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Caught between Old Habits and Democratic Strides : Romanian Press at a Crossroads

first_img On the eve of the expansion of the European Union, Reporters Without Borders is publishing a report on the state of press freedom in Romania, which hopes to join the EU in 2007. But amidst all the attempts to manipulate information, self-censorship, pressures, and assaults-fourteen years after the collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime-Romanian journalists are still finding it difficult to freely carry on their work. News Organisation News RSF_en Romania: In an open letter, RSF and ActiveWatch denounce judicial pressures on investigative journalists following a complaint from a Bucharest district mayor Even as the European Union (EU) prepares to welcome ten new Member States which have managed to achieve their democratic transition, Romania-scheduled to join the EU in 2007-is struggling to meet the criteria for membership. Having made press freedom a core issue in the negotiations, the European Commission and the Parliament recently issued severe warnings to the Romanian government.Alarmed by a sudden increase in the number of assaults on investigative journalists in the provinces and by the growing problems confronting the press, Reporters Without Borders dispatched a delegation to Romania where, from 24 March to 1 April 2004, they gathered testimony from numerous journalists and met with local and national authorities.In its investigative report entitled “Caught between Old Habits and Democratic Strides: Romanian Press at a Crossroads” the organisation reveals that-fourteen years after the collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime-the status of press freedom in that country is still unsatisfactory. Reporters Without Borders exposes a very alarming situation in the provinces, where the media’s independence is being hindered by the conflicts of interest of their owners, who are trying to protect their economic and political interests. The few remaining investigative journalists are truly facing a dangerous situation. Four among them, who were inquiring into corruption cases involving local politicians and businessmen, were brutally assaulted in 2003. Nationally, the organisation reports attempts to manipulate information within the state-owned media, especially on the national radio, and deplores the lack of pluralism in the audiovisual sector. The authorities, very anxious to preserve their reputation, both domestically and internationally, do not appreciate criticism from the press. In this context, Romanian journalists submit to a very strong self-censorship on the most sensitive topics, such as corruption, international adoption issues, or the status of Romania’s bid for membership in the EU. Reporters Without Borders has sent recommendations not only to the European, national and local authorities, but also to the press, urging Romania to conform without delay to the European standards respecting press freedom, so that it may prevent this year-a crucial one in Romania’s race for EU membership and involving a heavy electoral schedule-from becoming a high-risk period for the country’s most critical journalists. April 29, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Caught between Old Habits and Democratic Strides : Romanian Press at a Crossroads Receive email alerts December 2, 2020 Find out more May 26, 2021 Find out more Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union News to go further Related documents Rapport_Roumanie_GB-2.pdfPDF – 232.93 KB – Read the report- Dowload the report : Help by sharing this information News RomaniaEurope – Central Asia RomaniaEurope – Central Asia Follow the news on Romania RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive November 23, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Minister promises protection for journalist during surprise visit to radio station

