Human Rights Watch is pleased to invite you to a virtual news conference at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 10, 2021, on the importance of the UN Security Council maintaining the Syria cross-border aid mechanism. With the July 10 deadline for its renewal fast approaching, HRW will be launching a new report on the humanitarian situation in Syria, with a special focus on the importance of reauthorizing and expanding the cross-border aid mechanism. Failure to do so would have a severe negative impact on the lives of millions of Syrians in need of aid, including Covid-19 vaccines and other vital medical assistance.
Launch of Human Rights Watch report on the humanitarian situation in Syria and the importance of maintaining cross-border aid delivery.
Sara Kayyali, Syria researcher, Human Rights Watch
Gerry Simpson, associate crisis and conflict director, Human Rights Watch
Louis Charbonneau, UN director, Human Rights Watch
JOINT STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE CO-CHAIRS AND THE UNDERSIGNED MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS GROUP OF FRIENDS FOR THE PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS
ON THE DETENTION BY THE BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES OF JOURNALIST RAMAN PRATASEVICH AND SOFIA SAPEGA
New York, June 8, 2021
The co-chairs of the United Nations Group of Friends for the Protection of Journalists – Greece, France and Lithuania - and the undersigned Members of the Group of Friends strongly condemn the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on May 23, 2021, prompted by Belarusian authorities in order to arrest and detain independent journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion, Sofia Sapega.
Reiterating the Statements of the UN Secretary-General, we support a full, transparent and independent investigation into the disturbing and unprecedented incident, which constitutes a frontal attack on media freedom and urge all relevant actors to cooperate with such an inquiry.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, as well as other journalists and media workers, and that their human rights and fundamental freedoms be respected.
We strongly condemn the harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions and the prosecution of journalists and media workers, as well as members of the opposition, human rights defenders, and other members of civil society in Belarus and beyond, for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, including freedom of information, as well as freedom of peaceful assembly and association. We further condemn any use of torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment as a means to force public confessions. We also express our concern over the recently adopted laws on media and mass events that will further facilitate such harassment and prosecution.
Media freedom is an essential part of democratic societies. States should ensure a free, safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without interference. Arbitrary detentions are obstructing the task of journalism in building inclusive societies and democracies, helping shape an informed public debate and fostering intercultural dialogue, peace and good governance. There can be no Press Freedom when there is fear.
We extend our support to the efforts of the international non-governmental and grass roots organizations to promote the protection of journalists and media workers, their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to all the Member States in promoting an environment in which journalists can carry out their work without fear of reprisal or intimidation.
Co-chairs of the UN Group of Friends for the Protection of Journalists, Ambassadors, Permanent Representatives of Greece, France and Lithuania
Co-signatories members of the Group of Friends (in alphabetical order): Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay
Committee to Protect Journalists press briefing on Belarus with Gulnoza Said, CPJ Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, and Volha Siakhovich, a legal expert with the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 9, 10:00 a.m. EDT / 16:00 p.m. CET
WHERE: RSVP for Zoom link
Journalists interested in attending the briefing can register here and call-in details will be provided upon registration. Those interested in submitting questions ahead of time should contact email@example.com
Explore CPJ’s reporting on press freedom in Belarus here.
The Carroll Kowal Journalism Award has been given to journalists who enhance the public’s awareness of social conditions in and affecting New York City. It was created in 1991 to honor Carroll Kowal who was an outstanding social worker and leader in social welfare and housing policy in New York City and State. This year the scope of the Kowal Award has been broadened to include national and international journalists.
Carroll Kowal Journalism Awards Program - Shining a Light on Migrant Children
Thursday, June 10, 2021: 6:00 to 7:00 PM (EDT)
United States Recipient: SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER IMMIGRANT JUSTICE PROJECT
" Migrant Children Deserve Better”
The New York Times, March 18, 2021
Luz V. Lopez - Senior Supervising Attorney
Jeff Migliozzi - Media Strategist
International Recipient: UNICEF
“Building Bridges for Every Child:
Reception, Care and Services to Support
Unaccompanied Children in the United States”
Rhonda Fleischer, LMSW - Co-Author
Gillian Huebner - Co-Author, Programme Specialist
Verena Knaus - Chief Editor
The Foreign Press Association of the USA demands the international community take decisive against the Belarus “state hijack” of the aircraft carrying Roman Protasevich. We have already protested about the restrictions on press freedom inside Belarus but this piratical interception is a threat to all journalists and diplomats and sets a perilous precedent for other governments who wish to control the press. It also poses a danger for air safety - the false Belarus claim of explosives devalues genuine warnings in the future.
The FPA deplores the Russian government’s attempts to stifle RFE / Radio Liberty’s operations by requiring registration as “foreign agents” in the same way we condemned the US administration’s insistence that RTS and Al-Jazeera register as foreign agents. In this Tweedledum and Tweedledee battle the only sure casualty is an open media, stifling public access to outside views. We call upon the Kremlin and the White House to declare ceasefire in this media squabble.
In common with our partners The Committee to Protect Journalists, and our colleagues the FPA in Israel, The Foreign Press Association of the US strongly condemns the Israeli airstrike on the building that housed our colleagues of the AP and Al-Jazeera among others. There is no justification for the destruction of an entire residential building which also housed media organizations reporting on the conflict. This was clearly a calculated assault on the media and as AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said, “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today." It is a reasonable conclusion that this was one purpose of the raid.
