Sweden’s “silent diplomacy” fails to induce Eritrea to free journalist

first_img EritreaAfrica Imprisoned News Reports Prisoner of Conscience Since 2001 – Why has Sweden not managed to bring Dawit Isaak home? RSF urges Swedish judicial authorities to reverse Dawit Isaak decision April 14, 2021 Find out more A.Behrane interviewed by Märta Myrstener of the Swedish radio about Dawit Isaak (portrait on the desk) Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (RSF) endorses an appeal by a friend and former colleague of imprisoned Swedish and Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak to the Swedish authorities to do more to obtain the release of Isaak, who has been detained in Eritrea since 2001. EritreaAfrica Imprisoned May 2, 2019 Sweden’s “silent diplomacy” fails to induce Eritrea to free journalist Follow the news on Eritrea Receive email alerts to go further News Organisation RSF_en The appeal has been issued by Eritrean journalist Aaron Behrane, who is visiting Sweden for the first time at the initiative of RSF’s Swedish section. Behrane was the co-founder of Setit, the newspaper that Isaak was working for at the time of his arrest.Setit had just published a call by local politicians for a transition to democracy when Isaak was arrested along with ten other journalists in Eritrea in 2001. According to the information obtained by RSF, at least seven of those journalists have died in detention as a result of the appalling conditions in which they were held. Despite RSF’s repeated appeals, the Eritrean authorities have not provided any evidence that Isaak is still alive.In a letter to Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström, Behrane condemns the lack of transparency surrounding the efforts undertaken by the Swedish authorities to obtain his colleague’s release and describes their attitude as one of “indifference” or even “neglect.” The government refers to its efforts in very general terms and confines them to the use of a “silent diplomacy.”“The lack of results from the diplomatic dealings undertaken by Sweden in an attempt to obtain the release of one of its citizens clearly shows that ‘silent diplomacy’ has failed and it is therefore legitimate to question this strategy,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “As this Swedish journalist has languished in the Eritrean regime’s jails, in appalling conditions and without access to his family or to a lawyer, for nearly two decades, Sweden must now, as a matter of urgency, show that it deserves its reputation as a staunch defender of human rights by committing itself to more determined and concrete action to obtain his release.”In 2009 and 2015, when allocations of 100 million euros and 200 million euros in aid were made available to Eritrea under the European Development Fund, Sweden failed to use the opportunity to make this assistance conditional on Isaak’s release.After consulting with the government, the Swedish prosecutor general refrained twice ­– in 2015 and 2015 – from opening an investigation into Eritrea’s “crimes against humanity” in order not to undermine the government’s diplomacy.Civil society initiatives, including a 2016 appeal by RSF’s Swedish section for a parliamentary evaluation of the government’s actions, have yet to receive a favourable response, despite the motion that a number of parliamentarians presented in the spring of 2018.Eritrea is ranked 178th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Related documents A.Berhane’s letter to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.PDF – 35.58 KB Swedish prosecutors again refuse to investigate Dawit Isaak case January 13, 2021 Find out more News October 27, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

John Bell Confirms Widespread Panic’s Decision To Stop Extensively Touring

first_imgAfter a telling interview with Widespread Panic keyboardist JoJo Hermann, news quickly spread that the group was planning to greatly reduce their performance schedule after this year. Hermann said, “We’re really wearing it out this year because we’re basically going to call it touring-wise after this year; we’re not going to tour anymore.” With WSP fans wanting to know more, guitarist John Bell spoke about the news to the Charleston Post and Courier. He said, “The plan now is just to dial it down a little bit in the future. Not do as many shows, but still be out there from year to year.” He said that the group wanted “a little breathing room to enjoy our families and pursue any other non-Panic things that any of us feel drawn to.”The article says that the band will still play “the big blowouts at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, or Jazz Fest in New Orleans, for instance.” The remainder of the interview spoke about the band’s love for their fanbase, as well as their newest member, Duane Trucks. “We’re having a great time with Duane. He’s young, but he’s extremely professional and knowledgeable,” said Bell. He also declined to comment on Todd Nance’s retirement from the band, calling it “private business.”We wish Panic all the best on their journey ahead.last_img read more

