Edward Snowden a fugitive in Russia he let US to decide his “amnesty or clemency”


——————-

———–

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden a fugitive and challenged him to “man up and come back to the United States.” Snowden says in an interview that he would like to go home.

The former NSA contract systems analyst is living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum after leaking a massive volume of NSA documents to the media. He told anchorman Brian Williams of NBC News that he had taken action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA.

“I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview broadcast Wednesday night. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.”

Kerry’s comments came before NBC aired that portion of the Snowden interview. On the matter of Snowden returning, Kerry told NBC’s “Today” show: “If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today.” Kerry also said, “A patriot would not run away.”

Snowden told Williams that he worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and the NSA. He said he had a much larger role in U.S. intelligence than the government has acknowledged.

“I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said.

National security adviser Susan Rice said in a CNN interview that Snowden never worked undercover.

As far as the necessity for the leaks, “let him come back and make his case,” Kerry said. “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.”

Snowden said he never intended to be holed up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” In response, Kerry said: “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all.”

“I think he’s confused,” Kerry said. “I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”

2014 Freedom House report confirm Ethiopia is not Free

Download (PDF, 1.35MB)

In response to the Ethiopian government’s arrest of six members of an independent blogging group and three journalists on April 25-26, Freedom House released the following statement:

“Ethiopia’s arrests of journalists are a chilling example of the government’s efforts to silence alternative voices and dissent,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs at Freedom House. “These independent voices have worked responsibly to give important social and political issues serious consideration.”

“Freedom House urges Secretary of State John Kerry to use his forthcoming trip to Ethiopia to ask the government to dismiss these charges if evidence is insufficient,” Petrovic said, “and to provide the accused with immediate access to legal representation and family members.”

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom of the Press 2013 and Freedom on the Net 2013.

——-————

To learn more about Ethiopia, visit:
Ethiopia Debates Making Homosexuality “Non-Pardonable” Offense
Statement: Ethiopia’s EITI Process Needs Larger Role for Civil Society
Freedom in the World 2013: Ethiopia
Freedom of the Press 2013: Ethiopia
Freedom on the Net 2013: Ethiopia
Blog: Democracy, Double-Crossed: How Private Actors in the West Serve Foreign Dictators

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.

REPORTS:
COUNTRIES:

Global press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, according to a Freedom House report released today. The decline was driven in part by major regression in several Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, Libya, and Jordan; marked setbacks in Turkey, Ukraine, and a number of countries in East Africa; and deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.

Freedom of the Press 2014 found that despite positive developments in a number of countries, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa, setbacks were the dominant trend in every other region. The share of the world’s population with media rated “Free” remains at just 14 percent, or only one in seven people. Far larger shares live in “Not Free” (44 percent) or “Partly Free” (42 percent) media environments.

“We see declines in media freedom on a global level, driven by governments’ efforts to control the message and punish the messenger,” said Karin Karlekar, project director of the report. “In every region of the world last year, we found both governments and private actors attacking reporters, blocking their physical access to newsworthy events, censoring content, and ordering politically motivated firings of journalists.”

“In 2013 we saw more cases of states targeting foreign reporters and media outlets,” Karlekar added. “Russian and Chinese authorities declined to renew or threatened to withhold visas for prominent foreign correspondents, but the new Egyptian government went a step further by detaining a number of Al-Jazeera staff on charges of supporting terrorism.”

Key Global Findings:

  • Of the 197 countries and territories assessed during 2013, a total of 63 (32 percent) were rated Free, 68 (35 percent) were rated Partly Free, and 66 (33 percent) were rated Not Free.
  • All regions except sub-Saharan Africa, whose average score leveled off, showed declines, with the Middle East and North Africa suffering the worst deterioration.
  • Triggers for country declines included governments’ overt attempts to control the news—whether through the physical harassment of journalists covering protest movements or other sensitive stories, restrictions on foreign reporters, or tightened constraints on online news outlets and social media—as well as the role of owners in shaping media content through directives on coverage or dismissals of outspoken journalists.
  • Country improvements were largely driven by three factors: a growing ability of private firms to operate television and radio outlets; greater access to a variety of views via online media, social media, and international outlets; and improved respect for legal protections for the press.
  • China and Russia maintained a tight grip on local media while also attempting to control the more independent views provided either in the blogosphere or by foreign news sources.
  • The world’s eight worst-rated countries remain Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Key Regional Findings:

Americas:

  • The regional average score worsened to its lowest level in five years, and just 2 percent of the population in Latin America lived in Free media environments.
  • Scores dropped in Honduras, Panama, Suriname, and Venezuela.
  • Paraguay’s rating improved to Partly Free.
  • Conditions in the United States deteriorated due primarily to attempts by the government to inhibit reporting on national security issues.

Asia-Pacific:

  • Only 5 percent of the region’s population had access to Free media in 2013.
  • China, rated Not Free, continued to crack down on online speech, particularly on microblogs, and also ramped up pressure on foreign journalists.
  • Press freedom deteriorated in Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and several Pacific Island states, including Nauru, which was downgraded to Partly Free.
  • Burma and Nepal registered score improvements.

Eurasia:

  • The overwhelming majority of people in the region (97 percent) lived in Not Free media environments.
  • Conditions in Russia remained grim, as the RIA Novosti news agency was closed and the government enacted additional legal restrictions on online speech.
  • Ukraine was downgraded to Not Free for 2013 due primarily to attacks on journalists covering the Euromaidan protests, and further erosion took place in Azerbaijan.
  • Positive developments occurred in Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.

Europe:

  • This region enjoys the highest level of press freedom, but the regional average score registered the second-largest drop worldwide in 2013.
  • The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden were rated the world’s top-performing countries.
  • Significant decline took place in Turkey, which fell into the Not Free category, as well as in Greece, Montenegro, and the United Kingdom.
  • A modest numerical improvement was noted in Italy, which remains Partly Free.

Middle East and North Africa:

  • Only 2 percent of the region’s people lived in Free media environments, while the vast majority, 84 percent, lived in Not Free countries or territories.
  • Backsliding occurred in Libya, which fell back into the Not Free category, and Egypt, where the military-led government limited press freedom.
  • Significant deterioration took place in Jordan and to a lesser extent in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Press freedom declined further in Syria, in the midst of an especially brutal civil war that posed enormous dangers to journalists.
  • Improvements took place in Algeria (upgraded to Partly Free), Yemen, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Israel (upgraded back to Free).

Sub-Saharan Africa:

  • The majority of people (56 percent) lived in countries with Partly Free media. Improvements in the legal and economic spheres in 2013 were balanced by declines in the political category.
  • Declines occurred in South Sudan and Zambia (both downgraded to Not Free), the Central African Republic, and several countries in East Africa, including Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • West Africa saw a number of improvements, including the upgrade of Côte d’Ivoire to Partly Free and numerical gains in Mali, Senegal, and Togo.
  • Other gains were recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, the Seychelles, and Zimbabwe.

To view the report, click here.

China colonizing Africa through its dictators in Ethiopia

It is a dramatic increase in China’s investment in Ethiopia as spring board for African recolonization . By some estimates, it’s more than doubled in the past five years to more than two billion dollars and bribing the leaders to control one of the ancient independent country. This fuel the country’s recent dramatic foreign pumped growth in the cities making the rich rich and the poor to live in the feudal period creating wide parity.