The very laws and government agencies created to protect the people in the United States are increasingly being weaponized against those who are often marginalized in society: people of color, the poor, and the working class. In just the last few months, there have been many incidents of this kind of violent abuse of power. On July 28, the state of Alabama performed a “botched” execution on Joe Nathan James Jr., who journalists believe may have suffered medical malpractice akin to “torture” for hours before his death. On August 12, around midnight, a police officer threatened to kill a Black pregnant woman during a traffic stop in Florida.
Violence is the most basic and blunt form of press censorship. To kill or imprison a journalist is to silence the public’s source of news. To date, 33 journalists around the world have been killed this year and another 494 are currently imprisoned, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Put another way, thus far in 2022, on average, once per week somewhere in the world a journalist is killed for reporting the news. Sometimes these cases make headlines, as was true in October 2018 when Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist who reported for the Middle East Eye and the Washington Post, was murdered by agents of the Saudi government, and in May 2022 when Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed—almost certainly by Israeli soldiers—in the occupied West Bank while reporting for Al Jazeera.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — On the second day of his trip to Saudi Arabia, President Joe Biden met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates—along with Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq to discuss security issues, but particularly to push for a united front against Iran. Biden has spent much of his trip to the Middle East reinforcing the regional policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump, rather than implementing the policies on which he campaigned for president. And he is rightly taking heat for his meetings yesterday with Saudi officials, which many observers believe “legitimized” Saudi Arabia’s murderous Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and accomplished nothing for Biden. The President began the day today by refusing to answer any questions from the media about his talks with Saudi leaders yesterday.
So, it’s now official, the Biden administration will forget about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen. The U.S. has only gently pressured Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to observe a truce in Yemen in return for designation of the Houthi rebels as terrorists. (It is illustrative of how political the U.S. government’s definition of terrorism is that Houthi rebels — who never perpetrated acts of international terrorism — are designated as terrorists merely as a political gesture toward Gulf despots.) Biden will swallow the promises and words he uttered during the presidential campaign (when he forcefully chided the Saudi regime and MbS personally) as he cares more about U.S. public opinion and the mid-term elections than human rights considerations. Gas prices for electoral purposes always trump lofty ideals.
On May 13, two days after the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli Occupation Forces, as her loss still dominated international news cycles, thousands of Palestinian mourners gathered to pay tribute to the woman who had given them voice for so long. They came to lay her body to rest. Immediately, as the funeral procession was just starting, images emerged of Israeli forces attacking the pallbearers as they attempted to carry her coffin across the courtyard from the French hospital in East Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENAIE) denounced the death of an Indigenous protester as a result of police brutality in the city of Puyo, in the province of Pastaza. "The hands of the National Police and the Guillermo Lasso administration are stained with the blood of our brother who was vilely murdered with a shot at close range," the CONFENIAE said and released images in which Byron Guatatuca can be seen dying on the ground. . The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) denounced that the repression has increased since President Lasso decreed the State of Exception to try to end the national strike, which has already completed 9 consecutive days.
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank, Palestine – Two weeks after Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while on assignment covering an Israeli raid in Jenin, a press conference announced the results of a Palestinian investigation finding Israeli forces responsible for the killing. Abu Akleh was a veteran reporter for Al Jazeera and beloved by Palestinians across the region as well as by her colleagues. Providing proof that the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was from a U.S. made Mini-14 Ruger sniper rifle used by Israeli forces, Palestinian Attorney General Akram Al-Khatib and the Deputy Prime Minister of Palestine, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spoke at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. “This report directly accuses Israel’s occupation army for this crime,” said Rudeineh.
With just two weeks until the election, Colombia’s leading presidential slate is making an international appeal after receiving death threats on the campaign trail. The Pacto Historico ticket penned a letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in which they ask for guarantees, after receiving death threats and intimidating which have been dismissed by Colombian officials. On May 2, Gustavo Petro suspended scheduled visits to the coffee going region for security reasons, citing information he received on a possible assassination attempt from the criminal organization ‘La Cordillera’. The letter also states that his VP pick received three death threats in early April.
The world woke this morning to the news that yet another Palestinian journalist had been killed by Israeli gunfire. Veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering Israel's assault on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that Abu Akleh was shot in the head; she was taken to hospital where she was declared dead. "The bullet was aimed at a place that could not be covered by either a helmet or her 'PRESS' vest," explained Waleed Al Omari, Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Ramallah. "It seems to me that she was shot by a sniper who wanted to end her life deliberately." A colleague of Abu Akleh, producer Ali Al-Samudi, was shot in the back at the same time. He was reported to be in a stable condition.
On May 1, in the presence of heavy police force, demolition squads of Chandigarh swooped on huts and houses of colony number 4, Industrial Area Phase 1. The homes and hearths of nearly 5000 people, all of them from the poorest sections of one of the most affluent cities of India, were destroyed within a few hours. Many of those removed have been living in this 40 year old colony for decades and have never known any other home. While this action would have been condemned under any circumstances, there are three particular reasons why this was excessively insensitive and ill-advised at this time. Firstly, this region has been passing through heat-wave conditions in the recent past and weather forecasts are for even more hot weather in the coming days.
A large number of people on Friday staged a mass protest in front of the Israeli Embassy in London, condemning the continuous Israeli aggression on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The protesters also called for an immediate end to Israeli occupation forces and settler attacks on Palestinian residents of the holy city and worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinian Forum in Britain, the Muslim League in Britain and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign jointly organized the event. The protesters called for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and stop settler raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque. Meanwhile, the protesters called for the UK government to stop selling weapons to the Israeli occupation.
Israeli forces carried out fresh attacks on Palestinian worshipers inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday, April 17. At least a dozen worshipers were arrested and scores were wounded. The attack was carried out despite widespread global condemnation of the Friday attacks inside the mosque compound in which at least 150 Palestinians were injured and over 300 arrested. Attacks on Palestinians were also carried out in different parts of the occupied West Bank by the Israeli forces and settlers. The Israeli forces carried out several raids inside Palestinian villages in the West Bank on Monday as well and arrested at least 16 Palestinians, Wafa news agency reported. Amid the widespread violence and oppression, Palestinians observed a day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who have been incarcerated inside Israeli jail for fighting against the occupation.
Israeli forces have attacked Palestinian worshippers inside al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem during an early morning raid on Friday, wounding and arresting dozens of people. Scores of worshippers were wounded as Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, teargas and stun grenades inside the courtyards and prayer halls of the mosque. The Palestine Red Crescent said 152 people were evacuated from the mosque and transferred to nearby hospitals, including many with upper body wounds. Al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem said they had received 40 wounded people from Al-Aqsa, two of them with critical injuries. At least 400 people were arrested.
On Wednesday, March 16, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in the Qalandia refugee camp near occupied East Jerusalem to oppose the killing of a Palestinian man by the occupying Israeli forces a day earlier. Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets against the protesters. 22-year-old Alaa Shaham was killed by Israeli forces on Tuesday, March 15 and at least six others were injured. The Israeli forces fired at people gathered to protest them storming the camp. Israeli forces also killed at least two other Palestinian youths in similar incidents in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus and in the Naqab (Negev) desert. In the Balata refugee camp, Israeli forces shot dead 16-year-old Nader Rayan when a group of Palestinians were resisting the arrest of another Palestinian.