Calm debate on environment needed after charges withdrawn against photographer

first_img Chile: RSF calls for exemplary investigation into Chilean photographer’s murder RSF_en News July 6, 2020 Find out more News November 11, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Reporters Without Borders welcomes the withdrawal of charges against photographer Marcela Rodríguez, a contributor to the Mapuexpress website, when she appeared before a court in the southern city of Temuco on 22 June. The public prosecutor decided it was not in the public interest to prosecute her.Rodríguez, 29, had been facing a possible 300-day jail sentence on a public disorder charge, plus a fine for refusing to admit her guilt, ever since she and 10 other people were arrested during a 13 May demonstration in Temuco against the “HydroAysen” hydro-electric project. She had been covering the protest.Just two days before Rodríguez’s court appearance, an appeal court in the southen city of Puerto Montt ordered the suspension of the very controversial project, involving the construction of five 2,750-megawatt power stations.“Do these two court decisions, coming just two days apart, mark a move towards a calmer debate on environmental issues within Chilean society?” Reporters Without Borders asked. “We hope that that the withdrawal of the charges against Rodríguez means that an issue of major public interest is no longer off limits.”The press freedom organization added: “It was for the sake of this principle and the legitimate right to report news and information that Reporters Without Borders acted as Rodríguez’s guarantor and supported an appeal that was submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on 21 June, the eve of the withdrawal of the charges.”______________17.05.11 – Press freedom cases highlight environmental coverage tabooPhotographer Marcela Rodríguez’s arrest while covering a protest against a major hydroelectric project on 13 May and a government agency’s refusal to fund distribution of filmmaker Elena Varela’s documentary about the Mapuche people’s land dispute with the authorities have revived concern about a tendency to suppress coverage of environmental issues in Chile.A contributor to the Mapuexpress website, Rodríguez, 29, was arrested when police used force to disperse demonstrators within five minutes of their starting to stage a protest in the southern city of Temuco against plans to build five hydro-electric dams in Patagonia. The so-called Hydroaysén project’s imminent approval has sparked a massive wave of protests in Chile.The staff of Mapuexpress told Reporters Without Borders that Rodríguez was mistreated by the police. According to Radio Bío Bío, she and 10 other people are due to appear in court on 22 June on charges of public disorder. Prosecutors want each of them sentenced to 300 days in prison, plus a fine if they refuse to admit their responsibility.“We hope that, at the trial, the police will explain their behaviour during Marcela Rodríguez’s arrest and their violation of the constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of assembly and information,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Thirty thousand people demonstrated in Santiago. Why was a much smaller demonstration – and its coverage – so quickly suppressed in Temuco? “The dispute over the Hydraysén project compounds the already serious land conflict between the authorities and the Mapuche indigenous communities in the south. Rodríguez’s fate takes on an additional importance as her case has coincided with a disturbing new development in the case of documentary filmmaker Elena Varela.”Varela was arrested on a criminal association charge in 2008 while shooting her documentary “Newen Mapuche” about the Mapuche people in the southern region of Araucania and their disputes with the government. It was not until 22 April 2010 that she was finally acquitted. The many questionable aspects of the case against Varela suggested that it was an attempt to censor her film. Two foreign documentary film crews that came to cover the issue of the Mapuche in Araucania were deported from Chile at around the same time.Varela’s film is ready for distribution and has already begun being screened in festivals in Chile and other countries. But CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción), a state agency that promotes production, told Varela in a 13 April letter that it was refusing her request for assistance with the film’s national and international distribution on the grounds that it “would harm the country’s image.”“This is clearly a case of political censorship,” the Association of Chilean Documentary Makers (ADOC) said in a 12 May letter to CORFO executive vice-president Hernán Cheyre and culture minister Luciano Cruz-Coke. Varela had previously filed an appeal with the culture ministry, which did not keep its promise to reply by 11 May.“Our assessment of this case is similar to that of ADOC’s filmmakers.” Reporters Without Borders said. “The reason given by CORFO for refusing to help distribute ‘Newen Mapuche’ even seems to confirm that Varela was arrested in 2008 for making a film about a subject the government would rather forget. It is also absurd, inasmuch as screenings have already begun.“The refusal to support this film confirms the continuing existence of a taboo in Chile that it is time to end. Varela’s documentary raises an issue of real public interest both nationally and internationally. For the sake of a public debate and for the sake of freedom of expression and information, ‘Newen Mapuche’ should receive normal distribution.”Also read the Reporters Without Borders report “Deforestation and pollution, high-risk subjects”. Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world to go furthercenter_img June 24, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Calm debate on environment needed after charges withdrawn against photographer ChileAmericas Organisation ChileAmericas News November 26, 2019 Find out more News Follow the news on Chile Receive email alertslast_img read more

