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dnice35

Danish Police detain chechen.....

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A top aide of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov was arrested by Danish authorities Wednesday and Russia sought his handover, saying he may have been involved in the Moscow hostage siege and other terror attacks.

Akhmed Zakayev, 43, was detained Tuesday evening after a Chechen Congress concluded in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Danish authorities acted after Russia requested Zakayev's extradition.

"Zakayev is suspected for a series of terror attacks during the period 1996-1999 and is suspected of taking part in the planning of the hostage-taking crisis in Moscow," a Danish police statement said.

The Kremlin had been angered by Denmark's hosting of the Chechen congress, which gathered rebels and opponents of the war in the breakaway province. Russia said the conference was organized by terrorists, but Denmark had insisted it would do nothing without proof.

A judge on Wednesday ordered Zakayev jailed until Nov. 12 pending an investigation. The two-hour hearing was closed to the public at the prosecutor's request and was held amid tight security.

Zakayev had not yet decided whether to appeal, said his lawyer, Ervin Birk Nielsen.

In Moscow, Russian officials cheered Zakayev's arrest and drew up documents to send to Denmark regarding his extradition.

"We hope that the Danish authorities will give us all necessary assistance in handling this issue," Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin told the upper house of parliament, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported.

The two countries do not have an extradition treaty because Russia has not abolished the death penalty, but Danish officials said Zakayev could be extradited under a European agreement concerning political crimes.

"We are in a situation where in certain circumstances he can be extradited to Russia," Danish Justice Minister Lene Espersen said, adding that Denmark needs "guarantees that he will not face the death penalty."

Russia imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 1996 to gain entrance into Europe's leading human rights body, the Council of Europe.

Zakayev had represented the separatist leader Maskhadov at the two-day Chechen conference in Copenhagen, attended by some 100 Chechen rebel envoys, Russian human rights activists and lawmakers from Russia and other European countries.

The conference aimed at a peaceful solution to the ongoing war in the breakaway Russian republic, and Chechens at the gathering denied any role in the hostage taking. On Monday, Zakayev expressed willingness Monday to start unconditional peace talks with the Russian government over ending the war in the breakaway republic.

Russia had condemned Denmark for hosting the two-day congress and asked the government to cancel the event after Chechen gunmen stormed a Moscow theater Oct. 23 and held hundreds of people hostage for 58 hours. At least 118 hostages and 50 hostage-takers died in the siege and subsequent rescue effort Saturday.

A Copenhagen-based Chechen rebel representative said Zakayev cooperated with Danish police when they arrived at his hotel Wedneday.

"The Danish intelligence service asked him some questions and said they could go to the police station. So he walked with them," Osman Ferzaouli told The Associated Press. "He is not related to the criminals, to the terrorists."

Russian forces retreated from Chechnya after a 1994-1996 war that left separatists led by Maskhadov in charge. Putin sent troops back in 1999 after rebel attacks on a neighboring region and deadly apartment-building bombings were blamed on the rebels.

Western governments have urged Russia to negotiate a peace settlement with the Chechens, and they long perceived Maskhadov, the Chechens' elected president, as a possible interlocutor.

Zakayev is the official foreign emissary for Maskhadov. He frequently visited foreign capitals for unofficial consultations on the Chechen conflict.

But for the past few months, the U.S. government has regarded Maskhadov as "damaged goods" and it no longer considers him a viable candidate to negotiate for Chechens, a senior U.S. diplomat in Moscow said Monday.

The diplomat said there was evidence Maskhadov had renewed a formal alliance with Shamil Basayev, an influential rebel leader accused of maintaining ties with international terrorists.

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Russia is doing exactly what the US did during the 9/11 attacks...use the situation in the theatre to excuse any criminal acts they will commit in turn against the Chechens.

Yet another political saga unfolding...only this time, with the help of the media, Russia will portray the Chechens as terrorists, when they are in fact seeking independence from the Russian Federation and want nothing to do with them.

