Journalists and media outlets hounded as tension mounts

first_imgNews News Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica Follow the news on Democratic Republic of Congo Organisation Reporter jailed in DRC for allegedly defaming parliamentarian News At the start of August, many politicians and civil society representatives accused state-owned national radio and TV broadcaster RTNC of waging a campaign to prepare for a possible third term for President Joseph Kabila, whose current term expires in November 2016. As its stands, the constitution forbids a third term.According to the information obtained by RSF, RTNC has been establishing local branches in all of the country’s cities and its journalists have been subjected to internal and external pressures to promote the government’s activities, to refrain from criticizing the government officials and to give no air-time to the opposition.RSF has managed to interview several RTNC journalists in the capital and provinces, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they fear reprisals.“We were recently instructed to always begin by highlighting the government’s slogans and never criticize the authorities,” one said. “If you dare to do otherwise, you are liable to be punished. But either way, there is no chance that the editorial board will approve a story that criticizes the government. This affects my independence and I’ve decided to no longer pitch stories to my editors.”Another RTNC journalist told RSF: “All you need is for a message from the province’s governor to arrive on the desk and everyone has to start working on the story even if there are more important ones. The directives from his office are clear. Either you help to keep his government in power or you go down with it.”It is clear from these comments that RTNC’s journalists are being forced to censor themselves and must obey directives from above for fear of losing their jobs.This pressure has compounded an overall media climate of tension and self-censorship as the ruling party embarks on early national election campaigning amid local elections at the end of August and end of October and implementation of a law adopted in January decentralizing the government and changing administrative boundaries.Harassment of opposition journalistsAccording to information obtained by JED, François Mada, the editor of the newspaper La Manchette, was summoned before prosecutors in Kinshasa/Kalamu on 6 August and was lectured about an article accusing a university of mismanagement. At the end of meeting, he was placed under arrest and was only released after paying 150 US dollars.The management of the newspaper C-News reported that armed men seized copies of the latest issue in various places in the capital on 10 August. This act of censorship follows many other acts of harassment targeting the newspaper in recent months, including C-News vendor Dido Zamangwana’s arrest by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) while selling copies in Kinshasa’s Place Victoire on 13 July.In a 14 July letter to Evariste Boshab, the deputy prime minister responsible for internal affairs and security, JED demanded an explanation for this grave violation of freedom of information and the punishment of those responsible.In the absence of any attempt by the government to justify this flagrant attack on the media – one unworthy of a government that claims to respect the rule of law – JED condemns this barbaric behaviour and insists that it must not go unpunished and must not recur.C-News’ lawyer has voiced concern about the illegality of Zamangwana’s continuing detention, has pressed the authorities to publicly explain why they are holding him, and has asked to be allowed to talk to him. As a newspaper distributor, Zamangwana cannot be prosecuted under the press law.C-News publisher Mike Mukebaye was released in July after being held for 11 months without any legally admissible complaint in his case file. Managing editor Yves Buya’s office has meanwhile been placed under seal and he is reportedly wanted.Simon Mulowa, the manager of Full Contact Radio, a station based in Kananga (in the central province of Kasaï Central), was arrested on 21 July after responding to a summons from a judge about a programme listing problems related to the new province’s creation.After being held in a cell attached to the prosecutor’s office, he was transferred to Kananga’s main prison and was finally released at around 6 p.m. after being held for 10 hours, but not before being ordered to report back the prosecutor’s office the next day.