Russia and India have been close allies for more than half a century. Yet most Russians know little about India.
This is a country with its own world view, self-sustaining civilization and a history that is remarkably similar to Russia’s. Both countries have been subjected to savage invasions over the past several centuries.
As we enter a new year, here’s an example of the Indian view of evil by an Indian who has been a friend of Russia for longer than he can remember. Don’t look for Russian villains here because Indians have a different perspective – often at odds with the Western one, which alas many Russians are still following.
However, you are unlikely to find fault with this list of nasty people who have caused untold human misery.
9. Yahya Khan
It took Adolf Hitler 12 years to round up and kill six million European Jews, but the Pakistanis, led by their President Yahya Khan, killed three million of their own Bengali citizens in less than a year. The fair-skinned Pakistanis of West Pakistan had such a racist, visceral hatred for their Muslim brethren in East Pakistan that Yahya is recorded as saying furiously: “Kill three million, and the rest will eat out of our hands.” The disruption of normal life in the region was cataclysmic: more than 30 million people – nearly half the population – fled the cities and went back to their villages, while ten million fled to India.
More than two million of those killed are believed to have been Hindus. The rest were ordinary Bengali Muslims, students and academics. Next, the Pakistanis targeted women, raping at least 200,000. Among Yahya’s executioners in East Pakistan was General A.A.K. Niazi, who let loose his (fair skinned) Punjabi and Pathan soldiers on the defenseless women, saying:
“I will transform the breed of this bastard race.
Worse, after 93,000 Pakistan soldiers surrendered to the Indians, none of the Indian military were held accountable. The victorious generals not only prevented Bengali guerrillas from taking revenge on the Pakistani soldiers, but worse, they kept them in comfortable POW camps for more than a year.
There is a special place in hell for Yahya.
8. Talat Pasha
Not many people know the name of this genocidal maniac, but his deeds are well known. Talat Pasha was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1917 to 1918. In 1915 he issued an order to wipe out the Armenians, forcing the entire population of Armenia – then under Turkish rule – into concentration camps.
With their belongings, naked people were forced to trudge miles with no food and were killed if they couldn’t continue. The entire male population of Ankara was exterminated. Out of 2.5 million Armenians, 1 to 1.5 million were killed. In 1921, an Armenian assassination squad ended Talat Pasha’s miserable existence.
7. Dick Cheney
Seventeen of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudi Arabians and yet the US invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with Islamic terror. US Vice President Dick Cheney lied and fabricated evidence to get the US to go to war with Iraq. This led to the destruction of a secular country, its infrastructure and its army, but more tragically the war caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the displacement of millions.
Сheney also authorized physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy and murder of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison by US Army and CIA personnel.
Worse, he used the war to make billions for his old company Halliburton. This suggests that he destroyed an entire country with a view to making money for himself and his cronies.
Iraq was once a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism, but America’s war is directly responsible for the emergence of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The reason Cheney’s boss for eight years isn’t here is because George W. Bush was “an ignorant person who wanted to show his mother he could do things his father couldn’t”. Cheney was the Svengali who prodded the IQ challenged Bush to invade Iraq.
He is likely to be singled out for special treatment in hell.
6. Pol Pot
What’s unique about Pol Pot, the Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1976 to 1979, is that he wiped out 25 to 33 per cent of the population of his country – nearly three million.
Pol Pot represents the ultimate communist fantasy – to destroy their ‘class enemies’. He wanted to uproot Cambodian civilization, turning it into an agrarian society and the people into workers and peasants. He is the only person in history who ordered an official genocide against his country. He banned Buddhism, money, schools, markets and personal possessions. Doctors, teachers, engineers and other skilled people were systematically eliminated.
His communist government forced mass evacuations of cities, separating people from friends and families.
The torture of class enemies happened on a massive scale, with millions, including the elderly, pregnant women and children beaten to death after being forced to work insanely long hours. People were expected to work until they dropped dead.
Pol Pot was supported both by the Chinese and the Americans, because he was an enemy of the Vietnamese.