What a sick, sad world we live in.

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Originally posted by sassa

Russia is doing exactly what the US did during the 9/11 attacks...use the situation in the theatre to excuse any criminal acts they will commit in turn against the Chechens.

Yet another political saga unfolding...only this time, with the help of the media, Russia will portray the Chechens as terrorists, when they are in fact seeking independence from the Russian Federation and want nothing to do with them.

What a sick, sad world we live in.

This coment makes me sick!!!!!!!!!! I cant fucking believe you think striking back after Sept. 11 is a crime.... this is a new time low for you sass....

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Originally posted by dnice35

This coment makes me sick!!!!!!!!!! I cant fucking believe you think striking back after Sept. 11 is a crime.... this is a new time low for you sass....

I don't think retaliation for a crime is wrong. I think the INTENTIONS of certain things done after 9/11 are. This is politics, dnice. Not everything done after 9/11 is based on anger and sentiment for the 9/11 attacks. Can you deny the fact that one of the main reasons the US is attacking Iraq is because of oil? I don't think so.

Take this into regard...every day is a struggle for power and control over rare natural resources. In fact, this is one of the definitions for politics given in the international arena.

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Originally posted by sassa

I don't think retaliation for a crime is wrong. I think the INTENTIONS of certain things done after 9/11 are. This is politics, dnice. Not everything done after 9/11 is based on anger and sentiment for the 9/11 attacks. Can you deny the fact that one of the main reasons the US is attacking Iraq is because of oil? I don't think so.

Take this into regard...every day is a struggle for power and control over rare natural resources. In fact, this is one of the definitions for politics given in the international arena.

Ok, now tell me something I dont already know..... As I said before Oil has a big part in this upcoming war. We must preserve power and oil plays a key role. But dont say the attacks we lauched after 9-11 had anything to do with oil....

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Originally posted by dnice35

Ok, now tell me something I dont already know..... As I said before Oil has a big part in this upcoming war. We must preserve power and oil plays a key role. But dont say the attacks we lauched after 9-11 had anything to do with oil....

Of course they do!!!

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Originally posted by dnice35

Geeee and I tought we were after Osama.... :rolleyes:

If we're after Osama, then why are we after Saddam now? You have just contradicted yourself!

Go deeper....not everything is always as it seems on the surface, ESPECIALLY in politics.

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Originally posted by sassa

If we're after Osama, then why are we after Saddam now? You have just contradicted yourself!

Go deeper....not everything is always as it seems on the surface, ESPECIALLY in politics.

We are still trying to get Osama (if we havent got him already)...... But im thinking hey since we're in that part of the world already, lets get rid of Saddam.... its not like its gonna take long anyways...

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Originally posted by dnice35

We are still trying to get Osama (if we havent got him already)...... But im thinking hey since we're in that part of the world already, lets get rid of Saddam.... its not like its gonna take long anyways...

WHERE DOES THIS ARROGANCE COME FROM?????

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Originally posted by dnice35

Ok I didnt say me personally, I meant US as a society....

O-kay...

Can you say ethnocentrism?? And how is the US better than anyone else? This is the most ethnocentric, arrogant and bigoted country anywhere. Sure, other countries have their problems with bigotry but this country is the worst. And I bet you're gonna say this country is the most free. Homosexuals can't get married here except in one state (Vermont), and btw, I'm heterosexual so don't get any ideas.

What happened to Rodney Kings rights when he got beaten by 4 cops? What happened to Louima's rights? Huh???

You said we're better than anyone else so therefore you are as etnocentric as the US society itself.

eth·no·cen·trism Pronunciation Key (thn-sntrzm)

n.

Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.

Overriding concern with race.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=ethnocentrism

And GO SASSA!!

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Do we sentence a woman for being a whores and cheating on their husbands?

