tv Democracy Now LINKTV February 3, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST
02/03/22 02/03/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> consist of apartheid is the israeli dominatn on a daily basis. laws and policies and practices that put someplace and implemen to control pastinians daily lives. amy: aesty international, th wor's largt human rights organizationhas for the first time accused israel of committing the crime of
apartheid against palestinia. the bideadministration has joined israel in rejecting amnesty's findings. we will speak to the head of amnesty international usa. then to the crisis in ukraine as the u.s. sends more troops to europe. >> we areoving an additional force of approximately 2000 troops from the united states to europe in the next few days. the 82nd airborne division is the point of hundreds an infantry or great competent team and key enablers to poland and the 18th airborne corps is moving a joint task force to police headquarters to germany. amy: we will go to moscow to get response. plus, we will go to kiev, ukraine, to speak to jan egeland of the norwegian refugee council. he is warning war could result in mass civilian casualties and displacement along the ukraine/russian border. he will also talk about the massacre that took place in congo this week.
all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the pentagon says it's deploying an additional 3000 troops to eastern europe as the biden administration continued to accuse russia of planning to invade ukraine. pentagon spokesperson john kirby says u.s. troops will deploy to germany, as well as romania and poland, which border ukraine. >> the current situation demands we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture in because eastern flank. president biden has been clear the united states will respond to the growing threat to europe's security. amy: a kremlin spokesperson accused the u.s. of igniting tensions on the european continent. meanwhile, the white house said it will no longer describe a potential russian invasion of ukraine as "imminent." we'll have more on the crisis over ukraine later in the
broadcast. the white house has a large-scale counterterrorism has killed isis leader. witnesses said the two-hour assault by u.s. special forces and helicopter gunships on the village and the turkish border left 13 people dead, including six children and four women, with body parts scattered near the site of the assault. this follows massive airstrikes carried out by turkey in northern iraq and syria. turkey's defense minister said the bombings targeted members of the kurdistan workers' party, known as the pkk, as well as the syrian kurdish ypg militia, both of which turkey claims are terrorist groups. one turkish air raid that destroyed an electric power station in northern syria also injured nearby civians. >> i was inside having dinner and then i headed out for tea and then i heard theound of a
warplane and ran to tell my colleagues. i don't know what happened next. all i remember is that i heard the sound of two explosions. amy: kurdish forces said the u.s.-backed coalition open and airspace corridor for turkey to bomb northeastern syria. meanwhile, iraqi security forces condemned the airstrikes as a violation of iraqi airspace. the pentagon says it's sending a guided-missile destroyer and fighter jets to the united arab emirates as houthi rebels in yemen step up attacks. the uae's military said it shot down three houthi drones wednesday, the fourth such attack in recent weeks. meanwhile, israel's military has joined massive u.s.-led naval wargames in waters around the arabian peninsula. naval ships from oman and saudi arabia are also participating. it's the first joint military exercise invving both israel and saudi arabia, two countries that have no formal diplomatic ties. at least 60 people were killed during an attack on a campor displaced people in the
democratic republic of congo. at least 15 of the victims were children. aid groups are calling on congolese authorities to ensure the protection of civilians in e area amid a spate of violent attacks by militant groups. the camp, called plaine savo, is located in the eastern province of ituri and is home to over 24,000 people, many of them families with children. the u.s. reported more than 3600 covid-19 deaths on wednesday, even as daily infections and hospitalizations continued to decline from january's record levels. in washington, surgeon general dr. vivek murthy said a panel of vaccine experts will carefully review pfizer's application asking the fda to authorize its vaccine for children as young as six months old. >> pfizer's application will undergo the same independent, rigorous, and transparent review process that was used to authorize the vaccine. now more than 250 lane americans
have received it, including modes of children, ages five and up. amy: pfizer has extended its clinical trial to see if a third does produces a stronger immune response in young children. initial test showed two failed to mount a strong response in kids aged two to the u.s. army four. said it will immediately begin discharging soldiers who refuse to comply with the pentagon's vaccine mandate. more than 3300 army personnel have so far refused covid shots. meanwhile, a "new york times" analysis shows the united states has a far-higher per capita death rate from covid than other wealthy nations, likely due to lower vaccination rates and disparities in u.s. health care. in ecuador, the death toll has climbed to 24 people, with six people still missing after monday's flooding and mudslide in the capital quito. it was the worst rains the area has seen in nearly two decades. in other news from ecuador, a court has rejected plans to ill for oil in a protected
