and did dubie. i am ben fajzullin. >> and i am richard walker. >> eu commissioner said it will boycott the european soccer championships over the jailed opposition leader tymoshenko. >> chen guangcheng is in talks with washington about leaving his country, fearing things might end the life of his family. >> mario draghi says growth must be at the center of the agenda as interest rates stay unchanged. ♪
>> pressure is mounting by the day on the government in ukraine over its treatment of tymoshenko. now the uses all 27 of its commissioners will boycott the euro 2012 football tournament that kicks off in ukraine in a few months. >> the german chancellor has called on kiev to allow proper medical treatment for the former prime minister who is sitting in jail. she has repeated her offer to have retreated here berlin. >> tymoshenko's daughter has been talking to dw. she said her mother had no objection to being treated in ukraine but that she was not being allowed to see her own doctors. tymoshenko has complained of beatings and is on hunger strike in protest of treatments that sparked demonstrations by supporters in kiev. they say hurt jailing on charges of abuse of power was politically motivated. pressure mounting inside and outside ukraine. let's go across to brussels to
our correspondent. we have got all 27 eu commissioners and the president of the commission boycotting europe in 2012. a lot of european heads of state doing the same thing. is this just a gesture or could this have an effect? >> it is certainly a gesture, but i think it is more than that. often we see when politics and sports, like, again be a perfect mix. certainly, this is embarrassing for the ukraine if people do not turn up for the tournament. it is a paris think for the co- host, poland. and fears that ukraine -- it is embarrassing for the co-host, paula. it has the potential to go wrong. more and more countries are joining this boycott. britain actinide indicating it is looking at boycotting the tournament -- indicating it is looking at a quickening the tournament. and the dutch. it is building. also, there is a crucial meeting of the central european nations next week.
already, five countries that are taught that, including germany, the czech republic, austria, and italy -- five countries have boycotted that. this has become more than a gesture. >> clearly, momentum is building. whether the risks of this attitude? eu has been reaching out to ukraine in recent months. isn't there a risk that this will just turn ukraine away? >> there is a big risk. i think the president and the rest of the commission felt this was an isolated matter of forcing the ukrainians to give their former prime minister some better treatment. but, yes, the point is that ukraine has been moving towards the process of further eu integration, not membership. that is light years away. but partnership agreements and cooperation deals. the president of poland -- boeing co hosted the tournament with ukraine. he has warned that if this goes ahead, it this boycott goes ahead, there is a deal with russia on closer customs
cooperation with ukraine, and the president of poland says ukraine may be tempted to turn eastward rather than westport. maybe that would have no great effect in the grand scheme of things, but europe is desperate to keep on side with countries like ukraine on trade, cooperation, and further integration. this has the potential to become a political, rather than exporting issue. >> thank you for joining us from brussels. >> we will be taking a closer look at a press freedom in ukraine later in the show. there are reports that the blind chinese activist chen guangcheng is appealing for asylum in the united states. >> he spent almost a week in the u.s. embassy in beijing before emerging on wednesday. he says he fears for the safety of himself and his family. >> american officials are continuing talks with both chen and beijing, but the chinese government wants an apology over the u.s. and its handling of the case. >> supporters to question how washington turned him back over to the authorities in china.
>> chen guangcheng is now in this beijing hospital where he was brought by u.s. officials. in a phone interview with the reuters news agency, he said he now wants to leave china as soon as possible. he says he fears for his safety and that while he was planning to stay in china, he has now changed his mind. he says his family are with him and that they also want to get out of the country. the affair has overshadowed a visit to china by u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton. in a speech before the country's leaders, she said beijing must protect human rights. >> because we believe that all governments do have to answer to citizens aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights. >> china's foreign ministry said
it had no comment on chen's request to leave the country, but it repeated criticism of the united states role. >> the u.s. embassy to the chinese citizen chen guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner. china expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this. there was interference in china's domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to china. >> the u.s. also faced criticism after a report that chen was pressured to leave the embassy and diplomats left him alone at the hospital. the u.s. rejects this. >> he never asked for asylum at any point while he was at the embassy. even in his video that he released, he said he wanted to be a freedom fighter in china. even the activist friends that he contacted before he came to the embassy reaffirm and made all these statements that he does not want to come to the united states. the thing is the it is apparent that he has had some change of heart.
