News Organisation December 16, 2020 Find out more The camp, situated 120 km west of the Iranian border and 60 km north of the capital, was set up in the 1980s to house the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI). to go further Help by sharing this information December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa “The Iraqi authorities should allow journalists to work freely and allow them into Ashraf camp to cover the clashes which have been going on there,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Clashes first broke out at the start of the month, leaving a large number of people injured, as the Iraqi authorities tried to set up a police station within the camp itself. The camp residents accused Iraq of trying to do the work of the Iranian authorities for them. Follow the news on Iraq February 15, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders reiterates its condemnation of the government’s refusal to let journalists cover its operations in a camp northeast of Baghdad that houses Iranian dissidents. Eight Iraqi journalists working for local and international media were denied entry to Camp Ashraf on 1 August and, the following day, several journalists were detained for four hours and their equipment was temporarily confiscated.At no time since the start of the Iraqi army’s operations in the camp on 28 July have journalists been allowed into the area to film its operations or to interview families and victims.“It is clear the Iraqi authorities are ensuring that no reports or images emerge from Camp Ashraf but, in so doing, they are showing they have something to hide,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This situation is unacceptable. The army must allow journalists to do their job in the camp, so that the world can know what is happening there.”——–29 July 2009 – Journalists banned from entering camp AshrafReporters Without Borders has condemned the decision by the Iraqi authorities to ban journalists from entering Ashraf camp north-east of Baghdad which houses an exiled Iranian opposition group. August 5, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists detained for trying to cover army operations in Camp Ashraf Several witnesses said that journalists had been forced to stop at the gates of the camp. Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” Receive email alerts The Iraqi army penetrated the camp on 28 July and at the same time prevented journalists entering, as clashes broke out between the security forces and the camp’s residents. News American forces began disarming them after the US-led invasion in 2003 and since then the 3,500 residents of the camp have been protected under the Geneva Conventions. The camp, which remained under American control from 2003 onwards, was handed over to the Iraqi authorities on 1st January 2009. RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” RSF_en News News IraqMiddle East – North Africa
Last Saturdayâ€™s unexpected draw with Iceland has left Sampaoliâ€™s men with much to do ahead of what looks to be their toughest assignment in the section. A win is vital if they are to avoid a nerve-wracking final match. Yet if there is one thing that Argentina proved on their tortuous journey to Russia it is that they can respond when under pressure.Sampaoli is expected to ring the changes, both in terms of tactics and personnel against Croatia. His aim is to fashion a starting line-up that remains competitive but which can also play better football and penetrate the opposition defence down the flanks.Speed of response and the ability to keep their shape will also be crucial for the Argentines at the back, as will the need to sharpen their finishing.After making their best start to a World Cup in 20 years with the defeat of Nigeria, Croatia on the other hand is in relaxed mood ahead of this meeting with Argentina.Any kind of result against Argentina will allow the Vatreni to take a big step towards the Round of 16.Speaking after the Nigeria game, Mario Mandzukic said Croatia’s objective was to perform well and, if they could, emulate the nationâ€™s run at France 1998, the only occasion on which they advanced beyond the group phase in their previous four world finals appearances would be fantastic.Judging by Croatiaâ€™s last few training sessions, coach Zlatko Dalic will be making some changes.After deploying four midfielders against the Nigerians, he is said to be considering whether to field fewer against the Argentines or to put the emphasis on keeping possession by sending out more creative players. The Vatreni are unlikely, however, to adopt the same defensive strategy pursued by Iceland.POSSIBLE LINE-UPS:ARGENTINA: Caballero; Mercado, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Salvio, Mascherano, Meza, Acuna; Messi, Aguero, Pavon.CROATIA: Subasic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic; Rakitic, Badelj; Brozovic, Modric, Perisic; Mandzukicâ€‹.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram These are not, indeed, the best of time for Argentina Coach, Jorge Sampaoli. After starting the 2018 World Cup Group D opening round with a draw against debutant Iceland last Saturday, pressure mounts on the gaffer as the Albiceleste takes on Croatia that defeated Nigeria 2-0 to lead the group this night in Novgorod.Already, Argentinaâ€™s football legend, Diego Armando Maradona, has spoken the minds of the football loving South American nation, warning that inability of Sampaoli to qualify the 2014 runners-up in Brazil from the group will not be a welcomed development.And the statistics of Argentinaâ€™s last three games at the Mundial have not been good. Albicelesteâ€™s last win four years ago was the 1-0 quarter-final defeat of Belgium. This was followed by the penalty shoot-out victory over The Netherlands in the semi-finals. Can La Albiceleste break the sequence as they take on the Croatians who have been bolstered by the win over Nigeria?