area of the yasuní national park in the amazon. it's a major victory for indigenous and land rights and comes just days after a pipeline burst and started spewing crude oil in the ecuadorian amazon. back in the united states, president biden's nomination of jennifer rearden as a federal judge has provoked backlash among progressives. as a lawyer for the firm gibson and dunn, rearden represented chevron in its lawsuit against environmental and human rights lawyer steven donziger. donziger successfully sued chevron on behalf of indigenous groups in the ecuadorian amazon whose land was contaminated by the oil giant. -- by chevron. president biden and senate democrats have been moving fast to confirm judicial nominations, with 42 federal judges confirmed since biden took office, the highest number in decades. of these, over three quarters were women and nearly three quarters people of color. but democrats in the evenly split senate could see some confirmations stalled as new
mexico democratic senator ben ray luján is expected to be out for at least four weeks after suffering a stroke last week. biden vowed to nominate a supreme court justice to fill stephen breyer's seat by the end of the month. house democrats have accused u.s. food and energy corporations of price gouging and pandemic profiteering that's ririricontributed to the largese in inflation since the 1980's. congressmember frank pallone said at a house energy and commerce committee hearing wednesday that corporate executives have unfairly raised prices not only on pandemic essentials like covid tests, masks, and hand sanitizer, but also on staple items like food and fuel. >> i do think corporate greed is motivating large companies use the pandemic and supply chain issues as an excuse to raise prices simply because they can. a lot of executives recently boasted about raising prices on consumers without consequences, and these executives are saying they're going to continue to do
so. amy: a journalist in cancun, mexico, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt tuesday night after his attacker's gun malfunctioned. netzahualcóyotl cordero garcía, the director of the online news site cgnoticias, was confronted by a man in front of his home who pointed a gun at him and said, "i am going to kill you like a dog." after the assailant's gun failed, cordero garcía and his neighbors wrestled the man off his bicycle and held him until the national guard arrived to make an arrest. at least four journalists have been murdered this year in mexico, making it one of the world's most dangerous countries for media workers. the fbi has admitted that it tested pegasus spyware made by the israeli company nso group that's been used by authoritarian governments to illegally hack the cell phones of dissidents and journalists. pegasus uses a zero-click exploit to complete an almost undetectable takeover of a target's mobile device, granting unlimited access to messages,
emails, phone calls, and location data, while allowing control of the phone's microphone and camera. while the fbi confirmed it tested consists spyware, the agency insisted it had not been used in support of any investigation. the fbi said wednesday they are investigating at least six people of interest in relation to a series of bomb threats made against historically black colleges and universities and places of worship. all of the individuals are minors and the cases are being investigated as hate crimes. in florida, a police chief described a phone call in which an unidentified person said bombs would explode and a gunman would attack bethune-cookman university in daytona beach. the caller claimed to be linked to the neo-nazi group atomwaffen division. and in north carolina, authorities asked more than 6500 residents of winston-salem to remain away from their homes for a second straight night as fire crews battled a blaze at a fertilizer plant that threatened to ignite a massive explosion. fire officials said the plant had about 600 tons of highly
explosive ammonium nitrate fertilizer stored on site. that's nearly triple the amount that exploded at a west, texas, plant in 2013, killing 15 people and damaging 200 homes. in devastated lebanon's capital city. this is winston-salem fire chief trey mayo. >> has spent many decades in the fire service texted me earlier and said this is potentially the largest explosion in u.s. history. amy: fire officials said the fertilizer plant did not have a sprinkler system or alarm in the building where the fire broke out. north carolina building codes allowed the 80-year-old plant to operate without the safety systems in place because the plant was built before 1953, when sprinklers were first required. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, amnesty
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and arou the world. amy: amnesty international, the world's largest human organization, has for the first time accused israel of commting the cme of apareid agait palestinns. amnesty comes ththird major hun rights gup to decry isra's aptheid syst over the past year, joining human
rights watch and the israeli group b'tselem. in its report, amnesty says e roots of the apartheid system date back to israel's founding in 1948. amnesty unveiled their findings in occupd east jerusalem on tuesday. this is amnesty's secretary-general agnes callamard. >> we are here today to call on the international community to take resolute action against the crime of humanity being perpetrated in order to maintain the stem of apartheid. amy: the biden administration has joed the isrli government in jecting amnesty's findings. israel called the report falls and ased. the u.s. ambassador to israel called the report surd. in a moment, we will be joined by pauo'brn, the exetive direct of amnest internatiol usa. bufirst, wturn to an excerpt of a new video produced by amnesty.
