reportagebygettyimages:

'The whole time, I was acutely aware that ISIS positions were never very far away, sometimes less than a mile…Wherever we went, I asked where ISIS positions were. Sometimes the answers were exact. Other times the reaction was a simple shrug and a crooked smile. I kept replaying in my mind a scene I had depressingly run into twice before — I was kidnapped by Sunni insurgents in April 2004 outside of Falluja, and by Qaddafi troops in Libya in March 2011 — where the desolate horizon turned into an impromptu checkpoint, full of masked men with guns. It is a degree of terror known only through experience, the fear of driving knowingly into the arms of possible death. The masked men shoot into the air and celebrate their prey, while they decide whether they want you dead or alive. The only difference with ISIS is that I know if they capture me, there will be little negotiation for my life. They will kill me, and in the most brutal way.'

- Reportage by Getty Images photographer Lynsey Addario writes in The New York Times about her experiences covering Iraqi Yazidis fleeing ISIS. Read more.

Reblogged from humanrightswatch

afp-photo:

KYRGYZSTAN, BISHKEK : Photo taken on September 10, 2014 shows a Kyrgyz stuntman performing during the first World Nomad Games in the Kyrchin (Semenovskoe) gorge, some 300 km from Bishkek. Teams of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan take part in the games. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO

afp-photo:

KYRGYZSTAN, BISHKEK : Photo taken on September 10, 2014 shows a Kyrgyz stuntman performing during the first World Nomad Games in the Kyrchin (Semenovskoe) gorge, some 300 km from Bishkek. Teams of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan take part in the games. AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO

Reblogged from afp-photo

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
More than 5000 people have died in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the last 9 months, according to the AP’s tally. The AP admits this is probably only a portion of the real number.
About 1500 more UN troops will head to CAR next week.
CAR is the crisis that never makes headlines.
Libya has accused Sudan of sending weapons to Islamists in Tripoli and expelled the Sudanese military attache.
The UN helicopter that crashed in South Sudan last month was shot down.
Peacekeepers in Somalia used their hospital connections to target vulnerable women and girls for sexual assault and rape.
With the killing of Al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane has been confirmed, the group chose a new leader — Ahmad Umar.
Drone footage surveys the extent of damage in Gaza. 
Israel has ordered investigation into five incidents during the latest Gaza war, including the deaths of the four boys playing soccer on the beach.
CrisisGroup analyzes the importance of Aleppo in the Syrian civil war.
The largest Syrian rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham, lost nearly all of its leadership in an unexplained explosion.
BuzzFeed profiles a smuggler who has brought thousands of foreign fighters into Syria. 
The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda linked Syrian group, has released 45 peacekeepers.
Yemen is pursuing talks with the Houthi rebels.
A transcript of President Obama’s remarks on ISIS and strategy from Wednesday.
And… Obama, airstrikes and that tricky War Powers Act.
The Pentagon is authorized to proceed with leadership targeting as a tactic against ISIS, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the top of the hit list. 
Partnerships against ISIS bring their own complications.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces make advances against ISIS with the help of US airstrikes.
The Washington Post keeps a running tally of US strikes against ISIS.
Looking at the legal rationale offered up by the administration for conducting strikes in Syria.
A more in-depth look at what was on the ISIS laptop obtained by journalists. 
ISIS may have taken anti-tank weapons from Syrian rebels.
Tim Arango, the Baghdad Bureau Chief for the New York Times did a Reddit AMA.
In the thirteen years (this week) since the 9/11 attacks, how has al-Qaeda changed? It has been weakened but it hasn’t been defeated.
The Iraqi parliament approved a new government headed by Haider al-Abadi.
Qatar confirms the detention of two British men researching migrant labor issues.
Afghanistan’s election results are likely coming next week. 
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has already said he will not accept the official results. 
Pakistan is digging a trench along the border with Afghanistan.
Imran Khan marks a month of protests — demonstrations which have wearied Pakistan’s capital city.
Luhansk counts its dead.
Russia still has 1000 troops in Ukraine and 20,000 at the border.
The EU tightens Russia sanctions.
Mexican journalist Karla Silva was savagely beaten for her critical reporting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says the declassified CIA torture report might not be released until November.
We already know, though, that CIA waterboarding of top terrorism suspects involved “holding them underwater until the point of death.”
Zelda, the Dear Abby of the NSA.
In 2008, Yahoo! ended its legal battle against complying with the PRISM program because the government threatened a $250,000/day non-compliance fine. 
An appeals court ruled that Jose Padilla’s 17-year sentence was too lenient and revised it to 21 years.
Crowdsourcing a catalogue of all the guns of World War One. 
Photo: Bambari, Central African Republic. June 2014. A Moroccan peacekeeper with the UN’s MINUSCA peacekeeping force on patrol. Catianne Tijerina/UN.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Bambari, Central African Republic. June 2014. A Moroccan peacekeeper with the UN’s MINUSCA peacekeeping force on patrol. Catianne Tijerina/UN.

Reblogged from thepoliticalnotebook

reportagebygettyimages:

Left-wing guerrillas have been waging a bloody war against the Colombian government and the population for the past fifty years. To carry on this conflict, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) and emerging right-wing armed groups have been recruiting increasing numbers of children and youths.There is no precise data on the number of child combatants in Colombia, only estimates. Human Rights Watch places the figures as high as 11,000 child soldiers. 

