position:judge

  • 3 Officers Acquitted of Covering Up for Colleague in Laquan McDonald Killing - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/us/laquan-mcdonald-officers-acquitted.html

    CHICAGO — Three Chicago police officers were acquitted on Thursday of charges that they had conspired and lied to protect a white police officer who fired 16 deadly shots into a black teenager, a contentious verdict in a case over what many viewed as a “code of silence” in the Police Department.

    The judgment, rendered in a tense, cramped courtroom overflowing with spectators, was delivered by a judge and not a jury. Speaking from the bench for close to an hour, Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson rejected the prosecutors’ arguments that the officers had shooed away witnesses and then created a narrative to justify the 2014 shooting, which prompted citywide protests, the firing of the police chief and a wide-ranging federal investigation into the police force.

    The ruling came more than three months after Officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted in October of the second-degree murder of Laquan McDonald, and on the afternoon before he was scheduled to be sentenced for a killing that was captured on an infamous police dashboard camera video.

    The three police officers — David March, Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney — contradicted what the video showed. In it, Mr. Van Dyke fires repeatedly at Laquan, who is wielding a knife, as he moves slightly away from the officers and even as he lies crumpled on the ground. Prosecutors cited that footage repeatedly as they built a case against the officers, who are white, on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice.

    Et cette merveilleuse pénétration des « faits alternatifs » dans le domaine de la preuve juridique :

    Judge Stephenson said that even though the officers’ accounts of the shooting differed from the video, that did not amount to proof that they were lying. “Two people with two different vantage points can witness the same event,” she said, and still describe it differently.

    La mafia (FOP ?) attend le jugement d’une complice dans l’appareil (ou de quelqu’un tenu) :

    It was “undisputed and undeniable,” Judge Stephenson said, that Laquan had ignored officers’ commands to drop his knife. While she spoke, the three officers sat silently, sometimes staring down at the carpet or nervously jiggling a leg. After she read the verdict, several people broke into applause.

    On croit rêver !!! Police partout, justice nulle part. Des applaudissements dans un tribunal !. La mafia...

    “There was clearly evidence from the video that Laquan McDonald was not attacking or seeking to attack any of the law enforcement officers,” Mr. Finney said. “How could they all three make up a story indicating that Laquan was threatening their lives?”

    Si cela ne vous rappelle pas les excuses de ce policier de Toulon qui vient d’être décoré de la légion d’honneur, et l’attitude du procureur en France, c’est que vous passez à côté d’un phénomène majeur : l’autonomisation de la police dans le monde entier, avec l’Amérique et son soft power (livres, films,...) comme modèle.

    There were no protests after the verdicts were read, and William Calloway, a prominent Chicago activist who is running for City Council, urged Chicagoans to refrain. “To the black community, I know this hurts,” he said on Twitter. “We know this was a cover-up. I’m not saying take to the streets anymore. It’s time for us to take to the polls.”

    “That blue code of silence is just not with the Chicago Police Department: It expands to the judicial system,” Mr. Calloway said at a news conference.

    On Friday morning, the courts are scheduled for the final chapter in the Laquan case — a killing that came amid national protests and a spate of police shootings of black people. A Facebook group implored a “call to action”: “In room 500 at 9 a.m., show up to stand in solidarity with organizers and the family of Laquan McDonald as we demand, again, #Justice4Laquan.”

    #faits_alternatifs #Police #Justice


  • Databases for #windows Desktop Development: Welcome to the Jungle
    https://hackernoon.com/databases-for-windows-desktop-development-welcome-to-the-jungle-c67b4c98

    Microsoft forgot a detail — or is knowingly telling us something.PexelsI was a #microsoft enthusiast. And I’m a Windows desktop developer. You can judge, and stop reading here. Or you might be in the same boat and wondering why Microsoft decided to abandon the development for Windows.I’m about to ship a desktop app. I’ve been far from swdev for a few years but I’ve written code for the previous thirty years. A dozen years with .NET.So, for my new application, I decided on the excellent Windows Presentation Foundation. WinForms are gone, and UWP looks orphan and confined to Windows 10. I know people who buy Windows desktop apps (I’m one of them, of course). But I know nobody who buys them on Microsoft Store, or even checks that once in a while, and I fear that this is not going to get better (...)

    #software-development #database #dotnet


  • Organic Twitter Growth Hack: How to Repost Viral Videos
    https://hackernoon.com/organic-twitter-growth-hack-how-to-repost-viral-videos-761df9e92e67?sour

    There is any number of reasons you might want to grow on Twitter. Perhaps you want to build your personal brand, maybe you want to command more money when negotiating influencer deals or just maybe you are the type of person that finds validation in a follower count… I’m not here to judge, I’m here to share a tip with you that will help you grow.My tip on how to grow on Twitter is dead simple, 100% legit (no buying followers or any nonsense like that) and very under-utilized. Are you ready for the tip? here it is:Quickly repost viral videosQuickly reposting viral videos will help you grow your followers because it is highly engaging content. The more engaging the content is the more likes and retweets it will get which thereby increases the overall reach. The more users you reach the more (...)


  • Former #Venezuela Supreme Court judge flees to U.S., denounces Maduro | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN1P00OU


    FILE PHOTO: Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro pauses as he speaks during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela December 12, 2018.
    REUTERS/Marco Bello

    Former Venezuelan Supreme Court Justice Christian Zerpa has fled to the United States to protest President Nicolas Maduro’s second term that will begin with his inauguration this week, the onetime Maduro backer told a Miami broadcaster on Sunday.

    The latest defection from the crisis-stricken OPEC nation’s government comes amid growing international pressure on Maduro over his new term, which resulted from a broadly boycotted 2018 vote dismissed by countries around the world as a sham.

    I’ve decided to leave Venezuela to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro,” Zerpa said in an interview with EVTV, which is broadcast over cable and the internet.

    I believe (Maduro) does not deserve a second chance because the election he supposedly won was not free and competitive.

    The Supreme Court confirmed in a statement that he had fled, referring to him as a former magistrate and adding it opened an investigation of him in November over accusations of sexual harassment by women in his office. The court’s leadership recommended that he be dismissed over the allegations, it said, without providing details.

    Zerpa was for years a crucial ally of Maduro on the Supreme Court, which has backed the ruling Socialist Party in every major legal dispute since Maduro’s 2013 election.

    He wrote a 2016 ruling that provided the legal justification for Maduro’s government to strip congress of most of its powers after the Socialist Party lost control of the body to the opposition in a landslide election.

    Zerpa in the interview described the Supreme Court as “an appendage of the executive branch,” and said that justices were at times summoned to the presidential palace to receive instructions on how to rule on certain sensitive cases.

    The Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Zerpa said he did not criticize Maduro’s May 2018 election to make sure he could pave the way for a safe exit from the country in the company of his family.


  • Judge Richard Goldstone suffered for turning his back on Gaza – but not as much as the Palestinians he betrayed | The Independent

    by Robert Fisk

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/israel-gaza-war-judge-richard-goldstone-palestinian-conflict-a8709211
    https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2010/02/02/00/310761.bin

    When a hero lets you down, the betrayal lasts forever. I’m not alone, I know, when I say that Richard Goldstone was a hero of mine – a most formidable, brilliant and brave judge who finally spoke truth to power in the Middle East. And then recanted like a frightened political prisoner, with protestations of love for the nation whose war crimes he so courageously exposed.

    Now, after years of virtual silence, the man who confronted Israel and Hamas with their unforgivable violence after the 2008-09 Gaza war has found a defender in a little known but eloquent academic. Judge Goldstone, a Jewish South African, was denounced by Israelis and their supporters as “evil” and a “quisling” after he listed the evidence of Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians of Gaza (around 1,300 dead, most of them civilians), and of Hamas’ numerically fewer crimes (13 Israeli dead, three of them civilians, plus a number of Palestinian “informer” executions).
    Professor Daniel Terris, a Brandeis University scholar admired for his work on law and ethics, calls his new book The Trials of Richard Goldstone. Good title, but no cigar. ​

    Terris is eminently fair. Perhaps he is too fair. He treats far too gently the column that Goldstone wrote for the Washington Post, in which the judge effectively undermined the research and conclusions of his own report that he and three others wrote about the Gaza war. The book recalls how Richard Falk, a Princeton law professor and former UN rapporteur on human rights in Gaza and the West Bank, described Goldstone’s retraction as “a personal tragedy for such a distinguished international civil servant”. I think Falk was right.


  • Employer Sues Glassdoor Over Identity of Anonymous Former Employee | Clear View Post
    https://clearviewpost.com/employer-sues-glassdoor-over-identity-of-anonymous-former-employee

    Think anonymous reviews in crowd-sourced forums like Yelp and Glassdoor are protected by the First Amendment?

    A former employee who posted a critical review of New York oil barge operator Bouchard Transportation is about to find out.

    So far, Bouchard is winning.

    A California judge in June sided with Bouchard and ordered the job search site Glassdoor to reveal the name of the anonymous former employee who wrote in a 2015 review that the company had “no safety culture.

    Bouchard and its president, Morton Bouchard III, say they need the person’s name to pursue a defamation lawsuit. The company’s complaint states that Bouchard has “diligently worked to ensure that BTC (Bouchard Transportation Company) has a reputation for operating safely.

    But in new arguments filed in November, the former employee, known in court records as John Doe 1, claims that his comments were constitutionally protected opinion.

    Doe also claims that events over the past three years support his criticism.

    Among the events was the explosion of Bouchard’s Barge 255 off the coast of Texas in 2017, killing the vessel’s two deckhands. Testimony about Bouchard’s safety culture figured in a two-week public hearing in 2018 into the cause of the accident held by the U.S. Coast Guard.

    Further reading: Bouchard Transportation Lawsuit: Safety Record Not Relevant in Deadly Explosion Investigation
    Bouchard was so concerned about the impact of the testimony on its reputation that the company filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston midway through the Coast Guard inquiry seeking unsuccessfully to shut down the hearings.

    Doe’s lawyer, First Amendment lawyer Henry Kaufman of New York City, in a petition filed in November to stop Doe’s unmasking, asked the judge to consider what he called “Bouchard’s bad faith claims about their allegedly fine reputation for safety and environmental concern.

    A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5, 2019, in the Superior Court of California in Marin County.

    With the number and popularity of online anonymous review forums growing, courts across the country increasingly are being asked to balance the public’s right to free speech under the First Amendment with the right of business to challenge statements that it claims are defamatory.

    Case law on the protection of anonymous reviewers’ identities is an evolving work in progress.

    The U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly has held that anonymous speech is protected speech.

    Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” the court wrote in the 1995 case of McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission.

    In the modern era of online publication, internet companies rather than pamphleteers increasingly are having to fight to protect the identities of their writers.

    Glassdoor offers tips on its website on writing a review to avoid defamation.

    You are entitled to post your anonymous opinions about your company or C-suite executives on Glassdoor and your speech should be protected under the First Amendment. However, you should be aware that statements of provable facts are subject to legal claims of defamation if your company and/or executives allege your statements are false,” Glassdoor’s website states.

    A key issue is whether the reviewer posts opinions or statements of fact which can be proven true or false.

    #opinion_anonyme
    #anonymat



  • Fires in the Void : The Need for Migrant Solidarity

    For most, Barcelona’s immigrant detention center is a difficult place to find. Tucked away in the Zona Franca logistics and industrial area, just beyond the Montjuïc Cemetery, it is shrouded in an alien stillness. It may be the quietest place in the city on a Saturday afternoon, but it is not a contemplative quiet. It is a no-one-can-hear-you-scream quiet.

    The area is often described as a perfect example of what anthropologist Marc Augé calls a non-place: neither relational nor historical, nor concerned with identity. Yet this opaque institution is situated in the economic motor of the city, next to the port, the airport, the public transportation company, the wholesale market that provides most of the city’s produce and the printing plant for Spain’s most widely read newspaper. The detention center is a void in the heart of a sovereign body.

    Alik Manukyan died in this void. On the morning of December 3, 2013, officers found the 32-year-old Armenian dead in his isolation cell, hanged using his own shoelaces. Police claimed that Manukyan was a “violent” and “conflictive” person who caused trouble with his cellmates. This account of his alleged suicide was contradicted, however, by three detainees. They claimed Alik had had a confrontation with some officers, who then entered the cell, assaulted him and forced him into isolation. They heard Alik scream and wail all through the night. Two of these witnesses were deported before the case made it to court. An “undetectable technical error” prevented the judge from viewing any surveillance footage.

    The void extends beyond the detention center. In 2013, nearly a decade after moving to Spain, a young Senegalese man named #Alpha_Pam died of tuberculosis. When he went to a hospital for treatment, Pam was denied medical attention because his papers were not in order. His case was a clear example of the apartheid logic underlying a 2012 decree by Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing government, which excluded undocumented people from Spain’s once-universal public health care system. As a result, the country’s hospitals went from being places of universal care to spaces of systematic neglect. The science of healing, warped by nationalist politics.

    Not that science had not played a role in perpetuating the void before. In 2007, during the Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, #Osamuyi_Aikpitanyi died during a deportation flight after being gagged and restrained by police escorts. The medical experts who investigated Aikpitanyi’s death concluded that the Nigerian man had died due to a series of factors they called “a vicious spiral”. There was an increase in catecholamine, a neurotransmitter related to stress, fear, panic and flight instincts. This was compounded by a lack of oxygen due to the flight altitude and, possibly, the gag. Ultimately, these experts could not determine what percentage of the death had been directly caused by the gag, and the police were fined 600 euros for the non-criminal offense of “light negligence”.

    The Romans had a term for lives like these, lives that vanish in the void. That term was #homo_sacer, the “sacred man”, who one could kill without being found guilty of murder. An obscure figure from archaic law revived by the philosopher #Giorgio_Agamben, it was used to incorporate human life, stripped of personhood, into the juridical order. Around this figure, a state of exception was produced, in which power could be exercised in its crudest form, opaque and unaccountable. For Agamben, this is the unspoken ground upon which modern sovereignty stands. Perhaps the best example of it is the mass grave that the Mediterranean has become.

