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“It is no coincidence that so many video activists and journalists have been killed in countries like Syria or Bahrain”

gigi-ibrahim

“It is no coincidence that so many video activists and journalists have been killed in countries like Syria or Bahrain”, observes Leila Nachawati. “People who talk about what is going on are targets for these governments; they don’t want witnesses to their abuses.” Nachawati says that the persecution is constant: “There are cases like Egypt, where the Government shut down the Internet and disconnected the entire population from the Net. Bashar al-Assad did the same thing the other day in Syria; they disconnected not just the Internet, but also land and mobile phone lines.” Nachawati thinks it’s vital to be on your guard when talking about these governments: “In my line of work as a journalist, I give zero credibility to governments that silence journalists and hinder freedom of expression.” Leila Nachawati also talks about Bahrain, which she says is even more forgotten than Syria, and where opponents are silenced because the country is a potential ally for the West. “We didn’t even manage to get the Formula 1 called off, despite the hundreds of activists in prison”, the journalist laments.

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Leila Nachawati >

Spanish-Syrian activist
Leila Nachawati is a Spanish-Syrian human rights and freedom of expression activist, is a lecturer in Communications at the Carlos III University, Madrid, where she is working on a PhD on the media and censorship in repressive contexts. She writes for several media publications including Global Voices, Al-Jazeera and Eldiario.es. She has degrees in English and Arabic Philology and has also worked in cooperation and development projects in Morocco.