Two journalists fall foul of local authorities in Chelyabinsk region

first_img May 21, 2021 Find out more July 10, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Two journalists fall foul of local authorities in Chelyabinsk region RussiaEurope – Central Asia News Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Follow the news on Russia RSF_en May 5, 2021 Find out more News News News to go further “Given the disputes between the accused and the local authorities, the case should be heard elsewhere and there should be further investigation in order to ascertain the truth. Valery Uskov must immediately be released on bail and a serious investigation must be carried out into the allegations of procedural irregularities put forward by the defence.” Uskov and Baidariko were arrested for illegal possession of weapons on 21 November last year. An unidentified person sent them a text message asking to meet them, claiming he had compromising information about the Zlatoust mayor, Vyacheslav Zhilin. However, instead of the informant, they found a bag containing firearms. The police, who were already on the spot, immediately arrested them.The two journalists spent six days in custody, and a search was carried out and equipment seized at their editorial offices, in violation of the protection of their sources. The police have the telephone number of the fake informer but appear to have made no attempt to identify him.Baidariko, currently free on bail, has also been charged in the case along with Uskov.Uskov himself was arrested again on 24 February, and held in custody for making death threats. The complaint was filed by local councillor Alexander Negrebetskikh a few weeks after a trade union rally attended by the journalist on 26 January, degenerated into a brawl. One witness told the trial that Negrebetskikh had been convicted of perjury in another case several years previously. The pre-trial detention order against Uskov has been regularly renewed since February by the same judge who first imposed it in 2010.Since 28 May, when a man facing charges of child molestation was called to testify against Baidariko, hearings have been heard in camera, preventing journalists and bloggers from attending the trial. Uskov has contested this restriction but there has been no response to his objections. It was only with great difficulty that he managed to ensure he was defended by a private lawyer.Besides his investigations into alleged wrongdoing, Uskov launched a petition in 2010 to demand the dismissal of the mayor of Zlatoust and regularly organizes demonstrations against the local administration. At the time of his arrest, he was involved in a campaign to protect a forest owned by the local authority that was under threat from a construction project. The campaign has gained considerable local support. Russia is ranked 148th of 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Journalists are particularly prone to abuses by local authorities, as illustrated by the imprisonment of Sergei Reznik and Alexander Tolmachev, journalists in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, and the house arrest imposed on the Sochi-based independent journalist Nikolai Yarst last year.———Два журналиста в опале у местных властей ЗлатоустaРепортеры без границ сильно взволнованы противоречивыми обстоятельствами и процессуальными нарушениями в судебном деле, заведенном на журналиста Валерия Ускова, который находится в предварительном заключении более пяти месяцев, и его коллегу Вячеслава Бaйдарико в городе Златоуст, Челябинский регион (Урал). Суд заслушал их дело 10 июля 2014 года за закрытыми дверями.Журналист и активист Валерий Усков находится в конфликте с местными властями не в первый раз. Бывший главный редактор, а ныне сотрудник газеты «Правда города Златоуста» также возглавляет местное националистическое движение. В своих статьях он регулярно высказывается с критикой в адрес местной власти, которую считает коррумпированной и недееспособной. После предъявления обвинений в ”экстремизме” в 2011 году он уже провел более двух месяцев в предварительном задержании, прежде чем был оправдан. Задержанный снова журналист предстал перед судом 10 июля за закрытыми дверями по подозрению в “незаконном хранении оружия” (статья 222 уголовного кодекса) и в “угрозах убийством” (статья 119). В ходе первого заседания суда 9 июня журналист заявил о своей невиновности, подчеркнув фальсификацию доказательств против него, а также ложные заявления свидетелей. “Обстоятельства задержания журналистов и то, как ведется следствие, вызывает сильные сомнения и наводит на мысль, что дело шито белыми нитками с целью заставить их молчать, – считает начальник отдела Восточной Европы и Центральной Азии Репортеров без границ Йоханн Бир. Учитывая конфликт между подсудимыми и местной властью, необходимо передать рассмотрение дела нейтральной судебной инстанции в другом регионе и провести дополнительное расследование для того, чтобы открыть всю правду. Валерия Ускова необходимо немедленно досрочно выпустить на свободу, а по подозрению в грубых процессуальных нарушениях, о которых было заявлено защитой, необходимо провести серьезное расследование”.