    Organized Hypocrisy

    Its name suggests that the Mediterranean was once the world’s center. Today it is its deadliest divide. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 9,000 people died trying to cross the sea between January 1, 2014 and July 5, 2018. A conservative estimate, perhaps. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the number of people found dead or missing during this period is closer to 17,000.

    Concern for the situation peaks when spectacular images make the horror unavoidable. A crisis mentality takes over, and politicians make sweeping gestures with a solemn sense of urgency. One such gesture was made after nearly 400 people died en route to Lampedusa in October 2013. The Italian government responded by launching Operation #Mare_Nostrum, a search-and-rescue program led by the country’s navy and coast guard. It cost €11 million per month, deploying 34 warships and about 900 sailors per working day. Over 150,000 people were rescued by the operation in one year.

    Despite its cost, Mare Nostrum was initially supported by much of the Italian public. It was less popular, however, with other European member states, who accused the mission of encouraging “illegal” migration by making it less deadly. Within a year, Europe’s refusal to share the responsibility had produced a substantial degree of discontent in Italy. In October 2014, Mare Nostrum was scrapped and replaced by #Triton, an operation led by the European border agency #Frontex.

    With a third of Mare Nostrum’s budget, Triton was oriented not towards protecting lives but towards surveillance and border control. As a result, the deadliest incidents in the region’s history occurred less than half a year into the operation. Between April 13 and April 19, 2015, over one thousand people drowned in the waters abandoned by European search and rescue efforts. Once again, the images produced a public outcry. Once again, European leaders shed crocodile tears for the dead.

    Instead of strengthening search and rescue efforts, the EU increased Frontex’s budget and complemented Triton with #Operation_Sophia, a military effort to disrupt the networks of so-called “smugglers”. #Eugenio_Cusumano, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Leiden, has written extensively on the consequences of this approach, which he describes as “organized hypocrisy”. In an article for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0010836718780175), Cusumano shows how the shortage of search and rescue assets caused by the termination of Mare Nostrum led non-governmental organizations to become the main source of these activities off the Libyan shore. Between 2014 and 2017, NGOs aided over 100,000 people.

    Their efforts have been admirable. Yet the precariousness of their resources and their dependence on private donors mean that NGOs have neither the power nor the capacity to provide aid on the scale required to prevent thousands of deaths at the border. To make matters worse, for the last several months governments have been targeting NGOs and individual activists as smugglers or human traffickers, criminalizing their solidarity. It is hardly surprising, then, that the border has become even deadlier in recent years. According to the UN Refugee Agency, although the number of attempted crossings has fallen over 80 percent from its peak in 2015, the percentage of people who have died or vanished has quadrupled.

    It is not my intention, with the litany of deaths described here, to simply name some of the people killed by Europe’s border regime. What I hope to have done instead is show the scale of the void at its heart and give a sense of its ruthlessness and verticality. There is a tendency to refer to this void as a gap, as a space beyond the reach of European institutions, the European gaze or European epistemologies. If this were true, the void could be filled by simply extending Europe’s reach, by producing new concepts, mapping new terrains, building new institutions.

    But, in fact, Europe has been treating the void as a site of production all along. As political theorist #Sandro_Mezzadra writes, the border is the method through which the sovereign machine of governmentality was built. Its construction must be sabotaged, subverted and disrupted at every level.

    A Crisis of Solidarity

    When the ultranationalist Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the MV #Aquarius to dock in June 2018, he was applauded by an alarmingly large number of Italians. Many blamed his racism and that of the Italians for putting over 600 lives at risk, including those of 123 unaccompanied minors, eleven young children and seven pregnant women.

    Certainly, the willingness to make a political point by sacrificing hundreds of migrant lives confirms that racism. But another part of what made Salvini’s gesture so horrifying was that, presumably, many of those who had once celebrated increasing search and rescue efforts now supported the opposite. Meanwhile, many of the same European politicians who had refused to share Italy’s responsibilities five years earlier were now expressing moral outrage over Salvini’s lack of solidarity.

    Once again, the crisis mode of European border politics was activated. Once again, European politicians and media talked about a “migrant crisis”, about “flows” of people causing unprecedented “pressure” on the southern border. But attempted crossings were at their lowest level in years, a fact that led many migration scholars to claim this was not a “migrant crisis”, but a crisis of solidarity. In this sense, Italy’s shift reflects the nature of the problem. By leaving it up to individual member states, the EU has made responding to the deaths at the border a matter of national conviction. When international solidarity is absent, national self-interest takes over.

    Fortunately, Spain’s freshly sworn-in Socialist Party government granted the Aquarius permission to dock in the Port of #Valencia. This happened only after Mayor Ada Colau of Barcelona, a self-declared “City of Refuge”, pressured Spanish President Pedro Sánchez by publicly offering to receive the ship at the Port of Barcelona. Party politics being as they are, Sánchez authorized a port where his party’s relationship with the governing left-wing platform was less conflictive than in Barcelona.

    The media celebrated Sánchez’s authorization as an example of moral virtue. Yet it would not have happened if solidarity with refugees had not been considered politically profitable by institutional actors. In Spain’s highly fractured political arena, younger left-wing parties and the Catalan independence movement are constantly pressuring a weakened Socialist Party to prove their progressive credentials. Meanwhile, tireless mobilization by social movements has made welcoming refugees a matter of common sense and basic human decency.

    The best known example of this mobilization was the massive protest that took place in February 2017, when 150,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that Mariano Rajoy’s government take in more refugees and migrants. It is likely because of actions like these that, according to the June 2018 Eurobarometer, over 80 percent of people in Spain believe the country should help those fleeing disaster.

    Yet even where the situation might be more favorable to bottom-up pressure, those in power will not only limit the degree to which demands are met, but actively distort those demands. The February 2017 protest is a good example. Though it also called for the abolition of detention centers, racial profiling and Spain’s racist immigration law, the march is best remembered for the single demand of welcoming refugees.

    The adoption of this demand by the Socialist Party was predictably cynical. After authorizing the Aquarius, President Sánchez used his momentarily boosted credibility to present, alongside Emmanuel Macron, a “progressive” European alternative to Salvini’s closed border. It involved creating detention centers all over the continent, with the excuse of determining people’s documentation status. Gears turn in the sovereign machine of governmentality. The void expands.

    Today the border is a sprawling, parasitic entity linking governments, private companies and supranational institutions. It is not enough for NGOs to rescue refugees, when their efforts can be turned into spot-mopping for the state. It is not enough for social movements to pressure national governments to change their policies, when individual demands can be distorted to mean anything. It is not enough for cities to declare themselves places of refuge, when they can be compelled to enforce racist laws. It is not enough for political parties to take power, when they can be conditioned by private interests, the media and public opinion polls.

    To overcome these limitations, we must understand borders as highly vertical transnational constructions. Dismantling those constructions will require organization, confrontation, direct action, sabotage and, above all, that borderless praxis of mutual aid and solidarity known as internationalism. If we truly hope to abolish the border, we must start fires in the void.

    https://roarmag.org/magazine/migrant-solidarity-fires-in-the-void
    #solidarité #frontières #migrations #réfugiés #asile #détention_administrative #rétention #Barcelone #non-lieu #Espagne #mourir_en_détention_administrative #mort #décès #mourir_en_rétention #Alik_Manukyan #renvois #expulsions #vie_nue #Méditerranée #hypocrisie #hypocrisie_organisée #ONG #sauvetage #sabotage #nationalisme #crise #villes-refuge #Valence #internationalisme #ouverture_des_frontières #action_directe

    signalé par @isskein



  • Pays-Bas : la loi interdit à la police d’intervenir dans un lieu de culte lorsqu’un culte est en cours. Alors depuis 1 mois des centaines de pasteurs se relaient pour empêcher l’expulsion d’une famille arménienne cachée dans leur eglise.

    « Aux Pays-Bas, une loi interdit à l’État d’intervenir dans un lieu de culte lorsqu’un culte (les offices ici par exemple, ndlr) est en cours. Alors nous avons décidé d’officier en continu, jour et nuit, nous a expliqué Derk Stegeman. Les pasteurs se relaient nuit et jour pour les offices ».

    Et ce ne sont pas seulement les pasteurs de l’église Bethel qui participent à cette initiative : « au début on était un petit cercle, mais l’Église nationale a eu vent de l’histoire et a décidé de nous soutenir. Désormais il y a plus de 400 pasteurs venus de tous les pays qui viennent nous aider pour cet office continu », assure le coordinateur.

    A Dutch church is holding non-stop services for a refugee family — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1470153/a-dutch-church-is-holding-non-stop-services-for-a-refugee-family

    For the past 27 days, a small Protestant church in The Hague has been conducting round-the-clock religious services to protect an Armenian refugee family from deportation.

    By law, police officers in The Netherlands are not allowed to enter places of worship during religious services. So, reverends from around the country have taken turns holding services at Bethel Church to prevent officials from arresting the Tamrazyan family, who have been in The Netherlands for nine years. “By giving hospitality to this family, we could give them time and place to [demonstrate] to the secretary of state the … urgency of their situation,” Theo Hettema, chairman of the General Council of Protestant Ministers says.

    Sasun and Anousche Tamrazyan and their three children, Hayarpi, Warduhi, and Seyran, fled their native Armenia and sought asylum in The Netherlands after Sasun’s political activism earned them death threats. After several years of court procedures, the family was granted asylum by a judge, but the government launched legal proceedings and succeeded in overturning that ruling. (While Hettema does not know why the government sought to reverse the Tamrazyans’ asylum status, he believes appealing asylum approvals may be part of the government’s strategy to limit immigration.)


  • Turkey : the map of violence against women

    An interview with #Ceyda_Ulukaya, journalist and creator of the first map of femicides in Turkey – an original and appreciated data journalism project.

    Ceyda Ulukaya is a journalist and the creator of the first map of femicides in Turkey. The project, realised in collaboration with Sevil Şeten and Yakup Çetinkaya, was among the finalists of the 2016 Data Journalism Awards, in the Small Newsroom section. The map covers the period between 2010 and 2017, in which at least 1,964 women were killed. In addition to providing the date and place of the murders, it features qualitative filters that indicate the demographics of the victims, the relationship they had with their murderers, the “pretext” of the murder, and the outcome for the murderer. According to the journalist, it is almost a war report. We have interviewed her.

    How did the idea for this project come about?

    It was around the end of 2014, when I started dealing with data journalism. I was aware of the Bianet centre and their annual reports on male violence, as I did my internship there much earlier. So I started to examine the Istanbul Convention, which commits the signatory states to collect data on the murders of women. The idea was to create a map that could highlight the gravity of the phenomenon in a simple and immediate manner, especially for those who are not familiar with the issue. I applied to the “Objective investigative journalism” programme of the P24 platform, which funded the work, that lasted a year. The website was then published for the first time on November 25, 2015. I would like to get to cover at least ten years, until 2020, but it is necessary to find new funding.

    Which sources did you use to collect the data?

    At first I had imagined that I could obtain the data I needed by submitting a request to the various ministries, on the basis of the right of access to public information. I was hoping to get even detailed information about the women. Unfortunately, none of my requests was answered. Each interlocutor told me to ask someone else, the ministry of Justice, the gendarmerie, the police station, the ministry of the Interior... In the end, I was told that the required data required additional work and therefore it was not possible to communicate them.

    But do not the ministries have their own data?

    Ministries, especially that of Family Policies, periodically publish statistics on the topic. In 2009, the latter announced that there had been an increase of 1,400% in the murders of women, causing a great fuss. The ministry then continued to update those data, with numbers that have become much more “acceptable”. However, when I applied for access to such information, I was told that there are no such data. So, it is not clear if they actually have it. On the other hand, some women’s organisations and Bianet itself started to count cases of femicide precisely because of this incongruity. So, faced with such difficulties and wanting to adopt the maximum transparency on the issue, the media have become the direct source from which to draw this data.

    Which method did you use for data collection?

    I used Bianet’s bulletins on male violence, which are written in the form of reports – for example, they say that a woman was killed by stabbing in a given city. In particular, in the slightly older cases initials are often used. For each of these cases, when information was missing, I proceeded to do a Google search with the information I had, or imagining the titles that local newspapers could have used. This way, I went back to the news that appeared in the press for every single case. The first mapping included the period between 2010 and 2015, and now covers cases until the end of 2017.

    Do you think that the media fully report the cases of women killed?

    Absolutely not. And that is why in providing the figures we always stress that they represent the lower bound of the number of killed women. Then there are cases in which women are induced to commit suicide. Also this kind of news have been reported from time to time, but there is uncertainty on the subject and it is not possible to tell exactly which and how many cases fall into this picture. Many other murders are silenced. For example, on November 25, 2017 I prepared and sent to several media outlets a video with a statement that included the data on the femicide map. According to the map, Bayburt was the only city where women had not been killed. And the media had reported the news saying that Bayburt was the ideal city for them. However, a few days later, I received an email asking me to rectify this undeserved image I had given to the city, with a link to a report on a crime committed against a woman. There are therefore cases in which the news appears in local newspapers, but does not reach a wider audience and therefore remains in the shadows. At least, however, now there is an additional channel for people to make their reports.

    What is the main pretext of femicides in Turkey?

    In first place we find an “unspecified” pretext. This means that in 22.4% of reported cases the press did not provide information on the cause of the crime. Rows or disputes follow with 16.5%, but this is an extremely vague motive – it is in fact difficult to think that in other cases there was no discussion before the murder. Then we find “suspicion of infidelity”, which is more concrete. However, it must be kept in mind that all this comes from the statements made by the murderers, and many say that they killed on suspicion of infidelity because they hope in this way to reduce the sentence. We do often see life sentences reduced to eight years because the man claims he was provoked, shows up in a tie, and is submissive to the judge. Another common pretext is the woman’s refusal to accept the man’s reconciliation proposal. For example, the man goes to his wife, who has returned to live at her parents’ home, and asks for reconciliation, but he brings a gun to kill her – and sometimes the people who are with her – if she refuses. But sometimes women are killed because they laughed, or did not do the laundry.

