by Mira Terada for the Saker blog
On January 19, 2023 an international press forum of the Foundation to Battle Injustice «Journalists under the gun: attacks on freedom of speech and reprisals against reporters. How to preserve lives and guarantee safety?» took place on the platform of a Patriot Media Group. At the event, which was attended by foreign journalists, the idea of creating an independent international organization to protect journalists was expressed and supported. The new organization, not associated with existing corrupt and ineffective the western human rights organizations in the EU and the US, will help journalists to safely perform their work.
Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice organized an international press forum that brought together representatives of the press from all over the world. Journalists and bloggers from Russia, the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain, Serbia and Latin America shared their personal experience of interaction with Western human rights organizations and journalist unions that do not perform their functions as guarantees of safety for media workers.
Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, stated that a free press is the cornerstone of a democratic society, and journalists play a fundamental role in informing the public. The unprecedented increase in threats faced by media representatives makes the profession of journalism more dangerous each year. She presented data collected by human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustice about 94 journalists who were killed in 2022 because of their professional activities. Mira Terada stated that authoritarian regimes are increasingly using violence and intimidation to silence dissenting voices.
According to the human rights advocate, Western countries are making no efforts to protect the press. Europe and the US regularly violate international conventions on the protection of journalists’ rights and do not consider it their duty to speak about their safety. The leader of the Foundation to Battle Injustice’s assumption is supported by statistics: according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the number of arrests of journalists covering protest actions in the US has increased in the past year and the overall number of journalists imprisoned has reached a new record. Western journalists not only face censorship and violation of freedom of speech, but also often face other forms of violence such as persecution, cyber attacks and even murder. Dozens of European and American journalists who investigated human rights violations, corruption of high-ranking officials of their countries and persecution against political opposition, have become victims of attempts on their lives.
Military correspondents who cover armed conflicts have an increased risk of facing repression if they cover issues that fall within the zone of geopolitical interests of Western countries. After the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, at least 13 representatives of the press have been killed as a result of Kiev bombings or from crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Almost all journalists covering events in Donetsk are included in the “Myrotvorets” list. They regularly receive threats and become victims of large-scale campaigns of harassment. The Ukrainian government’s attempts to intimidate the press not under its control are essentially terrorist, similar practices were previously used by radical groups banned in Russia.
According to the head of the Foundation, the problem of persecution against journalists and the total lack of attention from Western politicians can only be solved through joint efforts. It is necessary to create an independent body that would allow for international coordination in the protection of the rights of the press, regardless of their point of view and political preferences.
Alina Lipp, who reports the truth about the Ukrainian conflict to her audience, cannot return to her home country because of her professional duty. The FRG accuses her of spreading propaganda and a pro-Russian position. A victim of repression from German authorities emphasized that several of her journalist colleagues have already become victims of Ukrainian shelling. According to Lipp, they were scheduled to meet in pre-prepared places, which were later shelled by Ukrainian soldiers from mortars.
A German correspondent and blogger complains that American tech companies such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, which are banned in Russia, likely track the location of independent journalists and then share that information with Ukrainian authorities. Lipp also claims that she and her colleagues are unable to communicate by phone as the mobile signal is intercepted.
Johnny Miller, a journalist from the United Kingdom, noted at the event of the Foundation to Battle Injustice that a real campaign has been launched against Alina Lipp by Western authorities. Major British media outlets have released materials against the German journalist, accusing her of working for the Kremlin.
The journalist from the Iranian English-language Press-TV channel told the story of the attack on French journalist Adrian Boke, who became a victim of an attack by Ukrainian law enforcement officers in Istanbul. The French reporter covered the events in Donbas, wrote about the consequences of the shelling of Donetsk from French self-propelled artillery systems Caesar, which were transferred to Kiev. Two unknown individuals grabbed Boke on the street and then attempted to cut his throat with a knife. According to Miller, French media did not cover the attack on their colleague, and Western media companies only report on journalists who transmit information that is favorable to them. Miller is convinced that all media workers should have the right to work without threat to their lives.
Dutch journalist Sonja Van den Ende has stated that she is afraid to return to her home country where she faces arrest. She claims that Dutch secret services have put her on a special list, which means she cannot access her bank account. After starting to work in Donbas, large European publishing houses have refused to hire her and use her materials about the causes and course of the war in Ukraine. She have been labeled as proponent of conspiracy theories. The independent journalist claims that she has already faced persecution because of her activity after working in Syria. The police came to her home and tried to find out if she was working with the Syrian government.
