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tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 26, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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>> hi everyone, this is al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. signing on. more international partners join the fight against i.s.i.l. what will they do to help? war of words. israel fires back as the palestinian resident accuses it of genocide. >> war on troops, journalists jailed beheaded just for doing their job. >> 2,000 flights cancelled because of one man.
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an escape artist a tribute to freedom from one of america's most notorious prisons. >> and we begin tonight with a big boost for the u.s. led fight against i.s.i.l. three new nations have pledged to join the battle in iraq including u.k. where this is the cover of the daily telegraph, britain goes to war. the british voted overwhelmingly to vote to go to war against i.s.i.l, and jets will be joined from denmark and belgium. jonah hull has more. >> there is already a coalition bombing i.s.i.l. in iraq. britain could join coon likel sy
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going to deposit way. >> we also have to think of the consequences of inaction. if we allow i.s.i.l. to grow and thrive there is no doubt in my mind that the level of threat to this country would increase. >> the man who led cameron's embarrassing parliamentary defeat to bomb syrian targets last year led the support. >> although this is difficult it is the best thing to do. there is no greater job for the parliament but for protecting the security and the values for which that stand i will be supporting the vote this afternoon. >> tough questions are being asked. >> how long will this war last and when will mission creep start? >> look at what the house of commons agreed to, are iraq, afghanistan, this government libya, none are success stories. are we going to embark on action that could last for years?
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>> with parliament really unnerved by military action in the middle east, david cameron has worked hard to be sure that the lessons are well learned. a united iraqi government but the elephant in the room of course is syria. quite deliberately, syria is not on the immediate agenda. but it's clear nothing is being ruled out. >> i do believe there's a strong case for us to do more in syria. i don't believe there is a legal barrier because i think the legal advice is clear. that were we to act or others to act there is a legal basis. >> that will be another debate. for another time. jonah hull, jdge al jazeera lon. >> warren hoag senior advisory of the international peace student. warren welcome.
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>> glad to be back john. >> what about the u.k. getting involved in this, how big a deal is are this? >> i think it's a big deal because it was a vote in parliament. syria went in parliament, david cameron lost that one. it was overwhelming in favor, so i think it represents quite a sea change. >> what can the brits and belgium and denmark offer that the others can't? >> opening of the general assembly where you have 80 or 90 heads of state there, it has all been arab countries in particular those who are with the coalition, you know, lobbying other airbus. and i've seen lots of that going on at the u.n. this week. >> are u.k. actions limited to iraq but is there a chance they'll move into syria or not? >> i can't answer that. i used to cover great britain years ago but i'm not there now. i think that would give a
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different popular response than this would have gotten so i don't think they're going to go for that next step. >> just from your perspective of covering the u.k. cu give us an idea of -- can you give us how difficult a decision it is for the u.k. to get involved in this? >> i think it is particularly difficult for the u.k. public because they have had such a bad reaction to what happened in iraq. tony blair in my time was a three times elected prime minister is now almost a reviled figure in britain almost completely because of the iraq war. i would think the brits would go rather nimbly into that argument because of what happened before. >> post the united nations talks, is this more evidence despite the criticism that the u.n. is relevant? >> the u.n. becomes relevant every year this particular week.
