16/08/2012 Newsnight


16/08/2012

With Eddie Mair. Analysis of the Julian Assange case and an interview with the daughter of the man who lost his High Court battle to be allowed to end his life.


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Transcript


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Sta Another asylum seeker the Government can't get rid of.

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Julian Assange gets the official protection of Ecuador. To the

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consternation of Swedish and Britain. We will not allow will

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Assange safe passage out of the UK nor is there any legal basis for us

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to do so. We'll debate what is likely to

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happen to Julian Assange next. will definitely be appealing.

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man has been told he can't be helped to die. In Newsnight we will

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hear from his daughter, and from a patient who recovered from a

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similar situation. How did a miner strike leave at

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least seven people dead? And in Syria, Sue Lloyd Roberts

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finds out what happened to the people who were first to protest,

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Almost exactly two years ago today, Julian Assange had his heart set on

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Sweden, Sweden was the country for him. Mr Assange applied for a

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resident's permit to live and work there and hoped to create a base

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for WikiLeaks, in Sweden, because of the country's laws protecting

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whistle-blowers. Now he is settling on Ecuador. We witnessing the open

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the international diplomatic incident that WikiLeaks used to

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cause. Julian Assange once travelled the globe, championing

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freedom of information and apparently rewriting the rules of

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what could, and couldn't be kept secret.

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But now, his world has shrunk to two rooms at the back of the

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Ecuadorian embassy in London. But even this refuge may not be safe

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for the British Government has made clear, diplomatic immunity might be

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revokeed. The unprecedented letter from the UK authorities to the

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Ecuadorians, about the possibility of them going into the embassy to

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pick him up, that was the big surprise to me. And I'm still

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shocked about it because the itch case of that is so massive.

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If they wouldn't do it, that would actually, would jeopardise the

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concept of diplomacy forever. this morning, with supporters

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fearing police were about to storm the embarrassy, the counter culture

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arrived in Knightsbridge, ready to oppose the police and support

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Assange. The Ecuadorian Government meanwhile bridleed at the

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suggestion that British law might be used to newlyfy their

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sovereignty, and gave their guess to what he craved.

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TRANSLATION: The Ecuadorian Government loyal to the tradition

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to protect those who seek refuge with us, and in our diplomatic

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mission have decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr Assange.

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That news calmed the supporters outside, but of course annoyed the

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Foreign Office. Stay clear please. Had the British

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misplayed it. The Foreign Office played this exactly right. They've

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been talking behind the scenes, quiet diplomacy for two months to

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get the Ecuadorians to see sense on this. And there does come a moment

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when you have to say, these are the options and by the way we do have

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the act of Parliament, which gives us the right to raise diplomatic

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immunity, lift diplomatic immunity when it is abused. You need to take

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account of that oh Ecuadorian Government. To the protesters, this

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is about WikiLeaks and American vengeance, but none of the charges

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framed against him so far, relate to that. It is important to thunds

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is not about Mr Assange's activities at WikiLeaks, or the

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attitude of the United States, he is wanted in Sweden, to answer

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allegations of serious sexual offences. Since he's skipped bail

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in this country two months ago, Mr Assange would also face British

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charges, if he left the embarrassy, while the United States has yet to

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showity hand legally. With neither the UK or Ecuadorian governments

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likely to back down, will seems to be every chance of a prolonged

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standoff, from high-charging international lawyers might benefit.

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Meanwhile, Julian Assange may not be in prison, but he is certainly

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confined. So, Mr Assange will have plenty of time to gaze out at the

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expensive cars dropping off customers at Harrods, while the

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British Government bieds its time. Ecuadorian President has fallen

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into a trap of his own making. They have there, in the embassy, the

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sitting tenant from hell, who could be there, for another 25-30 years,

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who knows. The motto for us now is "just play it cool, be calm, and go

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back into behind the scenes talks with the Ecuadorians".

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And what of the longer term? The Brad Brad Brad the US soldiers

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accused of providing WikiLeaks with its information faces trial in

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September. The American authorities, have yet to indict Julian Assange

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on any charge. His argument he could face death in America, is a

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flawed note. Sweden will not extradite anybody to the US if

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there is a fear they will be subject to the death penalty so.