    Who are the murderers?

    Mostly the men married (40.6%) or engaged (11.4%) to the victims. The “unknown” aggressor is in eighth place, and accounts for only 3.8% of cases. Those responsible for the murders are almost always men who were part of the daily life of the victim – tragically, we find many first-degree relatives, including fathers, brothers, sons-in-law, and children.

    What about the outcome of the murders?

    In 59.7% of cases, the culprits were arrested. The second most frequent outcome (17.6%) is the murderer’s suicide, followed by surrender to the police (11.5%). In 6.2% of cases, the outcome is “unknown”, because it was not reported by the press. It was not possible for me to follow the whole judicial process of individual cases. There are some women’s organisations that do this. But I kept track of other data – whether before the murder the woman had tried to separate or divorce from the man; whether she had filed a complaint to the authorities; whether there had been previous episodes of violence. The map indicates that at least 246 women had reported threats to the authorities, while 369 murders were preceded by violence or threats.

    What is the overall picture that emerges from this map?

    The press reports these murders as single, tragic events, but when we look at them together, a pattern emerges. These killings all resemble each other, they have similar pretexts and perpetrators, which mostly belong to the family circle of the victims. And this tells us a lot about the roots of the problem and how it could be countered. But this requires commitment. At the local level, in the provinces where there is a higher number of homicides, protection mechanisms could be developed for women, while at the national level more efficient legal measures could be implemented – for example, by removing suspicion of infidelity as a mitigating factor. The Istanbul Convention is a very important instrument, it requires states to count the murders of women, but this is not being done. This map says many things, but only to those who want to listen.


    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng/Areas/Turkey/Turkey-the-map-of-violence-against-women-185984
    #cartographie #visualisation #violence #femmes #Turquie #carte_interactive

    Lien pour accéder à la carte en ligne :
    http://kadincinayetleri.org


  • Rwandan refugees in Uganda may be thrown out – Minister Onek

    The government of Uganda is considering cancelling the refugee status of thousands of Rwandans living in Uganda.

    The announcement was made by the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek while meeting lawmakers of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Kampala.

    He explained that government is considering cancelling their refugee status and instead issuing them with temporary permits.
    “We are going to turn them over to the immigration department so that their long stay in Uganda will be subjected to immigration laws because immigration laws in Uganda say that you are given a #visa to stay for three months. Thereafter you have to justify your further stay in a country,” Mr Onek said.

    The minister said that the process of convincing Rwandans to return home has not been easy as many are not willing to do so.

    Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans fled to Uganda following the 1994 genocide.

    Rwanda has generally been peaceful for over 20 years and many Rwandese who had fled have since returned to their home country.
    But government says there are still over 14000 Rwandans still living in Uganda as refugees.

    https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Rwandan-refugees-Uganda-may-be-thrown-out-Minister-Onek/688334-4853062-ra0ok9/index.html
    #réfugiés_rwandais #ouganda #asile #migrations #réfugiés #modèle_ougandais (?) #statut_de_réfugié #renvois #expulsions

    • Abuses against Rwandan refugees in Uganda: Has Time Come for Accountability?

      For many years, Rwandan refugees in Uganda have faced abuses, including arbitrary detention, forced return to Rwanda and attacks on their physical security, without any form of accountability. However, last Friday, 24 August, former Inspector-General of the Ugandan police, General Kale Kayihura, has been charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and repatriation of Rwandan refugees, amongst other charges. In October last year, other security officers had already been arrested and indicted under similar charges. Is it finally time for justice?

      The case of Joel Mutabazi

      Kayihura is accused of aiding and abetting the kidnapping of Rwandan refugees Joel Mutabazi, Jackson Karemera and Innocent Kalisa by Ugandan police officers. Six Ugandan police officers, one Rwandan security officer and one Congolese individual are on trial for their involvement in the abduction and forced return of Mutabazi. A senior police who had been arrested earlier in connection to this case has since been released.

      Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, had been arrested in April 2010 in Rwanda and detained and tortured in military custody for his suspected links with opposition groups. After he was released in October 2011, Mutabazi fled to Uganda, where he was granted refugee status. In 2013, he was abducted from a UNHCR safe house near Uganda’s capital Kampala, and taken back to Rwanda. Mutabazi’s whereabouts were unknown for several days, until the Rwandan police stated that he was in their custody. UNHCR, which failed to protect Mutabazi, expressed its concern over the breach of the principle of non-refoulement and called for accountability.

      In 2014, a Rwandan military court sentenced Mutabazi to life in prison, including for forming an armed group and for terrorism. His younger brother, Jackson Karemera, and another co-accused, Innocent Kalisa, also lived in Uganda before the trial and were themselves abducted back to Rwanda. They were sentenced respectively to four months and 25 years in prison. Karemera was rearrested after his release, his family hasn’t heard from him since. All three said during the trial they had been tortured in detention in Rwanda, but the court did not order an investigation into those allegations.

      Abuses against Rwandan refugees

      The illegal transfer of Mutabazi and his co-accused to Rwanda was not an isolated case. Over the years, including more recently, International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) has received several reports about threats, illegal arrests, attacks and forced returns of Rwandan refugees in Uganda. Many of such cases remain unreported, given the secrecy surrounding such abuses and the fear of reprisals, and are difficult to confirm. A few examples include:

      In July 2010, Rwandan refugees were forcibly removed en masse from refugee settlements in south-western Uganda to Rwanda. Ugandan police officers used live rounds, wounding several in the process, to force refugees onto buses which dropped them in Rwanda.
      In November 2011, Charles Ingabire, a Rwandan journalist, was murdered when he left a bar in Kampala. He was a fierce government critic who had obtained refugee status in Uganda. An investigation was opened, but to date, nobody has been charged for involvement in this crime.
      In 2017, according to judicial documents, a Rwandan refugee was illegally detained for almost two months in Kireka police station in Kampala, and threatened with return to Rwanda, on the basis of his alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Rwanda and Uganda do not have an extradition treaty. He was never charged and was eventually released.
      Multiple sources confirmed to IRRI that on 20 December 2017, five Rwandan nationals were arrested in Mbarara, and one in Kampala. They were detained incommunicado for several days and allegedly tortured. Five of them were driven to the border with Rwanda nine days later and deported. According to Uganda’s army spokesperson, one was not deported because of her refugee status, and remained in incommunicado detention.

      In addition to abuses against refugees, there have been several allegations, in the past year, of abuses against Rwandan nationals residing in Uganda. According to several sources, two Rwandan citizens were arrested in Uganda, respectively on 9 November 2017 and 3 January 2018, and detained incommunicado before being sent back to Rwanda. The first says he was tortured, which was confirmed to IRRI by a source knowledgeable about the case on 24 January 2018: “He was beaten up and tortured… and dumped at the border with Rwanda. He couldn’t walk and barely could talk.” The other man also reported to the media that he was tortured before being taken to the border with Rwanda.

      For none of these cases has there been any apparent effort to provide meaningful accountability. Other reports have been difficult to verify, but as a consequence of such events, Rwandan refugees in Uganda continue to fear for their safety. Rwanda and Uganda have had close but turbulent bilateral relations in recent years, and many connections remain between individuals within the countries security services. There have, however, been reports that relations between the two countries have deteriorated.

      Many interpreted the decision by Uganda, in early 2018, not to invoke a cessation clause against the more than 15,000 Rwandan refugees still currently living in Uganda as an illustration of this dynamic. This cessation clause, if invoked, would have forced refugees who fled Rwanda before 31 December 1998 to return to Rwanda, reapply for refugee protection or acquire citizenship in their country of exile. Seven countries have already begun implementing the cessation clause.

      Concerns about right to a fair trial

      While the arrested officers have themselves been accused of involvement in human rights violations, their own right to a fair trial and lawful detention seemed to have also been in jeopardy since their arrest. The arrest of General Kale Kayihura seems to have violated legal provisions on judicial review and detention terms. According to judicial documents and interviews with several people knowledgeable of the case, at least one of the accused in the trial against senior police officials has been detained incommunicado and tortured, in an attempt to extract testimony against other senior figures. Court documents show that the court told a bail applicant to edit out details of torture, but on 31 January 2018 a judge ordered an investigation into torture allegations. There have also been concerns about the prosecution of civilian suspects in a military court, a common practice in Uganda, and about settling scores within the security apparatus.

      These trials against former senior Ugandan security officials could send a welcome signal to Rwandan refugees that abuses against them will be no longer tolerated. But justice can only be done if arrests and trials are conducted in accordance with standards in Ugandan and international law. More efforts must be done to end ongoing abuses against Rwandan refugees, and bring all perpetrators to account.

      http://refugee-rights.org/abuses-against-rwandan-refugees-in-uganda-has-time-come-for-accounta
      #abus


  • Cheap Words | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/02/17/cheap-words

    Amazon is a global superstore, like Walmart. It’s also a hardware manufacturer, like Apple, and a utility, like Con Edison, and a video distributor, like Netflix, and a book publisher, like Random House, and a production studio, like Paramount, and a literary magazine, like The Paris Review, and a grocery deliverer, like FreshDirect, and someday it might be a package service, like U.P.S. Its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, also owns a major newspaper, the Washington Post. All these streams and tributaries make Amazon something radically new in the history of American business.

    Recently, Amazon even started creating its own “content”—publishing books. The results have been decidedly mixed. A monopoly is dangerous because it concentrates so much economic power, but in the book business the prospect of a single owner of both the means of production and the modes of distribution is especially worrisome: it would give Amazon more control over the exchange of ideas than any company in U.S. history. Even in the iPhone age, books remain central to American intellectual life, and perhaps to democracy. And so the big question is not just whether Amazon is bad for the book industry; it’s whether Amazon is bad for books.

    According to Marcus, Amazon executives considered publishing people “antediluvian losers with rotary phones and inventory systems designed in 1968 and warehouses full of crap.” Publishers kept no data on customers, making their bets on books a matter of instinct rather than metrics. They were full of inefficiences, starting with overpriced Manhattan offices. There was “a general feeling that the New York publishing business was just this cloistered, Gilded Age antique just barely getting by in a sort of Colonial Williamsburg of commerce, but when Amazon waded into this they would show publishing how it was done.”

    During the 1999 holiday season, Amazon tried publishing books, leasing the rights to a defunct imprint called Weathervane and putting out a few titles. “These were not incipient best-sellers,” Marcus writes. “They were creatures from the black lagoon of the remainder table”—Christmas recipes and the like, selected with no apparent thought. Employees with publishing experience, like Fried, were not consulted. Weathervane fell into an oblivion so complete that there’s no trace of it on the Internet. (Representatives at the company today claim never to have heard of it.) Nobody at Amazon seemed to absorb any lessons from the failure. A decade later, the company would try again.

    Around this time, a group called the “personalization team,” or P13N, started to replace editorial suggestions for readers with algorithms that used customers’ history to make recommendations for future purchases. At Amazon, “personalization” meant data analytics and statistical probability. Author interviews became less frequent, and in-house essays were subsumed by customer reviews, which cost the company nothing. Tim Appelo, the entertainment editor at the time, said, “You could be the Platonic ideal of the reviewer, and you would not beat even those rather crude early algorithms.” Amazon’s departments competed with one another almost as fiercely as they did with other companies. According to Brad Stone, a trash-talking sign was hung on a wall in the P13N office: “people forget that john henry died in the end.” Machines defeated human beings.

    In December, 1999, at the height of the dot-com mania, Time named Bezos its Person of the Year. “Amazon isn’t about technology or even commerce,” the breathless cover article announced. “Amazon is, like every other site on the Web, a content play.” Yet this was the moment, Marcus said, when “content” people were “on the way out.” Although the writers and the editors made the site more interesting, and easier to navigate, they didn’t bring more customers.

    The fact that Amazon once devoted significant space on its site to editorial judgments—to thinking and writing—would be an obscure footnote if not for certain turns in the company’s more recent history. According to one insider, around 2008—when the company was selling far more than books, and was making twenty billion dollars a year in revenue, more than the combined sales of all other American bookstores—Amazon began thinking of content as central to its business. Authors started to be considered among the company’s most important customers. By then, Amazon had lost much of the market in selling music and videos to Apple and Netflix, and its relations with publishers were deteriorating. These difficulties offended Bezos’s ideal of “seamless” commerce. “The company despises friction in the marketplace,” the Amazon insider said. “It’s easier for us to sell books and make books happen if we do it our way and not deal with others. It’s a tech-industry thing: ‘We think we can do it better.’ ” If you could control the content, you controlled everything.

    Many publishers had come to regard Amazon as a heavy in khakis and oxford shirts. In its drive for profitability, Amazon did not raise retail prices; it simply squeezed its suppliers harder, much as Walmart had done with manufacturers. Amazon demanded ever-larger co-op fees and better shipping terms; publishers knew that they would stop being favored by the site’s recommendation algorithms if they didn’t comply. Eventually, they all did. (Few customers realize that the results generated by Amazon’s search engine are partly determined by promotional fees.)

    In late 2007, at a press conference in New York, Bezos unveiled the Kindle, a simple, lightweight device that—in a crucial improvement over previous e-readers—could store as many as two hundred books, downloaded from Amazon’s 3G network. Bezos announced that the price of best-sellers and new titles would be nine-ninety-nine, regardless of length or quality—a figure that Bezos, inspired by Apple’s sale of songs on iTunes for ninety-nine cents, basically pulled out of thin air. Amazon had carefully concealed the number from publishers. “We didn’t want to let that cat out of the bag,” Steele said.

