human rights – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 00:04:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://guwiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/guw-150x150.png human rights – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ 32 32 Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen delivers remarks at a press conference announcing the transnational crackdown charges | Takeover bid https://guwiv.com/assistant-attorney-general-matthew-olsen-delivers-remarks-at-a-press-conference-announcing-the-transnational-crackdown-charges-takeover-bid/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 19:14:55 +0000 https://guwiv.com/assistant-attorney-general-matthew-olsen-delivers-remarks-at-a-press-conference-announcing-the-transnational-crackdown-charges-takeover-bid/ Good afternoon. We are here to report three significant cases, unsealed today in the Eastern District of New York. These cases reveal attempts by the government of the People’s Republic of China to suppress dissenting voices in the United States. They demonstrate how the PRC seeks to hunt down, intimidate and silence those who oppose […]]]>

Good afternoon. We are here to report three significant cases, unsealed today in the Eastern District of New York.

These cases reveal attempts by the government of the People’s Republic of China to suppress dissenting voices in the United States. They demonstrate how the PRC seeks to hunt down, intimidate and silence those who oppose it.

In discussing these cases, I would like to reiterate that the department remains focused on the actions of the PRC government and its agents – not the Chinese people or those of Chinese descent, who are often the victims of these crimes. Although separate issues, these three cases are all very much related.

One shows an insidious strategy of gathering information on dissidents in order to target them and, in some cases, imprison democracy advocates abroad. A case describes a plot to derail the candidacy for Congress of a US citizen and veteran, who was also a former student protester during the 1989 Tiananmen protest and later fled to the United States . And one shows a campaign of surveillance and harassment of an artist engaged in free and peaceful expression.

All three cases show that if you report such abuses, US law enforcement will respond and demonstrate that law enforcement was able to disrupt these plots and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Last month, when I announced the National Security Division’s new strategy for countering threats from nation states, I said that our approach would be driven by the greatest threats, including the alarming increase in transnational repression. This is an example of what I meant.

Authoritarian states around the world feel encouraged to go beyond their borders to intimidate or retaliate against individuals who dare to speak out against oppression and corruption.

For example, the Justice Department recently filed charges against people involved in the forced diversion of a commercial flight by Belarus to arrest and detain a Belarusian journalist and dissident. We prosecuted those who participated in Iranian plots targeting dissidents living here, including a plot to kidnap an Iranian-American activist in New York.

We have prosecuted agents from Russia and Egypt for illegally surveilling and targeting dissidents of these authoritarian regimes. And we have denounced attempts by the PRC and Saudi Arabia to deploy agents inside technology companies to obtain private information about critics and to obstruct the exercise of freedom of expression.

Today, we’re adding three more cases to that list.

For the Department of Justice, defending American institutions and values ​​against these threats is a national security imperative. Transnational repression is part of the range of tactics employed by our adversaries in an attempt to undermine our democracy, our economy and our institutions. And it’s a threat not only to people in the United States, but also to people around the world who seek to exercise their basic rights to free speech and oppose authoritarianism.

This activity is contrary to core American values ​​- we will not tolerate such repression here when it violates our laws. We will defend the rights of Americans and those who come to live, work and study in the United States. We will not allow any foreign government to deny them freedom of expression or the protection of our laws or to threaten their safety or that of their families.

Today’s cases, which U.S. Attorney Breon Peace will discuss in more detail in a moment, demonstrate that the Department of Justice will protect American democracy and ensure that everyone within our borders have access to equal justice under the rule of law and enjoy the protection of the United States. Constitution.

As I said, these alleged conspiracies are separate cases, and each will be prosecuted based on the facts and the law in federal court, and each of these defendants is presumed innocent unless or until he is proven guilty in court.

Authoritarian regimes seek to deprive people of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. These cases reflect America’s commitment to freedom and justice.

I will now turn the floor over to the United States Attorney who will present today’s charges.

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Mexico rejects EU press freedom resolution: ‘We are no longer anyone’s colony’ https://guwiv.com/mexico-rejects-eu-press-freedom-resolution-we-are-no-longer-anyones-colony/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 21:16:46 +0000 https://guwiv.com/mexico-rejects-eu-press-freedom-resolution-we-are-no-longer-anyones-colony/ Mexico’s government on Thursday delivered an unorthodox and sardonic response to a European Parliament resolution calling on it to step up protections for the press and human rights defenders, amid a growing number of journalist murders in the country. Mexico’s response, delivered through official channels as an unsigned open letter to MEPs, opened by calling […]]]>

Mexico’s government on Thursday delivered an unorthodox and sardonic response to a European Parliament resolution calling on it to step up protections for the press and human rights defenders, amid a growing number of journalist murders in the country.

Mexico’s response, delivered through official channels as an unsigned open letter to MEPs, opened by calling on members to end their “corruption, lies and hypocrisy”.

“It is unfortunate that you join like sheep in the reactionary and putschist strategy of the corrupt group that opposes the Fourth Transformation, propelled by millions of Mexicans to confront the monstrous inequality and violence inherited from neoliberal economic policy which for 36 years has been taxed in our country,” the letter read.

The administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was reacting to a resolution adopted Thursday by the European Parliament which “calls on the authorities, and in particular the highest, to refrain from any communication likely to stigmatize human rights defenders , journalists and media professionals, to exacerbate the atmosphere against them or distort their lines of investigation.”

The López Obrador administration’s response touched on a range of bilateral and global issues, ranging from boasting of Mexico’s “pacifism” for not sending weapons to a war zone – in a thinly veiled allusion to the European military assistance to Ukraine amid Russian invasion – to López Obrador’s approval notes: ‘By the way, with higher approval than European leaders.’

“Next time, inform yourself and read the resolutions that are presented to you before voting. And remember that we are no longer the colony of anyone. Mexico is a free, independent and sovereign country”, reads- we in the letter.

