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tv   Weekend News  Al Jazeera  August 29, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

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>> the iraqis with nowhere to go as they escape isil fighters in anbar province. >> hello, legitimate journalists unjustly convicted. that is how al jazeera is describing the sentencing of three of our journalists to at least three years to an egyptian prison. canadian mohammed fahmy and egyptian baher mohammed maimed a australian peter greste were arrested in december of 2013. they were convicted in february of 2014. they were convicted of spreading
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false news and operating without a permit. six months later their convictions were overturned by egypt's court of concession. >> hope then heartbreak in an egyptian courtroom as two journalists return to prison. a retrial was supposed to give mohamed fahmy, baher mohammed and peter greste a second humanity to clear their name. instead, justice was denied jet again. >> i don't know how i'm going to survive this. >> the judge said that he wanted to make clear to the people of egypt that these men were not journalists and doctored videos
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for air. then he sentenced them to more prison time, three years for fahmy and greste and three and a half for mohammed. they've already spend a year and a half behind bars. peter greste will not serve time because he was deported to australia. but it will inhibit his ability to work as a correspondent. >> my heart is with baher and fahmy. >> the courtroom was described with a tense and angry atmosphere. the case was called a sham. leaders like president barack obama has condemned it. they were convicted of aiding the muslim brotherhood, now deemed as a terrorist group. >> they were convicted without a shred of evidence. at no point during the long drawn out retrial did any of the
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unfounded allegations stand up to scrutiny. >> the canadian government is demanding fahmy's immediate deportation. his attorney said that now that the judicial has proven its driven by politics not truth it is time for the president to pardon the men. >> they send a dangerous message that there are judges in egypt who would allow thorough courts to become instruments of political repression and propaganda. >> for now the legal fight continues, but greste says that they need the global community to fight with them by continue to go promote the free aj staff campaign. al jazeera. >> we'll get more now from al jazeera's diplomatic editor james bays. more international reaction coming in. >> we get more and more reaction from the governments around the world, all of it condemning these sentences. the latest reaction is important. it's the first reaction we've had from the u.s. obama
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administration. a very important figure. isamantha power is the u.s. ambassador to the united nations a former journalist herself. she has been on twitter in the last few minutes talking about the case. my conversations with her have been dealing with this issue. publicly she has been raising it, and she has been dealing with it behind the scenes as well trying to make progress on this issue. she's put out a tweet in the last minutes. al jazeera journalists mohamed fahmy, baher mohammed sentenced just for doing their jobs. then she adds another significant blow to press freedom. criticism there from the u.s. joining criticism from very many countries. among them the countries that have nationals involved with this. julie bishop, the australian foreign minister, condemned it. so did canada, a statement from canada's foreign affairs minister. she said that the canadian government continues to call on the egyptian government to use all tools at its disposal to
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dissolve mr. fahmy's case and allow his immediate return to canada. the e.u. has condemned this as well. they say that it raises further questions about the credibility the fact that peter greste was sentenced in abstentia, in breach of the international law. and a little earlier i spoke to the spokesman for the u.n. secretary general. >> the secretary general has been following this case very closely. he has always been a strong advocate for freedom of the press. he has always urged that the cases of mohamed fahmy, baher mohammed and peter greste as well as all other journalists in detention be resolved in accordance with egypt's international obligations to protect freedom of the press and association. >> so that's the spokesman for the u.s. secretary general. he made it clear to me that his boss ban ki-moon has been
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raising this repetedly including with president sisi. the next important moment will be the u.n. general assembly. all the world's leaders come in less than a month's time to new york. egypt's president will be there. i'm sure others will be raising the case of the al jazeera journalists. >> thank you. well, mohamed fahmy, baher mohammed are now back in jail. peter greste, however, was convicted in abstentia after being reported to australia earlier this year. he has been talking in the last couple of hours. >> peter greste was with his lawyer in sydney watching for news from cairo via post on social media from journalists in the courtroom. >> the verdicts when they came were not what he was hoping for. >> they just have the news. what's your immediate reaction? >> andrew, i'm finding it very hard to find the words to
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describe how i'm feeling at the moment. you know, when we knew there was always a danger that we would be convicted simply because the authorities have placed so much at stake in this case. but i'm absolutely devastated for my colleagues in particular. you know, i won't be going back to prison. i'm not going to go to egypt. but my colleagues will, and i know what they're going to have to go back to. i know the prison conditions. i know the families this we're going to be leaving behind, and it breaks my heart to know what they're going to have ting go there. >> what are your options from here. >> well, there are two separate paths. they have the option to appear before the court of concession. we'll need to see what happens. they've got 60 days to lodge that appeal. but for me, i have no option for
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appeal. because i'm not physically there. i have to be physically present in egypt to be able to do that. the only option for me is to go for a presidential pardon. >> you've just spoken with australia's foreign minister. what did she have to say? >> she told me that he was quite shocked and upset by the ruling, and she said that the australian government will pursue every legal and diplomatic means to overturn these convictions. so the australian government seems right behind me. i'm very pleased to that i've had that expression of support. >> thank you very much. >> well, communications director joins me now. what is the reaction from humans rights watch, and how surprised were you by the verdict. >> well, it's unacceptable, and we said it before during the first stages of the trial that
