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Posted by Worldkrap on

Trapped in ‘Cruel’ Forest, Migrant Regrets Belarus-EU Crossing 

Exhausted and trapped in a cold, “cruel” forest, Lebanese barber Ali Abd Alwareth said he regretted his weeklong bid to enter the European Union via the Belarus-Poland border. 

“It’s miserable. Something that you don’t wish for your worst enemy. … A nightmare,” the soft-spoken 24-year-old with Crohn’s disease told AFP.

Sitting cross-legged on a bed of pine needles and dead leaves near the border town of Kleszczele in eastern Poland, Abd Alwareth described being a ping-pong ball for the guards. 

“I tried crossing like five, six times, and every time I got caught and deported back to the border” by Poland, he said in English. 

‘Die here or in Poland’ 

The Belarusian side meanwhile refused to let him return to Minsk to fly home. 

Abd Alwareth said security forces told him: “You have only two choices: either you die here or you die in Poland. That’s it.” 

One of thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, who have tried to penetrate the 400-kilometer (250-mile) border since August, Abd Alwareth said he left the financial crisis in Lebanon in search of a better life. 

The whole journey from his home region of Bekaa cost $4,000 and involved help from a Minsk-based company he found on social media.

The EU suspects Belarus is masterminding the unprecedented influx of migrants into Poland as a form of retaliation against EU sanctions, but the regime has put the blame on the West. 

People in the forest 

Poland has sent thousands of troops, built a razor-wire fence and implemented a three-month state of emergency that bans journalists and charity workers along the immediate border area. 

A group of Polish mothers rallied near the border on Saturday to protest the pushbacks. 

“We feel for the people in the forest,” said Sylwia Chorazy, one of a couple hundred protesters at the border guard facility in Michalowo, eastern Poland. 

“My sons asked me this morning, ‘Mum, what if we too had to spend the night in the woods?’ It’s sad, incredibly sad,” she told AFP. 

During his grueling time in the woods, Abd Alwareth said he drank water off of leaves, was too cold to sleep, and was once hit on the head by either the Polish army or police. 

Though exhausted and devastated, he said he understood that the border guards “are doing their job. They are protecting their country. We are illegal.” 

Aid from activists

On Friday, Abd Alwareth and his Syrian walking companions managed to get in touch with Polish activists, who met them in the forest with warm clothes and food as well as offering support when the guards arrived. 

His fate up in the air, Abd Alwareth hopes to receive asylum in Poland, or at the very least, to return to Lebanon. 

“OK, you don’t want me here, you don’t want me in Belarus. Just deport me back home. That’s all I’m asking for,” he said. 

“What is happening in the forest is cruel. … I feel like a puppet. It was my decision, I came this way, but not to be treated like this,” he added. 

“I refuse to die at the border. I just want to see my mum.” 

Posted by Worldkrap on

Tens of Thousands Rally for Orban in Budapest

Tens of thousands of supporters of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his right-wing government marched in Budapest on Saturday in a demonstration of unity behind the populist leader’s contentious policies that have led to challenges to his power both in Hungary and the European Union. 

The rally was dubbed a “Peace March” and participants gathered along the western bank of the Danube River and departed across Liberty Bridge, winding through downtown Budapest toward the site of a rare public speech that Orban delivered to his supporters. 

Orban painted a dark picture of what Hungarians could expect if he is defeated in a national election scheduled for next spring, expected to be the most serious challenge to his power since he took office in 2010.

Orban enumerated his government’s economic achievements, and blasted Hungary’s previous socialist government which he accused of leading the country to financial ruin. 

“It took us years to rectify the destruction of the left wing,” Orban said. “The socialists and their leader have remained hanging around our necks.” 

The march was organized by nongovernmental organization Civil Unity Forum, an active promoter of the policies of Orban’s Fidesz party, which has dominated Hungary’s parliament with a two-thirds majority since 2010.

The group’s chairman, Laszlo Csizmadia, told The Associated Press before the march departed that the event was meant to demonstrate Hungary’s sovereignty to the EU, which he said had “undeservedly” attacked Hungary in recent attempts to reign in what the bloc sees as democratic backsliding.

“We think that we have a right to state our opinions in the long term in the European Union,” Csizmadia said. 

Orban also took aim at the EU, saying that Brussels had conducted a sustained attack on Hungary over its economic and immigration policies that have put his government at odds with the bloc’s leaders.

“Dozens of prime ministers have attacked Hungary. We are still here, but who can remember even their names?” he said.

Laszlo Csendes came to the march from Veszprem, a city 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Budapest. He said Orban’s performance since 2010 had led to Hungarians “prospering” and an improvement in economic conditions.

“There are new jobs, you’ve just got to look around,” Csendes said. “There’s money for everything, and for everyone.” 

Orban’s staunchly anti-immigration government faces increasing pressure both in Hungary and internationally. The EU, of which Hungary is a member, is considering imposing financial penalties on the country over concerns that Orban has eroded democratic institutions and the rule of law in pursuit of what he calls an “illiberal democracy.”

At home, Hungary’s six largest opposition parties have vowed to put aside ideological differences and form a coalition to challenge Orban’s party in upcoming elections.

The parties argue the unity strategy is the only way to overcome a media environment dominated by government-aligned outlets and an electoral system unilaterally authored and passed by Fidesz which they say gives the ruling party an unfair advantage.