We would also be remiss if we did not express our support and sympathy for the civilians without press passes, whose homes were destroyed and lives put at risk because of the alleged identity of their neighbors.
WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY - The Foreign Press Association (USA) – Launches “The FPA Sharp Pen Award”, for Press Freedom Fighters!
The British writer Sir Terry Pratchett wisely said, “The pen is mightier than the sword, if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.”
He could have added that, despite the brutal reality and truth of his statement, an army of very sharp pens deployed in unison can be effective as well! Which is why the century old Foreign Press Association has been taking up its cudgels and computers to protest suppression of the press around the world, from Hong Kong to Egypt to Myanmar, Rwanda, the Philippines and Belarus – and indeed violence against reporters covering protests here in the US.
We should maintain our vigilance against such attempts by governments, corporations and factions to intimidate and suborn press freedom and work with other press organization here and worldwide to fight back.
To mark World Press Freedom Day we invite nominations for the FPA’s first “Sharp Pen Award” for upholding press freedom in the face of the sword in 2020-21. Nominations will be accepted through September 2021 for international journalists worldwide who with their sharp pens have demonstrated commitment to Freedom of the Press highlighting significant local or global issues.
The FPA Sharp Pen award will be one of several awards given at this year’s FPA Centennial Foreign Press Association Awards event for coverage of the US by international journalists and students, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Today to commemorate World Press Freedom Day please share your nominations for FPA’s initial “Sharp Pen Award”for upholding press freedom “in the face of the sword.”
If you have any comments or questions, reach out to us at +1 (212) 370-1054 and firstname.lastname@example.org
President, Foreign Press Association USA
The century old New York Foreign Press Association of the US wishes to “disambiguate” any connection to the Hollywood FPA, producers of the Golden Globes and certainly from the racist comments of former Hollywood FPA President Philip Berk. Our records suggest that the Hollywood FPA was an offshoot of us in New York, but in contrast to his quoted comments about Black Lives Matter, we in the original FPA (founded 1918) have held press briefings with Black Lives Matter and on the deleterious effect of overweening police unions on race relations, not to mention extensive briefings on the disproportionate effect of COVID 19 on the underprivileged.
Additionally we are on record (see Guardian) refusing to be “bought” by corporate money.
We look forward to our Hollywood colleagues resuming such standards
Expert Speakers to Discuss Israel, its US Lobby and Apartheid, April 17 & 24
Experts will speak and take questions at the only annual national conferencechallenging the Israel lobby's repressive agenda while proposing better alternatives for America.
IsraelApartheidCon is solely sponsored by the American Educational Trust, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep).
Celebrated Palestinian author Susan Abulhawa reveals how US taxpayers and readers are beginning to understand that their tax dollars are supporting ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
Palestinian writer and analyst Sumaya Awad warns of the danger of Facebook's effort to suppress criticisms of Zionism by deeming it equivalent to hate speech or anti-Semitism, and her successful campaign against censorship.
Rev. Alex Awad describes how Palestinian evangelicals are successfully working to stop the spread of Christian Zionist biblical misinterpretations in many US churches.
Congressman Brian Baird (1999-2011) describes how Israel and its US lobby assert authority over Congress, Israel's use of US weapons and equipment in Gaza—including the 2003 killing of his constituent Rachel Corrie—and proposes critical actions voters can take to help elect leaders who will approach these issues in an open-minded way.
South African professor John Dugard provides insight into the international community’s disparity in its treatment of South Africa and Israel for applying substantially similar policies, and the prospects and best approaches for ending Israeli apartheid.
Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine (2008-2014), will comment on B’Tselem’s apartheid report and Israel’s 2018 Basic Law that gives preferential status to Jews.
Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, outlines how the Biden administration can break the Middle East peace impasse by adopting a rights-based—rather than an Israel and its lobby based—approach as the center of its strategy.
Historian and author Walter Hixson explains why until the monolithic Israel lobby is neutralized, there will never be peace in the Middle East, drawing on insights from his new book, Architects of Repression: How Israel and Its Lobby Put Racism, Violence and Injustice at the Center of US Middle East Policy.
Radio host and Antiwar.com editorial director Scott Horton details how Israel and its U.S. lobby were key proponents of the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and today are virtually alone in supporting a U.S. war on Iran, drawing on research from his new book, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism.
Professor Robin D.G. Kelley will discuss the current state of resisting Israel and its lobby’s efforts on campus, the parallels between South Africa and the movement toward Palestinian liberation, and how the Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian grassroots movements work together.
Tom Suárez, author of the 2016 book State of Terror: How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, will discuss the recently issued Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA).
Journalist and Mondoweiss.net co-founder Philip Weiss delivers a roundup on J Street and his key reflections about the effectiveness of liberal Zionism as revealed in its most significant annual policy conference.
UN correspondent Ian Williams provides a brief history of both Republican and Democratic administrations’ sycophantic relations with Israel and how this relationship affects U.S. policies toward the UN and international law.
Investigative journalist Asa Winstanley explores the similarities and differences between Labour Friends of Israel in the UK and the Democratic Majority for Israel in the U.S., the purpose they serve, and the recent sabotage and purge of major progressive leaders like Jeremy Corbyn who have spoken out in support of Palestinian human rights.
Get more information at www.IsraelApartheidCon.org and register online at Eventbrite.
Media registration for the conference is available here
Please register for priority access to the Q&A sessions, and for permission to live stream the event.
Feel free to contact Dale Sprusansky with any questions (email@example.com).