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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 352  Al Jazeera  December 19, 2019 10:33am-11:01am +03

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with mass arrests a military grade weapons to constrain the movement do you think he could have been mistaken between aiming at your head or you express all those people in power has been implanted to investigate the escalation of violence and ask what this means to free speech and the democratic rights of its citizens police on trial on al-jazeera . feeler journalists have been killed this year than in the last 2 decades so far so good but there's a downside more and more reporters are being locked up by governments the countries that the journalists can work in safely a declining so is it the message or the messenger this unsettling so many world leaders this is inside story.
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hello and welcome to the program i'm dennis now this year is in the lowest number of journalists killed around the world in almost 20 years the annual review by reporters without borders says most of the 49 reporters killed while covering the wars in afghanistan in syria and yemen we'll hear from our guests in just a moment 1st say some of the main findings from this paris based watchdog at least 941 janice have been killed over the past 10 years now this year's historically low figure is a shift away from the past 20 years when around 80 journalists were killed every year reporters without borders say while few a jam this a being killed in the field more of being imprisoned reporters without borders says $389.00 journalists were locked up this year that's an annual rise of 12 percent almost half of them in china. it and saudi arabia at least $57.00
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journalists are currently held hostage most of them in syria yemen iraq and ukraine many others are facing just as much danger in countries that are supposedly in times of peace like those in south america that before we bringing that take a quick look at some of the work of our intrepid reporters similar scenes playing out every friday what is different now however is the escalating tensions between israel and hamas and there been intensive diplomatic efforts underway by egypt and the united nations to try to find a solution but the situation is so tense that even journalists have become a target i was just only tear gas by the police on purpose this is what's happening in the middle of a plateau where people have been protesting peacefully the suicide bombing happens just behind me now the authorities as the vehicles but they are saying that they've
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seen a massive rise in attacks in kabul and across the country. and so to our guest now in paris we have sabrina ben we head of the middle east desk reporters without borders in lancaster in the u.k. robert gallucci is an associate professor at lancaster university and a former washington post contributor in ankara we have use of can lee who's director of media for democracy program at media for democracy so a very warm welcome to your sabrina let me start with you because you work for reporters without borders you just produce this report which on the face of it is good news fewer journalists were killed in 2019. yes indeed it's apparently it's a good news but in fact it is not because i would say that now are all the
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authoritarian regimes have to think about more ingenious ways to prevent journalists from doing their job i would say that murder of gemma really has led to several consequences at least in the mena region 1st it's led journalists to more self-censorship because they don't want to live the same fate they don't want to be killed just like him and they don't dare to. talk about sensitive subject and then all the governments all the regimes in the area. have told you to think about more ingenious ways to prevent them from working so they don't kill journalists anymore but they kill journalism instead that's the message this year i would say and let's get to use a faith in ankara because of course turkey has been identified not only by reporters without borders but a host of other entities as well as well have identified the turkish authorities as
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being among the most prolific detain is of jan this what's the situation where you are now in ankara. or. i guess the better. if you don't. under 2 are drug dealers and. this is illegal is of course the 58 percent test and the rest are either detailed or. people try or write to us at night or just in turkey you recognizing the symptoms of a repressive attitudes towards for freedom of expression sabina talked about
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journalists self censoring she talked about the death of if not journalists but the death of journalism is that something you recognize in turkey today. this one really had to be keeper of this disease course we don't have much the services of the cation are going to be here. because either jewelers arsenal services or maybe ownership as much they have to build their own personal become pro-government therefore people are critical of the government cannot fight of blood of course anybody in those audience today that have not platform is what you're saying critical voices don't have a platform in turkey today they don't have a platform right it is just borrowed it is our program that sacrifice or earthy loss or losing. right.
