' Mayor of Rio De Janeiro says Polluted River will not be Clean for Olympic Sailing Events '

#AceWorldNews – BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro) – June 08 – Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has said that the Brazilian city will not be able to clean the polluted bay where Olympic sailing competitions will be held before the 2016 Games.


(Brazil had made a commitment to reduce pollution in the Guanabara Bay by 80%)

But Mr Paes admitted that the target would not be met.

He regretted the missed opportunity but told the AP news agency that the pollution didn’t pose a risk to the health of athletes.

Olympic sailors who visited Rio de Janeiro recently described the bay as an open sewer.”I am sorry that we did not use the games to get Guanabara Bay completely clean,” Mr Paes said during a conference in Rio.

Many in the city were sceptical from the beginning, after decades of broken promises to have the bay cleaned.

Greater Rio has a population of some 10 million people and millions of litres of untreated sewage are dumped in the bay every day.

Most people avoid bathing from the beautiful, albeit polluted beaches inside the bay.

But Mr Paes said that there would be no risk for the sailing teams competing in the Olympics, as the races will be held in a less polluted part of the bay.

Ace Related News:
1. AP – 07/06/2014 – http://tinyurl.com/n8ovt5q

#ANS2014

#brazil, #olympic, #rio-de-janeiro

Oscar Pistorius Trial : ` Police Photographs of `Blood Splattered ' scene Indicate Evidence was Moved Around '

#AceWorldNews – PRETORIA – South Africa – Police photographs of the blood-spattered scene where Oscar Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend indicate that evidence was moved around in violation of procedure during the investigation of the killing, the athlete’s chief defence lawyer said Tuesday.

Warrant officer Bennie van Staden, a police photographer, took hundreds of photos of the scene, including of blood stains, bullet casings, a gun and a cricket bat found inside Pistorius’ bathroom in the hours after the double-amputee Olympic runner shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14 last year.

Trial Days:
Day One: http://wp.me/p165ui-420
Day Two: http://wp.me/p165ui-43s
Day Three:http://wp.me/p165ui-44V
Day Four :http://wp.me/p165ui-46F
Day Five: http://wp.me/p165ui-47O
Day Six: http://wp.me/p165ui-4bR
Day Seven : http://wp.me/p165ui-4cW
Day Eight : http://wp.me/p165ui-4fC
Day Nine : http://wp.me/p165ui-4jZ
Day Ten : http://wp.me/p165ui-4mq
Day Eleven : http://wp.me/p165ui-4ne
AFP – AP – Reuters – BBC – CNN – ABC

#ANS2014

#abc-news, #afp, #ap, #bbc, #bennie-van-staden, #cnn, #olympic, #oscar-pistorius, #pretoria, #reeva-steenkamp, #reuters, #south-africa

“Russia to Support Beijing bid for 2022 Winter Olympics”

#AceNewsServices says `Russia to support Beijing bid for 2022 Winter Olympics – minister’

Close up of the Olympic flame

Close up of the Olympic flame (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China has a good chance of winning a bid for 2022 Winter Olympics, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has said. He added that Moscow is ready to support Beijing’s bid. If selected, the Chinese capital will be the first city to organize both summer and winter versions of the Games.

The bid was formally announced by Chinese officials at Sochi in Russia, where the Winter Games are currently being held. Four other cities will compete to host the 2022 Olympics, including Almaty in Kazakhstan, Poland’s Krakow, Ukraine’s Lviv and Norway’s Oslo.

 

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#Sochi : “Every Picture Tells a Story and these Belie the Real Truth Behind the Games”

#AceNewsServices says `2014 Sochi Winter Olympics opening: Spectacular. Breathtaking (PHOTOS)’

Published time: February 07, 2014 18:27
Edited time: February 07, 2014 20:19
RIA Novosti / Vitaly BelousovRIA Novosti / Vitaly Belousov
The XXII Winter Olympic Games are on after opening officially in a sparkling, star-studded show in Sochi. For the next 16 days the world’s top athletes will be going for it, competing hard with every sinew and fiber.

This is the first time Russia has hosted the Winter Olympics and the breathtaking opening ceremony did full justice to the importance of the event.

The show opened with a video, introducing foreign guests to the Russian alphabet and scenes of culture and history matched with letters, one of each stood for a particular person, notion or invention, portraying famous moments throughout the country’s history.

Over 40,000 spectators from all over the world watched the opening extravaganza, and the introduction of the athletes in the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, signaling the start of the full sporting program of the Winter Olympics.