“We call for Dido Zamangwana’s release and we point out that it is intolerable that this newspaper distributor is being denied access to his lawyers, as allowed under the DRC’s constitution,” Reporters Without Borders editor in chief Virginie Dangles said.“We also condemn the harassment of C-News. In the current environment, such harassment just increases the fear of the DRC’s journalist and media, which already tend to censor themselves. We are particularly concerned about the situation of the media in the coming months in the run-up to elections.”JED calls on the DRC authorities to put a stop to these flagrant violations of freedom of information and to create an environment that reassures the country’s journalists about the important elections due to be held during the coming months.“Free, transparent and peaceful elections are impossible if journalists are not free to cover the major electoral developments and to criticize problems with the electoral process without being harassed or arrested,” JED secretary-general Tshivis Tshivuadi said.RSF and JED have also noted worrying violations of freedom of information in the provinces.In Kisangani, the ANR removed equipment from Canal Orient TV in the course of three days from 1 to 3 August without any official explanation being given. The station is owned by John Ilongo Tokole, who opposed the province’s governor during the 2013 election.TV reporter Brinal Nundu was arrested by ANR officers while working in Uvira, a town located 120 km south of Bukavu, the capital of Sud-Kivu province, on 8 August and was held for three days in an ANR cell before being released conditionally on the evening of 11 August. Nundu, who works for Canal 7, a privately-owned TV station based in Kinshasa, had gone to Uvira to do a series of reports on the situation of Burundian refugees in the region and was arrested while interviewing the staff of the NGO Action Ku Saïdia. The ANR confiscated his ID papers and his equipment and, when releasing him, ordered him to report back to the local ANR office this morning in order to be questioned about the real reason for his visit to the Action Ku Saïdia office. Nundu told JED he had been accused of doing a report at the NGO without the ANR’s prior permission.This kind of harassment must be taken very seriously in a country where, in 2013 and 2014, a total of 82 journalists were arrested and 60 were beaten or threatened with complete impunity.In a report published on International Day to End Impunity in 2014, JED said that nearly 50 percent of media freedom violations in the DRC were carried out by individuals identified as members of the army, police or security services, who had nothing to fear from the judicial authorities.During the 2006 and 2011 elections, the state-owned media focused on the campaigns of pro-government candidates, while journalists who provided alternative coverage were subjected to harassment designed to silence them.RSF and JED were appalled by radio journalist Soleil Balanga’s murder in Monkoto, in the northern province of Equateur, on 16 April by the son of Monkoto hospital’s supervisor because of a report about the appointment of a new doctor to replace his father. In the four months since then, no progress has been made with the case against the murderer.The RDC is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. RSF_en Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Journalist arrested on provincial governor’s orderscenter_img February 24, 2021 Find out more Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica February 16, 2021 Find out more The country’s journalists and media outlets, whether state-owned, opposition or independent, are being subjected to all kinds of political pressure including threats, arbitrary arrest, seizure of equipment and draconian internal directives. to go further Congolese reporter wounded by gunshot while covering protest in Goma February 18, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Journalists in Danger (JED) are worried about a decline in the environment for journalists as Democratic Republic of Congo holds local elections, starts early campaigning for national elections, and overhauls its system of government. August 14, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists and media outlets hounded as tension mounts Newslast_img read more

