Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 250

Posts Tagged ‘arrest’

Julian Assange is under arrest

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 13 aprile 2019

By Jon Allsop. Mid-morning, UK time, a bevy of police officers hauled Assange, the divisive founder of WikiLeaks, out of Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he had lived under diplomatic immunity since 2012, and into a waiting truck. In a video message, Lenín Moreno, Ecuador’s president, confirmed that his government had taken the “sovereign decision” to withdraw asylum from Assange due to “his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.” One of Assange’s lawyers said that characterization was incomplete—she tweeted that Assange had also been arrested in response to a US extradition request (British police later confirmed this)—another accused Ecuador of doing America’s bidding for financial reasons. As he was dragged away, Assange appeared to shout “the UK must resist!” In his hands he clutched a copy of Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State.Assange’s arrest marks the end of his extraordinary, long spell in the embassy. He first took refuge there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where authorities wanted him to answer charges that he sexually assaulted two women. (Assange and his supporters called the allegations a pretext to extradite Assange to the US, where he could have faced the death penalty over his work for WikiLeaks. Although Swedish prosecutors did drop their arrest warrant for Assange in 2017, the case has never been closed: Sweden is expected to provide an update later today.) In August 2012, Ecuador bucked intense pressure from the British government and granted Assange’s request for asylum; at the time, the decision was variously interpreted as an escalation of Ecuador’s hostile relationship with Washington, and a bid to improve its poor reputation on freedom of speech. Its government expressed hope that Britain would allow Assange to leave the embassy for Ecuador itself, but Britain made clear that he would be arrested the minute he set foot outside. And so Assange stayed put—for nearly seven years.In recent months, Assange’s relationship with Ecuador soured. Last year, officials cut his internet access and restricted his access to visitors; Assange, they said, was in violation of an agreement he had made to quit meddling in other countries’ affairs. In October, Assange sued Ecuador, which he accused of breaching his “fundamental rights.” Late last week, WikiLeaks predicted, in a tweet, that Assange would be kicked out of the embassy within “hours to days.” In his final days of refuge, WikiLeaks said Assange was living a “Truman Show existence” under intense surveillance.Assange’s lawyer says the Americans have finally got their way. Late last year, the US Justice Department accidentally revealed, in a filing in an unrelated case, that it has filed secret, unspecified criminal charges against Assange. As The New York Times reported, Assange “would have to be arrested and extradited if he were to face charges in federal court, altogether a multistep diplomatic and legal process.” The first of those steps, at least, has now been taken care of. Assange has been a wanted man in America ever since he orchestrated WikiLeaks’s dumps of incriminating government documents in the early 2010s, in particular the diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning. His publication, in 2016, of emails stolen from senior Democratic Party officials by Russian operatives hardly helped his case. Going forward, journalists will need to be vigilant. Assange’s case is specific, but the way the Justice Department responds to his arrest could have serious implications for all of us.This day was always likely to come. As governments change, so, too, do their diplomatic alignments: since he took office in Ecuador in 2017, Moreno has reportedly been looking for ways to rid himself of Assange, calling him “an inherited problem.” While we wait for more information, it’s interesting to take a moment to reflect on Assange’s years in exile. Mostly, we forgot about him; sometimes—during bursts of media attention related to his work, health, or associates—he cast a long, familiar shadow across the public eye. With his actions on behalf of the Russians in 2016, he chiseled himself, indelibly, into the annals of American history. It’s an extraordinary story. (font: CJR Editors)