Валерий Усков был задержан вместе со своим коллегой Вячеславом Бaйдарико 21 ноября 2013 года по подозрению в “незаконном хранении оружия”. Неизвестный назначил им встречу по SMS под предлогом того, что готов передать компрометирующие данные на мэра города Златоуст Вячеслава Жилина. Но вместо информатора журналисты нашли пакет с огнестрельным оружием. Полицейские, которые были уже на месте, их сразу же арестовали. Оба журналиста провели шесть дней в предварительном заключении, в офисе редакции был проведен обыск, все оборудование было конфисковано, несмотря на принцип защиты источников информации. У полиции есть номер телефона ложного информатора, однако все говорит о том, что меры для установления его личности не предпринимаются. По этому делу с Валерием Усковым также проходит досрочно освобожденный Вячеслав Бaйдарико. Валерий Усков был вновь задержан 24 февраля 2014 года и помещен под стражу за “угрозы убийством”. Жалоба была подана городским депутатом Александром Негребецких через несколько недель после того, как профсоюзное собрание с участием журналиста закончилось дракой 26 января. По словам свидетеля, фигурирующего в деле, Александр Негребецких был уже признан виновным в подачи ложных показаний в другом деле несколько лет назад. Меру предварительного заключения Валерия Ускова регулярно продлевает с февраля месяца тот же судья, который ее наложил в 2010 году. После того, как к судебному процессу против Вячеслава Бaйдарико привлекли 28 мая подозреваемого в педофилии для подачи показаний, дело рассматривается за закрытыми дверями. Ни журналисты, ни блогеры города не имеют права присутствовать в зале суда. Оспаривание этой меры Валерием Усковым ничего не дало, последнему только удалось со значительными трудностями добиться права на защиту частным адвокатом.Валерий Усков, кроме своих многочисленных расследований предполагаемых фактов коррупции, написал в 2010 году петицию, требуя отставки главы города Златоуст. Он регулярно проводит демонстрации против местной власти. На момент задержания он был вовлечен в дело защиты городского леса, которому угрожает вырубка под проект строительства недвижимости, вызвавший волну негодования.Россия занимает 148-ое место из 180 стран во Всемирном рейтинге свободы прессы 2014 года Репортеров без границ. Журналисты особенно беззащитны перед нарушениями местных властей, как тому доказательством стали недавние заключения в тюрьму Сергея Резника и Александра Толмачева в Ростове-на-Дону, или заключение под домашний арест Николая Ярста в Сочи. RussiaEurope – Central Asia Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing Читать по-русски в PDF и ниже / Read in RussianReporters Without Borders is extremely concerned by the inconsistencies and procedural irregularities in the trial of the journalist and activist Valery Uskov, who has been held in pre-trial detention for five months, and his colleague Vyacheslav Baidariko, in the town of Zlatoust in the Chelyabinsk region of the Urals. Their trial continued today behind closed doors. It is not the first time that Uskov has found himself in trouble with the local authorities. The journalist, who writes for the newspaper Pravda Goroda Zlatousta which he used to edit, also leads a local nationalist movement. He regularly writes about the municipal council, which he regards as corrupt and incompetent. He was accused of “extremism” in 2011 and spent two months in pre-trial detention before being cleared.He has been arrested again and appeared in a closed hearing today to answer charges of illegally possessing weapons and making death threats. At an earlier hearing on 9 June, the journalist pleaded not guilty and said the evidence against him had been fabricated. “The circumstances of the journalists’ arrest and the conduct of the trial are highly suspect and suggest the case was fabricated in order to silence them,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption Related documents Два журналиста в опале у местных властей ЗлатоустaPDF – 125.91 KB Help by sharing this information Validity of case and conduct of trial are cause for concern as campaigning newspaper duo appear in court behind closed doors Organisation last_img read more