According to Van den Ende, the only way to stop repression against the independent press is to stick together and continue to fulfill journalistic duty. To foreign journalists who have faced persecution from authorities, the Dutch journalist advised not to return to their home country, where they may face imprisonment.
According to Bolivian journalist Ollie Vargas, human rights organizations in Latin America collaborate with American intelligence and special services, and decide whom to provide assistance based solely on political grounds. He claims that almost all media outlets in Latin America are connected to the American National Endowment for Democracy and other NGOs based in Washington. Journalists who criticize Western policy or the United States presence in Latin America do not have any rights and protections.
He and his colleagues-journalists know firsthand how human rights organizations in Bolivia work. A while ago, a journalist and friend of Vargas was attacked because of his investigation on US intervention in the politics of Latin American countries. Several people, armed with stones and clubs, beat him. Despite the seriousness of the incident, the Bolivian Journalists Union did not condemn this fact and did not make any statements. Vargas is sure that the politicization of journalist unions, in which media workers who receive funding from Western governments dominate, threatens journalists who criticize Western governments.
According to journalist from France and the editor-in-chief of the Donbass Insider, Kristel Nean, there is an active campaign to discredit journalists who cover events in Donbass. The US and NATO countries claim that they are trying to fight “fake news and Russian disinformation“. Nean believes that France is one of the top three countries that use the most repressive measures against journalists covering protest actions. The French police use traumatic weapon and gas against the press. Several cases of shooting at correspondents who tried to capture the violence of the police against the protesters have been recorded.
Repressions against independent French journalists include blocking bank accounts and removal from work in the country. Nean believes that in this way the Macron government is trying to force correspondents to stop investigations by depriving them of means of existence. In addition, cases of violence against correspondents are practically not reported in the French media. Only one French newspaper wrote about the brutal attack and attempted murder of Adrian Boke. Information about the “Myrotvorets” kill-list was only reported after the inclusion of a well-known American journalist in 2016. French journalist unions and human rights activists are subservient to NATO and the European Union, so the problem of journalist safety can only be solved by creating a new, independent international agency.
According to journalist from Serbia, Miodrag Zarkovic, not only journalists but journalism as a whole needs protection. He said that this profession has never been safe and attempts by Western countries to silence dissenting voices only worsen the situation. In his opinion, major American and European media outlets practically do not engage in journalism and instead effectively practice propaganda. He cited the example of NATO bombing of a Serbian television company, which resulted in the deaths of 16 employees. No western officials were held accountable for the largest attack on journalists in Serbian history. According to Zarkovic, we should focus all efforts on fighting those who threaten modern journalism. Our experience, knowledge, and criticism should be directed against those who harm the profession and opponents of freedom of speech.
Deborah Armstrong stated that the only threat she faced in the United States because of her activity was censorship, which has reached unprecedented levels. Her articles about events in Ukraine are marked as unreliable sources, American social networks blocked her accounts multiple times, and videos of her colleagues are removed without explanation.
After discussing cyber threats and harassment in social media faced by American journalists, Armstrong stated the lack of information about Ukrainian crimes in the US. Mass media has led Americans to not perceive the “Myrotvorets” list as a real threat.
British blogger and journalist Mike Jones agreed with previous speakers and stated that the problem of censorship and physical attacks on journalists in the West is not new and well-known. Several of his colleagues were forced to move to Russia in search of political asylum. Condemning the cases of violence against members of the press, Mike Jones agreed that it was time to unite and begin to struggle for our rights.
All participants of the press forum supported the initiative of the Foundation to Battle Injustice to create an independent body to protect the rights of journalists. Unlike the existing institutes through which the West hinders independent journalists and creates threats to their lives, such an organization will provide the necessary support and resources for the safe and effective work of media employees around the world.
We have no free press in Norway, no free speech either.
Well if there is also a war on, or of, information of all sorts, the 4th branch of gvt could be directly involved in the conflict and then be seen as another opposition, each army having to fight the other 2 simultaneously.
Makes for interesting bed fellows at the end of the day too.
And one of the lies that came out of the phony War on Terror was “They hate us because of our values.”
