Turkish government fights WordPress and Kurds, not ISIS


This video from the USA says about itself:

16 November 2014

Jon Stewart: Turkey: Erdogan helps ISIS at Kobane.

From the Peace in Kurdistan campaign in Britain:

Kurdish message of peace stifled by Turkish censorship

Monday 10th August 2015

The Peace in Kurdistan campaign explains how President Erdogan is more interested in trampling the Kurds than fighting Isis

DAYS ago, the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign’s website was blocked to users in Turkey in the latest government crackdown on Kurdish and pro-Kurdish news and media.

As part of a broad attack on internet freedom, 77 million websites hosted by WordPress.com were temporarily blocked under Turkey’s Internet Law 5651. After WordPress challenged the ban, the Turkish government lifted restrictions on the majority of sites, leaving just five — which included peaceinkurdistancampaign.com and four other pro-Kurdish sites — inaccessible inside Turkey. WordPress’s appeal to the courts regarding our site and the others is still pending.

The move came as the Turkish air force’s heavy bombardment of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) sites in northern Iraq and Rojava, the first such strike since 2011, threatened to put a definitive end to the more than two-year peace process.

Using their participation in the US-led anti-Islamic State (Isis) campaign as cover, the Turkish government has taken the opportunity to wage war not against Isis at all, but against the Kurdish movement, human rights defenders, activists and the peace process by breaking the 10th ceasefire called by the PKK in the last 15 years.

What is especially galling for the Kurds is that this new clampdown on freedom of expression, combined with the renewed offensive against the PKK, comes in the wake of the Suruc massacre of young Kurds who were preparing to take part in a voluntary mission to aid the people of Kobane — the city that became a symbol of Kurdish resistance to Isis.

The massacre, carried out by an Isis-inspired suicide bomber, left 33 youths dead and hundreds more badly injured. The Kurds immediately blamed Turkey because of its complicity in aiding Isis — assistance which has been well documented.

However, Turkey’s AKP government has quite cynically used the outburst of popular anger at the massacre as a pretext for launching its attacks on the Kurdish movement, both within the country and across the border, by systematic bombing of PKK camps in Iraq. Hundreds have since been killed and maimed by indiscriminate bombing, including many civilians, according to reports.

At the same time, the Turkish authorities, steered by an increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have begun attempts to lift political immunity from pro-Kurdish HDP parliamentarians, which will pave the way for their prosecution and possible disqualification from standing for re-election in the event of the president calling a snap general election. This is likely if coalition negotiations fail.

The latest wave of censorship included a temporary ban on Twitter, a platform used by nearly a third of the country’s population. In total 96 sites have been blocked on the grounds they are publishing “terrorist” propaganda. The vast majority of these were pro-Kurdish or leftist political sites.

This duplicity was mirrored in police raids and air strikes that took place the same week, ostensibly part of Turkey’s fight against Isis. Of the 1,050 arrests that took place across Turkey in nationwide “anti-terrorism operations” last week, 137 were alleged Isis sympathisers while 847 were Kurdish activists suspected of links to the PKK. Similarly, on the day the supposed anti-Isis air strikes began, just one sortie was sent to attack Isis targets, while 75 F-16s and F-4E 2020s dropped around 300 smart bombs onto 400 PKK targets in just two days.

For those us familiar with Turkey’s repressive, vague and draconian anti-terrorism legislation, these acts come as little surprise. Over the years we have campaigned for journalists imprisoned for speaking in support of Kurdish rights and for the reinstatement of media outlets after they were repeatedly banned or taken off the air. One such campaign was for the Kurdish-language broadcaster Roj TV, which, although based in Denmark, was forced from the air after the Turkish government agreed to support former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s appointment as Nato secretary-general.

We are well aware that we too are working under the suspicious gaze of an integrated surveillance system with global reach. Our peaceful activities that advocate for the inviolable rights of Kurdish people and a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict are still seen as a threat.

For more information see peaceinkurdistancampaign.com.

Under the guise of fighting ISIS, Turkey’s president is re-igniting a bloody war with the Kurds for his own political purposes: here.

German government attacks bloggers exposing Internet censorship as ‘traitors’


This video says about itself:

German spy leaks website being investigated

30 July 2015

Germany’s federal prosecutors are investigating whether a website has committed treason.

Netzpolitik.org reported on plans to expand the country’s domestic surveillance of online communication earlier in the year.

