Category Archives: Freedom of expression

Thanks for the friends’ and followers’ boom

During the last two weeks I have received almost 800 friend requests on Facebook and about 1000 new followers. It’s overwhelming and warms my heart beyond words.

Many many thanks for your trust and support – and for not only thinking it but taking time to tell it.

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I can only assume that it is all because of my visit to Damascus and Aleppo. Literally thousands have thanked me for my short texts and photos from there – and for taking the risk going there.

Lots of people go to difficult places, be they humanitarian workers, journalists, photographers, UN people, other diplomats or civil society organisations. But – regrettably, I would say – it is not often I’ve met other researchers in war zones.

Those of us who go, go because we feel we have a duty, because we are curious and must see for ourselves and because a visit opens doors to people, to the suffering and to natural human solidarity.

Media focus on all those with weapons in their hands – the warlords. I’ve always felt enriched and grateful to all the others one can meet, wonderful people who stand up and stand together, struggle, help their neighbours – and survive the other main type of people present, the murderers who get all the fame.

I’m no hero. Just that you know. Many (more) could do what I do.

But back to the social media boom, I’ve just experienced. Continue reading

“Shadow World” – on your tax money

I’ve felt deeply touched by Johan Grimonprez’ brilliant and frightening documentary “Shadow World” which is based on Andrew Feinstein’s book with the same name.

I want to share it with my readers and here is all about the book and the movie. It was shown in November 2016 by Swedish Television with Swedish text but is due to be taken down a couple of month later.

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It will help you understand US foreign policy, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and all the rest in 90 minutes.

You may of course choose to put your head in the sand and avoid it thinking of such things.

But it’s this criminal system that will shape our – your! – future and end freedom, democracy, development, international law, security and peace as we have come to know it…

  • that is, if you don’t join hands with millions around the word and do something about it.

And all you probably do about it at the moment is to enable it to be even more destructive.

Because it is all based on your tax money.

 

Facebook’s grotesque nudity censorship policy

Open Letter

Lund, Sweden, July 1, 2016

Dear Facebook friends

Yes, I consider this blocking of me – because of posting an image of nudity – for one day unreasonable.

Here is why:

The image of a naked young woman in water was taken from the Danish daily newspaper, Politiken – one of Denmark’s most respected newspapers.

This image was generated automatically by Facebook when I posted the link to the article on my profile page – i.e. not something I did deliberately or to provoke.

Secondly, the image is created by a Swedish professional and respected artistic photographer, Matilde Grafstrom – and is part of a project “Nude In The Public Space”.

The article is about an exhibition of these her works at the main square in Copenhagen – for anyone from anywhere in the world to see.

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I am myself a PhD in sociology and have specialised during 40+ years in international peace-making and peace research. Have worked or visited some 60 countries on all continents. I am also an art collector and art photographer who has taken many photos of women, young and old – portraits and bodies.

I tell you this because I am not insensitive to the respect we must all show for each other’s cultures and sensitive ethical issues if and when we want to live and work together on this earth. Continue reading

DR2 om Irans atomvåben og valg

Er public service og fri presse = frihed til at være så propagandistisk som man lyster?

DR2 udsendte fredag den 26. februar 2016 kl 00:15 en time-langt fransk dokumentarfilm”Iran – “Iran – A-Bombe for enhver pris.” Fra 2011!
Underteksten: “Et af Vestens vigtigste forsvarsmål lige nu er at sætte en stopper for Irans atomprogram, og…”
Man må spørge i hvilken verden DR2’s programredaktører befinder sig.
Et 5 år gammelt program, der naturligvis intet siger om den atomaftale, Iran indgik i 2015.
Et program, der er tendentiøst, foreholder seerne visse vigtige fakta og farer med usandhed på flere punkter samt benytter tvivlsomme kilder; et program som er markant pro-vestligt, pro-israelsk (det afsluttes med en sekvens om det truede Israel) og i hvilket kun én iransk ekspert – i eksil i USA – kommer til orde.
Ingen der så dette program kunne få andet indtryk end at Iran er et gennemkriminelt land, der som det hedder i den direkte løgnagtige filmtitel for enhver pris ville have et atomvåben.
Intet om alt det, der kunne tale imod at dette var et våbenprogram. Ingen interview med en anerkendt ekspert og forfatter som f.eks. Gareth Porter – intet om andre landes atomvåben etc.
Filmen igennem gøres der ikke forskel på atomprogram (til energiformål) og atomvåbenprogram.
Og det er velkendt at Frankrig har modarbejdet Iran på dette område og repræsenterede Israels interesser ved de forhandlinger, der afsluttedes sidste år.
Continue reading

