RSF’s calls for release of Dutch journalist jailed in Panama

first_img December 7, 2016 – Updated on January 6, 2017 RSF’s calls for release of Dutch journalist jailed in Panama Follow the news on Panama PanamaAmericas Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImprisoned Help by sharing this information to go further News Canadian TV crew hoping to cover mining dispute fears being denied entry Anti-Corruption Day : Journalists on front line of fight against corruption Receive email alerts News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Okke Ornstein, a Panama-based Dutch journalist who was arrested last month in Panama City to begin serving the absurdly disproportionate 20-month jail sentence he received at the end of a flawed defamation trial in 2012. Newscenter_img Radio station owned murdered during media campaign against violence News Organisation December 9, 2016 Find out more Okke Ornstein ———————————————————————————————————————————UPDATEDutch Journalist Okke Ornstein was released from jail on 23 december 2016 after his 20 months sentence was commuted by a presidential decree. RSF welcomes the decision that has also put an end to he secondary penalty preventing Okke to work as a journalist in Panama. ———————————————————————————————————————————-Targeted by the local justice system because of his frequent stories about corruption in Panama, he was detained by immigration officials at Panama City’s Tocumen international airport on his return from a visit to the Netherlands on 15 November. Ironically, this was just before the Global Anti-Corruption Conference that was held in Panama City from 1 to 4 December.A freelance journalist residing in Panama for the past 15 years, Ornstein has worked for many media outlets including Al Jazeera TV.A court sentenced him to a total of 20 months in prison (eight months for insult and 12 months for libel) on 14 December 2012 in response to a complaint by Canadian businessman Monte Friesner over a series of articles by Ornstein on one of his blogs, Bananama Republic, in which he writes ironically about questionable business practices and corruption in Panama.The articles were about allegedly illegal practices (fraud and money laundering) by Pronto Cash, a company created by Friesner in Panama. Friesner is himself the subject of criminal proceedings in Panama in connection with these activities and was convicted of similar activities in the United States in 1995.Ornstein’s lawyer in the Netherlands, Channa Samkalden, told RSF that he was not given a fair trial and was not given adequate legal aid with his defence. The sentence was nonetheless upheld on appeal in 2015. The Ornstein family meanwhile questions the timing of his arrest and the lack of cooperation and information from Panama’s judicial authorities. Ornstein never imagined he would end up in prison and did not think he needed to appeal, the family says.“We call on Panama’s justice system to free Okke Ornstein at once and to withdraw the criminal charges against him pending fair judicial proceedings,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk.“Criminal defamation prosecutions are unfortunately only too common in Panama and ‘troublesome’ journalists are often taken to court. Such practices must stop because they pose a grave threat to media freedom in this country.”In a statement issued on 1 December, Panama’s foreign ministry insisted that Ornstein’s right to due process was fully respected in accordance with Panama’s laws and that he was systematically represented by a defence lawyer.This was immediately disputed by Ornstein and his family. According to Ornstein, the lawyer assigned to defend him, Ana González, did not communicate with him sufficiently, never told him about his legal options, and never responded to his queries. He also criticized the lack of a Dutch interpreter at the hearings he attended.Some of Ornstein’s colleagues and friends – who are campaigning for his release and reporting developments in the case on the FreeOkkeOrnstein.org website – have been unable to visit him in prison while Manuel Succari, his Panamanian lawyer, said prison guards publicly humiliated his daughter.Ornstein has been the target of other lawsuits in connection with his outspoken criticism of alleged corruption in Panama and is facing an additional 18-month jail sentence in a case brought in December 2015 by Dutch businessman Patrick Visser over his claims on Bananama Republic that Visser’s company Silva Tree was operating a fraudulent carbon offset scheme in Panama.Three other defamation cases against Ornstein are pending in Panama, which is ranked 91st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. RSF_en PanamaAmericas Condemning abuses CorruptionJudicial harassmentImprisoned January 30, 2012 Find out more November 22, 2011 Find out morelast_img read more

Courts Dominica to host first ever ‘Super Mom Challenge’

first_img Share LocalNews Courts Dominica to host first ever ‘Super Mom Challenge’ by: – May 3, 2012 Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img 18 Views   no discussions Share Courts Dominica will host the first ever ‘Super Mom Challenge in an effort to reward and show appreciation for mothers as part of Mother’s Day 2012 celebrations.The challenge which is carded for Friday the 11th of May 2012 at the company’s Roseau outlet is “geared at giving back to moms as well as having some fun in these otherwise serious times” according to a press release from the company.The challenge is open to anyone who would like to participate and believe that they possess the skills and fortitude to complete the challenges outline bellow in the shortest possible time. Challenge #1While holding baby make Baby Bottle- Set-up will be done prior to this…. Kettle will be provided with water, courts to provide: bottle formula speed will be your priority here. Challenge #2Make Bed Holding Baby – at this point, the mother is apparently pregnant with a baby in her arms. She needs to use her skills at this point to make a bed without hurting the baby or herself. (bed sheets and baby provided)Challenge #3Dress and Change Baby – after the bed is made… participant must now dress and change baby with the clothes provided. (baby clothes, pampers, wipes)Challenge #4Open Clothes on Rack…. The clothes will be in a washer; the participant must take clothes out of washer and hang clothes on the rack provided by Courts. (Clothes)Challenge #5Ironing- Clothes will be set aside for the participant to iron (2 pieces of clothing for each participant). After ironing.. rings are to be placed in wardrobesChallenge #6Clean and Organize fridge – Groceries will be set aside by the fridge. For this course, the challenger must clean fridge and organize it to the best of her ability. A photograph will be taken of how the fridge is to be packed.. Contestants must pack fridge in same orderChallenge #7Sweep or Mop balls – Two balls will be placed on floor for participant to sweep or mop to a particular point in store. (broom, mop, balls)Challenge #8Whip a Quick Meal – Mom is tired by now.. but she still has to cook a meal for her husband when he comes home from work.. we will select a dish for all moms to prepare and this will be the final challenge. (Sandwich/Soup) using one of our appliances.Participants will be expected to take part in all aspects of the competition and will be judged on adherence to allotted time, Skills, Confidence and Overall Presentation.The winner will receive EC$2000.00There will also be in-store specials during the challenge for persons who would want to do last minute shopping for the mothers in their lives.Do you have what it takes? Press Releaselast_img read more