tv BBC Newsnight PBS August 6, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
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of industries. what can we do for you? >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> we are a nation of explorers. we seek new ways of living, of thinking, and of expressing ourselves. we take risks. we learn from experience. and we keep moving forward. that is why we encourage and celebrate the explorer in all of us. >> and now "bbc newsnight." >> does to send me an -- does dissent mean death in rwanda? this week, rwanda has been hailed as a beacon of reform in africa, but there are claims the government has been silencing the opposition. as the country prepares for elections, which put the allegations to rwanda's foreign
minister. naomi campbell reluctantly takes the stand in the hague. >> i did not want to be here. i was made to be here. obviously, i want to get on with my life. this is inconvenient. >> her evidence at the trial of former liberian president charles taylor made headlines. did it also undermine the international criminal court? the title -- the united arab emirates lost the use of blackberries. are the smart phones a threat to national security? hello. when he came to power after the rwandan genocide, kagami's forces brought an end to the slaughter in which 800,000 were killed in just 100 days. in recent years, president muga me's attempts to reform rwanda have made the country a darling
among the international community. when rwanda's go to the polls next week, it will be against a backdrop of claims the government has assassinated rivals and silenced the independent media. robert walker reports from rwanda. >> this man has had an iron grip on rwanda for more than a decade. now he is seeking seven more years in power. his rebel forces took control of the country in 1994. in the process, they stop the genocide, a wave of killing by militias against the minority. since then, the president has been credited with rebuilding rwanda. but his government is accused of crushing opposition, silencing the independent media, and even ordering the assassination of rivals. >> the shot him in the car. someone knocked on the car and shot him dead. >> we were beaten with clubs to the head all over.
they smashed my head against a brick wall. >> the independent press does not exist. there is no freedom of association, no freedom of speech. >> there is growing international concern about rwanda. of the past two months, there has been a series of attacks on government critics at home and abroad. in june, the exiled former head of the rwandan army was shot in the stomach in johannesburg. he survived and accused the president of ordering the shooting. six days later, a journalist investigating that attack was shot dead outside his home. he claimed he had evidence the rwanda government was behind the attempt on the general's life. three weeks ago, the body of an opposition politician was found almost decapitated. the president ridicules' claims his government was involved in
these attacks. >> for the government to be that stupid -- i never knew of would be in a government that would seem to be that stupid. there is an opposition leader, a general, you kill and kill. as if there is anything to gain from this. >> it is not just recent unsolved murders that are raising concerns. in the run-up to the election, there is little space for critical voices. two independent newspapers have been suspended. have fled the country. >> if you are independent of the government, they see you as a negative journalist, as a person who is worth death. >> that is not what david cameron saw. he visited the country before he was elected.
they have been impressed with what they have seen. a health system, for example, that is the envy of many african countries. these children are being vaccinated for free. in a few years, they will go on to free primary education, all done with the help of donor money that is being used well. that is why britain is rwanda's biggest foreign backer. in the years after the genocide, foreign donors flocked to help rebuild the country. there was an unwritten understanding -- development first, democracy later. now there is plenty of evidence of development, but finding evidence of progress towards democracy is getting harder and harder. many opposition supporters are afraid to talk, but i met one who was prepared to speak to me. he says he was arrested and beaten up when he tried to join an opposition protest. he says there is no political freedom in rwanda and as a memory -- as a member of the
majority ethnic group he is excluded. >> to be a to see in this country is an advantage. it gives you access to schools, government jobs, chris to study abroad. it is a plus. in a way, it is a kind of racism. >> that is an issue that is taboo. the official line is that there is no hutu or tutsi, just rwandans. to say otherwise or risk being accused of creating racial divisions. that is what happened to an olive -- to an opposition politician. she is being prosecuted and prevented from standing in the election. she believes hutus have not been treated equally in this government. >> it is important that kagami's ruling party does not use the
genocide as a way of stifling the opposition, does not stop people from participating and narrowing the political space in this country. that will guarantee the route back to chaos. instead, we must allow people to voice their opinions. otherwise, there will be pushed into becoming radical. >> what the new rwanda should look like is at the heart of this debate. the government says there must be some controls of political freedoms to prevent a return to the violence of the past. >> a set of mechanisms and judicial from work to create a position, to allow opposition. that is not a position that would endanger. >> many rwandans believe this has become a tactic for the president and a small number of individuals around him to maintain their grip on power. the critics are multiplying,
including former close comrades of the president. >> this is the military being in prison. everybody can see it is not really directed toward one ethnic group. it is now general. >> there is no doubt the government has brought security to rwanda. this is one of the sickest capital cities in africa. but that comes at a price, and that price is fear, and almost pervading sense of fear among the population, a fear of criticizing are challenging the government in any way. the outcome of this election is not in doubt. the question now for rwanda is rather frustrations already evident will begin to grow and threaten the achievements rwanda has made so far. >> robert walker reporting. my colleague emily maitlis has been speaking to the rwandan