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Chimamanda Adichie delivers message of empowerment

first_imgThough she was just a young girl at the time, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie remembers her home economics teacher asking her “How could you not like needlework? Aren’t you a girl?” Such experiences with sexism only motivate the distinguished author to resist injustice and express her worldviews through writing, she said in a lecture at Saint Mary’s on Thursday night.College president Carol Ann Mooney said Adichie serves as an example for students through her ability to inspire her readers and convey a message of hope.“Her work echoes our mission to empower women and help them develop the compassion and empathy needed to make a difference in the world,” Mooney said.Adichie said she composed her first book at age ten in her childhood home in Nigeria, a place that still serves as a central part of her creativity.“Before [my family] moved into number 305 Margaret Cartwright Avenue, Chinua Achebe and his family lived there,” Adichie said. “I realize now what an interesting coincidence it is that I grew up in a house previously occupied by the writer whose work is most important to me. There must have been literary spirits in the bathroom upstairs … I often got story ideas after taking bucket baths in the bathroom upstairs.”Adichie said she grew up surrounded by the effects a war that ensued from the establishment of Biafra, a short-lived country comprised of Nigerians who attempted to secede.“I knew vaguely about the war as a child, that my grandfathers had died, that my parents lost everything they owned,” Adichie said. “I was aware of how this war haunted my family, how it colored the paths our lives had taken.”Her mother suffered the harrowing implications of this conflict, she said.“[My mother] spoke about making toast and scrambled eggs for her two little daughters before the war to standing in line and fighting for dried egg yolk at the Catholic Relief Center,” Adichie said. “If anything, learning about the war left me with a great respect for a generation who had the courage to believe so fervently in something.”Knowledge of the war and endurance of its permanent consequences inspired Adichie to write a novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun.”“I was aware that the book, would in the end, share my worldview,” Adichie said. “It would be a book that was concerned with the ordinary person.”Adichie said the response to this novel shocked her, for many people embraced its message and related it to their personal experiences.“At my readings, particularly in Nigeria, women would start to cry and to say thank you for telling the story and for finally making it possible to tell their families what they had gone through,” Adichie said. “Men would get choked up talking about how they had been conscripted as boys. Young people born after the war would get emotional talking about how they finally understood their parents, who had experienced and been affected by the war.”Some readers who had not even lived in Nigeria at the time of the war still praised Adichie for her ability to transform their hearts, she said.“An American woman told me, and I will never forget this, that ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ was the reason she decided to start to identify herself as a pacifist,” Adichie said.According to Adichie, her feminist ideals serve as an important component of her writing, for she was taught to embrace male attention and to aim to marry a rich Nigerian man.“To be feminist is to actively unlearn many of the things I was taught,” Adichie said. “I wanted to dream for myself.”She said she witnessed women forsaking their ambitions, which contributed to her quest for gender equality.“I knew of so many women around me who had given up what they wanted to do or what they wanted to be because of husbands or children, and it made me wonder ‘What if fewer women had suspended their dreams? What would the world be like?’ Adichie said. “For me, to be feminist is not merely to criticize, but to suggest alternatives.”When Adichie moved from Nigeria to the United States at age 19, she noticed that US women receive much more judgment on their appearances.“There is no part of the world today where men and women are totally equal, and that is a grave shame,” Adichie said.She said she remembers encountering a young woman who attributed her feminism to Adichie after identifying with Adichie’s lines in “Flawless” by Beyoncé.“I asked her what it meant to be feminist, and she said that every day she would wake up and say to herself ‘I woke up like this,’” Adichie said. “Hearing her say that made me really start to think seriously about what it means to be feminist for young women today. What does it mean to say ‘I woke up like this, flawless?’ I like to think that it doesn’t actually mean that you’re without flaws, because God forbid that a human being would be perfect.“To be without flaws would be inhuman. I like to think that for feminists, flawless means that you accept yourself the way you are, that flawless, in the feminist sense, really means a radical self-acceptance and the firm knowledge that beauty never means one thing.”Adichie said she is grateful for the opportunity to express her beliefs, such as her feminist principles, through writing.“I write because I cannot imagine my life without the ability to write or to imagine or to dream,” Adichie said. “I write because I have to.”Tags: Chimamanda Adichie, Feminism, Half of a Yellow Sunlast_img read more

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Plane that crashed in South Sudan “was in no state to…

first_imgThe plane that crashed in South Sudan, killing at least 36 people “was in no state to fly”, Ukraine-based aircraft company said.Antonov, the aircraft company, said in a statement that the An-12B was in no state to fly because it failed to undergo timely technical servicing that should have included work on extending its resources and exploitation timeframe.Ukraine was the An-12B’s designer, but the plane itself was built in Uzbekistan, and later registered in the neighbouring Central state of Tajikistan.The plane crashed after just taking off from South Sudan’s capital Juba, smashing into a farming community on an island on the White Nile River.last_img read more

