Gaza Christians upset over ‘forced conversions’

first_img New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Curate Diocese of Nebraska Rector Tampa, FL Gaza Christians upset over ‘forced conversions’ [Ecumenical News International, Jerusalem] The small Christian community of Gaza is in a state of uproar and has held an uncommon public protest against the Islamic Hamas government over what they say are forced conversions of two Christians in recent weeks.Led by Gaza’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Alexious, the protesters gathered on July 21 in front of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Perfidious in Gaza City. They said they felt growing pressure from Gaza Muslims to convert, although there is no official Hamas policy for the conversion of Christians.“We are afraid more young people will be forced to convert,” one Christian who asked not to be named told ENInews. “If they want to convert of their own free will, okay, but why keep them away from their families?”They said 24-year-old Ramez al-Amash was kidnapped from his home, and that a young mother, 32-year-old Hiba Abu Dawoud, along with her three daughters was also forced to convert to Islam. A video on a pro-Hamas website TV showing Abu Dawoud and her daughters wearing traditional Muslim dress and saying they willingly converted to Islam was made under duress, said family members.Her now-estranged husband told the Associated Press that Abu Dawoud had complained during her university studies about the pressure she felt from her Muslim colleagues to convert.But al-Amash and Abu Dawoud said they came to the decision on their own through careful deliberation through their exposure to Islam during university studies and willingly embraced the Muslim faith.The families said they were prevented from seeing their children while the converts themselves said they had gone into hiding out of fear of repercussions from their families. Al-Amash told Reuters he wanted to return home as long as his mother would accept his conversion, and was home one day later.However, Gaza Christians said they feel uneasy. “We aren’t safe anymore,” Gaza City resident Josef Elias, 44, told the Associated Press. “This is a conspiracy against our existence in the Holy Land.”AP quoted Hamas government minister Bassem Naim as saying the Christians were part of the Palestinian people and had “the full right to practice their faith.”Fewer than 3,000 Christians live among Gaza’s 1.7 million Muslims as Christians have left the Gaza Strip during a five-year-old Israeli blockade. They say they are trying to escape a crumbling economy and growing Islamic extremism which includes efforts to convert them since the Hamas government took power in 2007 and restricts civil freedoms from drinking alcohol to ways of dress.According to media reports, ten Christians are known to have converted in the past eight years. In recent years Christian institutions have been attacked by Muslim hardliners and one Christian bookstore owner was murdered. 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VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Martinsville, VA Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT last_img read more

Hurricane Dorian Preparedness Update: Shelters and school closings in Apopka and…

