera put it: “The camera has often been a dire instrument. In Africa, as in most parts of the dispossessed, the camera arrives as part of the colonial paraphernalia, together with the gun and the bible. ...”

    Photography in colonialized societies was not only a dire instrument. Subject peoples often adopted photography for their own uses. There were, for instance, a number of studios in Lagos by the 1880s, where elites could go to pose for portraits. But such positive side effects aside, photography during colonial rule imaged the world in order to study, profit from and own it. The colonial gaze might describe as barbarous both the oba’s beaded crown and his regal right to conceal himself. This was one of the repeated interactions between imperial powers and the populations that they sought to control: The dominant power decided that everything had to be seen and cataloged, a task for which photography was perfectly suited. Under the giant umbrella of colonialism, nothing would be allowed to remain hidden from the imperial authorities.

    Imperialism and colonial photographic practices both flourished in the 19th century, and both extended themselves, with cosmetic adaptations, into the 20th. In 1960, during the horrific French war on Algeria, the French military assigned a young soldier, Marc Garanger, to photograph people in an internment camp in the Kabylia region of Northern Algeria. Thousands of people had been confined in the region under armed guard, and the French military commander had decreed that ID cards were mandatory. A picture of each prisoner was required. Many of the women were forced to remove their veils. These were women who did not wish to be seen, made to sit for photographs that were not for them. (Photography played a different military role in the numerous aerial reconnaissance missions by the French, which resulted in thousands of negatives mapping the region.)

    Garanger’s photographs both record an injustice and occasion it. His alternative, not an easy one, would have been to refuse the order and go to prison. His pictures show us what we ought not to see: Young and old women, their hair free flowing or plaited, one face after the other, in the hundreds. They collectively emanate refusal. The women of Kabylia look through the photographer, certainly not considering him an ally. Their gazes rise from the surface of the photograph, palpably furious.

    When we speak of “shooting” with a camera, we are acknowledging the kinship of photography and violence. The anthropological photographs made in the 19th century under the aegis of colonial powers are related to the images created by contemporary photojournalists, including those who embed with military forces. Embedding is sometimes the only way to get a direct record, no matter how limited, of what is happening in an armed conflict. On occasion such an arrangement leads to images whose directness displeases the authorities, but a more common outcome has been that proximity to an army helps bolster the narrative preferred by the army.

    Still, photographic reportage has the power to quicken the conscience and motivate political commitments. Examples abound of photographs acting as catalysts in the public’s understanding of vital issues, from the images of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 to the photograph of the Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi in 2015. And yet, perhaps even more insistently, on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis, photography implicitly serves the powers that be. To insist that contemporary photographic practice — and I mean to include a majority of the international news coverage in newspapers like this one — is generally made (and published) for the greater good is to misconstrue history, because it leaves out the question of “Good for whom?” Such pictures aren’t for their subjects any more than the photograph in Stone’s book was for the Ijebus and their king.

    Certain images underscore an unbridgeable gap and a never-to-be-toppled hierarchy. When a group of people is judged to be “foreign,” it becomes far more likely that news organizations will run, for the consumption of their audiences, explicit, disturbing photographs of members of that group: starving children or bullet-riddled bodies. Meanwhile, the injury and degradation of those with whom readers perceive a kinship — a judgment often based on racial sympathy and class loyalties — is routinely treated in more circumspect fashion. This has hardly changed since Susan Sontag made the same observation in “Regarding the Pain of Others” (2003), and it has hardly changed because the underlying political relationships between dominant and subject societies have hardly changed.

    Without confronting this inequality, this misconstrual of history, photography will continue to describe itself as one thing (a force for liberation) while obdurately remaining another (an obedient appendage of state power). It will continue to be like the organs of the state that “spread democracy” and change regimes. Even when it appears to go against the state, it will only do so selectively, quaintly, beautifully, piteously, in terms that do not question the right of the state to assert power.

    For how long will these radically unequal societal realities endure? Many affecting photographs have been made during the huge waves of international migration of the past few years. These pictures issue, as usual, from the presumed rights of photographers to depict the suffering of people “out there” for the viewing of those “back home.” But in looking at these images — images of war, of starvation, of capsized boats and exhausted caravans — we must go beyond the usual frames of pity and abjection. Every picture of suffering should elicit a question stronger than “Why is this happening?” The question should be “Why have I allowed this to happen?”