Rodney King = scum bag drug addict with enough money now to feed his addiction

police = scum bags, yet they have to answer whenever they are caught doing something wrong.... in other countries cops get away with just about anything.

freedom of speech, religion, press... blah blah blah

we got countless nukes...... Im sure you all feel better knowing that, hahaha...... :D

ww1, ww2... enough said.

I can go on and on for hours, but I'll stop here before I get backed up at work...... anyways if any of you know a better place in this world to live in, spit it......

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Originally posted by dnice35

Do we sentence a woman for being a whores and cheating on their husbands?

We sentence them for being whores and divorce them for cheating on their husbands. true. But the US has the highest divorce rate worldwide.

Rodney King = scum bag drug addict with enough money now to feed his addiction

Admit it... it's because he's black too right?? But does that still give the pigs reason to beat him up? It was NOT becfause of drugs they beat him up... it was because he is black and you know it.

police = scum bags, yet they have to answer whenever they are caught doing something wrong.... in other countries cops get away with just about anything.

And the cops in Cincinnati got away with killing a black person so don't tell me they don't get away with anything here. And it's true they're (cops) scumbags.

freedom of speech,

Until someone like you tells us to shut up (or tell us to get out) when we say something negative about this country/government/it's President, so in other words freedom of speech to you only pertains to ONLY what YOU agree with.

religion,

As long as it's your OWN religion and the Presidents.

press...

1 Finland 0,50

- Iceland 0,50

- Norway 0,50

- Netherlands 0,50

5 Canada 0,75

6 Ireland 1,00

7 Germany 1,50

- Portugal 1,50

- Sweden 1,50

10 Denmark 3,00

11 France 3,25

12 Australia 3,50

- Belgium 3,50

14 Slovenia 4,00

15 Costa Rica 4,25

- Switzerland 4,25

17 United States 4,75

http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=4116

So much for freedom of the press.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

In other words, Congress cannot establish a religious state thus seperating church and state and cannot deny ones rights to practice their religion freely and cannot force religion on others.

or abridging the freedom of speech,

Meaning, you cannot deny ones right to free speech simply because his/hers opinions conflict the belief of another, in other words you have as much right to speak out for this fucked up country/government/it's President as much as I (and others who oppose) have the right to speak out against it.

or of the press;

Which has already been illegally censored by the government.

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

Meaning the people have the right to gather together peacefully...

and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

...to protest against this fucked up government and to complain about the problems that need to be fixed.

And Sunday I intend to do just that. I am going to Boston to attend a peace rally to protest against this so-called war on terrorism which is actually a war on the Muslim people and protest against this fucked up government, in other words I AM EXERCISING MY RIGHT TO FREE, PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND MY RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND THERE AIN'T A FUCKING THING YOU CAN DO TO STOP IT... TOUGH!!

blah blah blah

blah blah blah... :rolleyes:

we got countless nukes...... Im sure you all feel better knowing that, hahaha...... :D

So You think it's ok for us to have nukes but nobody else can? So you think we're better because we have more weapons of mass destruction?

ww1,

A class war, as Wilson later admitted.

ww2...

Another war that was spurned from the first one.

enough said.

I can go on and on for hours, but I'll stop here before I get backed up at work...... anyways if any of you know a better place in this world to live in, spit it......

The same countries listed (above-except the US) concerning freedom of the press has more freedom than the US.

I can go on for hours but it wouldn't do any good because it seems I can't knock any sense into your thick skull even with a sledge hammer.

The truth is, YOU ARE AN ETHNOCENTRIST, in other words, you are a bigot and a racist.

Again:

eth·no·cen·trism Pronunciation Key (thn-sntrzm)

n.

Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.

Overriding concern with race.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=ethnocentrism

Anymore of your words I can pick apart for you? Bring em on.

Prepare for your de-ignorization.

Enough said.

FUCK THE USA!!! :finger:

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Originally posted by normalnoises

Originally posted by dnice35

Do we sentence a woman for being a whores and cheating on their husbands?