>> when you hear the word apartheid, what do you think of? probably the disturbing images of racial segregation between whites and blacks in south africa, where regime ruled by racist white minority declare themselves officially superior to the black majority the proceeded dominatthem. south africa's apartheid system officially ended in the mid-1990's but that does not mean apartheid cannot haen elsewher here in israel and the occupied palestian terrories, palestians are bng force off their lands and out of their homes, some are gated -- supper separated. on the other han israeli 30's have given privilege over lestians just about every facet of life. the question is, does this all amount to the crime of apartheid?
first, the definition of apartheid. the crime against humanity of apartheid is perpetrated when serious human rights violations are committed with the purpose of establishing and maintaining a system of domination by one racial group over another and systematically pressing them. does the system exist in israel and the occupied palestinian territories? >> there's been a growing debate about whether the situation in israel and the occupied territories is apartheid. and now is the time for us as the world's largest human rights organization to offer up our analysis, fdings of criticism directedot only -- at the jewish people, but at the israel i state. it ishe israeli state the put in place the policies that plummet the laws and practices that oppress palestinians. amy: that was amnesty international's philip luther. amnesty's video goes on to detail a history of the israeli
state the document how israel has implemented its apartheid system today. >> one way to understand the segregation and oppression is to look at the id system. jewish-israelis have only one id card thatrandson thright to live almost anywhere they wish in the country. they can move freely with access to health care and vast resources. palestinians have four types of id cards, if any at all. the kind you are given determines the level of rights you can enjoy and controls where you can go and what you can do. if y hola green card, y're subject to militarule d if you ha a green car wit -- it means you' trapped in a 365 kilometers square open era prison under israeli trade blocde plaance 2007. israel controlshat es in and out from children's toys to medical suppes. 90of the people have no access
to safe drinking water. % are employed. 56% live in poverty. palestinians with the guys id areorbidd from goininto the west bank even if they have family there. some are considered to live there illegally and can be deported them easily to gaza even if they have been in the west bank for decades. if you'll a green card which has a west bank address, then you live here. this green card means you can live within specific enclaves surround by illegalisraeli settlements. and there is subrogation wall and fences -- seration wall consist built around which palestinians call the apartheid wall. it is eight meters-places and 700 kilometers long. 80% of iis builtnside the we bank occupying even more palestinian land. thr separateoads for iael is and palestinians, hundreds of
checkpoints throughout, not to mention the 54 years of occupation which has devastated the lives of millions of palestinians. palestinians with a west bank id can travel to gaza or east jerulem but only if they receive a permifrom the litary to so. this blue ideas of palestinians in east jerusalem. they can travel to the occupied west bank as well as to israel but they are not citizens of israel. they've all immigrated a residency status. this means they cannot vote in israeli national elections and if they leave used jerusalem for too long, f example tstudy or wk abroad, the residency is revoked so they cannot return. in's 1967, israel has revoked the residency status of more than 14,600 palestinians from east jerusalem. is complex id system wasn't enough to segregate the palestinian community, in 2002, israel introduced the law that
prohibitfamilynificati. that's right, denied palestinians the right to live with their loved onesf there idards are difrent. and thiss one of thousandof paleinians whosrael willot issue any id card. she could not, cannot hug her family, only see them meters away across the border. putting down roots to the family home. these are crucial parts of what make a strong community to make sure palestinian commities can't develop any further, israel is made it almost impossible to grant building permits. stil palestinians live in a catch-22 situation. in order to have shelter, develop their counities, they must build without a permit. and if they do so, israel can demolihe strtures on t bas it was built without a permit. over 0,000 paltinians rrently livg under th constant threat of demolition and force of iction, many fo
the secondr third ti. in the wesbank, an average of 18 palestinian structures were demolished every week in 2020, e same year israel issued 1094 building permits for jewish applicants and only one for a lestinian. this goes back to the heart of the issue, to maintain the states character as jewish, rael sysmaticall sadvantage palestinians while privileging jewish-israelis. this racist ivilege has en enshrined and laws, policies, practices, and enables palestinian resources to be taken in order to economic benefit jewish-israeli citizens. amney internional and other rights organizations have been document in patterns of human rights violatis and natiol crimesor decades these are e most is about -- sible. in may 20 20, 4 thousand 236 palestinians were held in israeli prisons.