    The price was below wholesale in some cases, and so low that it represented a serious threat to the market in twenty-six-dollar hardcovers. Bookstores that depended on hardcover sales—from Barnes & Noble and Borders (which liquidated its business in 2011) to Rainy Day Books in Kansas City—glimpsed their possible doom. If reading went entirely digital, what purpose would they serve? The next year, 2008, which brought the financial crisis, was disastrous for bookstores and publishers alike, with widespread layoffs.

    By 2010, Amazon controlled ninety per cent of the market in digital books—a dominance that almost no company, in any industry, could claim. Its prohibitively low prices warded off competition.

    Publishers looked around for a competitor to Amazon, and they found one in Apple, which was getting ready to introduce the iPad, and the iBooks Store. Apple wanted a deal with each of the Big Six houses (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster) that would allow the publishers to set the retail price of titles on iBooks, with Apple taking a thirty-per-cent commission on each sale. This was known as the “agency model,” and, in some ways, it offered the publishers a worse deal than selling wholesale to Amazon. But it gave publishers control over pricing and a way to challenge Amazon’s grip on the market. Apple’s terms included the provision that it could match the price of any rival, which induced the publishers to impose the agency model on all digital retailers, including Amazon.

    Five of the Big Six went along with Apple. (Random House was the holdout.) Most of the executives let Amazon know of the change by phone or e-mail, but John Sargent flew out to Seattle to meet with four Amazon executives, including Russ Grandinetti, the vice-president of Kindle content. In an e-mail to a friend, Sargent wrote, “Am on my way out to Seattle to get my ass kicked by Amazon.”

    Sargent’s gesture didn’t seem to matter much to the Amazon executives, who were used to imposing their own terms. Seated at a table in a small conference room, Sargent said that Macmillan wanted to switch to the agency model for e-books, and that if Amazon refused Macmillan would withhold digital editions until seven months after print publication. The discussion was angry and brief. After twenty minutes, Grandinetti escorted Sargent out of the building. The next day, Amazon removed the buy buttons from Macmillan’s print and digital titles on its site, only to restore them a week later, under heavy criticism. Amazon unwillingly accepted the agency model, and within a couple of months e-books were selling for as much as fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents.

    Amazon filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. In April, 2012, the Justice Department sued Apple and the five publishers for conspiring to raise prices and restrain competition. Eventually, all the publishers settled with the government. (Macmillan was the last, after Sargent learned that potential damages could far exceed the equity value of the company.) Macmillan was obliged to pay twenty million dollars, and Penguin seventy-five million—enormous sums in a business that has always struggled to maintain respectable profit margins.

    Apple fought the charges, and the case went to trial last June. Grandinetti, Sargent, and others testified in the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan. As proof of collusion, the government presented evidence of e-mails, phone calls, and dinners among the Big Six publishers during their negotiations with Apple. Sargent and other executives acknowledged that they wanted higher prices for e-books, but they argued that the evidence showed them only to be competitors in an incestuous business, not conspirators. On July 10th, Judge Denise Cote ruled in the government’s favor.

    Apple, facing up to eight hundred and forty million dollars in damages, has appealed. As Apple and the publishers see it, the ruling ignored the context of the case: when the key events occurred, Amazon effectively had a monopoly in digital books and was selling them so cheaply that it resembled predatory pricing—a barrier to entry for potential competitors. Since then, Amazon’s share of the e-book market has dropped, levelling off at about sixty-five per cent, with the rest going largely to Apple and to Barnes & Noble, which sells the Nook e-reader. In other words, before the feds stepped in, the agency model introduced competition to the market. But the court’s decision reflected a trend in legal thinking among liberals and conservatives alike, going back to the seventies, that looks at antitrust cases from the perspective of consumers, not producers: what matters is lowering prices, even if that goal comes at the expense of competition.

    With Amazon’s patented 1-Click shopping, which already knows your address and credit-card information, there’s just you and the buy button; transactions are as quick and thoughtless as scratching an itch. “It’s sort of a masturbatory culture,” the marketing executive said. If you pay seventy-nine dollars annually to become an Amazon Prime member, a box with the Amazon smile appears at your door two days after you click, with free shipping. Amazon’s next frontier is same-day delivery: first in certain American cities, then throughout the U.S., then the world. In December, the company patented “anticipatory shipping,” which will use your shopping data to put items that you don’t yet know you want to buy, but will soon enough, on a truck or in a warehouse near you.

    Amazon employs or subcontracts tens of thousands of warehouse workers, with seasonal variation, often building its fulfillment centers in areas with high unemployment and low wages. Accounts from inside the centers describe the work of picking, boxing, and shipping books and dog food and beard trimmers as a high-tech version of the dehumanized factory floor satirized in Chaplin’s “Modern Times.” Pickers holding computerized handsets are perpetually timed and measured as they fast-walk up to eleven miles per shift around a million-square-foot warehouse, expected to collect orders in as little as thirty-three seconds. After watching footage taken by an undercover BBC reporter, a stress expert said, “The evidence shows increased risk of mental illness and physical illness.” The company says that its warehouse jobs are “similar to jobs in many other industries.”

    When I spoke with Grandinetti, he expressed sympathy for publishers faced with upheaval. “The move to people reading digitally and buying books digitally is the single biggest change that any of us in the book business will experience in our time,” he said. “Because the change is particularly big in size, and because we happen to be a leader in making it, a lot of that fear gets projected onto us.” Bezos also argues that Amazon’s role is simply to usher in inevitable change. After giving “60 Minutes” a first glimpse of Amazon drone delivery, Bezos told Charlie Rose, “Amazon is not happening to bookselling. The future is happening to bookselling.”

    In Grandinetti’s view, the Kindle “has helped the book business make a more orderly transition to a mixed print and digital world than perhaps any other medium.” Compared with people who work in music, movies, and newspapers, he said, authors are well positioned to thrive. The old print world of scarcity—with a limited number of publishers and editors selecting which manuscripts to publish, and a limited number of bookstores selecting which titles to carry—is yielding to a world of digital abundance. Grandinetti told me that, in these new circumstances, a publisher’s job “is to build a megaphone.”

    After the Kindle came out, the company established Amazon Publishing, which is now a profitable empire of digital works: in addition to Kindle Singles, it has mystery, thriller, romance, and Christian lines; it publishes translations and reprints; it has a self-service fan-fiction platform; and it offers an extremely popular self-publishing platform. Authors become Amazon partners, earning up to seventy per cent in royalties, as opposed to the fifteen per cent that authors typically make on hardcovers. Bezos touts the biggest successes, such as Theresa Ragan, whose self-published thrillers and romances have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. But one survey found that half of all self-published authors make less than five hundred dollars a year.

    Every year, Fine distributes grants of twenty-five thousand dollars, on average, to dozens of hard-up literary organizations. Beneficiaries include the pen American Center, the Loft Literary Center, in Minneapolis, and the magazine Poets & Writers. “For Amazon, it’s the cost of doing business, like criminal penalties for banks,” the arts manager said, suggesting that the money keeps potential critics quiet. Like liberal Democrats taking Wall Street campaign contributions, the nonprofits don’t advertise the grants. When the Best Translated Book Award received money from Amazon, Dennis Johnson, of Melville House, which had received the prize that year, announced that his firm would no longer compete for it. “Every translator in America wrote me saying I was a son of a bitch,” Johnson said. A few nonprofit heads privately told him, “I wanted to speak out, but I might have taken four thousand dollars from them, too.” A year later, at the Associated Writing Programs conference, Fine shook Johnson’s hand, saying, “I just wanted to thank you—that was the best publicity we could have had.” (Fine denies this.)

    By producing its own original work, Amazon can sell more devices and sign up more Prime members—a major source of revenue. While the company was building the Kindle, it started a digital store for streaming music and videos, and, around the same time it launched Amazon Publishing, it created Amazon Studios.

    The division pursued an unusual way of producing television series, using its strength in data collection. Amazon invited writers to submit scripts on its Web site—“an open platform for content creators,” as Bill Carr, the vice-president for digital music and video, put it. Five thousand scripts poured in, and Amazon chose to develop fourteen into pilots. Last spring, Amazon put the pilots on its site, where customers could review them and answer a detailed questionnaire. (“Please rate the following aspects of this show: The humor, the characters . . . ”) More than a million customers watched. Engineers also developed software, called Amazon Storyteller, which scriptwriters can use to create a “storyboard animatic”—a cartoon rendition of a script’s plot—allowing pilots to be visualized without the expense of filming. The difficulty, according to Carr, is to “get the right feedback and the right data, and, of the many, many data points that I can collect from customers, which ones can tell you, ‘This is the one’?”

    Bezos applying his “take no prisoners” pragmatism to the Post: “There are conflicts of interest with Amazon’s many contracts with the government, and he’s got so many policy issues going, like sales tax.” One ex-employee who worked closely with Bezos warned, “At Amazon, drawing a distinction between content people and business people is a foreign concept.”

    Perhaps buying the Post was meant to be a good civic deed. Bezos has a family foundation, but he has hardly involved himself in philanthropy. In 2010, Charlie Rose asked him what he thought of Bill Gates’s challenge to other billionaires to give away most of their wealth. Bezos didn’t answer. Instead, he launched into a monologue on the virtue of markets in solving social problems, and somehow ended up touting the Kindle.

    Bezos bought a newspaper for much the same reason that he has invested money in a project for commercial space travel: the intellectual challenge. With the Post, the challenge is to turn around a money-losing enterprise in a damaged industry, and perhaps to show a way for newspapers to thrive again.

    Lately, digital titles have levelled off at about thirty per cent of book sales. Whatever the temporary fluctuations in publishers’ profits, the long-term outlook is discouraging. This is partly because Americans don’t read as many books as they used to—they are too busy doing other things with their devices—but also because of the relentless downward pressure on prices that Amazon enforces. The digital market is awash with millions of barely edited titles, most of it dreck, while readers are being conditioned to think that books are worth as little as a sandwich. “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value,” Johnson said. “It’s a widget.”

    There are two ways to think about this. Amazon believes that its approach encourages ever more people to tell their stories to ever more people, and turns writers into entrepreneurs; the price per unit might be cheap, but the higher number of units sold, and the accompanying royalties, will make authors wealthier. Jane Friedman, of Open Road, is unfazed by the prospect that Amazon might destroy the old model of publishing. “They are practicing the American Dream—competition is good!” she told me. Publishers, meanwhile, “have been banks for authors. Advances have been very high.” In Friedman’s view, selling digital books at low prices will democratize reading: “What do you want as an author—to sell books to as few people as possible for as much as possible, or for as little as possible to as many readers as possible?”

    The answer seems self-evident, but there is a more skeptical view. Several editors, agents, and authors told me that the money for serious fiction and nonfiction has eroded dramatically in recent years; advances on mid-list titles—books that are expected to sell modestly but whose quality gives them a strong chance of enduring—have declined by a quarter.

    #Amazon


  • Peer Review: The Worst Way to Judge Research, Except for All the Others - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/upshot/peer-review-the-worst-way-to-judge-research-except-for-all-the-others.html

    A 1982 paper describes a study in which two researchers selected 12 articles already accepted by highly regarded journals, swapped the real names and academic affiliations for false ones, and resubmitted the identical material to the same journals that had already accepted them in the previous 18 to 32 months. Only 8 percent of editors or reviewers noticed the duplication, and three papers were detected and pulled. Of the nine papers that continued through the review process, eight were turned down, with 89 percent of reviewers recommending rejection.

    #publications


  • Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

    Tunisian authorities are confiscating and searching the phones of men they suspect of being gay and pressuring them to take anal tests and to confess to homosexual activity, Human Rights Watch said today. Prosecutors then use information collected in this fashion to prosecute them for homosexual acts between consenting partners, under the country’s harsh sodomy laws.

    “The Tunisian authorities have no business meddling in people’s private sexual practices, brutalizing and humiliating them under the guise of enforcing discriminatory laws,” said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “Tunisia should abolish its antiquated anti-sodomy laws and respect everyone’s right to privacy.”

    Human Rights Watch spoke with six men prosecuted in 2017 and 2018 under article 230 of the penal code, which punishes consensual same-sex conduct with up to three years in prison. One person interviewed was only 17 years old the first time he was arrested. Human Rights Watch also reviewed the judicial files in these cases and five others that resulted in prosecutions under either article 230 or article 226, which criminalizes “harming public morals.” In addition to violating privacy rights, these cases included allegations of mistreatment in police custody, forced confessions, and denial of access to legal counsel.

    Police arrested some of these men after disputes arose between them or after neighbors reported them. Two had gone to the police to report being raped.

    Some of the men spent months in prison. At least three have left Tunisia and applied for asylum in European countries.

    K.S., a 32-year-old engineer, entered a police station in Monastir in June 2018 to file a complaint of gang rape, and to get an order for a medical examination of his injuries. Instead of treating him as a victim, he said, the police ordered an anal test to determine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy.” “How they treated me was insane,” K.S. told Human Rights Watch. “How is it their business to intrude into my intimate parts and check whether I am ‘used to sodomy’?”

    In another case, a 17-year-old was arrested three times on sodomy charges and was forced to undergo an anal examination, as well as months of conversion therapy at a juvenile detention center. Both harmful practices are discredited.

    Tunisian prosecutors have relied extensively in recent years on forced anal examinations to seek “evidence” of sodomy, even though the exams are highly unreliable and constitute cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture.

    On September 21, 2017, during the Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Tunisia formally accepted a recommendation to end forced anal exams. However, Tunisia’s delegation stated: “Medical examinations will be conducted based on the consent of the person and in the presence of a medical expert.” This stance is not credible because trial courts can presume that a refusal to undergo the exam signals guilt, Human Rights Watch said. Tunisia should abandon anal exams altogether.

    Prosecutions for consensual sex in private and between adults violate the rights to privacy and nondiscrimination guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Tunisia is a party. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the covenant, has stated that sexual orientation is a status protected against discrimination. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that arrests for same-sex conduct between consenting adults are, by definition, arbitrary.

