MaldivesAsia – Pacific August 6, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 15 journalists get SMS threatening them about covering gangs News Threat follows media coverage of surge in gang violence RSF_en Receive email alerts to go further Organisation RSF seeks press freedom pledges from Maldives presidential candidates Against a backdrop of violence between rival criminal gangs, 15 Maldivian journalists received an anonymous text on 3 August threatening them about their coverage of the gangs. Although a tourist paradise, Maldives is no paradise for journalists, with 84 per cent saying they have been threatened at least once.Journalists with Haveeru, Raajje TV, Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), VTV, Sun Online and Vaguthu received the same threatening SMS, which follows extensive media coverage of a surge in gang violence in Malé, the capital, in late July.“We will kill you if you keep writing inappropriate articles about gangs in the media,” the message said.“Death threats lead to self-censorship,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “The authorities have a duty to guarantee the safety of journalists. This includes arresting those responsible for these threats. The authorities must end the culture of intimidation and impunity by ceasing to turn a blind eye to abuses by the rival gangs.”Death threats are common in Maldives even if rarely carried out. But a disturbing precedent was set in February 2013, when Raajje TV journalist Ibrahim Asward Waheed was beaten with steel bars and left for dead. He was one of four Raajje TV journalists to receive the threatening text. The offices of this opposition TV station were destroyed in an arson attack last October.The gangs often seek media coverage of their actions but turn against the media when the coverage is not to their liking, or when the media cover the activities of rival gangs. The gangs are also increasingly used by politicians to pressure journalists or people they regard as opponents. As a result, the gangs enjoy complete impunity.Threatening climate for journalismAccording to an MBC report in May, political parties are the main source of threats against journalists, followed by gangs and religious extremists. The threats encourage self-censorship, with 30 per cent of journalists saying they are afraid of covering gang activity and 43 per cent saying they do not report threats to the authorities.And, as Malé is a small town, journalists have nowhere to hide when they are threatened.Although the authorities have promised to defend media freedom, they have made little progress. No one has been condemned for either the arson attack on Raajje TV or the attack on Waheed.Maldives is ranked 108th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.Photo : Haveeru MaldivesAsia – Pacific News September 12, 2018 Find out more Maldivian president’s comms chief accused of sexually harassing journalist RSF calls for open trial of Maldivian blogger’s accused murderers News Follow the news on Maldives April 23, 2018 Find out more News July 15, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information
June 9, 2021 Find out more March 18, 2021 Find out more News IranMiddle East – North Africa Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists September 24, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government blocks Google and Gmail, while promoting National Internet IranMiddle East – North Africa February 25, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Iran Receive email alerts News Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Help by sharing this information The Iranian government announced yesterday that it has blocked access to Google and Gmail after receiving complaints about the anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims. Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, the head of the committee that decides which websites should be blocked, said he had acted at the Iranian people’s request.Tests carried out by Reporters Without Borders in Iran indicate that the blocking is effective in some places but varies according to the province and the Internet Service Provider. So not all Iranian Internet users are affected. On the other hand, some VPNs (virtual private networks), which are used for circumventing censorship, are reportedly no long working.YouTube has been blocked in Iran since June 2009, when the authorities wanted to prevent the circulation of photos and videos of the crackdown on protests after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection. Previously, YouTube had been subject to targeted blocking and widespread filtering of videos that were not to the censors’ liking.The blocking of Gmail is conveniently timed because it coincides with the launch of a government-run “National Internet” and national email service with much rigorous methods for verifying the identity of users. So the real aim seems to be to get more Iranians to switch to the national service.All government offices and civil service department throughout the country are now connected to the national Internet network that became operational on 22 September.———21.09.2012 – Islamic Republic poised to launch national InternetIn the past few days, several Iranian officials have referred to the imminent launch of a national Internet, called “Our Own Internet” or “Halal Internet,” giving tomorrow as the date when it will finally begin operating.Officials have talked about the national Internet in the past but until now the launch has been repeatedly postponed. This time it seems that a proper operational system is to be unveiled although it will initially be used only by the government and civil service and will not be imposed on the entire population until a later stage.The regime has had technicians working on a “Halal Internet” since 2002, but President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration stepped up the process with the support of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, especially after various cyber-attacks on its nuclear installations.Reporters Without Borders is disturbed by the launch of this national network because, as well aiming to satisfy the security concerns cited by the authorities, it also aims to step up control of online information and surveillance of netizens, especially government opponents and human rights defenders.A