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Valuable win for Baggies

first_img Press Association Belgian winger Roland Lamah had put the home side in front early on as they enjoyed a dominant first half at the Liberty Stadium. But Stephane Sessegnon equalised after the break and Youssouf Mulumbu was the hero when he fired home on 85 minutes to give Pepe Mel’s side their first away victory since September . Home skipper Williams nearly celebrated his 100th Premier League appearance for the club with a goal just before half time, but his downward header from a corner bounced up and over the bar. West Brom emerged after the break with renewed intent, snapping at Swansea heels and hustling for the ball. The extra aggression paid off and in the 52nd minute midfielder Sessegnon levelled the match from 20 yards. Bony lost the ball on half way, allowing the visitors to press and find James Morrison with his back to goal. He teed up Sessegnon, whose sweetly-struck drive beat Vorm. Swansea almost took the lead again, but De Guzman’s curling free kick was well held by the diving Foster. After his side had a hand-ball penalty shout turned down, Monk turned to a cult hero at the Liberty Stadium for some inspiration. On 63 minutes, Spanish striker Michu – last season’s top scorer – came off the bench to a standing ovation, making his first appearance since December 15 due to injury. He was not the hero this time, making little impact up front. Both sides exchanged chances before The Baggies took the lead in the 85th-minute through Congolese midfielder Mulumbu. He picked up the ball 30 yards out and was able to drive towards the Swansea goal without anyone closing him down. His side-footed strike from just outside the box went under Jordi Amat’s legs and in off the post. Not since September 28 had West Brom won on the road, when they upset Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford. Both sides were under pressure to pull themselves out of poor runs of results and pull away from the drop zone. Garry Monk’s Swans were six matches without a win and the Baggies hadn’t tasted victory since beating Newcastle 1-0 on New Year’s Day. Recharged and revved up after a 13-day break, the home side fired out of the blocks – taking less than two minutes to open the scoring. Leon Britton turned in his own half and played the ball into Wilfried Bony. His perfectly-paced through-ball was latched onto by Osasuna loanee Lamah down the left. When West Brom full-back Steven Reid came steaming into block what he thought would be a cross, Lamah cut back in-field and curled the ball into the far corner, past England international Ben Foster. It was not until the 15th minute that the away support saw anything to excite them. James Morrison slid a pass into Victor Anichebe, who showed great strength to shrug off Ashley Williams before firing his shot straight at Michel Vorm. Jonathan de Guzman came close when he met a Lamah cross, but Foster saved from point-blank range. Lamah was involved again when he had a shot blocked, then glanced a header wide. Swansea continued to threaten as the half wore on. Bony sliced wide from a tight angle and De Guzman shinned the ball wide from a Lamah cross. The visitors rarely kept hold of the ball long enough to make an impact on the game. The only times they threatened were when Swansea took a few risks trying to play their way out from the back. West Brom pushed themselves clear of the relegation zone by coming from behind to steal a 2-1 win at Swansea City. last_img read more

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Program on the rise under Wheddon after posting consecutive postseason appearances

