Controversies: Switzerland to vote on supply chain law – politics

Is that still Switzerland? Corporations are insulted as “scoundrels”, non-governmental organizations are denigrated as murderers, a minister has to justify herself for false statements, and a parliamentarian brings the trade minister from Burkina Faso to Bern to make it clear who is really on the side of the good guys.

There is no doubt: the dispute over the so-called corporate responsibility initiative will go down as one of the bitterest voting battles in Switzerland’s history, as advocates and opponents have attacked each other so fiercely in recent months. The Swiss vote on Sunday.

If they endorse the proposed constitutional passage with a double majority of voters and the cantons, the country will soon have one of the toughest supply chain laws in the world. Internationally active companies based in Switzerland should therefore also respect human rights and international environmental standards abroad. So far, so undisputed, after all, Switzerland also stands behind the corresponding UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The group responsibility initiative wants to cast this principle into binding national law: Firstly, the companies should ensure that the subsidiaries and suppliers they control adhere to these rules. The corporations would be obliged to carry out a due diligence.

Second, the initiative wants companies to be liable for human rights violations and environmental damage that they or their subsidiaries have committed abroad. People who can prove that they have been harmed by a Swiss company or one of its partners abroad could in future sue before Swiss courts.

130 human rights, development and environmental groups support the popular initiative

The orange flags with the white yes on Swiss balconies have been fluttering for more than four years: only a few popular initiatives have occupied the country as long as this one. Several dozen human rights, development and environmental groups launched the project in 2015, and today the support association has grown to 130 organizations.

In addition, there are the left and green forces in parliament who are in favor of the initiative. On the other side: the Swiss government, the big business associations and the conservative parties. A kind of battle of the giants has gripped the country, and indeed there is a lot at stake.

The voting proposal, which is only a few paragraphs short, leaves a lot open. For example, it is not entirely clear whether the rules would apply to all companies in the country, i.e. not only the large multinationals but also the many small and medium-sized enterprises.

At this point, many opponents are bothered: They fear that the initiative would paralyze the Swiss economy with the extensive due diligence process and an alleged wave of lawsuits. Small companies in particular, so the argument goes, could hardly meet the requirements. The concrete form of the proposal would ultimately be a matter for Parliament, which would have to turn the initiative into a law if it were adopted.

So far only a few countries have really catchy company rules for activities abroad. In France, for example, a law has been in force since 2017 that also obliges companies to carry out due diligence and makes them liable in the event of violations. In the UK, since 2015, larger companies have had to demonstrate what they are doing to combat human trafficking.

There is no liability mechanism, but a case law that has repeatedly punished companies for violations abroad. And in Germany, the development and labor ministries are currently working on a supply chain law that also provides for company liability, but so far the ministry of economics has been opposed to this. So Switzerland would not be alone if the initiative got through – but its set of rules would be among the strictest in the world.

And that with a considerable density of large corporations. Nestlé is based in Switzerland, as are the pharmaceutical giants Roche and Novartis, the agrochemicals group Syngenta, the building materials manufacturer Lafarge-Holcim and, last but not least, the high-turnover raw materials traders: Glencore, Cargill, Gunvor, Mercuria, Vitol. All of these companies would definitely be affected by the new regulation. And: Many of them have already been associated with problematic behavior abroad.

Given this phalanx of adversaries, it is remarkable that the initiative has a real chance. The latest polls see proponents at at least 51 percent. However: The no-camp is catching up. It will be tight on Sunday – the nerves are accordingly bare.

First, the liberal-progressive movement “Operation Libero” received heavy criticism for calling all opponents of the duty of care for companies to be scoundrels. Then Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter stood out with statements that experts later had to correct. Some lawyers therefore accused the government of giving unfounded reasons for rejecting the initiative.

And finally the thing with the videos: Since October, drastic films of unclear origin have been circulating on the Internet, showing the proponents of the initiative as violent rioters and associating non-governmental organizations with executions and rape. Sunday will show who won this rough voting battle.