national Internet that meets the approval of Iran’s censors could only be a highly censored and sanitized one with even more surveillance, as anonymity would be banned. Purged of political, social and religious criticism, it would serve only to glorify the regime and its leaders and would leave no space for dissent.For the time being, the authorities continue to maintain that the national and international Internets will exist side by side, but Reporters Without Borders fears that the public will sooner or later be confined to the national Internet while only the government and banking and financial institutions will retain the ability to connect to the international Internet.Iran needs to stay connected to the international Internet for its business and financial dealings. This model allows it to cut off the public’s access during crises without restricting access for political decision-makers and business executives. To this end, the authorities are likely to increase the cost of accessing the international network and reduce the connection speed, in order to persuade the public to use the faster and cheaper national network.Reporters Without Borders cautions the Iranian authorities against treating Iranian Internet users in a discriminatory fashion. It is also concerned that other countries will follow the Iranian example, jeopardizing the Internet’s integrity. Official statements – and corrections Iran’s minister of communications and information technology, Reza Taghi Poor, announced on 3 September that: “The first phase of the national information network, consisting of separating the internal network from the international network, has been completed in 28 of the country’s provinces. “There are two provinces left before we complete this phase, but by 22 September (the end of the month of Shahrivar in Iran), the two Internet networks, the international network and the national information network, will be accessible.”The communications minister added that “this network’s speed will initially be 8 MB per second, increasing subsequently to 20 MB per second.” He did not mention the speed of the connection to the international network.He qualified this on 18 September, saying: “The connection of the 42,000 civil service departments to the international network will be cut, but in this phase of the national information network, there will be no bandwidth availability for the public.” In other words, only the state sector will initially join the national Internet. First national Internet phase began last year The national Internet’s first phase already began last year when Iranian website servers were transferred to Iran. The Iranian parliament’s website, for example, was hosted on servers in the United States until last year. According to Iranian media, this phase has not yet been completed and several of the regime’s sensitive sites are still hosted abroad. Fars News, a news agency close to the Revolutionary Guards, still has its site hosted in Turkey.A national email service is now functional. This was announced in a text that the communications ministry sent to mobile phone owners at the start of September inviting them to use it (http://mail.iran.ir/register/?module=new). Applicants must provide their name, surname, address, phone number and national ID card number. The account takes 24 hours to be created – the time taken for the authorities to check the applicant’s identity, another step in the drive to eradicate online anonymity. Security and other grounds The grounds given by the government for creating a national Internet are the “danger of using foreign networks” over which they have no control, especially as regards data storage, and the need to protect the country against cyber-attacks, above all those targeting its nuclear programme, which Iran blames on the United States and Israel.But isolating the country from the international network could also allow the authorities to neutralize the censorship circumvention tools that have been developed abroad and to use a filtering system adapted to censorship needs.The authorities also argue that detouring via the international Internet in order to access domestic websites is “pointless.” Two months ago, the communications minister said: “To use the Internet in Iran you don’t need a connection to the international network in 95 percent of cases. Why, in order connect with a shopping mall in the next street, do you have to first leave the national network in order to come back to it immediately?”Creating a national Internet also addresses political and religious considerations. The government often accuses the Internet and social networks of being in the pay of western countries that use them to promote their values and enhance their international influence. By cutting Iran off at least partially, the regime demonstrates its determination to control the “values” circulating online.In practice, Iranians who do not dare or know how to circumvent the censors’ filters are already limited to a authorized version of the Internet, one that has been purged of political, social and religious criticism. Iran is on the list of “Enemies of the Internet” that Reporters Without Borders updates each year and is currently holding a total of 24 journalists and 18 netizens. National Internet as seen by Iranians An Iranian journalist told Reporters Without Borders: “This is a ploy by the regime. On the one hand, they are creating a national Internet with a good connection that only allows you to visit permitted websites. On the other, a weak and filtered connection to the international network. I don’t see why Iranian Internet users should accept this. At the moment, the regime needs money and I don’t think they are ready to lose Internet users and their subscriptions.”A blogger said: “The regime is under pressure and cannot cut Internet access altogether. But it has a two-fold strategy – speed and an increase in Internet charges. Those who want to have access to the international network will have to pay more. It’s a ‘soft’ way to deprive Internet users of their rights, without provoking international bodies.” News News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists Organisation to go further RSF_en
