Thai military dictator threatens to kill critical journalists

This video says about itself:

Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha Warns Reporters

25 March 2015

BANGKOK: Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha lashed out at journalists today, saying he would “probably just execute” those who did “not report the truth”, in the latest outburst aimed at Thailand’s media.

Last month Mr Prayuth said he had the power to shut down news outlets. Today, he took an even harsher line.

“We’ll probably just execute them,” said Mr Prayuth, without a trace of a smile, when asked by reporters how the government would deal with those that do not adhere to the official line.

During the Vietnam war, there was a military dictatorship in Thailand. That dictatorship were allies of the Pentagon and the ‘free world’ against ‘atheist communism’.

Now, in 2015, the Warsaw pact and the Soviet Union have ceased to exist decades ago.

Again, there is a military dictatorship in Thailand. That dictatorship are allies of the Pentagon and the ‘free world’ against … against whom? Against the 99% of people becoming to critical of the richest 1%?

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Leader of Thai junta threatens to ‘execute’ journalists who ‘do not tell the truth’

Prayuth Chan-ocha issued a stark warning to reporters who prove problematic for the Government

Heather Saul

Wednesday 25 March 2015

The leader of the Thai junta has threatened to execute journalists who “did not tell the truth” in shocking comments aimed at Thailand’s media.

Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters, “we’ll probably just execute them,” when he was asked how the Government would deal with journalists and media outlets that did not adhere to the official line, according to Reuters.

The news agency claims he made the menacing remarks on Wednesday without “a trace of a smile”.

Prayuth leads the National Council for Peace and Order which deposed the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup last May following months of protests.

The coup saw Thailand placed under martial law, giving the army full control over citizens, the way the country is run and providing the junta with sweepings powers over arrest and detention.

Prayuth has lead a crack-down on dissenters and claims Thailand is still not ready for martial law to be lifted.

In January, the junta forced a German foundation to cancel a forum on press freedom. Prayuth was particularly critical of the Thai-language Matichon daily newspaper, accusing the paper of siding with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies.

“Don’t think I don’t know that your writing is pro the previous administration,” he was quoted as telling a Matichon reporter. “The previous Interior Ministry bought many advertising spaces from you.”

THAI army-installed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday that he planned to lift martial law but bring in a measure his opponents dub the “dictator law”: here.

Last month Thailand’s dictator, former general Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced the lifting of martial law, which was imposed in May 2014 shortly before the army seized power in a coup. Far from restoring democratic rights, however, the US-backed junta has activated article 44 of its interim constitution, which gives unlimited powers to Prayuth: here.

Thai environmentalists pay for activism with their lives: here.

Punk music police censorship in English football

This music video from Britain is called Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK 1976.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker in England:

Anarchy in the UK – but censorship in Gillingham

Thursday 5th March 2015

Now my autobiography is finished the gigs are beginning to start again. Today my wife and I are off to Lerwick for my first ever appearances in Shetland – hooray! Looking forward to that, and to sampling the ale from the legendary Valhalla Brewery — an extended report of proceedings will be in my next column.

And I had a brilliant show last Sunday at the Winter of Discontent punk festival in north London with Sunderland heroes and old mates Angelic Upstarts, Welsh anti-fascist legends The Oppressed and Edinburgh’s hilarious Oi Polloi.

Now a bit more from the book.

To set the scene — it’s 1997 and the crisis at my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion is at its height. Our Goldstone Ground has been sold to property speculators, we’re playing our “home” games at Gillingham, a round trip of 140 miles, and we’re second from bottom of the entire Football League.

To try and liven things up a bit, I’ve persuaded club chairman Dick Knight to let me be PA announcer and DJ, playing punk, reggae and ska. It’s Boxing Day 1997, at home to Colchester. A noon kick-off.

We’d obviously had to set off really early to get to Gillingham in time for the game and everyone was a bit bleary-eyed. So, for the first time, I decided to play Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. It had been on for about a minute when a policeman burst into the box.

“Take that off! Take that off! Now!”

