Help by sharing this information Read our weekly “blog review” and create your blog with Reporters without borders : www.rsfblog.org News May 12, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Thailand News Thai premier, UN rapporteurs asked to prevent journalists being returned to Myanmar ThailandAsia – Pacific ————————————– —————————————- 05.04.07 – YouTube blocked as part of major drive to regulate Internet Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years ThailandAsia – Pacific Covid-19 emergency laws spell disaster for press freedom 11.05.07 – YouTube agrees to remove four videos deemed “insulting” for Thai kingThe video-sharing site YouTube agreed to remove four videos deemed to be insulting for the king of Thailand after communication minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom this week threatened to sue Google, YouTube’s owner. But in a letter to the minister, Google refused to take down two other videos, arguing that, while they were of a “political nature,” they did not aim to insult the king and did not deserve to be blocked. Access to YouTube has been blocked in Thailand since 4 April. Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders has asked Google to explain how its video-sharing website came to be unblocked today.”We note the unblocking of the video-sharing site but we ask Google to make public the contents of a compromise referred to by the Thai Information and Communications Ministry” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.The Minister of Information and Communications, Sitthichai Pookaiyaudoom, said that all restrictions on access to the site had been lifted.In an interview with The Nation newspaper, he said that the lifting of the blocking followed an assurance from YouTube not to put online videos which could contravene Thai laws or that were insulting to the monarchy. Sitthichai Pookaiyaudoom added that YouTube had created a programme allowing service providers to block access to videos deemed to be sensitive.The authorities blocked the site on 4 April 2007. The minister justified the step by saying that Google had refused to remove videos which were insulting to the monarchy and threatened to take legal proceedings against the company.In May 2007, an agreement in principle was reached under which Google agreed to remove four videos seen as insulting to the King of Thailand. The company nevertheless refused to remove two other videos, saying in a letter addressed to the minister that they were “of a political nature but were not intended to insult His Majesty and did not deserve to be blocked”. Reporters Without Borders said today it regarded the Thai government’s decision to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube as “inappropriate”and voiced concern about its current strategy towards online content. YouTube has been inaccessible inside Thailand since yesterday because of videos “insulting” the king.The press freedom organisation also hailed YouTube owner Google’s refusal to withdraw the offending videos but questioned its double standards, as it continues to censor its search engine in China.”The Thai government claims that it censors only pornographic websites or those that ‘insult’ the monarchy, but in fact it also block online publications that criticise last September’s coup and websites linked to southern Thailand’s separatist groups,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We wonder about the legal basis for this censorship, initiated by the government and implemented with diligence by the police. The closure or blockage of an online publication is a serious decision that should require a court order.”Reporters Without Borders said it also had a message for Google’s executives.”We support their refusal to censor themselves in Thailand but we ask them to harmonise their international policy on censorship,” the organisation said. “Is it logical to censor pro-democracy websites in China because it is a vital market, and at the same time to oppose the removal of a few videos making fun of the king?”Reporters Without Borders added: “We recognise that Google’s executives, unlike some of their US competitors, do show a degree of concern for the protection of free speech but we think it is time they displayed more courage and demonstrated that their motto, “Don’t be evil,” does not depend on the company’s business interests.”Information and technology minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said YouTube was being blocked because Google refused to remove videos insulting the monarchy. In its response to the minister, Google pointed out that videos that are much harder on George Bush are also available on YouTube.Websites that support deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are also in the Thai government’s sights. They include http://hi-thaksin.net, which cannot currently be accessed from within Thailand. And a website that condemned the coup, www.saturdayvoice.com, has just been closed down.Freedom Against Censorship in Thailand, a Thai organisation, has reported that online censorship has increased under the new government, with the range of banned sites going well beyond the fight against pornography and “insults” to the monarchy. Many political chat forums have also been closed since September and websites that support the separatist movements in the south of the country (PULO, BIPP and BRN) continue to be blocked.The government recently announced the creation of a National Committee for Media Oversight to regulate radio, TV, print media and online content. This new body is meant to bring together representatives from the government and Internet sectors including Google and MSN (Microsoft).Like its US competitors Microsoft et Yahoo !, Google has censored the results of its Chinese-language search engine since January 2006. Organisation August 31, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Thailand YouTube accessible again News to go further RSF_en News August 21, 2020 Find out more June 12, 2020 Find out more
Cover photo: Pexels.com Danijela Mihalić Đurica, Director of the CNTB Representation in France, emphasized that this is an extremely important project for further raising the visibility of the Croatian tourist offer on the potent French emitting market. “During the trip, numerous activities are planned, which include getting to know the cultural, gastronomic and natural sights of the three regions that have significant potential for further development in the French market. This is also a great opportunity to consider further expanding the production and offerings of key French tourism stakeholders participating in this trip.”, concluded Mihalić Đurica. RELATED NEWS: In the period from 22 to 24 May, as part of the journalists’ study trip, Rijeka and Zagreb will be visited by 12 influential French journalists from the media such as TV5 monde, Luxe magazine, Désirs de Voyages, Le JDD (Journal du dimanche), Grazia, Le Parisien, Notre Temps, Nous doux et al. 12 French journalists will visit Rijeka and Zagreb The trip to Croatia lasts until May 19, and the program includes a tour of the regions of Zagreb, Istria and Kvarner. DIRECTORS OF CNTB REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES ABROAD FORECAST THE STATE OF BOOKING FOR THIS SEASON It is a journey in which the latest edition of the popular French guide will be promoted Hatchet for Croatia, which has been out of print these days. It is the leader in the French guide market as Hachette editions participate with 40 percent in the sales of all guides in the French market. “We are extremely glad that Croatia has the opportunity to host this trip, which, we are sure, will further sensitize key decision makers of the French tourism sector on the comparative advantages of Croatian tourism. The goal of the trip is to further position Croatia as an attractive year-round destination, but also to promote those destinations and regions that French travel lovers are just discovering.”, said the director of the CNTB, Kristjan Staničić. The guide will also contain all the other most important cultural sights of Croatia, since according to research, the cultural offer is one of the main motives for French travel. The travel program includes representatives of 23 French tourism entities, ie representatives of key tour operators and agencies, including Resaneo, Selectour, Bourse des Vols, Bleu Voyages, TUI, Galerie Lafayette Voyages, Top of Travel, Travel Europe, Cediv, Misterfly, Thalasso N ° 1, Phoenix Voyages & MICE, FCM Travel Solutions, Linea Voyages and others. The Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the French tourist portal TourMag, the most important and largest specialized B2B portal, is implementing the 15th traditional travel project of the owners and presidents of the largest French distribution networks, travel organizers and agencies. The CNTB points out that in order to better organize the promotion of Croatia as a destination dedicated to a special edition of this popular French guide, the travel program is defined in accordance with the suggestions in the guide, so Zagreb and Rijeka will be presented as attractive destinations. rich offers of cultural tourism, especially Rijeka in the context of the ECOC 2020 project.
