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first_img to go further October 12, 2018 Find out more RSF_en Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet October 15, 2020 Find out more Dominique de VillepinForeign ministerMinistry of foreign affairs37 quai d’Orsay75007 Paris.18 April 2003Dear Minister:Exactly one month ago, the Cuban authorities took advantage of the imminence of the US invasion of Iraq to launch an unprecedented crackdown on its domestic critics. In less than a week, 78 dissidents were arrested, including 26 independent journalists. Since then, they have been convicted after summary trials and sentenced to terms of up to 27 years in prison. Cuba is now the world’s biggest prison for journalists.Reporters Without Borders is appalled that France did not condemn this wave of repression until 9 April, three weeks after the first arrests, and only after requesting “details” of the arrests from the Cuban government, according a French statement.The Spanish, Canadian and German ambassadors were refused entry to the courthouse where the trials were being held. But the French ambassador was not seen and the Quai d’Orsay has refused to say if he went to the courthouse or not. Unlike Britain and Canada, France also did not consider it necessary to summon the Cuban ambassador in Paris to express disapproval of the arrests and trials.The 15 member-states of the European Union (EU) adopted a common stand in December 1996 saying that closer links with Cuba would depend on it allowing multiparty democracy and basic freedoms. But the EU position, which has been reiterated several times since then, has not been respected by France.In 1999, Cuba was included in France’s “priority solidarity zone” – countries with which France aims to have “a strong partnership as an expression of solidarity and to support sustainable development.” The French ambassador Cuba, Jean Lévy, told the Cuban official daily paper Granma in a December 2001 interview that French aid to Cuba had been increased “sevenfold and then tenfold.” A new draft agreement, to “boost bilateral cooperation,” was signed by Pierre-André Wiltzer, junior aid minister, during a visit to Cuba in February this year.After the heavy sentences passed on the independent journalists and dissidents, Reporters Without Borders expects France, which is proud of being a country that defends human rights, to pay closer attention to the Cuban opposition by increasing contacts with the dissidents and their families and giving them more support.Reporters Without Borders also calls on the French authorities to apply to its relations with Cuba the common EU stand making closer ties conditional on respect for democracy and basic rights. It calls on France to reconsider its inclusion of Cuba in the “priority solidarity zone,” one of whose aims is “consolidation of the rule of law and entrenchment of democracy” in partner countries.We also urge you to push for the EU to suspend consideration of Cuba’s application to join the Cotonou Agreement (that allows 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to get economic aid and preferential trade terms from the EU) until political prisoners in Cuba are released. The human rights situation in Cuba, where news is a state monopoly, violates article 9 of this agreement which says partnership must be based on respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.We trust you will give our appeal your careful consideration. Yours faithfully,Robert MénardSecretary-general Follow the news on Cuba News CubaAmericas Organisation New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council April 24, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders calls on French foreign minister to focus on human rights in France’s ties with Cuba Reporters Without Borders has urged French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin to step up French contacts with regime dissidents in Cuba and their families and to give them more support. It also urged him, in an 18 April open letter, to apply to France’s relations with Cuba the joint stand adopted by the European Union making closer links conditional on allowing multiparty democracy and basic freedoms. Receive email alerts RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago News Help by sharing this information May 6, 2020 Find out more News News CubaAmericas last_img read more

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first_imgAberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has appealed a decision made by the Swedish Pensions Agency to reject it from the country’s Premium Pensions System (PPM).The asset manager lodged its appeal on 22 July, having had investment funds run via its Luxembourg subsidiary rejected on 12 June, according to information on the Pensions Agency’s website.The decision to refuse ASI’s application affects nine funds with a total of €179m in assets under management. All privately-managed funds offered on the PPM’s funds marketplace platform were required to reapply for participation by late last year as part of recent reforms of the defined contribution section of the country’s first-pillar pension system.A spokesman from ASI told IPE: “We are appealing to the Administrative Court in order to have the Swedish Pension Agency consider our revised application based on the new and completed set of applications and documentation. “A number of asset managers have had their applications turned down. We note administrative errors that were made in our application and intend to correct them.”The spokesman added that ASI was supportive of the new qualitative and quantitative measures brought in by the Pensions Agency to evaluate funds and managers, and it hoped to resolve the rejection in order to continue to grow its business within the platform.Meanwhile, Swedish pensions expert Mats Langensjö, a key player in the development of the system’s reform, took the opportunity to speak out in support of the planned second stage of the PPM reform, which would involve the creation of a centrally-procured offering of investment funds from private-sector providers.In a post on Linkedin, Langensjö – a partner at Secoria – said: “One of the problems with ‘stage 1’ in the Premium Pension is precisely that it rests partly on administrative law and not on qualitative criteria, which are relevant for long-term pension savings.“Entering the platform via the administrative court is not a meaningful activity. A good ‘stage 2’ is needed to give savers a good and relevant alternative. The state has that responsibility.”The first stage of the reform, which involves a mass re-application process for asset managers, was intended to tackle the problem of low-quality providers and rogue players.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Ministry of Youth and Sports is to provide lighting and equipment for para-table tennis athletes training at the National Stadium Surulere Lagos, ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, gave the assurance when he visited the para- table tennis athletes currently camping at the Brai Ayonote Hostel at the National Stadium,  Lagos.One of the athletes, Faith Obiora, complained of poor lighting at the training venue, leaking roofs as well as inadequate equipment.Dalung however promised the athletes that he will give immediate attention to the provision of equipment and lighting while the ministry will also fix the leaking roofs as soon as possible.“We are training against time because the Olympics is fast approaching. Although we haven’t been able to do much due to paucity of funds, we will do those things that need urgent attention. I have already directed that equipment for training should be acquired and it is expected that they’ll be available soon,” observed the minister.He charged the athletes to take their training programme seriously as the Olympics will be a battle ground for world champions.“Having qualified, you need to train very well because you’re going to face other qualifiers. Do your best in training and aspire to dominate your opponents during the games”.Super heavy weight boxer, Efe Ajagba, the only boxer to have qualified so far for the Olympics also proposed a training tour to enhance his skills. He complained of the poor state of the boxing ring and the floor of the gymnasium.The minister however assured him and other athletes that the next stage of camping will be outside the country.  “Our camping will be in two phases. Since we’ve not been able to improve on our facilities, we will make use of what we have for the first stage which will soon be over before exposing you to the second phase which will be outside the country.“I believe that the state of our facilities will be better before the next Olympics. Do not be discouraged because all your sacrifices are for the country. I wish you well and we will consider training tours that will be of comparative advantage to all athletes,” Dalung assured the athletes.The minister had a fortnight ago visited athletes in camp during training at the Abuja National Stadium. They are para athletics, power-lifting , wrestling, weightlifting and athletics.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more