The European resolution came as six journalists were killed in Mexico in 2022 as a result of their work, making Mexico the deadliest country in the world to practice journalism.

López Obrador downplayed the government’s role in protecting murdered journalists, saying they were killed by criminal elements, not direct actions by the Mexican state.

Yet he has been quick to point fingers and publicly criticize journalists he sees as opponents of his administration.

“The president in his daily press conference continues to stigmatize journalists, to attack publications, critical media. We consider this to be one of the deadliest countries for journalists. This is not possible, it’s not acceptable to have a president who attacks journalists every day,” said Emmanuel Colombié, head of the Latin America desk at Reporters Without Borders.

“I’m not saying that he encourages killings, but that he should change the way he talks about the press,” Colombié added.

López Obrador in February rose up against the Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenMexico rejects EU press freedom resolution: ‘We are no longer anyone’s colony’ China is wildcard in Russia-Ukraine warafter the top US diplomat expressed concern over the murders of journalists in Mexico.

Colombié said López Obrador often took criticism from abroad personally, including in cases like Blinken’s concerns or the EU resolution, which did not directly mention López Obrador.

In its letter to the EU, the Mexican government weaved accusations of colonialism and undue interference in internal affairs, while repeating López Obrador’s assertions that journalists are free to practice their profession in Mexico.

“Know, MEPs, that Mexico has ceased to be a land of conquest and, as in a very short time in its history, the libertarian principles of equality and democracy are respected. No one is repressed here, the right to freedom of expression and the work of journalists is respected. The state does not violate human rights as previous governments did, when you, by the way, were complicit in the silence,” reads -on in the letter.

But conditions for journalists have deteriorated dramatically in recent months, even as journalism has been a dangerous profession in Mexico for decades.

“We know the situation described in the resolution, we think it is very important to have a strong reaction from the European Parliament because it is not only a Mexican problem and it is important to put pressure on the Mexican authorities in this time,” Colombié said.

Colombié added that in addition to the confirmed murders of journalists in 2022, Reporters Without Borders is investigating whether a seventh murder was linked to the victim’s profession.

“If we reach seven cases in just over two months, that means we have the same number of murders as in 2021,” he said.

And while none of the killings are believed to have been ordered by Mexican federal authorities, Reporters Without Borders has linked government corruption at the local level to heightened levels of danger for journalists operating in states and regions. specific municipalities.

“We observe a direct link between organized crime and the places where journalists are killed,” Colombié said.

The federal government has a mechanism to protect journalists and human rights defenders, but that mechanism has failed in at least one high-profile murder.

In January, journalist Lourdes Maldonado was shot dead in Tijuana, while she was under the protection of the federal mechanism.

Maldonado had in 2019 personally told López Obrador at his daily press conference that she feared for her life amid a labor dispute with Jaime Bonilla, a former governor of Baja California who is also a former US elected official and a close ally of López Obrador.

After Maldonado’s death, Bonilla publicly denied any involvement and downplayed Labor’s lawsuit, which Maldonado won shortly before he was assassinated.

Investigations into Maldonado’s murder have yet to yield results, in a country where few or no murders of journalists are solved.

“Between 95% and 100% of cases of murders and enforced disappearances of journalists go unpunished with regard to intellectual authors. [authors] crimes are caught and convicted,” Colombié said.

“It’s like encouraging the authorities to commit crimes against the press,” he added.

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The political economy of the Ukrainian crisis https://guwiv.com/the-political-economy-of-the-ukrainian-crisis/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 08:31:55 +0000 https://guwiv.com/the-political-economy-of-the-ukrainian-crisis/ Photo from the ILPS Facebook page. By MENCHANI TILENDOBulatlat.com The current crisis in Ukraine is a reflection of the aggravation of the inter-imperialist conflict in a multipolar world. It is a byproduct of an evolving global situation in which the United States, in a quest to preserve its global hegemony, shifted its policy from the […]]]>
Photo from the ILPS Facebook page.

By MENCHANI TILENDO
Bulatlat.com

The current crisis in Ukraine is a reflection of the aggravation of the inter-imperialist conflict in a multipolar world. It is a byproduct of an evolving global situation in which the United States, in a quest to preserve its global hegemony, shifted its policy from the Global War on Terror in the 2000s, to targeting conflicts sovereigns with Russia and China – major powers that embody particular policies. , economic and military. The behavior of the US government towards Russia and China differs in that China has now become its biggest economic rival and Russia has maintained its unquestionable authority when it comes to building a powerful military-industrial complex.

We have seen in recent history how China has positioned itself as a major world power in terms of political and economic initiatives like the Belt and Road, but it has also kept pace with the arms race in because of continued US aggression. Anyway, the United States has never defeated Russia as the most powerful country in terms of next-generation armaments and nuclear weapons. Therefore, despite the undefeated military presence of the United States in almost all parts of the world, its formula of aggression against Russia is rationalized by entering into the wider rivalry of European imperialist powers inclined to a more diplomatic approach like the Kingdom United, Germany and France. After all, the assertion by the United States of its global hegemony will never be maintained without fighting to maintain its military and economic dominance.

To understand the heart of the crisis in Ukraine, one needs to have a clear landscape of the political economic underpinnings involved. In doing so, it should not be viewed solely as a conflict of narratives between Russian President Vladimir Putin “interfering with Russian action and that would lead to consequences that you have never seen in history” and US President Joe Biden “the world will hold Russia accountable”. It has always been about how the sovereign people of Ukraine have suffered from the long-running armed conflict between the Russian and Ukrainian regimes – a conflict organized by none other than the US government and the North American Treaty Organization ( NATO).