Kunne Danmark også gøre noget godt for verden?

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“Europe 2015 – Or Behind Every Refugee Stands A Warmaker” © Jan Oberg 2015

Danmarks stadigt mere triste retning i verdens øjne:

• Muhammetegningerne og afvisningen af diplomatisk samtale
• Bombninger, krig, besættelse – fra Jugoslavien i 1999 til Irak 2 x, Libyen
• Beredvilligheden at bombe Syrien
• Medansvar for ISIS gennem besættelsen af Irak
• Generel fremmedfjendtlighed – to say the least
• Håndtering af terrorangreb, der ikke var det – i ytringsfrihedens navn (Paris)
• Annoncer i udenlandsk presse for at holde flygtninge borte
• Forslag om at stjæle mere velstående flygtninges sidste resourcer
• Fjernelse af smukke kunstfotografier af nøgne kvinder fra Nytorv – ytringsfrihed…
• Medvirken til at nedbryde asylretten ved at bygge en mur i Kastrup
Er det de folkevalgte eller folket selv, der skaber og acceptere alt dette?
Det sker i det mindste ikke i mit navn som dansk statsborger.
Kunne nogen ikke komme på at gøre noget godt for verden så Danmark også kunne blive respekteret og elsket ude i verden og ikke bare opfattet som en dum lille bøllestat?

We don’t want walls anywhere

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Wall # 1 – © Jan Oberg 2015

 

The UN Charter states clearly:

• The equal rights of men and women
• The equal rights of nations large and small
• The norm to bring about peace by peaceful means

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states clearly:

• The norm that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
• That everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

So why do our governments spend close to US$ 2000 billion per year on arms?

Why do we have to witness all these wars, most of them interventionist NATO/Western  wars in the Middle East?

Why has violence forced 60 million people, the equivalent of Italy’s population, from their homes, their number growing rapidly?

Why do governments send asylum seekers back to life-threatening risks? Why does Sweden violate the Dublin Convention to get rid of asylum-seekers?

Because our governments don’t give a damn about international law and its foundation in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is what we must say: We don’t want walls anywhere. Period!

No, we don’t want new walls in Europe or anywhere else.

We want no wall between Denmark and Sweden either.

We want less war and thus less violence. We want more globally mixed communities by people coming to other countries, not as refugees but as fellow global citizens. We want unity in diversity and not unity in conformity.

Walls is violence. Walls is discrimination – by those who build them. Walls are violations of law and humanity’s needs and rights.

It’s a simple as that.

Tear down your inner and outer walls! Do it fast – before nationalism, greed, racism and more wars become mainstream, feeding upon each other – and destroying our civilisation.

 

 

Don’t underestimate Donald Trump

Don’t underestimate him, count him out or think he is crazy.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” half-hour interview with Donald Trump is interesting. He has passion and a very fast mind, he seems to have integrity in the sense that he cannot be bought for money by others and he doesn’t mind having standpoints that conservative republicans find odd or surprising.

He is clearly eclectic and pragmatic rather than a theoretician, ideology-bent politician – and seems to build a lot on his entrepreneur experience and sense of reading people.

His vision – “making America great again!” – may be frightening and wrong and it is based on strength, on military but even more on economic strength.

The interesting thing is that he is much more realistic Continue reading