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a year ago it was where rouhani chose to start the charm offensive where all the leaders are assembled. where the u.n. passed the resolution approving the destruction of the chemical weapons in syria. where the u.n. is marginalized and is irrelevant, becomes relevant this week. >> warren if you will stand by. randall pinkston is at the white house. randall. >> john, u.s. officials are not saying how much time only that it will take a long time. they are saying with the addition of more coalition forces the job will certainly become a lot easier to do trying to defeat i.s.i.l. with more u.s. strikes on targets in iraq and i.s.i.l. operated tanks in syria, and
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another round of attacks from french fighter jets, the pentagon warned this is just the beginning of the fight against i.s.i.l. >> sustaining our broad diplomatic economic and military campaign will require a long term commitment from the united states, and all of our partners and allies. this will not be an easy or brief effort. we are at the beginning not the end of our effort to degrade and destroy i.s.i.l. >> defense secretary chuck hagel and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general manatov dempsey spoke on friday, saying the fight against i.s.i.l. strong holds will take more time and more fire power. boots on the ground if necessary. >> if you are suggesting that i might at some point recommend that we need a large ground force to counter i.s.i.l, the answer is absolutely. it doesn't have to be american. ideally for the kind of issues
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we're confronting there. the ideal force is a force comprised of iraqis and kurds and moderate syrian opposition. >> reporter: also needed: more money. >> we're going to require additional funding. from congress as we go forward. >> hagel confirms the operation to defeat i.s.i.l. is costing the u.s. 7 to $10 million a day, the money coming from the budget for the pentagon's overseas contingency operations. the pent gob has requested $58 billion for that fund next year but say they will need far more and are working with congress with a number. the defense leaders say the u.s. is doing everything in its power to limit civilian casualties. so far they have no word of civilian deaths but sifnl deathn
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deaths will be inevitable. five civilians killed when the u.s. forces struck an oil re.5ary. john. >> deploying what does that mean? >> moderate syrian fighters. something else, the u.s. has found the funds, $500 million to train 500 fighters but general dempsey says it will take 12,000 to 15,000 of those fighters to take back the territory that has been conquered by i.s.i.l. >> randall pinkston, thank you. iraq's president says more regional cooperation is needed in the battle against the group. he says a united front is necessary to stop the spread of i.s.i.l. >> translator: we in iraq are determined to cleanse our land from i.s.i.s. we'd like to stress to you that
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eliminating terrorism in iraq will be an important step in the direction of protecting the world and ridding the world from this danger. >> i.s.i.l. fighters in syria are closing in on a city ride on the border of turkey. turkish citizens have demanded their country fight i.s.i.l. more from stephanie decker. >> they are moving in on three fronts on the city of kobani. >> i.s.i.l. is shelling our people. we will sacrifice our blood for kobani. the turkish government won't let us go and fight. they are helping i.s.i.l. they want kobani to fall. >> reporter: military
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reenforcements are brought in as hundreds of turkish kurds are protesting against what they think is not enough. >> they sing kurdish patriotic songs. ♪ >> i.s.i.l.'s presence is not independent from this government's policies. if they hadn't opened the border for i.s.i.l. and given them ammunition, i.s.i.l. would not have gotten this close. the government has to stop its dirty politics and let us fight i.s.i.l. >> diplomat iforts by u.s efford that includes the free syrian army, curve kurdish groups. >> i hope we hasten the day in which we can use the name bashar al-assad in the past tense.
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>> reporter: the major players on the ground like islamic front and al nusra are not welcome. their ability to confront i.s.i.l. is debatable. it also doesn't include the ypg, the syrian group of battling i.s.i.l. around kobani. they are reluctant to see any, renewed fight against their rights and possibly an independent state. there is a ceasefire in place but it's fragile. i.s.i.l.'s push on kobani has forced 150,000 kurds across the border. stephanie decker al jazeera on the turkey syria border border. >> warren hoag joins us again.
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>> turkey has a major air field close to northern syria. i was just in turkey three weeks ago. there is no sympathy for jihadists. he erdogan still handy set which wayest going but he's going to have to join. >> his stance on involvement he says has changed and what follows might be very different, any idea what that would look like? >> well, i'm very happy he said that because i was just here saying i thought he would have to go that direction. then the question is, what will it amount to? i'm certain they'll let the
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coalition forces use that air field. that's a minimum thing. will they start to fly? they've got a big air force. will they put troops on the ground? they of course want to overthrow the regime of bashar al-assad which some other members of the coalition do not want to do. that will always remain a problem. >> this is very complicated. i want to go back to the iraqi prime minister who sort of dropped a verbal bomb on everybody when he announced they had uncovered a plot ge jihaddis to bomb public transportation depots,. >> ists a signed of desperation of the iraqi president. iraq has a problem with the other arabs since they have had power they've had a super shiite
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government and they still have a shiite premier. he's not as exclusive as his pred saypredpredecessor nouri a. but to have a really inclusive government so that iraqi troops can go out and be supported by other arab troops but for a moment iraq has a problem i think with its arab partners. >> a problem with its arab facebook because? >> because it's seen as so shiite. how will iran get involved in a way? i sort of think this can never be solved without are involvement by iran. >> thank you warren hoag. ending israel's occupation of the west bank, he accused
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israel of waging a war of genocide in gaza. more from al jazeera's deploymenal jazeera'sdiplomatic. >> a war in gaza where 2,000 palestinians many of them women and children have been killed. he described the scale this time as a genocidal crime. >> translator: here we find ourselves full of grief regret and bitterness. raising the same long standing conclusions and questions. after a new war. the third war raised by the racist occupying state in five years against gaza. this small densely populated and precious part of our country. >> reporter: because of a jewish holiday there was no one in israel's seats in the hall to
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hear him say that in peace negotiations earlier this year israel had failed the test of peace. >> translator: the future proposed by the israeli government for the palestinian people is at best isolated ghettos for palestinians on fragmented lands without borders and without sovereignty over its air space water and natural resources which will be under the subjust gaitio subjust subj. >> he wants that resolution to outline a specific time line for the end of the israeli occupation and the creation of a two-state solution and once that time line's in place he wants the immediate resumption of peace talks between the palestinians and the israelis.