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The arrest of Hossam Bahgat

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 13 novembre 2015

cairoCairo. The International Center for Transitional Justice finds the arrest of Hossam Bahgat, one of Egypt’s leading human rights activists, an ominous sign of the country’s continuous slide into oppression under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. On Sunday, Bahgat was summoned by the Egyptian military intelligence and, after nine hours of integration, was transferred to a military prosecutor who charged him with disseminating “false information about the Army.” Bahgat could face up to five years’ imprisonment.ICTJ joins human rights organizations and defenders around the world in calling for Bahgat’s immediate release and for Egypt’s government to respect human rights and rule of law, particularly with regard to the freedom of the press and due process.“Hossam Bahgat’s clarion voice articulated the aspirations of Egyptians who took to the streets to end Mubarak’s dictatorship under the slogan ‘Bread. Freedom. Social justice.’ Bahgat’s arrest again shows that the military and President Sisi have decided to take the country in precisely the opposite direction, toward repression and fear. We stand in solidarity with Hossam,” said David Tolbert, president of ICTJ.The ongoing crackdown on journalists and demonstrators in Egypt, which has seen Bahgat detained by the military intelligence on baseless charges, clearly illustrates that the hopes of millions of Egyptians for a more just, rights-respecting society have been all but dashed under the current regime.When Bahgat spoke at ICTJ’s Annual Lecture on Transitional Justice in 2011, he was clear about the kind of society he and millions of Egyptians wanted: “[For true] reform, justice and accountability for crimes committed must be restored to promote democratization as well as economic growth.”“His words ring more true today than ever before,” said Tolbert. “Certainly the detention of journalists and the use of draconian anti-terrorism laws as an excuse by the military to suppress freedom of speech are the actions of authoritarian rulers, not a government aspiring to be seen as democratic and respecting international norms.”
According to reports, the military prosecutor ordered Bahgat to be detained for four days, until November 11. Bahgat’s lawyers do not have access to him today and the military prosecutor has refused to inform his lawyers as to his whereabouts. The last time anyone saw him was at 9:00 last night (EET) and his current whereabouts are unknown.The charges against him stem from an investigative piece he wrote in August on an attempted coup against the Egyptian president.Article 204 of Egypt’s 2014 Constitution allows civilians to be referred to military courts. It has been seriously challenged by Egyptian activists, some of whom are currently serving different sentences stemming from their involvement in demonstrations.
Bahgat founded the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent Egyptian human rights organization that became one of the most effective and prominent human rights organizations in Egypt, in 2010. In 2013, Foreign Policy named Bahgat among the leading global thinkers of the year. That same year, Bahgat left EIPR and joined Mada Masr, an online news site, to pursue investigative journalism. He has written a series of high-quality investigative articles concerning the Egyptian army and military trials.

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Fair trials: MEPs strengthen EU-wide standards for legal aid

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 maggio 2015

civil libertiesPeople who are suspected or accused of a crime, or are named in a European Arrest Warrant, but cannot afford a lawyer or court proceedings, should have access to EU member state funding and assistance for both “provisional” and “ordinary” legal aid, say Civil Liberties MEPs in amendments, voted on Wednesday, to a proposed EU directive on fair trial rights.
MEPs broadened the draft directive’s scope to include the right to “ordinary legal aid” for suspects or accused persons facing criminal justice. This would entitle those who cannot afford a lawyer to member state “funding and assistance” to meet part or all of the costs of their defence and of court proceedings. Legal aid should be provided “at all stages of the criminal justice process”, MEPs say. They also set out strict provisions to clarify when minor offences would be excluded from the directive’s scope.
“For those who lack the necessary financial means, only legal aid can make the right of access to a lawyer effective”, said rapporteur Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL, NL).The European Commission proposal would only guarantee the right to “provisional” legal aid for suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings who are “deprived of liberty”, i.e. from the moment when they are taken into police custody, and in any event before questioning, until a final decision on their eligibility for legal aid has been taken and comes into effect.The draft directive would also ensure that legal aid (both provisional and ordinary) is made available for persons named in European Arrest Warrants. MEPs added provisions to ensure that a person’s economic situation is properly assessed (“means test”), as well as the situations when legal aid is required in the interests of justice (“merits test”). A merits test should assess, for example, the complexity of the case or the seriousness of the offence. EU countries would be required to make all relevant information on legal aid, “easily accessible and understandable” e.g. by explaining how and where to apply for such aid and providing “transparent criteria on eligibility”, to enable suspects to take informed decisions.MEPs also inserted legal aid quality safeguards. These would require member states to put in place or maintain, for instance, an “accreditation” system for legal aid lawyers and continuous professional training to ensure their quality and independence. Suspects or accused persons should “have the right to have the legal aid lawyer assigned to them replaced once”, MEPs say.To reassure those who might be frightened by the prospect of having to reimburse the costs of provisional legal aid later, MEPs inserted an additional condition: these costs may, “exceptionally”, be recovered if suspects are subsequently found not to meet the eligibility criteria for ordinary legal aid under national law and have “intentionally provided the competent authorities with false information on their personal financial situation”.This directive should apply to suspects or accused persons “regardless of their legal status, citizenship or nationality, sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, residence status, age or sexual orientation or any other status”, MEPs add. The committee vote gives the rapporteur a mandate to start negotiations with the Council of Ministers, with a view to agreeing on the proposed directive (the Council agreed a general approach on it in March). Three-way talks between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission (“trialogues”) should start soon.