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Jackie Firenze’s miskicked shot dribbled its way across the goal line, through the goalkeeper’s legs and into the Syracuse history books. Firenze’s goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation sealed a 3-2 victory over Connecticut on Sept. 13.It was SU’s first win against its Big East rival in 18 tries.The shot’s path into the net parallels the journey SU has taken since head coach Phil Wheddon arrived five seasons ago. The Orange has slowly become a formidable team after seasons of mediocrity. With a roster complete with players Wheddon recruited, the team completely turned over a new leaf this year. Because of this season, Syracuse’s future looks greener than ever.“The team has made significant strides,” Wheddon said. “And a lot of that comes down to the players that have continued to come into the program and also the attitude and willingness to compete.”The Orange (9-7-2, 6-3-1 Big East) had its season end Sunday with a 1-0 loss to then-No. 24 Notre Dame in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. This year marked the first time since 1999 and 2000 that the team reached the Big East tournament in consecutive years.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSenior Jenna Rickan has seen the program at its highest and lowest points. She was a freshman in 2009 when the team went 5-11-3 and, at one point, lost nine of 11 games. Rickan called the team’s turnaround “a complete 180,” especially recently.“Our team has come a long way over the last two years, and on top of that I think we’ve progressed even further this year,” Rickan said. “This team has made major strides in the league and gained the respect of a lot of teams and coaches in the country.”SU now believes it can not only compete, but win games against the toughest opponents on its schedule. Even though SU was 0-4 against Ohio State, Washington, Notre Dame and Marquette, it entered those matches confident.“We had some great games against some of the better oppositions that we faced,” Wheddon said.Rickan credits the entire coaching and training staff, as well as assistants who have contributed to the team’s improvement. She also pointed to this year’s talented freshman class.Firenze, a top recruit from nearby Baldwinsville, started all 18 games and was tied for second on the team with four goals.“Our whole team dynamic, from what I’ve seen from watching years ago, is completely different,” Firenze said before the team’s season finale against Notre Dame.Fellow freshman Erin Simon started 10 games and also had four goals. She finished the season tied for second on the team with 10 points. Defender Taylor Haenlin started 15 games and added to an incredible defense corps, while Maya Pitts was a leading contributor off the bench.Firenze and Simon supplemented the offensive attack of seniors Rickan and Alyscha Mottershead. Rickan tied for second on the team with 10 points, two behind Mottershead’s 12. SU’s offense completely dominated in shots throughout the season. They had almost 100 more shots (268-173) than their opponents, but only outscored those opponents 24-19.Junior goalkeeper Brittany Anghel and a stout defense were also a big reason for the team’s improvement. Anghel finished the season with five shutouts, bringing her career total to 18, second all-time at SU, just two behind Eliza Bennett-Hattan for the school record.Rickan said this year and this year’s team has set a standard for Syracuse soccer. Because of the Orange’s success this season, it has the potential to be a consistent Top-25 team. For Rickan and the entire team, the hard work is paying off, and it’s been worth it.“It seemed like we had the community behind us and we never really had that before,” Rickan said. “When we would go out we would see people and they’d know, ‘Oh, you guys did well this weekend.’ We were like, ‘Wow, people are starting to know us.’” Comments Published on October 31, 2012 at 2:54 am Contact Josh: [email protected]last_img read more

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Engineers in Maharashtra to go on pen down strike on Monday

first_imgThousands of engineers across the State will go on a ‘pen down’ strike on Monday to protest the attack on a deputy engineer by a group of Congress supporters led by Nitesh Rane, MLA, on the Mumbai-Goa highway earlier this week. The Maharashtra Abhiyantriki Seva Mahasangh (MASS), an umbrella body of working engineers in the State, has written to Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Public Works Department (PWD), Manoj Kumar Saunik, informing him of the strike.Under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, a pen down strike is defined as a “labour action” in which employees do not mark attendance or do any work while dropping their pens. The strike takes place in an office setting as opposed to an industrial setting, according to the law. A video which went viral on Thursday showed Mr. Rane, MLA from Kankavali, shouting at a PWD deputy engineer Prakash Shedekar while his supporters poured buckets of muck on him. Mr. Rane, who had gone to inspect the progress of the Mumbai-Goa highway, was later arrested along with other supporters. The attack drew widespread criticism even from State cabinet ministers, including PWD minister Chandrakant Patil who promised the union that some action would be taken.In its letter, the MASS has said that engineers alone cannot be blamed for the poor quality of roads in the State. It is the contractors who carry out sub-standard work, which is intimated to the public representatives who do not take action against the contractor. Secretary of MASS, Ashok Sasane, said, “There is a general increase in attacks and use of foul language against engineers. There is fear amongst the engineers because of the rising attacks by politicians, while they are beating up the engineer for a mistake he has not even committed.” The MASS has urged the government to look for a wholistic solution and re-establish the trust of engineers in the law and order mechanisms. “There were a lot of other people with the MLA when he beat up our engineer this week. The government must act against all with an iron hand. To ensure the government is focussed on taking action, we are forced to call a pen down strike,” he said adding that engineers from several departments including PWD, Water Resources, Irrigation will participate in the strike on Monday. “Please take note of our strike and ensure it does not happen in future again.”last_img read more

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Duke Basketball Posts Instagram Video Of Freshman Guard Luke Kennard’s Impressive Hops

first_imgLuke Kennard reacts after hitting a three-pointer.DURHAM, NC – FEBRUARY 28: Luke Kennard #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 28, 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Duke will be counting on several true freshmen to help the program defend its national championship next season. One of them is five-star shooting guard Luke Kennard.The Blue Devils’ team Instagram account posted video tonight of Kennard throwing down an alley-oop to himself off the backboard with one hand. Pretty impressive. Duke fans are no doubt hoping to see some of that in game action this year.last_img read more