ov 350, inuding children, were held without charge or trial. december000, february 2017, israeli forces killed 4868 palestinians in the occupied territories. including 1793 children. amnesty international is not aware of ancase in ichn he's soldr has be convicted willfully causing the death of a palestinian in the occupied rritoryince 198 is imbance of rights is never morclear thanhen a jesh-is really like appears to have mor value. cannot claim- amy: that is aexcerpt of a video produced by amnesty international released this week
alonwith a major report accusing israeof committing the crime of apartheid against palestinians. the biden administration has rejected amnesty's findings. on tuesday, state department spokesperson ned price was questioned by associated press journalist matthew lee about the criticism of the amnesty international report. >>, b tree don't offer conference of valuations, but you certainly cite them quite a bit. i went back and looked and in terms of just the last human rights report cited amnesty international on ethiopia, cuba, china, iran, on burma, on syria, on cuba. and those references are endorsements of what this group amnesty and other groups as well that are cited have found. why is it that without taking a
stand or making a judgmentbout the findings of this particular -- why is it that all criticisms of israel from these groups is almost always rejected by the u.s. and yet accepted, welcome to come and endorsed when it comes -- with the criticism's of other countries, notably countries with which you have significant policies? >> number one, will we include a footnote in something like -- >> these are not footnotes, these are -- >> when we cite, i give up semantics, a citation or footnote -- glenn close when it says amnesty international found this x with the uighurs and we determined it is genocide and you guys come out and cite that and say, well, we also agree -- >> that is a far cry from saying --
>> i'm not saying it is the same thing. >> conference of agreement with a third-party party -- >> so it is just with israel you feel free to disagree? where have you ever disagreed with an amnesty report or human rights report on a country such as moran? >> this is not about any outside group. this is about our vehement disagreement with a certain finding in a report bite outside group. amy: that is state department spokesperson never price being questioned by ap reporter matthew lee. we are joined now by paul o'brien, the executive director of amnesty international usa. he recently returned from a trip to israel and the occupied territories. if you could respond to the less rejection of this report along with the state of israel and also the significance of this multiyear project that amnesty international has just released? >> thank you for having me on. thank free -- thank you for your
coverage. the repo itself 280 pag long and because we are human rights organization on a -- not a political organization, focuses on what is international law and what is the evidence on the ground through hundreds of interviews and looking in depth at laws, policies, practices is this international legal standard met? this administration has already said, and these are the precise words, that raelis and palestinians should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy. in ouriew as human rhts organization, the only way that israels and palestinians can enjoy precisely what this administration has said is to dismantle the stem of oppression and domination that currently exists now. you cannot get there any other way. think, frankly, with his
administration is responding to his the words and not legal analysis and not the evidence on the grou. nermeen: paul, explain why amnesty came to the cision to call it apartheid now. >> well, firstly, why apartheid. it is a word that emerges from a particular sociopolitical history, as our video shows. but it also became in 1965 an international legal standard, enshrined in the convention of the elimination of racial discrimination -- which the united states signed. which israel signed. it was then defined further in two other documents. it has particular elements. what we have done is to take a look at that international legal standard, that crime against humanity that is now enshrined in human rights, and compare the
evidence that we found on the ground to that. that legal standard. and we found, with respect to every element, is it a system of oppression and domination? yes. are there widespread crimes that are inhumane or inhuman? yes. does it lead to one racial group being oppressed and dominated by another? yes. is there any intent to maintain that system of domination and oppression? yes. so acrosall of these areas o rights violations, we found crime of apartheid to be in place. why now? it took us a long time to do the research. we built off the work of 70 palestinian organizations that have been asking for this legal analysis. frankly, have been asking for more than a decade. as you said, we build off the work of other human rights organizations. we wanted to get it out as soon
as possible because the fragmentation, the expulsion, the dispossession of land and property, the deprivation of economic and social rights is ongoing, and we need it to stop. he will not stop without a serious conversation in these united states around what this country can do to put pressure on the israeli government to dismantle the system of apartheid. nermeen: paul, how do you respond to those essay even if it is the case that there is a system of apartheid in place in rael vis-à-vis palestinians, that a similar argument could be made with respect to china's treatment of its muslim minority , in parcular, in changing? >> we documented extensively structural deprivations of rights in the city and have done it elshere. we apped standard of apartheid
elsewhere in 2017 we applied it in myanmar because that is what we found was being experienced by the rohingya people. it is an international legal standard. i hope we will apply it elsewhere. but based on the calls of palestinian activists that have been going on fodecades,n the human rights work of other groups that have already documented it, the is a human rights conversation now going on around whether apartheid exists in israel, in the occupied palestinian territory, and we add our human rights voiced to that discussion. amy: when you put out your report, took a series of questions. one of them was, does amnesty oppose israel's military occupation of palestine? your response,? >> we don't take position on political issues, we don't take it on the two state solution, once a solution.