We sentence them for being whores and divorce them for cheating on their husbands. true. But the US has the highest divorce rate worldwide.

Rodney King = scum bag drug addict with enough money now to feed his addiction

Admit it... it's because he's black too right?? But does that still give the pigs reason to beat him up? It was NOT becfause of drugs they beat him up... it was because he is black and you know it.

police = scum bags, yet they have to answer whenever they are caught doing something wrong.... in other countries cops get away with just about anything.

And the cops in Cincinnati got away with killing a black person so don't tell me they don't get away with anything here. And it's true they're (cops) scumbags.

freedom of speech,

Until someone like you tells us to shut up (or tell us to get out) when we say something negative about this country/government/it's President, so in other words freedom of speech to you only pertains to ONLY what YOU agree with.

religion,

As long as it's your OWN religion and the Presidents.

press...

1 Finland 0,50

- Iceland 0,50

- Norway 0,50

- Netherlands 0,50

5 Canada 0,75

6 Ireland 1,00

7 Germany 1,50

- Portugal 1,50

- Sweden 1,50

10 Denmark 3,00

11 France 3,25

12 Australia 3,50

- Belgium 3,50

14 Slovenia 4,00

15 Costa Rica 4,25

- Switzerland 4,25

17 United States 4,75

http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=4116

So much for freedom of the press.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

In other words, Congress cannot establish a religious state thus seperating church and state and cannot deny ones rights to practice their religion freely and cannot force religion on others.

or abridging the freedom of speech,

Meaning, you cannot deny ones right to free speech simply because his/hers opinions conflict the belief of another, in other words you have as much right to speak out for this fucked up country/government/it's President as much as I (and others who oppose) have the right to speak out against it.

or of the press;

Which has already been illegally censored by the government.

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

Meaning the people have the right to gather together peacefully...

and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

...to protest against the government to complain about the problems that need to be fixed.

And Sunday I intend to do just that. I am going to Boston to attend a peace rally to protest against this so-called war on terrorism which is actually a war on the Muslim people and protest against this fucked up government, in other words I AM EXERCISING MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!

blah blah blah

blah blah blah... :rolleyes:

we got countless nukes...... Im sure you all feel better knowing that, hahaha...... :D

So You think it's ok for us to have nukes but nobody else can? So you think we're better because we have more weapons of mass destruction?

ww1,

A class war, as Wilson later admitted.

ww2...

Another war that was spurned from the first one.

enough said.

I can go on and on for hours, but I'll stop here before I get backed up at work...... anyways if any of you know a better place in this world to live in, spit it......

The same countries listed (above-except the US) concerning freedom of the press has more freedom than the US.

I can go on for hours but it wouldn't do any good because it seems I can't knock any sense into your thick skull even with a sledge hammer.

The truth is, YOU ARE AN ETHNOCENTRIST, in other words, you are a bigot and a racist.

Again:

eth·no·cen·trism Pronunciation Key (thn-sntrzm)

n.

Belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.

Overriding concern with race.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=ethnocentrism

Anymore of your words I can pick apart for you? Bring em on.

Prepare for your de-ignorization.

Enough said.

wow...you pretty much summed it up...:aright::clap2: right on, normal!

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Originally posted by sassa

wow...you pretty much summed it up...:aright::clap2: right on, normal!

*stands on chair and waves fist*

HELL YEAH!!! WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!

He needed a good ass-kicking. Would you call that "normal"?

Yeah, that's me in that pic in my sig.

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I can go on and on for hours, but I'll stop here before I get backed up at work...... anyways if any of you know a better place in this world to live in, spit it......

The same countries listed (above-except the US) concerning freedom of the press has more freedom than the US.

Those countries have more freedom? have you ever been to any of them, or are you just assuming?