we have to deal with that. >> the u.s. now faces a tricky diplomatic situation. chen says he wants to leave and he would like the americans to help him. >> at least 34 people killed in nigeria after an attack at the cattle market. >> reports say gunmen armed with explosives burned the market to the ground. it is unclear if the violence was the work of cattle thieves. police say it bears the marks of the islamist sect boko haram, which has had an insurgency in the area for more than two years. unconfirmed reports from the syrian ideas claim that at least four students have been killed by government forces in a raid at aleppo university. >> footage online is said to be from the campus in syria opposes the gatt largest city. opposition groups say security forces stormed the dormitories after an anti-government demonstration by 1500 students. demonstration200 people were reportedly arrested.
a charge range of and with planning to carry out an al qaeda terrorist attack. >> the men are aged between 20 and 32 were arrested last year. one of them is a moroccan national accused of recruiting the other three. prosecutors say the so-called duesseldorf sale was part of a plan to carry attacks here in germany and elsewhere in europe but that no specific targets have been selected. >> nicolas sarkozy is fighting for his political life against francois hollande with the days before the next round in the presidential vote in france. >> the challenger has been given a fresh boost. sarkozy failed to score a decisive blow in wednesday's tv debate. hollande has maintained a clear lead in the poll, and he is forecast to win on sunday. local elections are taking place across britain today. >> the polls are a key test of public opinion on the performance of prime minister
david cameron pose a coalition government. his ratings have plummeted as austerity measures came out. but his conservative colleague is forecast to win a second term of mayor of london. he is up against a former mayor from the labor party. europe can expect more economic pain before growth in the eurozone. that is what the european central bank president, mario draghi, had to say today, announcing that interest rates would remain at the historic low of 1%. >> to deliver that message, which included a call for more austerity. tens of thousands of protesters took to the street calling for an end to bank bailouts that are financed by taxes. >> some 8000 police faced off in barcelona aginst spanish students angry at austerity cuts
to education. the protesters had intended to march in a heavily guarded hotel where the ecb was meeting, but their demonstration was strictly contained. inside the building, the leadership of the european central bank was giving a little away about their deliberations but afterwards, the ecb president was only prepared to say the key interest rate would be left unchanged at a record low of 1%. and he stressed that economic growth should be as important to governments as austerity. >> unfortunately, often countries found themselves in urgent situations where they basically had no time other than doing the easiest thing, which is to raise taxes and reduce capital investment in expenditure. but this, even though it can be understood to be a short-term measure, it should be corrected in the medium term. >> like greece and portugal, spain is trying to overcome its
crippling amount of debt by cutting public spending. but the madrid government itself has calculated that this means the economy will probably shrank by 1.7% this year. many spaniards feel that their country will be stuck in recession for a long time. >> ecb president mario draghi's calls for politicians to boost growth in the eurozone have been well-received in barcelona. many in spain believe that the only way to poll the country out of recession is to focus on investment, not budget cuts. >> let's see how the ecb's decision to hold rates steady when down on the frankfurt stock exchange. uli is there. >> nobody really in earnest expected a rate change, a rate drop here on the frankfurt floor. when the european social bank announced exactly the decision, unchanged rates, the mood did change though. people were disappointed, especially when they heard that mario draghi said he and his colleagues had not even discussed the rate change during
the council meeting. and they were alarmed when they heard him and his assessment of the eurozone economy that there was still a problem out there. add to that some disappointing u.s. economic data that came in. you get the picture why the dax dropped from a positive start down into the negative zone. >> let's take a closer look at the market numbers. the dax, as we heard, ended the day lower. it was at 6694 at the end of the day. euro stoxx 50 also down. let's go to wall street. the dow is still open, of course, currently trading 0.6% lower. euro losing a little bit of ground against the dollar. $1.3148. world press freedom day. we are marking the occasion with updates on developments around the world. in tunisia, a court has fined the head of a tv station for blasphemy for broadcasting a film. >> it is being called a blow for
secular society and the country. one person was found guilty of disrupting public order and undermining morals for showing the animated film. the award winning story about a girl growing up as enraged all truck conservative moslems by showing an image of allah, which is forbidden in islam. it is band in iran and has sparked protests in other muslim countries. she was not the head of the prison term. human rights watch has called on europe's broadcasting unit to public criticized the azerbaijani's failure to guarantee freedom of the press. >> that comes as the eu progress to oversee a contest in azerbaijani later this month. human-rights watch says the government routinely intimidates and houses independent journalists. it says they have a duty to speak out. the government has promised to invest in the alleged abuses against journalists.