first_img Please enter your comment! Reply About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, the nation’s second-largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County Facebook and Twitter pages. TENITA REID The Anatomy of Fear August 30, 2019 at 10:36 pm Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 TAGSHurricane Season 2019Orange CountyOrange County Mayor Jerry Demings Previous articlePreparing for hurricanes: 3 essential readsNext articleAdventHealth offers Free eCare available for Floridians during Hurricane Dorian Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR August 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm 4 COMMENTS Reply Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate TENITA REID Looking at people filling up sand bags at Barnett Park…..good Lord, is it me, or did the county obtain bigger bags than what were used in the past hurricanes??? They sure looked way bigger to me. Looked like 50 pound bags. I decided we didn’t need them that badly, to lug those heavy things home. I learned from the past hurricanes to pass on taping the glass windows too….a nightmare to remove the tape if you don’t get around to removing it before the sun helps bake it on. Live and learn from mistakes and boo boos. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply That was a very nice tribute that Apopka City Commissioner, Kyle Becker, had in the Apopka Chief Newspaper today for Apopka Fire Chief Carnesale’s retirement. An entire full page print! TENITA REID August 30, 2019 at 10:07 pm You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here It was kind of fun watching the Orange County elected officials on tv today going over hurricane preparations. Former Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs, stood there talking, and turned around to Mayor Demings and referred to him as Sheriff Demings. She then realized her mistake and said, “there I go again”…..and laughed. There were so many elected job switchers gathered there, no wonder she forgot the title…..LOL Please enter your name here TENITA REID The weather on tv said that the hurricane is loaded with a huge amount of lightning strikes. I sure wasn’t happy to hear that either, plus they can spin off some horrible tornados. Maybe, SHARKNADOS! Really, it is depressing, and I am getting worried, and so I am trying to joke a little. When it gets here, and gets bad, I plan on sleeping ,or doing some sewing to get through the stress of all of this ordeal. That is my plan, or to drink some beer, and pray. Reply Reply Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Orange County – Hurricane Dorian Update #3Key Information for Residents to Prepare for Hurricane Dorian: Aug. 30, 2019Orange County, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings signed an Emergency Executive Order declaring a State of Local Emergency in Orange County this morning, Aug. 30, 2019.Resident Information Line and Emergency Alert InfoFor any information or questions regarding Hurricane Dorian, call 311 or visit ocfl.net/311 to chat online or download the OCFL 311 app, which allows users to photograph, pinpoint and report any issues you may encounter before, during or after the storm.Sign up for the free alert system notification at OC ALERT, which enables you to get alerts via email or text during Hurricane Dorian. Visit http://ocalert.net.SheltersOrange County Government is slated to open to open 12 shelters on 8 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, which will include four pet-friendly shelters. There will also be special needs/medical shelters. Please DO NOT arrive before Sunday, Sept. 1 at any of the shelters. They will not be open beforehand. General population shelters: (Note: *indicates a pet-friendly shelter.)Apopka High School*Cypress Creek High SchoolDiscovery Middle SchoolPhillips High SchoolEast River High School*Edgewater High SchoolEvans High SchoolFreedom Middle SchoolLake Nona High School*Oak Ridge High School*Ocoee High SchoolWindermere High SchoolVisit www.ocfl.net/Shelters for a complete and up-to-date list with addresses with information on what to bring, including food, water and bedding material. Please remember, the shelters do not provide or allow cots. If you require a Special Needs/Medical shelter, please contact 311.Garbage & Recycling CollectionGarbage, recycling, large items and yard waste will not be collected for residents of unincorporated Orange County on Monday, Sept. 2, and Tues, September 3. Visit www.ocfl.net/DorianGarbage for more information.In addition, residents can take their yard waste to various landfill sites (www.ocfl.net/WasteSites) and follow their guidelines as provided. Disposal sites will closed at noon on Sunday, Sept. 1. SandbagsDistribution of pre-filled sandbags are open at various locations today and on Sat., Aug. 31. Self-serve sandbag locations are also available. Visit www.ocfl.net/sandbags for details. Informational fliers will be provided at pick-up on how to properly use sandbag. A “how-to” video on sandbags is also available on Orange County’s storm webpage.Generator SafetyOrange County Fire Department reminds residents to be mindful of generator safety.Generators should only be used in well-ventilated locations OUTSIDE at least five feet away from all doors, windows and vents.Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.Place generators so exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings; the exhaust must be directed away from the building.Orange County Public SchoolsOrange County Public Schools will be closed officially on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Visit www.ocps.net for additional information and to stay up-to-date. August 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Get ‘hairy crazy’ for charity during Febru-hairy month