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Originally posted by dnice35

And you are speaking from personal experience right? or just cause that article said so....??

http://www.rsf.fr/article.php3?id_article=4116

Rank Country Note

1 Finland 0,50

- Iceland 0,50

- Norway 0,50

- Netherlands 0,50

5 Canada 0,75

6 Ireland 1,00

7 Germany 1,50

- Portugal 1,50

- Sweden 1,50

10 Denmark 3,00

11 France 3,25

12 Australia 3,50

- Belgium 3,50

14 Slovenia 4,00

15 Costa Rica 4,25

- Switzerland 4,25

17 United States 4,75

18 Hong Kong 4,83

19 Greece 5,00

20 Ecuador 5,50

21 Benin 6,00

- United Kingdom 6,00

- Uruguay 6,00

24 Chile 6,50

- Hungary 6,50

26 South Africa 7,50

- Austria 7,50

- Japan 7,50

29 Spain 7,75

- Poland 7,75

31 Namibia 8,00

32 Paraguay 8,50

33 Croatia 8,75

- El Salvador 8,75

35 Taiwan 9,00

36 Mauritius 9,50

- Peru 9,50

38 Bulgaria 9,75

39 South Korea 10,50

40 Italy 11,00

41 Czech Republic 11,25

42 Argentina 12,00

43 Bosnia and Herzegovina 12,50

- Mali 12,50

45 Romania 13,25

46 Cape Verde 13,75

47 Senegal 14,00

48 Bolivia 14,50

49 Nigeria 15,50

- Panama 15,50

51 Sri Lanka 15,75

52 Uganda 17,00

53 Niger 18,50

54 Brazil 18,75

55 Ivory Coast 19,00

56 Lebanon 19,67

57 Indonesia 20,00

58 Comoros 20,50

- Gabon 20,50

60 Yugoslavia 20,75

- Seychelles 20,75

62 Tanzania 21,25

63 Central African Republic 21,50

64 Gambia 22,50

65 Madagascar 22,75

- Thailand 22,75

67 Bahrain 23,00

- Ghana 23,00

69 Congo 23,17

70 Mozambique 23,50

71 Cambodia 24,25

72 Burundi 24,50

- Mongolia 24,50

- Sierra Leone 24,50

75 Kenya 24,75

- Mexico 24,75

77 Venezuela 25,00

78 Kuwait 25,50

79 Guinea 26,00

80 India 26,50

81 Zambia 26,75

82 Palestinian National Authority 27,00

83 Guatemala 27,25

84 Malawi 27,67

85 Burkina Faso 27,75

86 Tajikistan 28,25

87 Chad 28,75

88 Cameroon 28,83

89 Morocco 29,00

- Philippines 29,00

- Swaziland 29,00

92 Israel 30,00

93 Angola 30,17

94 Guinea-Bissau 30,25

95 Algeria 31,00

96 Djibouti 31,25

97 Togo 31,50

98 Kyrgyzstan 31,75

99 Jordan 33,50

- Turkey 33,50

101 Azerbaijan 34,50

- Egypt 34,50

103 Yemen 34,75

104 Afghanistan 35,50

105 Sudan 36,00

106 Haiti 36,50

107 Ethiopia 37,50

- Rwanda 37,50

109 Liberia 37,75

110 Malaysia 37,83

111 Brunei 38,00

112 Ukraine 40,00

113 Democratic Republic of the Congo 40,75

114 Colombia 40,83

115 Mauritania 41,33

116 Kazakhstan 42,00

117 Equatorial Guinea 42,75

118 Bangladesh 43,75

119 Pakistan 44,67

120 Uzbekistan 45,00

121 Russia 48,00

122 Iran 48,25

- Zimbabwe 48,25

124 Belarus 52,17

125 Saudi Arabia 62,50

126 Syria 62,83

127 Nepal 63,00

128 Tunisia 67,75

129 Libya 72,50

130 Iraq 79,00

131 Vietnam 81,25

132 Eritrea 83,67

133 Laos 89,00

134 Cuba 90,25

135 Bhutan 90,75

136 Turkmenistan 91,50

137 Burma 96,83

138 China 97,00

139 North Korea 97,50

Reporters Without Borders is publishing the first worldwide press freedom index

The first worldwide index of press freedom has some surprises for Western democracies. The United States ranks below Costa Rica and Italy scores lower than Benin. The five countries with least press freedom are North Korea, China, Burma, Turkmenistan and Bhutan.

