Bahrain is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. “We call for an end to Abduljalil Al-Singace’s detention, which has gone on for too long,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “His health problems require special attention, and the authorities should free him for this reason alone, if no other. But his long jail sentence is extremely unjust, like the sentences passed on all the other journalists imprisoned in Bahrain.”“Dr Al-Singace’s continued arrest and imprisonment is the highest practice of injustice and clear attack on freedom of expression in Bahrain,” said on his part Dr Husain Abdulla, the Executive Director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB). He also added that the recent European Parliament Resolution calling for human rights defenders to be freed should lead the French government, as one of the three countries with an Embassy in Bahrain, to “take a clear stand and demand publicly his release”. Although Nabeel Rajab, a blogger who heads the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, was released in June 2020, the situation for journalists is still extremely oppressive in Bahrain, with a total of 12 reporters currently detained. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prison authorities have banned medical appointments and family visits. News October 14, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Al-Singace’s health has worsened during these ten years in prison. Now aged 59, he has muscular problems resulting from a polio attack in his youth that have been compounded by torture following his arrest and medical neglect by the prison authorities who, for example, are slow to replace the rubber cushions on his crutches that relieve his shoulders and prevent him from falling. In 2015, he began a hunger strike that he continued for more than 300 days in protest against his prison conditions. Because of his articles and his support for the peaceful pro-democracy protests in 2011, a military court sentenced him to life imprisonment in June 2011 – a sentence upheld by an appeal court in 2012 and the court of cassation in 2013. A second wave began in 2015 amid growing criticism of the war in Yemen and Bahrain’s participation in the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The final, fatal blow to press freedom came with the closure of Bahrain’s last independent media outlet, the daily newspaper Al-Wasat, in June 2017. Its editor, Mahmoud Al-Jaziri, was arrested in October of that year and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Organisation News BahrainMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Help by sharing this information to go further March 17, 2021 Tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger’s arrest On the tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger Abduljalil Al-Singace’s arrest, the first in a long series of arrests in response to the pro-democracy protests that had begun in Bahrain in February 2011, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for his release and the release of all journalists arbitrarily detained in this Persian Gulf kingdom. Follow the news on Bahrain Al-Singace’s imprisonment marked the start of an unprecedented crackdown on Bahrain’s journalists. A first wave of arrests began in the wake of the massive protests of 2011, which had been covered by reporters. The most emblematic case is that of Hassan Mohammed Qambar, a photo-journalist who was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for filming the 2011 protests. RSF_en June 11, 2020 Find out more German spyware company FinFisher searched by public prosecutors Nabeel Rajab released but condemned to silence Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives News June 15, 2020 Find out more Al-Singace was arrested by dozens of police at his home in the capital, Manama, on 17 March 2011, after posting articles on his website Al-Faseelah in which he criticized the human rights situation in Bahrain, the persecution of the political opposition and discrimination against the country’s Shia Muslim community. BahrainMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalists News
More than 800 people braved the hot August temperatures for a firsthand glimpse of the latest research by University of Georgia scientists at the Turfgrass Research Field Day held Thursday, Aug. 4, on the UGA campus in Griffin, Georgia.“UGA serves as the research and education arm for the green industry in this state,” said Clint Waltz, UGA Cooperative Extension turfgrass specialist and one of the organizers of the field day event. “This field day keeps those in the green industry current and provides the continued education they need to remain profitable and able to provide the best quality products for golf courses, commercial lawns, homeowners’ lawns, parks, recreational sports fields and professional sports fields.” In the morning, green industry professionals rotated through a series of 12-minute talks by scientists from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Topics included the latest research on turfgrass weed management, cultivar development and the application of pesticides while protecting pollinating insects.Self-guided tours in the afternoon included a demonstration on proper pesticide storage and handling, advice on the best fungicides for turfgrass disease control and sessions led by CAES turfgrass graduate students. “This field day attracts the top professionals in the green industry,” Waltz said. “Just like doctors and accountants attend conferences to say current in their fields, industry professionals attend our field day to keep current on best management practices and trends. They saw the latest and greatest in turfgrass science, from pest management, to environmental stewardship, to water management and conservation, to new turfgrasses on the horizon from our UGA breeders.”Professionals from Georgia and the Southeast also met several new UGA employees, including Assistant Dean for Extension and Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader Mark McCann and newly appointed UGA turfgrass physiologist David Jespersen.“We have a lot of new personnel who benefited from meeting turfgrass industry contacts, and it was exciting for everyone to see our new turfgrass research facility being constructed in the background,” Waltz said. “Two years ago, we talked about our new facility; this year, everyone saw it being built; and in two years, when the next field day is held, we’ll be in our new building.”For more information on turfgrass research at UGA, go to GeorgiaTurf.com.