we are an organization that maintains our ability by focusing on human rights standards and the evidence that supports them. isn't the case that the occupation that is ongoing has led to systemic human rights abuse? it is absolutely. i was in gaza on my last overseas work trip and i witnessed many of the things that you saw. i saw the restriction of movement. a cell the deprivation of economic and social rights and the failure to get even basic services. i have been in hebron a number of times. i was in ramallah street. i've seen the checkpoints we have to go through when we visit the west bank. it is absolutely the case the occupation is leading to systemic human rights violations. that is where our focus is. amy: paul o'brien, they get for being with us, executive director of amnesty international usa. we will link to the new report "israel's apartheid against palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the pentagon says it is to plan an additional 3000 troops to eastern europe as the biden administration continues to accuse russia of planning to invade ukraine. russia reportedly has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the ukraine border, but has not denied claims yet plans to invade. the pentagon spokesperson kirby says u.s. troops were deployed to germany as well as romania and poland, which border ukraine. >> the current situation demands we reinforce the deterrent defense posture on nato's eastern flank stuff president biden has been clear the united states will respond to the growing threat to europe's security and stability.
amy: on tuesday, russian president vladimir putin spoke out about the situation for the first time publicly in a month, accusing the united states of stoking the crisis by ignoring it security concerns about nato's expansion eastward. we now go to russiwhere we are joined by ilya budraitskis, moscow-based historian and political writer. the author of "dissidents among dissidents: ideology, politics and the left in post-soviet russia." just publish the english translation of this book. we welcome you to democracy now! if you can start off by responding to the increased tensions on the border with ukraine, talk about whether you think putin has decided to invade yet, and where this all comes from. >> thank you for having me here. two say in fact if you look back
to how this escalation began a couple months ago, we will see in the beginning there was just some kind of informational fake comment from the western media, coming from the u.s. about russian plans to invade ukraine. and then somehow this fake was turned into reality because russia was answering to this fake and really put the troops on the border. so during this two months, we see how the escalation growing from both sides. and we see by each side use each other to claim risks and to gain
more from this very dangerous escalation. nermeen: given the fact the situation has escalated to this extent, do you think now putin is going to invade ukraine? zelensky himself and other ukraine government officials, as well as russian officials, have said the threat of an invasion is highly exaggerated and is far from imminent. your response? >> i think if we are talking about the invasion to ukraine as a kind of plan, putin -- this plan sounds strange because what kind of result of this military solution could be to change the regime in ukraine, to provide some long-term military
occupation of this country which is actually a big country with more than 40 million population. so somehow this idea -- invade ukraine, you place the actual problem in the east of ukraine where we see this debt in of agreement which are not really full made by russia and ukraine, which deals with the so-called people's republics in east of ukraine. but as i said before, when this kind of fake, this kind of disinformation about the possible russian invasion in ukraine, became real subject of
talks and subject of concerns and growing military presence of russian troops on the ukrainian border. this kind of invasion became more and more possible both in terms of realization of some exact plan of military occupation of ukraine. but as the possibility of some kind of provocation or incident on the border between russian and ukrainian troops, which could lead to military escalation. that is why it is really dangerous situation.