The United States, NATO, Russia and the Ukrainian regime as key players

Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as founders of the Soviet Union, decided to co-sign the original Minsk Agreement in 1991 as a modern revisionist response to take the path of capitalist restoration claiming to end the cold threats. War.

“It is a matter of history that modern Soviet revisionists from Khrushchev to Gorbachev and Yeltsin had the illusion that if the Soviet Union took this path, Russia would return to the European homeland, join the Council of Europe and would enjoy the ‘dividend’ of peace like the United States and its NATO partners,” the president emeritus of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, Professor Jose Maria Sison, said in a statement.

“The 1991 Minsk Agreement sought to dissolve the Soviet Union and form the Commonwealth of Independent States in exchange for assurances from the United States, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ( OSCE) that the human rights and democratic rights of the former Soviet republics would be respected and that NATO would not recruit from former members of the Warsaw Pact and would not expand to the borders of Russia”, added Sison.

The 1991 Minsk agreement did not prevent the American strategy of taking control of the republics of the former Soviet Union through economic aid, investments and geopolitical and commercial alliances. This strategy was effective in controlling American influence over Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Romania. It has also been effective in attracting former republics such as Moldova, Latvia, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. The others that weren’t pulled by the US and were more aligned with Russia – like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Tajikistan. This redistribution of major global alliances with the help of NATO not only strengthened the US military presence in all these republics, but also resulted in policies of constriction against Russia as the biggest military rival of the United States. . To prevent Russia’s global economic interests, the United States imposed sanctions that significantly deprived Russia of the refurbishment of its military equipment. All this is the geopolitics of monopoly capital on all sides.

Launch pad for the West vs. Russia proxy wars

Ukraine is called the breadbasket of Europe for good reason. It produces 16% of the world’s corn and 12% of its wheat, in addition to being a major exporter of barley and rye. Russia considers Ukraine as part of its sphere of influence because Ukraine is also the world’s largest producer of metals such as nickel, copper and iron. It is also involved in the export and manufacture of essential raw materials like platinum, neon and palladium.

As part of the Soviet Union, there was a shift of resources and geopolitical advantages between Russia and Ukraine. Soviet-era dinosaur companies dominated the southern and eastern provinces of Ukraine. Similar to those in Russia, they were all built in Soviet times as part of a single, integrated, energy-rich economy. But manufacturing in Russia is weak, most of the advanced systems and science about it have been taken to Ukraine. Russia may have had gas and oil deposits, but they don’t have Ukraine’s manufacturing capacity. Thus, Russia is dependent on the export of gas which passes through Ukraine.

The United States sees itself as defending Ukraine against Russia and has taken the position of doing so by imposing economic sanctions to deter the latter from continuing aggression in Ukraine. For example, the construction of a new gas pipeline directly from Petrograd to Germany. Russia cannot access it due to the sanctions imposed by the United States and absorbed by the Ukrainian regime.

On the other hand, Russia sees Ukraine as a front in this war waged by the West against Russia. Ukraine’s estrangement from Russian influence was felt to be the final death knell for Russian power in Eastern Europe. Russia claims to profit from Ukraine’s gas exports and, because of US sanctions, it is tying up Ukraine. On the other hand, the US is using Ukraine to further coerce Russia.

Turning point: 2014 coup at the instigation of the United States

Ultimately, it is Ukraine’s economy, not Russia’s, that is eroding fastest under the threat of war. Ukraine, like Belarus, functioned as a buffer zone between the US-NATO powers and Russia.

The turning point in the Ukraine crisis came in 2014 when the United States managed to stage a coup to overthrow the pro-Russian Ukrainian government which had ties to the pro-Nazi party during World War II and had been at the forefront of bloody repression against the anti-fascist rebellion of the masses. The United States and its NATO allies installed a pro-Western, neo-fascist Ukrainian government after the coup; and he always ignored the Minsk agreement which was supposed to create autonomous regions and would have ensured stability in the region.

But Russian-speaking nationalist forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence from Ukraine and Russia after an open referendum in response to the US-backed coup and sparked no violence since this statement.

With its continued violation of the Minsk Agreement, the now US-controlled Zelenskyy government in Ukraine continues its wars of aggression against the declared independent governments of Donetsk and Lugansk as well as Crimea which voted to join the Russia.

“Ukrainian fascists were able to kill so many Russians and destroy their homes and workplaces and cause the reduction of the overall Russian population in Ukraine by over 22-17% (or over three million) by forcing them to seek refuge in Russia and other countries as refugees,” said Sison.

Ukraine: a prize neither Russia nor the United States can win

The conflict in Ukraine is an example of how sovereign countries become launching pads for inter-imperialist proxy wars, mainly because of their geopolitical and economic positions. In keeping with Cold War-era “divide and conquer” doctrine, the United States has strategically recruited far more NATO members to curtail Russia’s political, economic, and military influence.

In its defense of its own hold on power, Russia anticipates the purpose and intent of the United States, which is why it continues to demand compliance with the Minsk agreement. Either way, desperation on both sides prompted Russia to declare an invasion of Ukraine – and that’s not necessarily different from the long-running wars of aggression orchestrated by the United States. These two interventions will never guarantee the Ukrainian people their true national liberation and self-determination.

The crisis in Ukraine indicates the beginning of a dangerous tension all over the world. The Ukrainian people are more than ever confronted with the challenges of the conflict between Russia and the Western powers, and against the puppet regime of Zelensky.