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World Jewish Congress praises French, Belgian authorities for arrest of suspected Brussels Jewish museum gunman

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 giugno 2014

sharanskyBRUSSELS/NEW YORK — The World Jewish Congress today welcomed the arrest of the suspected gunman in the May 24 shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels, which killed three people and gravely injured another. “We welcome the arrest of a suspect in this heinous crime and praise the prompt work of the French and Belgian authorities,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “We have to ask, however, why such a murderous anti-Semitic attack can happen in broad daylight in a European capital, just two years after a similar attack in Toulouse, France. European governments must face the stark reality that jihadist warfare is a reality in their streets, and must train their efforts on preventing the spread of hate and apprehending terrorists before they act, rather than reacting after an incident occurs. “Governments need to engage in constructive dialogue with WJC on this and related issues,” Lauder continued. “Tomorrow, we will bring a solidarity mission to Brussels of 38 senior Jewish leaders from 16 communities, and we will take this message to the highest levels of the Belgian government.” Police in France have arrested Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national, who they said returned to France from Brussels via bus. Nemmouche recently spent a year in Syria and is a radicalized Islamist, the chief prosecutor of Paris said at a news conference on Sunday.

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The Economist this week

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 26 maggio 2011

Questa settimana segnalo nella sezione Leaders:
– L’analisi che prende in esame l’impatto dell’uomo sul nostro pianeta. Nel tempo la razza umana si è trasformata in una forza della natura che rimodella la conformazione del pianeta, ma ad una velocità più rapida rispetto a quella geologica: Welcome to the Anthropocen – Humans have changed the way the world works. Now they have to change the way they think about it, too
– Lo special report, disponibile su richiesta, sull’Australia, democratica, tollerante ed ospitale con gli immigrati, politicamente stabile ed economicamente florida, una sorta di California di 30 anni fà, una nuova versione di “Golden State”: The next Golden State – With a bit of self-belief, Australia could become a model nation
– L’articolo sulle proteste in Spagna: Spain’s cry of pain – How to get the protesters out of the plazas and into jobs. Argomento approfondito nella sezione Europe: The unhappy campers – Spain’s young want jobs, the markets want reform and voters want a new government
– L’articolo che si occupa della ricerca del nuovo candidato per il FMI, mentre Dominique Strauss-Kahn attende il processo per l’accusa dio violenza sessuale: Time for a change – Why a euro zone finance minister, even a talented one, should not lead the IMF
Mentre nella sezione Europe:
– L’editoriale sulle reazioni dell’elite francese dopo l’arresto di Dominique Strauss-Kahn: What did they know? –
Some hard questions for France’s elite after Dominique Strauss Kahn’s arrest
– L’artcolo sulla Turchia, nella top league per gli scandali sessuali, che ha visto nelle scorse settimane, le dimissioni di non meno di dieci componenti del MHP: Feeling blue – Another opposition party is laid low by clandestine videos
– L’articolo sulla politica olandese: Neither in nor out – And that’s exactly how Geert Wilders likes it
– La rubrica Charlemagne: The Obama tonic – The American president’s message of hope could be useful in Europe (Beatrice Mozzi)
E gli highlights dell’editore:
After several covers connected to the news, we step back this week. In Asia we look at Australia: we argue that with a little more self confidence it should become the next Golden State, Asia’s California. In the rest of the world we step back even farther and welcome the Anthropocene. This is the scientific idea that man has so changed the earth that he has created a new geological age. Humans we argue have changed the way that the planet works: now they have to change the way they think about it too.
Obama, Bibi and peace The president annoys a lot of Israelis, but does not please that many Arabs. A soft landing for China. A slower world economy could help the Chinese Why the brain drain helps fight poverty. A closer look at migration Huntsman blows his horn. A look at a credible Republican. The cost of cancer drugs New medicines are technically impressive, but not cheap.

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