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Ethiopia war escalates with massacres against civilians and lists of tigers | Civil war

The conflict in Ethiopia is rising in intensity, with the bombing of two airports by tiger forces, and signs are beginning to appear that point to ethnic cleansing.

The conflict takes on worrying contours, with news of massacres against civilians and with Ethiopian police asking the World Food Program office for a list of all its tigress officials, according to an internal United Nations report released by Reuters. The authorities gave orders to “identify ethnic tigers from all government agencies and NGOs,” according to the document.

With no communications or access to the region, there are only reports of hundreds of deaths and thousands of refugees who have crossed the border into Sudan since the fighting began. More than 14,500 people sought refuge in the neighboring country, according to calculations by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Amnesty International reported a 9 November massacre against the civilian population in a village where hundreds of people were reportedly stabbed to death. Witnesses blamed elements belonging to the People’s Liberation Front Tiger (FLPT), the party that governs the Tigre, for the attack, but the party denied any participation. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, appointed by the government but independent, says Reuters, will send a team of investigators to the site to check the reports.

Sprawling fights

This Saturday, the Government accused the regional leaders of Tigré of having bombed two airports in a neighboring province. The attacks targeted two airports in the Amhara region, neighboring Tigré, but whose military forces have been fighting alongside the national army, which launched an offensive last week. Gondar airport was hit on Friday, but the bombing of Bahir Dar airport missed the target, the Ethiopian government said.

The FLPT confirmed attacks on “military bases” in the neighboring region, in retaliation for the bombings by the Ethiopian army. “As long as the attacks against the Tigré people do not cease, the attacks will intensify,” said FLPT spokesman Getachew Reda.

The Ethiopian Army has been fighting tiger forces for 11 days, in a conflict that many fear may drag the rest of the country and even neighboring countries. The military operation was launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who denounced attacks by tigress forces against military bases. Since then, the army has launched air and ground attacks in the northern region of the country and said two days ago it had made progress on the western front.

The conflict reflects the growing unease among the various ethnic groups that make up Ethiopia and that on other occasions have already given rise to periods of violence. With Ahmed, Ethiopia came to be ruled for the first time by a member of the Oro ethnicity, which put an end to the tiger rule over the state apparatus, despite being a minority.

The FLPT accuses Ahmed, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for signing a peace agreement with Eritrea, of persecuting tigers since he came to power.

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United Arab Emirates decriminalizes alcohol consumption and bans single couples from living together – World

The United Arab Emirates made the historic decision to end punishment for so-called “honor” crimes and lifted the ban on single couples from living together and decriminalized alcohol consumption.

All foreign citizens living in the Gulf state will be able to follow the laws and rules of their countries of origin, to the detriment of the law of the United Arab Emirates, based on the Islamic religion.

The United Arab Emirates are one of the major tourist destinations in the world and the truth is that the population is increasingly composed of migrants. These changes to the law aim to “consolidate the principles of tolerance” in the country.

For the executive director of Human Rights Watch, the measures are “positive steps towards women’s rights”.

These new laws also include tougher punishments for men who subject women to harassment, according to local media.

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Ihor Homenyuk’s family seeks compensation of one million euros from the State, SEF and inspectors | Crime

The family of Ihor Homenyuk, the Ukrainian citizen who died on 12 March in the center of Lisbon airport managed by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), requested compensation of one million euros for non-property damage to the State, to himself SEF and the three inspectors who were constituted accused of the crime of homicide – Luís Silva, Bruno Sousa and Duarte Laja.

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Demos against the abortion ban in Poland: Solidarity from Germany

Claudia Roth takes the side of the protesters against the abortion ban in Poland. Pro Familia writes a letter to Maas and Merkel.

Claudia Roth (Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) has shown solidarity with the protesters in Poland Foto: Christian Spicker/imago

BERLIN taz | The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, has shown her solidarity with the protesters in Poland who have been taking to the streets for more than a week against an almost complete ban on abortions. The news channel of the public television in Poland, TVP Info, showed Roth on Monday on its online page with the slogan of the protesters “This is war”.