The parade of nations, featuring more than 3,000 athletes from a record number of 88 countries, delighted the crowd, and this time it was more dynamic than ever.

The highlight of the parade was a special floor where an image of the earth was magically projected. The stunt included a really smooth touch: An image of the globe from outer space rotated every time a new country was announced, pinpointing the location of that country.

To give over 40,000 spectators a better view of their country’s greeting, the athletes appeared from the heart of their sovereign territory and then walked into the stadium, just like the ancient heroes of Greece.

All countries were introduced in alphabetical order according to their Russian spelling. Traditionally, Greece – the birthplace of Olympic competition – was the first to enter the stadium.

As host country, Russia took the stage last, marching to the upbeat dance song “Not going to get us” by Russian pop band t.A.T.u, a girl band that was extremely popular in the mid-2000s and the country’s most successful pop export to the West.

TEAM RUSSIA!#Sochi2014#OpeningCenterpic.twitter.com/0O4sop7w3l

— Sochi 2014 (@Sochi2014) February 7, 2014

The two-and-a-half hour show took us on a riveting 18-part rollercoaster ride through Russian history, from the times of Peter the Great to the modern era, focusing on major cultural events. It portrayed the path Russia took to become the country it is now.

The actors on stage reenacted episodes from Russia’s most beloved folk tales as the colorful dream of little girl named Lyuba continues.

Ever heard about “khorovod”? It’s a traditional Russian round dance#OpeningCeremony#Sochi2014pic.twitter.com/OZlBM0pLTv

— Sochi 2014 (@Sochi2014) February 7, 2014

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach took the stage to call on the athletes to compete in a spirit of fair rivalry. He then handed the microphone to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who declared the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games open.

Piano virtuoso, Denis Matsuev, and opera soprano, Anna Netrebko, gave a rousing performance of the Olympic anthem.

Of course, lighting the Olympic cauldron for the Games is one of the most crucial moments of the ceremony.

Ice skating legend, Irina Rodnina and Soviet legend Vladislav Tretiak, now Russian Hockey Federation president, have carried the Olympic torch to light the cauldron, after the flame’s unprecedented journey all across Russia and beyond, to the North Pole, the cosmos, and Europe’s highest mountain peak.

STUNNING: Olympic champions Irina Rodnina & Vladislav Tretiak light the Olympic Flame http://t.co/C24gKVowiP#Sochipic.twitter.com/qct4gkh0sk

— RT (@RT_com) February 7, 2014

The cauldron and festivities will continue throughout the Games and the Olympic flag will remain raised at the top of the hill.

The ceremony’s fiery finish featured over 3,500 fireworks. Surely an Olympian feat in itself! The average weight of the firecrackers was around 22.5 tons, while the heaviest weighed in at 4.8 tons!

Athletes will compete in over 15 disciplines in seven sports. 12 new events have been shoe-horned into the crowded Olympic schedule, including the figure skating team event, slope-style and half-pipe skiing (both men’s and women’s).

Over the next 16 days a record number of Olympic medals will be presented – a total of 98 sets, that is 12 more than in Vancouver 2010. Each gold medal weights 531g, while silvers are 525g and the bronzes are 460g.

Ten Sochi Olympics winners will get an out-of-this-world touch when they receive their gold medals on February 15. Each medal will be embedded with tiny fragments of last year’s Chelyabinsk meteorite.

A picture taken on February 7, 2014 shows horse shaped light displays during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli )A picture taken on February 7, 2014 shows horse shaped light displays during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli )
Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)
Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Yuri Kadobnov)
Performers take part during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014.(Reuters / Issei Kato)Performers take part during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014.(Reuters / Issei Kato)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) stands to declare the 2014 Winter Olympics open during the opening ceremony on February 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.(AFP Photo / David Goldman)Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) stands to declare the 2014 Winter Olympics open during the opening ceremony on February 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.(AFP Photo / David Goldman)
The Olympic flag is brought on stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Damien Meyer)The Olympic flag is brought on stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Damien Meyer)
Russian gymnast and Olympian medalist Alina Kabaeva hold up the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Damien Meyer)Russian gymnast and Olympian medalist Alina Kabaeva hold up the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Damien Meyer)
Lit figures are seen during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014. (Reuters / Jim Young)Lit figures are seen during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014. (Reuters / Jim Young)
Fireworks explode behind the Olympic flame cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Odd Andersen) Fireworks explode behind the Olympic flame cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.(AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)
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#acenewsservices, #fisht-olympic-stadium, #irina-rodnina, #olympic, #olympic-flame, #sochi, #vladimir-putin, #vladislav-tretiak

#Sochi : ` Multi-Faith Prayers Centres Have Opened in Three Olympic Villages ‘

#AceNewsServices says MOSCOW, February 06, /ITAR-TASS/. Multi-faith prayer centers have opened in three Olympic villages in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi that will host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on February 7-23, clerics who inspected them told Itar-Tass Wednesday.

