Tolo News – Afghanistan: deadliest nation for journalists

Since 2016, Afghanistan remains the deadliest country for journalists and media workers, according to those working in the field.

Anisa Shaheed

Kabul – Kabul province – Afghanistan, 20 January 2020. Four years ago today, seven employees of the MOBY Group, one of the biggest media companies in Afghanistan, were killed in a targeted car bombing by the Taliban in Kabul.

But since 2016, Afghanistan remains the deadliest country for journalists and media workers, according to those working in the field.

Figures by journalists’ safety organizations show that 56 journalists and media workers have been killed in different incidents since 2016.

The seven employees killed in the attack were as follows:

1. Mohammad Jawad Hussaini:

Hussaini worked for seven years as a video editor at Moby Group.

2. Zainab Mirzaee:

Mirzaee was a Dari dubbing artist at Moby Group.

3. Mehri Azizi:

Azizi worked in the graphics department at MOBY Group for five years.

4. Mariam Ibrahimi:

Ibrahimi was a dubbing artist at Moby Group for six years.

5. Mohammad Hussain:

Hussain worked as a driver for MOBY Group for six years.

6. Mohammad Ali Mohammadi:

Mohammadi worked at MOBY Group as a Dari dubbing artist five years.

7. Hussain Amiri

Amiri worked in the decoration department in MOBY Group for eight years.

“Unfortunately, four years after the killing that was done by the Taliban, the results of the investigation and the details of this crime have still not been made public,” said Reza Moeeni, head of the Reporters Without Borders organization for Afghanistan and Iran.

“The Taliban does not believe in freedom of speech. They use ugly treatment against those who work in this respect,” said Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Nai, an organization that supports open media.

Figures by press rights organizations report that 13 reporters were killed in 2016, 20 in 2017, 17 in 2018, and five in 2019 in attacks by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

“Media outlets are under threat from different areas. The reason is that Afghanistan’s media, especially the major ones, are making information public and showing realities about the society to the people,” said Abid Mashal, a reporter.

“The major threat is from terrorism and meanwhile other threats are from government officials and mafia groups and criminals. There are different causes to explain the increase in threats against media,” said Nazari Paryani, a journalist. – Punjab government dissolves management committee of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College (Sarhali)

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 20 January 2020. The Punjab government has dissolved the management committee of renowned college of Tan Taran district, i.e. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sarhali.

After dissolving the committee of this college, additional deputy commissioner of Tarn Taran has been asked to act as an administrator of the college by the higher education secretary Rahul Bhandari.

Dr Paramjit Singh Visha, who is a professor at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, informed that the professors of this college had lodged a complaint to the Punjab government around one year ago that they were not getting their salaries on time from the grant being sent to college by the government for salaries of professors from the last 16 months.

Later, a probe was opened into this matter by the DPI Colleges and the Inquiry committee has submitted a report after investigating the matter. On the basis of this report, the Governor of Punjab had directed action against the management committee of this college.

Following the orders of Governor of Punjab, higher education secretary Rahul Bhandari has appointed additional deputy commissioner of Tarn Taran as an administrator to run this college transparently.

However, the president of college’s management committee, Baba Hakam Singh, has described this action as an illegal and one-sided. Baba Hakam Singh said that the grant received by the management committee for employees working on aided posts was being paid as salary on right time after adding the amount of contribution by management.

Punjab government dissolves management committee of Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College (Sarhali)

Amsterdam – Molenwijk – Sloterdijk

Amsterdam Molenwijk
27 December 2019

G V B – municipal transport company

Molenwijk Busstand

Bus 35 to Olof Palmeplein
Bus 36 to/from Sloterdijk stops here too

Amsterdam Sloterdijk
Train, metro, tram an bus station
27 December 2019

GVB Tram 19 to Diemen

Bus 15 to Station Zuid and bus 36 to Buikslotermeerplein

Track 11 high level – Sprinter to Hoofddorp via Schiphol

More Netherlands pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Asian Lite – Three Sikh men stabbed to death in London

They were killed in a fight allegedly sparked by a dispute over money owed for construction work reports Asian Lite News

London – UK, 21 January 2020. The three Sikh men who were stabbed to death in a single attack in London, were killed in a row about not being paid for work, it has been claimed.

The victims of the stabbing near Seven Kings station in Ilford on Sunday night were identified as Harinder Kumar, 22, Narinder Singh, 26, and Baljit Singh, 34, the said in a report.