Accepting the Russian invasion will never be an option. To be the pawns of the American imperialist agenda against Russia is not the solution. There is no advantage of the two great powers whose real main objective is to assert and parade their world domination. The territorial and social integrity of the Ukrainian people rests solely on the strong global anti-imperialist solidarity in the face of escalating conflicts, instability and threats of war. (RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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Developments in the Sahel could be worse than the crisis in Ukraine https://guwiv.com/developments-in-the-sahel-could-be-worse-than-the-crisis-in-ukraine/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 17:00:10 +0000 https://guwiv.com/developments-in-the-sahel-could-be-worse-than-the-crisis-in-ukraine/ While global attention is riveted on Ukraine, a potentially worse crisis is unfolding in Africa’s Sahel region, where Russia is taking advantage of the instability. Jihadist threats, poverty, climate change and COVID have prompted people in the region to demand solutions. Their frustration is reflected in military juntas overthrowing democratically elected regimes, including in Burkina […]]]>

While global attention is riveted on Ukraine, a potentially worse crisis is unfolding in Africa’s Sahel region, where Russia is taking advantage of the instability.

Jihadist threats, poverty, climate change and COVID have prompted people in the region to demand solutions. Their frustration is reflected in military juntas overthrowing democratically elected regimes, including in Burkina Faso on January 23. Russia is seeking to expand its influence in Africa by offering military support to juntas – and seems to be finding it. On January 24, demonstrators in Ouagadougou chanted “no to France, yes to Russia.”

Burkina Faso’s coup follows three others in the region over the past 18 months – one in Guinea and two in Mali. Last week, citing “multiple obstructions” by the Malian regime, France announcement he would withdraw French and allied troops from Mali. Meanwhile, the Russian proxy militia, the Wagner Group, would be deployed there (although the Malian government deny this). Wagner is the same paramilitary group that was sanctioned for destabilizing Ukraine, Libya and other countries.

Earlier this month, Ghanaian President and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, Nana Akufo-Addo noted the coup in Mali was “contagious” and that the trend “must be contained before it devastates our entire region”. There is already 3 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the Sahel (the Ukrainian conflict has so far 1.5 million) after a 16 times to augment in terrorism since 2016, and a 33% increase in extremism last year.

While Russian adventurism in the Sahel is new, the region’s problems – extremism, terrorism, armed conflict, food insecurity, corruption, the erosion of democratic norms – are not. Russian intervention will not solve them.

To avert “devastation” in the region and provide an alternative to Russian-backed strongmen, the United States and its partners must help African governments address the real drivers of instability.

The Sahel is the poorest region in the world. It is also severely affected by climate change, which causes crop failures. About 36 million people are expected to be acutely food insecure in the Sahel and West Africa during this year’s lean season, up 24% from 2020. Add violence, displacement and COVID-19, and there is already a humanitarian crisis, with 3.5 million in the central Sahel who need humanitarian aid today.

But this may only be the beginning, as the rapid population growth of the Sahel cuts through all of these risk factors, exacerbates them and no doubt leads to many of them. Its population has doubled since 2000 and is expected to more than double by 2050 (from 92 million to nearly 200 million). In Niger alone, people can triple in the next 35 to 40 years.

Such explosive growth would undoubtedly exacerbate the region’s hunger and security challenges and threaten to overwhelm government services aimed at meeting people’s basic needs.

One obvious thing to do to prevent this dystopian future is to bend the region’s growth curve, including by advancing gender equality and helping women and girls take control of their lives and decisions. in matters of procreation.

Studies show that societies with the greatest gender inequalities are prone to greater violence and instability, and that gender inequalities in the Sahel are among the worst in the world. Many girls and women do not have the choice or the means to obtain an education, access health care, refuse child marriage or plan and space births, resulting in high rates early marriage, early motherhood and maternal and infant mortality.

Birth rates in the Sahel are already three to four times higher than in the United States and many other countries, but could soon climb even higher. As the pandemic leads to increased school closures, economic and food insecurity and gender-based violence, an additional number 10 million girls could be forced into early marriage by 2030.

The population of the Sahel is one of the most dynamic in the world, and also one of the youngest, with a significant “youth bulge”. Many young Sahelians are unemployed, face an uncertain future and are easily targeted for recruitment by extremists.

For any country with such demographic trends, providing basic services would be a challenge, but in the Sahel it is a Sisyphean task. Given the projected population growth, it would be necessary to sustained annual GDP growth of 11% just for to keep the status quo in the Sahel – with its current levels of poverty, hunger, substandard schooling and other deficits – not to mention making things better. Such growth is not likely.

So what can we do? A new Atlantic Council report calls on international donors to do what Sahelian governments have been reluctant to do: promote women-centered development projects, boost girls’ education, curb child marriage and expand access to family planning.

Investing in the empowerment of women and girls is essential to advancing human rights; it is also a community-centred approach to tackling the Sahel crisis, more beneficial than other types of aid – and more powerful and far-reaching than the projection of military power in the region, such as the Russia seeks to do so.

As the Sahel amply demonstrates, regions that fail to address gender inequality do so at their peril. And since gender inequality can exacerbate population growth, civil unrest, terrorism, migration and instability, unchecked gender inequality in one region also jeopardizes countries elsewhere.

The United States is already a key partner in counterterrorism efforts in the region. With the French withdrawal of security support in Mali, the United States has a unique – and potentially fleeting – opportunity to significantly reshape its assistance architecture in the Sahel.

First, the United States should bolster implementation of the peace agreement between the government and former rebel movements in Mali, through high-level diplomatic engagement and increased military assistance linked to cohesion between the government and the former rebel movements. This would give the transitional government in Mali a reliable and proven pro-democracy security partner and reduce the chances of Russia/Wagner repeating its pattern of destruction. It would also reassure neighboring countries in the Sahel as they face growing security threats that their flank will not be fully exposed.

Second, the United States should vigorously address the root causes of instability in the Sahel. By partnering with other donor countries, international development organizations and socially responsible businesses to invest in the education, economic empowerment, health and rights of women and girls on an unprecedented scale , the United States would not only help the region avoid the spiral of poverty, hunger, conflict and migration, it would also strengthen global security.