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right i'll come to you in a moment robert but 1st let me go back to sabrina because sabrina in the report there is. a statement which talks about there being less armed conflict in the middle east and that could account for the fact that there are a few journalists who've died this year but how do you come to that conclusion because there seem to be an awful lot of fighting still in this region and so much so that many journalists are actually not going there in order to avoid the danger that's simple of course it's logical sense there are less armed conflicts in the region because for example in syria. is now. controlling. controlling the majority of the country but in northern syria for
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example where turkey is currently leading an offensive. well journalists especially foreign journalists are leaving the area not to be kill and not to be arrested by the syrian regime so this is what we call in reporters without borders is a black hole of information and northern syria is about to become a black hole of information simply because journalists are leaving the area and know there are only local journalists were trying to work and who are directly targeted 8 by turkish by the turkish army and even by the syrian security forces so this is. this is the reason why it less journalists are being killed simply because they are look less journalists who cover the area right ok robert then coming to you the kind of picture them we've heard from sabrina and indeed
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from us of in turkey it's not particularly encouraging is it despite that rather positive sounding headline why does it matter why does it matter that fewer journalists are able to work safely in societies how does a society benefits or otherwise from the absence of critical voices. well i think there are 2 concerns one is in the states anyway what they refer to as a news desert the blackout if as our other guest said has mentioned where there isn't a voice for the voiceless and that's the 'd core of what journalism is supposed to be and certainly that allows for society to operate without the involvement of the citizenry but i think the other concern is as journalists are on the ground there refer they're relying on their digital presence and more and more the attacks against journalists are going virtual not just to surveil but to to shame to hack
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into their information and that's making the virtual space even more dangerous not just for the journalists trying to do the work because they don't want to go to where they could be physically harmed but the citizens the sources who want to also share information through encryption and other means and so the the war is is you know moving from from the physical land to the virtual and that's a even greater threat to democracy as journalists try to remain safe by trying to do more of the work on line and use if in ankara i guess there were 2 major events in the recent takesh history that might have impacted the landscape in the country one being the 2016 attempted coup and the other of cool spinning the of jamal khashoggi in the saudi arabian consulate in istanbul what sort of impact to these 2 incidents had on the media landscape in
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turkey and all the 2 of them a base net that if in terms of the way the aftermath is being perceived. you know they do look at it in turkish in a desk. that why that underhook you may understand that. that has been a systematic purge of the digital media not not but others since as noted it is 2002 well to 1000 to kid men it did. not is that are used in order to fit or to love terrorists rule earth members well then the chemist or secular journalist of the prisons edited tired then i remembered the number of journalists invisibly see his face others census it into
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those years then it carried shaved then he stuck to see. it is that his. invisibility kerth to get it kurdish had to his or her job or go to shortness and always be down for shit think the others reached it 2000 or 60 mm visited him of course a development in the middle goes like the london area gave a. high that murder 158 people in prison behind those who really. had the devil i should. be most under and i was the worst a wall because. civilly other judgments and individual was not bludgeoned to the bird but dismembered and demoted was one dish and despite the end. not on me.
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right. very. right ok actions not just absolute pleasure yes it. will get you the record says all right robert coming to you how responsible are our leaders be they democratically elected or otherwise how responsible they for the environment for the climate in which journalism operates or doesn't as the case may be. yeah that's a great question you know there's always this tense relationship between officials and journalists journalists are supposedly there to kind of be that watchdog over governments and governments don't necessarily like that so there's a natural tension between there but we have to remember that these these
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governments are are not only responsible i will say in a 2nd but benefit a lot from how journalists talk about them the idea that there's no such thing as bad publicity particularly for a journalist or for a politician i think that's true but the so the responsibility there they certainly see is to maintain their own identity in journalism but it's to protect the governments that they have in place it is there to make sure they're there to make sure that everybody is safe and that everybody can can prosper in their nation this is a pretty simple idea but yet we see governments not complying with all around the globe and instead turn into populistic terminology about how bad journalists are in undermining trust indeed and sabrina we are talking now aren't we in the era of fake news and basically a lack of trust a lot of lack of trust on the part of the public in so many institutions and
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professions in the world. we've talked about the walls what about that because your reporters also highlighted what is a very worrying figure and that is that countries have less in america that are a stencil enough that will have got the largest number of the journalists who've been killed deliberately targeted outside of the middle east now what is thought to do with is that to do with another form of conflict if not. conflict well. in reporters without borders withing that the governments have a double responsibility in those cases if they have a responsibility 1st because they have failed in their role of protecting drollness because they are they are civilians just like the elder they have
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a special status but they are civil list so they should be protective and not targeted some journalists are targeted are killed are being killed by governments by leaders and some others by some militias for example in iraq so this is the 1st response for that he and the 2nd responsibility is that governments are taking part them fails in preventing journalists from doing their job so i think the situation has to do with. this 1st double responsibility of the governments because they have failed by all means in protecting journalists right and robert we've talked about the war the conflict zones of the middle east we've talked about the rather precarious situation in latin america where so many journalists have been killed but in europe itself the most developed and supposedly one of the most safe regions of the world there was the awful assassination of deathly cairo on the galicia in