    Tunisia’s 2014 constitution, in article 24, obliges the government to protect the rights to privacy and the inviolability of the home. Article 21 provides that “All citizens, male and female, have equal rights and duties, and are equal before the law without any discrimination.” Article 23 prohibits “mental and physical torture.”

    The Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits house searches and seizure of objects that could serve a criminal investigation without a judicial warrant, except in cases of flagrante delicto, that is when catching someone in the act.

    Article 1 of Law No. 63 on the protection of personal data stipulates that “every person is entitled to the protection of their personal data and privacy of information, viewed as a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. This data can only be used with transparency, loyalty and respect for the dignity of the person whose data is subject of treatment.” However, neither Law No. 63 nor any other domestic law regulates the conditions for seizing private data during a police investigation or its use.

    On June 12, the Commission on Individual Freedoms and Equality, appointed by President Beji Caid Essebsi, proposed, among other actions, to decriminalize homosexuality and to end anal testing in criminal investigations into homosexuality. It also proposed criminalizing the unlawful “interception, opening, recording, spreading, saving and deleting” of an electronic message.

    On October 11, 13 members of the Tunisian Parliament introduced draft legislation for a code on individual freedoms. It incorporated several proposals from the presidential commission including abolition of article 230.

    Parliament should move quickly on this draft legislation and abolish article 230, Human Rights Watch said. It should enact a law that effectively protects people’s privacy, through regulating the seizure and use of private data during criminal investigations, with consequences if such a law is violated.

    The Justice Ministry should meanwhile direct public prosecutors to abandon prosecutions under article 230. The Interior Ministry should investigate reports of the ill-treatment of people arrested based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    Human Rights Watch conducted face to face interviews with men in Tunisia and phone interviews with men who fled to European countries. Pseudonyms have been used to protect their privacy.

    Shams and Damj, local LGBT rights groups, provided assistance.

    Accounts by Men Prosecuted

    K.S., 32, engineer

    K.S. used to work for an international company in Tunis. He said that on June 8, he went to spend the weekend in at a friend’s house in Monastir, a coastal city. He had earlier chatted with a man from Monastir on Grindr, a social network application for gays. They made a date and they met that day in a café. The man invited K.S. to his house, but once there, the man became aggressive and showed K.S. a police badge. Two other men arrived, and they started insulting him, calling him “sick.” “One said, ‘You people of Loth [a demeaning term derived from the Biblical and Quranic story of Lot], you deserve to be killed, you are like microbes.’”

    They punched and slapped him on the face, he said. Then the man who had invited him said, “We will show you what sodomy is like.” The men then forced him to take off his clothes and bend over. Two of them held K.S. by the arms while the third inserted a baton in his anus. “It was unbearable, I felt that I will faint,” K.S. said. They finally let him leave.

    I was shivering and bleeding [when I reached my friend’s house]. The next day, I went to Fattouma Bourguiba hospital in Monastir. I just wanted to get medical treatment and to check that I did not have internal hemorrhaging.

    But, he said, the doctor refused to examine him without a police order:

    I went to the Skanes district police station in Monastir, to try to get the requisition order. I did not want to tell the police the full story, so I just said that three men had raped me. The policeman who was typing my statement left the room at some point, and that’s when I saw on the screen that he was instructing the doctor at Fatouma Bourguiba hospital to examine whether I am ‘used to practicing sodomy.’ I felt the blood freeze in my body.

    Human Rights Watch reviewed the June 9 police requisition order, in which the chief instructs the doctor to examine whether K.S. was “used to practicing sodomy” and whether he was victim of anal rape.

    K.S. said that, when the policeman returned to the office, K.S. asked if he could leave. The policeman replied: “And go where? You can’t leave before we check what kind of stuff you do.” The policeman called for a patrol car to drive K.S. to the hospital.

    The doctor told me that he has a requisition order to perform an anal test. “We want to check whether this is a habit,” he said. I was terrified. I told him that I didn’t want to do the test. But he insisted that he had to perform it. He told me to remove my pants and assume a prayer position [on hand and knees] on top of the medical bed. He put on gloves and started to examine me with his fingers. As soon as he did, I felt sick and told him I wanted to go to the toilet. I wanted to stop this humiliation. He let me go. I managed to avoid the policemen who were waiting for me in the corridor and left the hospital. Once in the parking lot, I started running until I felt safe, and then went to my friend’s house.

    K.S. said he took a flight on June 13 to Belgium, where he has filed a request for asylum.

    K. B., 41, documentary filmmaker

    K.B. spent 13 months in pretrial detention on accusation of sodomy and unlawful detention. He is married and the father of an 8-year-old girl. He told Human Rights Watch that on March 3, 2017, at around 9 p.m., he went to downtown Tunis for drinks. While he was sitting in a bar, S.Z., a young man, approached him. They chatted for a while, then K.B. invited him to his place. He said that, after having sex, he went to the kitchen to prepare some food. When he came back to the living room, he caught the man stealing money from his wallet. K.B. tried to force him out of his apartment, but the man locked himself in a bedroom, went to the balcony, and screamed for help. Policemen arrived, arrested them, and took them to the Aouina district police station.

    Police treated me with contempt. The first question the interrogator asked was whether I had sex with S.Z. I denied it categorically and told him we only had drinks together. But he said that S.Z. had confessed. The interrogator asked me: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
    K.B. said the police at the station confiscated his phone and looked at his social media history and his photo archives. They switched the phone off and did not allow him to call his family or a lawyer. They presented him with a statement to sign, but he refused. At 4 a.m., they transferred both men to Bouchoucha detention center. Later that morning, the police took the men to the Tunis first instance court, where a prosecutor ordered them to undergo an anal test. The police took them to Charles Nicole hospital, K.B. said, where he refused the test. “The idea of them intruding into my intimacy and into my body was so humiliating to me.”

    He was returned to detention and after a few weeks decided to undergo the test in the hope that negative results would prove his innocence. He said he informed the investigative judge during a hearing and the judge issued a requisition. Police officers took him again to Charles Nicole Hospital.

    It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. The doctor asked me to strip and get on the examination table. He asked me to bend over. There was one policeman in the room and one medical assistant, watching. The doctor put one finger into my anus and moved it around. I was so ashamed. It was very dehumanizing.

    K.B. said that even though the test result was negative, the investigative judge indicted him for sodomy. The order referring the case to trial said that the time elapsed between the alleged act and the test prevented the court from ruling out that K.B. was “used to the practice of sodomy.”

    In May 2018, 13 months after the court placed K.B. in pretrial detention, it acquitted and freed him.

    In the indictment, the investigative judge wrote that S.Z. had confessed to the police to “committing the crime of sodomy in exchange for money” and that he admitted that he “approached and dated men he met via Facebook.” The judge quotes the police report, which describes in crude terms the sexual intercourse between K.B. and S.Z. The judge also states that K.B has denied the accusation of sodomy, and instead stated that he and S.Z. were only having drinks at his place and did not have sex.

    The investigative judge notes that S.Z. later retracted his confession and says that he gave instructions for the forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole Hospital to administer an anal test to determine whether K.B “bore signs of the practice of homosexual activity” recently or whether he “practices sodomy in a habitual way.”

    The judge’s indictment of K. B. was based on S.Z.’s confession to the police, later repudiated, from “the circumstances of the case, which show that the two men had no other reason to go to K. B.’s house” and K. B.’s refusal to take the anal test. The judge wrote: “given that the test was performed 20 days after the reported incident, the forensic doctor was not able to find signs of anal penetration because those signs disappear five days after the act.”

    “Free” (nickname), 32, hairdresser

    Free said that on the night of April 5, 2018, he went with a female friend from Sousse to Monastir for drinks and to meet his boyfriend. When they arrived at around 9 p.m., he said, a police patrol stopped them and asked for their papers, then told the woman to accompany them to the station for further identity checks. Free waited outside the station.

    While waiting, Free received an angry message from his boyfriend asking him why he was late. Free explained where he was and snapped a photo of the station as proof. A police officer saw him and confiscated Free’s telephone, saying he had endangered state security. The officer took him to an interrogation room, where another officer handcuffed him to a chair. An officer searched the phone and finding nude photos of Free, then searched his social media activity and read the conversations he had with men on gay dating apps and his chats with his boyfriend on Facebook Messenger, some of them sexually explicit.

    Free said that the police officer turned to him and said, “I hate you, you sodomites. You will have to pay for your depravity.” Other police officers in the room insulted Free, he said. The officer interrogated him about his sexual activity, wrote a report, and told him to sign it. When Free refused, a policeman slapped him in the face and said, “Ah, now you are trying to be a man. Just sign here, you scum.” Free signed the report without reading it.

    At no point during the interrogation did the police advise Free of his right to speak to a lawyer. At around midnight, they moved him into a cell, where he spent the night. The following day, he was taken before a prosecutor, who charged him with sodomy but decided to release him provisionally pending trial. On June 6, he appeared before the first instance court in Monastir. The presiding judge closed the courtroom to the public.

    The first question he asked me was whether I am used to the practice of sodomy. I told him I was not. He asked the question again, then asked, “Then why did you confess?” I answered, “Because the police forced me to.” The judge asked, “But if you are not a sodomite, why do you dress like this, why do you look like one of them?”

    He said the judge adjourned the trial to June 14, when he convicted Free and sentenced him to a four-months sentence with probation, based on his phone conversations and his forced confession. Free has appealed.

    M. R., 26, paramedic

    M.R. worked in a hospital in Tebourba, a city 40 kilometers west of Tunis. He fled to France and applied for asylum after being charged under article 230 and granted pretrial release.

    M.R. said he had always hidden his sexual orientation because of severe social stigma. In November 2017, he chatted with a man on Facebook. The man, called A.F., sent him photos, and they decided to meet. When they did, M.R. realized that the photos were fake and told A.F. that he would not have sex with him. A few days later, on November 28, A.F. banged on his door at around 4 a.m. Fearing scandal, M.R. opened the door to find A.F. drunk and wielding a knife. A.F. slapped him on the face, ordered him to remove his clothes, and raped him, he said, threatening to cut his throat. After a few hours, A.F. told M.R. to buy A.F. cigarettes. M.R. went to the Tebourba police station and filed a rape complaint.

    When I told the police officers about the rape, they asked me how I knew the man and how we met. I dodged the questions, but they insisted. I told them that I am gay, and their behavior changed instantly. The station chief said: “Ah, so you were the one who initiated this, you are an accomplice to the crime, there is no rape here – you deserve this.” Then, he handed me a requisition order and told me to go get an anal test the following day at Charles Nicole Hospital.

    The police interrogated M.R., then accompanied him to his apartment, where they arrested A.F. The police told M.R. to undergo the anal examination, then report to the First Instance Court in Manouba. M.R. consulted the nongovernmental association Shams, which defends sexual minorities, and decided to skip the anal test. When he reported to the court, the investigative judge treated him as a criminal, not a victim. M.R. said:

    He asked questions about my sex life and when I started practicing sodomy with other men. He said that I deserved everything that had happened to me and that I should be ashamed of myself.

    M.R. said that the judge charged him with sodomy and granted him pretrial release. A.F. was kept in custody and charged with sodomy and rape.

    The indictment of M.R., prepared by the investigative judge and dated December 13, 2017, provides purported details from M.R.’s intimate life, including confessions that he is gay. The indictment also relies on the confession from A.F. and cites a condom seized at M. R.’s house as evidence.

    M.R. said that, three days after the encounter with A.F., he reported to work at the hospital. The director handed him a dismissal notice on the grounds that he was facing trial.

    I had to go back to my family’s place, as I had no salary anymore. It was like living in a prison. My father and older brother beat me many times, my father even burned me with a cigarette. They did not allow me to go out, they said they were ashamed of me.

    Having lost everything, he left Tunisia for France.

    I had no other choice, I felt rejected by everyone, my family, society, my colleagues. And I was afraid of going to prison.

    Mounir Baatour, M.R.’s lawyer, told Human Rights Watch that the case is stalled in the first instance court in Manouba, and has yet to go to trial. On May 15, 2018, indictment chamber sent the indictment to the cassation court for a legal review, which is pending.

    R. F., 42, day laborer, and M.J. 22, unemployed

    On June 12, 2018, police in Sidi Bouzaiane arrested R.F. and M.J. after R.F. went to the police to say that M.J. had refused to leave R.F.’s house.

    M.J. said that the police came to his house and took both men to the police station at around midnight. They interrogated them in the same room, asking them how they met. A police officer took R.F.’s phone and watched videos stored on it, then said to R.F., “So you are a miboun [a degrading term for gay]. M.J. said:

    One of the four officers present during interrogation slapped R.F. on the face. Then he turned toward me and asked, “So what were you both doing in the house? I’m sure you were having sex, so you too must be a miboun. You are staining this country,” he said.

    M.J. said that policemen beat him on his face, head, and back. When the police finished the interrogation at 3 a.m., they presented a written report and told M.J. to sign it. He said he asked to have a lawyer first, but they refused to let him call one and insulted him. He signed the report.

    The police report, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, states that neither man requested a lawyer. R.F.’s purported statement, as the police recorded it, describes in graphic terms how he habitually practices sodomy and has sex with men. The police report states that officers searched R.F.’s smartphone and found videos of R.F. having sex with men. The police confiscated his phone, the report says, as “evidence of the crime.”

    Two days after the arrest, M.J. said, he and R.F. appeared before a prosecutor, who asked them: “Aren’t you afraid of God’s judgment?” He ordered pretrial detention, and they were sent to the Sidi Bouzid prison. M.J. said that one of the prison guards harassed him and asked him vulgar questions such as: “How you do this? Are you getting fucked for money? Why are you fucking men? Aren’t there enough women to fuck in this country?”

