Transnistria, a piece of land sandwiched in between Moldavia and Ukraine, is often described as a “black hole” where human trafficking and weapons smuggling are businesses nobody questions. Less known is the fact that Sweden recently changed its stance toward the regime by cutting off aid for people who have been tortured in the prisons of Transnistria. Blankspot spent 24 hours in the country that doesn’t exist, to find out why.
Despite harsh criticism by the United Nations and human rights organizations, Eritrea’s ministers in Asmara feel more and more positive. Several nations have begun to make contact with Eritrea for different reasons. Eritrea doesn’t want to lose their young generation while Europe doesn’t want them knocking at their door.
Eritrea is one of the world’s most secretive countries. Every year thousands of people flee to Europe. Now that the nation has begun allowing foreign journalists entry for the first time in many, many years, Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson traveled there to find out how the Eritrean ministers are looking at the future.
Eritrea is one of the world’s most secretive nations and has been closed to foreign journalists for a long time. During the past year, Blankspot’s Martin Schibbye has followed the pro-Eritrean groups and here he reports, in the first of a three part series, from the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia, not far from the country where he himself was imprisoned for 438 days from 2011 to 2012 during a reportage trip. An investigative report on oil transformed into a story about ink and Freedom of the Press as they fought for survival inside the notorious Kality prison in Addis Ababa. Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were pardoned and released—after 438 days—on September 10, 2012. Now they return to the region, in search of answers…
Leading international politicians call them psychopathic monsters or a death cult. Blank Spot Project’s unique photo reportage proves that ISIS are far more sophisticated than that. Through a number of exclusive objects we see clear signs of state-building.
Burundi experienced a coup d’état in May. Demonstrators burned car tires on the streets in front of the lenses of the world press. Then the reporting fell silent. Blank Spot Project’s Anna Roxvall and Johan Persson share an exclusive eyewitness report from within a crumbling nation.
On May 22, 2014, The Royal Thai Armed Forces seized power in Thailand in a coup d’état. Since then, democracy activists have been dragged before military courts and censored by media gag-order. Meet the students who risk up to seven years in prison for holding a protest rally against the ruling military junta.
Over the last 10 years, the Thai military has overthrown two democratically-elected governments, imposing a state-of-emergency and martial law in Thailand. The constitution has been repealed, and one of the bloodiest conflicts in Asia continues to rage in the country’s southern regions. Still, Thailand has bought weapons—for millions of dollars—from Sweden, a country that has claimed arms neutrality since 1812 and with strict regulations on weapon exports to unstable nations. How did this happen?