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That is not something that is a real risk in his case T won't

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happen. What is a greater risk is he will be subject today the same

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treatment as Bradley Manning, who is the WikiLeaks defendant held in

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unsavoury conditions ever since he was arrested. Ecuador has been

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criticised today, by both British and Swedish governments for

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obstructing the justice in two democracies. US pressure has yet to

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begin in earnest, and Julian Assange's supporters, were hardly

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opening the champagne tonight. Every person I met that knows how

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the US function, say they might not be the quickest, but they don't

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forget and don't forgive. The floor space of the embassy is a

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equivalent to a ten nas court. It's a small world to be couped up

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indefinitely. Supporters think he might escape, but where to? Exdor

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remains defiant for now, but who will predict how they'll behave if

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America turns up the heat. Vaughan Smith let Julian Assange stay in

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his house for year, and Roger Noriega was administer of state,

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and Johan Pehrson is Chief Whip to the Swedish Liberal Party, a member

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of the Swedish Parliament justice committee. Vaughan Smith is it hard,

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having this man as a friend? It is challenging. I end up, trying to

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account for things on programmes like this, sometimes. He is very

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good company. I had him stay for 13 months. My family from

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recomfortable with that. He is engaging and as a journalist,

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curious about things and well informed. He stayed with more than

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a year, and put up �20,000 of his bail money and then he broke bail,

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is he an honest person? He strikes me as honest, one has to see what

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he's done is entering sideways to a legal process. To who extent he's

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broken bailiff yet to proceed. should have stayed at an address

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that he gave the police overnight, and he is not doing that any more?

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They know where he is. And breaking bail would, traditionally leaving

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the country or go into hiding. He's not done that. He has a right as

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individual to seek political asylum, most people acknowledge we all have

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a right to do that, if we're feeling persecuted and he does. The

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Ecuadorians, are the only people who have considered this whether he

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is actually somebody who is persecuted or not. They have

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concluded that he has been. What is the most convincing argument for

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him going to Sweden? I know Julian well enough to be convinced he

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believes his life or his liberty is threatened by such a thing. It is

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not for me to thing that is necessarily the case, I don't know.

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But I do know he believes that. And, I think that what you've got to

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look at, the Ecuadorians, have gone through processes to resolve this.

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They've invited the Swedes to come and interview there, and press a

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precedent for this. It reached the point in a Swedish legal thing that

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they are required to interview him, and then choose whether to charge

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him. But, they went to Serbia, to interview an alleged murderer, but

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haven't done that here. All right, Johan Pehrson why not do that?

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it is not for me to supervise the Swedish prosecutors, but I can say

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that he meets severe crime, the simple point is it will be easy for

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him to go to Sweden to meet our legal system and ask, to have, to

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answer these questions from the prosecutors, and then he might be

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released or prosecuted, and there could be a trial. But, he's

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obstructing this, and in this situation, it is very important to

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remember that there are might be witness of a crime here, to women.

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This is a man who hasn't been charged with anything, he is

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willing to be questioned if you go to him, you're saying that is

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impossible? I can't supervise the prosecutors, but I can say, that

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the things, how things have turned out now. I mean, of course, the

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Swedish prosecutors, need to come up with new ideas how they might be

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able to question him, because this could be a deadlock for a long time.

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He can be siting in this embassy for I don't know how long. Roger

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Noriega, do you share this view? Do you understand the view, that this

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is a man who feels persecuted? sure I do. But let's see that he's

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conspireed to make good his escape here. To, jump bail, in Britain,

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and now he should be held accountable under British law and

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Swedish law. He conspired with the President who he interviewed in May

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of this year, on behalf of Russia Today and it was at that time

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Rafael Correa crushed the media, systematically in his own country,

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violated the independence of the courts, politiciseed the courts

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that do his bidding, so this is a rather strange bed fellow for

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Assange to be joining. It says a lot about him. And I hope that

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Correa is held for some scrutiny, his premeditated role in this

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process. You have a long list of complaints about Ecuador. If people

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look how Bradley Manning is treated, can you blame Julian Assange

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wanting to come to your country? Well, as far as I know, he doesn't

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face chargesness the United States. So, frankly, I think he wants to

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evade justice in Sweden, for the molestation and rape charges he has

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been accused of this there. That's his primary motive in my view.

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Johan Pehrson, the critical question about whether he might be

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extradited to the United States, is Sweden in a position to say not?