    He said he was put in a cell with 100 other men, who seemed to have been informed about his “crime.” Over the following days, his cellmates insulted, beat, and sexually harassed him. He said that one night, he refused to have sex with the cell “strongman”, so the man and two others beat him. He said they held his arms, while the strongman slapped him on the face and punched him on the chin.

    After a week in detention, he appeared before an investigative judge, who asked him about his sexual behavior. M.J. said he admitted that he is gay. He said he had done nothing wrong, but the judge replied, “You are harming society.”

    The first instance court in Sidi Bouzid sentenced the two men on June 12 to three months in prison for sodomy. The appeals court upheld the sentence.

    S.C., 24 and A.B., 22

    Police arrested S.C. and A.B. in Sousse on December 8, 2016, when they were allegedly caught committing sodomy in public. They were sentenced, on March 10, 2017, to eight months in prison under article 230 of the penal code and not on charges related to public indecency. The police report describes their sexual intercourse in detail and concludes that S.C. “committed active sodomy,” while A.B. was a “passive sodomite.”

    The judgment from the first instance court in Sousse, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that both denied committing sodomy or being homosexuals. It states that they were both subjected to anal examinations on December 9, 2016, that turned out “negative.” The judge concluded that: “the results of the anal tests cannot exonerate the accused of the crime, especially given that the [tests] were performed sometime after the facts.” The court based the guilty verdict only on the declarations by police officers and wrote that: “it is appropriate to sentence them to eight months as an adequate and dissuasive sentence proportional to the offense that they have committed.”

    A.C., 18, student

    A.C. was arrested three times for sodomy. The first time was in August 2017, when he was 17. Police forces arrested him at his house after his two sisters denounced him as gay and took him to the Kasba police station in Tunis. He said that they interrogated him extensively about his sexual orientation and took his smart phone and searched his personal data. The next day, they took him to a forensic doctor in the Charles Nicole hospital for an anal examination. He said he did not have a lawyer and that the police did not inform him of his right to have one.

    I did not understand what was going on. The police told me that the test is mandatory. The doctor told me to go on an examination bed and to bend, and then he inserted his fingers in my insides. The doctor did not explain what the test is about.

    A.C. said he was released without charge after spending two days in the Kasba police station.

    On May 15, 2018, he went to the police station in Sijoumi, in Tunis, in response to a summons. He said police officers told him his family had filed a complaint and questioned him for almost four hours. A.C. confessed to being gay. The police took him to Bouchoucha detention center in Tunis, where he spent the night. The next day, May 16, he appeared before the Tunis first instance court in Sidi Hassine, where an investigative judge interviewed him. The judge asked him: “Why are you like this? Don’t you know that what you’re doing is haram [forbidden under Islam]?”

    I told the judge that I didn’t break any laws, that what I do is my personal business. I did not hurt anyone. This is my private life and should not be the concern of anyone else.

    He said the judge ordered his detention for two months in a juvenile rehabilitation center, as he was still a minor, and forced him to undergo “conversion therapy,” a thoroughly discredited method to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the center, a psychiatrist visited him twice, telling him that “he should work on changing himself and his mind.” He appeared before another investigative judge, on June 25, who released him.

    A.C. said that on September 2, he was running some errands with his boyfriend when the police stopped them and asked for their identity cards. The police told A.C. that his family had filed a complaint against him. They took him to Hay Hlel police station in Tunis, where they questioned him about his sexual life, confiscated his phone, and looked at his photos and personal conversations. A prosecutor issued a warrant to detain him, and he spent eight days in the Bouchoucha detention center. On September 20, he appeared before a judge, who released him without charge.

    F.B, 28; N.A, 21 and B.K., 27, day laborers

    In Sousse, a coastal city, the police arrested three men in January 2017, after neighbors complained that they suspected the men were gay. In the indictment, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, the investigative judge states that the police went to the house where the men were staying, seized their phones, on which they found “evidence that they were sodomites,” as well as “women’s clothing,” and took the men to the police station.

    The investigative judge ruled that the men harmed public morals based on the content of the seized phones and “because they dressed up like women, used lipstick, and talked in a languid way.” The police report and the indictment, which usually would include information about a judicial warrant, did not indicate that the police had one. The three men were sentenced to two months in prison for the charge of harming public morals and served their terms.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/08/tunisia-privacy-threatened-homosexuality-arrests

    #Tunisie #homophobie #homosexualité #COI #LGBT


  • Startling new research* finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/10/31/startling-new-research-finds-large-buildup-heat-oceans-suggesting-fa

    In the scientific realm, the new findings help resolve long-running doubts about the rate of the warming of the oceans before 2007, when reliable measurements from devices called “Argo floats” were put to use worldwide. Before that, differing types of temperature records — and an overall lack of them — contributed to murkiness about how quickly the oceans were heating up.

    The higher-than-expected amount of heat in the oceans means more heat is being retained within Earth’s climate system each year, rather than escaping into space. In essence, more heat in the oceans signals that global warming is more advanced than scientists thought.

    “We thought that we got away with not a lot of warming in both the ocean and the atmosphere for the amount of CO2 that we emitted,” said Resplandy, who published the work with experts from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and several other institutions in the United States, China, France and Germany. “But we were wrong. The planet warmed more than we thought. It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right. But it was there. It was in the ocean already.”

    *Quantification of #ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O 2 and CO 2 composition | Nature
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0651-8

    #climat


  • How the Lebanese Became White? | Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies | NC State University
    https://lebanesestudies.news.chass.ncsu.edu/2014/11/20/how-the-lebanese-became-white

    2014, via @humanprovince sur twitter,

    In the charged environment of racial politics of the South, Alabama’s congressman John L. Burnett argued in 1907 that the Lebanese “belong to a distinct race other than the White race.” In 1914 North Carolina Senator, F. M. Simmons went further proclaiming: “These [Lebanese] immigrants are nothing more than the degenerate progeny…the spawn of the Phoenician curse.”

    [...]

    ... the larger Lebanese-American community in the United States did not formulate a coherent and coordinated response until the naturalization case of George Dow, a “Syrian” immigrant living in South Carolina. George Dow, who was born in Batroun (north Lebanon) in 1862, immigrated to the United States in 1889 through Philadelphia and eventually settled in Summerton, South Carolina where he ran a dry-goods store. In 1913 he filed for citizenship which was denied by the court because he was not a “free white person” as stipulated in the 1790 US naturalization law.

    For the “Syrian” community this case was crucial because it could mean the end of their ability to become US citizens, and thus maintain their residence and livelihoods in “Amirka.” Moreover, it was a matter of equality in rights. The community’s struggle with the fluid concept of “free white person” began before George Dow, with Costa Najjour who was denied naturalization in 1909 by an Atlanta lower court because he was too “dark.” In 1913 Faris Shahid’s application was also denied by a South Carolina court, because “he was somewhat darker than is the usual mulatto of one-half mixed blood between and the white and the negro races.” In rendering his decision in the Dow case, Judge Henry Smith argued that although Dow may be a “free white person,” the legislators from 1790 meant white Europeans when they wrote “free white person.”

    The “Syrian” community decided to challenge this exclusionary interpretation. Setting aside their differences, all Arab- American newspapers dedicated at least one whole page to the coverage of this case and its successful appeal to the Fourth Circuit court. Al-Huda led the charge with one headline “To Battle, O Syrians.” Proclaiming that Judge Smith’s decision was a “humiliation” of “Syrians,” the community poured money into the legal defense of George Dow. Najib al-Sarghani, who helped establish the Syrian Society for National Defense in 1914 in Charleston, South Carolina, wrote in al-Huda, “we have found ourselves at the center of an attack on the Syrian honor,” and such ruling would render the Syrian “no better than blacks and Mongolians . Rather blacks will have rights that the Syrian does not have.” The community premised its right to naturalization on a series of arguments that would “prove” that “free white person” meant all Caucasians, thus establishing precedent in the American legal system and shaping the meaning of “whiteness” in America. Joseph Ferris summarized these arguments a decade later in The Syrian World magazine as follows: the term “white” referred to all Caucasians; George Dow was Semite and therefore Caucasian; since European Jews (who were Semites) were deemed worthy of naturalization, therefore “Syrians” should be given that right as well; and finally, as Christians, “Syrians” must have been included in the statute of 1790. The success of these arguments at the Court of Appeals level secured the legal demarcation of “Syrians” as “white.”

    What makes this particular story more remarkable is that similar ones were unfolding around the same time in South Africa and Australia, both of which had racially-based definitions of citizenship and concomitant rights. For example, in 1913 Moses Gandur challenged the classification of “Syrians” as “Colored Asiatics” before the Supreme Court of South Africa and won by arguing that although “Syrians” resided in Asia they still were white or Caucasian, and thus not subject to the exclusionary clauses of the 1885 Law. In all of these cases, the arguments were also quite similar to the one summarized by Joseph Ferris above.

    These decisions meant that the “Syrians” (and by extension today all Arabs) are considered white in the US. This entry into mainstream society–where whiteness bestowed political and economic power–meant different things for different members of the Lebanese community. Some were satisfied to leave the racial system of the South unchallenged as long as they were considered white.

    For others, the experience of fighting racial discrimination convinced them that the system is inherently unjust and must be changed. Thus, many NC Lebanese (like Ralph Johns who encouraged his black clients at his clothier store on East Merchant Street to start the sit-ins in Greensboro) participated in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s to end the era of the #Jim_Crow South.

    #blanchité#Libanais #Arabes #Etats-Unis #racisme



  • Rifts Break Open at Facebook Over Kavanaugh Hearing
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/technology/facebook-kavanaugh-nomination-kaplan.html

    “I want to apologize,” the Facebook executive wrote last Friday in a note to staff. “I recognize this moment is a deeply painful one — internally and externally.” The apology came from Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy. A day earlier, Mr. Kaplan had sat behind his friend, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, when the judge testified in Congress about allegations he had sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford in high school. Mr. (...)

    #Facebook #viol #lobbying #harcèlement


  • 15 personnes poursuivies pour avoir tenté d’empêcher le décollage d’un charter de 57 expulsés (Ghana et Nigeria) en se couchant sur le tarmac (voir End Deportation latest newsletter : https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=ae35278d38818677379a2546a&id=6be6b043c3)
    –-> reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop par Claire Rodier.

    #Stansted_15 : Amnesty to observe trial amid concerns for anti-deportation activists

    Amnesty considers the 15 to be human rights defenders

    ‘We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case’ - Kate Allen

    Amnesty International will be observing the trial of 15 human rights defenders set to go on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court next week (Monday 1 October) relating to their attempt to prevent what they believed was the unlawful deportation of a group of people at Stansted airport.

    The protesters - known as the “#Stansted 15” - are facing lengthy jail sentences for their non-violent intervention in March last year.

    Amnesty is concerned that the serious charge of “endangering safety at aerodromes” may have been brought to discourage other activists from taking non-violent direct action in defence of human rights. The organisation has written to the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General calling for this disproportionate charge to be dropped.

    The trial is currently expected to last for approximately six weeks.

    Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:

    “We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case.

    “Public protest and non-violent direct action can often be a key means of defending human rights, particularly when victims have no way to make their voices heard and have been denied access to justice.

    “Human rights defenders are currently coming under attack in many countries around the world, with those in power doing all they can to discourage people from taking injustice personally. The UK must not go down that path.”

    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/stansted-15-amnesty-observe-trial-amid-concerns-anti-deportation-activis

    #avion #déportation #renvois #expulsions #UK #Angleterre #résistance #procès #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières

    • The Stansted protesters saved me from wrongful deportation. They are heroes

      The ‘Stansted 15’ face jail for stopping my flight from taking off. They helped me see justice – and the birth of my daughter

      I’ll never forget the moment I found out that a group of people had blocked a charter deportation flight leaving Stansted airport on 28 March 2017, because I was one of the people that had a seat on the plane and was about to be removed from Britain against my will. While most of those sitting with me were whooping with joy when they heard the news, I was angry. After months in detention, the thought of facing even just one more day in that purgatory filled me with terror. And, crucially, I had no idea then of what I know now: that the actions of those activists, who became known as the Stansted 15, would help me see justice, and save my life in Britain.
      Stansted 15 convictions a ‘crushing blow for human rights in UK’
      Read more

      I first arrived in Britain in 2004 and, like so many people who come here from abroad, built a life here. As I sat in that plane in Stansted last year I was set to be taken “back” to a country that I had no links to. Indeed there is no doubt in my mind that had I been deported I would have been destitute and homeless in Nigeria – I was terrified.

      Imagine it. You’ve lived somewhere for 13 years. Your mum, suffering with mobility issues, lives there. Your partner lives there. Two of your children already live there, and the memory of your first-born, who died at just seven years old, resides there too. Your next child is about to be born there. That was my situation as we waited on the asphalt – imagining my daughter being born in a country where I’d built a life, while I was exiled to Nigeria and destined to meeting my newborn for the first time through a screen on a phone.

      My story was harsh, but it’s no anomaly. Like many people facing deportation from the United Kingdom, my experience with the immigration authorities had lasted many years – and for the last seven years of living here I had been in a constant state of mental detention. A cycle of Home Office appeals and its refusal to accept my claims or make a fair decision based on the facts of my case saw me in and out of detention and permanently waiting for my status to be settled. Though the threat of deportation haunted me, it was the utter instability and racial discrimination that made me feel like I was going mad. That’s why the actions of the Stansted 15 first caused me to be angry. I simply didn’t believe that their actions would be anything more than a postponement of further pain.