Cambodia’s nightmare finally ended in December 1985 when the highly professional Vietnamese army invaded the country and destroyed Pol Pot’s headquarters. He fled to Thailand and after a few years moved to China, where he was treated for cancer.
Pol Pot died in April 1998 of natural causes but is surely having a painful time in hell.
Murderous tyrants fill history’s pages, but Timur of Samarkand was cruel towards both man and beast. Among his favorite pastimes was pushing elephants down steep cliffs.
A former bandit, Timur conquered Persia and Mesopotamia, invaded Russia, Georgia, Syria, Turkey and India. In Baghdad he had 90,000 people beheaded so he could build towers with their skulls. In Turkey, where he promised no bloodshed in return for surrender, he had 3,000 prisoners buried alive and pointed out that he had kept to the letter of his oath. He also captured the Turkish Sultan and his wives, kept the Sultan in a cage in his parlor and had his naked wives serve visitors food and drinks.
In 1397, Timur invaded India. The entire stretch of land from the Khyber Pass to the northern plains was subjected to massacres, rape, pillage and kidnapping. He easily defeated the Muslim sultanate ruling Delhi, but strong Hindu resistance made Timur even more vengeful than usual. During the ransacking of Delhi, almost all those not killed were distributed as slaves among Timur’s nobles. In his memoirs, he claims his 15,000 Turks each “secured from 50 to 100 prisoners….there was no man with less than 20” and that “women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all count”.
Timur declared his army had only killed Hindus and spared Muslim civilians. That’s rich, coming from someone who wiped out the city of Baghdad.
Timur is most likely being repeatedly thrown off a steep cliff into hell’s lake of lava.
There’s a reason why Canadian author Tarek Fatah danced in the wee hours in his bedroom when he received a phone call informing him that Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road had been renamed after APJ Abdul Kalam.
Aurangzeb was singularly responsible for the continuing Hindu-Muslim divide in India. The Mughal emperor came to the throne by murdering his scholarly older brother and heir apparent Dara Shikoh. He also blinded Dara’s young children.
Aurangzeb let elephants loose among the population and raided Hindu lands, destroying ancient temples. The number of stunningly beautiful temples he destroyed runs into the hundreds, if not thousands. Every Hindu in his kingdom had to pay the hated jaziya tax to be allowed to practice his religion. He claimed he was (unsuccessfully) “trying to destroy the ancient sovereignties of this country”.
According to Fatah, “Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of the Islamic State’s Al-Baghdadi, if not Osama Bin Laden or the Taliban Mullah Omar.”
Fatah is of Pakistani origin but unlike most South Asian Muslims he realizes the great harm Aurangzeb caused India.
“As emperor, Aurangzeb banned music, dancing and alcohol in the Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab where many Muslims attended Hindu Brahmin preaches, he ordered the demolition of all schools and temples where these took place, making it punishable for Muslims to dress like non-Muslims.”
Under the influence of Hinduism and the strong, sustained Hindu resistance, Islam lost its edge in India. By the late 1600s, a unique culture had formed in northern India, with Islam ready to shed its terrorist behavior towards other religions. Dara, who translated ancient Hindu texts into Persian, was symbolic of this remarkable transformation of Islam.
However, Aurangzeb not only set the clock back on this reconciliation but alienated all his Hindu allies. This led to fierce wars of resistance that weakened the country and allowed the British to slowly conquer India. The partition of India (although British-midwifed) can be attributed to the deep divide created by this terrorist emperor.
His legacy lives on in the hearts of many Indian Muslims who regard him as no less than a saint.
Hell is the right place for such a scumbag.
(NOTE: Aurangzeb Road was the second most expensive street in New Delhi. You are surely wondering who would name such a beautiful street after such an evil person. The answer is, the British. New Delhi was built by colonial Britain and several streets were named after brutal Muslim rulers and barbaric representatives of the queen of England. This is just one example of the West’s love for fundamentalist Islam.)
3. Mohandas Gandhi
Mohandas Gandhi’s pacifism caused great harm to India and Hindus. Muslims refused to listen to him and attacked Hindus who had been effectively disarmed by Gandhi’s appeals for peace. This encouraged Muslims to attack Hindus even more because they knew Hindus weren’t going to retaliate.