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have a law, the European Commission of human rights so we are

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prohibited to extradite anyone to a country where he can meet a death

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penalty so. I would say, it is a non-question. The important thing

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is that Julian Assange should meet these charges, answer the questions,

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and then it would not be any question in Sweden any more. It is

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still porks mightn't it, there can be a guarantee he won't receive the

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death penalty but still extradited to the US snust Sweden has a

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independent system and we have a strong record on human rights. The

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only thing we can say, independent courts, where he might be tried, if

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he is prosecuted, we have not yet reached that level, but he has been

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asked to come to us, we have a system and European system, and UK

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legal system, and this man, turns now to exdor and I think they have

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a - Ecuador and they have a worse record on human rights than other.

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I am concerned about Ecuadors record on this, and I'm not here to

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defend Ecuador's record on treatment on certain journalists.

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As a friend you must be anxious as he chooses his friends? Let stand

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back here, reporters without borders, every year does an index

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on freedom of speech, in that, Britain came 28th. America is

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falling and it is 48th. But Ecuador is 14 2nd. But we too, often

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present ourselves as only good in the world and the truth isn't the

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case. It is invasion for you, liberal democracy for you, torture

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for you, and something else for someone else. We immediate to get

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used to the idea that perhaps, we have dissidents within us, and

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within London someone has been given political asylum. We

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shouldn't be too sure. These are serious sexual charges he, sexual

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questions he faces? That's unclear. Obviously the Swedish thing is

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different. Swedish law on how they define rape is quite different. But,

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I wouldn't like to see anybody escape justice. But I believe

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Julian Assange is seeking justice, not running from it.

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What do you think will happen next? Do you think he's going to have to

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spend, time in the embarrassy? There could be a scenario he could

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be there for a long time. Is he good at tunneling? I don't think he

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can get out without the authorities agreeing to it. We can reflect on

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this a little bit and I don't think we have to be so angry and bitter

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about this. I think we have to look and see how this plays in a wider

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part of the world. You have to remember, Julian Assange, is

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popular in the rest of the world N Europe and the rest of the world,

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less so, because they have a battering in the press. India,

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there's 20 front pages on corruption, and I feel we need to

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be conscious about the perception in the wider world. Thank you very

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much. Tony Nicklinson, tells us his life is dull, miserable, demeaning,

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undignified and intolerable. Thanks to a stroke, seven years ago,

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he's able to communicate that misery, by blinking or by moving

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his head in a limited way. So limited is his ability to move,

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Tony Nicklinson would be physically unable to end his miserable life

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himself. So, he asked the High Court in London to rule that a

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doctor could help him die without the fear of prosecution for murder.

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The court said it was moved, but only Parliament could make such a

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major change in the law. Mr Nicklinson is still able to cry,

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and he wept when he heard the judgment. Absolutely ivering has to

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be done for me, feeding me, scratching an itch, cleaninging my

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nose, moving me, cleaning my teeth, washing and everything I cannot do

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it. His case, said the judge was deeply moving A legal and ethical

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question at the most difficult kind. But today, Tony Nicklinson lost the

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latest round in what is a long, legal battle. Disappointed. You can

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see from Tony's reaction, he is heart broken. We always knew it was

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a big ask, but, we've always hoped that, you know the judges would see

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sense and quite plainly they haven't.

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Mr Nicklinson, a 58-year-old father of two, was left almost completely

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paralysed after a stroke on a business trip, seven years ago. He

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now says the quality of his life is so poor, he wishes he'd never

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called for an am brilliance that day. This afternoon, he was asking

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the High Court to make a major change to the murder law in England

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and Wales. Mr Nicklinson's legal team was trying to use article

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eight of the European Convention on Human Rights to argue euthanasia

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should be a legally protected right. They wanted a guarantee that a

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doctor, here in this country, could end his life without the risk of

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prosecution. But, the judge today rejected those arguments, and

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dismissed the case of a second unnamed sufferer of locked in

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syndrome. He said a decision to allow the claims would have far-

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reaching consequences, it is not for the court to stkhrieed whether

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the law should be changed and what safeguards should be in place.

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Under our system of Government, these are matters for Parliament to

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decide. That decision was welcomeed, not just by pro-life groups you but

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disability charities and groups representing the medical profession.