      My view isn’t just shaped by my own experience. My life in Britain has seen me rub along with countless people who find themselves the victims of the government’s “hostile environment” for migrants and families who aren’t white. Migration and deportation targets suck humanity from a system whose currency is the lives of people who happen to be born outside the UK. Such is the determination to look “tough” on the issue that people are rounded up in the night and put on to brutal, secretive and barely legal charter flights. Most take off away from the public eye – 60 human beings shackled and violently restrained on each flight, with barely a thought about the life they are dragged away from, nor the one they face upon arrival.
      Stansted 15 activists vow to overcome ‘dark, dark day for the right to protest’
      Read more

      I was one of the lucky few. My removal from the plane gave me two life-changing gifts. The first was a chance to appeal to the authorities over my deportation – a case that I won on two separate occasions, following a Home Office counter-appeal. But more importantly the brave actions of the Stansted 15 gave me something even more special: the chance to be by my partner’s side as she gave birth to our daughter, and to be there for them as they both needed extensive treatment after a complicated and premature birth. Without the Stansted 15 I wouldn’t have been playing football with my three-year-old in the park this week. It’s that simple. We now have a chance to live together as a family in Britain – and that is thanks to the people who lay down in front of the plane.

      On Monday the Stansted 15 were found guilty of breaching a barely used terror law. Though the jury were convinced that their actions breached this legislation, there’s no doubt in my mind that these 15 brave people are heroes, not criminals. For me a crime is doing something that is evil, shameful or just wrong – and it’s clear that it is the actions of the Home Office that tick all of these boxes; the Stansted 15 were trying to stop the real crime being committed. As the Stansted 15 face their own purgatory – awaiting sentences in the following weeks – I will be praying that they are shown leniency. Without their actions I would have missed my daughter’s birth, and faced the utter injustice of being deported from this country without having my (now successful) appeal heard. My message to them today is to fight on. Your cause is just, and history will absolve you of the guilt that the system has marked you with.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/10/stansted-15-protesters-deportation

    • Regno Unito, quindici attivisti rischiano l’ergastolo per aver bloccato la deportazione di migranti

      La criminalizzazione della solidarietà non riguarda solo l’Italia, con la martellante campagna contro le Ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo. In Francia sette attivisti rischiano 10 anni di carcere e 750mila euro di multa per “associazione a delinquere finalizzata all’immigrazione clandestina”. Nel Regno Unito altri quindici rischiano addirittura l’ergastolo per aver bloccato nella notte del 28 marzo 2017 nell’aeroporto di Stansted la deportazione di un gruppo di migranti caricati in segreto su un aereo diretto in Nigeria.

      Attivisti appartenenti ai gruppi End Deportations, Plane Stupid e Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants hanno circondato l’aereo, impedendone il decollo. Come risultato della loro azione undici persone sono rimaste nel Regno Unito mentre la loro domanda di asilo veniva esaminata e due hanno potuto restare nel paese. Nonostante il carattere nonviolento dell’azione, il gruppo che ha bloccato l’aereo è finito sotto processo con accuse basate sulla legge anti-terrorismo e se giudicato colpevole rischia addirittura l’ergastolo. Il verdetto è atteso la settimana prossima.

      Membri dei movimenti pacifisti, antirazzisti e ambientalisti si sono uniti per protestare contro l’iniquità delle accuse. Amnesty International ha espresso la preoccupazione che siano state formulate per scoraggiare altri attivisti dall’intraprendere azioni dirette nonviolente in difesa dei diritti umani. Il vescovo di Chelmsford, la cittadina dove si tiene il processo, si è presentato in tribunale per esprimere il suo appoggio agli imputati. La primavera scorsa oltre 50 personalità, tra cui la leader dei Verdi Caroline Lucas, la scrittrice e giornalista Naomi Klein, il regista Ken Loach e l’attrice Emma Thompson hanno firmato una lettera in cui chiedono il ritiro delle accuse contro i “Quindici di Stansted” e la fine dei voli segreti di deportazione.

      Nel Regno Unito questa pratica è iniziata nel 2001. Molte delle persone deportate hanno vissuto per anni nel paese; vengono portate via dai posti di lavoro, in strada o dalle loro case, rinchiuse in centri di detenzione, caricate in segreto su voli charter notturni e inviate in paesi che spesso non conoscono e dove rischiano persecuzioni e morte. Alcuni non vengono preavvisati in tempo per ricorrere in appello contro la deportazione. “Il nostro è stato un atto di solidarietà umana, di difesa e resistenza contro un regime sempre più brutale” ha dichiarato un’attivista.


      https://www.pressenza.com/it/2018/12/regno-unito-quindici-attivisti-rischiano-lergastolo-per-aver-bloccato-la-
      #UK #Angleterre #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité #criminalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #expulsions

    • Activists convicted of terrorism offence for blocking Stansted deportation flight

      Fifteen activists who blocked the takeoff of an immigration removal charter flight have been convicted of endangering the safety of Stansted airport, a terrorism offence for which they could be jailed for life.

      After nearly three days of deliberations, following a nine-week trial, a jury at Chelmsford crown court found the defendants guilty of intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, a law passed in response to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

      The court had heard how members of the campaign group End Deportations used lock-on devices to secure themselves around a Titan Airways Boeing 767 chartered by the Home Office, as the aircraft waited on the asphalt at the airport in Essex to remove undocumented immigrants to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

      The prosecution argued that their actions, which led to a temporary shutdown of Stansted, had posed a grave risk to the safety of the airport and its passengers.

      The verdict came after the judge Christopher Morgan told the jury to disregard all evidence put forward by the defendants to support the defence that they acted to stop human rights abuses, instructing jurors to only consider whether there was a “real and material” risk to the airport.

      In legal arguments made without the jury present, which can now be reported, defence barristers had called for the jury to be discharged after Morgan gave a summing up which they said amounted to a direction to convict. The judge had suggested the defendants’ entry to a restricted area could be considered inherently risky.

      Human rights organisations and observers had already expressed concerns over the choice of charge, which Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty International, likened to “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. Responding to the verdict on Monday, Gracie Bradley, policy and campaigns manager at Liberty, called the verdict a “grave injustice” and a “malicious attack” on the right to peaceful protest.

      Dr Graeme Hayes, reader in political sociology at Aston University, was one of a team of academics who observed the trial throughout. The only previous use of the 1990 law he and colleagues were able to find was in 2002 when a pilot was jailed for three years after flying his helicopter straight at a control tower.

      “This is a law that’s been brought in concerning international terrorism,” he said. “But for the last 10 weeks [of the trial], we’ve heard what amounts to an extended discussion of health and safety, in which the prosecution has not said at any point what the consequences of their actions might have been.”

      In a statement released by End Deportations after the verdict, the defendants said: “We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest.

      The protest took place on the night of 28 March 2017. The activists cut a hole in the airport’s perimeter fence, the court heard. Jurors were shown footage from CCTV cameras and a police helicopter of four protesters arranging themselves around the front landing gear of the aircraft and locking their arms together inside double-layered pipes filled with expanding foam.

      Further back, a second group of protesters erected a two-metre tripod from scaffolding poles behind the engine on the left wing on which one of them perched while others locked themselves to the base to prevent it from being moved, the videos showed. In the moments before police arrived, they were able to display their banners, one of which said: “No one is illegal.”

      Helen Brewer, Lyndsay Burtonshaw, Nathan Clack, Laura Clayson, Mel Evans, Joseph McGahan, Benjamin Smoke, Jyotsna Ram, Nicholas Sigsworth, Alistair Temlit, Edward Thacker, Emma Hughes, May McKeith, Ruth Potts and Melanie Stickland, aged 27 to 44, had all pleaded not guilty.

      They will be sentenced at a later date.


      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/activists-convicted-of-terror-offence-for-blocking-stansted-deportation


  • Blackpool activists jailed for anti-fracking protest

    Three environmental activists are believed to be the first people to receive jail sentences for an anti-fracking protest in the UK.

    Simon Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, were given 16 months in prison and Richard Loizou, 31, got 15 months on Wednesday after being convicted of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Preston crown court in August. Another defendant, Julian Brock, 47, was given a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to the same offence.

    The four men were charged after taking part in a four-day direct action protest that blocked a convoy of trucks carrying drilling equipment from entering the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool.

    A barrister for one of the men told Preston crown court that they would become the first environmental activists to receive jail sentences for staging a protest in the UK since the mass trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District in 1932, which marked the beginning of the right-to-roam movement. Activists have previously been given jail sentences for charges related to their protests, like breaking injunctions and contempt of court.

    At approximately 8am on Tuesday 25 July 2017, as seven lorries containing drilling equipment attempted to approach the site, Roberts, a piano restorer from London, got through a police cordon and climbed on top of the first lorry, bringing the convoy to a standstill. Loizou, a teacher from Devon, climbed on to the cab of the last lorry.

    At about 3.18pm, Blevins, a soil scientist from Sheffield, also climbed on to one of the lorries. In the early hours of the following morning, Brock, from Torquay, also climbed on to a lorry in the convoy.

    Fellow protesters threw blankets, food and water up to the men as they camped out on the vehicles. Loizou came down on 27 July at 5.10am after 45 hours. Blevins did the same at 4.45pm on 28 July, having spent just over 73 hours on his lorry. Roberts descended at 8.13pm the same day, after 84 hours. Brock did not climb down from his lorry until 29 July at 11.35am, after an estimated 76 hours.

    The site near Preston New Road has been a focal point for protests since the government overturned a decision by Lancashire county council and gave the energy firm Cuadrilla consent to extract shale gas at two wells on the site in October 2016. More than 300 protesters have been arrested since Cuadrilla began constructing a fracking pad at the site in January 2017.

    The company has said fracking is likely to start within the next few weeks, confirming on Monday that 28 lorries had brought fracking equipment to the site.

    Sentencing the men, the judge, Robert Altham, said he thought the three men posed a risk of reoffending and could not be rehabilitated as “each of them remains motivated by an unswerving confidence that they are right”. He added: “Even at their trial they felt justified by their actions. Given the disruption caused in this case, only immediate custody can achieve sufficient punishment.”

    He said that while the defendants were motivated by a serious concern for the environment, they saw the public as “necessary and justified collateral damage”.

    Members of the men’s families sitting in the public gallery burst into tears when the verdicts were read out. They sang a song described as a “native tribal song of power” and blew kisses to them as they were led out of the dock.

    Speaking for the prosecution, Craig MacGregor said the police argued that the demonstration resulted in significant travel disruption, causing the road to be closed initially until a contraflow was established. Police said local residents had had their lives disrupted and local businesses suffered a loss of trade. MacGregor said lorry drivers were told to stay with their cabs and were unable to return home. He said the protest had cost the police £12,000 and Cuadrilla approximately £50,000.

    Kirsty Brimelow QC, the head of the international human rights team at Doughty St Chambers, representing Roberts on a pro-bono basis, told the judge it had been a peaceful and political protest. She said the right to freedom of speech went beyond “simply standing and shouting” and extended to non-violent direct action.

    Brimelow said the fact that central government had overturned the local council to reject Cuadrilla’s fracking application demonstrated that “political process has been exhausted”. She added that “there has been no environmental protester sentenced to jail since 1932”.

    “It is relevant that there is a huge amount of scientific study that points to the damage of increasing climate emissions,” she said, referencing intergovernmental climate panel findings that climate change would displace 75 million people by 2035 and lead to the extinction of one in four species by 2050.

    Speaking outside the courts after the sentencing, Blevins’ mother, Rosalind Blevins, said: “We are all absolutely devastated by the sentences they have received. My son, like the others, was protesting against fracking because of his deep concern about climate change, which would more appropriately be called climate chaos … I am proud of him and of them for standing up for what is so, so important for all of us.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/26/anti-fracking-activists-jailed-for-blackpool-cuadrilla-protest
    #gaz_de_schiste #résistance #prison #condamnation #UK #Angleterre #Richard_Loizou #Richard_Roberts #Simon_Roscoe-Blevins #énergie


  • Now Israel has a race law
    Haaretz.com - From now on by court decree, two types of blood exist in Israel: Jewish blood and non-Jewish blood
    Gideon Levy - Sep 21, 2018 1:55 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-now-israel-has-a-race-law-1.6492061

    Even if it had until the end of time, Israel and the Jewish nation will never be able to compensate the Palestinian nation for all the harm they have done to it. Not for the material harm nor the intellectual harm, the physical harm nor the spiritual harm. Not for the plunder of their land and property, nor for their trodden freedom and dignity. Not for the killing and bereavement, nor for the people who were injured and disabled, their lives irrevocably ruined. Not for the hundreds of thousands of innocents who were tortured and imprisoned, nor for the generations who were denied a fair opportunity for a normal life.

    There is nothing like Yom Kippur to express this. Israel has of course never even considered entering a process of compensation, reparation and taking responsibility. Nothing can be expected from an occupier that calls itself the victim, that blames everyone but itself for every injustice that it does. But even this isn’t enough for it.

    Occasionally, another record is broken: The state, organizations or individuals in Israel and the Jewish world sue the Palestinians for damages caused by terror activities. For example, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, a nonprofit organization that calls itself a “Jewish human rights organization,” moves heaven and earth in Israel and abroad to sue Palestinian individuals and organizations on behalf of Jewish victims.

    This despicable and contemptible act, according to which the victim is the criminal and only Jewish blood is red and thus deserving of redress, occasionally has its successes, mostly in public relations. While Israel avoids paying any compensation for its systematic destruction and killing in the Palestinian territories since 1948, there are those who still have the unbelievable audacity to demand compensation from the Palestinians. The Gaza Strip was destroyed by Israel time after time, horrifically, but Israel has never lent a hand to its rehabilitation. Israel killed tens of thousands of people, including innumerable innocent people, including children, women and elderly, over the years and the Palestinians are asked to pay compensation.

    As part of this madness, homes owned by Jews before 1948 are returned to their original owners through the Israeli legal system, dispossessing people who lived there for decades. At the same time, stolen or abandoned Palestinian property from 1948 has never been returned to its legal owners. In Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem and in other places, Israeli flags multiply, together with the hundreds of Palestinians left homeless after being kicked out of their homes in shame, on the order of the egalitarian and just courts of the State of Israel. If someone has it in their heart to understand how afflicted the Israeli legal system is with moral rot, and how far it is from the fundamental principles of equality and justice, here lies the proof.