Photographer Juan Arredondo has been awarded a Getty Images Editorial Grant for his project ‘Born in Conflict,’ which documents the consequences of Colombia’s ongoing war. Read more about Juan and the project.

Reblogged from gettyimages

Amazon Indian Warriors Beat and Strip Illegal Loggers in Battle for Jungle’s Future

A group of warriors from Brazil’s indigenous Ka’apor tribe tracked down illegal loggers in the Amazon, tied them up, stripped them and beat them with sticks.

Photographer Lunae Parracho followed the Ka’apor warriors during their jungle expedition to search for and expel illegal loggers from the Alto Turiacu Indian territory in the Amazon basin.

Tired of what they say is a lack of sufficient government assistance in keeping loggers off their land, the Ka’apor people, who along with four other tribes are the legal inhabitants and caretakers of the territory, have sent their warriors out to expel all loggers they find and set up monitoring camps.

Last year, the Brazilian government said that annual destruction of its Amazon rain forest jumped by 28 percent after four straight years of decline. Based on satellite images, it estimated that 5,843 square kilometres of rain forest were felled in the one-year period ending July 2013.

The Amazon rain forest is considered one of the world’s most important natural defences against global warming because of its capacity to absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide. Rain forest clearing is responsible for about 75 percent of Brazil’s emissions, as vegetation is burned and felled trees rot. Such activity releases an estimated 400 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, making Brazil at least the sixth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide gas.

Photos: Lunae Parracho/Reuters

Reblogged from fotojournalismus

A Reminder Why Freelance Reporting Is So Dangerous.

Despite the increasing dangers of working in the region, despite the many journalists who have been kidnapped or are still missing, and despite dreading this news, it has taken us all by surprise and we are deeply, deeply shocked.

Freelance journalists, photographers and video journalists have always played a vital role in newsgathering, and their contribution today is more important than ever. They make a crucial contribution to the free flow of information that is an essential part of a democratic society and fully deserve our support and protection.

Our Trust works with freelancers on a daily basis — helping them, helping their families, and sometimes working with them to help other freelancers. And James was one of these. We worked with him, helping him financially as he and his colleagues searched for missing colleagues in Syria. We stayed in touch.

James’ kidnap and death is yet another tragic reminder of the very real dangers facing journalists today. Over the past two years, around 70 journalists have been killed covering the conflict in Syria, and a further 20 journalists currently remain missing, including freelancer Austin Tice.

The Committee to Protect Journalists say that the last two years have been the most dangerous for journalists on record, with 174 confirmed deaths since 2012. Not only this, but threats, intimidation, assaults and kidnappings are becoming every day challenges for journalists working around the world. Reuters columnist David Rohde writes: “Syria today is the scene of the single largest wave of kidnappings in modern journalism, more than in Iraq during the 2000s or Lebanon during the 1980s.”

These are terrible facts.

So, what of the freelancers? Who negotiates for them? Who sends in security consultants to try and get them out? Who helps their families?

Freelance journalists like James often work alone without the resources and support of large news organizations behind them — they are always the most vulnerable to these dangers. The Rory Peck Trust has been supporting and assisting freelancers for almost two decades, and we’ve never seen a demand for our assistance like this before.

It’s not just freelancers travelling to conflict zones who are at risk. The majority of newsgatherers killed each year are journalists working in their own countries.

Freelance photographers, fixers and camera operators covering and reporting on conflicts that are affecting their own communities are often the most vulnerable. They’re unable to leave areas when it becomes too dangerous, or when their reporting is exposed, and are frequently threatened, attacked and accused of being traitors for working with international news organizations.

So, how to protect freelancers? How to help them work securely? Our organization gives financial and other practical support to freelancers in trouble. We offer online resources on safety & security for those reporting from dangerous environments, and run a Training Fund that provides bursaries for freelancers to enable them to undergo hostile environments training before travelling to a conflict zone. This training can teach freelancers how to assess risk and spot danger, handle a crisis, support others and give vital first aid. The right training can save lives.

Although our focus is specifically on freelancers, we are only one of the many organizations that exist to support journalists worldwide. Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and IFJ all have security guides that can help freelancers be more prepared in situations of crisis. The International News Safety Institute offers up-to-date information about the security situation on the ground for journalists, and RISC offers vital first-aid training.

There’s no question that conflict journalism has always been a dangerous occupation — and how very wrong that is! So when we talk about protection, when we talk about security, we are talking about every sector of the news industry, whether news employers, staff or freelancers. In this brutal new world, everyone must be prepared to take responsibility — for themselves and for others.

James Foley was a freelancer in the truest and most honorable sense — a talented journalist and an exceptional human being. Our thoughts are with his family at this tragic time, and with the families of all other journalists currently being held in Syria.


Tina Carr is the Director of the Rory Peck Trust. This post originally appeared on CNN’s website, and is reproduced here with permission.

Top image: James Foley, Tripoli (Libya) airport, August 2011. Photo: Jonathan Pedneault. Middle image: James Foley, Syria, 2012. Photo Manu Brabo

Source: The Rory Peck Trust