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 Sue Ryder is putting the fun into fundraising with the launch of its Febru-hairy month. People are being encouraged to sport creative styles and funny hair to raise vital funds for the health and social care charity.Last year people taking part in the event helped raise more than £25,000 to support the charity to provide end of life and long-term health and social care for the thousands of people it cares for every year.Mickey Clarke, Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder, commented: “This is the second year Sue Ryder is running Febru-hairy and every year we see more and more people taking part. People can be as creative as they like. You can wear a wig or a joke moustache for a day and ask friends and colleagues to sponsor you. You can host a bad hair day, do a sponsored leg wax or have a head shave or you can organise a beard and moustache competition with your friends. There are plenty of crazy ideas to choose from.We would like to see as many people as possible involved from companies, schools, colleges, individuals to pubs and community groups to help us smash last year target. This year we have doubled our target and want to raise more than £60,000”.All money raised through the event will help Sue Ryder provide care and support to people living with complex conditions including cancer, dementia, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and acquired brain injury at a very fragile time of their life as well as to their family and loved ones. £15 provides a half hour physiotherapy session for someone with Multiple Sclerosis to help increase their mobility: £50 pays for a programme of bereavement sessions to help people cope with loss and £300 covers the daily cost of running a bed in one of the charity’s 6 hospices across the country.Rev Anna Garvie, who works at Sue Ryder and took part in Febru-hairy last year, added: “’Being based at one of the Sue Ryder’s hospices, Thorpe Hall, I see the wonderful work done at the hospice on a regular basis. I always support the charity in anyway I can, so when I was challenged to dye my hair, I jumped at the chance. Hopefully I’ve proved that fundraising can be a lot of fun and that anybody can get involved”.To get involved in Febru-hairy month, contact the fundraising team on 0845 050 1953 or visit http://www.suerydercare.org/pages/febru-hairy.html to download your very own Febru-hairy pack full of ideas and suggestions or you can email [email protected] Advertisement  31 total views,  1 views today Get ‘hairy crazy’ for charity during Febru-hairy monthcenter_img  32 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis3 Howard Lake | 31 January 2011 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Leadership development programme seeks charity participants for 2021

first_img About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Melanie May | 16 November 2020 | News Tagged with: corporate mentoring Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels Leadership development programme seeks charity participants for 2021center_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Charity leaders are sought to take part in a free one-year personal and professional development programme.The Growth Project pairs 10 charity leaders with 10 business leaders and offers eight group learning sessions, as well as regular one-to-one meetings between partners. It aims to bring participants together to share learning, and to provide charity leaders with knowledge and skills to help them drive efficiencies and effectiveness within their charity. The range of topics includes Building Networks, Creating Shared Experiences, Governance, Storytelling and Optimising Leadership Potential, and the programme is delivered at no cost to the charity leader.Business leaders attend the group sessions with their charity leader partner, sharing ideas and knowledge throughout the course. This also provides a leadership development opportunity for the business leader who is challenged to develop their influencing skills and take what they have learnt back to their organisation.As well as the eight group sessions, each pair will also meet regularly on their own.There will be two cohorts in 2021, starting in March, and there is a deadline of 30 November for applications.To be eligible, charity applicants must be the leader of an emerging charity, with an annual revenue of under £5m a year and have at least one project in operation. They must also be based in the UK and able to commit to the workshop dates.The Growth Project is a non-profit organisation. It launched in 2013 in Australia with the aim of positively impacting 100 charity leaders and 100 business leaders over the course of five years to 2020. In the UK it is a separate UK legal entity operating under a legal agreement with The Growth Project in Australia. Here it aims to help 50 charities and leaders over a three-year period. It launched its first UK programme in March this year, which will be followed by two programmes in 2021 and a further two in 2022.More information is available on The Growth Project site.  288 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Bay Area celebrates life of Leslie Feinberg

first_imgGloria Verdieu pays tribute to Leslie Feinberg.WW photo: Terri KayActivists from across the Bay Area turned out on May 31 in Oakland, Calif., to join in the celebration of the life of Workers World Party leader Leslie Feinberg.For over 40 years, Leslie Feinberg, revolutionary activist and transgender warrior in the LGBTQ community fought for justice. Leslie, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on Nov. 15 last year at age 65. She succumbed to complications from multiple tick-borne co-infections, including Lyme disease, after decades of illness.There were people who had never met her, but were touched by her writings and revolutionary activism, and there were those who had been in the struggle with her at various points in her life.The meeting was opened by a beautiful song performed by Tina Shauf from the Filipino women’s group, GABRIELA USA. Speakers included Irma Bajar of GABRIELA; Bob McCubbin, author of “The Roots of Gay and Lesbian Oppression” and a representative of the San Diego branch of Workers World Party; and Gloria Verdieu from the San Diego Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.Patricia Jackson of the Gray Panthers organization and Zoe Kastl did readings from Feinberg’s universally acclaimed novel, “Stone Butch Blues,” and hir groundbreaking theoretical and autobiographical book, “Transgender Warriors.” Deeg Gold, of LAGAI-Queer Insurrection and Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, and Judy Greenspan from WWP, co-chaired the meeting.  Solidarity messages came from the Freedom Socialist Party and Party for Socialism and Liberation.The event was convened by Workers World Party, LAGAI-Queer Insurrection, QUIT!, the SF Gray Panthers and GABRIELA USA.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Portland, Ore.: Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution

