tv Global 3000 PBS April 29, 2017 12:30am-1:01am PDT
♪ >> this week global 3000 headss to togo, home to the shy hippopotamuses. they're under threat, but conservationists are trying to protect them. we go to the gambia. for many here, the future looks bleak. we talk to one young man desperate to leave. but first we go to russia. where a courageous few are campaigning against putin's government, despite the threat of harsh punishment. what defines today's russia? a president with autocratic tendencies, a population afraid to speak out. criticising the kremlin can have dramatic consequences. everyone is more than aware of that. but that's not stopping a number of young people from demonstrating against corruption
and government policies. a striking number of kremlin critics have died mysteriously in recent years. who commissioned the killings? in 2006, alexander litvinenko, a fierce critic of putin, was poisoned with radioactive polonium. the same year, anna politkovskaya, a journalist who famously denounced russia's chechnya policies, was shot dead. in 2013, boris beresowski, declared the number one enemy of the state by putin, died in exile in britain under unexplained circumstances. and in 2015, one of the government's most prominent opponents, boris nemzov, was shot in moscow. those who protest openly learn the severity of the law first hand. >> this is gulag country. rubtsovsk in siberia. 5000 prisoners are held here in this penal colony.
for days, anastasia has been waiting in the icy cold for her husband, ildar dadin, to be released. his conviction has been overturned. in letters, he described how he was tortured in prison. >> the director of the penal colony and three men came and beat me up, several times a day. they thrust my head down the toilet. they hung me up by hand cuffs, pulled down my underpants and told me that if i didn't end my hunger strike, i would be raped. >> ildar begged her to publish the letters. but she knew that if she did, it could cost him his life. >> when he wrote that he would only last a week, we knew that if we did nothing he wouldn't survive.
we knew that if we published the letters they would either kill him or everything would work out. >> she published the letters. they sparked an immediate outcry. but what really happened? who is ildar dadin? he was jailed for holding up anti-putin placards. he would stand silently in the street, holding a sign aloft. he was usually on his own. mass demonstrations are rarely allowed in russia these days. the state cracked down. >> they are beating people! they beat me in the face. others, too. >> we beat people? the only force we use is psychological. >> dadin became the first political prisoner to be convicted under a new law, which makes repeated violations of russia's strict protest rules a crime. he was originally jailed for three years.
>> i hope i have the strength to bear this. >> he was sent to a labor camp in segezha, put in solitary confinement and tortured. russian tv reported that he was insubordinate. human-rights lawyer valery borshov visited dadin in segezha, and confirmed that torture of political prisoners was taking place. but increasingly, prison inspectors are prevented from being able to do their work. ever fewer human-rights activists sit on russia's council for civil society and human rights. >> torture is practised in a number of penal colonies. they've been given carte blanche. people convicted of extremism and terrorism are sent there. the prison directors have the authority to act outside the law. >> dadin was moved to another prison. these are tense times for anastasia.
the supreme court has quashed his jail term. but the authorities took a while to actually release him. anastasia is overjoyed that he's out. but once they're home, it's clear that he's a changed man. his time behind bars has taken its toll. he keeps losing the thread of what he's saying. he was often starving, hungry, he explains, and shows us what he ate. >> personal possessions weren't allowed. i didn't have anything to cook on. i would put soya, meat substitute, on everything, and spices that anastasia sent me, to give the food more taste. >> he insists on showing anastasia how he was tortured. he was forced to spend hours with his legs apart until he collapsed. his wife can't take it she begs
him to stop. she doesn't know how she can help ildar put this terrible experience behind him. the couple want to fight for compensation. ideally she'd like them to leave russia straightaway. but ildar is determined to stay and fight for the rights of other prisoners. he says that russia's penal colonies haven't improved since the days of the soviet gulags. >> i will stay here as long as it takes for the system to break down, for russia to respect human rights, not just in theory. until then i'll stay here and keep on fighting. >> the harsh sentence handed down to dadin was designed to intimidate protestors, even peaceful ones.
>> the intimidation of individuals sends a message to the entire country that noone is safe. do not dare to protest, stay home and watch tv! >> but manrussians won't be cowed. tonight they've come to listen to dadin's account of his treatment in jail and the efforts made to break his spirit. >> fear of torture runs deep with us russians after everything we've been through. >> they were tough on dadin in order to put an end to street protests, to show everyone that if they demonstrate, there will be consequences. >> at his first public appearance since his release, ildar dadin was given a warm reception. he says he wouldn't have been able to survive in prison without the support of other activists.