Lending Perspectives: COVID-19 next wave

first_img continue reading » As I write this, it’s been about two months since the sports world seemingly set the precedent for the U.S. economy by shutting down operations, setting the stage for an episode that has been a blur for virtually everyone. As essential businesses, credit unions and banks have been right in the middle of all of the activity.People wanted cash. They needed emergency loans. They needed payment deferments and modifications. In a matter of 72 hours, I realized the economic impact of COVID-19 was not going to be anything like the financial crisis and the Great Recession. This was much more severe and faster than 2008-2009; anything we thought we could leverage from that time period was pretty much worthless.Where are we headed? I think today’s economic and social realities make long-range planning a difficult thing to do. Certainly lenders and senior management teams have to be evaluating segments of the economy that will suffer from displacement and disruption in the long run. Yet there is so much to do in the short term that you need to take turns thinking and planning long term while acting and executing short term. So what are the short-term decisions impacting credit union lending? ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Coleman: Keane to be captain if fit

first_imgSeamus Coleman would happily hand the captain’s armband back to Robbie Keane for Ireland’s final World Cup qualifier. He said: “I’d say Robbie might be back, hopefully. We need our best players back, and obviously John O’Shea is back as well. “I enjoyed tonight, but if we can get the best players back, I will be more than happy to give it back.” Coleman only learned of his elevation on the afternoon of the game, and he admitted interim boss Noel King’s decision took the edge off his advancing age. The former Sligo Rovers defender said: “It was a very good birthday present. It makes the 25 not so bad – I don’t like being 25, I’m pushing on a bit. “It was a good present. Noel just called me aside and asked me how I would feel about it, and obviously I was delighted. “Obviously it’s disappointing, the result, and everyone in there is disappointed that we were beaten, but to captain your country is something I will always have and it’s a very proud moment for me.” That Coleman was unable to cap his big night with a positive result was not unexpected as the runaway Group C leaders eventually wore Ireland down, although they had to wait until injury time for Mesut Ozil to ease them clear with the visitors threatening on several occasions to drag themselves back into the game. However, there was at least no repeat of the humiliation the Irish suffered on their own pitch in October last year when Germany left Dublin having torn them apart in a 6-1 romp. Press Association The 33-year-old LA Galaxy striker missed Friday night’s 3-0 defeat by Germany in Cologne with an ankle injury, but is battling to be fit for Tuesday night’s visit of Kazakhstan to the Aviva Stadium as a difficult campaign draws to a close. Everton full-back Coleman was asked to lead the team out at the Rhein Energie Stadium on his 25th birthday, and although he was thrilled at the honour, he would welcome Keane’s return along with those of Richard Dunne and John O’Shea, who were suspended for the Germany game. Coleman said: “It was important not to come away and let the same thing happen. I know it was a 3-0 scoreline and our keeper was brilliant, but I thought we played better.” While Germany start preparations for their trip to Brazil, Ireland will continue the process of recruiting a replacement for sacked manager Giovanni Trapattoni and turn their thoughts towards the next qualifying campaign for Euro 2016. In the meantime, they will complete their fixtures against Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening hoping to end a run of three successive defeats. Coleman said: “We want to finish on a win. As players playing for your country, you want to win as many games as you can, but for Noel as well. “He’s come in for two games and it would be nice to get a victory for him. “Hopefully on Tuesday night, we can show the other side of our game, how good we are on the ball at times, when we are at home to Kazakhstan.” last_img read more

