Court finds British journalist guilty of contempt

first_img February 26, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Bangladesh May 19, 2021 Find out more Dhaka’s “International Crimes Tribunal” yesterday found Bangladesh-based British investigative journalist David Bergman guilty of contempt of court for questioning the tribunal’s use of the 1971 independence war’s official death toll in one of its rulings. Receive email alerts BangladeshAsia – Pacific Organisation RSF_en Help by sharing this information The case has reinforced Reporters Without Borders’ concern about the readiness of Bangladesh’s courts to convict journalists of contempt of court.The tribunal ordered David Bergman to pay a fine of 5,000 taka (50 euros) or go to prison for a week for three articles he posted on his “Bangladesh war crimes” blog on 11 and 12 November 2011 that were entitled “Sayedee indictment – 1971 deaths”, “Sayedee indictment analysis – charges” and “Sayedee indictment analysis – legal”.In these posts, Bergman referred to the lack of evidence supporting the official toll of 3 million dead and cited independent estimates that were much lower.“This contempt of court conviction constitutes a direct attack on freedom of the media and information in Bangladesh,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “For the past ten years we have been asking the authorities to repeal the contempt law, under which journalists can be jailed just for expressing views different from those of the courts. The entire judicial system is now off-limits for the media. No critical coverage of the justice system and court cases will be possible as long as this threat continues to hang over journalists.”His lawyer is considering an appeal but added that the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act of 1973 did not provide a right of appeal and section 47a of the constitution could also limit any attempt to challenge this denial of a right.Many journalists have been charged with contempt – and often convicted – by high court judges or judges with the International Crimes Tribunal.In March, a high court judge found Prothom Alo joint editor Mizanur Rahman Khan guilty of contempt in connection with an article he wrote about a series of bail decisions. He was fined 5,000 taka, with the court considering his having stood in court for the previous five days sufficient additional punishment.In December 2012, two journalists with The Economist magazine who live outside Bangladesh were charged with contempt for an article questioning the tribunal’s independence. They were later acquitted. Mahmudur Rahman, the editor of the opposition daily Amar Desh, was sentenced to seven months in prison on 19 August 2010 on various charges including contempt of court. Two weeks after completing his sentence in March 2011, another warrant was issued for his arrest on a similar contempt charge in connection with a 2010 article criticizing Awami League leaders.Both the publisher and the editor of the Dainik Manabzamin newspaper were sentenced to a month in prison and a fine on a contempt charge in 2002.Bangladesh is ranked 146th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. February 22, 2021 Find out more Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists News BangladeshAsia – Pacific News to go further RSF calls for the release of Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, unfairly accused of espionage Bangladeshi writer and blogger dies in detention News News December 3, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court finds British journalist guilty of contemptlast_img read more

Pandemic flu fighter Chan nominated to lead WHO

first_imgNov 8, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) today nominated Dr. Margaret Chan, the agency’s top pandemic influenza official and a veteran of the world’s first confrontation with the H5N1 flu virus in 1997, to be the agency’s next director-general.Chan’s nomination will be submitted to the World Health Assembly for a vote tomorrow, the WHO said. News services said the assembly has always confirmed the executive board’s nominations in the past.Chan has been serving as the WHO director’s representative for pandemic influenza and assistant director-general for communicable diseases, the agency said. As director of health in Hong Kong, she confronted the first human outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in 1997, when 18 people fell ill and 6 died. The crisis ended after authorities ordered the slaughter of all 1.5 million domestic poultry in Hong Kong.If elected, Chan, 59, will be the first Chinese to head a major United Nations agency, according to news services. She will succeed Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, who died May 22. Dr. Anders Nordstrom has been serving as acting director-general.Chan had been the front-runner to replace Lee among five finalists for the job, according to a Reuters report. China, a member of the UN Security Council, had nominated her for the post, in what was seen as a sign of the country’s interest in playing a larger international role, the report said.She served as director of the Hong Kong health department for 9 years before joining the WHO in 2003. Her tenure in Hong Kong included the battle with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, when Hong Kong had 1,755 cases with 299 deaths, a major share of the global toll of 8,096 cases and 774 deaths, according to WHO figures.”She also introduced primary health care ‘from the diaper to the grave’ with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention, self-care and healthy lifestyles,” the WHO statement said.Chan’s supporters had contended that her election could improve relations between the WHO and China, Reuters reported. WHO officials have repeatedly criticized China for being slow to share H5N1 data and samples with the rest of the world.Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang promised closer cooperation between Beijing and the WHO following Chan’s nomination, Reuters reported. “China’s government will strengthen cooperation with all the member states of the WHO to contribute to a better public health,” he told the WHO board, speaking through an interpreter.After Chan’s nomination, China’s UN ambassador, Sha Zukang, smiled broadly and said he was “one hundred percent” pleased, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today.When she started to campaign for the job last summer, Chan promised she would be independent, the AP reported.”If elected, I’m not serving Hong Kong’s interests,” she was quoted as saying. “I’m not serving China’s interests. I’m serving the world’s interests. That’s a very important message to get clear.”Chan’s nomination needs approval by a two-thirds majority of the World Health Assembly, which consists of all 193 WHO member countries, according to the AP.The WHO executive board consists of 34 members who have technical qualifications in health. The United States is one of the 34 countries currently represented on the board.The board chose Chan over Mexican Health Minister Julio Frenk; Shigero Omi of Japan, Western Pacific regional director for the WHO; Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado; and Kazem Behbehani of Kuwait, the WHO’s assistant director for external relations and governing bodies. Diplomats told Reuters that the final vote pitted Chan against Frenk.Chan earned her medical degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and a public health degree at the National University of Singapore, the WHO said. She joined Hong Kong’s health department in 1978, the AP reported.Mike Leavitt, US health and human services secretary, issued a statement calling Chan “a strong leader.””Dr. Chan led the successful response to the outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the highly pathogenic avian influenza,” he said. “I am confident that she will ensure WHO’s role as the premier global health agency, guided by scientific excellence and well-prepared to meet the many challenges it faces.”See also:Nov 8 WHO news release about Chan nomination 3 WHO statement about the director-general election Leavitt’s statement read more