Had Hindus been allowed to attack Muslims, or at least be prepared to defend themselves with weapons, the cycle of Muslim violence could have been nipped in the bud. By going on hunger fasts in order to prevent Hindus from retaliating, Gandhi was the chief villain of Partition. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus were killed and thousands of women raped because of Gandhi’s imposed pacifism. He advocated a senseless surrender to murder.
According to Indologist and Belgian orientalist Koenraad Elst, “The fundamental problem with Gandhi’s pacifism, not in the initial stages but when he had become the world-famous leader of India’s freedom movement (1920-47), was his increasing extremism. All sense of proportion had vanished when he advocated non-violence not as a technique of moral pressure by a weaker on a stronger party, but as a form of masochistic surrender.”
Gandhi’s advice to the victims of communal violence was “breathtaking for its callousness in the face of human suffering”. During his prayer meeting on 1 May 1947, he prepared the Hindus and Sikhs for the anticipated massacres of their kind in the upcoming state of Pakistan with these words:
“I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancor. You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.”
Worse, believing he was some kind of mahatma (great soul), he tried to prove his self-control by often sleeping and bathing naked with other women. These women included his grandniece, Manu, and the wife of his grandnephew, who were both 18 when they started sleeping in the same bed as Gandhi, who was 77 years old at the time.
Graeme Donald writes in Lies, Damned Lies and History: A Catalogue of Historical Errors and Misunderstandings: “All had to sleep naked and, just to make doubly sure of his resolve, Gandhi would take them to bed in pairs. Some as young as 12, several girls later acknowledged that they did often ‘render service’ to Gandhi but refused to elaborate.”
Donald adds that the girls were selected for their “pertness” to “stiffen his resolve” for celibacy. “Very much a case of ‘damn, failed again, must try harder tomorrow night.”
Such a paedophile belongs in hell.
2. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa took money stolen from pensioners by financial fraud artist Charles Keating. She accepted donations from the murderous Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. She was also a friend of Enver Hoxha, the communist dictator of Albania.
Worse, Teresa’s 600 missions in 123 countries have been described as “homes for the dying” by visiting doctors. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food and no painkillers. Teresa claimed that “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s passion. The world gains much from their suffering.’’
Her nuns were not provided with medical training, the use of mosquito repellents, or information about malaria and vaccinations, because Teresa believed “God” would look after the nuns. One of her nuns got into trouble with the order for helping a man with dysentery who was dying. Teresa quoted Peter 2:18-23, which orders slaves to obey their masters even if they are abusive and difficult, and urged her nuns to obey superiors without question.
But she was a hypocrite: seeking out the best medical care for herself. Despite the fact that medical tourists from the West travel to India for treatment, Teresa reckoned India wasn’t good enough for her. She was admitted to California’s Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Teresa was stingy even during national emergencies. During Indian floods she offered prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no monetary aid.
Teresa’s fundraising sermons persuaded people that Calcutta is a city of lepers and beggars. Her nuns lied to the global media that the city had 450,000 lepers, knowing that this would make rich westerners despatch their dollars.
All abandoned children who are taken into Teresa’s missions are brought up as Christians. In India Teresa was (and her mission continues to be) actively engaged in proselytizing, which is not only illegal but has a negative impact on India’s complex social hierarchy.
For her lies, stolen cash and allowing little children suffer painful deaths, she is a favorite member of hell.
1. Winston Churchill
This scumbag takes the pole position in this list.
Like No.10 Yahya Khan, Prime Minister Winston Churchill managed to outdo Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. The Germans may have taken 12 years to murder 6 million Jews, but their Teutonic cousins, the British, managed to kill almost 4 million Indians in just over a year, with Churchill cheering from the sidelines.
Australian biochemist Dr Gideon Polya has called the Bengal Famine a “manmade holocaust” because Churchill’s policies were directly responsible for the disaster. He knowingly and enthusiastically caused the famine in 1942-43 by transferring vast quantities of food grain from India to Britain.
To Churchill, the starvation of Indians was less serious than that of Greeks. When the British administrators urged him to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram asking why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.
