Turkey Using US Border Agents' Harassment Of Canadian Journalist To Defend Jailing Over 100 Journalists

from the the-high-ground-is-sinking dept

Last week, we wrote about the atrocious treatment of famed Canadian reporter Ed Ou by the US's Customs & Border Patrol agents. Ou was on his way to document the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline and he was detained, had his devices confiscated and searched, and then was denied entry into the US. And, of course, as we've seen before in similar stories, Homeland Security's response to these sorts of stories is to shrug and basically say "we don't have to tell you anything."

But, already, those actions are being used by authoritarian regimes to justify cracking down on journalists elsewhere. As you may have heard, Turkey's notoriously thin skinned President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been cracking down against basically anyone who doesn't like him these days -- with a particular focus on journalists. He's been throwing them in jail by the dozens. Literally. There were the 42 journalists jailed in July and the 13 journalists in October and another 9 in November. As of a few weeks ago, the total was calculated at around 120 journalists thrown in jail by Erdogan.

Not surprisingly, this has resulted in various journalism organizations condemning Turkey's jailing of journalists. Governments, including the European Parliament have condemned it as well.

But Turkey is basically calling everyone hypocrites. As pointed out by Trevor Timm, Turkey's state news agency has attacked the hypocrisy of "Western media" and its claims to press freedoms.
Turkey’s General Directorate of Press and Information (BYEGM) on Friday accused countries critical of Turkey’s media environment of turning a blind eye to press freedoms in their own jurisdictions.

Research compiled by the body questioned Western states’ claims that freedom of the press was unlimited in their countries.

Recalling that among the countries frequently criticizing Turkey were France, Germany, the U.K., Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.S., the BYEGM research questioned whether journalists and other media workers were able to work freely in these nations.

The research presented examples of constraints and censorship faced by media workers in those countries.
And, of course, one of the examples used, is what US Homeland Security did to Ou, among other examples, including the arrests of journalists covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago.
Friday’s BYEGM statement recalled an incident in October involving a Canadian journalist called Edward Ou who wanted to shoot video of Native Americans protesting against a pipeline planned for Dakota state in the U.S.

"He [Ou] was not allowed to enter the U.S.," the BYEGM said, adding: "Edward Ou was held at the border for six hours and during this time his telephone and cameras were confiscated.”

In the U.S. “14 journalists, including Anadolu Agency, Die Welt and Bild correspondents” were arrested amid unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of a black man in 2014.

The BYEGM went on to state: "In Baltimore incidents, City Paper's photo editor JM Giardano was beaten by the police and photographer Sait Serkan Gurbuz, who was working for Reuters, was taken into custody.”

In July 2016 the Middle East correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, Maria Abi-Habib, “was taken into custody by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the grounds that she was a journalist 'traveling dangerous locations'".
Of course, there's a massive difference in the (yes, wrongful) arrests and detainment of journalists in the US over reporting with the purposeful jailing of journalists, including charging some with horrific crimes, in Turkey. But by not stopping this ridiculous bad behavior, such as what happened to Ou with border agents, we're handing Turkey and other authoritarian regimes an easy excuse to continue their efforts to completely eradicate a free and open press.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 11:08am

    All my friends are doing it .. why can't I?

    If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you also?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 5 Dec 2016 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 12:52pm

      In army GMT we did exactly that…

      …and it was so much fun we did it all day! ‌ Over and over and over… ‌ ‌ ;]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      And how exactly is this the problem of the US-Junta? That other oligarchies are doing the same?

      It's only a problem if you're trying to project an image that does not portray you as fascistoid oligarchy, but as some kind of moral role-model.

      But sorry, that went out of the window somewhere in 2001 the latest, after you got rid of the other president because of perjury regarding a blow job, and didn't get rid of that president because of perjury regarding mass surveillance and weapons of mass destruction.

      Now the USA is the top bully, and if the top bully can get away with it, all the other micro-bullies will point their fingers at her and say "but she tortured too!".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 1:50pm

      Re:

      _If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you also?_

      It sounds like either mass mind control, or the top of the cliff is on fire.

      Just saying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 5 Dec 2016 @ 2:42pm

      State Troll declares apples are oranges.

      Except his friends really aren't. Much like the common Internet troll, he's stretching the truth and pretending that's the new reality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eldakka (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 5:08pm

      Re:

      If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you also?

      Yes, it's called base-jumping ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Dec 2016 @ 12:55am

      Re:

      This comes up quite often in political conversations:

      - "You should treat prisoners like human beings"
      - "Why? They mutilate and kill them in Saudi Arabia!"

      Some people see no problem with an outright race to the bottom.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Craig Potassium, 6 Dec 2016 @ 3:22pm

        And in films...

        Owen Davian: You hung me out of a plane. You can tell a lot about a persons character by how they treat people they don't have to treat well.