there are signs that press freedom may be coming to burma. the former military rulers of the country known as myanmar have rate -- maintained a strict censorship regime for 50 years. >> now they have announced plans to loosen controls on the press. a new law would abolish the censorship board in the countries whose press rights offering to 169 out of 179 last year by the ngo reporters without par -- borders. along with the growing protest to mark significant in number of newspapers are on the rise. increasing from 40 to 57 in the last year. we will take an in-depth look at press freedom in ukraine -- online press rights. >> stay with us. ♪
>> the next time you eat out, helping the 850 million people in the world that go hungry. donate the cost of eight dessert to the world food program. -- of the desert to the world food program. >> the case of tymoshenko is shining a light of the human rights situation in ukraine. many european leaders do not like what they see. >> activists in ukraine say that is far from the whole picture, not just on human rights but on freedom of speech to the ukraine ranks 169 the world in the latest press freedom index. >> that ranking has dropped under the current president. he is accused of turning the clock back on ukraine's development into an open democracy. >> now the harsh treatment of tymoshenko is prompting many journalists to take a stand. >> a tent city in the middle of kiev. for months, supporters of the
imprisoned former prime imprisonedyulia tymoshenko have been camped out here. this journalist says tymoshenko may be a tough power-hungry politician, but she has been put in jail for political reasons. most ukrainian tv channels, however, painted different picture of the situation. >> there is a real media campaign against tymoshenko that violates the dignity as a woman and a human being. for example, videos from her cell are being broadcast. much of this is below the belt, and it has been happening for the entire six months that she has been in prison. >> tymoshenko's daughter says such behavior is par for the course in ukraine. she says press freedom and human rights have suffered under the current president. >> ukraine was moving towards democracy, towards europe, but we're losing this position. it is quickly becoming worse, and the state is doing nothing
to protect the freedom of its citizens. on the contrary. >> but problems with press freedom in ukraine go beyond the tymoshenko case. most tv channels are owned by oligarchs who want to keep close ties with those in power. one exception is the private channel tv-i, which is owned by a british national. they're more independent committing their journalists are able to produce more critical reports. for example, about tymoshenko's case. >> there are no absolute taboos and other channels. but critical subjects are dealt with only in small doses. and these records are checked not only by the producers but also by the head of the channel. >> but tv-i have paid a price for their independence. the channel has lost its licence and can now be seen only on satellite and cable. advertisers have become wary of
the channel. the producer as many videos showing his reporters being manhandled by the security forces. under the current president, nothing is being done to investigate such incidents. state prosecutors simply failed to react. the result is that people are no longer afraid to trade journalists in this way. >> but like her, a growing number of ukrainian journalists are no longer prepared to accept such intimidation. they have formed a group called stop the censorship, because they say that ukraine needs and in a journalists, now more than ever. -- needs independent journalist. >> de dubie has presented its annual blog awards honoring sites -- dw has presented its annual blog awards. >> an iranian exile was cited for building an important bridge
to the people in iran and the events taking place in his home country. the awards also recognized bloggers in egypt, china, and bangladesh. we spoke to one of the jury members for the awards. we asked him to tell us more about the winning entry. >> the winning blog is an iranian blocker who started about nine years ago. in the short life span of the blogosphere, that is quite some time to the u.s. in iran and got arrested because of the content he published on his blog and also as a result of his work as a journalist. he had family disasters and also an issue with his cancer. then he was able to go through all of that and keep blogging. then he left iran and went to the u.s. and started working as a journalist. what is interesting about this blog is that while being a journalist and being in the