Churchill’s hostility toward Indians has long been documented. At a War Cabinet meeting, he blamed the Indians for the famine, saying they breed like rabbits, and are a beastly people with a beastly religion. On another occasion, he insisted they were “the beastliest people in the world next to the Germans”.
According to author Madhusree Mukerjee,
“Churchill’s attitude toward India was quite extreme, and he hated Indians, mainly because he knew India couldn’t be held for very long.”
The fact is the British Prime Minister possessed an extraordinary range of prejudices. During World War II, in a memorandum to the War Cabinet about policy towards Italy, he wrote:
“All the industrial centers should be attacked in intense fashion, every effort being made to terrorize the population.”
He also pushed for the firebombing of German population centers such as Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz which killed 200,000 civilians in 1945. It was the only way the British could show they were in the war.
In 1944, Churchill came up with a cataclysmic plan to convert Germany into a “country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character”. The Morgenthau Plan if implemented would have starved 10 million Germans to death in the first year alone. US President Franklin Roosevelt admitted Churchill was “bought off” by the American offer of $6.5 billion in Lend Lease.
No human being deserves to be in hell more than Winston.
(Disclaimer: As an atheist I don’t believe in heaven or hell in the religious sense. But the universe is ruled by the laws of physics and mathematics, which imply that all actions have consequences.)
Health officials warn of strain on hospitals but Covid-19 admissions remain low
Health officials have warned of mounting strain on hospitals as coronavirus infections increase, although the absolute number of admissions remains below previous surges of the disease.
Prof Philip Nolan, chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (Nphet) epidemiological modelling group, reported rising intensive care admissions but said the rise in hospital and ICU admissions was “far less” than “if we didn’t have so much of the population protected through vaccination”.
Dr Nolan said the expected pattern of infection in coming weeks was “really quite uncertain”. The background of exponential virus growth earlier in July “may or may not be stabilising” but the increase in hospital and intensive care admissions tracked the rising rate of infection.
While there was one intensive care admission every two days toward the end of June, Dr Nolan said the ICU admission rate in the past week was approaching three per day.
There were 152 people in hospital yesterday. The figure contrasts 1,949 during the January peak. There were 333 inpatients at the start of November 2020 and 862 in April 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic.
But admissions are again rising fast.
“We’re seeing on average 26 per day admitted to hospital in the last seven days and 30 today. You can see that that’s very significantly up, pretty much double what it was two weeks ago,” Dr Nolan told reporters at the Department of Health.
In a sign of pressure on the system, nurses in Limerick’s main hospital complained yesterday that overcrowding there is worsening despite the provision of more than 100 additional beds.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said called on Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to intervene directly to “look under the bonnet” and see why additional beds at University Hospital Limerick had not made a substantial impact.
More trolleys had been placed on wards and corridors in University Hospital Limerick in recent days as overcrowding continued, the union said.
Chief medical officer Tony Holohan said the uneven spread of coronavirus infections throughout the State meant some hospitals might be under more pressure than suggested by overall admissions data.
“It can happen that individual hospitals can be under quite a degree of pressure when the overall situation in the country might not suggest that’s the case. So we do know that maybe some hospitals in the west have already had a challenge with much more infections based on the most recent wave than other hospitals.”
He acknowledged reported pressure on hospitals in Limerick and in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and cited pressure also on hospitals in Co Mayo.
“We have seen quite a wide variation in case numbers in individual hospitals,” Dr Holohan said. “We have 150 give or take hospitalisations. That’s not spread evenly spread across the 30 or 40 hospitals that might be admitting patients with this infection.
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said hospitals would be under pressure if there were no coronavirus admissions.
“The point that obviously the absolute numbers are much less than previous waves is very welcome,” he said.
“The reality is that if we had no cases of Covid in hospital tomorrow morning our hospitals would be under extreme pressure. Unfortunately that’s what we’re dealing with, both pre-Covid and now but particularly as a result of Covid in the last number of months
“Our healthcare workers are exhausted frankly. They’re facing into enormous backlogs in elective care, non-Covid care, non-Covid health plans, social care: both in acute settings and in community,” he confirmed.