Good article for rearranging my beliefs. Been thinking the media are mostly sellouts but the kind of pressure they are under is enough to discourage any dissent.
This fascist takeover of all things civil is clear.
After reading this article, I’m wondering if there aren’t a good number of journalists with integrity, who are simply being censored into oblivion, or even worse.
CBC is Canada’s national News service funded by the taxpayer. It’s also a voice of Canada’s culture, which at one time its mission was paved with good intentions but today CBC has become a lobbyist for liar’s cheaters and thieves. We have a watchdog who supposedly monitors what CBC reports but everything that I see and hear and what they provide as news is a shameful example of the most despicable elements of Nazism that cost us 50 million lives not so long ago. If you want to know the truth you would be “insane” to look for it on the editorial page of any newspaper or to hear it on CBC. CBC management do you need to be told that “insane” people who read your news think everything they report is true while sane one’s question not only your sanity but their own.
Anyone who resists or questions the government version and your message is labeled, as you did in today’s editorial as a terrorist. Those who question 9/11 are in editor’s words ‘insane”. The Global Gangsters are never “insane” as they kill 14, 000 in the Donbas and 1.8 million Iraqis, in the post 9/11 litany of lies. Our court system has found many individuals not guilty of a single killing due to insanity, while you CBC never question the sanity of those responsible for 14,000 dead in the Donbas and 1.8 million dead Iraqis’.
CBC never allows for public airing of information being suppressed by governments, however, if done by China or Iran it would be called “totalitarian”. Remember Desmond Tutu, the Mainstream Media hero whose name was on CBC every night when he spoke about reconciliation in South Africa, but his name is nowhere to be found on your News when he calls for the arrest of Tony Blair for war crimes. CBC one of your own is being marginalized and silenced (Julian Paul Assange an Australian) editor, activist, publisher and journalist and you are silent. Shame on you.
Yes, CBC there was no such thing as the Reichstag Fire, ‘USS Liberty’, Bay of pigs” assassination of JFK”, “U-2″ Night of the Long knives, Katyan massacre” “Operation Northwoods” Gulf of Tonkin, Letter to German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder http://www.effedieffe.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2495&Itemid=152 and hundreds of other clandestine acts where innocent people were killed nations destabilized and people impoverished to promote some or the other government policy. Yes, CBC there is no such thing as “The Project for the New American Century” it’s just the “insane” that have invented it.
Yes, CBC it’s the “insane” that ask why does the USA outspend the rest of the world on armaments. No CBC there is no such thing as “Project Artichoke,” a 15-year a multibillion-dollar CIA search for ways to control the human mind. Only those on LSD in Montreal would know its use and abuse by the CIA in Canada. Do you remember the FLQ crisis when the RCMP burned barns and falsified acts of terrorism to discredit the Quebec independence activists. No CBC there is no such thing as the special ops crew (66,000 people in all) that kill, assassinate, and torture in countries around the world and are unaccountable for their actions to anyone.
Now CBC rather than calling people “insane” who question why not ask why things happened the way they did, who benefited, how did the security at several airports simultaneously fail, how did the most sophisticated security state get breached by bunch of camel herders, and why the refusal for a full investigation? Why not question exploitation of labor in many of the countries that we trade with. Why not criticize and evaluate how the military in these countries support this exploitation and why are we fully supportive of their brutality. Oh yes with our silence we are protecting the “free market”. We attack those who would promote collective ownership, regardless if the government is freely elected, and we give tons of money and armaments to those who want to privatize their industry and open the doors to the multinationals.
Yes Mr. Editor how about closer to home in our community you never once presented the health hazards of living in a toxic environment. I guess you feel that the more we are exposed to toxins, dust and other industrial pollutants the more we will develop immunity. Time you got off the fence and tell it as it is. Overexposure does not make us immune it makes us more vulnerable to illnesses. In Canada CBC and Mainstream Media idea of reality is a perfect example of insanity.
The greatest threat to freedom of speech comes from government theft and destruction of privacy. In the West, particularly the United States and Great Britain, the people are a threat to the power, control, and hegemony of the Elite and it’s attack dog, the Deep State (National Security State). For that reason, the Elite/Deep State are obsessed with knowing every thing the people eat, sleep, buy, sell, think and do. Enter the PROMIS software and Palintir Corporation to vacuum, accumulate, and agglomerate every ounce of data related to any individual who dares to hold contrarian views from the official narrative, i.e., the approved and manufactured pablum.