first_imgThe Hands Off Venezuela Coalition in Portland, Ore., displayed banners and placards calling for “No Sanctions, No Coup, No Media Lies” over the I-5 freeway for two hours during heavy early morning commuting traffic on April 19. The largest banner read, “Trump and Dems wage war, We say No More.” A dozen placards had messages like: “Guaidó, made in the U.S.A.,” “Media sells war for oil” and “Maduro was elected by 67%.” Coalition members were met with a constant stream of supportive honks, fists and thumbs up, with an occasional middle finger. Encouraged by the success of reaching so many people, the coalition plans on repeating the action weekly or a few times a month over the many congested highways leading into Portland.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Journalists attacked in Kashmir while covering elections

first_imgNews In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival April 27, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on India Organisation News Reporters Without Borders condemns attacks on journalists in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir during coverage of parliamentary elections that are taking in stages from 7 April to 12 May.Sheikh Inayet, a local correspondent for Times Now TV, and Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a reporter for the Sharherbeen Times, were covering a local party’s election meeting in Bandipora on 19 April when they were attacked and badly injured by members of the elite Special Operations Group (SOG), as well as police officers and reservists.Javed Dar, a photo-journalist working for Xinhua News, was attacked and injured by police in the town of Kulgam on 24 April, while the windows of the car of the journalist accompanying him, Farooq Javed Khan, were smashed.Shabnam Fayz of Munsif TV and Aadil Umar Shah of Voice TV had to be hospitalized after being beaten by police while covering protests in Pulwama, a town to the west of Srinagar, on 24 April.“We call on the central government to shed light on these attacks and to do what is necessary to arrest and punish those responsible,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “The Kashmiri authorities must stop obstructing the work of journalists and stop controlling the flow of information in the region.“In view of the electoral tension in Kashmir, it is vital that the authorities encourage a transparent election and allow a democratic debate. Kashmir must cease to be a lawless region in which journalists keep on having to expose themselves to danger.”Inayet told Reporters Without Borders: “We were surrounded by a score of police officers who began to beat us with their gun butts and canes as soon as they heard that we were Times Now journalists. They also took our cameras and damaged them.”Bhat said: “The police beat us unconscious. My back and arm were badly injured and I am unable to do my regular work.”Srinagar journalists staged a sit-in on 3 April in protest against the low number of press accreditations issued by the authorities, which restricted coverage of the candidate registration process.India is ranked 140th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Receive email alerts News March 3, 2021 Find out morecenter_img June 10, 2021 Find out more India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media IndiaAsia – Pacific April 28, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists attacked in Kashmir while covering elections RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 RSF_en News IndiaAsia – Pacific to go furtherlast_img read more

Information minister seeks use of law on social responsibility against broadcast media in Anderson case