“So while the absolute numbers are less than previously we’re very conscious that any increase in those number … has potential to be very significant to the health service that we’re trying to get back up to full function.”
How is Germany using Covid health passes compared to other European countries?
In France the health passport is already in use for venues including cinemas, tourist sites and nightclubs and from the beginning of August will be extended to bars, restaurants, cafés, some shopping malls and long distance train or bus services. Find the full list of venues where it is necessary HERE.
The health passport can show proof of either; fully vaccinated status, recent recovery from Covid or a negative Covid test taken within the previous 48 hours.
It is required for everyone at the listed venues – visitors and staff – but staff have until August 30th to get vaccinated. The passport is required for all over 12s, but children aged between 12 and 17 do not have to start showing their passports until August 30th.
There is no fine for members of the public who do not have a health passport, but you can expect to be barred from any of the listed venues if you cannot show your passport to staff. Venues found not enforcing the health passport face being closed down.
The passport can be shown either on the French TousAntiCovid app – find out how that works here – or on paper. The app is compatible with vaccine certificates issued in EU or Schengen zone countries, and the NHS app is also compatible. The situation for those vaccinated in the USA is a little more complicated, but they should be able to swap their US certificate for a French one that is compatible with the app.
Italy’s green pass, ‘certificazione verde’, will soon be required to access more leisure and cultural venues, including indoor restaurants, gyms, swimming pools, museums, cinemas, theatres, sports stadiums and other public venues.
Although it’s been in use since June, the Italian government announced on July 22nd that it would be extending its health pass scheme from August 6th.
From next month, people in Italy wanting to access most venues in Italy will need to show proof of being vaccinated – including those who have only had the first of two doses – having tested negative for coronavirus within the previous 48 hours or having recovered from Covid-19 within the last six months.
At the moment Italy’s digital health certificate is available to people over 12 years old who were vaccinated, tested or recovered in Italy.
The Italian version of the green pass is only for people who were vaccinated, recovered or tested in Italy. If that’s you, find out exactly how to claim it here. If you don’t fall into that category, here’s what you need to know about accessing Italy’s extended green pass.
If you’re from outside the EU, the rules are complicated or still being negotiated. At the border, Italy accepts vaccination certificates, tests results and medical certificates of recovery from the United States, Canada or Japan. However, there is currently no news on how travellers can access the green pass once they’re in Italy.
As for the United Kingdom, Italy does not currently have an agreement to recognise vaccinations performed in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Covid ‘health passes’ haven’t been imposed at a national level by the Spanish government, but two regions – Galicia and the Canary Islands – have opted to require proof of vaccination, testing or recovery for people to go inside bars, cafés and restaurants.
In both regions the scheme is only being applied in municipalities with particularly high infection rates, and although it seemed that it would initially only apply to the interior of hospitality establishments, the Canary government has extended the requirement to gyms and cultural events held indoors.
Other regional governments in Spain such as Valencia’s have shown interest in implementing a ‘health pass’ requirement, but this has been met with opposition from the hospitality industry for the economic losses and holdups all the checking could potentially cause.
The EU-approved Digital Covid Certificate issued mainly for the purpose of travel by Spain’s regions is the preferred means of proving Covid health status, although in practice bar and restaurant owners can accept other proof, paper or digital.
Neither the Galician nor the Canary government have announced what foreign tourists should show to access the interior of bars and restaurants in their territories.
Spain’s Digital Covid Certificate is only available to residents in the country but as the system is standardised across the EU, European tourists will likely be able to use their country’s Covid Certificates with a scannable QR Code to go inside hospitality establishments (not needed for terraces).
Sweden is part of the EU-wide vaccine pass scheme which means the Covid-19 pass can be used as an alternative to showing a negative test result in order to enter the country.
But aside from travel into the country, the pass is not used at all for access to things like events, museums, restaurants or bars. The government hasn’t ruled it out entirely, but has said the Swedish preference is to open up for everyone at the same time instead.