Sochi-2014-Olympic-games-wallpaperVolunteers and clergy from Russia’s traditional faiths – Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism – Orthodox Christian priests, Catholic and Protestant clergy, imams, rabbis and lamas – will be on duty round the clock at the centres in the Coastal, Mountain and Endurance Olympic villages.

“The prayer centres contain separate rooms for Orthodox Christians, Western Rite Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. This is the Sochi Olympics’ advantage over many others, which had only one prayer room for all religions and denominations,” a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church told Itar-Tass.

The Moscow Patriarchate also said Orthodox priests had already consecrated their prayer rooms and then visited the headquarters of the Russian Olympic national team, where they worshipped an icon of St. George the Victory-Bearer that has accompanied Russian Olympic teams since 2004.

Roman Catholic Church clerics told Itar-Tass how their prayer rooms would be organized. Priests furnished the rooms themselves, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow said.

“There are altars in two of them, crosses, icons of Our Lady of Czestochowa and portraits of Pope Francis hang on walls. The third room in the Mountain Village that will be used jointly with Orthodox Christians also has icons and all necessary items to celebrate Mass, even folding chairs unusual for Orthodox liturgical rooms,” the archdiocese said.

Catholic clerics will arrive from different countries, including together with delegations of foreign athletes.

One of the key concerns for Russia’s Federation of Jewish Communities was to organize kosher nutrition for the upcoming Olympics. “It was hard to provide it, as Sochi had no kosher restaurants until now,” Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar said. Now it is possible to order the food in canteens in the Olympic village, and there is special cuisine and a kosher food store in Sochi.

The Council of Muftis told Itar-Tass that their prayer rooms “contain, like it is said in the instructions, separate rooms for prayers by men and women.” Imams working in multi-faith centres will represent the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Adygea and the Krasnodar Territory in south Russia. An international halal certification center has checked special food.

The Olympic Committee’s demand is that each faith’s prayer room should have at least two clerics. Volunteers – cultural and religion studies students – will answer questions from visitors, distribute brochures on the history of various religions and show films.

Organizers do not think regular mass divine services would be held in the multi-faith centres. For example, Orthodox priests do not plan to hold liturgy or administer other sacraments in prayer rooms other than the one in the Coastal Village. But each guest will be able to pray or talk to a priest as well as take part in common prayers there.

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#acenewsservices, #2014-winter-olympics, #information-telegraph-agency-of-russia, #itar-tass, #moscow, #olympic, #olympic-games, #orthodox, #sochi

Russia:” Sochi Olympic City Causes Local Villages to Have Landslide Problem’s”

#AceNewsServices says according this article on Reuters that the first warning of the problems that eventually swept away Irina Vorochkova’s house near Russia’s Olympic city of Sochi came when the garden began shifting, then the ground slid away downhill towards a river. 

“Look’s Really Good Does it Not: I call this the Before and After” 

Sochi-2014-Olympic-games-wallpaperAs builders worked feverishly to get the Black Sea resort ready for winter games so closely tied to President Vladimir Putin‘s legacy, they failed to notice the effects their work was having on the village below.

Until the walls of Vorochkova’s two-storey home fell. Tell-tale cracks snaked through neighboring houses.

The 58-year-old housewife now lives in an aluminum shack and is fighting a legal battle for compensation over damage she blames on Olympic subcontractors. Other villages near Sochi offer similar complaints of ruined homes, illegal landfills and broken promises that their lives would not be poisoned by construction.

“It started slowly with little things, like the poles for the clothesline were not in the same place, the borders of the garden had moved. Then the front of my house fell off,” she said.

Putin is expected to spend more than $50 billion to show off Russia’s modern face at the Games in Sochi, a Black Sea resort on the edge of the Caucasus Mountains. Moscow promised to set “new environmental standards” in Olympic construction.

Complaints about construction, along with international concerns about gay rights and security, threaten Putin’s efforts to improve Russia’s image through the games.