(BBC) – Former FIFA executives took bribes in return for voting for Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup, according to U.S. prosecutors.In what could be a highly significant twist in FBI’s long-running investigation into allegations of football corruption, a new indictment was revealed in the U.S. District Court on Monday.The documents claim several former FIFA executive committee members “were offered or received bribes in connection with their votes”.The Department of Justice makes allegations against Nicolas Leoz, the former president of the South American governing body Conmebol, and ex-Brazil federation supremo Ricardo Teixeira.Both are accused of taking money “in exchange for their votes in favour of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup”. Qatar denies the allegations.Disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago was also allegedly paid £4M through a host of offshore shell companies to back Russia’s 2018 bid.Russia beat England to win the right to host the most recent World Cup in 2018. Warner was president of the North and Central American and Caribbean Confederation, CONCACAF.Another former FIFA ExCo member – Guatemala football chief, Rafael Salguero – was allegedly promised a bribe to vote for Russia.Leoz died last year under house arrest in his native Paraguay, having fought extradition to the U.S. Teixeira has been banned from the game for life by FIFA for taking bribes for marketing and media rights for football competitions between 2006 and 2012.Teixeira and Warner, who is also banned for life, have avoided extradition to the U,S,. Salguero was banned last year, having admitted corruption.Former executives at U.S. television giant 21st Century Fox have also been charged in the indictment with making payments to South American football officials to secure broadcast rights.“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,” said FBI assistant director-in-charge William Sweeney.“The FBI officials are investigating the illicit handshakes and backroom deals hidden in the infrastructure of soccer events, venues and marketing contracts.“The first public charges date back to 2015. This should illustrate to everyone still hoping to score millions corruptly, we’re going to find you.”WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND?Almost 10 years have now passed since FIFA controversially voted for Russia and Qatar to host the sport’s showpiece event.But it was only in 2015, following a dramatic dawn raid, at a Zurich hotel close to the governing body’s headquarters, that the U.S. Department of Justice announced it was investigating football and TV executives enriching themselves through the game.The scandal sparked the worst crisis in FIFA’s history, with its disgraced president Sepp Blatter eventually standing aside.A total of 42 persons have been indicted, with 26 pleading guilty.HOW IMPORTANT COULD THIS BE?With Russia staging its World Cup almost two years ago, the focus of the potential impact of these fresh allegations will be on Qatar as it enters the final phase of preparations for the event.This is not the first time officials have been accused of corruption linked to the Gulf state’s bid during the sprawling FBI probe.In 2017 Alejandro Burzaco, a former TV executive, told a jury in New York that Leoz, Teixeira – and the now former Argentina football chief Julio Grondona – had been paid to vote for Qatar, who beat the U.S. in the vote.But never before have U.S. prosecutors formally laid out in such detail how the alleged corruption was conducted.However, the indictment does not specify who was behind the alleged bribery.Despite years of suspicion over how they won the vote, Qatar and Russia have always denied any wrongdoing, and both were effectively cleared by FIFA’s own investigation in 2017.But FIFA may find itself under renewed pressure to reopen an inquiry into how the votes were won.Yesterday, FIFA said it would “continue to provide full cooperation” and is “closely following these investigations”.A statement read: “It is important to point out that FIFA has itself been accorded victim status in the U.S. criminal proceedings and senior FIFA officials are in regular contact with the U.S. Department of Justice.“The FIFA ethics committee has already imposed sanctions, including life bans, on football officials mentioned in this process.”In response to the accusations, Alexei Sorokin, chief executive of Russia’s 2018 World Cup, told the Interfax news agency: “This is only the opinion of lawyers. We have repeatedly said that our bid was transparent.“At the time we answered all questions, including from the investigation branch of FIFA and from the media, we handed over all needed documents.“We have nothing to add to this and we will not respond to attempts to cast a shadow on our bid.”Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy (SC) said in a statement it “strongly denies the allegation” contained within the court papers.It added: “Despite years of false claims, evidence has never been produced to demonstrate that Qatar won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 unethically, or by means that contravened FIFA’s strict bidding rules.“The SC maintains that it strictly adhered to all rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups bidding process and any claim to the contrary is baseless and will be fiercely contested.”