minister of foreign affairs. >> we saw the health service, the education service, all free. would you say the government's policy now is development first, democracy later? >> i think the government's policy is a combination of both development and democracy. what is not always understood, especially outside rwanda, is our way of devising democratic ways and our way of moving forward as a country with a very difficult history. we're trying to achieve a balance between both. >> you heard that sense of fear that opposition voices are fleeing the country or are unable to express themselves. there is no real opposition standing in the election on monday. >> well, rwanda is a country that always attracts the kind of
comments that we have seen. but there is opposition in rwanda. we have currently four presidential candidates. >> they are uncritical of the president. does that count as opposition in your mind? >> it is definitely opposition. they have their own political parties. they have their own platform. i think the danger with rwanda is always to look at opposition as ethnic politics, as divisionism. that is not real opposition. opposition should be based, in our view, on ideas, on issues, on how to move the country forward. >> surely, a position in any country or in any system is about being able to voice your beliefs and thoughts, even criticism of your government, without fear that you have to flee your own country, as so many of the voices in that
report have had to do. >> well, you see what has happened in rwanda in the last decade or so is that the country has moved forward. we have managed to bring the different ethnic groups together, managed to get people to live together peacefully after the genocide. at the same time, we have been developing our own democratic process. i think that is where many people would disagree. i think because of the upcoming election it is an opportunity for people who are unhappy with the system for one reason or another to get attention. so this is what we have been seeing in the news lately. >> you are stifling independent media. you are shutting down newspapers. you are forbidding people from saying things they believe to be true. >> but the question is what kind of newspapers are we talking about. >> you are not denying that is
true. >> i am not denying it at all. i think these newspapers were shut down for very good reason. these are newspapers that call for violence. these are newspapers that name rape victims. >> you heard a woman who said your government is using the genocide as a way of stifling opposition to narrow further the political space. that is what she thinks is going on here. it is not about calling for violence. it is not about inciting racial hatred or naming rape victims, not in her case. >> that is the reason the newspapers were closed. it is because of that kind of activity. she is a woman who came to rwanda 16 years after living in the netherlands, and wanting to go back to the early '90s, to 1994, to the kind of discussions rwanda left behind 16 years ago. that is a problem.
she came to the country talking about the disenfranchisement of the hutu people. we have a country where the people have been living together -- >> can you say you will welcome criticism of your leader? >> no question about it. rwanda is a country where there is criticism. what is not welcome is people who actually think criticism is dividing, going back to the politics of ethnicity. >> thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. >> naomi campbell's reluctant appearance at the war crimes tribunal in the hague guaranteed headlines around the world. she gave evidence in the case against former liberian president charles taylor, who is accused of accepting blood diamonds to armed rebel groups in sierra leone. but what was the impact of the super model's appearance on the standing of the international
criminal court? >> no one can say that naomi campbell leads 8-our life. it seems to be a procession of amazing events. intimate moments with captivating elder statesman. >> when i am in mandela's presence, he is my focus. >> african more lord's giving mysterious guests -- mysterious deaths, according to her friends. >> you do not guess when someone tells you she was given a large diamond in the middle of the night. >> pursued by pesky reporters. >> you did not help the prosecution in this very important case. >> thank you so much for that. >> naomi campbell was not pursued by the cameras into the court in the hague today. she got an injunction against being photographed except by the official camera. supermodels aren't a natural fit into the world of international law.
for one thing, there is timekeeping. >> where is she? >> she was late. you have to be prepared to wait for some celebrities. >> i am always late. >> that is all right, then. the court was lucky she came at all. she had not wanted to, not one little bit. >> well, i didn't really want to be here. i was made to be here. obviously, i am just wanting to get this over with and get on with my life. this is a big inconvenience for me. >> she was asked about events in september 1997, when she was at dinner with nelson mandela in south africa. >> from left to right, who is who? >> myself, charles taylor. >> the important part of her testimony was not about the dinner, but what happened that night. two men came to the door of room with a mysterious gift, a small
pouch. >> did they say why they were bringing this package to you? >> there was no explanation, no note. >> you put the pouch by your bed and went back to sleep. at some point, did you look into this pouch to see if there was anything in it? >> in the morning i opened it up. >> when you opened this pouch, what did you discover? >> i sought a few stones. they were very small, dirty looking stones. >> but those stones were uncut diamonds. who sent them to her? the prosecution think it was charles taylor. >> we have shown that naomi campbell did receive diamonds from charles taylor. we proved charles taylor was in possession of diamonds, which he denied. it suggests he brought those diamonds from liberia, which would define them as conflict diamonds. >> another inconvenience for naomi campbell -- at breakfast
afterward, she told me of pharaoh there were from charles taylor. -- she told mia farrow they were from charles taylor. >> she told me it men had been representatives of representative charles taylor and they had given her a huge diamond. >> naomi campbell admits to being careful of taylor. >> he has killed thousands of people, supposedly. i do not want my family in danger in any way. >> the prosecution alleged that because of this fear naomi campbell is a liar -- is lying about who gave her the diamonds. >> is your account truthful? >> that is not correct. >> at this point, charles taylor picked defense team intervened. naomi campbell was appearing as a prosecution witness.