“A Great Area and Ideal Place for the Venue”

Sochi MapThe Sochi 2014 organizing committee says construction has minimized harmful carbon emissions, and companies carrying out construction say they are sticking to their promises to meet international standards in protecting the environment.

“The air and water in Sochi have become cleaner than in December 2007,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said this month, praising the modernization of local transport and environmental protection work.

But some ecologists say the damage is only the beginning and that construction may have put the region in the path of potential ecological disasters, including poisoned drinking water and flooding.

“Then this is the Real Cost of Putins Perfect Game’s” 

Dust Cloud 2DUST CLOUD:

In the village of Akhshtyr, a few kilometers up the road from Chereshnya, the wells used by villagers for centuries have dried up since Russian Railways started digging a quarry in the adjacent foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.

The quarries mined by Russian Railways, a huge state company run by Putin’s long-time ally and friend Vladimir Yakunin, have provided rock used in the construction of Olympic venues.

Dust CloudTrucks rumble past every few minutes, carrying stones to the construction sites below.

One villager, Alexander Koropov, said that when construction started, local authorities gathered villagers to explain that they would soon be linked into a natural gas grid and a regional water system, delivering modern utilities.

“We thought they would bring us civilization, development, but instead we are now living worse than the Indians did on American reservations 200 years ago,” said Koropov, standing in the orchard where he used to grow persimmons to sell.

The trucks constantly haul off the rock. Villagers say the trucks bring in trash from other construction sites, dumping it in the gorge within walking distance.

A dust cloud covers the village.

Russian Railways says it paid a fine for the illegal dumping and has since stopped the practice, though residents say trucks continue to haul trash into the landfill.

Since the wells dried up, the company has delivered almost daily barrels of water to Akhshtyr residents.

“I don’t even care that they didn’t keep their promises. It’s the fact that they’ve made this place unlivable now,” said Koropov.

Olympic WasteOLYMPIC WASTE:

While the trash itself poses no direct danger, rainwater flowing into the ground and into the nearby Mzymta River, which is used by Sochi residents for drinking water, is at risk of being contaminated by the waste, say local environmentalists.

“When the substances accumulate (in the water supply), it can have a toxic effect, because no one knows exactly what those materials in the landfill are comprised of, where they have come from,” said Yulia Naberezhnaya, spokeswoman for the Russian Geographical Society in Sochi.

Naberezhnaya is one of many Sochi environmental activists who New York-based Human Rights Watch says have been harassed over her work.

Other environmental activists have had criminal cases opened against them, including Suren Gazaryan, who received asylum in Estonia after facing criminal accusations which he called politically motivated.

In 2008, months after Putin won the right to hold the Games in Sochi, a U.N. environmental group paid a visit to the area.

After meeting government ministers, Olympic contractor Olympstroy and local non-governmental groups, the delegation concluded the Olympic project was aimed at economic development “in which environmental aspects play only a minor role”.

“Any sustained efforts to improve the environmental performance will probably have only a minor effect compared to the environmental damage that will be inflicted due to the overall development related to the Games,” said the United Nations Environmental Programme in a mission report.

In the village of Kudepsta, the territory of a former Soviet collective farm have been turned into the factory grounds for several cement producers for Olympic construction. Landfills for construction waste also dot the grounds.

Rubber boots and orange construction helmets lie half-buried in the ground.

“Of all the people who work and have businesses on this land, no one has documents allowing them to work here. Neither the drivers who deliver the cement out nor the ones who bring the trash in,” said Natalya Vorobyova, who has led several pickets outside the grounds of the old collective farm.

“EMERGENCY SITUATION”

Kudepsta, like many other down-river villages, lies around the Imeretinsky lowlands where rain and melted snow drain into the Black Sea through a series of rivers and swamplands.

According to Russian data, Sochi receives 1.7 meters of rainfall every year, more than anywhere else in the country apart from a chain of islands near Japan.

Once a stopping place for migrating birds, much of that area has been turned into Olympic venues, including the Fisht Stadium, where the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies will be held.

Environmental experts say that Olympic construction which has consisted of pouring soil into lowland swamps helped cause the flooding that created a state of emergency in the area in September and could increase the risk for more flooding.

“Those rains were a test to see how prepared we were for a relatively normal occurrence. And it showed the extent to which our Olympic construction failed after getting rid of old drainage systems and installing new ones that don’t work,” said Valery Suchkov, a lawyer specializing in environmental law.

Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska’s company Transstroy was responsible for much of the work to create a foundation for the Olympic venues.