Surprises among Western democracies : US below Costa Rica and Italy below Benin

Reporters Without Borders is publishing for the first time a worldwide index of countries according to their respect for press freedom. It also shows that such freedom is under threat everywhere, with the 20 bottom-ranked countries drawn from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The situation in especially bad in Asia, which contains the five worst offenders - North Korea, China, Burma, Turkmenistan and Bhutan.

The top end of the list shows that rich countries have no monopoly of press freedom. Costa Rica and Benin are examples of how growth of a free press does not just depend on a country's material prosperity.

The index was drawn up by asking journalists, researchers and legal experts to answer 50 questions about the whole range of press freedom violations (such as murders or arrests of journalists, censorship, pressure, state monopolies in various fields, punishment of press law offences and regulation of the media). The final list includes 139 countries. The others were not included in the absence of reliable information.

In the worst-ranked countries, press freedom is a dead letter and independent newspapers do not exist. The only voice heard is of media tightly controlled or monitored by the government. The very few independent journalists are constantly harassed, imprisoned or forced into exile by the authorities. The foreign media is banned or allowed in very small doses, always closely monitored.

Right at the top of the list four countries share first place - Finland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands. These northern European states scrupulously respect press freedom in their own countries but also speak up for it elsewhere, for example recently in Eritrea and Zimbabwe. The highest-scoring country outside Europe is Canada, which comes fifth.

Some countries with democratically-elected governments are way down in the index - such as Colombia (114th) and Bangladesh (118th). In these countries, armed rebel movements, militias or political parties constantly endanger the lives of journalists. The state fails to do all it could to protect them and fight the immunity very often enjoyed by those responsible for such violence.

Costa Rica better placed than the United States

The poor ranking of the United States (17th) is mainly because of the number of journalists arrested or imprisoned there. Arrests are often because they refuse to reveal their sources in court. Also, since the 11 September attacks, several journalists have been arrested for crossing security lines at some official buildings.

The highest-ranked country of the South is Costa Rica, in 15th position. This Central American nation is traditionally the continent's best performer in terms of press freedom. In February 2002, it ceased to be one of the 17 Latin American states that still give prison sentences to those found guilty of "insulting" public officials. The murder in July 2001 year of journalist Parmenio Medina was an exception in the history of the Costa Rican media.

Cuba, the last dictatorship in Latin America, came 134th and is the only country in the region where there is no diversity of news and journalists are routinely imprisoned. In Haiti (106th), journalists are targeted by informal militias whose actions are covered by the government.

Italy gets bad marks in Europe

The 15 member-countries of the European Union (EU) all score well except for Italy (40th), where news diversity is under serious threat. Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is turning up the pressure on the state-owned television stations, has named his henchmen to help run them and continues to combine his job as head of government with being boss of a privately-owned media group. The imprisonment of journalist Stefano Surace, convicted of press offences from 30 years ago, as well as the monitoring of journalists, searches, unjustified legal summonses and confiscation of equipment, are all responsible for the country's low ranking.

France, in 11th place overall, comes only 8th among EU countries because of several disturbing measures endangering the protection of journalists' sources and because of police interrogation of a number of journalists in recent months.

Among those states hoping to join the EU, Turkey (99th) is very poorly placed. Despite the reform efforts of its government, aimed at easing entry into the EU, many journalists are still being given prison sentences and the media is regularly censored. Press freedom is especially under siege in the southeastern part of the country.

