Gambian police beat journalist returned from exile

first_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Gambian authorities to identify and punish the police officers who attacked radio station manager Pa Modou Bojang while he was covering deadly clashes between police and protesters in Faraba Banta, a village 50 km south of the capital, Banjul, on 18 June. GambiaAfrica Condemning abuses Violence Describing his arrest by the police, Bojang said: “I identified myself as journalist with my professional press card but they slapped and beat me anyway. They said, ‘you journalists have destroyed this country and if Yahya Jammeh were here, we would have killed all of you.’” Jammeh was Gambia’s president from 1994 until his ouster in 2017. Gambia: former president must stand trial for journalist’s murder News Receive email alerts Follow the news on Gambia Three journalist arrested, two radio stations closed in Gambia After arresting him, Bojang said the police tried to get him to delete the contents of his mobile phone. “They asked me to format my mobile. I refused. They took my audio recorder.” Le journaliste Pa Modou Bojang pris en photo par ses confrères après son agression par la police à Faraba Banta (Gambie). © freedomnewspaper.com News “This kind of police violence against journalists has no place in the new era that began in Gambia after the departure of Yahya Jammeh, one of Africa’s worst press freedom predators,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk.  “The new Gambian authorities must not only firmly condemn this attack but also investigate the police violence against this reporter, in order to demonstrate a clear intention to put a stop to violence against journalists and to the systematic impunity that those responsible enjoyed under the previous regime.” June 21, 2018 Gambian police beat journalist returned from exile January 27, 2020 Find out more RSF_en The manager of Home Digital FM, Bojang was violently assaulted on the morning of 18 June while he was covering a protest by residents against the mining of sand in the area, which they say is polluting rice paddies. Two people were killed as police tried to break up the demonstration.center_img Gambia is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index, 21 places higher than in 2017. This was the world’s biggest rise in this year’s index. When reached by RSF, information and communication minister Demba Ali Jawo said: “There is absolutely no justification and it is inacceptable for a journalist doing his work to be beaten or harassed.” Bojang returned to Gambia in February 2018 after spending nine years in exile to escape Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial regime. Before leaving, he was arrested twice and was tortured during three weeks in prison on 2008. During Jammeh’s 23-year reign of terror, censorship, violence and arbitrary detention drove 110 journalists to flee the country. According to the GPU, nearly 30 of them have returned since the dictator’s removal in January 2017. to go further The Gambian Press Union (GPU) said: “Authorities should first have instructed the police to under no circumstances use force against journalists.” The police finally released Bojang in the evening but did not return his audio recorder. He was then seen with his shirt spattered with blood in a video interview posted on social networks. Help by sharing this information News Organisation Gambia still needs to address challenges to press freedom GambiaAfrica Condemning abuses Violence News August 6, 2020 Find out more July 23, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

UE Andiron Lecture Series for 2016-17 Announced

first_imgu eU OF E MASCOT The University of Evansville’s annual Andiron Lecture Series begins October 5 in Eykamp Hall, Room 252, in Ridgway University Center. UE associate professor of archaeology Jennie Ebeling will be speaking on “It Takes a Village: The Realities of Directing and Archaeological Excavation in the 21st Century.” A social hour with beverages precedes each lecture at 3:45 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the public.Other lectures in this series include:November 9, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 253, Ridgway University Center,“Evansville History in Motion” – Joe Atkinson, UE digital multimedia specialist in residenceFebruary 1, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center“Alpha Scholars and First- Generation Families” – Mari Plikuhn, associate professor of sociologyMarch 1, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center“Toward a New Nostalgia for Public Libraries: Engaging, Inquiring, and Empowering” – Cynthia Sturgis Landrum, director of the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public LibraryApril 5, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center“Diggers, Farmers, and Townsmen: Irish Immigrants in Southwestern Indiana” – Daniel Gahan, UE professor of historyThe Andiron Lecture series is sponsored by the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences and supported by a generous gift from Donald B. Korb. For more information, call 812-488-1070 or 812-488-2589.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Listen To The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s Cosmic New Single, ‘Bubbles Burst’