mainstream media, he kept blogging and has kept his connection to the blogosphere. we found that to be very valuable and significant progress what can journalists do in free countries to help their colleagues in places where there is little or no press freedom? >> that is a good question. we can think about things which we probably -- which probably shall not be done by people in the outside, that includes essentially assuming that any sort of education from the outside can happen. people want to prison for mission into countries, and journalists and a bagram like me, if i were to try to sort of -- and blotters let me, if i were to try to push the leadership and educate people, people would back off and said these countries. it is important that we give them credit for them being the activists and being the real force for change. essentially, we would want to ask this question for people of
iran. ask, what do you want, rather than giving them a list of things to do. i find that to be very important, from a journalist perspective and also from a blog outside respond -- iran perspective. >> thank you very much. >> 2011 was a remarkable year in recent history with some extraordinary stories for the news media to report on. >> we have had a lot of work given to do. a dutch-based academy also had its work that out for it, celebrating the most important images captured by photojournalist around the world. it is on display in hamburg. >> in the midst of the uprising against yemen's president, samuel aranda is taking photos for the "new york times." october 15, 2011. 12 people are killed on that date. aranda spots a woman cradling her winded son in a mosque. some compared the image to
michelangelo's sculpture. >> i was looking for nice light and for the moment, but it was -- [unintelligible] i do not have the time to think about michelangelo. >> the photo was chosen as the 2011 world press photo winner. it can currently be admired at the samberg exhibition, along with 160 of the 100,000 photographs sent into the competition -- again be admired at this hamburg exhibition. the arab spring is a dominant theme. despair, rage, hope, and bravery, all documented for the world to see. these interrogations' at a ukrainian police station were captured by a fed -- a canadian photographer, donald weber. there are moments of tenderness, such as the argentinian and and his wife who has alzheimer's disease. the world press photo collection compels the viewer to not look away.
>> some incredible images there. moving on, greece is gearing up for its parliamentary vote coming up on sunday. opinion polls show no clear winner emerging from that election. >> that means minor parties firmly opposed to the eu austerity measures could become part of a new governing coalition. >> the government like that might try to push for a renegotiation of the bailout, which could send the market into another spend. >> to gauge the mood just days before the vote, we visited -- to engage the mid, we visited a family head. >> not far from mount olympus, the home of the age of greek gods, lies a typical small town in the heart of greece. she is serving up lunch for her family. her husband has been getting by with odd jobs since the crisis it. the tough spending cuts imposed by the government mean her father-in-law has had his pension cut by 20%.
and her sons are pessimistic about the future. how will this family be voting? >> definitely not for either of the two main parties. they got us into this financial crisis. i am more for the smaller parties, the left-wing ones, of course. maybe the radical left or the communists. >> i have faith in the leader of the socialists. he is a bright man. he understands politics. he will be able to get as out of the crisis. >> none of the party's appeal to me. i know that a lot of young people feel the same way. we do not trust the political parties. we just cannot trust them to tell us the truth. it does not matter whether it is the socialist, conservatives, or the small parties. >> like the majority of greeks notice, the married couple is
unsure about the future. they would like the country to stay in at the euro, but they have had enough of the austerity program that involves. >> we have a saying, you cannot fit two watermelons' under one arm. we have to make a choice, for better or worse. what is certain is going back to the drachma would set us back a long way. it would feel like going back 100 years. that would not be good. >> i do not believe the europeans will let us go bankrupt. whatever happens, they will not leave us in the lurch. otherwise, the whole of europe would go down, too. we should be exploiting that, but we have not got a plan for how to do it. >> opinion polls suggest that sunday's election will not make the future any more clear. the two main parties are expected to win together just 30% of the vote, barely enough
for a majority in parliament. >> all right. before we go, time for a little bit of sports bit of good news for a buyer in munich as they prepare for the champions league final. -- good news for bayern unit. a player extended his contract. >> the 28-year-old joined the bolivarian sign 2009 from madrid for 24 million euros. in the three seasons since, he has scored 39 it bundesliga goals. he is now set to where the bayern colors until 2015. >> there will be a lot of very relieved to fans. stay with us here on in dw. >> thank you for watching. ♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