the rules prevent the prosecution from giving their witness a tough time. the prosecution tried unsuccessfully to have ms. campbell reclassified. next week, the court will hear a conflicting account from ms. campbell's former agent and the actress mia farrow. >> i am pleased to discuss this with a lawyer who worked on the prosecution of cases at the international corporation for two years. i am working with a former blood diamond smuggling inspector who is head of the africa program. i am also speaking with a human rights activist. the think naomi campbell has upped the ante at this trial? >> it has been going for two years. i think it is important to remember, because many people are saying that if you need to pull miami campbell that could mean the prosecution case is weak. the answer is of course not.
the prosecution case went on from january 2008 to january 2009. they have called more than 90 witnesses. out of 90 witnesses, 30 of them were what we call linkage witnesses who gave evidence of linkage between the crimes of charles taylor. >> the whole issue of blood diamonds and child enslavement to get diamonds, and also child -- children being taken into rebel groups, as you work, is an incredibly important issue. is there a danger that what happens at the war crimes tribunal trivializes this? >> what amazed me about the whole case is it took a celebrity to raise the level of consciousness about these things that are happening. everything that we have nowadays has blood in it, but we do not know about it. if you go to sudan, the oil is
blood oil. where i come from, my home was burned down. we were chased away. all of a sudden, you find tens of billions in oil company pipelines under the ground. >> it begs the whole question of blood diamonds. >> the double side soared -- it cuts both ways for naomi campbell and for a lot of people. >> steve think this is a good day at the tribunal or not? >> i have watched the testimony. i got the sense of a bit of desperation. why did the prosecution have to bring naomi campbell over? why doesn't need this injection of celebrity? -- why does it need this injection of celebrity? it was not a convincing testimony. it was not compelling information. >> they may have to recall naomi campbell.
what happens if the bring her back? >> when i was in meetings for other cases, people were saying that at the time taylor was in nigeria we could not have trust taylor in custody. people were saying you would never get charles taylor because he was a big war lord. he was a head of state. that is what we are doing. the fact that he is in jail in the hague, in a fair trial, people forget that is a massive achievement for international justice. i believe these headlines can remind the world that this is going on. i am very happy about that because i think that speaks about the progress international justice has made with such a fair trial for charles taylor. >> the hundreds of thousands of people in the gulf states and many who visit -- communications got tougher for those who use a blackberry. the united arab emirates is clamping down, contending that
some features operate outside the country's laws. >> an indispensable tool for the man and woman about town, or a secret weapon used to agitate against governments? the ubiquitous blackberry has come up in a global dispute. originally created with business in mind, it's unique selling point is the fact that the private e-mails and messages you send it remained just that -- private. there are so secure that the british government has instructed its staff to only use blackberries when dealing with sensitive communication. the united arab emirates government believes that privacy is a threat to national security. in october, it will ban all blackberry e-mails, instant messaging, and web browsing services, a necessary move to protect its citizens, or a tent to further -- an attempt to
further control them. the country is determined to turn itself into a global financial hub. but banning these services could have a dramatic effect on the way people do business there. >> i met the ruler of dubai two years ago at the world economic forum. his line was that he wanted to build up dubai by making it the one place in the region where everything works -- where the internet works, the phone system works, companies can set up local headquarters and do things like that. all of a sudden, we see the bankers will not be able to use their blackberries. i find this very strange. >> this is why blackberry technology is so agitating the uae authorities. all data sent or received is in corrected. crucially, that data is sent for service overseas, in canada or the u.s. in effect, that renders the uae
authorities powerless to see what is in it. critics say this is about controlling descent. last month, there were arrests of activists trying to organize protests. >> it is clearly aimed at controlling the image of the uae, presenting a perspective which is in accordance with the image the government would like to present. >> the uae denies censorship, but says blackberry services allow users to act without legal accountability, forging security concerns. >> every country has national security concerns. here in the uk we have the investigatory powers act. it is authorities in this country very extensive powers to investigate not only terrorism but other forms of crime, even
u.k. economic interest. that has to do with industrial espionage. >> in essence, what the uae are aiming for is no more access to information? >> ostensibly, yes. the concern has to be that with that government treat that information well, or with the abuse that information? >> the u.s. condemned the emirate's move today, saying it set a dangerous precedent. indeed, countries are already following suit. saudi arabia put a lock on instant messaging, and pakistan temporary -- temporarily blocked their browsers. research in motion, which owns blackberry, said it would not disclose details to any government. it is committed to delivering highly secure and innovative products to satisfy the needs of both consumers and governments. if a compromise is struck, we may never know all the details.
>> there is a lot of bluffing here, isn't there? if we look at skype, which is internet calling, it is all unencrypted. ostensibly, the united states government is complaining that it has not had access to these can't -- these encryption codes. it may be true. it may equally be true they have access to that and want people to think they don't so people will use that for communication. this is a very murky area for technology and governments. >> the future of the blackberry is hardly in doubt. bigger questions remain over whether more governments will now follow the uae lead. >> that was jackie long reported. that is all for this week. for all of us, goodbye. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online.
>> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc newsnight" was presented by kcet, los angeles.