first_imgOne new group that we’re beyond excited to catch live this summer is The Claypool Lennon Delirium, merging the sonic prowess of Primus bassist Les Claypool and Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger/John Lennon progeny Sean Lennon. The two have an album, The Monolith of Phobos, due out on June 3rd, before a planned summer tour takes them across the country.With the new album due out, the two have been sharing the occasional single from the release. After releasing a psychedelic lyric video for the song “Cricket & The Genie,” the band has also shared audio for a new tune called “Bubbles Burst.” Dig the out-of-this-world track from The Claypool Lennon Delirium below:Claypool explained earlier this year that he met Lennon on a joint tour and they became friends backstage. “I asked Sean if he’d like to come to Rancho Relaxo and see if we couldn’t get some interesting sounds on tape. Next thing I know he’s staying in my guesthouse over the holidays and we’re drinking vino, hunting mushrooms and throwing musical pasta at the walls.”Lennon added, “The Claypool Lennon Delirium will (gently) melt your face with heart-pounding low-frequency oscillations and interdimensional guitar squeals. We look forward to seeing you very soon.” The feeling is mutual. Learn more about the track and how the unlikely duo came together here.last_img read more

Hands of a healer, heart of a Syrian

first_imgSometimes he goes by John White. Sometimes he’s Abdulaziz Adel. At Harvard he is Mahmoud Hariri. His many names are a product of his life in Syria, where being a doctor treating the wounded is often as dangerous as being a rebel fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.There have been 400 documented attacks on medical facilities since the Syrian war began in 2011 and close to 800 medical workers killed, according to figures from the U.S.-based nongovernmental organization Physicians for Human Rights. The assaults have been executed almost entirely by the Assad government or its allies, according to the NGO, and have targeted civilians with ruthless precision.Hariri, a surgeon and currently a Harvard Scholars at Risk fellow, has witnessed firsthand those brutal campaigns and their horrific aftermath: bodies marred by barrel bombs (cylinders crammed with explosives and shrapnel); burned remains of medical students kidnapped and murdered for the crime of trying to aid the injured; a woman, nine months pregnant, who lost her baby when a sniper’s bullet pierced its skull.Tragedy dominated Hariri’s daily reality the past several years in Aleppo, the city where he was born and first devoted his life to helping others.“Medicine was my ambition since I was a child,” the 50-year-old physician said on a recent afternoon in his Harvard office on Story Street, thousands of miles removed from the devastation of his home city, where hundreds of thousands have died since fighting broke out in 2011. “They used to call me, since I was in the middle school, ‘How are you, doctor? Where are you going, doctor?’” Harvard’s Leaning to co-chair study examining wide effects of civil war No easy answer for health void in Syria Related When it was time to pick a specialty, Hariri opted for general surgery because of its “practical chance to save lives.” He didn’t imagine that his days removing gallbladders, fixing hernias, and teaching at Aleppo University would help prepare him to be a trauma surgeon saving lives on the front lines. He was wrong.The father of four turns to his computer to pull up a video of a group of medical personnel working feverishly in an improvised Aleppo operating room. “That’s me,” he says, pointing to blue rubber-gloved hands holding a beating heart spurting blood from a hole torn open by shrapnel. (The patient survived.)After shadowing and assisting David Nott, a London specialist and war surgeon who visited Aleppo in 2013 for six weeks, Hariri was on his own. Soon he was performing complex surgeries — vascular, lung, and open-heart — with lives in the balance.At Harvard, he is helping others gain the experience they need to become doctors in his war-ravaged country, where skilled medical professionals are increasingly rare. Hariri, who is being hosted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Global Health and Population, is focused on developing the medical school arm of the new Free Aleppo University.“It’s accredited and registered with the World Health Organization,” said Hariri, adding, “It’s our university.”He is also working on building a network of doctors, medical educators, and experts who can continue to train young doctors in Syria whose postgraduate work was interrupted by civil war. Hariri and his Syrian team are connecting via the web specialists from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia with Syrian students for interviews, oral exams, and online tests.In Aleppo, Hariri helped coordinate an underground network of physicians and makeshift hospitals, safe houses filled with supplies where doctors can perform emergency surgeries. To avoid being targeted by bombs they removed sirens and lights from their ambulances and camouflaged the trucks’ bright yellow paint with mud. They trained themselves to do everything, from patient record-keeping to preparing for and responding to chemical attacks.“Step by step we learned how to organize the work.”Harari is convinced that education is the light that will show his country the way out of conflict.“Fighting extremism starts from education,” he said, “not from the fight. I believe that education, education is the key for freedom, self-dignity, development, and getting rid of all extremism. For that reason I am working on this with my friends.”In 2014, his friends in the Syrian medical community promised to nominate him for the Harvard fellowship if the surgeon promised them something as well: he would return. Hariri chuckled as he recalled the agreement. Going back, he said, has never been in question. His response to those who ask him about seeking asylum in the United States is always the same.“I need to go back home,” he tells them. “I believe that my home needs me. I have to work for them.”In the spring, after his fellowship ends, Hariri will stay true to his promise, heading first to Turkey, where he will leave his family, and then back to Syria to continue his work.“I know that the future looks grim … I don’t expect that something good will be happening soon. But in spite of this, we do believe that we have to do our best.”last_img read more