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The problem here and reason why there is so much controversy, is

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balancing the tragic circumstances of people like Tony Nicklinson

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against the vastly greater number of people with, in his case, severe

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disability who find themselves, their lives valuable and yet

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threatened in the ethos created by our laws. Helping someone to kill

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themselves is legal, in a handful of countries. Most famously at the

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dig it's a clinic in Zurich, but also, in three US states and three

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EU countries, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. In the UK,

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assisted suicide, careies 16 year jail sentence. Whether that death

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takes place here or abroad. But the law itself isn't standing still. A

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number of legal challenges have forced the authorities to change

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the way they deal with these cases. MS sufferer, Debbie Purdy went to

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court in 2008. She won the case, forcing the direct lor of public

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prosecution toss issue new guidance. If a family member or friends acts

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with compassion to help someone die, then the case should now be dropped.

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In the last few moments to two victims of locked in syndrome, have

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lost their High Court battles, for the right to end their lives,

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when... Three years after her day in court, Debbie Purdy is watching

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today's verdict from her bedroom. Her MS has progressed unable to

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make her stand, move or write. doesn't want to go to Switzerland,

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and he doesn't have the drugs that will be fatal, or set things up to

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be able to take them. He needs help and support by somebody who knows

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what they're doing. She supports Tony Nicklinson's right to end his

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own life on his own terms. And she wants MPs to step in, with a new

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law to clarify the situation. What we need is a politicians to

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say, not how do we tweak an existing law to be not too bad, but

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rather, what do we need in the 21st century, to make sure that somebody

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like Tony, doesn't have to suffer unnecessarily.

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But, any new law on assisted suicide looks unlikely at the

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moment, with all politicians opposed. Instead the Nicklinson

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family say they'll take today's verdict to the Court of Appeal.

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Lauren, Nicklinson, Tony is your dad, he seems upset, how is sne

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He's devastated. Our legal team helped so far, but you can't help

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to get your hopes up, and we're all disappointed. We know the judges

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had a hard decision to make, but we're just sad they decide today go

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against us. We'll appeal, this isn't the end, we believe in what

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we're doing. Do you accept what the court was saying, had the court

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gone your way, it would be a big change in the law, and that's not

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the role of judges to do that, it must be Parliament? They say one

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thing, we argue the other. Our legal team, argue the opposite and

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we choose to follow them and believe what they say. We trust

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what they're doing. But, we know it is a really difficult, we've a big

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thing what we're doing, and asking a lot. But there has to be some way

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to do it. There has to be, we refuse there isn't. What is it like

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having Tony as a dad? That's a difficult question. The dad before

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all of this, was amazing, and me and my sister talk about dad as two

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different people. Whether it is right and wrong I don't know,

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really loud and hands on, he was a fantastic dad. Now we haven't got a

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relationship with him, because so much of what makes that father/

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daughter lies, is physical dis, it is down to the individual

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relationship. What me and dad would enjoy doing together we can't enjoy

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any more, like rugby, I don't know what he sounds like, I haven't

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heard his voice in seven years. What are his ofpgss, you will carry

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on with the legal process, but maybe perhaps starving to death?

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We're going to appeal and take this as far as we can. If we get to the

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stage where we can't take it further, and told no, he is

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considering starving himself. Because for him. Could you watch

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that happen? It won't be my decision, if that's what he wants,

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that's what we'll do t he would rather three months of the physical

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anguish and mental anguish of starving hix, rather than living 30

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years locked-in. What about you, your dad wants to die, if it was

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down to you, would you rather him alive? I would rather him walking

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and talking. Alive and dead? necessarily, no, because it is so

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painful, to see someone you love hurt every day and unable to do

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anything about it. When he dies, it will be more risk, but we will

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grieve and be OK, I know we will be. But for dad to face 30 years like

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this, that's sun enable. And I think in many ways, it will hurt

0:23:560:24:01

less when he dies, rather than see him suffer. Given your concern

0:24:010:24:06

about the suffering, have you and the family discussed about helping

0:24:060:24:12

him die? It is not an option. No way, dad will let mum risk going to

0:24:120:24:17

prison. At all, he would rather do 30 years, and know that his

0:24:170:24:21

suffering would end but mum could spend the rest of her life, in

0:24:210:24:25

prison,not an option for us. What about you? No. I'm not strong

0:24:260:24:31

enough to do that. No way would I let my sister do that. Maybe we're

0:24:310:24:38

selfish, I don't know but... Stay with us, thank you very much. Now,

0:24:390:24:43

you are in a position, rather than most people, to understand, from a

0:24:430:24:49

personal experience what he's going through. You had a stroke, and were

0:24:490:24:57

severely incapacitated tell me about that? His a brain stem stroke.