To access the Swedish version of the EU vaccine pass, you need to have either had both doses of your Covid-19 vaccine in Sweden, or at least the second dose, so it is not currently possible for people vaccinated elsewhere to receive it. Another group excluded from the pass is those without a Swedish personnummer or social security number; although the eHealth Agency has told The Local they are working on making it available to the thousands of people in Sweden who were vaccinated without this number, this is not expected to happen until September at the earliest.
Denmark controls access to certain activities and facilities – from indoor dining to cultural attractions like museums and sports games – using the scannable coronapas application, which tracks vaccination status, recent recoveries and test results.
The system is currently only available to Danish residents enrolled in the public health system, but it’s compatible with the vaccine certificates from other EU and Schengen area countries. People from outside the EU/Schengen area who received full courses of Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca can also use proof of vaccination in place of a coronapas. That documentation needs to meet a handful of requirements to be legally valid: the documentation must be in English or German and contain your name, date of birth, the vaccine you received and the dates for your first and second doses.
The coronapas scheme is set to twilight on October 1st, when Denmark is scheduled to fully reopen.
Norway’s domestic Covid pass is used to access large events such as concerts, festivals and football matches in addition to domestic cruises and tours.
To enter venues and events using the pass, you will need a valid certificate.
Certificates will be valid if three weeks have passed since your last jab, you are fully vaccinated, have had covid in the past six months and can prove so via the health pass, or have received a negative test result in the previous 24 hours.
The certificate is presented as a QR code and will scan green if valid and red if not.
It’s worth noting that a valid domestic covid certificate is not valid for travel as part of the EU’s health pass travel scheme. You can read more about how the Norwegian Covid certificate is used for travel here.
A paper version of the certificate can be ordered here.
Covid certificates in Norway require a national identification number and level four security electronic ID. Unfortunately, this means that it’s practically impossible for tourists and non-residents to access the Norwegian certificate and attend events that require a health pass.
Furthermore, as the Norwegian certificate’s domestic version is different from the version used for travel, it also means that EU health passes can’t be used as a substitute for domestic vaccine passports.
Austria was one of the first European countries to introduce a Covid-19 health pass system, having done so on May 19th as the 3G Rule.
The 3G Rule refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered) and describes the three ways someone can provide evidence they are immune to the virus.
As a result, the framework is relatively well established in Austria.
Austria’s Covid-19 health pass, known as the “green pass”, is needed to access bars, restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, gyms, events and a range of other venues.
For entering nightclubs, you need to be either vaccinated or have received a negative PCR test in the past 72 hours. This information will also be included in your green pass.
As of July 1st, masks are not required anywhere that the green pass is required.
In effect, this means masks are required in public transport, supermarkets and museums.
Austria is a part of the European Covid-19 pass network since July 1st.
This means that if you are visiting Austria and you have the pass from your EU country, you can use it in Austria.
Unfortunately, people with Covid-19 passes from outside the EU cannot yet use it in Austria, however they can use paper documentation.
Also, as an Austrian phone number is needed to get the green pass (other than in Vienna), foreigners with documentation of a vaccination, recovery or a test cannot download it and use it when they are in Austria.
Please read the following link for more information.
Switzerland also has a Covid-19 health pass, known domestically as a Covid-19 immunity certificate.
However, this is only needed at large events (more than 1,000 people), nightclubs or discos.
Some bars and restaurants can choose to ask for the Covid certificate, upon which they are allowed to dispense with other rules such as mask rules and social distancing requirements.
In mid-July, Switzerland became a part of the EU’s Covid-19 pass framework, meaning that you can show your EU country pass in order to enter Switzerland.
Switzerland as yet does not accept other Covid passes, but this has been flagged as a possibility in future.
If you arrive in Switzerland, you can show the evidence of your vaccination to the authorities in your Swiss canton and you will be issued a Covid certificate.
Unfortunately, this only includes Swiss-approved Covid vaccines. According to the Swiss government, this is only Pfizer/Biontech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson, i.e. AstraZeneca is not accepted.
More information about getting the pass if you are visiting Switzerland is available at the following link.
Elsewhere around Europe
In Hungary immunity certificates delivered from the time of the first vaccine shot are required in health establishments and to attend sports and music events, as well as gatherings of more than 500 people.