A spokeswoman for the company, Yelena Stakhiyeva, said Transstroy had fulfilled its obligations but that another company had been subcontracted to build the drainage system.

Months after the flooding, residents complain that the ground even on a sunny day is still damp.

“The ground never really dries, it’s been wet for months,” said Kudepsta resident Alexander Tarasovich, poking his boot in to the soft, black dirt.

For most residents, they see the attention that the Olympics will bring as a final chance to be heard, but some barely have the strength left to fight.

“I’m just tired, it’s too much,” says Vorochkova, with tears in her eyes, closing the door to her aluminum shack that sits across from the ruin of her old house.

“All I want to do is sleep,” she said.

(Editing by Timothy Heritage and Ralph Boulton)

 

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Russia: ” Vladimir Putin Wishes All the Volunteers of the XX11 Olympic and Xl Paralympic Winter Games in #Sochi

#AceWorldNews says President Vladimir Putin wished success to volunteers of the XXII Olympic and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. He met with a group of volunteers on Friday and said they are expected to “create an atmosphere” of the Games. Some 25,000 volunteers will work in Sochi, which makes up 35 percent of the service personnel at the Olympics. The volunteer team for Sochi 2014 includes representatives from all Russian regions and 60 foreign countries, Itar-Tass said.

#olympic, #paralympic-games, #russian-president-vladimir-putin, #sochi, #volunteers, #winter-olympic-games

“Russian Police Repeatedly Harassed Two Norwegian TV Journalists”

Sochi (Krasnodar krai), coat of arms

Sochi (Krasnodar krai), coat of arms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceWorldNews  says  Reporters Without Borders is Shocked by the Way the Russian Police Repeatedly harassed two Norwegian TV journalists , Reporter Oystein Bogen and Cameraman Aage Aune , while They Were Visiting the Sochi Region from 31 October to 2 November to cover problems related to preparations for next February’s Winter Olympics .

Bogen and Aune, WHO work for Norway’s Privately-owned TV2 Channel, Say the Police Stopped Them six times in the space of Three days, interrogated Them in Detail About Their work and Their local contacts and, at one Point, even took Them into custody for several hours.

“Arbitrary arrest, violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, seizure of journalistic material – this string of breaches of freedom of information suggests a strategy of all-out harassment,” Reporters Without Borders said.

Sochi / RU, 2007

Sochi / RU, 2007 (Photo credit: william veerbeek)

“The ordeal That These two journalists underwent bodes ill for the drastic Security Measures That Will be Applied in the Run-up to the games . Combatting terrorist threats is obviously necessary but it does not justify such excesses. We hope the Norwegian authorities will quickly obtain the explanations they have requested from their Russian counterparts. ”

“The international media must not be intimidated by this episode. There is nothing criminal about covering the preparations for the Winter Olympics or meeting local journalists and activists. We reiterate our appeal to foreign reporters to take advantage of the spotlight on Sochi to look beyond the Olympic facade and to meet local civil society representatives.

“At the Same time, we Urge Visiting journalists to Take the Necessary Precautions to protect the confidentiality of sources and Their to avoid Surveillance of Their Communications . To this end, we have Made A ‘Digital Survival kit’ available to Them. ”

Bogen and Aune had proper accreditation and used a rental car to travel around Krasnodar, the region where Sochi is located, and to visit the neighbouring autonomous Republic of Adygea.

They were first questioned about their plans and the people they were interviewing on 31 October.They were questioned again, twice, on 1 November in Maykop, Adygea’s capital. At the end of the second session on 1 November, other police officer suddenly arrived, accused Bogen of taking drugs and made him accompany them to a nearby clinic for a drug test. This episode ended after an hour and a half, when a person identifying himself as the local police chief released the two journalists and apologised for the “mistake.”

The next day, they were stopped again and interrogated for an hour between Maykop and Sochi. And they were questioned again in the early evening near Tuapse, a town in the Krasnodar region. This time they were taken into custody without any explanation and were put in a cell with other suspects.

Their equipment was temporarily confiscated and their repeated requests to be allowed to call their embassy were ignored. They were freed at around 10 pm but, as they reached the outskirts of Sochi, they were stopped again.

After searches and a security check, they were taken to the nearest police checkpoint, where an officer questioned Bogen about his private life and his work, going so far as to ask him for a list of the people he planned to meet in Sochi and the places where he planned to film. After being forced to sign a statement without being given a copy, they were finally allowed to continue their way at around 1 am

The Russian foreign ministry gave the two journalists a formal apology yesterday for the “series of unwarranted actions” and said the police responsible would be punished for “abusing their authority.”