The broadcaster quotes her as saying: “It is time for the German government and the European Union to increase the political pressure on the Polish government to the maximum and to demand European human rights standards.” Roth also posted this text on her Facebook page.

According to TVP Info, the State Secretary of the ruling PiS party in the Polish Foreign Ministry was “appalled” by the form and content of Roth’s contribution. The slogan “This is war” in the mouth of a German politician arouses the worst associations. “Pressure” from the federal government or the EU on Poland also lacks any legal basis.

The Polish demonstrators use the slogan to criticize the state’s “war” against their bodies. Roth’s office manager said that against the historical background it was insensitive to choose this particular image of the movement. That’s why it was removed from the Facebook page. The solidarity with the striking women will of course continue.

“Excessive violence” against demonstrators

In addition, the German Society for Family Planning Pro Familia has turned to the federal government about the ban on abortions in the neighboring country. “Please condemn attacks and violence by non-state actors, including right-wing extremist groups,” writes Pro Familia in an open letter to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). “Work to ensure that those who attack protesters are held accountable.”

The Polish Constitutional Court further tightened the already extremely restrictive regulation on abortion in Poland in October. Women now also have to carry fetuses that they know will be born with severe restrictions or will not survive the birth. Since then, however, protests by Polish women’s rights groups such as Strajk Kobiet (women’s strike) have not stopped. Throughout the country, they are now supported by unions, but also by taxi drivers and farmers. Large demonstrations paralyze inner cities like Warsaw.

At the same time, writes Pro Familia, footage shows how the police use tear gas and pepper spray against protesters. “The use of excessive force by law enforcement officers” would be contrary to international human rights law and the EU charter, which guarantee the right to peaceful assembly, the open letter said. Actions by right-wing extremist groups are also “worrying, as they can often act with impunity, which is in stark contrast to the repressive measures taken by the authorities”.

The women’s political spokeswoman for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Cornelia Möhring, said: “In Poland, the anger is discharging against the increasingly authoritarian government policy.” The protests are not only against the compulsory childbearing, but also against the misanthropic policies of the PiS government. Unfortunately, according to Möhring, little is to be expected from the federal government: at least the Union is also insisting on the so-called “protection of life” in this country. Solidarity with the Poles is all the more necessary.

Ulle Schauws, the women’s political spokeswoman for the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag, still sees the federal government as having an obligation. “The undermining of fundamental rights that the Polish government is directing against women, but also against LGBTI people, is unsustainable,” said Schauws. Also because Germany currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, the federal government must increase the pressure on Poland and insist on compliance with the rule of law in the EU member state Poland: “The use of violence against protesting women and activists must be prevented.”

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German patrol boats for Egypt (neue-deutschland.de)

Berlin. The federal government has approved the delivery of nine patrol boats and a coastal protection boat to Egypt for around 130 million euros. This emerges from a letter from Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) to the Economic Committee of the Bundestag. The boats are likely to be those that were originally intended for Saudi Arabia, but are no longer allowed to be delivered due to an arms export stop.

The Federal Government justifies the embargo on Saudi Arabia primarily with the participation of the highly armed regional power in the Yemen war. However, Egypt is also part of the Saudi Arabia-led Alliance of Arab States, which has been fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015.

In March 2018, the governing parties agreed to ban arms exports for all countries “directly” involved in the Yemen war, but left several back doors open. A complete ban on exports to Saudi Arabia was only imposed in November 2018 after the killing of the anti-government journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

The boats produced by the Bremen company Lürssen at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast are the largest armaments project directly affected by the export ban. Saudi Arabia has ordered 35 patrol boats from the shipyard. By the time the export stopped, only 15 had been delivered, but 7 more had already been produced. 300 jobs were endangered by the export ban, it was said at the time. With the delivery to Egypt, compensation has now been found after two years. Politically, however, the solution is extremely delicate. Egypt, like Saudi Arabia, is criticized for human rights violations and, like Saudi Arabia, is involved in the Yemen war and is also involved in the Libya conflict.