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malta in 2017 i mean what does that tell us about europe as well in terms of this context. well i think you know a lot of the issues in the threats and the actions against journalists do not rise to the level that reports like this can capture i mean it's amazing reports like this even exist where you can count and name the people who have been detained or or or killed or threatened but it's as normalization that we can speak ill of journalists in violent ways particularly in the populous governments of the united states in the united kingdom and that's spreading throughout europe and has been for a long time it's the normalization of treatment removing credentials threatening people detaining for even minutes. that those those things don't get recorded in those things do not make their way up to this report so i think the real concern here is
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what's happening on the ground in the local level that is normalizing this type of process for these greater instances to happen without without much question other than from from outside sources such as this organization without borders right and sabrina coming back to latin america because. the situation in brazil for instance was a significant topic where many environmental journalists found themselves at old with the at olds with the prevailing views of the government and therefore they seem to have ended up being treated by government supporters almost as if they were activists can you tell us a bit more about how the amazon fires in the coverage of fat really sort of polarized the community in brazil well and that's an american all of the word journalists have
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a tendency to be considered as well or activists this is a very common accusation accusation towards journalists and this is the case as i told you all around the world and. it is part of a dangerous climate fear against journalists that governments are taking part in it is also the case in israel for example of a prime minister and. directly one journalist because he has conducted an investigation about him and now this journalist whose name is geithner leg has to walk in the streets with a vow to go out so they are taking part in this dangerous very dangerous and irresponsible atmosphere against journalists because they are considered. as activist and generally they say that they are making perper again or they are
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leftist things like that so you know they are not. considered as only journalists which is only the fact of a providing information for the public's interest right. sabrina do you think that we should be encouraged by the fact that governments and their supporters are less likely to kill a journalist or more likely to look up to detain and i'm thinking that's of egypt where the crackdown on independent voices critical voices even continues today and it is egypt is one of the most one of the most prolific when it comes to detaining journalists. no it is not a positive sign at all because it's one of the more ingenious wave that i told you about earlier during the show indeed egypt is one of the biggest jailers of driller
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lists in the world without caribbean and china and it is a systematic practiced to make journalists stop working as journalists it's as simple as that and the most common charges against journalists are disseminating false nearest or supporting terrorist group and even there is a new accusation against them which if the misuse of social media which is a very new accusation and very dangerous in fact because you can jail anyone in the basis of this charge and they are not only jailing journalists also threatening them it is the case in iraq with the latest protest or corrino a many many militias are threatening journalists. now journalists are becoming afraid of only reporting and covering the demonstrations because they can be killed
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or kidnapped by any any terrorist group all militia in the country and i will also talk about the responsibility of the iraqi state. which has cut the internet since the beginning of the protests and it is a way to prevent people from having a transparent and free access of information they cannot even share the videos of the security forces who are. opening the dryer against the civilians but let's come to you we can't leave this conversation coming without mentioning president trump and the kind of vitriol that he's leveled pretty much consistently . insistently since he came to power in 2017 the vitriol that is leveled against the media in the united states and beyond is going to be said has that mud stuck in terms of the public relationship with the media and the level of trust. well we
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already knew that there were distinct separations between the press and the people particularly in the united states we knew that based upon how journalists talked about the affairs of the day and how the average citizen also experienced those everyday events they were quite different but this sort of speech that is calling the press the enemy of the people which has moved itself over borders and over continents is again a very dangerous normalisation of violence against citizens against democracy sometimes it's taken as a joke but as we're seeing it with miss and distant from ation lie there as a rallying cry for people to take out people who are not trump supporters and certainly to take out the journalists who are telling telling either truths or facts or other positions it's a very dangerous rhetoric that will we'll see if he gets a 2nd term or how if at
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a light nupur fits just going to get worse we don't know but it will be kind of scary to watch if it gets much worse all right thank you all very much indeed sabrina badly in paris rabbit in lancaster in england and use of can lead in ankara turkey thank you very much indeed and as evan thank you for watching the program you can see it again any time you like again to the website al-jazeera dot com should you want more discussion in go to our facebook page facebook dot com fool it's slash a.j. inside story there's always the 2 of his fair is our handle is at a.j. inside story i'm dennis from the whole team here in de house typhon and you. thanks i. and. what kind of care does that provide and is anyone willing to pick up the cost
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that matter to you al-jazeera. a president must not be allowed to become a dictator. the democrats a glad new s. house of representatives bills to impeach president donald trump will face a trial in the republican controlled senate is still. there's no crime on the 1st person to get the briefs is no crime. hello there in chile went on all this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up a guilty verdict.


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