British Hillsborough football fans’ deaths, Thatcher, Murdoch guilty


This video from Britain says about itself:

‘We told you The Sun lied‘: Hillsborough 96 families

27 April 2016

As the Murdoch press’ front pages today ignore the Hillsborough verdict,

including the Times, supposedly the ‘quality’ paper of the Murdoch empire

the families of the 96 said yesterday ‘we told you they lied’, ‘they’ being The Sun, the government and the police. The families believe the lies deprived the memory of their loved ones, who were portrayed as scum, of justice. That justice came yesterday after 27 years of campaigning and a two-year inquest with more than 800 witnesses that was the longest jury hearing in British legal history. The Sun apologised for their 1989 infamous editorial ‘The Truth’ in 2012. As did BoJo [London Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson] in the same year for his 2004 editorial in the Spectator. The piece shows how ingrained the image of Liverpool fans as ‘tanked-up yobs’, coined by Sir Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher‘s former press secretary, was in the establishment:

“Liverpool is a handsome city with a tribal sense of community. A combination of economic misfortune – its docks were, fundamentally, on the wrong side of England when Britain entered what is now the European Union – and an excessive predilection for welfarism have created a peculiar, and deeply unattractive, psyche among many Liverpudlians. They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it.

Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society. The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to hint at the wider causes of the incident.”

That prevailing image of the victims could explain why it took so long to identify the real culprits, as Peter Fahy, former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police says “The Taylor Report way back in 1989, identified a lot of the failings, which have been confirmed in the hearing today.” Margaret Aspinall who lost her son James in the disaster focused on how much the truth was suppressed all these years and that ‘a lot of things that came out in the past few weeks I didn’t know myself.’

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Justice at last

CROWN Prosecution Service lawyers have the responsibility now to take appropriate action after the Hillsborough disaster inquest jury decisions.

While the families of the 96 dead Liverpool FC fans see the culmination of their determined campaign as “justice at last,” the Establishment’s stringing out of this process for 27 years amounts to justice delayed and frustrated.

Some campaigners have not lived to see this day. Senior police have put families through hell by using delaying tactics to deny an undeniable truth.

When senior police officers fail to carry out their duties, with fatal consequences, there must be a legal reckoning.

But the Hillsborough families were the victims of a conspiracy in which police, the Murdoch media and politicians fed each other lies to be repeated as widely as possible to give the false impression that the fans’ behaviour contributed to the tragedy.

Football fans were viewed by Margaret Thatcher’s government as savages to be penned in behind steel fences, preventing their evacuation during overcrowding.

They were traduced in Murdoch’s Scum [Sun] as being drunken yobbos, forcing their way onto the terraces, robbing the dead and urinating on police, thus contributing to a general image of savagery.

Scum editor Kelvin MacKenzie claimed that these allegations emanated from the police.

Perhaps the CPS should give thought to conspiracy charges being laid against those it believes may have engaged in joint enterprise to besmirch the names of 96 dead LFC supporters and their fellow fans.

A full 27 years after the event, the inquest into the Hillsborough disaster concluded that 96 Liverpool Football Club supporters, crushed to death on April 15, 1989, were unlawfully killed. The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the extraordinary campaign by the families, friends and supporters of those killed, injured and traumatized: here.

Hillsborough inquest: legal system a key part of establishment that failed families for years. The inquest delivered the basic justice people had waited 27 years for – but a detached judge and police repetition of old, putrid claims prolonged the nightmare: here.

British police, not football fans, guilty of Hillsborough deaths


This video from England says about itself:

Hillsborough Families sing after unlawful killing conclusion

26 April 2016

Ninety-six football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed, the inquests have concluded.

The jury decided the match commander [Police] Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield’s actions amounted to “gross negligence” due to a breach of his duty of care to fans.

Families of the victims showed their relief outside court by singing the Liverpool football club anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone“.

From Who Ate All The Pies in Britain:

Justice At Long Last: Inquest Jury Rules 96 Liverpool Fans Were ‘Unlawfully Killed’ At Hillsborough In 1989

Chris Wright

26th, April 2016

It’s taken 27 long years of acute pain and withering strife, but today the inquests have concluded that 96 Liverpool fans were “unlawfully killed” at Hillsborough on 15th April, 1989.

The jurors determined that the police were guilty of gross negligence by a 7-2 majority, while also ruling that the behaviour of the Liverpool fans did not contribute to the deaths.

The news comes as especially blessed relief to the Hillsborough families and campaigners, who have been relentless in their pursuit of the truth ever since that tragic day. After almost 30 years of lies and smears, it’s over. It took far too long but they’ve finally scaled the mountain. Justice for the 96 at long, long last.

Now, as the world can finally move on, there’s one national newspaper which certainly owes the people of Liverpool an apology

Rupert Murdoch's Sun's lies on Hillsborough

Don’t hold your breath.