“Why?’”I asked. But I could see that he was really angry. So I did, and put the Clash on instead.

This music video from England is called The Clash – Janie Jones (live at the Belle Vue, Manchester, UK 15. November 1977).

“You can’t play that record at a football match. It’s banned. It’s on THE LIST!”

“What list?” I asked. “No-one has ever told me there was a list of records I couldn’t play!”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it!’ he shouted. “It’s obvious!”

I stood there, the Clash playing in the background, perplexed. It evidently wasn’t “obvious” to me and the fact that he needed to explain further made him even more angry. “It incites violence in the crowd!” he exclaimed.

I thought for a few seconds. “Well, officer,” I said. “I bought two copies of Anarchy in the UK in the black sleeve on EMI Records on the day that it came out in 1976. I have played it and heard it many, many times since and not once has doing so given me violent thoughts of any kind whatsoever.

“I have also been to all 92 Football League grounds and every time I have heard In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins I have had to restrain myself from committing serious acts of criminal damage!”

He didn’t get the joke and, a couple of days later, Brighton & Hove Albion FC received a formal letter from Kent Police banning me from doing the PA at Gillingham any longer.

Dick Knight phoned me up. “I’m not having that, John!” He spoke to them and the ban was rescinded, on condition that I didn’t play Anarchy in the UK again. So I didn’t.

This music video is called The Damned – Smash it Up; Old Grey Whistle Test.

I did play Smash it Up by the Damned and I Fought the Law and White Riot by the Clash in the next couple of weeks though. No policeman appeared in the box. Obviously those three weren’t on THE LIST.

This music video is called The Clash – I Fought The Law (Live at The London Lyceum Theatre – 1979).

This music video is called The Clash – White Riot.

Bahrain dictatorship censors even Saudi royal owned media

This 2011 video from the USA is called Bahrain government’s media censorship of tortured protesters.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

New Bahrain TV channel al-Arab off air after interviewing opposition grandee

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

A NEW news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince stopped broadcasting from Bahrain yesterday just hours after going on air with an interview with a prominent opposition activist.

The al-Arab television station claimed on Twitter that it halted coverage for “technical and administrative reasons” and hoped to be back on the air soon. It only went live on Sunday afternoon.

The unexpected stoppage, apparently on the order of Bahraini authorities, came just hours after the pan-Arab station surprised many viewers by featuring Bahraini opposition activist Khalil al-Marzooq among its first guests.

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority media director Yusuf Mohammed said that the channel would resume broadcasting once necessary procedures were completed but did not give further details.

Former deputy parliamentary speaker Mr Marzooq is a senior member of al-Wefaq, the country’s main Shi’ite political bloc.

He was cleared of allegations of instigating violence and having links to a protest faction that authorities blame for bombings and other attacks last year.

Mr Marzooq’s interview featured discussion on Bahrain’s decision Saturday to revoke the citizenship of 72 people, including several leading Shi’ite activists.

Bahrain has faced four years of instability following widespread anti-government protests in February 2011 that were dominated by the country’s Shi’ite majority, which seeks greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.

Al-Arab general manager Jamal Khashoggi told reporters in December that the network would “cover all views” and would not shy away from sensitive Bahraini topics.

See also here.

Al-Arab, which was removed from the airwaves after broadcasting an interview with a Bahraini opposition leader, will not return to Manama: here.

Saudi video maker arrested for filming beheading of woman

This video is about the horrible beheading of Ms Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim in Saudi Arabia. Not fit to watch for children and sensitive people.

From the International Business Times:

Saudi Arabia: Man arrested for filming officers publicly beheading woman in street

By Jack Moore

January 19, 2015 12:02 GMT

Saudi authorities have arrested a man who filmed a viral video of authorities publicly beheading a woman in the street, according to local media reports.

Saudi news outlets revealed that the man had been arrested but did not state what he would be charged with.

However, an Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that filming the incident would be classed as a cybercrime under the country’s strict form of Sharia law, based on the Quran.

The Burmese woman, Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, was hacked to death by sword in the holy city of Mecca after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers.