Reporters Without Borders Published an in-depth Report in early October About the State of freedom of information in the Sochi Region .

(Photos: TV2 / Oystein Bogen, Aage Aune)


Foreign journalists must not retreat in the face of intimidation

Reporters Without Borders shocked intrusive actions by the police, who were subjected to two Norwegian journalists in Sochi region during from October 31 to November 2, 2013 Reporter private channel TV2 Heist Bogen and operator Ogge Eyun came to the region for reporting problems, related to the organization of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin in February 2014 According to the journalists they were detained by law enforcement officials six times in three days.During the detention of journalists questioned in detail about their professional and local contacts and even placed under arrest without explanation.

“Arbitrary detention, secret neglect of journalistic sources, the confiscation of professional equipment … This set of violations of freedom of information shows determination to expose harassment of two journalists. Their painful stay in the region does not bode well against tough security measures that will be taken in anticipation of the Olympics, starting in January of next year. Combating the threat of terrorism is certainly necessary, but it does not justify such action. We hope that the Norwegian authorities very soon receive an explanation from the Russian leadership, “- said Reporters Without Borders.

“The international media should not allow themselves to be intimidated by this incident. There is nothing criminal to carry reports on the preparation of the Olympic Games and to meet with local journalists and activists. We again appeal to foreign correspondents calling a wide press coverage of Sochi to not be limited to the Olympic theme and meet with civil society. At the same time, we urge to take all necessary precautions to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information and to avoid total control of their communications: for this purpose we have available for journalists’ digital survival kit ‘. ”

Heist Bogen and Ogge Eyun – duly accredited journalists. They rented a car for journeys in the Krasnodar region, which is located in Sochi, as well as the neighboring autonomous republic of Adygea. Answering questions for the first time on October 31 about the plans and the persons from whom they interviewed journalists were again a series of interviews on November 1 in Maikop (Adygea). At the end of the second interview arrived at the scene other Interior Ministry officials, accusing Heist Bogen in the use of drugs and forcibly took him to the nearest clinic for a series of tests. Journalists detained after half an hour and then released after a man arrived who introduced himself as the local police chief, and brought them to apologize for making a “mistake.”

Nevertheless, the next day journalists were detained and interrogated again an hour between Maikop and Sochi. Then again, in the late afternoon, near Tuapse (Krasnodar region). But this time the journalists detained without explanation in a cell with other suspects, temporarily withdrawing their equipment. Their repeated requests to contact the embassy were not taken into account. Finally, in the area 22 hours journalists released from custody. However, when reporters finally got to Sochi, they once again detained. After the search and security control procedures, they were taken to a nearby checkpoint where police officer questioned Heist Bogen detail about his personal and professional life, asking to provide a list of persons with whom the latter was planning to meet in Sochi, as well as places that he was going to shoot film. Journalists have not received any copies of their statements, which were forced to sign. They finally were allowed to continue their journey in the morning.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented a formal apology to two journalists on November 6 for “a number of unreasonable actions” that they have experienced. The ministry said that law enforcement officials, “exceeded its authority” will be punished.

Reporters Without Borders published in early October, a report on the status of the investigation in relation to freedom of information in the region of Sochi.

LINKED ARTICLES

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Challenging Our Free Right To Strike

Two women strikers on picket line during the &...

Two women strikers on picket line during the “Uprising of the 20,000”, garment workers strike, New York City. Strikes, ladies tailors, N.Y., Feb. 1910, picket girls on duty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not a person that believes in strike action per se but when it comes down to ” Free Rights ” l am firmly behind the people in their action’s! This is not just a case of preventing people striking it is the effect it will have on the way this country will look to the world, during the Olympic‘s! So my reason for posting this article from the Telegraph thanks to Ben Brogan being acknowledged. Is simply l do not believe that we have the right for the wrong reason to prevent anyone from striking for what they believe is their God-given right of ” Free Will”

 

BREAKING: Jeremy Hunt just spoke to Jim Naughtie on the Today programme about how the government is dealing with the Olympic security challenges and the planned strike action by border staff. He said the deployment of further troops to guard the security of the Games was not promoted by further failures by G4’s but simply because he didn’t want to “leave anything to chance”.

He stressed that G4’s failings were with the management not the workers, and that it was important not to “demonise” those working at the Games.

On the border strike, he said “we can be very confident of the provisions we have in place”, but added that he thought the eve of the Olympics was “the wrong time to strike”.

 

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