first_img June 15, 2020 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the situation of the media amid the state of siege in Ecuador. It deplores the death of Chilean freelance photographer Julio Augusto García in Quito on 19 April and calls on the new government to provide adequate and fair police protection for both pro-government and opposition media. April 10, 2020 Find out more EcuadorAmericas December 24, 2019 Find out more RSF_en Two months before Assange’s extradition hearing, RSF calls for his release on humanitarian grounds and for US Espionage Act charges to be dropped News to go further Follow the news on Ecuador News News Organisation Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives May 16, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Minister promises protection for journalist during surprise visit to radio station News Receive email alerts Help by sharing this information Coronavirus: State measures must not allow surveillance of journalists and their sources In the course of a surprise visit to Radio Luna on 10 May, interior minister Mauricio Gándara interrupted a live broadcast of the programme “La Clave” and appealed on the air for journalist Paco Velasco to return to Ecuador, promising him and his family “very personalized” protection, the El Comercio newspaper reported.Quito-based Radio Luna played a key role in an uprising that began on 13 April and resulted in President Lucio Gutiérrez’s ouster a week later, and it was sabotaged twice and fired on during the days preceding his removal. Velasco was the target of repeated death threats since the start of the uprising and finally left the country with his wife and two children on 2 May after receiving no protection from the government or police._________________________________9.05.05 – Death threats force head of La Luna radio to flee EcuadorDirector of La Luna radio, Paco Velasco, fled Ecuador on 3 May, fearing for his own and his family’s lives after receiving repeated threats, according to the website Ecuadorinmediato. Velasco said he took the decision because he felt his safety could not be guaranteed. The Quito-based radio played an active part in bringing about the downfall of the former president Lucio Gutiérrez, on 20 April. The station was the target of two acts of sabotage and one bombing during days of rioting that preceded the removal of the former head of state. Chilean photographer Julio Augusto García died in the turmoil. Velasco blamed the threats made against him on the armed group “Los Contraforajidos” that supports the ousted president._______________________________________________________21.04.2005-Chilean press photographer dies amid political turmoil and violence against news mediaReporters Without Borders today condemned the violence against the press, including threats, shooting and sabotage attempts against radio La Luna, that has occurred amid the turmoil of the past few days leading to President Lucio Gutiérrez’s overthrow yesterday. It also deplored the death of Chilean freelance photographer Julio Augusto García for unexplained reasons during a demonstration in Quito on 19 April.”There is no guarantee that President Gutiérrez’s removal and replacement by Vice-President Alfredo Palacio will end this state of siege and anarchy that has exposed both pro-government and opposition media to reprisals,” the press freedom organization said.The organization said it urged the new Ecuadorean government to immediately order a thorough investigation into García’s death, adding: “We also call on the government to respect press diversity and, if necessary, to provide adequate police protection to the media that are most at danger.”According to a preliminary investigation and information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, García died of a heart attack caused by the teargas used by police to disperse demonstrators outside parliament in Quito who were calling for Gutiérrez’s resignation. He died in the Eugenio Espejo hospital to which he was taken after collapsing.Radio La Luna, which was very critical of the deposed president, was fired on four times by unidentified gunmen at around 1 a.m. yesterday. The station had received telephone threats the previous afternoon saying: “Tonight La Luna will be blown to pieces.” Two days before, on 17 April, its broadcasts were interrupted for 45 minutes when transmission cables were severed. Following their repair, they were sabotaged again the next day, causing a six-hour interruption.Opponents of the deposed president yesterday roughed up a crew with the TV station Ecuavisa as they were filming a bus carrying the president’s supporters, while Daniela Kraemer, the correspondent of the Spanish daily El País, was yesterday manhandled by demonstrators opposed to the new president. EcuadorAmericas last_img read more

Mountain Mama: On the Way to the River

first_imgRhett gestured toward a truck and raised both eyebrows. Before he said a word, I knew that he’d not only found a ride to the put-in, he’d scored big. This guy was cool with stuffing our boats and wet bodies in his truck for the bargain price of ten bucks.We’d gambled by driving an hour to the Pigeon River on an anticipated but not scheduled dam release. Water trickled out of the dam, enough to scoot down the stretch, but just barely. No boaters milled about the take-out; no kayakers from whom to bum a ride. So when we climbed in the rusted out truck without backseats, we were a little giddy about the prospect of getting back to the put-in and Rhett’s truck.MM1The wind screamed in my ears, blowing my hair into wild tangles as we sped east on Highway 40. Rhett leaned over the middle console and pointed to a book of matches bearing the name of a pawn shop. “You work there?”“Nah. That’s where I pawned my chainsaw so I could take my lady for our anniversary dinner.” He paused before adding, “twelve years.”“Where are you taking her?” I asked.“The restaurant next to the McDonalds. You know the one.”Rhett nodded before inquiring about where the dude actually worked. Turns out he’s a tattoo artist during the summer when the town’s population swells from a couple dozen to a couple hundred with the influx of raft guides.Then he pointed out a gravel road winding up a mountain. “The house I built is four miles up that way. Winter’s a bitch.”Rhett laughed, but I was still marveling at how this guy raised the bar for men. My friends act like a guy has gone to extraordinary lengths when he pays for a few beers, much less springs for dinner. Here was a man who not only remembered his anniversary but voluntarily pawned his prized possession to celebrate with his wife.Back at the put-in after we’ve unloaded our gear, after we’ve taken photos, after I’ve handed over another ten bucks for a plastic bottle full of moonshine (secretly hoping that their anniversary dinner might now also involve dessert), and after he drove off to pick up his lady for their big night out on the town, Rhett and I stood in the parking lot digesting it.I turned to Rhett, my hand on my heart. “That’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.”He laughed. “Yeah. That guy’s something else. Did you happen to check out the backseat?”“No, I missed it. Why?”“I counted thirty-two empty Natural Ice cans.”As if on cue, water poured from the dam and we headed out for a second lap.last_img read more