        That was the bad guy; he was right. Sage words.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 11:47am

    because the USA and it's representatives have absolutely no care for anyone, will throw all laws out the window, just because they can, will ignore everything in pursuit of whatever it is that's favorite on that day, the rest of the world is doing the same. basically, tnx to the USA and the countries it has hoodwinked into doing it's biding, the supposed 'democratic world' has been sent to hell! i wonder how long before all sorts of accusations are thrown at Turkey and what the retort will be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 5 Dec 2016 @ 12:08pm

    But...

    What the border agents did was perfectly legal, because border agents have virtually unlimited powers. Problem is not border agents... problem is rules.

    Other countries have more specific laws - i.e. (NZ, I think) "if you spent less than 5 years in jail and it's been more than 10 years since you finished your sentence...". Very simple, no discrimination or wiggle roo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 1:18pm

      Re: But...

      Problem is not border agents... problem is rules.

      It's both. Don't let the agents off so easily.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Eldakka (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 5:11pm

      Re: But...

      "if you spent less than 5 years in jail and it's been more than 10 years since you finished your sentence..."

      The US Customs agent conclusion to that sentence:

      "...then you are a clever criminal who's managed to not get caught since then, so we'll take you into custody."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Dec 2016 @ 12:53am

      Re: But...

      "What the border agents did was perfectly legal, because border agents have virtually unlimited powers. Problem is not border agents... problem is rules"

      Really? It's not the border agents' fault for acting like this because nobody's stopping them? Sorry, but that means it's absolutely the agents' fault for acting like this.

      A case of it not being their fault would be "I would have treated the guy correctly but statute X means I would be liable for prosecution if I did" not "there's no statute saying I have to act correctly".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2016 @ 3:32pm

        Re: Re: But...

        Yep. They used to be called petty officials. Then they were given broader powers because their superiors wanted an easier life. People would be astonished if they knew which officials were allowed to request a warrant to bust down your door and enter your premises.

        Pollution inspectors, fishing license inspectors, policemen (of course), flood defence engineers, tv licence enforcers (UK), fire chiefs...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 12:14pm

    When

    When our Journalists start reporting on politicians as Much as they do movie stars...
    THEN I will consider this over and done..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 5 Dec 2016 @ 12:44pm

    Turkey and other authoritarian regimes?

    Check out presidential privileges in the U.S. Obama stacked up on them while being remarkably shy in actually using them for keeping campaign promises.

    But You-know-who won't keep back like that. So you'll get the personality to match the authoritarian setup of the U.S. And his stance towards the press has been made clear in advance as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      JEDIDIAH, 5 Dec 2016 @ 2:44pm

      Re: Turkey and other authoritarian regimes?

      Hey. This is what happens when you let "the good guys" abuse the system and pervert it. People need to stop tolerating BS just because it happens to agree with their politics this time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Daydream, 5 Dec 2016 @ 4:25pm

      Re: Turkey and other authoritarian regimes?

      You-know-who? Can't you call him Voldemort?

      ...Oh, my mistake, wrong dark lord.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Eldakka (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 5:22pm

        Re: Re: Turkey and other authoritarian regimes?

        I think you meant Sauron. With his all-seeing eye (NSA), his armies in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Nazgul (CIA) poking their noses in and destabilising his foreign opponents and chasing down his enemies, kidnapping them and returning them to him for torture.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2016 @ 2:07pm

    This is what happens...

    ...when you practice hypocrisy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Dec 2016 @ 3:09pm

    The Israel Argument ...

    ... “our human rights abuses are committed DEMOCRATICALLY, theirs are not!”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 5 Dec 2016 @ 3:20pm

    Seems pretty much the same thing to me. Splitting hairs over what the uS does to reporters and what turkey does to reporters