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in the hall of the general assembly, president abbas received a great deal of splawz. of [applause] but the security council will be much more difficult. one of the five countries that has the power to veto any resolution, u.s. james bays al jazeera at the united nations. >> and tonight, aids to the israeli prime minister said abbas's speech was full of lies and insightment. israeli foreign minister called the speech diplomatic terrorism. coming up, what co-workers are saying about the oklahoma man who beheaded a woman at work. and in our friday arts segment. the inspiration behind an art exhibit in san francisco's
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famous alcatraz prison.
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>> the fbi is investigating a gruesome attack at an oklahoma food plant.
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police say a plant worker beheaded one woman and stabbed another, moments after he was fired on thursday. a reserve deputy who works at the plant shot and wounded 30-year-ol30-year-old alton nolr he was stabbing the other woman. he had recently tried to convert them to islam. looking into his background. fire at chicago's airport disrupted and closed, setting the fire just before 6:00 a.m. in the basement of the building in aurora, illinois. he's now facing felony charges of damaging airport property. more from lisa stark. >> reporter: the chaos at the airports in chicago and in the skies over the midwest began very early in the morning when the fire department was called to chicago air traffic control center which is in aurora, west
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of chicago, there they found a fire in the basement and a man with self-inflicted stab wounds. >> this was apparently an isolated incident. there is no indications of terrorists, there is no reason to believe anyone else is involved at this time. >> we don't know what his moaivemotivewas at this point. >> the man is a contractor, services communications equipment. he splashed gasoline on that critical equipment and then set it on fire. chicago center had to be evacuated. one person was treated for smoke inhalation. and thousands of people found their travel plans up ended. chicago's ochicago's o'hare and,
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flights were cancelled. handed over to other centers. flights did reopen later in the morning but takeoffs and landings were severely affected it could have a ripple effect throughout the weekend maybe even beyond. >> that's lisa stark reporting. a judge says texas governor rick perry can skip the next hearing in the felony abuse of power case against him. he was excused so he could travel to europe. perry is accused of wrongfully pulling funding of state crimes including in the governor's office. perry pled not guilty. in friday's art segment, the alcatraz prison has been turned over to the contemporary chinese
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artists. melissa chan has the story. >> they say no one successfully escaped al c alcatraz, an art sw about creativity, self-expression has opened on the former island prison. some of the installations viewable only through panes of broken prison glass. these works are so beautifully made, so resplendent, i feel people from all walks of life will find something in them. >> he calls his exhibit at large. he planned it remotely in absentia, his own freedom curtailed by the chinese government. he cannot escape to alcatraz. some of the installations were designed in china and assembled in the united states. decorating the old prison
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factory floor over a million lego blocks. portraits of prisoners and exiles around the world. he knows what it feels like. iwaway, in this installation he's prepared preaddressed post cards to those same political pruz centers represented by legos. most of these messages won't reach recipients but will serve as an example. means the u.s. government had to grant permission to i wayway to build this exhibit. that may not sit well with the chinese government. when we interviewed him in 2009 fighting for freedom had already become a major part of his art. >> we really have to show your
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courage and to express your consciousness and to communicate with others. >> ai waiwai says, he will succeed on alcatraz. more than a million tourists visit the island every year. >> we want them to have this transformative experience, when they leave the island they're a slightly different person. >> cell block a has become the installation stay tuned. an invitation to sit behind bars and listen to poetry and music composed by political prisoners, composed by a tibetan prisoner. melissa chan, al jazeera, san
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francisco. >> my conversation with al jazeera, abdalla al shami. why more can be done here at home. our special report, war on truth. and this programming note this weekend, al jazeera has a special report looking at the week in power, less than six weeks before the mid term elections. power politics, airs tomorrow at 5:30 eastern, 2:30 pacific.