0:24:570:25:05

And I was unconscious for several days, and when I came out of it, I

0:25:050:25:13

had a problem and because of my background, and my nature, I

0:25:130:25:17

started a problem, set an objective, which at that time was to breathe,

0:25:170:25:22

and I proceeded to achieve it. Which was to concentrate on the die

0:25:230:25:27

fram. The problem was you couldn't move? You couldn't communicate in

0:25:270:25:32

any way? No. And even thinking at that time was exhausting. How long

0:25:320:25:40

did it take you to get from that state, to the state you're in now?

0:25:410:25:48

Well, I've been progressing for years, every little bit all the

0:25:480:25:56

time. And I was it hospital for six months and I could walk on sticks

0:25:560:26:03

just about, when I left. And I went into rehab unit, for another six

0:26:030:26:06

months. And I improved a little bit while I was there. When you see,

0:26:070:26:10

Tony Nicklinson and you hear his arguments and you've heard his

0:26:100:26:18

daughter speak about his situation, what do you think? I feel I can

0:26:180:26:23

understand his feeling about being totally paralysed for seven years,

0:26:230:26:28

I should imagine it is terrible. But, as I was saying to his

0:26:280:26:32

daughter earlier, I would like to try and help him develop a new

0:26:330:26:38

brain path in the same way I did. Because, there is capacity in the

0:26:380:26:43

brain, and even though he's had a situation for seven years, there is

0:26:430:26:49

still that capacity in the brain. Stay with us, please, I want to

0:26:490:26:53

turn to you, Dr Andrew Ferguson from Care Not Killing. How do you

0:26:530:26:58

view what's happened to Tony Nicklinson today? Well let me make

0:26:580:27:02

the point first, every clinical situation is different. I don't

0:27:020:27:07

think we can compare Graham with Tony, I don't think there will be

0:27:070:27:12

clinical improvement in Tony's case, I've seen reports and so on. I

0:27:120:27:17

don't think today's verdict was a surprise for either side. Tragic

0:27:170:27:22

though the situation is for Tony, we need to look at the big picture,

0:27:220:27:25

Care Not Killing exists partly to campaign against a change in the

0:27:250:27:30

law and encourage resources in careing, and encourage a change in

0:27:310:27:34

our attitudes to people with disabilities. All the major

0:27:340:27:38

disability rights groups are represented within us, disabled

0:27:380:27:44

people at large, see a change in the law as a very real threat.

0:27:440:27:49

it not possible, for our finest parliamentarians with the help of

0:27:490:27:52

the finest lawyers to draw up a bill that would make Tony

0:27:520:27:57

Nicklinson and the people in his situation happy, but also give the

0:27:570:28:01

protection you want to people who want to make sure they're not

0:28:010:28:04

bumped off against their will? fine parliamentarians in the

0:28:040:28:09

Scottish Parliament looked at this extensively in 2010, and in

0:28:090:28:14

November on that year, they voted by 85-16 against changing the law.

0:28:150:28:18

And that happens when law-makers and those with real responsibility

0:28:180:28:23

look at this issue in the round. It is reas well to talk about Holland

0:28:230:28:28

but most countries haven't legislated for that, half a dozen

0:28:280:28:31

countries have denied euthanasia legislation in the last couple of

0:28:310:28:37

years. Let's talk about Tony, are we saying, that he has to carry on

0:28:370:28:42

suffering in a way he doesn't want to, he wants to die, for if you

0:28:420:28:47

like the greater public good? That's one way of putting it. My

0:28:470:28:53

own hope is. You can put it a nicer way, but isn't that where we're at?

0:28:530:28:57

We are at that point because we can't just look at Tony alone or

0:28:570:29:00

his family, we have to look at other people with his condition.

0:29:000:29:07

There's a study from France, 65 patients with lock-ined syndrome,

0:29:070:29:12

British Medical Journal, 72% were happy with life and 7% of them

0:29:130:29:16

seriously thought about suicide. I'm not blaming Tony when I say

0:29:160:29:20

that, he is who he is, but most people come to terms with these

0:29:200:29:25

things. What do you say to those arguments? We say each to their own.