Oxford students only second most employable in UK

first_imgAccording to Times Higher Education’s Global University Employability Ranking 2016, Oxford University are the second best university in the UK “for delivering work-ready graduates”. The California Institute of Technology topped the Employability Ranking, despite losing out to Oxford in Times Higher Education’s September ranking of the world’s top universities.THE’s report found that the most prestigious universities were also considered to be the best at producing employment-ready graduates, with California Institute of Technology ranking first, followed by MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, and Stanford. Oxford placed seventh worldwide, narrowly losing out to Yale University.The data which went into the report was gathered from respondents in 20 countries and consisted of management-level recruiters and managing directors of international firms.Nine other universities from the UK placed in the top 100, including Imperial College London (16), King’s College London (23), and the University of Manchester (24). The US had the most universities on the list, occupying 37 spots of of the top 100 and six of the top ten.The Technical University of Munich and the University of Tokyo were the only two non-US or UK universities to rank in the top ten.John Maier, a second year Balliol PPEist, said, “This is a bitter pill to swallow. My hopes and dreams of being a corporate sellout are slipping away. I might have to do an MPhil, then DPhil, then maybe another DPhil after all.”last_img read more

Gearing Up For Lettuce’s Rage Rocks With Amazing Footage From Last Year’s Show

first_imgIn just a few short weeks, premiere funk group Lettuce will return to one of most storied venues of all time, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, for a true musical celebration that could only be dubbed “Rage Rocks.” With The Wailers, Manic Focus, Pete Rock and Rahzel, the funk phenoms will let loose in Colorado on June 10th, and we couldn’t be more excited. Tickets are still available here.It seems like just yesterday that Lettuce joined forces with The Motet at Red Rocks for a glorious night of funk tunes. On June 6th 2015, Lettuce hit the stage, dropping funk bombs left and right on a thoroughly excited crowd. The band brought out tons of their classics, and even called on Nigel Hall to lend his vocals to their instrumental grooves. Check out our full review here.In celebration of the upcoming Red Rocks show, we wanted to throw it back with some footage from last year’s performance. Here are five choice cuts from Red Rocks 2015, sure to get you pumped up for Red Rocks 2016!By Any Shmeeans Necessary > Colorado Love > By Any Shmeeans NecessaryGet GreasyChiefPhyllisMakin’ My Way Back Home w/ Nigel HallAll videos were filmed by Jordan Inglee and mastered by Phil Salvaggio, for the purposes of Lettuce’s Live BitTorrent bundle. Lettuce’s Red Rocks throwdown, “Rage Rocks,” kicks off on June 10th, with support from The Wailers, Manic Focus, Pete Rock and Rahzel. Tickets are on sale now and can be found here!Check out last year’s setlist below.Setlist: Lettuce at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO – 6/6/15Big Anthem, By Any Shmeeans Necessary > Colorado Love > By Any Shmeeans Necessary, Get Greasy, Chief, Phyllis, Breakout > Relax > Jesus Dre >  Trap > Madison Square, Squadlive > Lettsanity, Lett Zeppelin, Do It Like You Do > Makin’ My Way Back Homelast_img read more

Fast-finishing Tree denies Dick in Welsh playoff

first_img England international Toby Tree (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex) fired a closing round eight-under-par 64 in the weather-hit Welsh Open Amateur at Conwy then needed a playoff to deny Jamie Dick (Forest Hills, Gloucestershire) the title. Both players tied on 202, 14 under par, for the 54 holes played after the first round had been abandoned because of heavy rain. However, the Conwy greens staff are to be congratulated for making the course playable despite the weather. “It was a tough week, but they kept the course playable,” said 19-year-old Tree. “It was the same for everyone and it was just a question of keeping under the umbrella as much as possible. “They managed to keep the course dry, but it was soft for a links course which I didn’t mind. You could pitch it at the flag much more and play it like a parkland course. “In the last round I played well and kept making the putts. I wasn’t nervous going into the playoff because it was just a question of carrying on doing what I was doing well – you cannot control the outcome of a playoff so I just tried to control my own game. “It was a good win for me to start the summer off. I put the event in my schedule as a links course to prepare for the St Andrew’s Links and British Amateur.” Tree (image courtesy Golf Union Wales) began the final round five strokes behind Dick, who returned 64 in round two, but the Sussex teenager covered the front nine in 31 shots to close the gap to three. But for his only bogey on the par-four 16th, Tree would have come home in less than 33, his 64 containing nine birdies. Dick recorded five birdies in his 69 and two bogeys, one coming at the last in an inward 36. They halved the first playoff hole but a par at the second was good enough to see Tree to the title. Two more England internationals, Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent) was equal third on 207, and Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire) fifth on 209. 29 May 2014 Fast-finishing Tree denies Dick in Welsh playoff last_img read more

