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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘journalist’

Japanese Journalist Held Captive in Syria by Unnamed Terror Group

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

A Japanese journalist is being held captive by in Syria, according to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who did not name the group holding Yasuda Jumpei. Nor did he confirm the report of the abduction, which allegedly occurred in July.

“We are doing our best… and making full use of various intelligence networks,” he said, but gave no details.

Information about the capture of the journalist was received from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, Reuters reported. RSF urged Japan to do all it can to save Yasuda, who was a friend and colleague of Japanese war correspondent Kenjo Goto, another journalist who was captured and executed late last year by the Da’esh (ISIS) terror group.

Yasuda himself had been previously abducted and held hostage by an armed group in 2004 while traveling near a combat zone in Iraq. He disappeared in July shortly after crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.

The organization said “an armed group” has been holding Yasuda hostage after kidnapping him shortly after entered Syria in an area controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front).

The terrorist organization is demanding a ransom and has begun a countdown for payment. The group is threatening to execute the journalist or to sell him to another group if no ransom is paid.

Earlier this year, the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization released a video documenting the beheading by the group of journalist Kenji Goto and his friend, a Japanese contractor.

Iran Sentences US-Iranian Washington Post Journalist to Prison as ‘Spy’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was sentenced to an unspecified prison term by the Iranian judiciary, according to a report broadcast Sunday by Iranian state television.

Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen raised in Marin County, California, had traveled to the country with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two photojournalists. He was detained in Iran with them all on July 22, 2014.

All were released except the reporter, who was tried and convicted on charges of espionage, and other undisclosed charges as well. Iran does not recognize dual nationality status and labeled Rezaian an “American spy.”

Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl vigorously denied the accusations: “We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time,” he said in a statement. “Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 488 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”

Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan, told The Associated Press that she had not even been informed of the verdict, let alone details of the sentence. “I have no information about details of the verdict,” she said. “We were expecting the verdict some three months ago.”

The case was tried in hearings at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where cases are heard on national security.

The journalist was incarcerated and tried on the charges – and convicted – even as the United States and other world powers negotiated and closed a deal with Iran for a 10-year nuclear technology limitations agreement in exchange for international sanctions relief.

At the end, United States negotiators abandoned its citizens who remained trapped in Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the negotiations on the Iranian deal which was vehemently opposed by Israel, is now in the region for a three-day visit with top government officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as meetings in Ramallah and Abu Dhabi.

Iran Convicts US Journalist Jason Rezaiain

Monday, October 12th, 2015

An Iranian court has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaiain for espionage, the regime’s ISNA news agency reported, but details of the verdict were not released.

Rezaiain has 20 days to appeal the verdict, but that is irrelevant in the Islamic Republic’s system, where everything is controlled and manipulated by the regime leaders.

He was arrested in July 2014 along with his wife, who later was released. The journalist allegedly turned over confidential information to President Barack Obama.

Washington Post’s foreign editor Douglas Jehl hit the nail on the head, telling Reuters:

It’s increasingly clear that the final decision about how Jason’s case will be handled will be made by political authorities, not by judicial ones.

Iranian officials have dropped hints that the journalist could be released, possibly along with other American prisoners, in exchange for Iranian prisoners being held in the United States.

The two most prominent American prisoners being held in Iran are Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant. A third American is former FBI agent and contractor for the CIA Robert Levinson, who was arrested in 2007. It is not known if he is alive.

Iran will negotiate a prisoner swap the same way it dealt with the Obama administration and other Western powers on the nuclear agreement, which still has not been finalized by Tehran.

It will release information on the Razaiain’s verdict drop by drop, if at all, and might even try to exploit his incarceration for more concessions on the nuclear deal before concluding a prisoner swap.

Kerry Skips over Israel in Middle East Trip

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When President Barack Obama says Israel his back, does he mean he is turning his back?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is conveniently skipping over America’s closest ally this week during a trip that will take him to neighboring Egypt as well as Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The reason or skipping over Israel is obvious: The Obama administration’s single-minded objective right now is to make sure Congress does not reject “ObamaDeal” with a veto-proof majority.

President Obama’s declaration that he wants an “honest discussion” on the controversial agreement with Iran has its limits. After Kerry was told by Republican senators last week that he was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Iran, he does not want to walk into lion’s den.

But the State Dept., of course, has a different version of why Kerry is not stopping over Israel.

Spokesman John Kirby explained to nosy reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing:

It’s just not part of the parameters for this trip. It’s not – it wasn’t a deliberate decision not to go. There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see. It’s literally – it’s an around-the-world trip.

He has been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu many, many times over the last several weeks in terms of discussing the deal and the parameters of it. So it’s not as if we aren’t in constant communication with Israeli counterparts about this.

The last call that I see to the Prime Minister took place on Thursday the 16th of July.

A journalist pointed out that was more than week ago, bur Kirby maintained, “Yeah, but that’s not that long ago.”

“Constant communication” is subjective.

The truth is that Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not have much to talk about. They can argue until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to get anyone anywhere, even though it would be a boon for the media.

Kerry may not find Egypt much friendlier, but at least he can count on Cairo not enabling the freedom of expression and speech that he doesn’t like in Israel, unless it is in his favor.

He will be in Cairo on Sunday for a session of the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, a forum that “reaffirms the United States’ longstanding and enduring partnership with Egypt,” in the words of the State Dept.

That is the same phrase the United States uses for all of its wonderful friends, such as Israel.

On Monday, Kerry will meet with Gulf States officials in Doha, where Saudi Arabia will take the lead to lecture him in private what Netanyahu says in public: The deal with Iran is suicidal, and the war on the Islamic State (ISIS) needs to be more aggressive.