They were killed in a fight allegedly sparked by a dispute over money owed for construction work, the report added.

Meanwhile, two Sikh men, aged 29 and 39, were arrested on suspicion of murder after the horrific incident.

According to the police, the fight between groups of Sikh men escalated into a fatal clash.

Speaking at the scene on Monday, Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman said the suspects and the victims were all known to each other.

“We believe the groups involved are members of the Sikh community,” quoted Clayman as saying.

3 Sikh men stabbed to death in London – The Daily Fix: As Kashmir gets white list of permitted websites, rest of India should be wary too

It is a digital version of imposing Section 144 prohibitory orders across an entire state, and then giving a few friendly faces and businesses free rein.

Rohan Venkataramakrishnan

New Delhi – India, 21 January 2020. NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat made the news over the last few days because of his insensitive remarks about the government’s decision to deny internet to the people of the Kashmir Valley.

“What difference does it make if there’s no internet there?” said Saraswat, who is also chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “Besides watching dirty films, you do nothing there.”

The comment was naturally controversial because of the “dirty films bit”, causing enough of a hubbub for Saraswat to claim that he had been misquoted. But the entirety of his remarks revealed more about how he and many others seem to regard both Kashmir and the internet.

“What difference does it make if there’s no internet there? What do you watch on internet there? What e-tailing is happening there? Besides watching dirty films, you do nothing there,” Saraswat said. He later clarified, adding, “I am saying that if there is no internet in Kashmir, then it does not have a significant effect on the economy.”

Three points immediately jump out:

1) Does Saraswat realise that the reason Kashmir has struggled to build a digital economy is precisely because the government keeps turning the internet off?

2) If turning the internet off did have a significant effect on the economy, would the government have not turned the internet off? (That didn’t stop it from imposing shutdowns in many other places in 2019, including Delhi.)

3) Why does its impact on the economy take precedence over other uses of the internet?

Put together, this reveals a rather paternalistic view of the entire situation: the government will decide what’s good for Kashmiris and whether they should be able to access it on the internet.

White-listed web

Saraswat may have had to clarify his remarks but the same thinking is currently in force in Kashmir Valley, where the government has just decided to allow residents of two districts to access just 153 out of the countless websites on the internet.

The white-listing order came after the Supreme Court criticised the government for its disproportionate action in shutting down the internet in the state indefinitely, but only ordered it to restore connections to “essential services”, leaving the government free to review its own orders.

No news organisations has made it into this list, although several of the video streaming sites might allow access to TV channel streams. Other entries are completely puzzling.

As one person pointed out on Twitter, is permitted but is not. Jio Chat, without even a URL, has an entry, though no other messaging service seems to have been included.

What was the process to pick these URLs and not others? Can people petition to include their websites on the list? Is there judicial or legislative oversight to the decision-making to ensure that the government is not white-listing certain businesses so that they benefit?

First Kashmir, next?

For many other Indians, these questions may not even arise because they are used to news of the internet being blocked in Kashmir, and so some websites being permitted may actually sound more lenient than the complete shutdown that was in place before.

But, as we have learnt over the last few months, apathy towards the trampling of civil liberties in Kashmir seems to give the government confidence that it can try the same tactics elsewhere in the country.

As Medianama’s Nikhil Pahwa points out, “Once the infrastructure is in place, with the Indian bureaucracy and government fairly enamored with China’s approach to the Internet it will lead to a justification of similar curbs of access to the Internet, and such curbs may be imposed more frequently, where for parts of the country, only white-listed content is available.”

It is not hard to see authorities around the country demanding the imposition of a white-listed version of the internet so they can clamp down on unauthorised activity, a digital version of a government imposing Section 144 prohibitory orders across an entire state, and then letting a few friendly faces and businessmen through.

This is wrong, misguided and dangerous.

Wrong because the government should not have the power to pick winners and losers online, to decide what people can or can’t see. Misguided because it will have an outsize impact on ordinary people while those who actually want to conduct illicit activity online will find a way.

And dangerous because a government that can get comfortable suspending civil liberties will surely want even more power, and will react aggressively when challenged.

The Supreme Court needs to reconsider its order on internet shutdowns in Kashmir and the potential impact it can have on Indian democracy. If the judiciary is unwilling, Parliamentarians who understand what this means must push for legislative intervention before the nightmare of a white-listed internet for all of India turns into a reality.