0:29:260:29:30

Research looks at samples, how long ago was it, were there religious

0:29:300:29:36

attitudes as part of that, because if there was, we're an atheist

0:29:360:29:42

family and we don't like any state or religious attitude put upon us,

0:29:420:29:46

research is research, you can poke holes in most research. Dad wants

0:29:460:29:51

to die, again, we are speaking on behalf of him, and not on the

0:29:510:29:53

behalf of the disabled community. There are others who want this as

0:29:530:29:57

well, we know that. I really struggle to believe there isn't, in

0:29:570:30:02

the country we are in, such an advanced country, there is not

0:30:020:30:06

something that can be done to make it possible for dad. I really

0:30:060:30:09

struggle. Thank you. Thank you all very much.

0:30:090:30:15

In South Africa, police have opened fire on workers who were on strike

0:30:150:30:19

from a platinum mine. Video footage from the incident has caused quite

0:30:190:30:29
0:30:290:30:51

The BBC's Milton Nkosi has been telling me what happened?

0:30:510:30:59

miners who belong to a newly formed militant union had been demanding a

0:30:590:31:09

pay hike from the mine amendment which is the plaitium mines. The

0:31:090:31:12

rival National Union of Mineworkers, which is a long-standing union of

0:31:130:31:17

miners here, were separate from them. They are not taking part in

0:31:170:31:26

this paid dispute. And these miners were acknowledge mow, were carrying

0:31:260:31:31

sticks and machetes and some firearms, and the police were

0:31:310:31:36

holding a line between miners and operation area of the mine, and

0:31:360:31:41

that's when the shooting began. But this actually began a week before.

0:31:410:31:45

Last week, there was violence, ten people were killed including two

0:31:450:31:50

policemen. Sthool so what's been reaction to this violence and these

0:31:500:31:55

death? The DS, Democratic Alliance, official opposition here have been

0:31:550:32:05
0:32:050:32:06

saying that this is now needs to be called the mine mine inquiry. And

0:32:060:32:09

the national police commissioner has driven through the area and

0:32:090:32:14

hopefully will get more details, and a proper investigation as to

0:32:140:32:20

what exactly led to this killing, this afternoon. Milton Nkosi thank

0:32:200:32:24

you. The narrative in Syria, these days is pretty familiar to us.

0:32:240:32:28

We've seen the violence, we heard the conflicting accounts of what's

0:32:280:32:33

is going on and watched people flee to safety across the border. What

0:32:330:32:37

must all this look like to the people, who 18 months ago were

0:32:370:32:40

first to call a demonstration on the streets of Damascus. Sue Lloyd

0:32:400:32:47

Roberts has been hearing about three of them. Damascus, January,

0:32:470:32:54

2011. A group of young Syrians, posed an invitation on Facebook, to

0:32:540:32:59

their friends to have a demonstration outside the Egyptian

0:32:590:33:04

embassy. Matar was one of them. Tunisians had been freed, Egyptians

0:33:050:33:11

were on their way, we thought it was our turn to be tree too.

0:33:110:33:16

Only Syrian-friendly Russian TV recorded the gathering. Which

0:33:160:33:20

included Muslims and Christians. They had aeed declared their

0:33:200:33:28

support for the demonstrators in Cairo, but then, they went too far.

0:33:280:33:33

We sat we chanted and lit candles, we sang the National Anthem and

0:33:330:33:39

other similar songs, and then, maybe less than an hour later, one

0:33:390:33:46

of them, more enthusiastic parts of the crowds started chanting the

0:33:460:33:50

wind of change has blown, and that is when the security approached us

0:33:500:33:55

and said you have to stop now and you have to leave.

