October 02, 2019
Words count; or at least they should. In the year since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, there have been many calls for those responsible to be brought to justice, but little action.  
Justice For Jamal Khashoggi Is Not Just A Test For Saudi Arabia, But For All Who Claim To Care About Media Freedom
Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia in 2017 for self-imposed exile in the US. Through his column in the Washington Post, he was increasingly critical of the Saudi Government and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. A few weeks after his murder, it was reported that bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi’s execution, according to CIA intelligence.  
Over the last year, states at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, led by Iceland and Australia, have twice called on Saudi Arabia to ensure justice for Khashoggi through an independent investigation. The calling out of the powerful Gulf state is unprecedented, and should form the basis of stronger UN action on human rights in Saudi Arabia. States who claim to support freedom of the press must move from statements of support to action. Words by themselves are not enough.However, as Khashoggi’s fiance Hatice Cengiz has pointed out, despite these statements of support, there has been “no concrete action” to ensure justice. The international community must support a credible, independent, and open criminal investigation that holds individual perpetrators and those who masterminded the murder to account. This investigation could have been initiated by the UN Secretary General one year ago, and it is still not too late for him to act. The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, who has undertaken the most in-depth investigation into Khashoggi’s case to date, called for a criminal investigation. In herreport, Callamard concludes that Khashoggi’s killing “was overseen, planned and endorsed by high-level officials”. If the UN does not act, other states can. As the UN Special Rapporteur made clear, the murder  “constitutes an international crime over which other states should claim universal jurisdiction”.
Callamard also recommended the establishment of a new standing UN mechanism for the investigation of crimes against journalists. This body, if established, would fill a critical gap in the international protection architecture and address the global problem of endemic impunity for those who commit crimes against journalists. This mechanism could be activated in response to any killing of a journalist, to ensure that evidence is collected early and preserved, either with a view to pursuing justice internationally or to support proceedings at the national level. The very existence of a mechanism also has the potential to act as a deterrent against future attacks, causing those who would order the killing of a journalist to think twice. 
The creation of such a mechanism is long overdue. The killing of Khashoggi was by no means a one off: in the last 10 years, almost one thousand journalists have been killed worldwide. Nine out of 10 of these cases go unpunished. There was an international outcry following Khashoggi’s killing, but many murders of journalists are barely reported. ARTICLE 19’s Expression Agenda report, which tracks global freedom of expression, last year showed that media freedom was in serious decline and that journalists faced a range of threats from legal threats and imprisonment to physical attacks and murder. Whether these attacks are carried out by governments, organised criminals or powerful businesses, the intention is the same, to silence those journalists and create a climate of fear for others who would speak out.  
States who claim to support freedom of the press must move from statements of support to action. Words by themselves are not enough. It would be a fitting tribute to Khashoggi if out of this brutal crime, there is an opportunity to end impunity for those who order and carry out such acts.  It is not too late to secure justice for Khashoggi and in doing so help protect the Khashoggis of the future. 
Silvia Chocarro is Head of Protection at the freedom of expression organisation ARTICLE 19Related... Trump Defends Saudi Arabia Partnership Despite Journalist Killing: I'm Not 'A Fool' J.K Rowling Among 100 Writers And Activists Calling For UN Investigation Into Khashoggi Death Nicki Minaj Drops Saudi Arabia Show Amid Outcry From Human Rights Activists
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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