Author: Eva Bartlett

London’s ‘media freedom’ conference smacks of irony: Critics barred, no mention of jailed Assange

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Kirill Vyshinsky: Imprisoned over 1 year in Ukraine, a journalist who *should* have been highlighted at the “Media Freedom” conference but was not.

July 15, 2019, RT.com
-by Eva Bartlett
Irony is the word which comes to mind at the mention of the “Global Conference for Media Freedom” co-hosted by the UK and Canadian foreign ministers. Everything about this twilight zone gathering smacked of irony.

Irony that governments which support terrorists in Syria and whitewash Israeli murders of Palestinian journalists have the gall to hold a conference feigning concern for journalists’ rights and media freedom.

Irony that journalists actually suffering persecution and unjust imprisonment –like Kirill Vyshinsky and Julian Assange – were not the focus of the conference, with Assange only mentioned in passing, and Vyshinsky, presumably, not at all.

Irony most of all that a conference — according to Global Affairs Canada, an “international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom…”– refused participation of two major and sought-out media outlets, both Russian: RT and Sputnik.

Organizers apparently tried to claim the reason for the exclusion was simply that they’d met their quota of journalists attending. But they didn’t maintain the lie to Western media, RT London correspondent Polly Boiko noted:

Behind our backs other news channels got a very different message: ‘We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation.’”

CONTINUE READING

Voices from Syria’s Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

An elderly women evacuated from Rukban complained of hunger due to extremely high food prices. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett visited refugees in Syria escaping the horrid conditions in the Rukban Refugee Camp, a desolate outpost in the US administered deconfliction zone. What she found was very different than the ‘reality’ depicted by the Western press.

July 4, 2019, Mint Press News

-by Eva Bartlett

AD-DUMAYR, SYRIA — A little over a year ago — just after the Syrian army and its allies liberated the towns and villages around eastern Ghouta from the myriad armed jihadist groups that had waged a brutal campaign of torture and executions in the area — I interviewed a number the civilians that had endured life under jihadist rule in Douma, Kafr Batna and the Horjilleh Center for Displaced People just south of Damascus.

A common theme emerged from the testimonies of those civilians: starvation as a result of jihadist control over aid and food supplies, and the public execution of civilians.

Their testimonies echoed those of civilians in other areas of Syria formerly occupied by armed anti-government groups, from Madaya and al-Waer to eastern Aleppo and elsewhere.

Despite those testimonies and the reality on the ground, Western politicians and media alike have placed the blame for the starvation and suffering of Syrian civilians squarely on the shoulders of Russia and Syria, ignoring the culpability of terrorist groups.

In reality, terrorist groups operating within areas of Syria that they occupy have had full control over food and aid, and ample documentation shows that they have hoarded food and medicines for themselves. Even under better circumstances, terrorist groups charged hungry civilians grotesquely inflated prices for basic foods, sometimes demanding up to 8,000 Syrian pounds (US $16) for a kilogram of salt, and 3,000 pounds (US $6) for a bag of bread.

Given the Western press’ obsessive coverage of the starvation and lack of medical care endured by Syrian civilians, its silence has been deafening in the case of Rukban — a desolate refugee camp in Syria’s southeast where conditions are appalling to such an extent that civilians have been dying as a result. Coverage has been scant of the successful evacuations of nearly 15,000 of the 40,000 to 60,000 now-former residents of Rukban (numbers vary according to source) to safe havens where they are provided food, shelter and medical care.

Silence about the civilian evacuations from Rukban is likely a result of the fact that those doing the rescuing are the governments of Syria and Russia — and the fact that they have been doing so in the face of increasing levels of opposition from the U.S. government. CONTINUE READING

US exceptionalism: Exploiting certain Syrians, ignoring others

© Eva Bartlett

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© Eva Bartlett

 
June 19, 2019, RT.com
 
-Eva Bartlett

Syria and Russia have been evacuating civilians from yet another region starved by its Western-backed terrorists. But Western corporate media ignore this and instead continue spinning nightmarish war propaganda on Syria.

Predictably, copy-paste Syrian reports emanate from Western governments and corporate media feign concern for civilians in Idlib while negating to mention that the Idlib governorate is an al-Qaeda hotbed.

Back in Syria again, over the ‘Eid holidays, I spoke with residents about life in Damascus now, and highlighted the peace which exists – having been absent for many years prior when terrorists’ mortars rained down on the city.

But I was also interested in highlighting another issue: the evacuation of southeastern Syria’s Rukban Camp which has been under way for months; civilians have been plucked from starvation and intolerable conditions, and delivered to safety with access to food and medical care.