‘Press Freedom’ Shows US-Backed Egyptian Regime is ‘Mubarak Number 3’

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

A New York-based group of journalists say there is an “unprecedented threat” to journalists in Egypt, where Obama backs the current regime.

The threat to journalists under Egypt’s regime of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi is “unprecedented,” the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), warned Thursday.

President Barack Obama has backed the Al-Sisi regime after backing, and then turning his back, on Hosni Mubarak and then Mohammed Morsi of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood party.

In a report filed by The Associated Press, the committee of journalists said that Egypt has imprisoned 18 news reporters , mostly for accusations that they are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“CPJ spoke to high-level officials, including the prosecutor-general and the minister of transitional justice, who denied that Egypt was holding any journalists in jail in relation to their work,” the group said. “But CPJ research shows that the government of el-Sisi … has used the pretext of national security to crack down on human rights, including press freedom.

One case cited is that of Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the violent dispersal of a pro-Morsi protest where Al-Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ‘s police and army killed hundreds of demonstrators.

The journalist still is in prison, but no charges have been filed.

Arab-American Radio Host Bites the Dust with Lie on ‘Israeli’ Sanders

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Arab-American radio host Diane Rehm falsely accused Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of being a dual Israeli-American citizen and later apologized.

Sanders expressed irritation at the accusation, which he immediately denied on air, but the echoes of anti-Semitism remain in the air.

Rehm hosts her show on WAMU, affiliated with the NPR network. Sanders, who has visited Israel, is Jewish but mostly in name. The JewishPress.com pointed out here in April, he has no use for organized religion and cites Pope Francis as his guide.

Thank God he is not an Israeli.

But Rehm, an award-winning journalist, thought otherwise, based on nothing more than a Facebook post by Vittorio Arrigoni, who was an Italian activist and worked with the fiercely anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

He held a Gaza passport given to him by Hamas’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and acted as human shield for Gaza “fishermen,” some of whom fish for fish and some of whom shoot to kill Jews.

His Facebook posted of American leaders with Israeli-American citizenship falsely included Sanders. She did not quote Arrigoni for other posts, such as:

Zionism is an abominable, racist and colonial movement. Like all colonial and apartheid systems, it’s in the interest of all that it be swept away. My hope is to see it replaced, without any bloodshed, with a democratic, secular and lay state – for example on the borders of historic Palestine – and where Palestinians and Israelis could live under equal rights of citizenship without ethnic and religious discrimination.

He once described four Hamas tunnel terrorists as “martyrs.”

Gaza Salafists thanked him for his anti-Zionism by kidnapping and killing him in 2011.

Rehm was born in the United States. Her father, a Christian, immigrated to the United States from Anatolia. She has said that her family members were “Arabs,” and she raised her children as Christian Arabs.

Her question to Sanders, based on a Facebook post, cannot be ignored as anything but a reflection of an anti-Zionist agenda.

She said to Sanders on her show Wednesday:

Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel.

Sanders immediately responded:

Well, no I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I’m an American. I don’t know where that question came from. I am an American citizen, and I have visited Israel on a couple of occasions. No, I’m an American citizen, period.

Rehm:

 I understand from a list we have gotten that you were on that list.

Sanders:

 No.

Rehm:

Forgive me if that is—

Sanders:

That’s some of the nonsense that goes on in the internet. But that is absolutely not true.

Rehm:

Interesting. Are there members of Congress who do have dual citizenship or is that part of the fable?

Sanders said he does not know and went back to express his having been insulted by Rehm:

You know, my dad came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket. He loved this country. I am, you know, I got offended a little bit by that comment, and I know it’s been on the internet. I am obviously an American citizen and I do not have any dual citizenship.

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) stated after Rehm’s goof:

 It is appalling that in today’s age, a longtime Jewish elected official would face implications that he splits his loyalty between the United States and Israel for no reason other than his religion.

This anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty has persisted for decades, particularly about American Jews in public service.

Rehm later issued an apology in a statement:

On today’s show I made a mistake. Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact. He corrected me, saying he did not know where the question came from. I apologized immediately.

ISIS Threatens Twitter CEO & Staff, Executes Iraqi Journalist

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week threatened to murder Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and his staff.

The reason?

The social media site shut down terrorists’ accounts for violating the site’s terms of service. Promoting terrorism, and discussions of related criminal activity is a violation of Twitter’s terms of services. When the site shut down accounts that didn’t observe the rules, terrorists threatened to “assassinate” the Twitter staff, Costolo told Vanity Fair.

“It’s against the law in many of the countries in which we operate for them to use it to promote their organization,” Costolo said. “And when we do find those accounts we shut them down. We shut them down quite actively.”

ISIS has used Twitter before. Fighters have posted selfies on the site for various purposes — including matrimonial! — but the group also tweeted a murderous threat against the U.S. in August, taunting, “We are in your cities.”

Meanwhile, Iraqi journalist Ra’ad al-Azzawi was murdered by ISIS on Saturday, according to colleagues who circulated the news on Twitter, including Arab affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh.

“This is tragic. Thoughts are with Mr. Al-Azzawi, his family and friends,” tweeted one person. “Being a ‘journalist’ can be seen as being a spy in shariah (sic), so you can’t blame ISIS without understanding #Islam” tweeted another.

Azzawi, a father of three, worked as an Iraqi news cameraman for the local news channel Sama Salaheddin. He was threatened by ISIS after he refused to work for the jihadist organization, and was detained by the group on September 7.

The Iraqi journalist and his brother, as well as two other people were publicly executed in the village of Samra, east of Tikrit, Aljazeera reported. A total of at least 16 victims were executed in northern Iraq on Saturday.

U.S. humanitarian worker Peter Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity and became Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is now being held by ISIS and is being threatened with execution next.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-threatens-twitter-ceo-staff-executes-iraqi-journalist/2014/10/12/

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