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the charge were outlandish. and this verdict is a gross miscarriage of justice. not a shred of evidence was presented of aiding and supporting terrorist activities. i also understand that there were other reasons including using material that was unapproved by the authorities. all those charges are ridiculous. this is a serious attack against journalism and all international standards of journalism and free speech. >> there are other journalists who have been jailed in egypt. >> yes, the committee to protect journalists, they have 18 journalists behind bars because of their reporting. this is the highest rate since
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the early 1990s. the threat of imprisonment is brought. many journalists are simply terrorized and cannot do their jobs properly. the new counter terrorism law passed as a presidential decree among its many unacceptable provisions by international human rights standards there is an aggravate provision for journalists and said if it reports any other accounts involving terrorist activity, then that ministry of defense, they could be fined $60,000 and risks being banned from practicing their job for up to one year. these are all absolutely unacceptable measures when it comes to international human
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rights standards. >> the campaign to free the al jazeera journalists have been followed around the world. what more could be done or should have been done to free these journalists? >> i think we should do more and we should continue on the same pattern, by we, i mean groups and freedom of press groups, and governments should also do their part. unfortunately, we--we see that many governments, including the u.s. and european governments are eager to combat to business as usual with egyptian authorities, and just not acknowledging the wide extent to which human rights are violated in general and freedom of speech in particular. so we urge those governments to raise those issues with the egyptian counterparts, and to make a forceful and resolute point to defend freedoms in
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egypt. >> really good to get your thoughts. thank you. >> well still to come on the program, it is ten years since hurricane katrina, but new orleans is still rebuilding. >> and tens of thousands add their voices to call fo for malaysia's prime minister to resign.
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>> hello again. a reminder 69 top stories here on al jazeera. courts in cairo sentence
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al jazeera journalist toss three years in jail. the u.n. and e.u. has condemned the verdict. they call it a set back for the freedom of expression in egypt. >> the court is quite sure that the defendants are not journalists and the defendants have broadcast without permit and falsified evidence and they aired it on an al jazeera channel that is not allowed to work inside egypt. >> protesters have called their campaign u stink campaign you
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stink. our reporter is following events for us in beirut. tell us what is going on at the moment, jamal? >> well, felicity, it has been a large day of protests here in downtown beirut. several thousand protesters taking to the streets, as you say, mainly triggered by the gorge crisis. but the chants and placards raised here are anti-establishment, anti-the political system. they say that the garbage cries is the manifestation of the failure of the state, and how sectarian politics has crippled lebanon for decades. the demands of the processes range from demanding the resignation from the countries minister. demanding inquiry into the
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country's interior minister. and demanding new parliamentary elections bearing in mind that they've had that parliament renewed itself and then demanding for new election. they're giving the government 72 hours to adhere to their demands. what will happen after that we're not sure, but they're calling for further demonstrations to take place in beirut. >> jamal, what is the reaction from the government to these demonstrations? >> well, so far nothing major. if anything the government is trying to hold the state from the middle in the sense that they have said that they would have some sort of inquiry effecting the interior minister themselves. the protesters are saying that inquiry has to include him, they
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are saying that they guarantee the right for peaceful protest, but there has not been any indication as to build they would live to the demands of the people. obviously, it is important to point out to our viewers and explain that the way in which the government or political establishment is set up here in lebanon, it's very much invested in the interests of the upper class, the business leaders as well as regional powers. so nothing really significant can change in lebanon without one being able to either force or convince the billionaire run in this country. two, without being able to get one of the regional powers inside saudi arabia, iran or others being on board with this, either by bringing more people out on the streets or by more political discussion that will take place. so far neither of those things have happened, felicity. >> jamal, thank you. no protesters in the u.s.
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city of chicago hold police ability. there have been several high profile cases of police brutality cases in the u.s. this year. the rally organizes say that the department has a reputation for killings and maintaining beating and for sure centers which target ethnic minorities. we're live now. john, this is the latest in a series of rallies? >> that's right. all the attention has been on places like ferguson, missouri, and baltimore, which there have been other incidents where black men have been killed at the hands of police. in chicago they say this is going on for many years, and there is a long history of bad relations between police and the black community here in chicago. you can see these black matter signs. those are signs for the most
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recent wave of protest that started out of ferguson, missouri. however, there is a police fund here of $5.5 million for people who were torture in the 1990s at the hands of police. in that case there was a police force led by police chief john burge where there were police beatings. there are still 100 men in prison who were treated that way by that particular unit. this is in effort to get that to stop. you can see several hundred people here gathering at the beginning of what will be a march through the city of chicago. if i can get my cameramen to turn around as well. so far this is peaceful, there is not a large police presence,
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and this is nothing like the protest wes saw when nato was here just a few years ago. however, the crowd has been growing, and this is a crowd very angry about what they say is a long history of police abuse in the city of chicago. >> but what do the protesters actually want to see happen, john? >> what they would like is a new elected police commission. that is a civilian oversight board that would prosecute officers who wrongfully hurt or kill citizens in the course of an arrest. they say over 120 people have been killed by police unjustly since 2007, and that nobody has been prosecuted. right now that civilian oversight board has been appointed by the mayor. people are not happy about that situation. they're calling for a civilian oversight board that will be responsible to the people of chicago. >> many thanks.