`Sons of Champions’ gaining momentum

first_img–Seon BristolTHE BrisO Promotion ‘Sons of Champions’ boxing card scheduled for December 26th in Guyana has gained momentum, with head of the organization, Seon Bristol, disclosing that three former boxers have confirmed that they will be sponsoring fighters for the event.“We are moving apace with this card and I am excited with the feedback that I am having. We have already had three former champions who confirmed that they are on board and willBrisO promotion head, Seon Bristolbe sponsoring a young and upcoming boxer for this card,” Bristol said from New York during a telephone interview.“I have indicated that the sponsorship should be in place at least two months before the competition so that the participating boxers can properly prepare. A raffle will also be held in the New York area to assist in making the event a success,” he informed.Bristol himself will be loosening up his purse strings to support Caribbean Super Heavyweight champion, Jason `AK 47’ Barker. “Mr. AK 47 is a national treasure and should be treated that way. BrisO Promotions would be taking care of him leading up to the Sons of Champions card.”Earlier in the year Bristol returned to Guyana to hold discussions with the executives of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) relating to the staging of the card.He met the then GBA president, Steve Ninvalle, Treasurer Dexter Patterson and Technical Director, Terrence Poole, and later disclosed that the name`Sons of Champions’ was given to pay homage to former boxers who have children currently in the sport discipline.“It is being called ‘sons of champions’ as we have several former champions who now have children participating in the sport. For those former champions who do not have children in the sport, then we will ask that they adopt one for this card,” Bristol stated.The former amateur boxer and nephew of former Commonwealth light middleweight champion, Kenny Bristol, declared that he was saddened that the country had no card last Boxing Day, hence the decision to stage one this year.The `Sons of Champions’ card will take on an international flavor as boxers from the USA, Suriname and St Lucia are expected to participate.last_img

Spring practice off to early start

first_imgIt was fitting that on the nicest day of the young year — a very spring-like day — the University of Wisconsin football team kicked off its spring practice schedule. And if the adage holds true that the early bird gets the worm, head coach Bret Bielema’s team is well on its way to nabbing a few night crawlers.As opposed to last season, when spring practices began at 4:30 p.m., this season’s workouts are scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. Despite the rough, early wake-up call, some players actually looked forward to the early start time and were itching to get out and practice.”It’s tough; I think we’ll eventually get used to it, but no one said college football was easy,” tight end Travis Beckum said.”I actually was kind of looking forward to it the last week or so,” Beckum continued. “Get the rhythm back and get back in the swing.”Bielema was happy with the energy the team brought to its first practice.”I liked the tempo,” Bielema said. “There were guys flying around, and you shouldn’t have to motivate them too much the first couple days.”Part of getting back in the swing for Beckum will entail establishing receiver-quarterback chemistry similar to that he had with departed starter John Stocco. Last season, the Stocco-to-Beckum combination was the most consistent and lethal of any the Wisconsin offense featured. This season, however, the explosive tight end will be catching passes from either fifth-year senior Tyler Donovan or newcomer Allen Everidge, a left-handed transfer from Kansas State.”[With Donovan], it’s pretty much the same as Stocco,” Beckum said. “But I am close with Everidge. We’re getting close to being on that same level. I just haven’t taken as many reps with him.”Along with Stocco, the Badgers offense lost All-American left tackle Joe Thomas to graduation. The two were the clear leaders of the offense, and the Badgers will look to players like Donovan and fifth-year offensive lineman Marcus Coleman to fill the void.”We’re trying to find that right now as an offense,” Donovan said, “find an identity as an offense.””We’re all trying to be leaders right now, [and] obviously at the quarterback position you try to step up … in that situation,” Donovan added.While Thomas’ left tackle spot may be the only turnover front for UW, his loss poses more issues than simply filling a hole in the line.”Not only was he a great player, [Thomas] was a great leader. It’s always tough to lose guys like that,” Coleman said. “I am going to be a fifth-year senior, and I feel like I am more responsible to step up and take a leadership role.””Whoever steps in there at the left tackle spot, I am confident, and I know the rest of the guys are confident he will do a good job.”Practice notes Donovan looked sharp in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills, while Everidge was a bit off on his accuracy and threw a loose spiral at times. … Redshirt freshman Maurice Moore briefly practiced catching punts, although the low ceiling on the McClain Center knocked down many of the punts before he could field them. … Shane Carter and Aubrey Pleasant practiced with the first team defense at the safety positions. … Fullback Chris Pressley practiced on a limited basis, but Bielema said he is expected to be “full-go” after spring break. … Coleman (ankle) practiced briefly because of an injury sustained a few weeks ago and should be healthy soon, while both Brandon Kelly (disciplinary reasons) and Bill Rentmeester (mononucleosis) did not practice.last_img read more