Philip Carter III is an independent consultant and senior researcher at the Population Institute. A retired career diplomat, he held several senior positions in the State Department’s Africa Bureau, as well as Ambassador to Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire and Deputy Commander Civil-Military Engagement at U.S. Command for Africa.

Bisa Williams East special adviser for Mali at The Carter Center and leads the Center’s efforts as an independent observer of the implementation of the peace accord in Mali. She is also a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Williams was a career former US State Department Foreign Service officer who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and Ambassador to Niger.

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“Repression of press freedom”: MPs and activists criticize the banning of the Mediaone channel | Latest India News https://guwiv.com/repression-of-press-freedom-mps-and-activists-criticize-the-banning-of-the-mediaone-channel-latest-india-news/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 17:56:14 +0000 https://guwiv.com/repression-of-press-freedom-mps-and-activists-criticize-the-banning-of-the-mediaone-channel-latest-india-news/ Several parliamentarians, lawyers, editors and human rights activists on Monday showed their support for the Malayalam news channel MediaOne, saying the Center’s revocation of its license for “unspecified” security concerns represents “a crackdown on freedom of the press in India”. ThroughTap Trust of IndiaNew Delhi Several parliamentarians, lawyers, editors and human rights activists on Monday […]]]>

Several parliamentarians, lawyers, editors and human rights activists on Monday showed their support for the Malayalam news channel MediaOne, saying the Center’s revocation of its license for “unspecified” security concerns represents “a crackdown on freedom of the press in India”.

ThroughTap Trust of IndiaNew Delhi

Several parliamentarians, lawyers, editors and human rights activists on Monday showed their support for the Malayalam news channel MediaOne, saying the Center’s revocation of its license for “unspecified” security concerns represents “a crackdown on freedom of the press in India”.


They also expressed ‘disappointment’ at the Kerala High Court’s ruling on the matter, saying it refused to overturn the government’s cancellation of the news channel’s license and protect the right fundamental to freedom of speech and expression.

“The decision of the Kerala HC Single Judge Bench was based on a ‘sealed cover’ envelope provided by the (Union) Ministry of Home (MHA), the contents of which have not been shared with MediaOne News,” they said. in a joint statement.

They hoped that the dual panel of the High Court, which reserved judgment on the appeal against the single panel order, would protect the channel’s fundamental right to free speech and expression and restore its license to transmission.


Digvijay Singh from Congress, Kanimozhi from DMK, Mahua Moitra from TMC, Priyanka Chaturvedi from Shiv Sena, Manoj Kumar Jha from RJD, Elamaram Kareem from CPM, Binoy Viswam from CPI, NK Premachandran from RSP, Badruddin Ajmal from AIUDF and ET Mohd IUML’s Basheer are among the parliamentarians who signed the joint agreement. statement, released at a press conference here.

The 42 eminent persons who signed the joint statement include Chairman of The Hindu newspaper N Ram, Editor of The Telegraph R Rajagopal, Editor of The Caravan magazine Vinod K Jose, Editor of MediaOne Pramod Raman, former Bombay High Court Judge BG Kolse Patil, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh KS Subramanian and famous author Tushar Gandhi.



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Press freedom declines rapidly over the years https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-declines-rapidly-over-the-years/ Wed, 09 Feb 2022 17:03:45 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-declines-rapidly-over-the-years/ Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of undemocratic and illiberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom, Media Freedom said on Thursday. Coalition, a group of media professionals. The global coalition also said challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or […]]]>

Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of undemocratic and illiberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom, Media Freedom said on Thursday. Coalition, a group of media professionals.

The global coalition also said challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or unlawful surveillance, censorship, undue interference in the flow of information online, and physical violence; these challenges are exacerbated by financial threats, which compromise the independence and sustainability of the media.

The members of the coalition recently concluded their third World Conference on Media Freedom, which took place on February 9-10 and was hosted by Estonia and the Estonian Institute for Human Rights.

“Women Unfairly Treated”

The coalition, in the statement issued after their engagement, also said that women journalists are disproportionately targeted by online harassment, threats, sexist hate speech and trolling.

“In many cases, women journalists are subjected to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence due to their sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, ethnic origin or gender identity. gender, as well as other reasons. This can lead to such self-censorship that women choose to withdraw from the public sphere, which undermines media pluralism and democracy as a whole.

He added that despite the challenges faced by journalists around the world, the coalition would continue to work together “to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists online and offline, both at home and abroad.” As representatives of governments, it is our responsibility to ensure that the people of our countries can freely enjoy all their human rights. »

The declaration was signed by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belize, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, l Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Montenegro, Netherlands , New Zealand, North Macedonia, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and United States.

Please read the press release below:

World Conference for Media Freedom: Joint Communique
February 9, 2022 – Global Affairs Canada

Media freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. Free and independent media are necessary to ensure accurate information and informed public debate and discussion, to hold governments to account and to draw attention to human rights abuses, and they serve as a watchdog for the interest public.

Media freedom has steadily declined in recent years, partly as a result of anti-democratic and anti-liberal pressures and practices and the misuse of digital technologies to restrict media freedom. Challenges to media freedom include unduly restrictive laws, arbitrary and/or unlawful surveillance, censorship, undue interference in the flow of information online, and physical violence; these challenges are exacerbated by financial threats, which compromise the independence and sustainability of the media.

Women journalists are disproportionately targeted by online harassment, threats, sexist hate speech and trolling. In many cases, women journalists are subjected to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender-based violence due to their sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, ethnicity or gender identity. gender, as well as other reasons. This can lead to such self-censorship that women choose to withdraw from the public sphere, which undermines media pluralism and democracy as a whole.

By joining the Media Freedom Coalition, we have committed to continue working together to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists online and offline, both at home and abroad. As representatives of governments, it is our responsibility to ensure that the people of our countries can freely enjoy all their human rights.