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>> this is al jazeera america, i'm john siegenthaler. every day, journalists around the world put their lives on the line. at the question those in power, and -- they question those in power and bring us important information. for 272 days al jazeera journalists mohamed fahmy, peter greste and baher mohamed, have been imprisoned, accused of
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aiding the muslim brotherhood, this al jazeera strongly denies. shia brittanzi has more. >> reporter: the international campaign for al jazeera journalists mohamed fahmy, peter greste and baher mohamed arrives in times square, new york. the message is here and on the back page of the new york times. free our journalists whose only crime was to do their jobs. as the u.n. general assembly meets in new york, the principle is clear. the freedom of the press mutt not b must not be stopped. >> peter greste's mother says her son is resilient. >> he's incredible. he's settled into the belief
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that he's going to be imprisoned until this stuff is over and he's done all sorts of ways to make the best of it. >> the egyptian president has held the government line. >> whether they are guilty or innocent, the best thing was to get them out of the country but at that time when they were arrested i was not responsible for the country at that time. i was only the minister of defense. >> al jazeera am abdullah al shami was held for ten months. he says the attack against journalists continues. >> we have dozens who are still in prison, forced to flee the country, others who have been killed. and al jazeera english who have been in jail over eight months now. >> the white house said president obama called for their release when he met with
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president sisi, it's clear for now journalism remains a crime in egypt. shia britanzi, al jazeera, new york. >> and abdullah al shami joins us in the studio in new york. it's good to have you. >> thank you it's good to be here. >> you spent ten months in prison. cu describe what this is like? >> it was a lifetime experience for me, it was like hell if i could use that expression, there was always that constant fear of you spending the rest of your life there. i remember the very first day when we were moved to the prison and then the guards locked up the doors of our cell i thought well i think this is it. i'm going to stay here like a lifetime, 25 or 30 years of my life. it was very painful actually and depressing to have that thought. every now and then hope was rising that a miracle could
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happen, at one time, somebody calls your name and asks you to leave. but it was a very painful experience and i wouldn't want anybody else to go through this. >> then you decided to go on a hunger strike. why? >> i had been -- at the time i started thinking of going on a hunger strike. it's been almost five months for me in jail and there was not any kind of justice taking place. every 45 days we were taxicab to a court and then having our detention renewed for another 45 days. no kind of investigation no evidence nothing, we didn't have a chance to speak to a judge or prosecutor, even our own lawyers, and that of course was happening with me. that i thought was the only way i could speak out reach out to the world and tell them a journalist is behind bars for doing nothing and i was -- something like me staying there for the rest of my life, i was not allowing that to happen. >> it's one thing to talk about
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a hunger strike and another thing to experience it. cu tell us what physically it was like for you? >> in the very beginning, the hunger strike itself is more of a spiritual journey how i think about it, you have to be convinced and ready for the kind of struggle you are going to get through. because you have to endure the pain of hunger and at the same time, i remember i was with 15 others in the cell. so they were eating almost all the time so i can -- you can imagine me having to you know, go on this and at the same time, trying not to look at the food they're eatin eating because yoe that kind of yourself luring into joining them. in the beginning it was easy because your body was trying to -- you had no thoughts of breaking the hunger strike but later definitely it did get to the point of getting used to it. >> you wrote several letters to your family. one letter, you wrote to your
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mother on the 170th day in jail 12 days into the hunger strike and this is what you said. during the past week the one question i asked myself is how much can i endure and is my strike worth anything at all. how much could you endure? >> actually, i had my strike going for almost five months, 149 days exactly. and at some moment, especially when i was moved to the maximum security prison and i was kept in solitary confinement i was almost going to break it because i had nothing to do. >> you were sick. >> yes i was sick and i had nothing to do. i tried to fill my time busy by sleeping, there was nothing i could do, no contact with outside world or other prisoners so it was very hard. at the same time, i felt if i could win i could do this but i will kind of lose my mind before i get to that point.