The opposition sharply criticized the export permit. “Given Egypt’s participation in the Yemen war, the new permits are unscrupulous and represent another breach of the coalition agreement,” says left-wing foreign policy expert Sevim Dağdelen. Green external expert Omid Nouripour accused the federal government of harming the efforts for peace in Libya and the respect for human rights. “Instead of condemning the catastrophic human rights situation there, the federal government is now approving arms exports. This is a moral declaration of bankruptcy by the federal government, but above all by an SPD that stood up for a restrictive approval policy. “

Egypt is currently one of the best customers of the German arms industry. In the first nine months of the year, the country was the main recipient of war weapons from German production with an export volume of 585.9 million euros. Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems supplies Egypt with submarines. The coalition will also soon have to deal with arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The export ban for the kingdom expires at the end of the year. The SPD is pressing for an extension until the end of the legislative period in autumn 2021.dpa / nd

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Belarusian opposition fought back – Kommersant

  1. Belarusian opposition fought backKommersant
  2. Protesters in Minsk used an explosive deviceRIA NEWS
  3. New punishments for the opposition in Belarus. How security forces detain protestersTV channel “Rain
  4. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus counted 300 detainees on the march in MinskRosbalt
  5. Protest action of pensioners ended in MinskRIA NEWS
  6. View in the Google News app

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Deportations: careless talk (neue-deutschland.de)

Horst Seehofer (CSU)

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

It is a well-established pattern: if an act of violence occurs in which a foreigner is involved, calls for faster and easier deportations increase. This was also the case in the case of the presumably Islamist-motivated knife attack in Dresden at the beginning of October, in which one man was killed and another seriously injured. The suspect is a 20-year-old Syrian who is classified as an Islamist threat.

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) now wants to clarify – unsurprisingly – whether deportations to certain regions of Syria should be possible again in the future. “I will strongly advocate that we check whether it is not possible to deport to Syria in the pacified areas,” said Seehofer. But so far the assessment of the Foreign Office is different. From the point of view of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the possibility of repatriation of criminals, endangered persons and “identity deceivers” should be sought if the security situation in Syria permits, the statement said on Friday.

Other Union politicians also support the demand. “Criminally convicted criminals have forfeited their right to stay in Germany, especially if they want to overthrow our free and democratic basic order,” said the North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU). “We have to be able to deport such perpetrators immediately.” Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU), the chairman of the CSU Bundestag group, Alexander Dobrindt, and the CSU Bundestag member Michael Kuffer are also calling for the legislation to be amended.

Greens boss Robert Habeck points out pitfalls. He thinks it is “in principle correct to expel dangerous people to their countries of origin.” But many of the Islamist threats are just German citizens. Therefore expulsions are “not trivial,” according to Habeck. A Europe-wide coordinated procedure and clear take-back agreements are also required.

The Left Party is clearer in its criticism. “It is frightening how right-wing hardliners instrumentalise the knife attack in Dresden to pave the way for deportations to Syria,” said the left-wing member of the Bundestag Ulla Jelpke. Syria is not safe – not even for criminals. There should therefore be no deportations to the country. “The problem of Islamism does not go away if a perpetrator is deported,” said Jelpke. It is necessary to clarify the crime and its background in detail and to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice in Germany. Dropout and prevention programs should also be promoted.

The state refugee councils in Germany and Pro Asyl also reject deportations to Syria. “Our deepest condolences go to the relatives of the victim,” said Kai Weber from the Lower Saxony Refugee Council in Hanover. However, instead of the political instrumentalization of the victims by some interior ministers, a constitutional criminal procedure is necessary. Hate crime often strikes arbitrarily and must be prosecuted. The deportation of alleged threats to Syria is a “smoke candle” and does not contribute to security – neither in the Federal Republic nor elsewhere. The “frivolous talk” about supposedly safe areas to which Syrians could be deported is “negligent and endangering people,” it said in a statement. Every person deported to Syria must expect treatment and torture that are contrary to human rights.