nermeen: couldou comment on russian deman with respect to the eastward expansion of nato and also the relevant of nato even as almost a dozen eastern european countries have joined the military alliance since the dissolution ofhe sovieunion and the end of the cold war? >> yes. on the one hand, you have these demands, which were put forward by russia in december last year where russia concerned about the growing presence of test expansion of nato from possible plans to integrate ukraine and georgia to nato and so on. but on the other, you have the situation where during the
collection from both sides, nato somehow finds the idea, because could exist only in the situation of the confrontation with the real enemy, with some kind of equal force -- of course, after the collapse of the soviet union, nato definitely lost this idea. and also weary of support of nato, the membership of nato, population of the members of this military alliance -- the support was not so much. so the only reason why nato now
somehow gets back it's idea, it's legitimacy, it is only because putin's russia is ready to play this role of the enemy a sum equal force, which russia is not if you can. -- if you compare it. also, putin, like the worldview, it is very come trouble for the explanation why nato should expand. amy: what is the response of the russian people, number one? and also, the effect of threatened very high level sanctions against the inner circle of putin and this latest
trip deployment, 3000 troops now of the u.s. going to the border states? >> yeah, so bc now -- we see now there is the growing and continued process of risks from both sides because you have this growing u.s. presence but also you have the new military training on ukrainian-russian border where russian troops are also taking part. but if we look at what happened in russia, if there is support for this type of foreign policy, i will say probably that is not so much.
even if we compare it with what happens in 2014 of crimea, the beginning of the ukrainian crisis when there was popularity of blood where prudent, there was a rise of -- popularity of vladimir putin, there was a rise of emotion. there was nothing like this. during the last years, the russian economy, the life of russians was declining and also the popularity of vladimir putin was going down. for now, according to the polls, the fear of war is one of t main fears of russians.
so definitely, there is no so much support inside the country for this kind of politics. that is why if you look to the official propaganda, let became much more, let's say, or peaceful as it was two weeks ago, for example. for now, the main message is, no, we are not -- occupation. we will continue with talks with the u.s. and so on. i think that is the kind of risk moved to the real headings of most -- feelings of most russians. nermeen: before we conclude, your book is called "dissidents among dissidents: ideology, politics and the left in
post-soviet russia." can you give us a sense of how the major factions of the left and russia are responding to the situation? >> you can divide the russian left into two fractions. so one is let's say the communist party, the biggest party presented in the parliament, also from groups where the big supporters of the kremlin foreign policy who believe the policies are justified somehow. but even if you look to these groups, by now you can say there
are too much focus on the talks because any kind of military unity of society are organized from the talk, immediately marginalized their agenda focused on the social rights, labor rights, and so on that -- by the left. but also you have, you can call the democratic left, in russia who was always critical to what we believe imperialist politics of russia. so we believe there is not just american imperialism, but into the desk entering the era of conflict between the different
imperialist interests, chinese peerless, russian imperialism, and so on. so that is why for us, the main demands in the framework of this growing escalation there, de-escalation from both sides. sharp criticism to all their ideas come how to divide eastern europe, how to divide the post-soviet space into some spheres of interest. [indiscernible] democratic rights, policy percent small -- as ukraine, for example.
subject of these games between different local imperialist powers. amy: ilya budraitskis, historian and political writer. speaking to us from moscow, russia. to clarify our lead, vladimir putin has denied clumsy plans to invade ukraine. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we go now from moscow, russia, to kiev, ukraine. on the humanitarian crisis unfolding there as some 2 million people face the threat of violence and displacement if the conflict escalates. we go to speak with jan egeland, secretary general of the norwegian refugee council. welcome back to democracy now! you're just in ukraine. can you describe what you saw? >> i was there for the last 72
hours, met with lots of completely exhausted by freezing, poor, miserable communities along the contact line. their message to the world is, enough of this political military chess game that everybody is obsessed with. we are suffering now. we have suffered for eight years with conflict. our communities have been divided. there is a frontline that has gone through families and communities now for eight years. we need reconciliation. we need peace to stop this escalation talks and catastrophe. nermeen: as you pointed out, it is not just the risk of increasing numbers of refugees
and idp's as a result of the present situation. there are already 1.6 million internally displaced ukrainians who have been forced to flee their hom in the midst of this ongoing war. >> and dean. there are hundreds and hundreds of people displaced. some of them are working, as my colleague here in ukraine, colleagues here have not seen their parents for years because all of the border crossings, not border crossings, crossings of the contact line, the frontline which is within ukraine and through luhansk and donetsk, there are seven crossing points. six of them are basically shot.