Community News What You Can Do Around Pasadena on National Make a Difference Day By ANDY VITALICIO Published on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 4:53 pm More Cool Stuff Saturday, Oct. 24, is “National Make a Difference Day,” and while that sounds generic, there are a handful of things people can do in and around Pasadena that would actually make a difference to the community.Here are a few things that anyone can do with the family to contribute to National Make a Difference Day:At Lake Avenue Church (LAC), volunteers are needed to help in their care ministries and community outreach programs, and work may involve assisting church members with disabilities get to their doctor or other appointments, or visiting LAC family members who are confined in area hospitals, convalescent homes, and residences. A special need right now is for volunteers who could reach out to homebound adults with physical or mental disabilities.Visit www.lakeave.org/volunteer for more volunteer opportunities.All Saints Church Pasadena continues to offer opportunities for parish members to volunteer or donate to support local organizations striving to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community.Some of the organizations the church supports during this pandemic include 10,000 Villages in Pasadena, which fans can help with monetary donations to cover their rent during their store closure; ASC Food Ministry, which gives away $10 grocery cards for Ralphs or Target; Friends in Deed which could also make use of monetary donations, and Huntington Hospital, which accepts donations of N95 masks and PPE, as well as monetary donations.Visit www.allsaints-pas.org/volunteer-opportunities-in-the-time-of-covid19 for more information.At Pasadena Community Church, volunteers are needed to answer the call of those in need by assisting in the Food Pantry from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Every Tuesday, the church also collects donations of non-perishable canned food items from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in LEC Portico. Simply drive through and place items in the marked bins.Visit www.pasadenacommunitychurch.org/covid-19-volunteer-opportunities for more information.Jericho Road Pasadena, which has been connecting volunteer experts with nonprofits that offer critical services to underserved residents, is in need of volunteers to work on specific projects with defined goals and time frames ranging from two weeks to one year. People may also want to serve on a nonprofit board to support their programs, and thereby expand their influence as an individual in community affairs.For volunteer opportunities, visit www.jrpasadena.org/volunteer-opportunities.The city of Pasadena has ample space for volunteers to contribute to community work, not just on National Make a Difference Day but any day of the year. For one, check out various volunteer opportunities within the Pasadena Police Department, although participation in the Citizens Police Academy may be required prior to volunteer consideration. Some volunteer positions also have an age requirement of 18 or 21 depending on the assignment.For more information and to apply, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/Police.Inquire with many other nonprofits in Pasadena to look at the many volunteer opportunities that are available, make a donation to a business or organization in need, or visit www.greatnonprofits.org/pasadena/ca for other “Make A Difference” opportunities.The list on that site includes Union Station Homeless Services, which provides temporary shelter and food for homeless individuals and families; Jessica’s Hope Project, which focuses on sending fitness-oriented care packages overseas to all branches of the military in many different parts of the world; the Animal History Museum, the first museum dedicated to understanding and celebrating the human-animal bond; and the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation, which has been saving the lives of children and adults suffering from the catastrophic effects of UCDs. CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News 12 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Make a comment Name (required) Mail (required) (not be published) Website STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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In photo: Mrs. Adina Bellot-Valentine-PRO(left), Mr. Collin Cover-GM(center) and Mrs. Bertilia Mckenzie-HR(right)Manager of the Dominica Electricity Services Limited’s Human Resource Department Mrs. Bertilia McKenzie has described the company’s Scholarship Programme as one which goes beyond the provision of stationary and allowances.McKenzie, who was addressing a press conference on Wednesday, where Domlec awarded four students with scholarships to attend secondary school says, the company forms an integral part of the student’s academic life.“We do not only give the students a scholarship and leave them alone. We try to be an integral part of their academic life, in that if they are having problems at school we want the parents to tell us so that we can counsel the students, we can see what we can do for them in terms of sending them for extra classes and that kind of thing,” she said.According to the Human Resource Manager, even after the scholarship recipients have completed Secondary School, Domlec still maintains a presence in their lives.“Additionally when they leave, we still maintain a presence in their lives. So for example we have now here with us this young man McNeal Moses at the back, who was a scholarship student. He’s now at the State College; first year of college, he is with us as a student on attachment; working with us for the summer and we do that for a number of our students”, she said.The Domlec Scholarship Program is now in its twenty-fifth year and has assisted seventeen students to attend eight secondary schools on island.As a scholarship recipient the students receive all required textbooks, a stationary allowance of $100, transportation allowance of $50 per month and the fees for the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) when they arrive in fifth form.This year Domlec awarded four students with scholarships based on merit and need, and two of the students are the children of employees of the company.Dominica Vibes News Share EducationLocalNewsSecondary Domlec Scholarship Program goes beyond providing stationary and allowances by: – August 12, 2011 Share Share Tweet 30 Views no discussions Sharing is caring!