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The Launch of TrialWatch 2019

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Post by party animal - not! Wed 01 Jan 2020, 16:25

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 01 Jan 2020, 17:07

Nice. I guess if we want to see George this is the kind of thing we'll have to look for. Not quite the same, but it'll have to do.
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Post by heartlove Wed 01 Jan 2020, 17:14

Razz

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Post by Donnamarie Wed 01 Jan 2020, 21:45

Trialwatch is critical now more than ever considering that so many countries are flaunting with authoritarian rule. George’s strong passion and belief in a free press makes this endeavor a natural undertaking for him.
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Post by Joanna Sun 05 Jan 2020, 14:51

Thanks pan for the link above.
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Post by party animal - not! Sun 05 Jan 2020, 16:13

Pleasure, Jo. Here's a shot of George and Amal with Maria Ressa of Rappler, under threat of prison, if not worse, from President Duterte of the Phillipines for her online column.

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I have met this lady - she's tiny, soft-spoken - and shorter than me, which is saying something!

How are you? Pretty bleak day down here....but it's darker later!

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Post by party animal - not! Wed 05 Feb 2020, 14:36

This is certainly not any old tinpot organisation! Some new appointments:

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Post by heartlove Wed 05 Feb 2020, 16:24

The press in the United States and world wide IS NOT FREE;  they DON'T have the freedom to speak truth to power.  The United States Press IS OWNED AND RAN BY BIG BUSINESS.  The United States Press shape perception and drive the perspective BIG BUSINESS want a wide audience to believe.  

The fight to free journalist with the "absence of" and/or "focus on" the investigative journalism they are responsible for, is a courtroom grandstand void of substance.

I'm sure the trial watch means well, however I just find it a media grandstand to make people think freedom of the press is in danger, when the truth is THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

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Post by party animal - not! Wed 05 Feb 2020, 16:49

Ah. So on that basis I assume you are happy to read, publish and believe all those non-articles from fake new sites.

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Post by heartlove Wed 05 Feb 2020, 16:54

PAN, please don't get me started on fake news.

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Post by annemarie Wed 05 Feb 2020, 17:32

What George and Amal are doing is amazing. They are showing the world just how bad the press are treated and not just in this country but world wide. They are finding ways to help the press and keep trials honest. Which our country and others are not doing. The idiot in the White House is all for destruction of the press and free speech.

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Post by heartlove Wed 05 Feb 2020, 17:37

Maybe George and Amal should tackle fake news.  There's really NOTHING like the truth.

This courtroom journalist grandstand is not impressive, and does NOTHING to tackle freedom of the press.

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Post by annemarie Wed 05 Feb 2020, 17:58

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it , it is not mine and I find it very impressive.

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Post by annemarie Wed 05 Feb 2020, 19:41

I can imagine how very proud Nick and Nina are of George and Amal. I think this is so important to them both
 because Nick and Baria are both journalists.

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 05 Feb 2020, 20:46

I find it interesting that someone who believes there is "NO FREEDOM OF THE PRESS" because we are only fed what big business wants us to see bothers to pay so much attention to what is published - and why they see fit to discuss so much of the "news", if it is all fake.

Big business does have a major influence on what we see in the media, which is why what George and Amal are doing is so important. They are supporting the segment of the media that is still independent and trying to tell truth to power. We need more like them.
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Post by Donnamarie Wed 05 Feb 2020, 21:19

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:This is certainly not any old tinpot organisation! Some new appointments:

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Very impressive additions.  I didn’t fully realize how impressive John Prendergast’s resume was.  I expect the group has their work cut out for them with the alarming increase of assaults on the free press.  Trump is certainly doing his part and if he gets four more years the foundation may have to focus some of their efforts stateside.


Last edited by Donnamarie on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 21:21; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correct text)
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 05 Feb 2020, 21:40

Quite, Lizzy. 

The phrase 'freedom of the press' as a definition refers to the ability of journalists to find out report the facts of an often dangerous situation, to research and report corruption, human rights violations, and deaths by governments around the world. 

By dismissing all of that with a 'why bother' shrug of the shoulders attitude when more journalists than ever are imprisoned, abused and sometimes killed eg Khashoggi for reporting on Saudi Arabia's heir,  and Daphne Galizia, killed for investigating widespread corruption at the very top of government in Malta. is frankly beyond me








   around the world for reporting what they see sh

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 05 Feb 2020, 22:08

PAN - I suppose it's easier to throw your hands up and do nothing than it is to acknowledge that one might have a responsibility to act in some way to fix the problem. I don't know what that action might be since each of us is in a different situation and we certainly don't all have G&A's clout, but I'm sure there are things we can all do individually to help.
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Post by party animal - not! Thu 06 Feb 2020, 11:53

You hit the nail on the head. 

And of course social media bosses and their owners empower that and make it easier for us to read endless trivia about some soap star nobody ever heard of - and make money.

A couple of interesting things from today.

From The Guardian - the paper George describes as 'stellar' -

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and Jake Tapper reported this yesterday evening - apparently CNN were excluded from a White House press conference....

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British journalists and tv reporters all walked out of No 10 when Boris Johnson's men tried to do the same.........