She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

In the video she can be heard saying in Arabic: “I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill.”

Haram. Haram. Haram. Haram. I did not kill … I do not forgive you … This is an injustice,” she continues.

The arrest of the man who documented the execution comes after the kingdom suspended the public flogging of a Saudi activist, Raif Badawi, on medical grounds and sent his case for review at the Supreme Court.

Badawi’s sentence of 1,000 lashes has been condemned by the United States and United Nations.

Politician censors Jesus picture, free speech for anti-Islam cartoons only?

Jesus, by Dirk Hardy

This is a picture of Jesus, by Dutch artist Dirk Hardy. More specifically, it is about Jesus’ ascension; important in Christian traditions, and often depicted before.

This picture by Hardy was supposed to hang in the town of Binnenmaas local authority in Brabant province. However, today the news is that mayor André Borgdorff, of the Christian Democrat party CDA, banned the picture, ‘as it might insult Christians’.

This happens in the same week where one can hear again and again three points about French weekly Charlie Hebdo and the massacre at its premises in the mainstream media, from government politicians, etc:

1. The massacre of cartoonists and other people at the Charlie Hebdo building was a terrible crime. So far, very true.

2. The free speech of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists should never be infringed by violence, etc. Also true. However, its credibility is undermined by people both in the French government and in governments allied with it, now denouncing the deaths of these twelve human beings in the media, who themselves violate free speech and other human rights.

3. It is supposedly ‘great’ that Charlie Hebdo published cartoons attacking Muslims, Islam and Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, etc. Well, it is not really ‘great’ to re-print the Muhammad cartoons of the xenophobic Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, depicting Muhammad as a bomb-throwing terrorist etc. Some people might say: Charlie Hebdo attacked not just Muslims, but also French government politicians. True. But when Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Charb depicted French minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, of African-Caribbean ancestry, as a monkey; then Charb sank to the racist level of a politician of Marine Le Pen‘s National Front, who did the same. On this blog, by Astrid Essed in the Netherlands, are more examples of racist cartoons in Charlie Hebdo (which, needless to say, can NEVER EVER be an excuse for the horrible killing of Charlie Hebdo people).

Back to Dirk Hardy’s Jesus picture. In this week, when all media are full about Charlie Hebdo cartoons, free speech, etc.: in this week that Jesus picture is banned.

Hardy’s picture is not a cartoon. Contrary to a Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting Muhammad as a bomb-throwing terrorist, it is not a personal attack on a religious figure revered by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. In Christianity there is no rule against depicting Jesus, similar to rules against depicting Muhammad in most Muslim tendencies. Yet, the Jesus picture is banned. While the Muhammad cartoons are praised.

Let us look at the ‘Danish cartoon controversy’ in 2005-2006. That was started by the biggest corporate newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten. Jyllands-Posten had a tradition of supporting Mussolini since the 1920s and Hitler since the 1930s. It had refused to publish cartoons of Jesus Christ, offered to them by cartoonists; and had campaigned not for free speech, but for banning such cartoons in media which it did not control itself (the ‘worst’ one of these Danish Jesus cartoons showed him having an erection. According to Christian dogma, Jesus Christ is both fully divine and fully human. As fully human beings of the male sex usually have erections, that cartoon cannot be said to be really anti-Christian. At least certainly not to the same extent that the cartoons commissioned by Jyllands-Posten, depicting the prophet of Islam Muhammad as connected to bomb throwing terrorism, can be said to be anti-Muslim).

Contrary to the Danish Jesus cartoons, made by cartoonists on their own initiative, Jyllands-Posten sent messages to Danish cartoonists urging them to draw cartoons for them on Muhammad; implying that if they would not do so, it would name and shame them as cowards.

And now, from Denmark in 2006 to the Netherlands in 2015. Dirk Hardy’s depiction of Jesus is even less controversial than the Danish Jesus cartoons; let alone the Danish Muhammad cartoons. Yet, the Jesus picture is banned. While the Muhammad cartoons are praised. Double standards, anyone?