0:33:550:33:59

Some were arrested, cameras seized and told criticism of the Syrian

0:33:590:34:06

Government would noten tolerated. It was a warning of what was to

0:34:060:34:13

come. I've spent the last few weeks tracking those who took part in the

0:34:130:34:17

demonstration, post are in Syria, in hiding, filming when they can,

0:34:170:34:22

and fighting. Some are dead and others have threed to watch the

0:34:220:34:28

drama taking place in their country, from abroad. I started my search in

0:34:280:34:35

Germany. Where a charity have given a mayor refuge after he fled from

0:34:350:34:43

He now lives in a village near cologne, he explained after the

0:34:430:34:49

first demonstration he attended many more, and the Military Police

0:34:490:34:54

came looking for him. He went into hiding, and they arrested his

0:34:540:35:00

father to get at him. Only when he left the country his father was

0:35:000:35:05

released. TRANSLATION: When I came to Europe,

0:35:050:35:10

I was amazed by the way people live here. I realised we are living in

0:35:100:35:16

hell in Syria. We dream of getting rid of this tyrant, President al-

0:35:160:35:24

Assad, most people have not had his father or brother arrested. He is

0:35:240:35:29

suffocating us. Exsield Syrians gather in for lorn

0:35:290:35:35

groups all over Europe. Here Amer Matar's friends includes Sunnis,

0:35:350:35:40

and Kurds. They speak of their ideaism when united they believe

0:35:400:35:48

they could use peaceful protest to bring about change. Amer Matar

0:35:480:35:54

blames the regime for militaryising their struggle. It was the Houla

0:35:540:35:58

massacre in May that convinced him a peaceful, political solution was

0:35:580:36:03

no longer possible. More than a hundred people were killed, mainly

0:36:030:36:10

women and children. The UN blamed the Syrian army, and the regime's

0:36:100:36:20

thugs, the notorious Shab iha. Who is responsible for the deaths

0:36:200:36:22

recorded. TRANSLATION: You don't need to look

0:36:220:36:26

at the pictures of the massacre at Houla, you just need to think of

0:36:260:36:30

the numbers of dead, just the numbers make us say, that enough is

0:36:300:36:35

enough. We have no option, the only way to get rid of these monsters is

0:36:350:36:45
0:36:450:36:47

I went to America, to a university in New York state to follow the

0:36:470:36:53

story of another of the group who organised that first demonstration.

0:36:540:37:02

At the end of last year, a Christian from Damascus, signed up

0:37:020:37:08

along with fellow students, Daniel, from New Mexico, LAna and Valerie

0:37:080:37:17

from Lebanon to hon his skills as a film maker. He had been making a

0:37:170:37:23

documentary back home on how conflict is affecting the children

0:37:230:37:27

of Homs. How orphans whose parents had been killed in the uprising

0:37:270:37:37
0:37:370:37:44

Because of his work, he was arrested several times and fled

0:37:440:37:54
0:37:540:37:55

abroad, where he was awarded a full bright skol harship in New York. So

0:37:550:38:00

Lana Hijazi was asked to study here ala celebrated university all

0:38:000:38:05

expenses paid and chance to escape his country, which was on the brink

0:38:050:38:10

of civil war. But, his friends explain, he couldn't stay.

0:38:100:38:16

Having witnessed what he has witnessed, I think it was just

0:38:160:38:20

unsettling to him that people can live life calmly and quiet. Do you

0:38:200:38:23

think he was right to go back sthifplt for him it was out of the

0:38:230:38:28

question to live his life normally, and wake up, have his coffee and go

0:38:280:38:33

to class, while other people are struggling and dying it. This is

0:38:330:38:39

how he saw it, it may be wrong or right. I don't think it is guilt

0:38:390:38:44

but love. I have the same situation in my country, in a different way.

0:38:440:38:48

We always say the world is watching what is happening and not doing

0:38:480:38:52

anything. So we didn't want to be part of the world, who is watching

0:38:520:39:01

and not doing anything. He went back to Homs to make

0:39:010:39:06

another film. Describing the reality of living in a city

0:39:060:39:16
0:39:160:39:31

bombarded by heavy weapons now for With snipers on the rooftops, he

0:39:310:39:36

shows how hard it is for people to get just from one side of a street

0:39:360:39:44

to the other. It is him, we can see him, and hear him breathing. I can

0:39:440:39:53

imagine the fear he was feeling. did make it to the other side. But

0:39:530:39:58

was later killed by a Siran Government army on the house he was

0:39:580:40:08
0:40:080:40:15

sheltering in. He was 28. - Syrian. Those of his friends still in the

0:40:150:40:19

country, came together outside his local church in Damascus to mourn

0:40:200:40:26

the death of a young film maker. ? The priest tried to hold a

0:40:260:40:30

service for him in the church, but the authorities refused.

0:40:300:40:35

In his funeral the ones who prayed from him are from different

0:40:360:40:39

religions, it doesn't matter if you pray in a mosque or church for him.