first_img January 13, 2021 Find out more News February 23, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Information minister seeks use of law on social responsibility against broadcast media in Anderson case News RSF_en Minister of Communications and Information, Yuri Pimentel, on 22 February applied for the law on social responsibility to be applied to the entire broadcast media by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) in relation to a major murder investigation. The minister accuses the media, but did not list them, of “obstructing” justice and criminal procedure underway in the case of the murder of Prosecutor Danilo Anderson.Under Article 4 of the law on social responsibility of radio and TV, that was passed on 24 November 2004, an investigation can be opened with the aim of punishing broadcast media with a fine equal to 1 to 2% of their pre-tax annual profits. Ten media, six of them TV stations, are currently under a ban handed down by a court on 23 January preventing them from publishing anything about the Anderson case, upheld on appeal on 14 February. __________________________________________________________________________15.02.06 – Appeal court rejects press appeal against publication ban in murder case The court of appeal in Caracas on 14 February 2006 rejected an appeal from the National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) and several media against a publication ban imposed by a lower court on 23 January.At that hearing, at the request of the Prosecutor-General, the judge acted against ten media including two public TV channels Venezolana de Televisión and Canal Metropolitano for “obstructing justice” – accusing them of challenging the credibility of a witness in the murder of a judge, Danilo Anderson, in 2004. The court at the same time banned the media, as a “protective measure”, from publishing any information relating to the investigation into the death of the judge or referring to the witness, whose name, Giovanny Vázquez, was already well known. The Venezuelan authorities suspect Patricia Poleo, editor of the daily El Nuevo País, who has reportedly fled to the United States, to be among those who instigated the murder of Danilo Anderson. “We continue to believe that this decision does not violate free expression, but simply restricts it, because freedom of expression has its limits”, prosecutor Luz Patricia Mejías told AFP after the appeal court hearing._________________________________________________________________________24.01.06 – Court ban on coverage of murder case seen as state censorship Reporters Without Borders today condemned a court order issued yesterday banning Venezuelan news media from revealing any details of the judicial investigation into the November 2004 murder of judge Danilo Anderson or mentioning a key witness in the case.The organisation also condemned the fact that 10 news media are to be investigated under the Law of Judicial Authority and the November 2004 Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television for possible “obstruction of justice” in their reporting on the case until now. The offence is punishable by a prison sentence of six months to two years in prison.“The Danilo Anderson case is fraught with political and media repercussions as two opposition journalists are accused of being among the instigators of the judge’s murder and certain independent news media have questioned the credibility of Giovanny Vásquez, the prosecution witness against these two journalists,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We fear this ‘obstruction of justice’ procedure is a judicial device for the government to yet again settle some scores with the privately-owned media and at the same time subject them to state censorship,” the press freedom organisation added.Caracas judge Florencio Silano issued the order in response to a request by attorney-general Isaías Rodríguez. The government and the judicial authorities consider Vásquez, a Colombian citizen, to be a prosecution witness in the case against Patricia Poleo of the daily El Nuevo País and Nelson Mezerhane, the main shareholder in the TV network Globovisión, for their alleged role in helping to mastermind Anderson’s murder. Poleo has fled to Peru.Several news media have challenged Vásquez’s credibility, alleging that he is not a psychiatrist, as he claimed, and that he has close links with Colombia’s guerrilla groups.Judge Silano will share responsibility for the obstruction of justice investigation with the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), which monitors the broadcast media and has the power to rescind their licences under the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television.The media targeted by the investigation are the four main privately-owned TV stations – Televen, RCTV, Venevisión and Globovisión – the Caracas-based Canal Metropolitano, the state-owned Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), and four daily newspapers – El Nacional, El Universal, Ultimas Noticias and El Nuevo País.Anderson, who was killed by bomb, headed the judicial investigation into 400 people – businessmen, journalists and opposition leaders – suspected of organising the abortive coup against President Hugo Chávez in April 2002.Since winning a referendum in August 2004, Chávez has had two laws passed that have severely eroded free expression and press freedom. One is the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television. The other is the Criminal Code Reform of March 2005. But until now, the authorities had never dipped into this legal arsenal. VenezuelaAmericas Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Help by sharing this information Two journalists murdered just days apart in Venezuela Receive email alertscenter_img News News to go further New wave of censorship targeting critical media outlets VenezuelaAmericas Organisation Follow the news on Venezuela June 15, 2020 Find out more August 25, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Egyptian websites try to resist blocking