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>> let's talk about your colleagues who have been detained for 271 days. peter greste, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed, what do you know about their condition right now? >> well, they are staying in one of the prisons in tora district kind of southwest cairo. and they are leaving as far as i know because i have not been in direct contact with them, i have sent them personal letters but i haven't you know been in contact with them. conditions in prisons are generally not good. we see lack of medical care, we see lack of clean water or clean food. there is no kind of ventilation or human rights respect. so i believe that the condition in which they are now, which you know very first thing is they are lacking their own freedom, things that were you know, not good at all. >> you wrote another letter to your mother 160 days in jail. i do not belong to any group or
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ideology. i belong to my conscience and my humanity and i do not take interest in what has been said in the local media about me or my colleagues. history doesn't forget. our freedom will prevail for my colleagues and myself. it prevailed for you. but there's still your colleagues in jail. >> yeah. >> what do you write to them now? you don't know whether those letters get through but what are your words to them? >> if actually i would be able to get in direct contact with them i would tell them to keep strong as much as possible. because you know, we as prisoners usually when you are in jail you get the usual notion of you know going to spend the rest of your life there. so you have to kind of keep determined and strong. they have to be together, inside prison they always try to break you down, try separate you as a
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group. so this is what they should do and they should you know, carry on with their struggle, they should know that they haven't done anything wrong. this is for sake of a greater cause which is press freedom. >> more of my interview with abdullah al shami in just a moment. a right protected by the u.s. constitution. recognized as a vital part of our democracy yet some watchdog groups say that right is in danger. jonathan betz is here with more jonathan. >> john, every year reporters without borders ranks countries how friendly they are to reporters. finland and norway have cultures that allow press to flourish. where is the united states on this list? you have to drop down to 46th. to find the united states. in front of row romania and hai.
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the u.s. dropped 13 places from last year. reporters without borders blames that on the government's crack downed on whistle blowers and leaks. it actually mentioned the cases of chelsea manning and edward snowden. reporters without borders placed united kingdom 33 on the list also because of the edward snowden leak. caichts worractivists worry, drs obsessed with hunting down whistle blowers. >> coming up more of my conversation with abdullahal shami and the impact of
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silencing journalists on all of us.
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>> and al jazeera special report. war on truth. now more than ever journalism is
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a dangerous business and not just because of the risks of covering war. governments and rebel groups alike are cracking down on reporters and much worse. paul beban is here with more. paul. >> reporter: john, covering conflict is made much more dangerous today. first media organizations have scaled back their foreign bureaus, that means more freelancers with less support in the field. also as one journalist put it they're seen as walking atms, easy targets for kidnap and ransom. during lebanon's civil war, in the 1980s, journalists were held hostage for years. journalists were held during the reign of the khmer rouge. as paramilitary drug gans and
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governments. but nothing in modern memory compares to syria. of the 227 journalists killed around the world since 2011 one-third died in syria. but it was the beheading of two abducted american journalists that brought the risks of reporting the syrian conflict into sharp focus. >> he was concerned. >> he knew it was getting more dangerous. >> he was concerned. >> james foley and steven sotloff were two of the more than 80 journalists who have been kidnapped in syria. 20 are still missing. working as journalists or supporting international forces. syria isn't the only place where
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journalists, are actively even aggressivelily supported. 2004 through last year, there are 13 countries where at least five journalists were murdered without a single perpetrator convicting. almost a third of murdered journalists are taken captive or tortured before they're killed and how often are their killerrers ever captured or prosecuted? less than 5% of the:00. >> even in a war zone you kind of know the threats. but i think it's the areas where people may be working in supposedly a normal environment that there is this almost sinister presence that is closing down the freedom of the press. >> reporter: and as journalists are dying and reporting from conflict zones dwindles, the other casualty is the truth. now paradoxically, better news gathering technology as well as ease of travel also pose a travel. all need to gather news is a
