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Gaza Censors Books that “Harm Society”
Gaza
By Sami Ajrami
28 Jan 2015

Gaza, Palestine
January 28, 2015

Readers and researchers in Gaza Strip face a difficulty in accessing books that defy conservative Islamic norms. The director of Gaza’s municipal library Hassan Abu Ataya said that his staff avoid presenting books “that harm society” to the public. The library was founded in 1999 and contains about 25,000 books. However, it lacks basic academic references, especially in foreign languages. This lack also affects universities and often hinders the work of researchers and graduate students.
The owner of Yazigi bookstore, considered the largest in Gaza city, also said that his business provides books that abide by “our customs and traditions.” While books about Islam can be anywhere in Gaza, a customer at the bookstore said that it was very difficult to find books that discuss Marxist ideology.
Hamas is governed by the Islamist Hamas movement, which imposes conservative rules on society. In 2011, the ministry of culture banned several Arabic novels written by well-known writers, such as Egyptian novelist and essayist Alaa Aswani.

Shotlist
1- Wide of street , Gaza municipal library
2- Wide of Gaza municipal library building from outside
3- Various of bookshelves inside library
4- Close up of books
5- Wide of Hassan Abu Ataya organizing bookshelf

6- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hassan Abu Ataya, General director of Gaza’s municipal library

“Concerning censorship on books, we examine the titles and we also classify the books according to their content. Why should we have books that might harm society? They might not be suitable for people. There is another policy. Books that contain criticism or things that might conflict with Sharia law are stored aside and could be shown only to very specialized readers.”

7- Wide of Yazji Bookstore
8- Wide of woman (Amal al-Haj) walking into Yaziji Bookstore
9- Various of woman (Amal al-Haj) inside Yaziji Bookstore

10- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Amal al-Haj, bookshop customer
01:59 – 02:28

“I noticed that more than a third of the books in this bookstore are religious books. There is also a large section for novels and poetry. Many things that interest specialists do not exist in the bookshop. Language books are almost completely missing from this bookstore, which is the largest in Gaza. Philosophy books and other references are also missing. It is difficult to find books written by Marx or Hegel. “

11- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Hatem al-Yazigi, Owner of Yazigi Bookstore
02:29 – 02:41
“There is no censorship on books, but we try to provide books that suit our customs and traditions.” 12- Various of books displayed on the street
13- Wide of Al-Sairafi Bookshop façade
14- Wide of university bookshop

15- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Muhannad al-Khairi, a resident of Gaza
03:19 – 03:42
“I brought about 20 or 30 books in a suitcase, including books that critique religious thought, atheism and similar topics. An officer at the border crossing objected that I had such a book. I had a very long argument with the officer. I was only able to convince him of letting me take the book inside Gaza after I told him that I also carried religious books with me.”

16- Various of library study hall and bookshelves. NAT Sound: Call for prayer.

17- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Sakher Katkat, University Students
04:08 – 04:38
“I had a research assignment about Napoleon’s life for a class in the second year of sociology. I could not find the book that I needed. I had to change the entire topic, even though I was eager to learn Napoleon’s history. I said to my professor that the information can be found online, but he refused that I take any information from the Internet. He wanted me to use that book and include all the relevant information. I said, ‘How can I get this information?’ the professor then told me to change the topic.

18- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Hani Habib, University Lecturer
04:39 – 05:24

“Palestinian universities do not have libraries that meet academic requirements. University libraries lack important sources required by master and PhD students. The same applies to references in Arabic, but this lack is prominent in foreign languages, especially German or French. There are some books in English, but their number is very limited and insufficient.”

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

Another man had already been killed by a teargas canister shot during previous protests. In reaction, young people from the Chepesi party rioted for days against the police, yelling slogans and calling them Katil€ (criminals, murderers).