The six-party opposition coalition concluded a primary race last week where voters elected independent candidate Peter Marki-Zay to be Orban’s challenger for prime minister on the unity ticket. A self-described conservative Christian, Marki-Zay has argued he can appeal both to Hungary’s liberal voters and disaffected Fidesz supporters.

At a joint demonstration of the opposition parties which drew several thousand supporters on Saturday, Marki-Zay told the AP that he would lead the coalition in doing away with corruption, crackdowns on the media and abuse of government institutions he says has occurred under Orban’s rule.

“Our basic goals for all of us, left and right, is for Hungary to be a democracy, to be governed by the rule of law in a market economy and as part of the European Union,” Marki-Zay said. 

But some participants in the pro-government Peace March, many holding signs critical of the opposition movement, expressed anger at the coalition’s ambitions to defeat Orban’s government.

“I don’t think they are able to govern, they don’t have any concepts,” said Judit Nemeth, a marcher from Budapest. “They only have one goal, to oust Orban, who I think is Europe’s best politician.”

Posted by Ukrap on

Російські гібридні сили припиняють блокувати СММ ОБСЄ в Донецьку – соцмережі

Жодних повідомлень від самої ОБСЄ про якусь взаємодію з російською гібридною адміністрацією немає

Posted by Ukrap on

Зеркаль: росіяни готові по «Північному потоку-2» до кінця року прокачати 5,6 млрд кубометрів, ГТС України могла б 11 

Posted by Worldkrap on

Turkey to Banish 10 Western Ambassadors, Erdogan Says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he had ordered the foreign ministry to declare 10 ambassadors from Western countries “persona non grata” for calling for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala.

Kavala has been in prison for four years, charged with financing nationwide protests in 2013 and with involvement in a failed coup in 2016. He denies the charges.

In a joint statement on October 18, the ambassadors of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, New Zealand and the United States called for a just and speedy resolution to Kavala’s case, and for his “urgent release.” They were summoned by the foreign ministry, which called the statement irresponsible.

“I gave the necessary order to our foreign minister and said what must be done: These 10 ambassadors must be declared persona non grata at once. You will sort it out immediately,” Erdogan said in a speech in the city of Eskisehir in northwest Turkey. 

“They will know and understand Turkey. The day they do not know and understand Turkey, they will leave,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

The U.S., German and French embassies and the White House and U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kavala was acquitted last year of charges related to the 2013 protests, but the ruling was overturned this year and combined with charges in another case related to the coup attempt.

Rights groups say his case is emblematic of a crackdown on dissent under Erdogan.

Kavala said Friday it would be “meaningless” for him to attend his trial as a fair hearing was impossible given recent comments by Erdogan.

Erdogan was cited Thursday as saying the ambassadors in question would not release “bandits, murderers and terrorists” in their own countries.

“Since there is no possibility of a fair trial under these circumstances, I believe participating in hearings and delivering my defense will be meaningless from now on,” Kavala said in a written statement.

The European Court of Human Rights called for Kavala’s immediate release in late 2019, saying there was no reasonable suspicion that he had committed an offense, and finding that his detention had been intended to silence him.

It issued a similar ruling this year in the case of Selahattin Demirtas, former head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who has been held in jail for nearly five years.

The Council of Europe, which oversees the implementation of ECHR decisions, has said it will begin infringement proceedings against Turkey if Kavala is not released.

The next hearing in the case against Kavala and others is due on November 26.

Posted by Worldkrap on

UN Adopts Legal Mechanism to Protect Environmental Defenders

Forty-six countries and the European Union have adopted a legally binding mechanism under the so-called Aarhus Convention to protect environmental defenders who risk abuse and harm because of their activism.

The Aarhus Convention was adopted in 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. It is the only global legally binding treaty linking environmental and human rights concerns.  

However, U.N. officials say many of the rights guaranteed under the treaty are being violated.  In recent years, UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova says there have been many reports of these rights not being honored.

“We have seen an increasing trend of environmental defenders living under the threat of retaliation and in the fear for their lives, especially in cases where they speak out against spatial planning and large-scale infrastructural projects.… No one should live in fear for standing up for their environment and where they live,” Algayerova said.   

The UNECE says environmental defenders have been threatened, harassed, intimidated, and even killed because of protest actions against the construction of a dangerous dam, harmful agricultural practices and other environmentally destructive projects.

The new agreement establishes a post for a special rapporteur on environmental defenders. The official will be able to provide a rapid response to alleged violations as stipulated under the Aarhus Convention.

Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor says the creation of this rapid response mechanism could be of enormous benefit to environmental defenders.

“As I outlined in my report to the Human Rights Council earlier this year, 50% of the human rights defenders killed, as recorded by OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) in 2019, had been working with communities around issues of land, environment, in business activity, poverty and lives of indigenous people, Afro-descendants and other minorities,” Lawlor said.

A report by Global Witness last year found of the more than 300 human rights defenders who were killed, 70% were environmental defenders.

The new agreement outlines the various tools available to the special rapporteur for resolving complaints and protecting environmental defenders quickly and effectively.  They include issuing immediate protection measures, using diplomatic channels, releasing public statements, and bringing urgent cases to relevant human rights bodies for action.  

Posted by Ukrap on

У справі про кинутий в будинок заступника керівника ОПУ «коктейль Молотова» проходять дві особи – ОГП

Унаслідок події, яка сталася близько 4:00 22 жовтня, ніхто не постраждав