they ensured his case attracted international attention, and they intend to carry on fighting for their right to speak their mind in public. ♪ >> is it worth fighting for a future in your own country? many in africa are not convinced it is so they seek their fortune elsewhere. every month, thousands head northwards from the west of the continent in particular, young men from nigeria, ivory coast and the gambia. then there's the eastern route which is popular with those fleeing eritrea and somalia. the two routes join in libya for the dangerous voyage across the mediterranean to europe. in 2016, an estimated 5000 people lost their lives while attempting the crossing. and only very few who make it to europe are actually granted asylum. most go under the radar, earning money illegally, mainly in
catering, or after being recruited by drug dealers. still, for many in countries like the gambia, europe is a goal worth the risks. >> a new mood of optimism is sweeping gambia. after 22 years of dictatorship, the country now has a democratically-elected government. here in the village of kafuta, it's time to celebrate. all that's marring the occasion is the absence of young men. they've gone taking what's called 'the backway' to europe. one of the few left is amadou. he doesn't want to reveal his full name. he sometimes spends the whole day on the porch with his father. he says he feels useless. >> i have tried, you know. i go to down to the government, i don't get a job there because there are no job you know for youths, you know. the job you have you know is too small. we have so many youths that have graduated from school. so, i mean to find a job for
those people. we are more than the job. >> outside their home, amadou's sisters sells peanuts, gambia's only export product. from the sales, the family makes, well, peanuts. amadou shows us around his home. he and his family share it with two other families. 15 people live here in four rooms. for amadou the situation is particularly hard. on some days he doesn't know how to feed the family he's 20 and as the oldest son, that's his responsibility. it's also up to him to make sure his younger siblings can go to school, and his mother doesn't have to work so hard. he doesn't want to be a disappointment to them.
>> look around. this is not a life. i think he should go and send us money. we are supporting him so he can get out of here. >> amadou's mother wants him to go to europe. the first step on that journey is a meeting with the local 'marabout'. he's a cross between an imam and a witch doctor. nobody here risks the dangerous journey, along the 'backway' to europe, without his blessing. the marabout gives amadou a note with verses from the koran to protect him from falling into the hands of border officials. he also gives him water infused with herbs. >> because if you take this, with the help of god, when you, go you leave here, up to libya, no problem. after libya, crossing the ocean, the same thing. before you cross, i have to call back here again, talk to him,
check my way for me. if he tell me 'you can leave' i will. >> finally the marabout gives amadou a chart and a date when amadou is to begin his journey. he's already sent hundreds of young men on their way, but his blessing doesn't come cheap. the marabout's phone, for example, was sent to him by someone who now lives in norway. the marabout is one of the wealthiest people of kafuta. one village after another is being bled of its young men. gambia is a big contributor to the flow of migrants from sub-saharan africa to europe. those who make it there, spur others on. a good friend of amadou's is now living in germany, and sending remittances back home on a regular basis his parents were
able to start building this house. it will have eight rooms and be the biggest house in the village. >> oh absolutely, god. what i feel here if i am passing through this compound, i feel so excited because i also want to have these kind of things at my home you know because the one who is using this who is sponsoring this is the same as me, is my friend massi, so why can i not do it? >> but the local school in kafuta wants to keep the younger generation in the country. the teachers understand that the children need useful skills and will have to be resourceful if they're to find work here when they're older. >> we want to even eradicate, not to stop, but to eradicate these pathway movements. in kafuta here they said, what can we do to help our youths now?
>> the computer class is the highlight of the week for these children. they even come from neighboring villages for the lessons. with only six computers for 350 pupils the resources are stretched. still, it's a start. >> i don't want to go away. i want to stay in the gambia and work in the gambia. >> amadou can't pursue his hobby. he played football with a passion but now almost all of his teammates are either in europe or died trying to get there. his friend saleh was lucky to survive. he made it to libya, but when he tried to cross the mediterranean the boat he was travelling in was attacked by rebels out to steal the refugees' money. saleh was shot, and almost died. but in spite of his experience, he can understand why amadou wants to try his luck.
>> if we are going this back way, there are two things, you either die or you succeed. you sacrifice, you sacrifice your life. if you feel like to go, you can go because if you are here, you are not doing anything, you are useless. you are not working, you are not getting money and before you start stealing. >> it will be difficult to stop me from going because of what i need you know if i can get enough money to build a house and then feed my family, sponsor them going to school, everything. >> young men like amadou and saleh are fully aware that they're risking their lives. but they see no alternative. >> and now for our global ideas series, where we meet people dedicated to protecting our natural world.
this week, we focus on hippos in many countries, these shy river animals remain a prime target for poachers. our reporter, thomas mandlmeier, visited an extensive, and impressive, conservation project near the mono river, along the border between togo and benin. ♪ >> lolo nouwodou is clearing a path to the hippos' protected area. when it's hot, the hippos retreat to the bushes to graze. >> so how many hippos are there here? around 30, according to nouwodou. but they're hiding in the thickets, and the chances of them is slim. we can't go any further. it's too dangerous.