Imprisoned Nearly 15 Years, but Now Cleared of a Murder He Didn’t Commit

first_img“I believe we were the first case that applied for review from that unit,” Mr. Horwitz said, adding that his client had been freed because of “a building snowball of exonerating evidence coming steady over the course of a very long time.” On Thursday, Joseph Webster lunched on grilled salmon, which he had longed for while spending almost 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. There was also steamed broccoli and Diet Coke. “It was delicious,” he said by phone on his way to a local TV news station for an interview.Mr. Webster, 41, walked out of a detention center in downtown Nashville just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, hours after a judge had agreed with a determination by the district attorney’s office that they had lost confidence in Webster’s first-degree murder conviction and had ordered it vacated. Mr. Webster had been serving a life sentence and would have been eligible for parole after serving 51 years.- Advertisement – Sunny Eaton, who runs the conviction review unit, said her office had been created in an effort to make truth-finding the central role of the prosecutor’s office. “I believe that the overwhelming feeling is one of pride to be part of a district attorney’s office that puts its money where its mouth is,” Ms. Eaton said, “and is actually transparent and takes the steps toward self-reflection and accountability and getting things right that may have been gotten wrong before.”The night he was released, Mr. Webster said, he went to his mother’s house and reunited with his four adult sons, whom he had called multiple times a week throughout his imprisonment. “My mom had cooked me a dinner, and we just caught up, and it was just unbelievable,” Mr. Webster said. “So we enjoyed the moment.”Mr. Webster was having a busy Thursday. In the morning, he was back in a courtroom petitioning a judge to return his voting rights, which may be restored after Mr. Webster resolves his court costs, Mr. Horwitz said.From there, the two went to the Tennessee Driver Services office so that Mr. Webster could obtain a new driver’s license, only to find that so much time had passed while he was in prison that he would have to retake the driving test.After doing interviews, Mr. Webster and Mr. Horwitz were planning to visit Project Return, a local organization that helps people transition from incarceration and reintegrate into society.Mr. Webster hopes to start a trucking business and drive a dump truck.“Nashville is growing so much that I just want to be part of the growth,” Mr. Webster said. “And I can contribute a little bit at a time by moving gravel and rocks.” Mr. Webster’s conviction was the first to be overturned since the Nashville District Attorney’s Office set up a unit in 2016 to review cases that might have been decided wrongfully. Members of the new unit collaborated with defense lawyers in an investigation that produced new witnesses and evidence.“We’re now in the process of helping him rebuild his life,” Mr. Webster’s lawyer, Daniel L. Horwitz, said Thursday. Witnesses testified during Mr. Webster’s trial that Mr. Owens had been attacked by two Black men driving a white station wagon, and they described one assailant as weighing roughly 160 pounds and the other perhaps 200 pounds. Mr. Webster, however, weighed 300 pounds at the time and had 12 permanently installed, very bright gold front teeth. No witnesses recalled either of the men who attacked Mr. Owens as having gold teeth.“There was evidence that made it pretty clear who committed this crime, and it was not Mr. Webster,” Mr. Horwitz said. “Two new witnesses came forward who saw the murder and were able to give pretty good descriptions of the two people who did it.”In October 2016, Mr. Webster hired Mr. Horwitz after a failed attempt to have the murder weapon tested for DNA evidence. It was around that same time, Mr. Horwitz said, that the Nashville District Attorney’s Office established what it called a conviction review unit to look at cases that might have been incorrectly decided.- Advertisement – Mr. Webster went to prison in 2003 on an unrelated drug charge and was convicted in 2006 for the murder of Leroy Owens, who was bludgeoned to death with a cinder block in a Nashville parking lot on Nov. 22, 1998.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more