Share SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Related Articles Gamesys tops list for GambleAware Q1 donations July 10, 2020 Share William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon The first-panel session of the Payments Day track, held on day-four of the inaugural SBC Digital Summit, debated how COVID-19 disruptions will impact all dynamics related to AML, fraud and customer verification measures.Payment Expert Editor Joe Streeter led discussions on key industry disciplines that were in the midst of an overhaul, prior to the virus spreading and creating a pandemic.The first focus was on the ‘human element’ of the pandemic, in which panicked consumers’ daily habits are thrown out of sync. Streeter asked panelists if standard betting procedures and protections stand-up against the coronavirus chaos?Steven Armstrong, Group Director of AML at William Hill, said “In general, betting regulations are defined on a risk-based approach. From an operators’ view, this should help them adapt thresholds and their risk models, however, developing flexible procedures are trickier under this environment.”Rahul Das, Head of Payments for VirginBet, backed Armstrong’s statement on flexibility, detailing that standard AML procedures have been tested, as operators may be unaware of a customer’s monetary circumstance.He added: “Regulatory guidelines haven’t changed, but consumer circumstances have, making profiling more complicated. You might have a customer who passed affordability checks 2 months ago, but their financial situation might have changed drastically.” Whilst regulators continue to require checks and balance, Das continued that compliance demands do not account for radical changes in consumer behaviour under a crisis context. “We have built behavioural models observing customers, but predictive values are diminished if behaviour changes drastically in a short time,” he explained. “You are therefore left scrambling trying to protect customers… this is where I believe the puzzle is.” Working under unique circumstances, Armstrong said that William Hill affordability checks and customer profiling has had to adapt to the demands of the here and now rather than relying on retrospective reviews.“It gets me into trouble with KYC suppliers,” said Armstrong. “But I want to know what a player’s status is right now, not what check they were receiving six months ago. Their situation will have changed, for us it’s all about the present timestamp.”Working with diverse betting operators across Europe, Roger Tyrzyk – Country Manager for the UK and Ireland at IDnow – shared that its has been a period for technology incumbents to step up, filling holes in KYC procedures. Noting that customer verification and profiling have become harder disciplines in the pandemic, he said that software providers have to move provisions ‘beyond simple document checks’.“Operators have asked us to do face-to-face verifications, via video links,” said Tyrzyk. “They have also asked us to probe deeper questions making sure the customer is safe and that security is maintained.”Tyrzyk stated that IDnow customers are fully aware of the consequences of failing on AML and fraud demands during this unforeseen period as ‘tabloids are waiting to jump on negative headlines’.Das and Armstrong also recognised the high-stakes placed on AML and fraud conduct, which will be ramped up once the sports calendar comes back into play. Countering future impacts, Das advised betting operators to develop ‘frontline teams’ consisting of compliance, responsible gambling, customer service and AML stakeholders, in order to avoid being swamped by the sports schedule.When sports do come back, he said that all compliance teams should be ready to ask sensitive questions of their customers – something that cannot just be pawned off to the customer services.____________________________The SBC Digital Summit runs from 27 April to 1 May 2020, featuring seven conference tracks, a virtual exhibition and virtual networking lounges. It has attracted an estimated 10,000 delegates from around the world. There is still time to register for the event, with company discounts available HERE.