the hippos become aggressive when they're disturbed. >> they always come this way. this morning they passed through here and then moved on towards the border of the protected zone where they know they'll be left in peace. >> the village of afito is home to about 300 people. they are without electricity. there's no school here, and no medical facilities. there are 60 communities like afito lining the five lakes in the nature reserve. fish stocks are thriving in lake afi. because of the hippos, predators leave the fish alone and they can flourish. fishermen use large-mesh nets to reduce bycatch. they head out in groups of two and three. >> we go out in the morning, and we return with 20 and 40 fish a
day each. >> their catch is so plentiful that the needs of every family are covered. the women say sometimes the fishermen catch up to 200 fish. a few years ago, they were only catching a third of that amount. these days, they can even sell on some of the catch. as a result, they no longer hunt hippos. once the fishermen return to shore, the lake's fish stocks are monitored, to see how much they're allowed to catch next time. >> in the past there were conflicts between humans and hippos. at one point things were so bad that the hippos had almost disappeared. but now we've raised people's awareness, we've established a
conservation project, and the hippos are left in peace. we have succeeded by involving the locals in environmental protection and now every species is left to thrive in its natural habitat. >> it took more than ten years before the local communities grew accustomed to allowing the animals to follow their own nature. twice a day, lolo nouwodou and his team of conservationists come to the viewing platforms. from here they can look out across the entire conservation area. >> over there, along the banks of the lake, is the heart of the area. it's a closed conservation area. people aren't allowed to enter it. that's where the hippos breed, the fish too.
where there are hippos, there are fish. we set up these enclaves which they can retreat to, and where they can be left in peace, in order to preserve the species. >> here in togo's lake region, nature conservation played a big part in celebrations to mark this year's international women's day. local women from the communities in and around the nature reserve were invited to an event where they could discuss ideas, share their experiences and enjoy themselves. ♪ women play a key role when it comes to making nature conservation a cornerstone of community life. >> ultimately it's women who bear the brunt if nature is destroyed. protecting it is in our own interest. that's why we share our
experiences and discuss what we can do to guide and assist our men. >> it all ties together. bio-diversity, the lakes, the hippos. we do everything we can to protect them because that means there will be fish we can sell. it's all part of a cycle. that's why we protect nature. >> the nature conservationists take us on a tour of the lake. this time they're hoping to lure the hippos out of their hiding places. we spend the next few hours waiting. but there's no sign of any hippos. suddenly, there's a rustling in comes back all excited. the only hippos we're going to see today are the ones on his mobile phone.
he climbed a tree to shoot these shaky images. >> you can see how vast this area is. it's huge. there are so many places they could hide and we'd never find them. >> the hippos of lake afi aren't just a myth. and the locals would like nothing more than to boost their incomes by kickstarting an eco-tourism industry. realistically, though, it will be the next generation that benefits. >> of course the hippos are a major factor. they would be at the center of our eco-tourism concept. they live here in the lake, a lake the belongs to our conservation area. we just don't know what our hippo policy should be.
>> the locals are currently planning to set up feeding and bathing areas in the lakes for the hippos. that would make it easier to locate them, during daytime. hopefully, by the end of the decade, visitors to the region will be enjoying the sight of bathing hippos and beautiful sunsets over lake afi in togo. >> people in nepal are implementing changes too! in our global brains series we look at a seemingly simple invention that's making a huge difference to people's lives. >> nepal has no shortage of water. more than six-thousand rivers flow from the himalayas into the valleys below. but the power of the precious resource has been underutilized. this invention, called a "barsha pump" might change that. barsha is the nepali word for rain. >> the barsha pump is a hydro-powered pump.
it is a water wheel that is sitting on a floating platform. so you put it on the river, it floats on the river. and the flowing river sort of rotates the wheel. and then we have a connecting output hose, from which you take the water. so basically, the pumping happens just by the river rotating a water wheel. and there is no mechanical action in the pumping. so that's why this pumping principle requires very little maintenance. >> the pumps have changed the lives of the farmers in the region. in the past, they had to carry water to their fields which are often high up in the mountains. that could take as much as six hours a day! >> our main crop is watermelons. before we had the barsha pumps we had to haul water from the river in canisters. when it came time to harvest the melons, they weighed about 8
kilos. since we've had the pump, they now weigh between 12 and 15 kilograms. >> many of the pump parts are made here. the dutch company that manages the project wants to expand production. so far there are forty pumps operating in five different countries. >> our ambition was to have barsha pumps implemented all around the world. the vision really is to have floating water wheel pumps in any river that you can imagine. and supplying water without any fuel, without cost, and also at no pollution. just in harmony with nature. >> that's all for today. do check out our facebook page dw global society or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. see you soon! ♪
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