Inside Conditions…Third and “ouch”

first_imgAntonio Brown expresses his frustration during Steelers Browns game in Cleveland. (Photo by Julio Torres )When I arrived in Cleveland Sunday morning I followed my normal script.  Branson Wright, my friend and colleague from the Cleveland Plain Dealer get together whether the game is in Pittsburgh or Cleveland to chat and break bread.   We always discuss the upcoming game in a brutally honest way.I asked him; “what’s your take on the game?”He glanced at me as we sat down at the table to eat breakfast.  “I just don’t know Aub, I have tried to get a feel for this one, but it could go either way.”Aubrey Bruce“Branson my friend; ” I said through a mouthful of Bratwurst, “this is going to be ugly.  If Pittsburgh loses by less than three touchdowns I will perform an act,” (which shall remain nameless here) “in front of the Plain Dealer the next time that Pittsburgh plays Cleveland in Cleveland.”That prediction was not based on the performance of the Steelers defense, that prognostication was based on the sophomoric past performances of the Steelers offense.Out of all of the NFL teams that competed last Sunday, only two teams, the Minnesota Vikings and the NY Giants scored less points than the Pittsburgh Steelers.  However, the Vikings have an excuse, a really big…..excuse.  Their best player, running back Adrian Peterson has been exiled from gridiron and so goes their offense.The Steelers have no such excuse to lean on.They have two top flight running backs, LeVeon Bell and LeGarette Blount to tote the rock, so what whining card is acceptable now?Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger misfired on at least 3 possible touchdown passes against the Cleveland Browns.  Do you still think that he is an “elite” quarterback?  Aren’t “yinz” tired of excuses?Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not overthrow several wide open receivers.  Steelers Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley did not make several “check down” decisions that  resulted in stoping the chains from moving for the Steelers.  A few of the Pittsburgh writers used to have a cruel nickname for former Steelers backup QB Charlie Batch.  The name was “check down Charlie.”If that secondary and unflattering name was appropriate to pin on Mr. Batch, would the nickname “check  up Ben” be fitting for Mr. Roethlisberger?  Why? Well because with all of the receivers that Roethlisberger missed in the Browns game as well as several games prior to that debacle, could he be overdue for a “check up” from the neighborhood optometrist?Roethlisberger had the nerve to say that he didn’t know. “I don’t know, we can all look at the film. Coaches will look at it. We tried to run it in the red zone and when we got down there we just couldn’t quite get it all the way in. We’ll look at it and figure out what the execution, figure out what it is.”There is nothing to figure out. Hit your receivers in stride and discontinue missing wide open receivers “Big” Ben.Do you guys’ and dolls’ remember Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo?  The same Tony Romo that everyone not only threw under a bus but under a fleet of 18 wheelers?   Well now teams opposing the Cowboys had better make sure there aren’t any phone booths in nearby areas because Romo seems to have morphed into, “Super Q” or in laymen’s terms, “a bad mama-jamma.”This guy has had back problems and all other sorts of issues but just keeps on rollin.  If any of Ben Roethlisberger’s wide receivers would have had more than one public sideline disagreement  with him as happened with Romo and his wide-outs the Pittsburgh receivers would have been put on the last train to “Mudville” eons ago and  “Casey” would not be waiting on the platform at that train station to meet the exiled individual to chauffer them to their prepaid condominium.The Cowboys ventured into Seattle to play the Seahawks,  After being down by 10 points, Dallas came back to stun the Seahawks, 30-23.Romo had this to say about the big win.  “I think our team now understands that we do a lot of things pretty well, and I think we have the ability to kind of impose yourself on other teams.”Where have we heard the about that philosophy before?  Oh from the “Emperor” the late great Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll.  Noll once said; ““You can’t have enough tough people on your team.”  Coach Noll knew about imposing your will and having players with enough confidence and swagger to do just that. However, even as great a coach that Chuck Noll was he could not execute the game plan and play the game for the players.Well, “one thing for certain and two things for sure” as Henrietta Bruce my mother  used to say, I won’t have any acts to perform outside of the offices at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  The penalty has been paid.  The Cleveland Browns have done enough.Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741Follow him on Twitter @ultrascribelast_img read more