Salvadoran Service Members Display Fighter Aircraft and Rescue Helicopters

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo March 04, 2019 With the support of the New Hampshire Air National Guard (NHANG), the Salvadoran Air Force (FAS, in Spanish) demonstrated its abilities to conduct humanitarian assistance, rescue, and counter narcotics operations during the Ilopango Air Show 2019, a civil-military aviation event held January 25-26 at Comalapa Air Base, El Salvador. Salvadoran and U.S. service members simulated risky operations with rescue helicopters and fighter aircraft. The military aerial demonstration was one of the main attractions at the event, which the Aeroclub Association of El Salvador organizes for the last 22 years, drawing more than 40,000 spectators. The funds collected will go to the Intensive Care Unit at Benjamín Bloom National Children’s Hospital in San Salvador. Air combat “We had the opportunity to show the work of our first line of air defense, a squadron of three Cessna A-37B aircraft engaged in ongoing surveillance to detect possible movements from narcotrafficking rings,” said Colonel Salvador Hernández, commander of the FAS General Staff. “These aircraft take off immediately when they receive an order to intercept illegal movements, either maritime or airborne.” The fleet belongs to FAS’s Fighter and Bomber Group. Their demonstrations, displaying individual and formation flights, showcased some of the tasks executed when intercepting a land, water, or air vehicle suspected of carrying illegal goods or being involved in illegal activities. “The different training received from the U.S. Air Force enabled us to improve our pilots’ performance and, consequently, the service we provide the country in security and rescue,” Col. Hernández said. “This event lets us show off the results of training and exchanges, as well as our level of preparedness to counter transnational crime day by day.” For the seventh year in a row, NHANG’s 157th Air Refueling Wing conducted overflights with a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Attendees were able to witness the aircraft’s capabilities to transport patients during aeromedical evacuations. “For us, participating in this air event is an ideal opportunity to connect directly with the Salvadorans and show our partnership with their country,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Greg Heilshorn, director of Public Affairs for the New Hampshire Army National Guard. “We work in good faith and with good relations, which are the basis for any enduring friendship.” The New Hampshire National Guard is associated with FAS through the U.S. State Partnership Program, which links the National Guard of a U.S. state to the armed forces of a partner nation for a relationship of mutual cooperation. Since the partnership’s beginnings in 2000, it provides ongoing training on rescue techniques during sudden floods, landslides, and earthquakes. In a seismic country like El Salvador, exercises of this kind strengthen joint response mechanisms in case of emergencies. Humanitarian operations U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) joined the 2019 event and displayed one of its UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which served in many humanitarian operations in Central America. “In the case of El Salvador, in November of last year [2018], one of these helicopters enabled us to distribute 170 tons of supplies and bring medical attention to 4,400 patients during rain emergencies,” said U.S. Army Major Christopher Cashell, member of JTF-Bravo. JTF-Bravo trained Salvadoran service members in open water rescues, rappelling, and rope training from UH-60s for humanitarian assistance operations. As part of its security cooperation mission, JTF-Bravo conducts the Central America Sharing Mutual Operational Knowledge and Experiences exercise on a cyclical basis to facilitate future efforts with Central American firefighters in case of disasters and medical evacuations. “The work of the U.S. military in evacuations or disasters is amazing; their level of professionalism is sky-high,” said José Luis Arévalo, a Salvadoran civil engineer who visited the event. “It’s good to know that we can count on them in emergencies, since we don’t always have all the resources to address them in our country.”last_img read more

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