Today, we recall the commitments made in the Global Commitment on Media Freedom. We are committed to speaking up and acting together: by joining forces to share information, where appropriate, and to act where journalists and the media are at risk; highlighting violations and abuses of media freedom, bringing them to the attention of global audiences and working for accountability; joining together to advocate at the highest level with the governments of countries where media freedom is under threat and to show solidarity with countries working to build media freedom; and considering all available measures to address violations and abuses of international human rights law related to media freedom.

We reiterate our commitments to increase local coordination through our diplomatic missions around the world, to defend media freedom, and to increase support and engagement with journalists and independent media under threat.

We support measures aimed at tackling the precarious working conditions and poverty of journalists, which compromise their independence.

The Media Freedom Coalition expresses its gratitude to Estonia and the Estonian Institute for Human Rights for shining the spotlight at the World Media Freedom Conference on the important topics of disinformation and freedom of expression, protection of journalists and the links between media freedom and Internet freedom. We also thank them for creating the Media Freedom Coalition website, which provides coalition members with a platform to continue to fight together against attacks on media freedom.

We salute the tireless work of all journalists and media workers who defend and defend media freedom. We pay tribute to all journalists and media professionals who have been the target of intimidation, violence or arbitrary detention or who, in the most extreme cases, have been killed in the exercise of their profession.

We once again wholeheartedly congratulate Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, which highlights the importance of independent journalism.

We need journalists to report the facts, keep us informed and hold those in power to account. When violence against journalists prevails, the media cannot be free and democracy cannot function.

We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, a milestone in media freedom and the protection of journalists.

We welcome the ongoing work of the Independent Panel of High-Level Legal Experts on Freedom of the Media to advise governments to ensure the protection of media freedom in legislation, and we note the recommendations contained in the reports of the group. We also warmly welcome the newly appointed Vice-Chairs of the panel, Can Yeginsu and Catherine Amirfar. We look forward to working with them.

We recognize the importance of media development work, which helps media organizations become more viable and resilient and improves the enabling environment for media. We are committed to working together to improve the effectiveness of this work, including through the Coalition’s Media Development Working Group.

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We underscore the important role played by international and regional organizations in protecting and promoting freedom of the media, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Union European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of American States, the African Union and the Council of Europe. We also note the complementary and fundamental role of other like-minded initiatives, such as the Freedom Online Coalition and the International Partnership on Information and Democracy.

We commend the work of the Global Media Defense Fund, administered by UNESCO, to strengthen the legal protection of journalists and improve media freedom by supporting investigative journalism and strategic litigation.

We commend the work of civil society organizations, and in particular that of the Coalition for Media Freedom – Advisory Network, co-chaired by IFEX, ARTICLE 19 and the Pakistan Press Foundation, in providing the Coalition for media freedom expert advice and strategic guidance.

Finally, we would like to thank the Maldives, Germany and Latvia for their commitment to media freedom as members of the executive group of the Media Freedom Coalition, and we welcome the Czech Republic and Estonia as new members of the Executive Group, as well as Ireland, which officially joined the Media Freedom Coalition as its 50th member.

We would like to express our gratitude to the UK for initiating the work of the Media Freedom Coalition and serving as its co-chair. We are also grateful to the UK for launching the Media Freedom Coalition Secretariat, which will ensure the sustainability of the coalition.

We also thank Canada for its continued leadership as co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition since 2019 and welcome the Netherlands as the new co-chair of the coalition. The Netherlands will provide strong leadership in this role.

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Why press freedom and ending FGM are linked in Somalia https://guwiv.com/why-press-freedom-and-ending-fgm-are-linked-in-somalia/ Mon, 07 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/why-press-freedom-and-ending-fgm-are-linked-in-somalia/ By AGGREY MUTAMBO Freedom of the press and female genital mutilation (FGM) may be unrelated issues around the world, but in Somalia stakeholders believe achieving one will depend on the other. On Sunday, as the world marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, the two issues converged in Mogadishu, with stakeholders saying ending […]]]>

By AGGREY MUTAMBO

Freedom of the press and female genital mutilation (FGM) may be unrelated issues around the world, but in Somalia stakeholders believe achieving one will depend on the other.

On Sunday, as the world marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, the two issues converged in Mogadishu, with stakeholders saying ending the scourge of FGM will largely depend on how journalists can speak freely and accurately.

Somalia fares poorly when it comes to overcoming FGM and achieving press freedom.

In Africa, it is considered one of the most dangerous countries to work as a journalist, according to annual data from Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a global press freedom lobby.

And when it comes to FGM, nine out of ten women in Somalia, aged 15 to 49, whom you meet, have undergone it, forcibly, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the agency global organization dealing with sexual and reproductive health.

A UNFPA study found that most affected girls in Somalia were between the ages of five and nine, and as many as seven in ten women in the country mistakenly believe it was an Islamic requirement to have their hair cut.

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On Sunday, stakeholders generally agreed that there needed to be more awareness about FGM.

“By advocating for an end to FGM and having access to community members, survivors and those intimately involved in the practice, journalists can report on the complexity of the issue with sensitivity and clarity, ensuring that diverse voices are heard,” said Omar Faruk Osman, Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), a press freedom lobby in Somalia.

“Most importantly, the media has the ability to frame FGM in a human rights context and to communicate strongly the impact of the practice on the physical and psychological health of survivors,” he said during a ceremony to commemorate the day against FGM.

NUSOJ has launched a working partnership with UNFPA, seeking to counter misinformation about FGM and working with local civil society groups to raise awareness of the dangers of FGC.

The UN agency said it was also protecting women and providing care for those who had suffered it, seeking to soften the blow in a country that has yet to enact a law against FGM, even though the leaders generally do not tolerate them.