In February, Russia and Syria set up humanitarian corridors to start evacuating civilians to safe areas where they could receive medical treatment and resettle in their home areas or elsewhere.

In June, 2019, I travelled to a point where I could interview evacuees of the Rukban, the unbearable camp near the US-occupied Al-Tanf base.

CONTINUE READING

Mortar Terrorism Over in Damascus, West’s Economic Terrorism Remains

While taking a break from writing yesterday, I wandered the lanes of old Damascus once again and came across a shop & its owner I hadn’t seen since 2014 [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTK58vuvwLo].
Back then, he spoke with certainty that peace would return to Damascus, ‘sooner or later’. 
We chatted over tea. Now that peace has returned–in the sense that Damascus is no longer being pounded by mortars and missiles fired from terrorists then-occupying eastern Ghouta–most people I speak with these days are weighed down by the economy, shattered by years of war on Syria and by the criminal Western sanctions.
He spoke of how there used to be so many tourists in Syria, not so much nowadays…
(That said, a friend here is a tour guide, and his work is picking up, he has more groups coming to tour Syria this year…)
“Every day, even during the war, I stayed open. Never closed the shop.”
Syrian steadfastness. 
 

Related Links:

Western media ignoring reality on the ground in Syria: terrorism and anti-Syria sanctions which help terrorists, Mar 3, 2016
Syrian American Doctor on The Propaganda, Criminal Sanctions, and War Crimes, In The War on Syria, December 25, 2018
Dr Husam al-Samman on Syrian Health Care System, Criminal Western Sanctions, War on Syria, December 10, 2018
US-Backed Terrorism in Syria: A First-Hand Account of the Use of Mortars Against Civilians (September 2014) 
University Hospital, Damascus: Meeting Victims of Western-backed Mortar and Rocket Terrorism 
Terrorists’ Attack on Damascus Restaurant and Homes: “They have no humanity and no respect for children” 
UN Feigns Outrage Over Ghouta While Terrorist Rockets Rain Down on Damascus

Beautiful Damascus streets, filmed over the days of Eid

As charming as these scenes are, I’ve had many tell me over the years, including recently, that holidays are tainted with massive sadness for those martyred and maimed by terrorists and in the fight against terrorism and to restore peace to Syria.

I always feel the need to note that these street scenes of tranquility would be impossible without the sacrifices of the Syrian army and allies, and that until the liberation last year of eastern Ghouta, and Yarmouk and surrounding areas, these streets were being constantly targeted by terrorist mortars and missiles, amounting to *at least* 10,000 civilians murdered in Damascus area alone, although I’ve heard higher estimates.

Related articles:

US-Backed Terrorism in Syria: A First-Hand Account of the Use of Mortars Against Civilians (September 2014) CONTINUE READING

Oud in Damascus

Jun 7, 2019
Just got back to Syria yesterday.
It’s Eid now, most offices are closed, meaning until the holidays are over, I’m on vacation. So, what better way to spend a Damascus evening than listening to a marvellous oud player, Abu Mazen? 🙂
*The other man in the video is Abu Ahmed, who loves to sing and is a generally charming person.
See:
Interview with Abu Ahmed, a sage of Old Damascus https://youtu.be/m8C6Jrhqbnw
Love and life in Old Damascus part 1 https://youtu.be/wHeSiC1K39A
Love and life in Old Damascus part 2 https://youtu.be/tQ4D2mGHU6A
Love and life in Old Damascus part 3 https://youtu.be/oWMrNTPyASc
Love and life in Old Damascus part 4: Soul singers https://youtu.be/T70BalSpWWg
Love and life in Old Damascus part 5: Syrian Hallelujah https://youtu.be/ajc8QXbXZoE

Encounter With Damascus Resident, Who (Like So Many) Speaks of How Western Media Lies About Syria

Jun 8, 2019
Walking the lanes of Old Damascus yesterday, I met a local resident and chatted with him a bit. Don’t have time to subtitle, but (from around 1:50) he said the situation was improved, and when I mentioned that a couple of years ago there was the constant mortaring (from terrorists in eastern Ghouta) and now no, he went on to praise President Assad, saying he has a strong heart and loves the Syrian people.
He also, notably, said western media speaks about Syria and President Assad, “that he is not good”. He obviously disagreed with this, and chided European/Western media for its lies, said people who live here (in Syria) know the truth.
He expanded on this in his courtyard and, since I already knew I won’t have time to subtitle, I tried to summarize his words while he spoke.
Another simple video from Syria, nothing flashy, no special effects, no media team behind me. Just me and my mobile phone camera, walking and talking to average Syrians–voices deliberately excluded by western corporate media.
Also lovely Old Damascus ambience and lanes 🙂
 
More videos from Syria here