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cell phone and an internet connection. it is cheaper to travel to places to report it. more and more people are showing up in conflict zones with little experience support or training. >> all right paul beban, thank you very much. ann cooper, award winning journalist with more than two decades of reporting experience, she was npr's bureau chief in moscow and johannesburg. you were executive director of the committee to protect journalists and you campaigned to get journalists out of prison for many journalists who needed your help. can you tell us what strikes you about this particular case, when it comes to these three al jazeera journalists? >> i have to say, reading about this case from a distance, it
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sounded like such a farce. it's very hard to imagine why is this happening, why are they pursuing it? and i think there was something of an expectation oh this is all going to end or just go away one day but it hasn't. >> and it is not necessarily unique is it? >> no, in fact. there was -- cpj everyyear does a census of journalists in priz open. it is a snapshot of on this day, there were -- that many. 211 something like that last year and more than that in 2012. and you know the worse countries right now are turkey, iran and china. and you know, there are dozens of journalists in prison in those countries. >> one of the things that caught the attention of the american people was the beheading of two journalists in syria. it kind of brought to light of course i.s.i.l. but also the dangers that journalists face.
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do we have any idea how many journalists are being held in syria? >> actually i just heard joel simon who is the executive director of cpj, he said the estimate was 20 journalists now but over the course of the conflict of syria, about 80 journalists have been kidnapped, most of them actually syrian journalists. >> the sad part is without journalists in syria or hiding in syria or imprisoned in syria we can't get information about what's going on there. >> right. this has been one of the worst conflicts for journalists in so many ways. first of all you have a government that didn't want anybody in or if you do manage to get a syrian visa which is pretty rare you're there with all kinds of restrictions on what you can see. so for a while, people were sneaking across the border.
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you know, and going into rebel territories and trying to do some reporting there. but that you know became very dangerous very quickly. and you know as we've seen, most recently with the two executions recently. >> we talk about syria and iraq and egypt to name just a few but you spent time in johannesburg during the conflict there. talk about what you teach students about the importance of journalists in a conflict zone. >> well, the most important thing is for the journalists to take care of themselves, to go in knowing, to be very prepared, and to know what they're getting into. and to be cautious. do not take risks. what's the point? you know we want to inform the world. we want to cover these conflicts that are important stories. >> you know that they do take risks all the time. >> they do but you know you can be much better prepared for a
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risk if you had some training. there's hostile environment training they can have. there are safety handbooks. there are you know talk to your colleagues. get as well informed as you possibly can before you go in. >> when you came down and sat down for this interview you talked about where the united states stands. give me your feelings on that when it comes to freedom of the press. >> well it's depressing needless to say. but the ranking of the united states and its fall on the reporters without borders list is all tied to national security and surveillance issues. and that is the big press freedom issue in this country. but it's a huge one. it has an intimidating effect on the sources, especially for investigative reporting. it's you know i can't give you specific examples where it's you know it's intimidated people and
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we don't know that story. but you know it's out there. it's just -- it's happening. it's a big change. >> it's good to see you. thank you for all the work you've done for journalists around the world and good to have you on the program tonight. >> thank you. >> journalist abdullahal shami spent time in prison for just doing his job. i asked about the legal issue in egypt. >> the judicial process i kind of lost hope in and what led me starting the hunger strike. the judicial process would be a acceptable thing if there is really a judiciary that looks into evidence, that looks into things before making a decision but we have seen what happened in my own case, the whole evidence there was anything -- there was nothing tangible. it was all just pictures and family pictures, pop video clips and things that -- >> no evidence. >> yeah, it has no relation with
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egypt. talking about the whole thing has to go through the judiciary. i'm afraid this is not going to lead us anywhere but we try to keep our spirits up. >> did you ever see your colleagues in jail ever? >> actually we were in two separate prisons but i got in contact with baher once when i was in -- it was the very first week of the detention. he sent me a letter through another prison. a prisoner, sorry and that was the only time i got in contact with him. >> can you tell us what it was like for your family? >> actually it was very hard for us to go through this phase. because you know, we as a family have always been together. my parents and my brothers. and now looking at the fact that my parents were staying in nigeria and then i was in prison and my brothers were in egypt so it was very hard -- >> it must have been excruciating. >> yes, it was unbelievable for everyone.