there is one there is still people being able to cross on foot. it is 90% down from where it was before covid, which became an excuse of especially the authorities in the nongovernment controlled areas to keep people out. this suffering has been ongoing for too long, really. we were able to make progress in recent years. the numbers came down. if you grab 850,000. we were planning to do further progress coming out all of this risks to be erased in an instant . if there were war, there would be hundreds of thousands displaced. 2 million people live within 20 kilometers of the frontline on
either side. nermeen: jan, we spoke to you last about the situation in afghanistan. if you can give us an update on wh theituation is there now, the u.n. just having made humanitarian aid appeal that is record-breaking at $4.4 billion just to prevent a famine this year. >> yeah, i mean, in afghanistan, it is a race against the clock and against the freezing cold and against famine, really. for millions and millions. there we are held back not by the taliban authorities, we are held back by the previouss sections resumes against the taliban which means we do not still have functioning banks
that can transfer our aid money to afghanistan. we have to truck in lifesaving equipment from pakistan and iran, thereby buying nothing in the country because we have no money in the country. picture bring to the downward spiral -- contributing to the downward spiral. i said it when i came back the end of september last year, the mothers, the widows told us, we will freeze and started at unless there is an economy coming back, some employment for our husbands and a scale of aid, which is very difficult in the present context because of the financial squeeze and freeze on afghanistan. amy: you have called the sanctions devastating against afghanistan. you just met with the taliban
leader in oslo and you spoke to the u.s. ambassador to the united nations friday, linda thomas-greenfield about both afghanistan and syria? >> i did. and the week before that, i had a good meeting with u.s. treasury together with nongovernment organizations secretary-general's of the united states. what we have is now a lot of declarations from -- coming out of washington that says there's nothing precluding us to work in the country on the sanctions. there is not criminal to transfer money. it is all allowed. what i'm lacking is the product of this to save the banks. do not be risk-averse. start to operate again in afghanistan. help these humanitarian groups to going and saveives. who will enable them to be a
simple bank of afghanistan to operate again so they can issue banknotes, they can get the economy going back. it is not helpi the taliban. who wants to help the taliban? they took power with guns in their hands. we need to help the 40 million civilians that were left behind by nato when nato rushed for the door in august of last year. amy: jan egeland, i want as you about another story. at least 60 people killed during an attack on a cap for displaced people in the democratic republic of congo. at least 15 of the victims were children. aid groups are calling on congolese authorities to ensure the protection of civilians in the area amid a spate of violent attacks by militant groups. can you talk about what is happening there and what you're calling for? >> again, we woke up now just a couple of days back to the stories of the children that we
provide education for being killed by armed men who attacked the most vulnerable -- women, children, displaced. basically constant violence now for a generation. it seems we are not able to get protection of civilians functioning in the congo. the protection is really an industry of -- it is not on the ound. these people, families, came to this cap because they fled from elsewhere. the one thing they were seeking was some peace and protection and they did not get anything but new violence. the perpetrators must be found and there must be an end to the impunity, and of course, the government of the congo can do
much more. and those who support the government can weigh in and do much more. nermeen: jan, if you can talk about the situation in syria. he just testified that the security council and now the latest news was special forces having killed the head of isis u.s. special forces. >> well, what we comment on is the need for protection of civilian population. there is a war against legitimate armed targets which are, for example, isis. what i am afraid of is a lot of drones and warfare from high grounds, from the air that is hurting civilians.
we find out more about this one was there even children killed? and if such, it is a violation of humanitarian law. as much violation as if it is done by the russian air force or syrian air force. we need to know more about this. of course, terrorists and isis are legitimate targets most of america the latest as we have is the special forces attacked killed civilians. witnesses are saying at least six children, what are with body scarves -- part scattered near the site of the assault. jan egeland, thank you for being with us, secretary general of the norwegian refugee council. joining us from kiev in ukraine. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a human resources manager. learn more and apply at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
narrator: on this episode of "earth fus," avocados have become one of the most popular foods on the planet and exploded into a multibillion-dollar industry. the petorca province in chile is a hub of worldwide avocado production, but the growth of the industry has created a crisis over water rights, raising questions about the moral dimensions of how our avocados are grown and consumed.
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