Art as a Mirror and Outlet—August: Osage County at Harlequin Productions

first_imgFacebook452Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Rebekah Finn for Harlequin ProductionsIn 2008, I had the incredible privilege of seeing the award-winning play August: Osage County at the National Theatre in London. We watched as, onstage, three generations of an American family struggled through the resentment and secrets they had pent up for years. The next day, we would be flying home to our own American families after three months of studying theater and literature abroad. Most of us were twenty-year-old kids, having just spent the longest time away from our parents ever. We missed our families and were ready to go home for the holidays, but we each privately wondered what our homes had in store for us after so much time and distance. Would our relationships be different? Would we fight with our parents? Would our siblings think we’d changed? Would we be happy to be home?August: Osage County opens August 24 at the State Theater. Photo courtesy: Harelquin ProductionsSure, all these thoughts had been swirling somewhere in the back of our minds, but Tracy Letts’ incredible writing in August: Osage County had a way of pulling the emotions of our family relationships to the surface. Further driving the point home, we had been studying T.S. Eliot all semester, and the references to Eliot’s poetry in the play gave the final stitch, sewing together our studies and our personal lives.“This is a classic example of art mirroring life,” says Aaron Lamb, who is directing the local production of August: Osage County with Harlequin Productions. “The family relationships, the problems and interactions, while specific in the play, are so recognizable to any great American family.”And isn’t this part of the point of any piece of art? To show us a new way of looking at ourselves and our world? To laugh, to cry, to give an outlet to our emotions? My theory is that these are the reasons this particular play became so popular so quickly and even won a Pulitzer Prize. Indeed, this is a very well-known play in the theater community, and Harlequin Productions has wanted to put it on for many years.The production boosts a large cast and set, making it a big undertaking for Harlequin Productions. Photo courtesy: Harelquin Productions“The difficulty is the size – the cast is large, the set is large, it’s long, it’s a lot to rehearse, so it’s a big undertaking,” explains Lamb, “but we’ve finally nailed it down.”Not to say that it has been an easy path since beginning preparations. It has certainly taken its toll on its director’s energy level, but he is very proud of the work of the entire cast and crew, saying:“We have a very skilled cast. Every member is of a very high caliber.” One name you may recognize is Ellen McLain, who is known for voicing GLaDOS in the video game Portal and will be playing the devious Weston matriarch Violet. Well-known Seattle actress Angela DiMarco will be playing one of Violet’s daughters, Karen Weston. They are also joined by beloved Harlequin regulars Jason Haws, Ann Flannigan and Russ Holm, plus Doug Fahl, John Forbes, Dana Goodknight, Bill Johns, Janette Oswald, Mackenzie Platt, Brian Pucheu, and Jenny Vaughn Hall.“Directing this show is similar to an opera, because it’s huge. With thirteen people, a set with seven rooms and three levels, it’s a lot to orchestrate. And textually, the script is almost like music, so it’s a way of shaping and phrasing text and spoken word in a similar way to phrasing a piece of music.”The title of the play gives us the setting. It is a hot summer in Osage County, Oklahoma when the Weston family is reunited over the disappearance of their patriarch, the esteemed poet Beverly Weston. You may recognize the plot and title from the 2013 Hollywood production starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. While I’ve heard mixed reviews from the common cinema-goer, the film itself was nominated for multiple awards including Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and Screen Actors Guild awards.The play was made into a film starring Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in 2013. Photo courtesy: Harelquin ProductionsLamb’s comment on the film? “If you’ve seen the movie and didn’t like it, maybe that’s because it can’t really speak to you in the same way as it was intended to on the page, so give it a shot here [at Harlequin]. If you’ve seen the movie and did like it, you’ll probably like this better because this was its intended medium.”How will this production be different from the movie and other interpretations of the play?“My philosophy in approaching this piece as a director is to tell this story without trying to add to it. I’m staying really close to the page. It’s a piece that speaks for itself, and I need to honor that and not try to overpower it with my ideas,” explains Lamb.And I can personally attest to the fact that this text will speak for itself. If you let it, this play will be an incredible emotional experience for you. Come to the theater and find out what I mean.August: Osage County opens on August 24, 2017, at the State Theater in downtown Olympia, and runs through September 16. Get your tickets at the Harlequin Productions website or call the box office at 360-786-0151.last_img read more