first_img EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expressionInternet Egypt’s independent online media are trying to resist and circumvent an unprecedented wave of website blocking and censorship by the Egyptian government that Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regards as a grave violation of free speech and the freedom to inform. Organisation July 5, 2017 – Updated on July 13, 2017 Egyptian websites try to resist blocking June 28, 2017 Find out more Help by sharing this information News May 9, 2017 Find out more Follow the news on Egypt Journalists constantly threatened in Egypt Receive email alerts Unacceptable call for Al Jazeera’s closure in Gulf crisis News RSF_en to go further EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence Judicial harassmentEconomic pressureFreedom of expressionInternet News June 30, 2016 Find out more News “Egypt is currently in a digital black hole,” said Lina Attalah, the founder of Mada Masr, an influential Egyptian online newspaper publishing in English and Arabic that was one of the first news sites to be blocked by the government. The offensive against the Egyptian Internet began with the blocking of about 60 sites on 24 May and has been growing ever since. According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), 123 sites are currently censored. Never have so many sites been blocked at the same time, except when the government disconnected the Internet altogether during the 2011 uprising. “This act of censorship on a scale without precedent in Egypt is depriving the public of news and information that is independent and free of government control,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “The blocking of news websites is continuing the draconian policies of a regime that has turned Egypt into one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists. We call on the authorities to clearly and officially state the reasons for all this blocking and to quickly end what appears to be purely political censorship.” More than half of the 118 currently-blocked websites are news sites. Most are regarded as the media outlets or platforms of the military regime’s bugbears such as Qatar and Islamists. But some are just Arabic or English-language media whose independence irritates the regime. They include political party websites and the sites of the Tor Project and VPN providers whose software enables users to bypass blocking by masking their IP address and appearing not to be in Egypt. “The blocking is so extensive that it reaches all websites publishing content not subject to prior filtering by the Egyptian authorities,” Lina Attalah said. “Even the petitions site Avaaz has been blocked.” Ways to bypass blocking Censored online media are trying to keep their content available to Egyptian readers via the VPNs that are still accessible. But these censorship circumvention methods are not yet widely used in Egypt so their impact is limited. Al Bedaiah, an online Arabic-language newspaper that specializes in covering social conflicts and political prisoners, has seen a drastic fall in its readership now that it is only accessible to those using VPNs. “Before we had an average of 1,000 unique visitors at any one time but now there are fewer than 20,” Al Bedaiah editor Khaled el Balshy said. “We are producing fewer articles than before. It’s depressing for me and my colleagues but we continue to work with determination despite the blocking.” He said he has considered creating a new site but thinks it will also be blocked. To keep their articles accessible to readers, some media such as Mada Masr post them on related websites such as the French site Orient XXI or on Facebook, which is very popular in Egypt. “Since the blocking, we have seen a big increase in the number of our Facebook followers,” Attalah said. “But we have no illusions. We know that we are not disseminating as much content as before.” Facebook is an ingenious if rather impractical solution but how much longer will it work? Last spring, the Egyptian parliament drafted a bill that would make access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter conditional on being registered with the authorities. Article 19 of a proposed electronic crime law provides for blocking any website that is deemed to threaten national security interests, a phrase that is already widely used in political trials. The parliament has been debating the bill for some time but has not yet passed it. Illegal blocking? For the time being, there is neither any specific legislation nor has there been any official statement from the authorities about the blocking, aside from the publication of a “report” on 25 May that refers to authorization to block certain sites for a series of reasons linked to the need to combat terrorism. As a result, and for want of a negotiation window with the security services, some websites have initiated legal actions against what they hold to be an arbitrary and illegal measure. “We would like to know what the grounds are for a decision of this kind,” said Attalah, whose website, Mada Masr, is among those that have filed a complaint with the attorney-general and have requested an explanation from the administrative court. The free speech group AFTE also filed a complaint on 18 June.Unless their website gets unblocked soon by a judiciary measure, Masr al Arabiya, an independent Egyptian news website, knows it is on the verge of closing. Some of their readers may use VPNs, but this is far from enough. Adel Sabry, the editor in chief, is extremely concerned : he said the security services have been pressuring not only its advertisers but also the politicians and soccer players it interviews, depriving the website of its revenues and content in one go. Sabry has had to lay off nearly half of his 64 journalists and says he will have to shut the website down. The blocking has come at a time of domestic political tension fuelled by next year’s presidential election, an economic crisis, the political crackdown, continuing terrorist attacks and recent nationalistic unrest among sectors of society whose support for the regime has been undermined by its decision to cede two small Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. Egypt is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. RSF calls again for Shawkan’s releaselast_img read more

INTA adopted its final recommendation: The European Parliament must reject ACTA!