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New Zealand could delay election after virus return

first_imgIn a statement, the legislature said that step “will no longer be held today” but could be done any time before Oct. 13, potentially pushing the election out by months.Health officials were also locking down aged care homes across the country because they could act as transmission hotspots.”I realize how incredibly difficult this will be for those who have loved ones in these facilities, but it’s the strongest way we can protect and look after them,” Ardern said.Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield acknowledged the heartbreak of many Kiwis as they come to terms with the return of a virus many thought had been defeated.”I know the virus re-remerging in our community has caused alarm and the unknown is scary,” he said. “[But] we’ve been here before, we can get through it if we work together.”New Zealand had been held up by the World Health Organization as an example of how to contain the disease after recording only 22 deaths in a population of five million, and halting community transmission for more than three months.Ardern described the new cases as “unsettling” but said all efforts were being made to retrace the steps of the Auckland family of four who contracted it from an unknown source.Her center-left Labor Party has been riding high in opinion polls, largely on the back of its success containing the virus through a strict seven-week lockdown earlier this year.With campaigning temporarily halted by the latest virus scare, the conservative National Party said it was open to a delay if circumstances warranted.”It’s going to be very difficult to have an election in mid-September when we are now mid-August. It is very little time,” National leader Judith Collins told TV3.The initial lockdown is only for three days but University of Otago epidemiologist Amanda Kvalsvig said it could last much longer if the source of the infection was not found swiftly.”The aim is to return to alert level one [New Zealand’s lowest] and regain elimination status — but that won’t happen overnight,” she said.”Even after we stop seeing new cases it’ll take time and extensive testing to be sure the virus is once more under control.”The outbreak has already eroded some of the everyday freedoms New Zealanders had enjoyed, with Ardern urging Aucklanders to wear masks and restricting gatherings in the city to a maximum of 10 people.The final match of Super Rugby Aotearoa — which had been set to take place in front of a sold-out 43,000 crowd at Eden Park on Sunday — is also in doubt.The Auckland Blues said its players had been sent home to await advice on whether they can host the weekend’s blockbuster match against newly-crowned champions, the Canterbury Crusaders.Topics : Panic buying returned to supermarkets, huge queues formed at COVID-19 testing stations and face-masked police manned roadblocks on major roads to enforce the new measures. Ardern warned the Sept. 19 election may be have to be delayed if the outbreak could not be contained.”We’re seeking advice from the Electoral Commission, just so that we make sure we have all options open to us,” she said. “No decisions yet, as you can imagine, have been made.”New Zealand’s parliament had been due to be dissolved Wednesday, to allow the election to go ahead. New Zealand’s looming general election could be delayed, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Wednesday, as the shock re-emergence of the coronavirus sent the country’s largest city into lockdown and forced nursing homes nationwide to shut their doors.Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents whose positive tests on Tuesday ended the country’s envied run of 102 days without community transmission.A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland — a city of 1.5 million people — went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday, ending weeks of near normality, when thousands had flocked to restaurants and filled rugby stadiums.last_img read more

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One change to Tipp side for clash with Limerick

first_imgDonnagh Leahy comes in for the suspended Robbie Kiely after he received a straight red card last weekend against Armagh. With Daragh Dwyer taking Leahy’s place among the replacements. Evan Comerford has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the Round 1 game. With Alan Campbell, captain Paddy Codd and Andrew Morrisey all making up the full back line. The half backs are comprised of Seamus Kennedy, Peter Acheson and Donnagh Leahy. While Colin O’Riordain and Stephen O’Brien make up the midfield partnerships. The half forwards will be George Hannigan, Barry Grogan and Brian Fox, with Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlivan and Ian Fahey making up the full forward line. Tipperary senior football selector Tommy Twomey says his side face a tough home game in Sunday’s Round 2 National League match-up.Click the link for the Tipp selector’s comments:  https://soundcloud.com/tippfmradio/tommy-twomey-speaks-to-tipp-fm-sport-ahead-of-sundays-round-2-match-up-against-limerickAfter defeat to Armagh last weekend, the Tipp side need to ensure victory in their four home ties with the first of those this weekend when they take on Limerick in Templetuohy. Tipp’s Munster rivals have momentum after their first round win over Sligo and Tommy Twomey says every game is now a battle for two points.The pitch at Semple Stadium was last night deemed unplayable with the Division 3 clash now moved to Templetouhy and throw-in will be at 2 o’clock. Tipp FM’s coverage of Sunday’s match is brought to you in association with O Connell’s Centra Templemore.last_img read more

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