0:40:390:40:44

It was so touching to see Syria this way, because this is why

0:40:440:40:48

they're dying, a better life, not a country shredded into parts and

0:40:480:40:53

religions. But it was sad because he deserves more than this, in his

0:40:530:41:03
0:41:030:41:07

death and funeral and he couldn't The third of our pioneer

0:41:070:41:16

demonstrators still lives in Syria. Mia travelled from Damascus to

0:41:160:41:23

across the border this Lebanon. We met in a tourist site which is now

0:41:230:41:29

deserted, and we hoped without the Syrian spies who are found this

0:41:290:41:34

more crowded areas. Thinking back to that first demonstration, she

0:41:350:41:40

can't believe how quickly her country disintergrated? We were

0:41:400:41:45

hoping for something similar to the way the Egyptian his organised

0:41:450:41:48

their revolution. There would be a civil movement, similar to that

0:41:480:41:54

that took place in Egypt and we would be able to organise on the

0:41:540:42:00

long-run, something similar. But we were thinking in terms of few years,

0:42:000:42:04

the more optimistic people were thinking a few months, no-one

0:42:040:42:09

thought it was a few weeks time. We were overwhelmed wit violent

0:42:090:42:14

reaction of the regime. She doesn't show her face and uses a false name.

0:42:140:42:21

Because she too is a film maker, trying to document the human

0:42:210:42:30

tragedy. Where is your father, she asks this boy is this In prison,

0:42:300:42:38

why? I don't know, he says. Mia had been arrested like all those who

0:42:380:42:44

organised the first demonstration. I think almost all of us have been

0:42:450:42:54

arrested at some point and released. Including the other girls, if not

0:42:540:43:01

once, then several tiles. You never know when you need to flee. You're

0:43:010:43:05

always ready, your papers are ready, and you expect that one day or the

0:43:050:43:10

other the phone call will come or knock on the door will come and

0:43:100:43:20

you'll have to flee. Now she seeing the fighting at home, the Army are

0:43:200:43:28

attacking the suburbs of Damascus. Too many helicopters going around,

0:43:280:43:30

random shots, snipers over buildings, shooting everything that

0:43:300:43:35

moved. I zpt notice when the shot came in, because the window was

0:43:350:43:40

open, so there was no broken glass, and there was so much random

0:43:400:43:45

shooting and bombing, the sounds were insane, coy not tell that it

0:43:450:43:49

was in my bedroom. I woke up the next morning and realised there was

0:43:500:43:59

a hole in the wall above my bed. After our interview, Mia returned

0:43:590:44:04

to Damascus to work, but with the fear of arrest or being killed.

0:44:040:44:09

Before she left I asked her what she would wish for her country?

0:44:090:44:13

would like to wake up tomorrow and not find a sing of one of them.

0:44:130:44:20

That - single one of them, that would be perfect. Back at the

0:44:200:44:27

university, they're planning a memorial for next month. Meanwhile

0:44:270:44:32

they watch events in Syria, in despair. What is happening is

0:44:320:44:37

people crushed silently, without anybody being able to do anything

0:44:370:44:45

for them h And Amer? He says he's going back.

0:44:450:44:49

TRANSLATION: I am definitely ready to die and my friends and many of

0:44:490:44:57

the Syrian people are prepared to risk death just to see Saaad to go.

0:44:570:45:04

I am definitely ready to die for this. Bf we go the publishers of

0:45:040:45:09

The Dandy, confirmed today its days in print are numbered. It has an

0:45:090:45:12

on-line presence but the final edition will be in December. Let's

0:45:120:45:17

have a look at the final edition, and desperate Dan is on the front

0:45:170:45:20

page enjoying a holiday, though in the strip itself, his head is eaten

0:45:200:45:29

bay shark. On the front. A chance bay shark. On the front. A chance

0:45:290:45:35

to win a ride and bouncey castle.. Now to the newspapers. Guardian

0:45:350:45:39

goes with Julian Assange story, various people on the front

0:45:390:45:46

claiming to be Julian Assange. The Times, also has the Assange story

0:45:460:45:54

and those A-level results, Tom Daily doing well. In the Telegraph,

0:45:540:46:00

no picture of young women jumping up and down because of the A-level

0:46:000:46:08

results but Tom Daly. Gove overall advice from his independent experts

0:46:080:46:14

to force through the sale of the school playing fields. And the

0:46:140:46:19

Independent, well its front page is one of our stories tonight, the

0:46:190:46:24

headline "a fate worse than death" moment Tony Nicklinson heard that

0:46:240:46:32

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Eddie Mair.

Analysis of the Julian Assange case, an interview with the daughter of the man who lost his High Court battle to be allowed to end his life, and the latest on South Africa and Syria.


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