As former CIA director, Richard Helms, said in1972, if you want to “spy on domestic dissidents, just call them terrorists.”
“Imagine a company that knows everything about everyone. A company that is equally at ease helping banks identify fraud as it is helping intelligence agencies track down enemies of the state. A company that can combine pictures of you with your cell phone location data, emails you’ve written, your health records and credit card purchases and thousands of other pieces of electronic data to paint an intimate portrait of your life—a portrait that any would-be investigator can pull up with a few keystrokes. A company that can target you anywhere in the world at any time.
Now stop imagining that company, because it already exists. It’s called Palantir Technologies. Palantir is a front company for (DARPA’s Total Information Awareness/Terrorism Information Awareness), a once-secret military and intelligence project to collect and data mine every available piece of information about you.
Palantir is not just a database. It is not simply software. It is a weapon… the power to see into every nook and cranny of someone’s life is the ultimate power. To know where someone lives, where they work, who they talk to, what they talk about, what they buy, what they eat and drink, where they travel and what they do online is to have total control over them. Sauron himself couldn’t ask for anything more.
As CEO (Alex) Karp has bluntly stated: “our product is used on occasion to kill people.”
Now apply that company, that software, that mindset to the SMO in Ukraine and you have the following nonsense that every leader (LOL) in the West is EXPECTED to repeat, regurgitate, and accept as religiosity.
Listen and try not to cry because laughing ignores the absurd loss of life. Direct from Davos and the WEF
Palantir CEO Alex Karp on why Software Tipped the Balance in Ukraine | World Economic Forum
Myrotvorets list is maintained by and hosted on NATO servers. Not by Ukraine.
And… the US and “allies” Israel and KSA openly murder journalists with impunity. Kashoggi was murdered and cut up into pieces and shoved into a plastic bag. No one was brought to justice. Israeli military deliberately shot famous journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in broad daylight.
Then there are people who have exposed US murders of journalists and innocents.
Julian Assange is being held in max security prison on BS charges. The criminal Australian govt. won’t do anything about it.
Bottom line: there is no “free press” in the US, UK and vassal states. They make an example out of Assange. If a journalist reports on matters not approved by the Ministry of Truth, they could be killed, or imprisoned. The Rule of Law and Freedom of the Press are made a mockery of daily.
I wrote an extensive letter to CBC and here is an excerpt from it. I responded to a recent column by Gwynn Dyer a British presstitute in our local rag but neither responded.
“My letter to you concerns CBC and their reporting on world issues. One of the biggest threats to global peace is propaganda, represented as news, regardless of where it comes from. The psychology intrinsic to both rising and declining power can be dangerous particularly when supported by disinformation as the CBC is doing now. CBC has become a partner in the American and national concept of “containment” by war and violation of international treaties. Our support for such policy can lead to war and the price will be paid by Europe as it was in WWII and more recently the middle East.
Canadas propagandized population has no way to determine the validity of information on international events and domestic policy presented as news by CBC. There is no way for a discerning listener to challenge the bias, inference, fact, and judgement which is claimed by CBC to be authentic and objective when only one narrative is presented as the facts. Every view has a counter view and its from this principle that truth emerges.
“Democracy depends on citizens being informed, and since our media, especially television, reports mostly what the people in power do” and what the people in power want you to know, democracy becomes totalitarianism. The public is badly informed by CBC reporting. Bias is relentless, the narrative is always from NATO and the Ukrainian produced information which could be created using the cell phone. CBC never verifies the authenticity of the information, but always presents it to us as news and facts. For example, the government political, economic, religious, military, ethnic or social class point of view predominates the news. The society is brainwashed, and absolute ignorance prevails on any topic of Russia, politics, and economics.”
Western media never cover the attack on journalists who report from Russian zone in this conflict. Canadian media companies speak loudly about freedom but practice it only for their narrative.
To combat the countless pro-Western propaganda assaults, we need all the supporters we can get. We can’t afford fighting among ourselves over personal issues. That has always been a problem with information warfare. And it only helps our enemies.Having said that,here are several videos that are explaining to Western audiences what is really taking place: