Let’s play the ‘Who Said It’ game? Was it Assad, Erdogan or Trump?
By Emily Walsh, Human Rights Defenders Campaigner, AIUSA
Can you tell who said each statement below? Was it Assad of Syria, Erdogan of Turkey, or Trump of the United States?
1. “The media is the opposition party in many ways.”
2. “Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in [Country]. I’m very sure of myself when I say this.”
3. “[Certain news organization] doesn’t care about a free, impartial and independent press. They are assigned to work like spies.”
4. “As a newspaper, you should know your place.”
5. “[Media members] have their own agenda, and their agenda is not your agenda.”
6. “If this is journalism, then down with your journalism.”
7. “[The media] is the enemy of the [Country] people!”
8. “We’re living in a fake news era, as you know.”
9. “The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
When freedom of the press is threatened, we are all threatened.
When Secretary Kelly joked yesterday about President Trump attacking journalists with a sword, we must remind ourselves: this is not normal.
When the President’s lawyers argue that people “have no right” to “express dissenting views” at his campaign rallies, after he has encouraged violence against protestors, we must remind ourselves: this is not normal.
When the President’s staff arbitrarily shuts out reporters from certain publications after attacking them for being “fake news”, we must remind ourselves: this is not normal.
When a journalist is arrested for persistently asking questions, we must remind ourselves: this is not normal.
And when the President reportedly suggests to the FBI Director that he imprison reporters who publish leaks, please remember: this is not normal.
We won’t allow this to become our new normal.
Now more than ever, journalists, press, and other human rights defenders across the world are facing unprecedented levels of persecution, intimidation, and violence.
That is why Amnesty International is determined to defend the right to freedom of expression, and the right to free press. Join our new campaign to protect and uplift the work of human rights defenders. Email HRD@aiusa.org to get involved today.