In Luxembourg a pass is asked for in shops.
In Azerbaijan a health pass has been mandatory since the beginning of June to enter sports centres or attend weddings.
In Portugal such a certificate is required to stay in a hotel or play sport. It is also required to eat inside restaurants, but only at weekends in the most hard-hit regions.
In Ireland the health pass is for the time being only needed for indoor eating and drinking in restaurants and pubs.
In Russia the Moscow region in June imposed a health pass for restaurants but this was so unpopular it was scrapped three weeks later.
The British government is planning to introduce in September a health pass in England to enter nightclubs and other places admitting large groups of people. Professional football matches could be included, reports say.
The UK’s other nations — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — set their own health policies.
Georgia is also planning a health pass.
Emilio Morenatti: ‘I would give up the Pulitzer to have my leg back. I’d even burn my work’ | Culture
Emilio Morenatti gets off the high-speed Barcelona-Madrid AVE train with his camera at the ready, even though he’s not on a job. The camera, he says, is his third arm. Dressed in a polo shirt and long pants, it’s impossible to tell he is missing his left leg.
Morenatti’s leg was blown off in 2009 by a bomb in Afghanistan when he was accompanying US troops on a mission that he was advised against going on.
The chief photographer for the Associated Press in Spain and Portugal is now waiting for a visa to enter the US and collect the Pulitzer Prize for his photos of the elderly and homeless in Barcelona during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. Morenatti says he is proud that, after all the restrictions he had to work around in order to take them, his photos were displayed as part of a state tribute to Covid victims. If he feels at all bitter about the obstacles that were put in his path, it doesn’t show.
Question. Is the revenge sweet?
Answer. In a way, yes. The authorities that asked for the photos are the same ones who denied us photographers access to hospitals and cemeteries. I could have refused them, but I am more interested in exposing the hypocrisy. We live in an aseptic society that doesn’t want to see certain things. But I think with this pandemic, there’s been a click. Something has changed. If this means making people think, I feel I have done my job.
Q. The Pulitzer is like the Nobel Prize of its field. What now?
A. Just keep working. If losing a leg – with all the family, professional and self-imposed pressures that entailed – didn’t detract from my passion or distract me from pursuing my career, this won’t either, even less so. That’s what I want to shield against; I still don’t want to sit down and edit someone else’s photos.
Q. Did the loss of your leg alter your perspective?
A. Yes, in particular my approach to victims. I feel vulnerable now; I see my two-legged colleagues and I’m the only one with one leg and I feel envious. I don’t hide my disability and, when I portray the vulnerable, I take certain liberties, as one cripple to another. It gives you empathy and the freedom to push through certain barriers.
The beauty of a photo is about trapping the viewer; it’s like those carnivorous flowers that attract you with their colors and then ensnare you
Q. “From one cripple to another!” That’s good but also tough.
A. A lame guy who saw my prosthesis once said to me, “I’m going to talk to you as one cripple to another” and I thought it was a great idea. Because being lame is not only physical, it’s mental. I miss my leg every day. Disability causes friction, pain and frustration. My mind gets used to it, but I deal with it every day. Before, I would go for a walk without thinking. Now, every outing requires logistics. It is not easy. It’s a subject that interests me a lot. That’s why the limp comes through in some of my photos.
Q. During lockdown, you went out to visit the sick with health workers. Did you also give a bit of that side of yourself to the people you photographed?
A. It felt a bit like that, yes. The elderly were very much in need of company, of human contact, of someone to pay them a visit. The doctors made the visit, but I went with them. In the Pulitzer series, there is a photo in which an old woman holds the doctor’s hand and also my own, while I took her picture with the other one. She started telling us about her life. That is also therapy, isn’t it? We could feel that people needed that support. And me too, of course.
Q. Is the camera your shield or weapon?
A. It is a part of me. Sometimes it is a shield. I have been very moved by some of the photos I have taken; they have been moments of great intensity. I remember [nursing home residents] Agustina and Pascual’s kiss that made me cry and, right then, I do remember I was using the camera as a shield. But the question is what it would be like for me not to have the camera. And that is Murphy’s Law. The day you don’t take it out with you, something happens, and that really tortures me: the photos I haven’t taken.