Baby gender blood tests ‘accurate’

first_imgHealthLifestyle Baby gender blood tests ‘accurate’ by: – August 10, 2011 Tweet Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img By Michelle RobertsHealth reporter, BBC NewsMany couples do not want to be told the sex of their baby before the birthParents-to-be wanting to find out their baby’s gender can be assured that a blood test on the mother gives an accurate result, say scientists.The tests, which look for foetal DNA in the mother’s blood, are sold privately in many countries, including the UK.Yet few studies, until now, have scrutinised how well they perform.US experts examined over 6,000 test results and found it was reliable 98% of the time – providing it was used after the seventh week of pregnancy.Anything earlier than this made the test unreliable, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.And urine-based tests appeared to be unreliable altogether.A routine ultrasound scan of the baby can only give a gender prediction at about 12 weeks. For couples who need to know the sex of their child for medical reasons – to see if their baby might be affected by a genetic disorder that affects only boys, for example – this wait can seem too long.Dr Stephanie Devaney, who led the work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, said the blood tests could be useful in clinical settings to aid early detection.Some hospitals, like Great Ormond Street, already use them to help detect male babies that could have haemophilia.But critics of the tests argue that the blood tests could also be used for family balancing – where couples will only continue with the pregnancy if, for example, the baby is a girl because they already have three boys.The review, which looked at 57 studies representing 6,541 pregnancies, found the blood tests gave a genuine result (sensitivity) 95% of the time and that this result was accurate or correct for gender (specificity) 98.6% of the time.For example, if the test was used by 100 couples, only a few of them would be left still not knowing with certainty what the sex of their unborn child was.Professor Richard Fleming, of the Glasgow Centre for Reproductive Medicine, said it was important to have confirmation that the tests are valid.“If you can test from seven weeks of pregnancy then that means knowing the sex a month before a scan could tell you, which is helpful.”He said it could help doctors check for sex-linked genetic conditions earlier. But he said the technology was likely to be used for social reasons.Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services, agreed, saying: “In the UK we would not normally approve of someone who decided to terminate because it was a ‘blue’ pregnancy rather than a ‘pink’ one.“Sex selection for social reasons is illegal in the UK. But there’s the danger that this is part of a slippery slope.”BBC News Share 22 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Concerned CPL to review Pollard no-ball

first_imgKIERON Pollard’s no-ball that denied compatriot Evin Lewis scoring the fastest century in the 2017 Hero CPL on Sunday, is to be reviewed, the tournament organisers said yesterday.Pollard, the captain of the Barbados Tridents, overstepped and bowled a short ball that sailed over the head of Lewis, who was on 97 from 32 balls as the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots romped to a 10-wicket victory to secure second place in the league.They faced league leaders Trinbago Knight Riders last night in a match which will determine which team will go directly to the final on Saturday.The incident has stirred much debate across the region. Some, including former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison, who was providing commentary on the match, described Pollard’s actions as unsportsmanlike.“It’s a pretty disappointing way for Pollard to finish the game,” Morrison said.Cricket statistician and journalist Mazher Arshad described it as “one of the lowest acts” and “pathetic sportsmanship”.Others sided with the Barbadian, describing Pollard as ‘competitive’.CPL has decided to look into the matter.“The incident at the end of the match between Barbados Tridents and the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on Sunday, September 3, where the match was ended with a no-ball bowled by Kieron Pollard is being reviewed by the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL),” the CPL said in a statement.“The Hero CPL is very concerned by any suggestion that the action of any player can be considered to have brought the game or the league into disrepute. Cricket owes so much of its unique appeal to the spirit in which the game is played and as a cricket tournament the Hero CPL understands the importance of fair play and good sportsmanship.”The statement did not say what, if any action, would be taken once the matter was reviewed,last_img read more