So, police were guilty, this decision says. However, police didn’t work in a vacuüm. They worked in a context of Margaret Thatcher‘s Conservative government, and of the establishment, including Rupert Murdoch and his Sun daily.

The British Crown Prosecution Service will now consider the evidence and decide whether any individual or organisation should face criminal prosecution. Margaret Thatcher is dead, and cannot be prosecuted any more. Some of her ministers are still alive.

Rupert Murdoch is still, sort of, ‘undead’. So, in theory, he might be prosecuted. However, he was not prosecuted for his phone hacking, his burglary, his warmongering, his bribing of police, etc. etc. either. So, unfortunately, I have to say ‘Don’t hold your breath’ as well.

Murdoch papers Sun and Times bury Hillsborough victims’ vindication on back pages: here.

Japanese government among world’s worst press freedom violators


This video says about itself:

Press Freedom in Japan in 2016 | Tokyo on Fire

19 December 2015

Japan passed a controversial State Department Secrets law in December of 2013 that has ever since been met with significant resistance. One of the most contentious points is that it punishes both distributers and recipients of SDS material (so, a reporter and a newspaper publisher, for example) with a minimum of 2 years in jail and fine of ¥500,000. Get the details with Timothy, Michael, and Nancy on this important episode of Tokyo on Fire!

From the Los Angeles Times in the USA:

How Japan came to rank worse than Tanzania on press freedom

By Jake Adelstein

April 20, 2016

The state of press freedom in Japan is now worse than that in Tanzania, according to a new ranking from the non-profit group Reporters Without Borders.

A group which is usually favourably biased towards the political and economic establishments in NATO countries, and in other rich countries like Japan.

Japan came in 72nd of the 180 countries ranked in the group’s 2016 press freedom index, falling 11 places since last year. …

For Japan’s journalists, things have taken a turn for the worse relatively recently. Just six years ago, the country ranked 11th in the world.

In the graph which accompanies the Los Angeles Times article, the absolute monarchy Brunei is the worst in the world in decline in press freedom. Poland is third worst.

Japan’s poor performance on press freedom is particularly surprising given its standing as one of the world’s leading developed countries. The island nation of 125 million people has the world’s third-largest economy and a vibrant democracy whose postwar constitution guarantees freedoms of speech, press and assembly.

“With Japan hosting the G7 meeting next month of leading democracies, the press crackdown is an international black eye for Japan and makes it an outlier in the group,” said Jeff Kingston, a professor of history and director of Asian studies at Temple University and author of the book “Contemporary Japan: History, Politics, and Social Change since the 1980s.”

The 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant set the stage for the erosion of press freedoms, Kingston said. “Japan’s slide in the rankings began with the incomplete coverage of the Fukushima meltdowns and the government’s efforts to downplay the accident; Tokyo Electric Power Company (and Japan) denied the triple meltdown for two months,” he said. “Sadly, the Japanese media went along with this charade because here it is all about access. Those media outlets that don’t toe the line find themselves marginalized by the powers that be. Since [Fukushima], Japan’s culture wars over history, constitutional revision and security doctrine have been fought on the media battlefield.”

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned for a second term in 2012, five years after he resigned abruptly amid growing unpopularity in 2007, his administration began cracking down on perceived bias in the nation’s media.

At first, the media didn’t hold back in criticizing his administration. The press lambasted Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for saying that Japan should learn from the way the Nazi party stealthily changed Germany’s constitution before World War II. But critics say Aso’s suggestion foreshadowed things to come.

Two years ago, the Abe administration pushed through a state secrets bill ostensibly designed to prevent classified information from leaking to China or Russia. But the measure allows for journalists and bloggers to be jailed for up to five years for asking about something that is a state secret, even if they aren’t aware it is one. Thousands protested the law when it was passed on Dec. 6, 2013.

Abe’s friend, conservative businessman Katsuto Momii, became the head of Japan’s major public broadcasting company, NHK, in 2014, in a move that has compromised the independence of its reports. Momii has stated publicly that NHK “should not deviate from the government’s position in its reporting.”

Abe’s Liberal Democratic party also recently proposed a constitutional amendment that would allow the government to curtail speech that “harms the public interest and public order.”

In June 2015, members of the party urged the government to punish media outlets critical of the government and pressure companies not to advertise with them.

This year, Abe’s Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi threatened to shut down news broadcasters over “politically biased reports” — something TV and radio laws in Japan empower her to do.

A week later, three television presenters who had been critical of the Abe administration were all removed from their positions.

Veteran reporters in Japan have criticized Abe’s government for applying pressure to reporters, but also decry the increasing self-censorship going on in the country’s press. “To me, the most serious problem is self-restraint by higher-ups at broadcast stations,” Soichiro Tahara, one of the country’s most revered journalists, told reporters last month.