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Mayor, 6 Dec 2016 @ 12:31am

    JOURNAL THIS

    But!... even W-O-R-S-E than the arrest and detention of "journalists" in various HOTSPOTS around the world, is the "CYBER ARREST AND DETENTION" of netizens' otherwise FREE EXPRESSION on the Net!... and, within the very Elite Corporate sites that these "journalists" often report to!
    .
    Above and beyond the arbitrary removal of Comment Logs/ Clogs from websites as SPAM, Spam, spam, is the INSIDIOUS denial of Clogs, A-L-T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R! And my recent "CYBEREPHIPHANY", and "CYBEREURIKA MOMENT" concerning C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E C-L-O-G D-E-N-I-A-L, has been to suggest a wholly new method for RESPONSIBLY RANKING Search Engine search results (regardless of the Search Engine!), wherein and wherewith Elite Coorporate media interests are desparate to be seen!... and my method, it is as follows...
    .
    IT IS MY POSITION THAT ALL SEARCH RESULTS (REGARDLESS OF THE SEARCH ENGINE BEING USED!) SHOULD BE "M-A-N-D-A-T-E-D" TO BE W-E-I-G-H-T-E-D I-N F-A-V-O-U-R OF RESULTS, THAT ALLOW FOR F-R-E-E (BOTH UNINTERMELLED, AND COST-FREE!) P-U-B-L-I-C C-O-M-M-E-N-T-A-R-Y (AND THUS, REQUIRING A COMMENT LOG/ CLOG SECTION TO BE PRESENT WITHIN SITES, IN ORDER FOR A WEBSITE TO BE GRANTED "PREFERENTIAL RANKING" BY, AND WITHIN, A-N-Y SEARCH ENGINE!)! AND THUSLY!... ELIMINATING THE CURRENT PRACTICE OF SEARCH ENGINES... AND/ OR "CERTAIN" THIRD-PARTY "ELITE INTERESTS"!... FROM INDIVIDUALLY, OR JOINTLY "M-A-N-I-P-U-L-A-T-I-N-G" "POLITICALLY CHARGED", OR "LEANING" COMMENTARY AWAY FROM "TOP BILLING (THROUGH PERVERSE 'SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION'/ SEO ALGORITHMS!... AND/ OR, OTHER 'A-N-T-I SEARCH NEUTRALITY' AND 'A-N-T-I NET NEUTRALITY' ALGORITHMS!)"!... AND THEREBY, PLACING CLOG-FREE WEBSITES (MANY OF WHICH, ARE MEDIA SITES!) AT THE TOP OF SEARCH ENGINE SEARCH RESULTS! AND, SIMPLY BECAUSE, SEARCH ENGINES!... AND/ OR "CERTAIN" THIRD-PARTY "ELITE INTERESTS"!... FEEL THAT THESE (INTERESTS!) ARE DIRECTLY, AND/ OR INDIRECTLY, ADVERSELY "POLITICALLY/ SOCIALLY IMPACTED (BY COMMISSION AND/ OR OMISSION!... DIRECTLY AND/ OR INDIRECTLY EVIDENCED!)" BY THE O-T-H-E-R-W-I-S-E "SEARCH ENGINE ALLOWED" "RESULT RANKING" OF SUCH "POLITICALLY CHARGED", OR "LEANING" COMMENTARY (E.G., THE MESSAGE YOU ARE NOW READING!)!
    .
    (IN OTHER WORDS, DO YOU THINK THAT THIS MESSAGE YOU'RE NOW READING WOULD EVER BE SEEN ON A MEDIA SITE, IN ORDER TO PROFFER CRITICISM OF YET OTHER MEDIA SITES?)
    .
    AND THUSLY!... NO "NEUTRAL WEBSITE (I.E., ONE HAVING N-O CLOG!)" WOULD BE ALLOWED AT THE TOP OF SEARCH RESULTS RANKINGS!... P-E-R-I-O-D!! UNLESS!... AND OF COURSE!... N-O C-O-M-M-E-N-T-S HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED WITHIN THE SUM NUMBER OF THE T-H-E-N "COMMENTS FACILITATING SITES" LISTED WITHIN A SEARCH ENGINE'S SEARCH RESULTS (RESPECTIVE OF A GIVEN SEARCH EXPRESSION USED!)!... OR!... THE SITE DOESN'T LEND ITSELF TO "PUBLIC COMMENTARY (I.E., THE NATURE OF THE WEBSITE, 'LOGICALLY PRECLUDES' FACILITATING PUBLIC DISCUSSION!)"! AND THIS-- THEN!-- WILL MEAN, THAT, F-R-E-E D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T-I-C P-U-B-L-I-C E-X-P-R-E-S-S-I-O-N WILL "HOLD SWAY" OVER A-N-Y A-N-D A-L-L O-T-H-E-R "RANKING CONSIDERATIONS", RE THE RANKING OF SEARCH ENGINE SEARCH RESULTS!
    .
    To sum up... it's one thing to "cry foul" when a journalist is said to be denied his/ her Right to FREE EXPRESSION, but it's quite another for the "Media Interests" behind such a "journalist", to deny this very same Right to netizens who may frequent their media websites! HYPOCRITES!... I say!
    .
    And so!... although I can-- and should!-- sympathize with the plight of a "journalist" who is being denied his/ her Right to communicate some "TRUTH" to the world, I have NO SYMPATHY for any media outlet that/ which would turn around and deny the very same Right to those who would be users of their respective media platforms!
    .
    And as for those media sites that/ which DARE provide a voice for netizens, an important step would be to address the Digital Human Rights violations inhere within the very design of respective site Clog windows, that/ which disallow LINKING, "CRITICAL COMMENTARY (BUT, ETC.!)"!... and facilitate IP Address theft, and manipulation!
    .
    Please!... no emails!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 6 Dec 2016 @ 6:29am

      Re: JOURNAL THIS

      Mental illness is a bitch.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        John Mayor, 6 Dec 2016 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: JOURNAL THIS

        Come to think of it, you do read like a bitch!... and someone who is barren!... and who uses rubbers! And hence the name, Barren von Rubberhead!... the Bitch! Ha, ha, ha!
        .
        Please!... no emails!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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