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

The Popular Republican Pary (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, or CHP) is the longest standing party in Turkey. It represents the strongest left-wing political force in the country.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

Many young boys and men take to the streets. On one side, they throw stones and molotovs, on the other plastic bullets, teargas and Toma.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

After the Gezi Park riots, many movements emerged to oppose the AKP and its leader, Prime Minister Recip Teyyip Erdogan, who has enforced various restrictions on freedom of speech and the press.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

The protestors include both young and old people, the former in the front whilst the latter remain in the back to play a supporting role in clashes with the armed forces.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

In suburbs prone to such clashes, once often encounters strong local support.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
26 May 2014

Since the beginning of the clashes, 9 people have died and more than 8163 have been injured. This does not include the number of arrests; it also makes the violence one of the most tragic events in recent Turkish history.

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Okmaydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
25 May 2014

The number of Turkish security forces deployed in the neighborhood has steadily increased since the first wave of violence. During the clashes, police never entered the heart of the suburb, but are now slowly making deeper forays into the neighborhood.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
25 May 2014

After weeks of protests following the Soma mine disaster, police resorted to using real ammunition during the most violent clashes. Previously, only rubber bullets were used; the use of live ammunition has since then led to causalities.

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Okmaydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
25 May 2014

Neighborhood life only stops in the greatest moments of tension, when vendors close their shops in order to protect themselves and their belongings. Many watch the events from a distance.

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Okmydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

Home to several active parties, social tensions in the neighborhood also have political roots. These parties include the DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front), considered an illegal terrorist organization by Erdogan's administration, the BDP (Party for Peace and Democracy) a legal party that supports the Kurdish cause, and the SODAP (Socialist Solidarity Platform).

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Okmaydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

22 May 2014. News of the shooting death of 30-year old Ugur Kurt was confirmed. He was killed by police in an Alevi mosque, or Cemevi, in the Okmaydani suburb of Istanbul.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

Okmaydani is an far-left leaning neighbourhood where Turkish and Kurdish parties coexist. Due to its proximity to Taksim Square, it has been a major force in the protests surrounding the Gezi Park demonstrations.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

Young boys and men take to the streets. On one side, they throw stones and molotovs. They are met with plastic bullets, teargas and armored police vehicles with water cannons.

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Okmaydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

A small demonstration of the DHKP/C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front) waves red flags through the neighborhood and shouting slogans in order to attract people into the streets.

The only signs left of the tension in Okmeydani from the previous days are poles wrecked by the protestors and some statements written on the walls in memory of Berkin Elvan, Urgu Kurt and Ayhan Yilmaz

The response after the arrests was lively.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

The streets fill with teargas and barricades.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
24 May 2014

Once the police leave, people armed with guns and rifles come out to shoot security cameras. They want to prove who is in control of that part of the neighborhood.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
23 May 2014

For many on the political left in Turkey, conditions in the country are rapidly becoming a reason for social upheaval. The extreme poverty of some suburbs, the deaths of 300 miners in Soma, the marginalization of minorities, the war on the Syrian border, police oppression of protestors and restrictions on the press are exacerbating tensions in an already politically divided society.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
22 May 2014

The grievances that led to protests are tied to religious and communal issues. A large percentage of the protestors come from the Alevi (Alawite) sect, which has been long aligned with secular leftist parties. The Alevis have traditionally been lower-class and socially disadvantaged and have not benefitted from the prosperity that has taken part in other parts of Istanbul and Turkey. The Alevis and the left-wing movements they support stand in staunch opposition to the conservative, Sunni-Islamist ideology endorsed by Prime Minister Erdogan.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
22 May 2014

A funeral procession begins at Cem Evi. Starting at 18:00, the procession will continue toward the house where Ugur Kurt used to live. His body was eventually taken for burial to his hometown of Sivas.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
22 May 2014

After the demonstration in support of Ugur's family, the streets are empty. Around 19:30 a group of youngsters with their faces covered takes to one of Istanbul's main streets of Istanbul and provokes the police by throwing stones. The security forces, armed with Toma and teargas, respond immediately and disperse the crowd.