The same narrative seems to accompany all of Michael “Venom” Page’s bouts during fight week — that said opponent will be a real test for him due to perhaps owning superior MMA skills over the undefeated phenom.Yet, the same results follow each time, as MVP goes out and passes those tests in spectacular fashion, injecting windows of dancing and other entertaining antics to supplement his chilling skills. MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearEven if MVP pulls off a convincing win against Daley and runs the table over the remainder of the Bellator welterweight World Grand Prix, he isn’t sure if that will finally silence detractors from saying his style overshadows his skills. But whether they come around or not, MVP is going to keep doing things his way.“I just have to be true to myself,” he says. “My style is me and it will always be me.” Substance over style is frequently evoked when people pick MVP’s opponents to beat him, as they put more stock in Page’s antics and dancing than his skills. As shortsighted and foolish as such criticism is, it’s an enough of a trigger point for Page to spew some “Venom.”“As annoying as it is for me to even say this and believe this, I genuinely feel that people are going to appreciate my skill when I’m no longer in the sport,” Page tells Sporting News, while leaning back in his chair at DAZN’s Lower Manhattan office on Tuesday. “They’re gonna be like, ‘Wow, he was off the chain’ when I’m no longer there to criticize. I genuinely feel it’s purely because they just don’t want to believe in the style because it’s so different, it’s so unusual. It’s like, ‘you’re supposed to do it this way’ and ‘what he’s doing doesn’t make sense.’”It might not make sense to some MMA purists, but MVP’s unorthodox style is wildly effective, as he’s able to regularly buy enough cage real estate to shimmy and shake, lulling opponents into a trance, before cleanly striking with everything from calculated fists to elbows and flying knees. Page wants his naysayers to understand that there’s a timed method to his madness when it comes to pulling off his hijinks, which he freestyles purely based on feeling.“The decoration that I add on is the dance moves and that’s a feeling when I know that I’m safe, when I feel like I got that person’s timing. But until that point, I’m very traditional in terms of my sport. I’m very basic,” Page says. “You don’t see anything come out as soon as the bell goes. I’m not doing the Running Man right away. When you start seeing all that stuff, please understand that I’ve won that fight already because I’m comfortable enough to then start doing that.”He adds: “It just means I’m good at my job because I’m able to create these pockets where I’m allowed to have these antics.”Page’s unpredictable style often leaves foes stuck on a forked road, with two different types of poison to choose from.“I’m able to frustrate people into standing still and while you’re standing still, I could do whatever the hell I want because you’re not attacking,” he says. “Or I’m able to frustrate people so much that they end up rushing into things and I end up pulling off these spectacular knees.”Entering this grudge match, Daley vows not to fall victim to Page’s wizardry, even saying that if MVP feels like dancing that he’ll sit back and let him dance, remaining patient and unbothered. Daley has also evoked the substance-over-style argument as a bullet point for why he’ll pummel MVP, even coming up with the analogy that Page is former boxer “Prince” Naseem Hamed in this fight and he’s Marco Antonio Barrera. The hardened warrior Barrera notoriously beat down on the flashier Hamed, handing the showman the first loss of his career back in an April 2001 unanimous decision.Page, unsurprisingly, doesn’t see that at all, laughing off Daley’s comparison as a method to psych himself up. However, the 31-year-old, who has fought in two professional boxing bouts, does liken himself to a different Sweet Science legend — none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.On one hand, Page sees common ground with Mayweather in the way people try to undermine his greatness. In MVP’s case, it’s that his flashy fighting style won’t stand the test of time, even though he remains undefeated. A knock on Mayweather was always that he’d fight opponents when they were past his prime. Yet, he beat them all.“There’s always an excuse,” Page says.The other commonality is in the arena of combat itself, where Mayweather in the ring and Page in the confines of the cage are able to seemingly broker and buy space to create offense at will. Sharing those doctorates in space management is combat mastery that MVP doesn’t think people truly grasp. When Sporting News asked Page what impressed him about the retired, undefeated boxing legend the most, MVP showed he’s a student of the fight game by conjuring up a distinct memory of Mayweather back when he was still “Pretty Boy” Floyd.It was January 2005 and Mayweather was in the middle of fighting Henry Bruseles when he managed to overhear HBO commentator Jim Lampley ask his colleague, Roy Jones Jr., if he’s going with the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC title game. For a second, Mayweather took his eyes off Bruseles, barked down at the announcers’ table “the Patriots,” before casually peppering his opponent with a stiff left jab.The moment still resonates with MVP to this day.“It’s being present in the fight, but also able to take in what’s going on around you,” he says about Mayweather’s ability and his own penchant for being able to pull off the same in the cage. “Just the fact that he heard the question says a lot about how skilled he actually is — to be able to be present enough to still be competent and safe in that fight, but I could pick up what you’re saying on the outside.”All promotion long, Daley has referred to Page as an “illusion” that he’ll dispel on Feb. 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, live and exclusively on DAZN. And MVP is in full agreement.“He’s absolutely correct … I am an illusion,” Page says. “When I’m in the cage, he’s going to see because every time he throws a punch and I’m not there, he’s definitely going to feel an illusion. Power only works when it lands. He’s going to be punching smoke for essentially 25 minutes.” Page heard it entering his July 2016 bout against Evangelista Santos and responded with a flying knee that fractured the Brazilian’s skull. Santos retired; Page improved to 11-0.MORE: Join DAZN and watch Daley vs. Page at Bellator 216He heard much of the same chatter just over four months later against Fernando Gonzalez and wound up earning a split-decision win. Make it 12-0.The tired storyline hit a fever pitch at Bellator 200 last May in London, when MVP was pitted against MMA veteran David Rickels, who pretended to snatch Page’s heart out of his chest during their staredown on the promotion’s media day. MVP didn’t care for the cute gesture too much, clowning Rickels in the cage by doing the Harlem Shake, before obliterating his left eye with a perfectly timed overhand right. His face turned into a red faucet of blood, Rickels verbally submitted in the second round.The only thing missing from Page’s theatrics that fight was a Hadouken fireball straight out of Street Fighter, but you get the idea that if MVP could’ve gotten away with attempting to throw a faux one, he would’ve. Still, he thoroughly relegated Rickels to his nickname “The Caveman” for real — inadequate of surviving extreme conditions. Resume to 13-0.And now here we are, just a few days away from Bellator 216 on Saturday night, when Page faces rival Paul Daley, with critics once again declaring this as MVP’s greatest test yet and many of them expecting Daley to hand his fellow Brit his first loss. Leading up to the fight, MMA stars like Israel Adesanya and A.J. McKee have predicted Daley to leave the cage victorious.