The security situation in Syria remains tense. According to human rights activists, at least 78 rebels allied with Turkey were killed in Russian air strikes in the north-west of the country. Around 100 more were injured in the bombing of a military camp in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Monday. With agencies.

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Erdoğan’s leader state: Diary of a Turkish exile

Kurdish civilians are pushed out of the helicopter. Journalists who report on it are criminals. And the medical board? Full of “traitors”.

On October 18 in Sirnak: AKP leader Erdogan is greeted Foto: Murat Kula/Anadolou agency/picture alliance

20. September

I looked at wedding photos. Attorney General Yüksel Kocaman got married at the Sheraton in Ankara. The Chairman of the Court of Cassation, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior, the Chief of Staff, the Chairman of the Election Commission and many, many other important men were guests. The honeymoon before the wedding was already present in the media: by helicopter to the tourist coastal town of Bodrum, where you stayed in a hotel that costs 1,000 euros per night.

After the wedding, we went to the presidential palace. Tayyip Erdoğan in the middle of the bride and groom. The photo session with the president is wedding present enough. But how can a chief prosecutor, who in the past behaved like the tyrant’s devoted lackey anyway, top it off with thanks? More arrests, more state terrorism? Why do I now remember a sentence from Interior Minister Soylu, who was also the best man at the wedding? “You cannot compare us to Hitler. We didn’t kill anyone in gas chambers. “

The Mesopotamian News Agency, whose website is blocked in Turkey, reports an incident that happened nine days ago. In a village in Van Province, the villagers were rounded up by soldiers and had to kneel down. Two men, 55-year-old Servet Turgut and 50-year-old Osman Şiban, were taken away in a military helicopter. It was only days later that relatives were able to find them in a hospital several hundred kilometers from the village.

Disfigured their bodies, they are in the hospital. “My father has 11 broken bones, hemorrhages and cracks in his lungs,” says Turgut’s son. The men were pushed down by the helicopter. The sentence is inhuman, but true: “No cock crows at any poor Kurdish farmers.”

25. September

The exclusive honeymoon, the pompous wedding and the photo shoot with the president are bearing fruit. In the early hours of the morning, police counter-terrorism units struck. 82 top officials of the HDP (Democratic Party of the Peoples) were arrested. Among them the mayor of the city of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, and the former MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who once worked with the government on a peace plan for the Kurdish question.

According to prosecutors, the arrests are linked to the October 2014 events in which 46 people died. The Kurdish border town of Kobani in Syria was about to be captured by the jihadists of the “Islamic State”. Tayyip Erdoğan celebrated the impending fall of the city with relish. The Kurds in Turkey were in an uproar and the HDP called for mass protest.

Those arrested are likely to spend years in custody, like the former leader of the party, Selahattin Demirtaş. The most brilliant politician Turkey has ever seen has been in prison for four years. “Membership in an armed terrorist organization” is the charge. The HDP received almost 12 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections. Perhaps the Fiihrer will have it banned. Thousands of party officials are behind bars anyway.

29. September

An opposition MP has published an internal official document on corona cases in Turkey. It is a detailed inventory of September 10th – number of approved tests, test results, etc. According to this, 29,377 people tested positive for Corona on this day. That is twenty times what was officially announced. The daily announcement by the Ministry of Health speaks of 1,512 people who tested positive for this day.

I spoke to my mother on the phone. “These villains lie,” she keeps saying. “You lie about everything. Why shouldn’t they lie about the corona cases? ”In the past few months, mayors, doctors and hospital staff who were confronted with the consequences of the virus on site had repeatedly questioned the official statements.

October 1

The daily newspaper spokesman has documented the strange transformation of a German textbook for 9th grade students. In the old edition of the year there is a map of Germany with “typically German” symbols. For example the Brandenburg Gate, the Frauenkirche in Dresden, the Cologne Cathedral, a car, a woman in a dirndl. A wine glass, a beer mug and the Oktoberfest are also represented. “Researched! What information can you find about Germany? Discuss your results in class! ”Says the textbook. The beer mug, wine glass and Oktoberfest have now been eliminated in the new edition. There are now white spots there thanks to Photoshop experts at the Department of Education.