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Post by annemarie Thu 06 Feb 2020, 13:03

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Saudi Arabia using secret court to silence dissent, Amnesty finds
Activists handed long prison sentences or death penalty by court set up for terror cases


Bethan McKernan, Middle East correspondent
Wed 5 Feb 2020 19.01 EST



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 Since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed heir to the throne in 2017 there has been a crackdown on dissent. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/Kremlin/EPA
Saudi Arabia is using a secretive special court set up for terrorism-related cases to systematically prosecute human rights activists and other dissenting voices who defy the country’s absolute monarchy, a new report has found.
The human rights watchdog Amnesty International spent five years investigating 95 cases heard at the Specialised Criminal court (SCC) in Riyadh, concluding in a report published on Thursday that the court is routinely used as a weapon to silence criticism despite the kingdom’s recent attempts to cultivate a reformist image.
Since 2011, overly broad counter-terror and anti-cybercrime laws have been used by the SCC in unfair trials to hand down prison sentences of up to 30 years and in some cases the death penalty to human rights defenders, writers, economists, journalists, religious clerics, reformists and political activists, particularly from the country’s Shia minority, Amnesty said.
“Every stage of the SCC’s judicial process is tainted with human rights abuses, from the denial of access to a lawyer, to incommunicado detention, to convictions based solely on so-called confessions extracted through torture,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa regional director.

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Facebook[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Saudi Arabia using secret court to silence dissent%2C Amnesty][/url]Twitter[url=http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?description=Saudi Arabia using secret court to silence dissent%2C Amnesty][/url]Pinterest
 Loujain al-Hathloul was detained after campaigning for women’s right to drive. Photograph: Loujain al-Hathloul
Saudi Arabia has embarked on a series of wide-reaching social reforms since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was appointed heir to the throne in 2017, allowing women to drive, curbing the powers of the country’s notorious morality police and granting women the freedom to travel without the permission of a male guardian.

The reforms, however, have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including the detention of high-profile activists such as Loujain al-Hathloul, who campaigned for women’s right to drive. Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has also faced renewed international scrutiny since the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in 2018.


 Khashoggi’s ‘killers’ have been sentenced to death. That won’t detoxify Saudi Arabia


Simon Tisdall
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The SCC was established in 2008 to try individuals accused of crimes related to membership and support of al-Qaida. However, citing court documents, government statements and national legislation, as well as interviews with activists, lawyers and individuals close to the cases documented, Amnesty alleges that the court has morphed into a “mockery of justice” that targets freedom of speech and peaceful political activity.
One of the most disturbing findings shows that the SCC is heavily reliant on confessions extracted under torture conditions. At least 20 people have been sentenced to death, 17 of whom have been executed.
Hussein al-Rabi, a defendant in a mass trial of protesters from Saudi Arabia’s restive Shia-majority Qatif province, was executed in 2019 despite telling the court that his interrogator had hit him and threatened hanging and electric shocks unless he confessed. Rabi refused to do so, so the interrogator denied him food and water, leading to his hospitalisation.

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Saudi teenager could face execution for joining protests as child



 
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“The presumption of innocence is not part of the Saudi Arabian judicial system,” said Taha al-Hajji, a lawyer who has represented many defendants before the SCC.
In response to Amnesty’s investigation, Saudi Arabia’s official human rights commission offered a summary of the relevant laws and court procedures but failed to address any of the individual cases ra

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Post by Donnamarie Thu 06 Feb 2020, 20:52

PAN thanks for pointing out CNN being excluded from that Trump press briefing. I had not heard about this. Every member of the press who was there should have walked out if this story is true. I think the media has done a hell of a job investigating Trump and pointing out the thousand of lies he has told. But they have also faltered. One cable news person yesterday called out the media for continuing to give Trump so much credit for the strong U.S. economy. Trump lied his way through the SOTU address on Tuesday night. That’s why Pelosi ripped up Trump’s speech right in front of him. He made false claims about Obama’s economy over and over again. The statistics show something very different. The media needs to constantly call him out on his many bogus claims.
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Post by party animal - not! Fri 07 Feb 2020, 01:53

Yes, I totally agree, Donnamarie, but no-one holds his feet to the fire. I have often wondered why - and I think there could be two reasons: the first is that there don't seem to be very many long interviews (see Emily Maitlis on the BBC with Prince Andrew!) but that may be because interviewers always have to look at the clock for the next advert break - or one wonders which board  or owners of which TV stations are Republicans!

Agsin, Michael Lewis's book paints an even scarier picture -and is very well sourced! Oh, and apparently more information continues to be revealed including the fact that once again Ukraine have said that they are still waiting for another 30 million dollars worth of guns and ammuniciation promised by the US...

John Bolton seemed to be a good bet, but as a reporter here said it is now clear that he'd rather sell books!

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Post by Donnamarie Fri 07 Feb 2020, 22:01

Trump has no checks on him any longer. He is quite dangerous at this point. Especially since his acquittal. He’s out for revenge on his enemies. He just had Col. Vindman who was a witness during the impeachment hearings escorted off the White House grounds today. No checks from Republicans or anyone in the White House. That leaves the media and the courts (they work too slowly). Trump has done some interviews with NYT and some network news programs. Those interviews are not necessarily hard hitting. They act like they want to stay on Trump’s good side. Not a good look and it needs to change. He does most interviews with Fox News ... for obvious reasons. It’s his propaganda machine.

John Bolton showed his true colors. You’re right. He’d rather sell books and let the truth come out that way in stead of doing what would have been the right thing to do.
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Post by party animal - not! Fri 07 Feb 2020, 22:43

Yes, Donnamarie. When I saw the Vindman story a few hours ago I have to confess that I did wonder whether we were talking about Russia or China!

I'm also guessing most of the Republican party are acting out of fear - or think that the rising stock market is more important!

This from a very eloquent Twitter feed

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Cannot recommend Michael Lewis's latest book enough -

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Post by party animal - not! Sat 08 Feb 2020, 00:15

.....Vindman's lawyer is David Pressman, who was US attorney to the UN, and friend and 'cousin' to George....

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