“The Abe administration’s threats to media independence, the turnover in media personnel in recent months and the increase in self-censorship within leading media outlets are endangering the underpinnings of democracy in Japan,” Reporters Without Borders concluded in its report released this month about declining media freedoms in Japan.

“Independence of the press is facing serious threats,” David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Tuesday. “Many journalists who came to me and my team asked for anonymity in our discussions. Many claimed to have been sidelined or silenced following indirect pressure from politicians.”

The state originally invited Kaye to visit last December, but the trip was canceled abruptly after Japanese authorities claimed to be unable to set up meetings in time.

Kaye called for Japan’s Broadcast Law to be revised to ensure press freedom, and criticized Japan’s press club structure as detrimental to an independent press. In Japan, reporters are granted access through press clubs, or “kisha clubs,” formed around groups and government organizations. They serve as gatekeepers, and typically don’t grant access to weekly magazines, like Shukan Bunshun, which excel at investigative journalism.

“Journalists in those kisha clubs tend to be focused very much together in this same kind of social network. And I think that allows for mechanisms of pressure. It may be a kind of peer pressure that’s very difficult to resist,” Kaye said.

Turkey’s Erdogan tries censoring Swedish documentary on Assyrian genocide


This video says about itself:

16 December 2010

The Assyrian Genocide (also known as Sayfo or Seyfo) refers to the mass slaughter of the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac population of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The Assyrian population of northern Mesopotamia (the Tur Abdin, Hakkari, Van, Siirt regions of present-day southeastern Turkey and the Urmia region of northwestern Iran) was forcibly relocated and massacred by Ottoman (Turkish) forces between 1914 and 1920. Estimates on the overall death toll have varied. Contemporary reports placed the figure at 270,000, although recent estimates have revised that figure to as many as 500–750,000.

These two videos are the sequels.

From The Local in Sweden:

24 April 2016 15:25 GMT+02:00

The Turkish embassy in Stockholm tried to bring pressure to bear over a TV4 documentary, according to the station’s programme director, Viveka Hansson.

Hansson, in a statement on the TV4 website, said that she had been sent an e-mail by Arif Gulen, the press officer at the Turkish embassy, asking her to “reconsider the decision” to broadcast a documentary tonight about the slaughter by the Ottoman Empire of Christian Assyrians that occurred during the First World War.

Turkey has long rejected claims that the killing of some 275,000 Assyrians should be classified as a genocide. The mass killing, called Seyfo by Assyrians, is designated as a genocide by the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Hansson dismissed the request out of hand.

“We can never accept this. We will protest against any attempt to exert pressure that threatens freedom of expression,” Hansson said.

See also here.

Turkish journalists jailed for Hebdo cover: here.

Turkish regime’s crackdown on journalism continues


This satiric music video says about itself:

German TV mocks Turkish dictator: Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan – English subtitles

29 March 2016

He’s living in grand style
Big boss from Bosporus
A showy palace with a thousand rooms, built without permit in a nature preserve
Press freedom gives him a swollen neck
That’s why he needs all those scarves
When a journalist writes a piece
That Erdogan doesn’t like
He quickly ends up in jail
Newspaper offices closed down
He doesn’t think twice
With tear gas and water cannons he is riding through the night
Be nice to him
Since he’s holding all the cards
Erdo-how, Erdo-where, Erdogan
The time is ripe
For his Great Ottoman Empire
Erdo-how, Erdo-where, Erdogan
Equal rights for women
Beaten up equally

Istanbul police has dispersed an International Women’s Day demonstration by force
If the election results are off
He’ll shake them into place
He loathes the Kurds
And much rather bombs them
Than his brothers in faith over at ISIS
Hand him your money
He’ll build you a refugee tent
Erdo-how, Erdo-where, Erdogan
His country is ripe
For EU membership
He doesn’t care for democracy
Erdogan says goodbye
And rides off into the sunset

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Turkey: Government continues its crackdown on journalists
Monday 25th April 2016

ONE journalist has been arrested and another denied entry to Turkey in the latest crackdown on free speech by the government.

Turkish-Dutch columnist Ebru Umar was arrested on Saturday after tweeting about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her paper said yesterday. The Metro journalist tweeted that police were at her door and that she was being taken to a police station in the resort of Kusadasi.

German newspaper Bild said yesterday that Greek photographer Giorgos Moutafis was denied entry at Istanbul airport on his way to a job in Libya on Saturday.

The snapper said he was told that his name was on a list of people barred from entering the country. He was not told why. He was forced to take the next flight back to Athens yesterday morning.

The incident came days after a journalist with a German public broadcaster was prevented from entering Turkey.

Dutch NOS TV reports today there has been a burglary at Ms Umar’s home in Amsterdam. Her computer is said to have been stolen, and her whole home ransacked. Erdogan‘s secret police are suspected of this crime.