Arrestasjonen av TV2-journalisten Kadafi Zaman

Arrestasjonen av TV2-journalisten Kadafi Zaman i Pakistan bekrefter landets manglende stabilitet og dypere autoritære trekk. Situasjonen ved et valg viser hvor vanskelig det blir å skille mellom politiske overgrep og religiøs frykt. Dette må også være smertefullt for norske pakistanske innvandere som vet å verdsette demokratisk fri ytring i deres nye hjemland, Norge. Vi venter på en resolutt reaksjon fra norske myndigheter.

Dette var Norsk PENs uttalelse 14. juli, dagen etter at Kadafi ble arrestert.

Leder William Nygaard uttalte seg om saken i Aftenposten 16. juli:
– I sum representerer de [red. anm.: det norskpakistanske miljøet] et stort og lojalt nettverk. Det kan være nyttig for troverdigheten til Zaman om de nå viser sin aktive støtte, også til venner og slektninger i Pakistan. Det kan i seg selv være viktig for å styrke tilliten til ham som en profesjonell norsk journalist på jobb, sier Nygaard.

Nestleder Kjersti Løken Stavrum ble intervjuet om saken av TV2 17. juli, sammen med Arne Jensen (Norsk Redaktørforening) og Kadafi Zaman.

 

https://www.aftenposten.no/verden/i/l156aM/Pakistanske-journalister-er-i-en-svart-presset-situasjon_-sier-Pakistan-ekspert

13. October: How film can be a tool for social change

film-fra-sor

Breakfast seminar on how film can be a tool for social change

Norwegian PEN, Plan International Norway and Films from the South Festival invite to a breakfast seminar

Thursday 13th of October, 09:00-10:30

Amalie Skram, Literature House in Oslo     

We have invited prominent directors and journalists to discuss this topic, and we are honored that the Pakistani Ambassador Riffat Masood, will open the seminar, as well as participate in the panel discussion.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a journalist, filmmaker and activist. She has established a career as a filmmaker in and outside Pakistan, and is the recipient of several awards, including two Academy Awards, six Emmy Awards, and a Lux Style Award. In 2012, the Government of Pakistan awarded her with the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian honour of the country. That same year, Time named her as one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.

Mohammed Ali Naqvi is an internationally celebrated filmmaker whose work has won more than 25 prestigious awards and honours, and whose films have been showcased in fil festivals including Toronto Tribeca, Berlin, IDFA, Full Frame and AFI, and venue including the Museum of Modern Art and the United Nations in New York.

Emilie Beck, director and actress, has starred in several Norwegian movies. She won the Directors Choice Awards in Sacramento for the short film “Blikkfang” in 2014. She is the host in the Aftenposten TV series “Stuck” from 2016, where she meets child brides in Asia. The series has been launched in over 70 countries.

Elisabeth Eide, Vice President of Norwegian PEN and Professor, Department of Journalism and Media Studies

PROGRAM

Welcome by moderator Elisabeth Eide, Vice President of Norwegian PEN

Opening speech by the Pakistani Ambassador Riffat Masood

Introduction by director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: http://www.filmfrasor.no/filmbase/2016/a-girl-in-the-river

Introduction by director Mohammed Ali Naqvi: http://www.filmfrasor.no/filmbase/2016/among-the-believers

Q and A with the audience .

There will be served coffee/tea and light refreshments.
The program is free and open for all.

PEN fordømmer angrepet på på Malala Yousufzai

Angrepet på Malala Yousufzai, en særdeles modig 14-årig skolejente i Mingora, Pakistan, har med god grunn vakt bestyrtelse over store deler av verden. TTP – Pakistansk Taliban, har tatt ansvaret for mordforsøket på henne og to andre elever, og sier de vil prøve igjen. Malalas kamp gjaldt noe så elementært som rett til utdanning for jenter. Å snakke åpent og fritt om dette i sårbare områder av Pakistan er forbundet med stor risiko. Terrorgrupper og andre ekstremister har trakassert, angrepet og truet menneskerettsaktivister over lang tid, både i Afghanistan og Pakistan.