first_img Help by sharing this information June 21, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 INTA adopted its final recommendation: The European Parliament must reject ACTA! Europe – Central Asia “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says For further details : La Quadrature du Net———21.06.12 – INTA Committee Must Reject ACTAJoint press release by 41 European and International organisations to invite Members of the INTA committee to fully reject ACTA.ACTA threatens fundamental freedoms online, Net neutrality, innovation, access to free/libre technologies and to essential medicines. The European Parliament has all the evidence needed to reject it, and if it were to postpone the final vote on the agreement it would be seen as escaping its political responsibility.On Thursday, June 21st, Members of the International Trade (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will issue their final recommendation on ACTA to the rest of the Parliament.So far all committees have called for the rejection of ACTA. We urge the INTA members to do the same, and vote against any amendment calling for the adoption of ACTA or for postponing the final vote of the Parliament. Delaying the vote is a deceptive stratagem that the EU Commission and industry lobbies have been pushing for weeks in order to save face.Members of the EU Parliament must take on their political duty and protect citizens against this dangerous agreement. It is more than urgent to break away from ACTA’s repressive logic, and make the fundamental policy distinction between real, harmful counterfeiting of physical goods and the sharing practices that are the building blocks for our culture and for a better society.Signatories:ABUL (France) http://www.abul.org/_ Act-Up Paris (France) http://www.actupparis.org/_ AIDES (France) http://www.aides.org/_ Alternative Informatics Association (Turkey) http://www.alternatifbilisim.org/_ April (France, EU) http://april.org/_ Article 19 (International) http://www.article19.org/_ Asociación de Internautas http://www.internautas.org/_ Atlatszo.hu (Hungary) http://www.atlatszo.hu/_ Bits of Freedom (Netherlands) http://bof.nl/_ Coalition PLUS (International) http://www.coalitionplus.org/_ Constant, Association For Arts and Media (Brussels) http://www.constantvzw.org/_ Datapanik (Belgium) http://datapanik.org/_ Digitale Gesellschaft e.V. (Germany) https://digitalegesellschaft.de/_ Digital Freedom and Rights Organisation (Sweden) https://www.dfri.se/_ Electronic Frontier Finland (Finland) http://www.effi.org/_ European Digital Rights (EU) http://edri.org/_ Fédération FDN (France) http://ffdn.org/_ Fight for the Future (USA) http://fightforthefuture.org/_ Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (EU) http://www.ffii.org/_ Foundation Institute for Regional Development (Poland) http://firr.org.pl/_ Foundation for information policy research (UK, EU) http://www.fipr.org/_ Framasoft (France) http://framasoft.org/_ Free Culture Forum (Spain, EU) http://fcforum.net/_ Free and Open Source Software Foundation (Poland) http://www.fwioo.pl/_ Fundacja Projekt: Polska (Poland) http://projektpolska.pl/_ Hungarian Autonomous Center for Knowledge (Hungary) http://hsbp.org/_ Internet Society – Bulgaria (Bulgaria) http://www.isoc.bg/_ Internet Society – Poland (Poland) http://www.isoc.org.pl/_ La Quadrature du Net (France, EU) http://laquadrature.net/_ La Ligue des droits de l’Homme (Belgium) http://liguedh.be/_ Liga voor Mensenrechten (Belgium) http://mensenrechten.be/_ Net Users’ Rights Protection Association (Belgium, EU) http://nurpa.be/_ Open Rights Group (United Kingdom) http://www.openrightsgroup.org/_ Open Standards Alliance (Hungary) http://nyissz.hu/_ Panoptykon Foundation (Poland) http://panoptykon.org/_ Polish Linux User Group (Poland) http://www.linux.org.pl/_ Reporters Without Borders (International) http://en.rsf.org/_ Solthis (France) http://www.solthis.org/_ TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (International) http://www.tacd.org/_ Vrijschrift (Netherlands) https://vrijschrift.org/_ X.net (Spain) http://whois–x.net/ News News RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Europe – Central Asia RSF_en Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says Receive email alertscenter_img Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia By 19 votes to 12, the members of the International Trade (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament adopted on 12 June its voting recommendation and advises the Parliament to reject ACTA during the upcoming plenary vote, scheduled for July 4th. June 7, 2021 Find out more News Organisation June 8, 2021 Find out more News June 4, 2021 Find out more to go further (logo and photo: La Quadrature du Net) last_img read more