Voices from Russia

Saturday, 28 January 2017

MID sez Moscow has “Serious Concerns” Over RT Reporter’s Arrest Whilst Covering Anti-Trump Rally

handcuffs

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On Friday, MID RF official spokesman M V Zakharova said that Moscow has serious concerns over the arrest of RT America’s Alexander Rubinstein at an anti-Trump protest. At a press briefing, she stated:

As for the situation with the RT correspondent, it causes serious concern. I’m referring to RT America’s correspondent Alexander Rubinstein. Washington police detained him on Friday 20 January when he was covering a protest against US President Donald Trump on the day of his inauguration. The correspondent was performing his professional duty, he had a press card with him, and nonetheless, Alexander Rubinstein was in police custody for almost 24 hours. The preliminary hearing in his case is due on 16 February.

After police arrested Rubinstein together with other journalists and protesters, they charged him with inciting a riot. Along with other reporters, they released him the following day. However, the charges against Rubinstein and several other reporters remain in force, which means they could face up to 10 years imprisonment or a 25,000 USD (1.497 million Roubles. 172,028 Renminbi. 1.703 million INR. 32,882 CAD. 33,122 AUD. 23,368 Euros. 19,922 UK Pounds) fine if found guilty. On Friday, Washington police dropped similar charges against Vocativ journalist Evan Engel after they considered additional evidence. William Miller, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for Washington DC, said in a statement:

After consultation with the counsel for Mr Engel, who’s a journalist with Vocativ, as well as a review of evidence presented to us by law enforcement, we concluded that we wouldn’t proceed with the charge against this individual. The prosecution is in process of reviewing evidence in other cases related to the arrests in cooperation with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Meanwhile, Engel expressed gratitude to his legal advisers and all those who voiced support for him:

Today, my thoughts are with any other journalists who are facing charges for doing their jobs, as well as with journalists imprisoned around the world.

Police arrested at least six journalists reporting from the anti-Trump rally and charged them with felonies. Apart from Rubinstein and Engel, police detained and later released Jack Keller, a producer for the web documentary series Story of America, Shay Horse, independent photojournalist and live-streamer Matt Hopard, and freelance reporter Aaron Cantu on the same charges. Police treatment of these media workers drew sharp criticism from the media industry and civil right organisations. The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) called the arrests “a violation of journalistic freedom”, whilst Reporters Without Borders (RSF) demanded Washington authorities drop felony charges and called on the new US administration to “stop undermining the First Amendment and start defending it”. The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] of DC also condemned the way the police handled the situation during the mass protest. On Friday, its executive director, Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, said:

[The ACLU] is concerned that law enforcement may have violated demonstrator’s rights, including indiscriminately corralling and detaining individuals, including journalists and legal observers, who weren’t involved in any criminal activity.

”Outrage!” 6 Journalists Including RT Reporter Face “Inappropriate” Rioting Charges

28 January 2017

RT

https://www.rt.com/news/375367-rubinstein-arrest-protest-zakharova/

Saturday, 21 January 2017

As Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky… An Ideology of Treason

00-vitaly-podvitsky-ideology-of-treason-2110117

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On Tuesday, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell suggested that Vladimir Putin should make Edward Snowden an inauguration “gift” to Donald Trump. MID RF spokesman M V Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page bashing Morell:

It’s clear that, for the CIA-man’s firm, it is normal to present people as gifts and give up those who seek protection. [Morell’s] comments reveal an ideology of treason in the CIA.

18 January 2017

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201701181049718526-morell-snowden-zakharova-treason-ideology/

Monday, 23 December 2013

Lavrov Sez West Understands That Assad Is the Lesser Evil… the Islamists are Far Worse than He Is

00 Pro-Assad demonstrators Syria 12.11

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On Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Western politicians admit that allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power is a lesser evil than an Islamist régime is. Speaking to RIA-Novosti, Lavrov said, “Some of our Western colleagues started to voice the idea… not only in private conversations, but also publicly… that Assad’s rule is a lesser threat to Syria, taking into account the growing influence of jihadists and terrorists who capture vast territories, impose Sharia, exterminate minorities, and burn people alive only because their religion is different”. He said it’d be “incorrect” to say that the present civil war rendered Assad’s rule illegitimate, even though the UN estimated that it’s claimed more than 100,000 lives. Lavrov noted, “If he had no popular support, the war would’ve been over a long time ago, the rebels would’ve wiped out the current leadership, and no one knows what else would’ve happened there. According to estimates made by many experts, a significant number of people, up to 50 percent of Syrians, see Assad as the guarantor of their interests and their security”. Speaking about Assad’s future, Lavrov said that the Syrian President “has no plans to leave his country. He’ll stay with his people and do his duty. Indeed, he [Assad] said that he doesn’t rule out participating in next year’s planned presidential election. He’ll make his decision later, depending on whether he feels he has popular support”.

20 December 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/business/20131220/185775533/West-Understands-That-Assad-Is-Lesser-Evil–Lavrov.html

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Syrian National Council Bails Out from Geneva-II Talks

00 Ted Rall. A Look Back at Syria. 2012

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On Sunday, George Sabra of the Syrian National Council, a major Syrian opposition group with international recognition, told RIA-Novosti in a phone-call from France that it wouldn’t participate in the Moscow-backed Geneva-II peace conference on Syria, saying, “Nothing useful will come out for Syrians from attending the meeting. The decision [not to participate] was made yesterday by the general secretariat [of the council]”. Moscow and Washington proposed the Geneva-II talks as a means of putting the Syrian government and the insurgents at the negotiating table in hopes of ending the 2½-year-long civil war in the Middle Eastern country. Sabra said that his group bailed out due to the lacklustre international response to the consequences of the Syrian war, amongst which he listed mass slaughter of civilians, food shortages, and, recently, the use of chemical weapons. Sabra said that the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council would decide on further strategy after consultations with Syrians on the ground, including the Free Syrian Army rebel forces.

The Syrian National Council, formed in 2011 as an opposition government in exile, won limited diplomatic recognition from a number of countries, including France, the UK, and the USA. In November 2012, it joined the broader Syrian National Coalition, recognised by 20 UN members as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and it has Syria’s seat in the League of Arab States. Sabra said that the Syrian National Council would quit the Syrian National Coalition in case the latter goes through with its plan to participate in Geneva-II.

At the time, the BBC reported that, in a joint statement last month, eleven leading rebel armed groups, including representatives of the fractured Free Syrian Army, as well as Islamists such as the al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front, said that they rejected the authority of the Syrian National Coalition. Analysts said that the move was a backlash against the coalition’s willingness to participate in the Geneva-II talks, the date for which hasn’t yet been set. The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voiced willingness to go to the Geneva-II conference without any preconditions. Most rebel groups say that the removal of Assad and his close affiliates is a sine qua non for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, which, according to UN data, has cost more than 100,000 lives to date. On Sunday, no one at the MID in Moscow could comment on Sabra’s statement. Russia’s staunchly advocated a political solution to the Syrian crisis, whilst opposing all attempts by Western and Arab countries to blame the standoff solely on Assad.

13 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20131013/184113772/Leading-Syrian-Opposition-Group-Bails-Out-on-Geneva-2-Talks.html

 

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