The site says it has received a letter from prosecutors announcing the probe against two of its journalists and an unidentified source.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

German prosecutor investigates ‘treason’ by journalists

Today, 19:36

The German Public Prosecution Service is investigating two journalists for possible treason. The two have published on their blog excerpts from secret documents of the Stasi.

Stasi? Well, Google Translate translated as ‘Stasi’ here. However, that was the name of the secret service of the late German Democratic Republic, disbanded in 1990. While the NOS means one of the present secret services of the German Federal Republic, the Verfassungsschutz. Different name? Yes. Different practice? Not always so sure.

The investigation should find out whether the publications in the blog Netzpolitik.org also revealed actual state secrets. In two articles, which were published in February and April, they described plans to expand the surveillance of the Internet. The articles are based on leaked documents.

The investigation focuses on editor Mark Beckedahl, editor Andre Meister and the sources for the articles. Journalists call it an intimidation attempt and an attack on press freedom. “It’s quite long ago that Germany acted against journalists and their sources like this.”

Germany halts treason inquiry into journalists after protests. ‘For the good of media freedom’, Germany’s prosecutor general suspends investigation into reporters who said state planned to boost surveillance: here.

PROSECUTORS dropped their treason investigation of two journalists yesterday, defusing a free-speech crisis at the heart of the German government. Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, who had reported on secret plans to expand online surveillance in Germany, were notified via website Netzpolitik.org in July by its founder that they were under investigation, prompting widespread criticism from free-speech advocates: here.

Turkish government censors truth on ISIS massacre in Suruç


Demonstration in Suruç, Turkey, after Monday's massacre. Photo: EPA

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today, 11:45:

Turkey has blocked access to Twitter. Thus, the authorities want to prevent sharing of photos and videos of the attack in the border town Suruç. Turks also have limited access to Facebook.

Earlier today, a judge ruled that websites and social media are not allowed to display these images. Once all the videos and photos would be removed, the blockade could be lifted.

On Twitter there were also calls to protest against the government. People who posted those messages thought that the government has done too little to prevent the bombing.

The attack in Suruç, near the Syrian border, was on the day before yesterday. 32 people died. There were at least 100 people wounded.

Suruç Bomber Was Known To Turkish Security Services: here.

Facebook censors 150-year-old Courbet painting


This is a French TV video, about Facebook censoring Gustave Courbet‘s painting L’origine du monde in 2011.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands, today:

In France, a teacher and Facebook argue today about a 149 year old painting. The man posted in 2011 a picture of L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) by Gustave Courbet on his Facebook page, and the social media corporation deleted his account.

The painting shows the naked lower body of a woman lying on a bed, pudendal towards the viewer. An Ottoman ambassador in Paris is said to have commissioned Courbet’s painting for his personal erotica collection in 1866.

Facebook considers the work of art to be offensive. The teacher, in his fifties, an art lover and a father of three, thinks that is absurd. The judge will as of today consider whether it is pornography or art.

Scandalize

For Facebook, there is even more at stake. In its rules, it says that in case of litigation US law prevails. Against that, the French teacher has already been objected successfully . The French court deems itself competent to consider the case.

Facebook did not agree with that and appealed. “It will be a long legal battle,” says correspondent Ron Linker.

The original of the painting which measures 50 by 50 centimeters hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. “When you walk towards the painting, there is an accompanying text, in which the museum warns that this painting does not cease to shock” says Linker. “That’s one and a half a century later still the case, perhaps exactly what the artist wanted.”

“Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ scandalized nearly everyone when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon, its nude subject confronting the viewer with an unflinching gaze and brazen sexuality. Francisco Goya’s Nude Maja, created over half of a century earlier, was similarly shocking, both because of the model’s visible pubic hair and palpable lack of shame. A third equally heretical and pivotal nude painting, however, is often erased from the conversation: American artist Romaine Brooks’ 1910 ‘White Azaleas.'” (Read more here)

“As art lovers know all too well, the art history canon is also subjected to censorship on social media, with boobies crafted by the greatest minds in art history deemed overly scandalous for Facebook, even hundreds of years after their creation. So, we’ve decided to tidy up these naughty archives, replacing the womanly nipples of yore with their masculine (and totally, obviously unobjectionable) counterparts.” (Read more here)

Journalist Laurie Penny banned from Facebook for using pseudonym: here.

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.

A draft constitution drawn up by Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), was released to the media last month. It confirms that the US-backed regime, which seized power in a coup in May 2014, intends to stay in control indefinitely, despite proposing to hold elections next year: here.

Thai environmentalists pay for activism with their lives: here.