Leading journalists and activists arrested at protest, mistreated

first_img Follow the news on Azerbaijan News RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Organisation News Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the arrest of many leading journalists and netizens during a demonstration in Baku on 26 January, and the mistreatment to which they were subjected before being released.“There seems to be no limit to the Aliyev regime’s contempt for fundamental freedoms,” Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire said. “The brutal treatment of leading figures in the fight for human rights and freedom of information was unacceptable and was clearly an act of personal revenge designed to teach a lesson. The authorities are trying to suppress and deter criticism by silencing those who often condemn the woeful human rights situation.“Coming just days after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected a resolution on Azerbaijan’s political prisoners, this new blow to the country’s civil society shows that the authorities think they can act with complete impunity.“The international community must urgently come to its senses and make the Azerbaijani government understand that such behaviour is incompatible with its membership of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and its association with the European Union.”Around 100 demonstrators were detained when the security forces dispersed the 26 January demonstration in Baku, which had been called to protest against the violent crackdown on a riot a few days earlier in Ismailly, 200 km west of the capital.As well as members of such opposition groups as the Popular Front, Musavat and NIDA, those detained included well-known journalists such as Khadija Ismayilova and Shahveled Chobanoglu, leading bloggers such as Emin Milli, Zaur Gurbanli and Bakhtiyar Hajiyev, and two journalists and human rights activists from the isolated region of Nakhchivan, Malahat Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov. Mursel Aliyev, the head of the Telebe.az news website, and Zaur Rasulzadeh, a reporter for the 1News.az news portal, were also arrested.Wearing press vests or showing press cards did not spare other journalists, who were there to cover the event, from being the victims of violence by plain-clothes policemen.The police continued to act with brutality after the protest was dispersed, discharging tear-gas inside a truck that was taking about 30 detainees, including Nasibova and Nasibov, to a police station. Because the windows were closed, many people felt ill, including the driver, who caused an accident.An ambulance had to be summoned to police station No. 37 in the district of Khatai, where detainees were held for four hours. Other demonstrators were taken to police stations in the districts of Nasimi and Sabail.Most were released with a verbal warning. But some of the best-known detainees were punished under a new law on illegal demonstrations that is based on Russian legislation. Milli was sentenced to 15 days in prison, along with three opposition activists. Hajiyev was fined 600 manats (570 euros) while Ismayilova was fined 400 manats (380 euros).While the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was in session last week in Strasbourg, a number of journalists and activists attended it to draw attention to the violation of civil liberties in Azerbaijan. The session ended on 23 January with the adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan but the assembly rejected a specific resolution on Azerbaijan’s political prisoners.Join the group “Support Azerbaijani Activists in Administrative Detention” on Facebook!(Picture: AFP / Tofik Babayev) to go further June 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information center_img Receive email alerts RSF_en AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia January 29, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Leading journalists and activists arrested at protest, mistreated AzerbaijanEurope – Central Asia June 4, 2021 Find out more News April 9, 2021 Find out more Newslast_img read more

A National Park for Maine?

first_imgWilderness advocates have been wanting to create a Maine Woods National Park and Preserve for 20 years, but politicians have consistently caved in to opponents, even tabling an offer by Burt’s Bees founder Roxanne Quimby, who offered to donate land to create a much smaller park alongside Baxter State Park, pictured here. Photo courtesy of Numbphoto, FlickrEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on the proposal to turn parts of the Northern Forest in Maine into a big national park?                                                                                    — Peter Griswold, Jaffrey, NH The idea of turning a large chunk of forest in central Maine into a national park dates back at least 150 years when Henry David Thoreau himself called for making the region “a national preserve” in essays about his travels through the area via foot and canoe in the 1850s. To this day most of the areas in central Maine that Thoreau visited are still primarily undeveloped save for intermittent timber extraction.But recent changes in land ownership there are worrying ecologists. The non-profit RESTORE: The North Woods has been carrying the torch for creating a Maine Woods National Park and Preserve for 20 years and reports that, between 1994 and 2005, the share of forest land in Maine’s 9.3 million acre Unorganized Territory owned by timber companies dropped from 59.2 to 15.5 percent while that owned by investors grew from 3.2 to 32.6 percent. RESTORE is concerned that this dramatic change positions the region for a real estate gold rush. A huge development already planned for the shores of Moosehead Lake in the region is just one example of the kinds of changes afoot that could decimate the region’s wilderness qualities.RESTORE’s proposal, first aired in 1994, calls for setting aside 3.2-million acres surrounding Baxter State Park (home of Maine’s tallest peak, Mt. Katahdin, and the northern tip of the Appalachian Trail) as a national park. Bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, the proposed park would safeguard thousands of miles of rivers and streams while providing unfragmented habitat for wildlife.According to RESTORE, there are no significant chunks of undeveloped wilderness anywhere in the Northeastern United States and that such a large park “is needed to protect wildlife habitat on a landscape scale to allow for adaptation in the face of unprecedented climate change.” Also, the proposed park would ensure permanent access for outdoor recreation and support a diversified and sustainable economy. Although RESTORE’s campaign has the backing of a majority of Maine residents, it has failed to gain enough traction to make it before Congress. Some blame local opposition, allied as the Maine Woods Coalition, for convincing the state’s Congressional delegation not to push for the proposal.A new proposal from Burt’s bees founder Roxanne Quimby later rekindled the issue: In May 2011 she offered to donate up to 70,000 acres she owns adjacent to Baxter State Park for a new national park, along with a $40 million endowment for park operations. And to appease those opposed to RESTORE’s proposal, she offered a similar amount of land for multiple-use, including hunting. Quimby’s proposal includes only lands she owns, and would create a much smaller park than what RESTORE envisioned.A few months after Quimby made her offer known U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis held a public listening session in Millinocket, Maine. But then in February 2012, Maine’s Congressional delegation convinced Secretary Salazar to table the new proposal for the time being. So for now, the fate of millions of trees—the veritable lungs of the Northeastern U.S.—and hundreds of wildlife species may just hang in the balance.CONTACTS: RESTORE’s Maine Woods National Park: A Vision of What Could Be, www.mainewoods.org; Maine Woods Coalition, www.mainewoodscoalition.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.last_img read more

NIGERIA: Anti-Terrorism Screening Machine

first_imgBy Dialogo April 01, 2011 I’m glad that this type of machine is being installed in Nigeria, the land of our brothers. It’s very important for the government to have this cutting-edge technology to protect Nigerians from any terrorist attacks. God bless our brothers. Glory to God and long live Nigeria Nigeria has installed high-tech screening devices in its largest airport that are designed to detect threats from dangerous passengers or smugglers before they board a plane. The ProVigilant screening device asks passengers a number of simple questions and is designed to detect deception. The machine is being updated to add major Nigerian languages. The test takes less than two minutes per passenger, and the machine’s analysis is displayed on a monitor for a security agent to view in less than one second. center_img The machines were approved for general use in December 2010 at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport after a 15-day trial in which more than 2,000 passengers were randomly selected to undergo the advanced screening. “It asks you a series of questions related to nationality,” said ProVigilant Chief Operations Officer W. Douglas Fitzgerald in a news conference. “If you live in and reside in Nigeria, then it goes on to questions related to smuggling, terrorism and weapons. It evaluates your response to those by touching the screen to a number of algorithms and then gives you a rating of being either a low risk or a very high risk.” The machine can effectively screen 10 percent of 400 passengers traveling on a Boeing 747 aircraft, said Fitzgerald.last_img read more