    This is what the scholar Ariella Azoulay calls the “citizenship” of photography, its ability, when practiced thoughtfully, to remind us of our mutual responsibilities. When I look at the bewildering photographs of refugee camps in Richard Mosse’s recent book, “The Castle,” I feel indicted. The imperial underpinnings of Mosse’s project are inescapable: Using military-grade thermal cameras, he makes extremely complex panoramic images (stitched together from hundreds of shots) of landscapes in the Middle East and Europe in which refugees have gathered or have been confined. His pictures echo the surveillance to which these bodies are already subjected. But the thermal imaging renders the images very dark, with the humans showing up as white shapes (almost like a negative). The picture conceals what it reveals. We see people, but they remain hidden.

    This technique makes for uncanny images in which distressed people move about like the figures you see in dreams, indistinct but full of ghostly presence. At the Moria camp in Greece, it is snowing. We see a long snaking line of people, waiting. What are they waiting for? For some material handout, probably, for food or blankets or documents. But their waiting represents the deeper waiting of all those who have been confined in the antechamber of humanity. They are waiting to be allowed to be human.

    Mosse’s images, formally striking as they are, are unquestionably part of the language of visual domination. With his political freedom of movement and his expensive technical equipment, he makes meticulous pictures of suffering that end up in exquisite books and in art galleries. He is not the first photographer to aestheticize suffering, nor will he be the last. And yet, by suppressing color, by overwhelming the viewer with detail, by evoking racial horror rather than prettily displaying it and by including in his work philosophical considerations of the scenes he shows — “The Castle” contains essays by Judith Butler, Paul K. Saint-Amour and Mosse himself and a poem by Behrouz Boochani — he does something quite different from most photojournalists. He unsettles the viewer.

    Photography’s future will be much like its past. It will largely continue to illustrate, without condemning, how the powerful dominate the less powerful. It will bring the “news” and continue to support the idea that doing so — collecting the lives of others for the consumption of “us” — is a natural right. But with a project like “The Castle,” I have a little bit of hope that an ethic of self-determination can be restored. I have hope that the refugees of Moria, Athens, Berlin and Belgrade will gain a measure of privacy. The women of Kabylia will cover their faces and return to themselves as they wish to be. The oba’s beaded crown will fall back into place, shadowing his face. Photography writes with light, but not everything wants to be seen. Among the human rights is the right to remain obscure, unseen and dark.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/magazine/when-the-camera-was-a-weapon-of-imperialism-and-when-it-still-is.html

    #photographie #colonialisme #post-colonialisme #impérialisme
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere

    Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop avec le commentaire suivant de Emmanuel Blanchard:

    L’auteur fait notamment référence au travail récent de #Richard_Mosse (exposition et ouvrage « The Castle ») dont il fait un compte rendu à la critique et laudatif. Un point de vue qui peut lui-même être critiqué... dans un sens plus critique.
    Pour accéder à quelques images de Richard Mosse :

    https://vimeo.com/302281332


    https://wsimag.com/art/33291-richard-mosse-the-castle
    https://bit.ly/2NglY08

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #images #image

    The Castle

    Richard Mosse has spent the past few years documenting the ongoing refugee and migration crisis, repurposing military-grade camera technology to confront how governments and societies perceive refugees. His latest book The Castle is a meticulous record of refugee camps located across mass migration routes from the Middle East and Central Asia into the European Union via Turkey. Using a thermal video camera intended for long-range border enforcement, Mosse films the camps from high elevations to draw attention to the ways in which each interrelates with, or is divorced from, adjacent citizen infrastructure. His source footage is then broken down into hundreds of individual frames, which are digitally overlapped in a grid formation to create composite heat maps.

    Truncating time and space, Mosse’s images speak to the lived experience of refugees indefinitely awaiting asylum and trapped in a Byzantine state of limbo. The book is divided into 28 sites, each presenting an annotated sequence of close-up images that fold out into a panoramic heat map. Within this format, Mosse underscores the provisional architecture of the camps and the ways in which each camp is variously marginalised, concealed, regulated, militarized, integrated, and/or dispersed. His images point to the glaring disconnect between the brisk free trade of globalized capitalism and the dehumanizing erosion of international refugee law in European nation-states. Named after Kafka’s 1926 novel, The Castle prompts questions about the ‘visibility’ of refugees and the erosion of their human rights.

    The book comes with a separate book of texts, including a poem by Behrouz Boochani, the journalist, novelist and Iranian refugee currently held by the Australian government in confinement on Manus island, an essay by Paul K. Saint-Amour, associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, an essay by philosopher Judith Butler, and a text by Richard Mosse.


    #livre