Anyone who makes beer glasses disappear from school books in the national interest can certainly also manipulate corona case numbers. “In the fight against the pandemic, our state must protect not only the health of the population, but also national interests,” tweeted Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Before that, he gossiped at a press conference. At some point it was decided to no longer disclose the number of cases of infected people, but only those of the sick who show symptoms. Even the Scientific Council he set up to combat the pandemic did not know that.

Neither did the World Health Organization, which included the Turkish numbers as daily infection cases in their statistics. There was also no indication of the change in the basis of the survey on the website of the Ministry of Health: There was talk of “infections”, not “sick people with symptoms”.

What’s the point of the medical association protesting? In any case, her explanation does not appear in the media that are in line. The Medical Association has appealed to the government dozens of times to handle data transparently. In cooperation with scientists, she wrote detailed reports on the development of the pandemic. On a day of action in September, doctors and nurses protested against the government’s failure with a black cord.

The synchronized media, however, spread the statement by Devlet Bahçeli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Party, the most important partner and supporter of President Tayyip Erdoğan: “Because of an alleged increase in corona cases, the band of traitors called the Medical Association wants to wear black cords. This is a poisonous and humiliating plot. The Turkish Medical Association is as dangerous as the coronavirus. “

I looked up the meaning of “delirium” in the Duden dictionary: “Clouding of consciousness that manifests itself in confusion and delusions.” I wonder whether only individuals can fall into delirium. Or even entire societies?

A court in Van has issued a ban. In view of the ongoing investigations, it is not allowed to report on the Kurdish farmers thrown from the military helicopter. One of the men, Servet Turgut, is now dead.

October 6th

The four journalists who investigated the drop from the helicopter for eyewitness and medical reports were arrested. A question of time, when they will be tried for “supporting a terrorist organization”.

October 13

The daily newspaper calendar headline: “Our words to the constitutional court member Engin, whose face resembles an assassin’s whiner: You will dangle on the gallows of this flagpole”. The Constitutional Court had conceded the judgment of a criminal chamber against Enis Berberoğlu, an opposition MP. For once in history, the criminal chamber refused to obey the judgment of the Constitutional Court. Engin Yıldırım, one of the chief judges, tweeted a night photo of the Constitutional Court with the text “Our lights are on” after the judgment received.

Yıldırım, a conservative who was appointed constitutional judge in the Erdoğan era, was then referred to as a “coupist”. “Our lights are always on,” says the Interior Ministry’s official Twitter account. The poor man. That he deleted the tweet and apologized will be of little use to him. Someone tweeted: “We are prisoners of violent pornography.”

The daily newspaper calendar belongs to the Turkuaz media group, led by the brother of Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who is in turn finance minister. The media group Turkuaz (in the pool are the Turkish editions of Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Bazaar, House Beautiful and many more) belongs to the Kalyon construction company. The group that always wins public tenders.

I think I remember that the company made it world famous. Google, World Bank website: Private participation in infrastructure 1990–2019. Kalyon is one of the top ten companies in the world that have implemented public infrastructure contracts. Four are from Turkey, all of them linked to Tayyip Erdoğan.

October 14th

Erdoğan rages against the medical association. “How can we entrust our sick to them. How can we expect recovery? Can we expect that from terrorists? ”I think of Şebnem Korur Fincancı. She is the chairwoman of the Medical Association. An extraordinary woman. Professor of Forensic Medicine. She has contributed to the constitution of the United Nations standard work on the investigation and documentation of torture. In 1996 she was involved in the exhumation of mass graves and autopsies for the International Criminal Court in Bosnia.

She was able to prove murder and torture in the Philippines and Bahrain. She was once the head of the forensic medicine department. She was able to convict the head of the organized crime department of torture. It documented the murder of the trade unionist Süleyman Yeter. Many international awards, in Germany the Hessian Peace Prize. A few years ago we were waiting in front of an Istanbul prison for her to be released from custody. It only seems a matter of time before the medical board will be smashed.

