New authoritarian turn: Can journalists and professors be sanctioned just because they do not support Ukraine?

New authoritarian turn: Can journalists and professors be sanctioned just because they do not support Ukraine?

Within its foreign policy, the United States and the United Kingdom have targeted United World International previously with sanctions. Our website has alredy made an according statement, rejecting the claims of both governments.

The Swiss website www.sinistra.ch now has published an article written by its editorial staff that places these sanctions in a broader conflict about Western governments engineering public opinion.

Below we present the article as published by Sinistra.ch. The original text in Italian can be read here.

New authoritarian turn: can journalists and professors be sanctioned just because they do not support Ukraine?

by Editorial staff

August 17, 2022

The “United World International” portal (UWI) is a journalism and study center on geopolitics and international relations based in Turkey, which operates under the responsibility of the “Görev Vakfi” Foundation for Journalistic Promotion and with which our site has also good relations, so much so that sources and articles have been exchanged in the past.

Well, now the British government has decided to include this portal (and the foundation that acts as a publishing house) in two lists of financial sanctions published by the London Treasury on 4 and 5 July last. This is not the first time this has happened: the most prominent members of the editorial staff of UWI are already under sanctions by the United States and Australia, but this time it has gone beyond the journalists to hit the entire foundation that edits the portal.

A think tank that also collaborates with us

The Turkish think tank is known for defending cooperation with emerging countries and multipolarity in a perspective favorable to Eurasian integration. The same collaborates with political scientists such as Yunus Soner, former vice-president of the Turkish post-Maoist party Vatan Partisi, former guest of the Swiss Communist Party in Bellinzona; Facundo Escobar, professor of history and international relations at the National University of La Plata in Argentina and militant of the neo-Peronist political current “Patria Para Todos”, Ahmad Shahidov, President of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, etc. Among the writers of the portal are also the Italian journalist Fabrizio Verde, director of “L’Antidiplomatico”; retired general Ismail Hakkı Pekin, former head of Turkish military intelligence who later became a critic of NATO, etc. The editorial staff is not intimidated and in a note issued to the media we read: “This decision will only encourage us to work and produce more in line with the objectives we have set ourselves”.

Erkan Önsel, President of the Görev Vakfi foundation, was also targeted by British sanctions.

Anyone who does not support Ukraine must be… punished!

And so UWI was targeted with an asset freeze and a UK travel ban for its researchers and journalists. The reason given is “support for actions against the territorial integrity of Ukraine”. Strange that this principle does not apply instead to those who instead support actions against the territorial integrity of Syria, Türkiye and Iran with regard to Kurdish separatism armed by the US. The “Görev Vakfi” Foundation was also included in the list of banned structures as a “subsidiary organization”. Its president, Erkan Önsel, said that “the Western world is trying to stop Russia and its allied countries with these sanctions that have responded strongly to NATO’s expansion policy in Ukraine” and also stressed that – even if in appearance may not seem so – “Turkey is fighting against the same threats as Russia”.

Önsel also added that “these sanctions are a medal for those participating in the nascent Asian era” and this whole story demonstrates how hypocritical the liberal West is and reveals that it cannot tolerate ideas other than those of the Atlantic system in any way.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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December 2023