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Okmaydani
Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
22 May 2014

Canisters left by police are collected during the clashes.

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Istanbul
By Arianna Pagani
22 May 2014

Neither the opposition parties nor the media are able to counter the growing power of the conservative ideology of the AKP and the strength of the Turkish state.

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Media Censorship in Venezuela 11
Caracas, Venezuela
By Carlos Hernandez
18 Feb 2014

Journalists marching in Caracas, Venezuela to demand press freedom on 12 February 2014.

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Media Censorship in Venezuela
By Carlos Hernandez
17 Feb 2014

Venezuelan journalists are concerned about the lack of freedom to report in their country. On February 12 , the coverage of a student protest march was minimized in newsrooms by creating an information blackout. Self-censorship is happening in the media, due to pressures from the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

A form of this pressure can be seen by the government's refusal to sell foreign exchange to the media, to import the paper for printing - there is a exchange control in Venezuela and the only provider of currency is the government , unless acquired on the black market at a price 10 times higher than the official price. Eight daily papers in the country have closed their editions, according to the Press and Society Institute , an NGO that advocates freedom of the press, and at least 40 are reducing the circulation.

The papers need to buy dollars to import their paper. The government is the only one who can sell them dollars. Paper for printing is running out fast, and many no longer have stock in their warehouses. Many of the papers are critical of the government.

Before the student protest last week, journalists and media workers marched in Caracas, demanding the government currencies, as now there are increasingly more journalists out of work, because newspapers are closing, and freedom of press is being threatened.

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Media Censorship in Venezuela 1
Caracas, Venezuela
By Carlos Hernandez
17 Feb 2014

Journalists marching in Caracas, Venezuela to demand press freedom on 12 February 2014.

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Media Censorship in Venezuela 10
Caracas, Venezuela
By Carlos Hernandez
17 Feb 2014

Journalists protest against media censorship in Venezuela where the government refuses to sell foreign exchange to the media or import paper for printing because of strict exchange control.

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Being a gay journalist in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
By Joan Planas
10 Jan 2013

Things are changing in Hong Kong since the city has become a part of China. Josh is a Hong Kong gay journalist who is afraid of what might happen in the future, for now he is a victim of censorship that affects his profession and his privacy. His desire is to scape from Hong Kong.

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Being a gay journalist in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China
By Serene Yordi
10 Jan 2013

Things are changing in Hong Kong since the city has become a part of China. Josh is a Hong Kong gay journalist who is afraid of what might happen in the future, for now he is a victim of censorship that affects his profession and his privacy. His desire is to scape from Hong Kong.

To view video, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20731
To view article, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20225

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Escaping Hong Kong (1 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
10 Jan 2013

One of the streets of Hong Kong (January 2013). The city air is not good, there are a lot of people, many cars and a lot of noise.

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Escaping Hong Kong (8 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

Josh, age 45, is waiting for some event to occur to go to cover the story (January 2013). His profession has lost a lot of adrenaline during these last years since the government introduced radio digital systems for the police and denied the access code to journalists.

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Escaping Hong Kong (5 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

One of the streets of Hong Kong (January 2013). The city air is not good, there are a lot of people, many cars and a lot of noise.

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Escaping Hong Kong (4 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

Josh, age 45, is walking through his neighborhood of Hong Kong (January 2012). He lives in Sham Po, an overcrowded neighbourhood known for its electronic devices open market, where houses are narrow and small.

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Escaping Hong Kong (6 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

Josh, age 45, is surfing the Internet. The public wi-fi provided by the government blocks those pages that contain the word “gay” even if there is no sexual content in them, unlike private companies

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Escaping Hong Kong (2 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

Josh, age 45, is sitting on his bike (January 2013). His office is a motorbike where he waits impatiently for the news so he can get quickly to the site to take the first pictures.

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Escaping Hong Kong (3 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
09 Jan 2013

Josh, age 45, is working in Hong Kong (January 2013). He works as a cameraman in a popular television.