15th October

Özer Sencar, professor and head of the Metropoll polling institute, is a trustworthy source. In an interview, he said that President Erdoğan’s party always had a voter approval between 30 and 35 percent. The party that has ruled Turkey for 18 years never sagged below 30 percent. The approval for Tayyip Erdoğan is significantly above this percentage. How can that be in view of the catastrophic development, the decline of the lira, impoverishment and mismanagement in the corona crisis?

Are nationalism, religious slogans, an expansionist and aggressive foreign policy enough to cover it all up? The professor, a man of empiricism, statistics and numbers, gives an answer that is actually inappropriate: “It is the belief in Tayyip Erdoğan.” The belief. It’s like gambling: once you’ve bet on a horse, there’s no going back. Even in the face of disaster, one does not want to admit mistakes. After all, Turkey is on the way to becoming a great power.

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Resistance to the unholy alliance (neue-deutschland.de)

Two book authors have founded an initiative against the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. From Christoph Ruf

Seldom has anyone managed to make himself impossible in such a short time as the former national coach Jürgen Klinsmann during his three-month coaching period at Hertha BSC, which ended in February. It has almost been forgotten that a few months earlier he had already allowed doubts about his general condition when he came out as an ardent supporter of the soccer World Cup in Qatar: “You have to give the country the chance to show itself and present itself” Klinsmann demanded in October 2019. “I really can’t wait, I think it will be a wonderful event.”

Bernd Beyer and Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling have heard such statements over and over again in recent years. At some point the two authors of numerous football books decided to set up an initiative called “Boycott Qatar” (BQ): “We wanted to throw the stone in the water,” says Beyer. “Our impression was that almost everyone is against this tournament, but that there is no one to coordinate the protest.” You don’t want to be yourself either. “But in the past few weeks we have heard from many fan groups and initiatives that they want to take action as soon as the tournament approaches.”

Why? On the one hand, there is the fact that Qatar supports terrorist groups like the “Islamic State”. The prevailing Wahhabist tendency of Islam in the emirate is considered extremely reactionary. Accordingly, it is a matter of human rights in a country that has no gender equality and no free practice of religion. The conditions under which the largely unlawful migrant workers set up the infrastructure for the tournament are also a scandal, said Beyer. “By awarding the tournament to Qatar, Fifa is violating its own statements on human rights.”

According to the organizers of the call for a boycott, however, this unholy alliance is no coincidence. While the world association wants to open up further sales markets for football in the Arab region, the situation for Qatar is also advantageous. The desert state, which owns the French club Paris St. Germain and supports numerous European clubs such as FC Bayern, is hoping for a further boost in its image. For Beyer, the Fifa and other world sports associations are in the pillory: “It was not just yesterday that we noticed that major tournaments are increasingly being awarded to authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. Democracies are increasingly refusing to meet the strict requirements of the associations, which install their own rules for a few weeks. “

The two organizers do not believe that the tournament can still be stopped. But they are in good spirits that with their initiative they can give a small impetus to ensure that it is going to be a huge blow: »We urge football fans to simply ignore this tournament. The best thing is to leave all the products of the world association’s weaving partners on the shelves for 2022. “That won’t be difficult for many:” We really know a lot of people who call themselves football fans, “says Beyer. “Not one of them is looking forward to the tournament in Qatar.” But even if the World Cup can no longer be prevented – the two are convinced that the call for a boycott cannot be in vain. The 1978 World Cup in Argentina finally took place. But the massive protests brought the human rights violations into the consciousness of a world public.

Even then, official football lagged miles behind many of its fans. The future national coach Berti Vogts was full of praise after the tournament: “Argentina is a country where order reigns,” said the defender at the time: “I haven’t seen a single political prisoner.” 35 years was an even more prominent exponent of German football Similar perception difficulties almost word for word: “Well, I haven’t seen a single slave there,” said Franz Beckenbauer: “They’re all running around freely.” The “Kaiser” had just returned from Qatar.

www.boycott-qatar.de

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