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Safety and Security Unit of Education Ministry Gets Support of US$3 Million

first_img The Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been boosted with a US$3 million support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the Ministry/USAID Partnership For Safe School project.Through the project, the Unit will increase the number of hand held metal detectors to 500, and walk through scanners to 30 for the 2018-2019 school year. Funding has also been provided for perimeter fencing, installation of cameras, capacity building training as well as support to uniformed groups.Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (September 13), Director of the Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Coleridge Minto, said that through the partnership, more than 300 students from across the island also benefited from a special therapeutic behaviour modification camp, held in July under the theme: ‘Chance, Choice and Change’.He explained that the Ministry’s prime objective is to implement the necessary measures to transform schools and their immediate surroundings into safe zones through a multi-layered and multi-sectoral approach, utilizing both public and private partnerships, supported by legislation and policies where necessary.According to ASP Minto, the Ministry’s position in treating safety and security in school should be seen as a holistic approach and not left up to an individual.“As a consequence, the Ministry has mandated that a Security and Safety Committee be established in each school. This committee comprises both internal and external partners who should develop and implement a security and safety plan,” he said.The Ministry has completed the procurement, printing and distribution of 6,000 Safety and Security Manuals and have begun distribution to the schools.The Safe School Policy involves a paradigm shift in the area of student behaviour and discipline. It emphasizes prevention and early intervention strategies in dealing with the social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties experienced by some students. The Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been boosted with a US$3 million support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the Ministry/USAID Partnership For Safe School project. Story Highlightscenter_img Through the project, the Unit will increase the number of hand held metal detectors to 500, and walk through scanners to 30 for the 2018-2019 school year. Funding has also been provided for perimeter fencing, installation of cameras, capacity building training as well as support to uniformed groups.last_img read more

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Manitoba inquest exposes repeated failures to fix substandard policing in Indigenous communities

first_imgCara McKenna APTN National NewsThe inquest into the death of a northern Manitoba First Nations man who suffered heart failure while he was crammed in a tiny holding cell has exposed repeated failures to fix substandard policing in Indigenous communities.Brian McPherson, 44, a diabetic, died during a series of incidents involving untrained or insufficiently trained police officers and an inadequate jail in the Garden Hill First Nation, Man., in 2011.An inquiry into his death began in October 2013 in Garden Hill and ended last June in Winnipeg.The inquest report, released Friday, condemns the provincial and federal governments for continually failing to adequately fund and standardize First Nations policing despite a number of other previous inquest reports and studies suggesting changes.Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Malcolm McDonald has made 12 recommendations that mostly focus around fixing inadequate funding to First Nations police services and establishing proper facilities, training and safety measures.The inquest heard that Garden Hill was operating an unauthorized jail and Ottawa had cut funding for its band constable program shortly before McPherson’s death because the community failed to provide a proper financial audit.In 2006, Garden Hill had also applied to a federal-provincial First Nations police force program that was the remote community’s only viable option. It was denied.On the night of his death in late August, McPherson and a number of other people were gathered at a home in Garden Hill, which is designated as a dry community.The inquest heard band Coun. Wayne Harper ordered Garden Hill’s Const. Shannon Beardy and three untrained volunteer assistants to go inside and arrest anyone who had “superjuice” – a potent home brew that is common in remote communities.Beardy and one of the volunteer police assistants, Douglas Flett, testified that they did not think anyone was causing problems and would not have detained anyone if not for the order.Beardy also told the inquest that she was given no training prior to starting as constable in 2011, and that she quit her job the next year because she was always angry.That night, as many as 30 people were held at Garden Hill’s public safety building, with McPherson and at least seven others packed into a tiny cell.The inquest heard that the cell block was run down, had no bedding and was only about nine square metres in size. Cardboard and duct tape covered the windows so no one could see inside.Three guards on duty had as little as 20 minutes of training before handling prisoners and could only see inside the cells through low-res black and white video monitors that didn’t transmit sound.McPherson was found dead the next morning by another prisoner, though the inquest report acknowledges that he likely would have died that night regardless of where he was.He left behind two children and his partner Ann Monias, who described McPherson as a gentle character who had ongoing health [email protected]last_img read more

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