Human Rights

Editing With the Enemy

The U.S. government is threating legal action against anyone who edits manuscripts from Iran and other disfavored nations, on the ground that it amounts to trading with the enemy. "Anyone who publishes material from a country under a trade embargo is forbidden to reorder paragraphs or sentences, correct syntax or grammar, or replace 'inappropriate words,'" reports Adam Liptak. "Adding illustrations is prohibited, too.


Human Rights, or the Illusion Thereof

The UN is pushing for the arrest on war crimes charges of General Wiranto, Indonesia's former military leader and a strong candidate in July's presidential elections. Wiranto has "hired American campaign advisers and published an English translation of his memoirs" to "burnish his image internationally." Major U.S.


A Hard Spin: War Crimes Suspect to President

Indonesia will hold its first-ever direct presidential elections in July 2004. Noting that Indonesia is "a thriving democracy where public opinion matters," a partner in the Jakarta-based PR firm Maverick writes in today's Jakarta Post that "the more forward-thinking" candidates "have already appointed their image gurus." Not every candidate will clean up well, though.


Media Propagandists Convicted of Genocide in Rwanda

"In the first case of its kind since the Nuremberg trials, an international court [convened in Tanzania] convicted three Rwandans of genocide for media
reports that fostered the killing of about 800,000
Rwandans, mostly of the Tutsi minority, over several months
in 1994. A three-judge panel said the three men had used a radio
station and a newspaper published twice a month to mobilize
Rwanda's Hutu majority against the Tutsi, who were
massacred at churches, schools, hospitals and roadblocks.


Attack on Academic Freedom

With little fanfare and almost no media coverage, Congress recently passed House Resolution 3077, which threatens academic freedom by imposing rules on what professors can and can't teach. HR 3077 focuses in particular on "area studies" (university programs that study international culture and politics in specific regions of the world).


Freedom of the Press in Iraq

"Freedom of the press is beginning to smell a little rotten in the new Iraq," reports Robert Fisk, listing some of the fatwas that U.S. Proconsul Paul Bremer has issued against Al Jazeera and other Arab media. "Things are no better in the American-run television and radio stations in Baghdad. The 357 journalists working from the Bremer palace grounds have twice gone on strike for more pay and have complained of censorship.


Brits Won't Let Bush Shoot Them

The British government has refused a diplomatic request from the United States for "shoot-to-kill" immunity for armed American special agents and snipers who will be travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week, which means that if they accidentally kill a protester, they'll have to stand trial for it. The Brits are also balking at the Bush team's demand that they shut down parts of London's Tube (subway) system and that they create a "sterile zone" around the President to keep the public at bay. The U.S.


Invited Trespassers

Georgia Military College officials sent out a news release earlier this week inviting reporters to hear a speech by a helicopter pilot involved in Jessica Lynch's rescue. When they came, however, the college informed them that the pilot, Marine Maj. Craig Kopel, didn't want the news media around. When reporters stayed, hoping to interview and photograph Kopel, the college said they were trespassing and called the police on them.



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