    But all this is not enough. This week a new record was set. Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled that a Jew who was injured in a terrorist attack is entitled to additional compensation, because he is a Jew, without proof of any damage, based on the nation-state law, which states that the government will strive to protect the well-being of Jews.

    The circle has been closed, completed and perfected. Now it is a real race law, according to the unavoidable interpretation of the court of the nation-state law. From now on, two types of blood exist in Israel: Jewish blood and non-Jewish blood, on the law books as well. The price of these two types of blood is also different. Jewish blood is priceless, it must be protected in every possible way. Non-Jewish blood is terrifyingly cheap, it can be shed like water. A situation that existed until now only de facto, with different standards and punishments for Jews and others, is from today by court decree.

    Seventy years of nationalism and racism toward the victims is now receiving its appropriate legal backing. The nation-state law, which they said was only declarative, in the correct interpretation of Drori, has earned its true meaning: The basic law for the superiority of Jewish blood. From now on, Israel has race law.

    • traduction en français
      Israël a désormais sa loi raciale par par Jacques Boutard
      Désormais, par décision de justice, il y a deux types sanguins en Israël : le sang juif et le sang non-juif.
      http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=24157

      Même s’ils avaient l’éternité devant eux, Israël et la nation juive ne pourront jamais réparer tout le mal qu’ils ont fait à la nation palestinienne. Rien ne pourra compenser le préjudice matériel ni le préjudice intellectuel, ni le préjudice physique ni le préjudice spirituel. Ni le pillage de leurs terres et de leurs biens, Ni leur liberté, ni leur dignité foulées aux pieds. Ni les meurtres et les deuils, ni les personnes blessées et estropiées, et dont la vie a été irrémédiablement gâchée. Pas plus que les centaines de milliers d’innocents qui ont été torturés et emprisonnés, ou les générations qu’on a privées de leur droit légitime à une vie normale.


  • EU steps up planning for refugee exodus if Assad attacks #Idlib

    Thousands to be moved from Greek island camps to make space in case of mass arrivals.

    Children walk past the remains of burned-out tents after an outbreak of violence at the Moria migrant centre on Lesbos. Aid groups say conditions at the camps on Greek islands are ’shameful’ © Reuters

    Michael Peel in Brussels September 14, 2018

    Thousands of migrants will be moved from Greek island camps within weeks to ease chronic overcrowding and make space if Syrians flee from an assault on rebel-held Idlib province, under plans being discussed by Brussels and Athens.

    Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s migration commissioner, is due to meet senior Greek officials next week including Alexis Tsipras, prime minister, to hammer out a plan to move an initial 3,000 people.

    The proposal is primarily aimed at dealing with what 19 non-governmental groups on Thursday branded “shameful” conditions at the island migrant centres. The strategy also dovetails with contingency planning in case Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Russian-backed regime launches a full-scale offensive to retake Idlib and triggers an exodus of refugees to Greece via Turkey.

    The numbers in the planned first Greek migrant transfer would go only partway to easing the island overcrowding — and they are just a small fraction of the several million people estimated to be gathered in the Syrian opposition enclave on the Turkish border.

    “It’s important to get those numbers down,” said one EU diplomat of the Greek island camps. “If we have mass arrivals in Greece, it’s going to be very tough. There is no spare capacity.”

    Syria’s Idlib awaits major assault The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said this week that 30,000 people had been displaced from their homes by air and ground attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies in the Idlib area, while a full assault could drive out 800,000.

    Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, this week warned that the “impending humanitarian disaster” in Idlib must be a “deep and direct concern to us all”.

    17,000 Number of migrants crammed into camps designed for 6,000 The European Commission wants to help Athens accelerate an existing programme to send migrants to the Greek mainland and provide accommodation there to ease the island overcrowding, EU diplomats say.

    The commission said it was working with the Greeks to move 3,000 “vulnerable” people whom Athens has made eligible for transfer, in many cases because they have already applied for asylum and are awaiting the results of their claims.

    Migrant numbers in the island camps have climbed this year, in part because of the time taken to process asylum cases. More than 17,000 are crammed into facilities with capacity of barely 6,000, the NGOs said on Thursday, adding that Moria camp on the island of Lesbos was awash with raw sewage and reports of sexual violence and abuse.

    “It is nothing short of shameful that people are expected to endure such horrific conditions on European soil,” the NGOs said in a statement.

    Mr Avramopoulos, the EU migration commissioner, told reporters on Thursday he knew there were “problems right now, especially in the camp of Moria”. The commission was doing “everything in our power” to support the Greek authorities operationally and financially, he added.

    Recommended The FT View The editorial board The high price of Syria’s next disaster “Money is not an issue,” he said. “Greece has had and will continue having all the financial support to address the migration challenges.

    ” The Greek government has already transferred some asylum seekers to the mainland. It has urged the EU to give it more funds and support.

    EU diplomats say the effect of the Idlib conflict on the Greek situation is hard to judge. One uncertainty is whether Ankara would open its frontier to allow people to escape. Even if civilians do cross the border, it is not certain that they would try to move on to the EU: Turkey already hosts more than 3.5m Syrian refugees.

    The EU secured a 2016 deal with Turkey under which Brussels agreed to pay €6bn in exchange for Ankara taking back migrants who cross from its territory to the Greek islands. The agreement has helped drive a sharp fall in Mediterranean migrant arrival numbers to a fraction of their 2015-16 highs.

    https://www.ft.com/content/0aada630-b77a-11e8-bbc3-ccd7de085ffe
    #Syrie #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #Grèce #guerre #réfugiés_syriens #Moria #vide #plein #géographie_du_vide #géographie_du_plein (on vide le camp pour être prêt à le remplir au cas où...) #politique_migratoire
    cc @reka


  • Israel to expel French-American professor arrested during West Bank protest
    In a rare move, Frank Romano was arrested according to military law. However, before his hearing he was released and taken into custody by the population authority in preparation for his deportation
    Yotam Berger Sep 16, 2018 5:40 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-to-expel-french-american-professor-arrested-in-west-bank-pr

    Israel is set to expel the foreign law professor arrested on suspicion of disrupting the actions of Israeli soldiers on duty at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar on Friday.

    #FranckRomano

    • ’Bad faith’: Judge slams Israel for West Bank arrest of professor, orders release - Israel News

      Judge criticizes authorities’ handling of case, rejects demand that he be immediately deported
      Yotam Berger Sep 17, 2018 1:53 AM
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-to-release-professor-arrested-protesting-west-bank-village-

      The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday ordered the release of Professor Frank Romano from custody under the condition that he leave Israel by September 25, the date of his scheduled flight back to France.

      Romano, 66, who holds both French and American citizenship and teaches law in France, arrested on suspicion of disrupting the actions of Israeli soldiers on duty at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar on Friday.

      Judge Chavi Toker rejected the government’s request to immediately expel Romano from the country and criticized the way authorities handled the request. The professor is expected to remain in custody pending another hearing to be held on Monday.

      Judge Toker said that the police, military and Interior Ministry “acted in bad faith” and “refused to take responsibility for the appellant.” She noted that the court was not told of the military’s decision to the Population Authority for his immediate deportation, calling this an attempt to bypass a hearing.

      Toker added that Romano “stopped a tractor in the middle of the road,” saying that “this happens a hundred times a day in Jerusalem. He is not a dangerous man.”

      Romano was arrested together with two Palestinian activists for attempting to block the road and get in the way of security forces.

      According to military law, which is enforced in the territories, a suspect’s detention can be extended by 96 hours before being brought to a judge.

      According to the civil code, detainees must be brought before a judge no more than 24 hours after their arrest.

      Gabi Lasky, Romano’s attorney, told Haaretz that it is very rare for military code to be used on foreign citizens and that she has encountered only one such other case in the past. Theoretically, Romano could have been arrested under the civil code, because the suspected infraction is supposedly against the authorities of the state.

      Lasky said earlier Sunday that the intent was to bring Romano for a “regular” remand hearing before a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge. But shortly before the hearing the security forces said that Romano was to be released and deported and so he would not be brought to court, although the hearing did ultimately take place.

      “Like thieves in the night, instead of bringing Frank Romano to a hearing on my request that he be released from detention, which was set for today [Sunday] at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, without informing me or the court, at 2 PM [two hours before the scheduled hearing] he was handed over to the immigration police for deportation. Now it is clear why he was arrested according to military law – to give them time to deport him before he sees a judge.”

    • Israeli court not to deport French professor
      Sept. 17, 2018 3:41 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 17, 2018 3:53 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781098

      JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court reversed a deportation order against French activist, Frank Romano, after the court had earlier released him from detention to deport him after being accused of “disruptions” at Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem.

      Romano, a 66-year-old law professor at the University of Paris and author of “Love and Terror in the Middle East,” and a holder of a French and American citizenship, was detained last week at Khan al-Ahmar, as he protested Israel’s intention to demolish the Bedouin village.

      He declared a hunger strike following his detention, calling on Israel to not demolish the village of Khan al-Ahmar.

      Romano was then released and allowed to return to the village; where he will continue to protest the demolition in solidarity with the residents, in attempt to prevent the demolition.

    • Cisjordanie : un juriste français arrêté après une manifestation va être expulsé (avocat)
      AFP
      Publié le 16/09/2018 à 22:20 | AFP
      http://www.lepoint.fr/monde/cisjordanie-un-juriste-francais-arrete-apres-une-manifestation-va-etre-expul

      Un juriste français, arrêté par les forces de l’ordre israéliennes lors d’une manifestation contre la démolition d’un village bédouin en Cisjordanie occupée, va être expulsé d’Israël, a annoncé son avocate dimanche.

      Frank Romano, professeur de droit né aux Etats-Unis et de nationalité franco-américaine, a été arrêté vendredi après des échauffourées entre des militants propalestiniens et des garde-frontières israéliens près du village bédouin de Khan al-Ahmar, à l’est de Jérusalem.

      « Il y a une décision administrative stipulant son expulsion », a dit dimanche à la presse son avocate Gaby Lansky. Elle avait affirmé la veille que Frank Romano était accusé d’entraves à l’action de la police et des soldats israéliens.

      M. Romano a dit qu’il contesterait la décision de l’expulser devant les tribunaux israéliens.

      « Je vais faire appel si on veut m’expulser », a dit ce juriste qui s’exprimait en français devant les journalistes lors d’une brève audience tard dimanche sur l’ordre d’expulsion.

      « Il n’y a pas de raison de m’expulser. Je n’ai pas fait d’acte de violence », a-t-il ajouté.

      La cour a ajourné l’audience sans annoncer de décision.


  • Cisjordanie : échauffourées près d’un village de bédouins promis à la démolition
    L’Express - Par AFP , mis à jour le 15/09/2018 à 08:44

    https://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/monde/cisjordanie-echauffourees-pres-d-un-village-de-bedouins-promis-a-la-demolit

    Un bulldozer israélien a tenté de barrer la route menant au village de Khan al-Ahmar en y déversant des pierres et de la terre, ce qui a provoqué des heurts.

    Trois manifestants ont été arrêtés, a précisé un porte-parole de la police.

    Parmi eux figure un professeur français de droit, Frank Romano, ont indiqué des manifestants, mais la police n’a pas confirmé.

    Après des années de bataille judiciaire, la Cour suprême israélienne a donné la semaine dernière son feu vert à la démolition de Khan al-Ahmar, village de tôle et de toile où vivent environ 200 bédouins à l’est de Jérusalem, près de colonies israéliennes.

    #Khan_al-Ahmar

    • French activist goes on hunger strike to protest Israeli plans to demolish Khan al-Ahmar
      http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=8RTRSsa99132688974a8RTRSs

      Israeli police detaining French-American activist Frank Romano for standing in the way of bulldozers attempting to block roads to Khan al-Ahmar. (WAFA Images / Suleiman Abu Srour)

      JERUSALEM, September 15, 2018 (WAFA) – A French-American activist started a hunger strike on Friday after he was detained by Israeli police when activists in Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem, blocked Israeli bulldozers trying to close roads to the village, according to Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, from the Save Khan al-Ahmar campaign.

      He told WAFA that Frank Romano, professor of law at University of Paris and author of “Love and Terror in the Middle East”, was detained along with four other Palestinians when they confronted Israeli police and bulldozers attempting to block roads to the village, slated for demolition by Israel in order to replace it with a settlement.

      Romano, who lives in France but is also an American citizen, was first taken to a police station in the nearby illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim before he was transferred to the Russian Compound police station in West Jerusalem where his detention was extended for four days.
      Abu Rahmeh said Romano started a hunger strike until Israel annuls the demolition decision against Khan al Ahmar.

      #FranckRomano

    • In Exceptional Move, Israeli Army Arrests French-American Law Professor in West Bank

      Frank Romano was arrested along with two Palestinians while protesting the upcoming demolition of the Bedouin village Khan al-Ahmar, police say ■ IDF allowed to keep him under arrest for up to 96 hours without bringing him to court
      Yotam Berger
      Sep 15, 2018 5:25 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-in-rare-move-idf-arrests-french-american-law-prof-in-west-bank-1.6

      Israeli border police arrest French-American law professor and other protesters and activists blocking Israeli army bulldozer operating at the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, September 1Nasser Nasser/AP

      A 66-year-old French-American citizen and two other activists were arrested Friday in the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

      According to border police, the three, law professor Frank Romano and two Palestinians, tried to block the road and disrupt soldiers situated near the village, which is slated for demolition.

      Exceptionally, the arrest of Romano - a foreign national - was extended by 96 hours under military code rather than civil law. Military code applies to Palestinians and significantly reduces the rights granted to suspects. In comparison, in the Israeli legal system there is a duty to bring a suspect before a judge within 24 hours.

      Attorney Gaby Lasky, who represents Romano, told Haaretz that this it is very rare for military code to be used for foreign citizens, saying that she had encountered only one such other case in the past. Lasky plans to appeal to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to bring the man to a remand hearing.