Q. What are the images you can’t get out of your head?
A. I remember an explosion in Gaza that landed very close to us. Those bombs are enormously violent. Everything inside you moves. There is a moment of silence, because your eardrums are blocked, and then you see smoke, people running and people who can’t run because they are dead, wounded, dismembered. I go over these kinds of situations in my head. And when it happened to me, when my leg was blown off, I watched the man who gave me a tourniquet and saved my life as if it was happening in slow motion. That slowness is something that happens again and again in my life. It is all accompanied by smells, screams, pain, nausea, all of which will accompany you all your life because your photo will never match the level of violence of a situation like that.
Q. But it is the photo that remains when the situation is over.
A. That is the privilege of this profession. And that’s what keeps me tied to it. It’s a privilege like being a superhuman or superhero. I have been in extraordinary situations, and the commitment that one acquires from being there and documenting them is what makes you do your best and say: I’m going to do it better than anyone else, even better than myself. It’s pure adrenaline.
Q. You won’t remember, but I met you while you were working at the 1992 World Expo in Seville. You were a young photographer at that time with a reputation for partying.
A. No, I don’t remember you! You’ll have to show me a full-length photo of yourself from back then [laughs]. I was a kid. I was always hungover. I was consumed by the drive and arrogance of my 20s. I was born in Zaragoza because my father is a policeman and was stationed there, but I grew up in Jerez. We were a big family of modest means in a down-at-heel neighborhood. I didn’t know anything about photography or English at that time. I did a lot of crazy things. I photographed Lady Di at the Expo, I also took myself on the island of Perejil [over which a turf battle in 2002 between Spain and Morocco] in an inflatable boat, and that brazenness was the springboard for my call from Associated Press. I’ve been a bit of a kamikaze, but as far as I’m concerned surviving means squeezing the most out of things.
I don’t hide my disability and, when I portray the vulnerable, I take certain liberties, as one cripple to another
Q. Did you feel marginalized by journalists?
A. Very much so. And I still do. I see my children and I think: they are going to have everything I didn’t have. I learned to survive on the job. Then I tried to educate myself intellectually, and I continue to do so.
Q. Have you already taken your dream photo?
A. No, and it’s impossible to do so, because it would have been during the Spanish Civil War. I dream of the Battle of the Ebro, of having worked with [photographer Robert] Capa. I would have loved to do what I’m doing now at that decisive moment in Spanish history.
Q. Would you like to cover a red carpet event?
A. I think that would be a drag. I would do it, just as we photographers do other things we don’t like, but it doesn’t interest me at all, like soccer. That, for me, is not photojournalism, which I understand to be a reflection of society. That particular element of society already has too much attention and doesn’t need to be given more. I focus on places where attention is scarce. My mission is to make visible…
Q. … what we don’t want to see?
A. Yes, so that it is discussed and not forgotten. And that’s where I think the language used has to be intelligent, because if not, there’s rejection. The beauty of a photo is about trapping the viewer; it’s like those carnivorous flowers that attract you with their colors and then ensnare you. That’s where I channel all my knowledge and 30 years of experience.
Q. Is there anything you do for pleasure to ease the suffering of injustice?
A. I would love to play the guitar. I am a lousy musician and I have already exasperated several teachers. But something happens to me: I’m practicing, I see a change of light through the window, I throw the guitar down and go out to take pictures. And that’s with just one leg. I’d have to be totally disabled to learn to play decently.
Q. How close are friends to asking you to take pictures at their weddings?
A. You’d be surprised. Friends in the south are calling me El Puli [after the Pulitzer], which is a way of putting me in my place in case I get too big for my boots. The other day, a friend I used to work on a newspaper with in Jerez said, “Do you remember when I told you they were going to give you the Pulitzer for the terrible photos you took? Well, now they finally did!”
Q. Well, thank you very much, Puli.
A. Thank you, but, you know, I would give up the Pulitzer to have my leg back and be able to use two legs again. I’d even burn my work. It might contradict everything I’ve just said, but that’s how I feel.
English version by Heather Galloway.
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