“Female genital mutilation harms the lives and future of young girls and women. It is a violation of the rights to physical integrity and freedom from torture,” said Anders Thomsen, UNFPA Country Director for Somalia.

One area of ​​focus, Thomsen said, was working with civil society groups and government officials to mobilize “political pledges, positive role models and action to end FGM.”

“Religious leaders, families, communities, women, men, girls and boys are engaging through personal pledges, positive role models and action to end FGM in Somalia. However, it is necessary to maintain and accelerate advocacy and community action in order not to lose the gains made so far. Only united and concerted action can end FGM.

NUSOJ and UNFPA said they plan to work with a group of 50 journalists, civil society actors “and citizens of goodwill”, to celebrate and reflect together on the progress and challenges facing the campaign. of FGM in the country.

The press lobby said it was committed to highlighting the benefits of ending FGM as part of a fight against gender-based violence, as well as seeking progressive laws on crimes against women. women and other gender discrimination.

This year’s theme was “Accelerating Investments to End FGM”, and the group says a vibrant media will help in Somalia’s quest to end FGM. He said he would continue to work with UNFPA to train journalists to report on FGM, having already trained 400 over the past few months.

“We will maintain our steadfast support for FGM advocacy and local action to end FGM, which is both a rights violation and a retrograde cultural practice that continues to perpetuate inequality and GBV in our beloved country. “Osman said.

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Botswana pushes warrantless surveillance bill, threatening press freedom https://guwiv.com/botswana-pushes-warrantless-surveillance-bill-threatening-press-freedom/ Fri, 04 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/botswana-pushes-warrantless-surveillance-bill-threatening-press-freedom/ The IPI urges the government to withdraw the legislation and engage in wider stakeholder consultation IPI Contributor Kelsey Carolan February 1, 2022 epa08147860 Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of Botswana, during a plenary session during the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. […]]]>

The IPI urges the government to withdraw the legislation and engage in wider stakeholder consultation

IPI Contributor Kelsey Carolan

February 1, 2022


The global IPI network today urged Botswana to withdraw a bill that would allow warrantless surveillance of communications. The bill has been strongly criticized by media representatives in Botswana and Africa.

The government of Botswana is currently pushing the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill through Parliament. If passed, the bill will have a chilling effect on press freedom, warned Spencer Magopi, president of the Botswana Editors Forum.

A review of the bill, a copy of which was obtained by the IPI, shows that it would allow authorities to intercept communications without a warrant if the head of an investigating authority “believes on reasonable grounds that the delay in obtaining an interception warrant would defeat the purpose of the investigations”. Alarmingly, this would apply to investigations into the commission of any offense and could be allowed for up to 14 days.

Magopi said this would effectively ban the practice of anonymous sources as journalists would not be able to guarantee anonymity since authorities could intercept communication between the journalist and their source if they deemed it necessary.

The bill also imposes a disclosure obligation on persons suspected of having information relevant to an investigation.

“The law is that they can force this information and extract it from a journalist,” Magopi told IPI. “Journalism is as if dead.” He added that most sources want anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

Additionally, the law would require telecommunications service providers to ensure that their systems are “technically capable of sustaining lawful interception at all times”, implying that service providers would have to provide access to encrypted communications. Providers would also be required to install hardware and software to facilitate interception and monitoring as needed. Service providers who fail to comply with the law would face fines and their administrators could face up to 10 years in prison.

“This bill contains a nightmarish list of provisions that threaten press freedom and independent journalism in Botswana,” said IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen. “It would seriously compromise the protection of sources and expand the power of government oversight and, without proper safeguards, could be misused against the media. The ability of journalists to protect the identity of their sources is a necessary condition for the role of the press in holding power accountable. Investigative journalism in particular would be seriously threatened by this law.

“Such ambitious legislation must be subject to public scrutiny and debate and must comply with international human rights standards. We urge Botswana to withdraw this Bill in its current form and engage in meaningful consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including members of the media community and civil society. Given its potential serious consequences for press freedom and privacy, it is imperative that this bill is not rushed through Parliament.

Heavy criticism in Botswana and abroad

Magopi told IPI that the Botswana government is citing the fight against money laundering to pass this bill, saying it will close security gaps. Last October, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing monitoring agency administered by the G7 group, removed Botswana from its gray list. Countries on the gray list have limited access to international loans. The government claimed that it had to put in place some reforms to stay off the list, which is why it classified this bill as urgent.

The manner in which the government chose to implement the reforms, however, caused widespread concern.

“This is by far the worst legislation to come to light in Botswana, the Southern Africa region and the rest of the continent in recent history. The government of Botswana must lower its head in shame and withdraw the bill immediately,” Jovial Rantao, president of the African Editors Forum, wrote in a January 27 statement.

Mixed press freedom record

Press freedom in Botswana is considered to have improved since 2018, when President Mokgweetsi Masisi took office, succeeding President Ian Khama. Journalists came under more pressure under the Khama administration, as investigative journalists were arrested and a news site suffered a major cyberattack. However, the government is still undermining journalists, Tefo Phatshwane of the Media Institute of Southern Africa said in a January 31 TV interview.

Phatshwane said that although there have been no cases of journalists being imprisoned in recent years, draconian laws restricting journalists are still in place. The Media Professionals Act 2008 created an oversight body to regulate journalists, with the aim of “safeguarding the maintenance of high professional standards”. It also makes registration compulsory for all media workers and bodies.

“We cannot allow the government to be part of our regulation,” Phatshawne said. “We should take the lead. The government should put in place a law that gives us the power to regulate ourselves and to correct, to prosecute and to suspend, or whatever, in cases where we need to do so.

In addition, Botswana still lacks freedom of information, which gives the public access to government records. Phatshwane said journalists had urged parliament to pass this type of bill.