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>> it is ten years since hurricane katrina has ravaged the gulf coast in the united states and killing over 1800 people. it was the most expensive natural disaster in u.s. history. it devastated the city of new zealan new orleans, which was hit hardest by the storm. president george w. busch was criticized at the time by his slow response to the disaster. . >> four men appeared in a hungarian court in connection with the bodies of 71 people found in a lorrie in austria. the victims had probably been dead for two days before they were found on thursday. well, while some people are using boats and lorries to travel around, now they're resorting to using taxis. because they want to avoid being forced into refugee camps. al jazeera's andrew simmons as they attempt the next leg of the
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journey into western europe. >> families walking in the sweltering midday heat. most have run out of water, but they still have the will to carry on. they're so exhausted that some don't even realize the white post they're passing mark the board between syria and hungary. the break in the fence is their entrance into the european union. it's hard to take in the fact that these people have walked more than 15 kilometers in this searing heat. another stage in this long journey, and even though now they're crossing into the european union, the problems aren't over. these people are like hundreds of others have not tried to run away from the hungarian border police. they're rounded up and taken to registration camps, women and children get priority. and the bus leaves behind people who are frustrated and unsure of what happens next.
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this man is from damascus in syria. he made two attempts to cross from turkey to greece by sea. on the first he was arrested and detained. on the second he was rescued by the greek coast guard. >> the sea part may have been the lost difficult, but it wasn't. this one, this that we have up from the greek border to here, it's the most i've had to experience in my life. >> in the town buses of refugees and migrants spent up to four days in registration a camps arriving at a railway station. they're grateful for food and water provided by a voluntary group, but they're confused about what is going on. >> they don't have enough information. before they cross the border they also hav do not have enough n. if they step into the european union what will happen? what are their rights?
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>> these refugees don't know their rights. like every else this young woman from syria gets a travel paper. but within hungary only. she fears she'll be taken to a camp and detained. instead of taking a pre-train ride she looks for a taxi to take her to the capital of budapest. >> to get my father to germany. >> for your parents. >> you want to help your father. >> and my mother. >> it's highly u likely they'll cross the next border using people smugglers. as they leave more arrive. so it goes on 24 hours a day. >> at least two people have been killed in a mortar attack carried out by the islamic state in iraq and the levant on the town on the outskirts of baghdad. the last defense line for the
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iraqi capital. the people have fled to the town to escape isil fight necessary anbar province. >> one of a few towns in anbar province where the state has a presence. the roads beyond this checkpoint lead to isil controlled areas in northwest and central iraq. this is the only lifeline for those cut off from the rest of the world, but only a few make it out. >> i managed to escape, but my family is still there. they don't allow people to leave. they tell the people that they should die along side them. sometimes they tell you if you want to leave you have to leave your women and children behind. >> some 300,000 people fled when isil captured ramadi, the provincial capital of anbar in may. but as fighting intensifies between isil and government forces the human crisis is worsening. >> there's fighting in the airplanes are striking.
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life is difficult. instead of advancing the army had to pull back. we have to drive in the desert to reach here. >> many of these people have relatives they left behind. hundreds of thousands are believed to be in isil controlled cities and towns while isil may have some support the majority are trapped. >> we are hostages. isil uses them as human shields. some pay $500 per person to leave while others have to prove they're sick and need help. >> the mayor of this town is busy helping those who reach amiriyat al fallujah. but they have to be safe. isil is just a kilometer away. >> there are many front lines, emphasis has been trying to capture this area, but so far the iraqi army and volunteer fighters from the town have prevented the armed group from advancing. but much of the rest of the
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province including the main roads and the board with syria is in em's handed. it has been using suicide-bombings, roadside bombs and boobie traps, making it difficult for the army to break the group's defenses. but on this front line the main concern is to protect the iraqi watch tall of baghdad--capital of baghdad, which is only a few kilometers away. >> under mounting pressure to resign after tens ever thousands of people dressed in yellow rallies against him in the capital. they deified the ban that prevents them from wearing the color that has come to symbolize democracy and anti-corruption. it comes after allegations that he took $700 million from the investment fund. something that he denies. he said it came from a private
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