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it was even worse for my wife, we were married for a year and most of that year i was traveling around doing work. for her it was an experience that came too soon so it was something that actually you know of course it has its impact on us up until now but we try not to let it you know take over us. we try -- it has made us actually bond more better and it has made us stronger as a family. >> were you aware of the worldwide campaign for your release? >> yes actually i used to get news of that during my family visits in the prison. it actually made a lot of difference to me because it was one of the very important things that made me carry on with my hunger strike. i remember when i was in the maximum security prison i was cut off from the world, the only visit i had with my family they gave me updates what was going on both globally and in egypt. there was some kind of campaign
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going there as well for my release. so it kind of yes, it made a differential for me. >> you know that the egyptian government suggests that al jazeera is connected to the muslim brotherhood because qatar which funds al jazeera has been connected to the muslim brotherhood and the funding of muslim brotherhood so what do you say to people who say al jazeera is biased when it comes to egyptian politics? >> well, i will say, you know, they are human beings, they have common sense, they have their minds to think with and they should not allow anybody to tell them what to think. i myself personally when i went to egypt before i got arrested i covered events in tahrir, pro-sisi. events, i moved to ra rvetionba and i went to states in the delta where supports for sisi were taking place. that's one thing that i
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personally you know, have evidence that we are trying to cover both sides of the story. but at one point when you are not allowed to cover the other side of the story, then you have no choice. if you -- if for example you go to tahrir square when things are happening there and you want to cover it but then you end up being beaten or driven away then that's why people may think at some point you know al jazeera might be biased or whatever. i ask people to think for themselves. look at facts and look at both sides of the story and they will find out this is not true at all. >> can you just give us a sense of how important this issue is to the world, how important journalism is to not just the united states but all around the world? and why you continue to pursue this in your career? >> well, let me start by you know saying that we as human beings no matter what region do we come from what religion do we
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believe in or even ideology do we hold, we have common things between us things like freedom like liberty like justice believing in democracy as a way of changing the world. i think these are changes that will you know cause to even all those threats we see in the middle east in different areas, different regions of the world, these kind of threats will be eliminated because if people really believe that their choice the things they -- the decisions they make by selecting their own leaders by you know having their own say in their countries at first, i think there will be no cause us to be a pert world. and looking at your question, i also believe that a free society wouldn't be any better or any lets say more free, if not for a free press. because when people have if freedom -- the freedom to talk what they think when freedom of speech is something protected
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and preserved i think that will make societies a lot better. >> you're doing well now. physically you okay? >> well for me physically, you know, there are things on the long run and then on the short term. i have been talking with doctors and doing medical checks and we wouldn't really you know find out the total picture to see it unless about six months about after you know, my detention -- my release and this is one thing that well i'm trying to not to get myself into thinking about bad things would happen. i'm trying to recover. but most of the impact on me is psychologically, trying not to think about prison time as much as possible. yet i'm trying not to let this overwhelm me so i can carry on with the campaign and the cause of free media and free press. >> we're glad you're here, we're glad you're safe and okay and we continue to wish for the release of your colleagues.
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abdullah it's great to see you thanks for being with us. >> thank you very much. >> tonight's freeze frame is a simple protest against the war on truth. dozens of al jazeera america staff members gather for this photo in front of our colleague abdullah al shami. al jazeera continues to demand the release of our colleagues, peter greste, mohamed fahmy, and baher mohamed, from their imprisonment in egypt. that's it.
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>> what you want to do? just don't want to go to college, you want to be a drop out? >> my mom don't know what i deal with on a daily basis. i've been shot at a couple of times. i really don't care about college. >> so you just throw your life up in the air, just like your daddy? >> i live in mosca, colorado, aka the middle of nowhere. >> thanks. my quest is to find me and me is not here. going to college is the only way i'm going to be able to get out of here. i'm opening my letter from chapman. it's kind of scary. i might