Norsk PEN vil uttrykke sin varme støtte til kampen Malala Yousufzai fører for en rettighet vi i Norge lenge har tatt for gitt og sin avsky mot de kreftene som prøver å kneble modige stemmer som hennes. Kommentatorer i Pakistan har uttrykt forventninger om at dette mordforsøket skal føre til et veiskille i Pakistan. Vi deler dette håpet. Det feige angrepet må føre til fornyet innsats mot terror og trusler, til styrket forsvar for ytringsfrihet og kvinners rettigheter, slik at jenter som Malala i framtiden kan utdanne seg uten å sette seg i livsfare, i Pakistan og i andre land hvor de i dag er truet.
Kabul, Afghanistan 18. oktober 2012

Elisabeth Eide
nestleder, Norsk PEN

Les også en uttalelse fra PEN Internationals kvinnekomité på denne lenken.

Political and religious populism threatens freedom of expression

Oslo 8. March 2012

To the board of PEN International

Political and religious populism threatens freedom of expression

Political use of religious symbols and play on religious feelings undermine freedom of speech and political debate in many parts of the world. Populist politicians exploit human insecurity and powerlessness by stirring demonstrations, public rage and violent actions against members for alleged blasphemy, unbelief and lack of respect for sacred symbols.

Religious based law and scripture interpretation restrict human freedom. Statutory or politically interpreted commands and prohibitions define shame, honor and punishment in violation of basic human rights for women, children, religious and sexual minorities and make political and artistic criticism impossible.

In the battle for the evangelical Christian conservative votes in the United States, the remaining candidates in the race to be nominated for the Republican presidential candidate become increasingly clear on religious affiliation and religiously motivated political views. Questions about abortion, homosexuality and so-called Christian family values become central, well-defined issues. Former President Jimmy Carter is one of many who is now warning against excessive use of religion and religious symbols in the political nomination battle.

In Nigeria, religion and religious identity is being exploited in order to strengthen regional and ethnic borders. Politicization of Islam through the introduction of sharia in several states in this declaredly secular republic has led to increased political tension and has triggered regional, violent conflicts between Muslim and Christian groups.

In Iran and Iraq there has been a shift from secular to Islamic constitutions. The Iranian Constitution, which states that all other legislation must be based on Islamic criteria, is the strictest. The Afghan Constitution of 2004, Article 2, states that “no law can be contrary to the teachings and laws of Islam.” This has weakened the position of human rights in the country´s legislation.  It has limited the number of religions that are approved as a recognized religion and weakened freedom of expression and equality.

Egypt’s first democratic elections has given the Muslim parties an overwhelming majority in Parliament. What consequences this will have on the design of the new Egyptian constitution, remains to be seen. The country’s Coptic Christian minority is experiencing various forms of sectarian harassment, and fears increased discrimination including greater influence from radical Islamist parties. Many women fear the introduction of sharia, which will severely restrict their rights and freedoms. Author Nawal El Saadavi is among the most outspoken critics of the fact that the commission, which has started to work on a proposed new constitution, was formed without the participation of women.

In Pakistan weak politicians allow themselves to be dictated by small religious populist parties, which exploit the strong anti-Western trends in the country in its struggle to preserve the country’s inhumane blasphemy laws. A law that involves the possibility of accusations, imprisonment and brutal punishment of women and children, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities and political critics.

Indian politicians like to describe the country as the world’s most populous democracy. Author Salman Rushdie was recently forced to withdraw from India’s largest literary festival in Jaipur in northwest India. Muslim extremists claimed that Rushdie’s expressions violate Islam and that criminals should be hired to eliminate the author. Again, Rushdie’s novel Satanic Verses from 1988 is being used to justify threats from Muslim activists and populist politicians. An Iranian fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 involved a death sentence for the author and all his translators and publishers. The fatwa still formally exists. Satanic Verses was banned in India shortly after its release and is still blacklisted. The ban came after pressure from Muslim populist politicians. The novel became a symbol for the strengthening of support among Muslim voters and led to pressure against PM Ranjiv Gandhi and the Congress Party, which was dependent on Muslim votes. Roughly 23 years later the Congress Party is back in power, but chooses silently to let the threats from extremists set the agenda in the political power struggle.

Norwegian PEN warns against a trend in which religiously based politics, at both national and international levels, weakens freedom of expression and undermine basic human rights for individuals and groups. Norwegian PEN urges PEN International, the national PEN clubs, other human rights organizations and  institutions, and national and international authors´-, journalists´-  and publishers´ organizations to challenge a political development in which populist politicians abuse religious feelings and symbols in order to set groups up against each other, undermine the rights of individuals and groups and weaken freedom of expression.

On behalf of the board of Norwegian PEN

Ann-Magrit Austenå                   Carl Morten Iversen
boardmember                             secretary general