Elsewhere in Europe, such as Belarus (124th), Russia (121st) and the former Soviet republics, it is still difficult to work as a journalist and several have been murdered or imprisoned. Grigory Pasko, jailed since December 2001 in the Vladivostok region of Russia, was given a four-year sentence for publishing pictures of the Russian Navy pouring liquid radioactive waste into the Sea of Japan.

The Middle East and Israel's ambivalent position

No Arab country is among the top 50. Lebanon only makes 56th place and the press freedom situation in the region is not encouraging. In Iraq (130th) and Syria (126th), the state uses every means to control the media and stifle any dissenting voice. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein especially has set his country's media the sole task of relaying his regime's propaganda. In Libya (129th) and Tunisia (128th), no criticism of Col Muammar Kadhafi or President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali is tolerated.

The political weakening of the Palestinian Authority (82nd) means it has made few assaults on press freedom. However, Islamic fundamentalist opposition media have been closed, several attempts made to intimidate and attack local and foreign journalists and many subjects remain taboo. The aim is to convey a united image of the Palestinian people and to conceal aspects such a demonstrations of support for attacks on Israel.

The attitude of Israel (92nd) towards press freedom is ambivalent. Despite strong pressure on state-owned TV and radio, the government respects the local media's freedom of expression. However, in the West Bank and Gaza, Reporters Without Borders has recorded a large number of violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which guarantees press freedom and which Israel has signed. Since the start of the Israeli army's incursions into Palestinian towns and cities in March 2002, very many journalists have been roughed up, threatened, arrested, banned from moving around, targeted by gunfire, wounded or injured, had their press cards withdrawn or been deported.

Good and bad examples in Africa

Eritrea (132nd) and Zimbabwe (122nd) are the most repressive countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The entire privately-owned press in Eritrea was banned by the government in September 2001 and 18 journalists are currently imprisoned there. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is notable for his especially harsh attitude to the foreign and opposition media.

At the other end of the spectrum, Benin is in 21st place despite being classified by the UN Development Programme as one of the world 15 poorest countries. Other African states, such as South Africa (26th), Mali (43rd), Namibia (31st) and Senegal (47th), have genuine press freedom too.

How the index was drawn up

This index measures the amount of freedom journalists and the media have in each country and the efforts made by governments to see that press freedom is respected.

Reporters Without Borders sent out a questionnaire based on the main criteria for such freedom and asking for details of directs attacks on journalists (such as murders, imprisonment, physical assaults and threats) and on the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and pressure). It also asked about the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for such violations.

The questionnaire recorded the legal environment for the media (such as punishment for press offences, a state monopoly in some areas and the existence of a regulatory body) and the behaviour of the state towards the public media and the foreign press. It also noted the main threats to the free flow of information on the Internet.

Reporters Without Borders has not just taken into account the excesses of the state but also those of armed militias, underground organisations and pressure groups that can be serious threats to press freedom. In addition, the state does not always use all its resources to fight the impunity the perpetrators of such violence very often have.

The questionnaire was sent to people with a real knowledge of the press freedom situation in one or more countries, such as local journalists or foreign correspondents living in the country, researchers, legal experts, specialists on a region and the researchers of the Reporters Without Borders International Secretariat.

The countries included in the index are those about which Reporters Without Borders received completed questionnaires from several independent sources. Other countries have not been included for lack of reliable information. Countries that got equal scores have been ranked in alphabetical order.

This index of press freedom is a portrait of the situation based on events between September 2001 and October 2002 . It does not take account of all human rights violations, only those that affect press freedom.

Neither is it an indicator of the quality of a country's media. Reporters Without Borders defends press freedom without regard to the content of the media, so any ethical or professional departures from the norm have not been taken into account.

Answer your question?

It's the truth bud. Face it though the truth hurts.

Congratulations Dense35, you've just been de-ignorized!!

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