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Beijing attacks Peng Shuai at press conference https://guwiv.com/beijing-attacks-peng-shuai-at-press-conference/ Thu, 03 Feb 2022 20:10:45 +0000 https://guwiv.com/beijing-attacks-peng-shuai-at-press-conference/ Thomas Bach will meet Peng Shuai at the Beijing Winter Olympics to assess his “physical integrity and mental state”, the head of the International Olympic Committee told a press conference overnight, as the controversy persisted until ‘on the eve of the opening ceremony. Bach said the International Olympic Committee would support an investigation into the […]]]>

Thomas Bach will meet Peng Shuai at the Beijing Winter Olympics to assess his “physical integrity and mental state”, the head of the International Olympic Committee told a press conference overnight, as the controversy persisted until ‘on the eve of the opening ceremony.

Bach said the International Olympic Committee would support an investigation into the tennis star’s allegation of sexual assault against a high-ranking Chinese politician – if she asked for one.

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Preparations for the Beijing Olympics, which open with a ceremony at Bird’s Nest Stadium on Friday, have been overshadowed by human rights concerns, the Covid pandemic and even fears that the Chinese government spies on athletes.

Peng, a former Grand Slam doubles champion, was also a major talking point after she alleged on Chinese social media in November that former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex during a match. an intermittent relationship.

It was the first time the #MeToo movement touched China’s ruling Communist Party.

The allegation was quickly scrubbed from China’s tightly controlled internet and Peng went unheard for nearly three weeks, only to reappear in public and she then held a video call with Bach.

In December, she denied ever making the allegation, but it’s still unclear just how free and safe the three-time Olympian truly is.

Bach did not say exactly when during the Games he will meet her, but said: “If she wants to have an investigation, of course, we will also support her in this area. But it must be her decision. It’s her life. , these are his allegations.

“We had the allegations and we heard the withdrawal.

“We will have this personal meeting and there we will continue this conversation and then we will also know better about his physical integrity and his mental state when we can finally meet in person.

Concerns still exist for Peng Shuai’s safety. (Photo by AFP)/China OUTSource: AFP

“It’s not just a sign of respect, it’s a necessity, to respect her, to listen to her and how she sees the situation, how she wants to live her life.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out step by step.”

Liza Lin, China correspondent for the the wall street journaltweeted a photo from the press conference and explained how the opening of the Games was derailed by other matters, including rule 50 of the Olympic charter – which concerns the ban on athletes from engaging in any form of protest and will be confirmed in Beijing after much debate.

the New York Times reports that Peng Shuai was such a sensitive subject that an interpreter at the press conference did not mention his name when she relayed a question from a reporter.

China hopes the Olympics will be a triumph of soft power, but there are other controversies, including the environmental impact of the Games taking place in one of the country’s driest regions and relying almost entirely on snow artificial.

The United States, Britain, Canada and Australia are among the countries mounting a diplomatic boycott of human rights, with the plight of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority being of particular concern.

Washington accuses China of perpetrating genocide in the Xinjiang region. China has warned that the United States will “pay the price” for its diplomatic boycott.

Athletes from boycotting countries will take part in the Games, which will run until February 20, but a US rights monitor has sounded the alarm over athlete safety after hosts threatened ‘punishment’ for anti-Beijing comments .

Fearing surveillance, some Western countries have told their athletes to leave their personal devices at home and use temporary burner phones.

There are signs that China is tightening the noose on anyone who dares to spoil the party, with human rights activists and some academics whose WeChat messaging app accounts have been restricted in recent weeks.

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Taliban: At the Oslo talks: the West insists on the need to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan https://guwiv.com/taliban-at-the-oslo-talks-the-west-insists-on-the-need-to-resolve-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-afghanistan/ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 03:45:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/taliban-at-the-oslo-talks-the-west-insists-on-the-need-to-resolve-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-afghanistan/ WASHINGTON: Special representatives and special envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Oslo on January 24 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, including sessions with Taliban representatives and civil society actors. In a joint statement, the Western envoys underscored the urgent need to resolve […]]]>
WASHINGTON: Special representatives and special envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States met in Oslo on January 24 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, including sessions with Taliban representatives and civil society actors.
In a joint statement, the Western envoys underscored the urgent need to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and highlighted the steps needed to help alleviate the suffering of Afghans across the country.
Participants acknowledged the steps taken to facilitate access for humanitarian workers, both men and women, while expressing their concern that certain obstacles persist, and participants also reiterated the importance of rapidly removing all conditions and all obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid. added.
They stressed the importance of respect for human rights and the imperative need for an inclusive and representative political system to ensure stability and a peaceful future for Afghanistan.
The Special Representatives urged the Taliban to do more to stop the alarming increase in human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, media repression, extrajudicial killings, torture and banning education for women and girls, employment and the freedom to travel without a male escort.
“Noted with deep concern the absence and limitations of access to secondary schools for girls in many parts of the country and stressed the importance of higher education for women as well as job opportunities for women in all fields,” the joint statement read. .
During the meeting, the envoys clarified that their meetings with the Taliban in no way imply a sense of official recognition or legitimization of the interim government announced by the Taliban in September 2021.
The Oslo talks took place in response to a request from a number of Afghan organizations and in consultation with Western allies.
On Sunday, a day-long meeting took place between the Taliban delegation and other Afghans from diverse backgrounds. These included women leaders, journalists and people working to safeguard human rights and address humanitarian, economic, social and political issues.
On Monday, meetings were held between the Taliban and special representatives for Afghanistan from Norway and other Western countries.
Afghanistan is grappling with drought, a pandemic, economic collapse and the effects of years of conflict. Some 24 million people are acutely food insecure.
According to United Nations estimates, more than half of the population will face starvation this winter and 97% of the population could fall below the poverty line this year.
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