30 episodes

Al Jazeera’s weekly investigative documentary programme that looks at the use and abuse of power.

People & Power Al Jazeera English

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Al Jazeera’s weekly investigative documentary programme that looks at the use and abuse of power.

    • video
    The Battle for Ethiopia | People and Power

    The Battle for Ethiopia | People and Power

    When Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, came to power in 2018, he promised a new era of democratic reforms and an end to years of autocracy.

    Political prisoners were freed, opposition parties were allowed to operate, and the new prime minister even won a Nobel Prize for securing peace with neighbouring Eritrea after decades of an uneasy armistice.

    But since then, long-standing ethnic divisions have made the future of this complex country more uncertain.

    Earlier this year, we went to find out why.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Bureau 39: Cash for Kim (Part 2) | People and Power

    Bureau 39: Cash for Kim (Part 2) | People and Power

    How is it possible that North Korea, one of the poorest countries on earth, manages to finance a nuclear weapons programme?

    The answer is through Bureau 39, a secretive organisation hidden deep inside the government apparatus. Its aim is to procure foreign exchange, by any means possible, to fund Kim Jong Un's regime.

    From printing counterfeit dollars and profiting from slave labour sent overseas, to illegally selling arms, committing insurance fraud and widespread computer hacking, the inventiveness of North Korea's sanction busters knows no bounds.

    In this two-part investigation, filmmakers Sebastian Weis and Carl Gierstorfer gain remarkable access to whistleblowers previously involved in these activities. They reveal how for decades North Korea has been circumventing UN sanctions to finance its nuclear arsenal and how Kim's money men have repeatedly managed to outwit the West.

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    • 26 min
    • video
    Bureau 39: Cash for Kim (Part 1) | People and Power

    Bureau 39: Cash for Kim (Part 1) | People and Power

    How is it possible that North Korea, one of the poorest countries on earth, manages to finance a nuclear weapons programme?

    The answer is through Bureau 39, a secretive organisation hidden deep inside the government apparatus. Its aim is to procure foreign exchange, by any means possible, to fund Kim Jong Un's regime.

    From printing counterfeit dollars and profiting from slave labour sent overseas, to illegally selling arms, committing insurance fraud and widespread computer hacking, the inventiveness of North Korea's sanction busters knows no bounds.

    In this two-part investigation, filmmakers Sebastian Weis and Carl Gierstorfer gain remarkable access to whistleblowers previously involved in these activities. They reveal how for decades North Korea has been circumventing UN sanctions to finance its nuclear arsenal and how Kim's money men have repeatedly managed to outwit the West.

    - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
    - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
    - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
    - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/

    • 26 min
    • video
    Chronicles of a Pandemic | People and Power

    Chronicles of a Pandemic | People and Power

    When, on March 11, 2020, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, formally announced that the pathogen known as COVID-19 had developed into a pandemic, it came as little surprise to anyone. By then, from its origins in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus had been spreading internationally for at least two months – already infecting 118,000 people in 114 countries and alarming many more.

    As we now know, tens of millions more would eventually be infected and to date, almost a million people have died. More grim milestones are sure to be passed in the months ahead. As things stand, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.

    Yet back in those early uncertain weeks, as the world was waking to an unprecedented threat, the WHO came under attack for its response to the early stages of the outbreak, from scientists and health administrators, from governments and even heads of state such as United States President Donald Trump.

    The WHO is mandated by the United Nations to lead the global response to contagion. But its critics have accused the organisation of failing in that mission and of reacting too slowly to the appearance of the coronavirus. Some have claimed it too readily believed what it was first told by the Chinese government, about the nature and severity of this new disease. Others charged that it had been sluggish in confirming the risk of human-to-human transmission, or in recommending the use of face masks as a means to limit infection.

    As these criticisms grew in the late spring and early summer of 2020, a team of Swiss-Italian filmmakers spoke to some of the WHO's detractors and then visited the agency's headquarters in Geneva to investigate whether it could have done more, sooner, to alert the world.

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    • 26 min
    • video
    Hong Kong: Endgame | People and Power

    Hong Kong: Endgame | People and Power

    At 11pm on June 30, 2020, a new national security law came into effect in Hong Kong - just an hour before the 23rd anniversary of Britain's handover of the city to China.

    The legislation, which sparked an immediate international backlash, has significantly tightened Beijing's grip on Hong Kong and has stifled the huge protests that began sweeping the territory a year ago.

    Demonstrators say they have been fighting for democracy. Beijing's supporters describe them as "rioters" and insist the law is needed to quell unrest.

    But with activists now facing imprisonment, pro-democracy candidates disqualified from elections, and even a prominent media mogul detained by security police, many Hong Kongers fear that the principle of "one country, two systems" - which lay at the heart of the 1997 handover agreement with the UK and was supposed to ensure a degree of autonomy for 50 years - is now all but dead and buried.

    Filmmakers Lynn Lee and James Leong have been finding out why.

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    • 26 min
    • video
    Italy's Sikh Slaves | People and Power

    Italy's Sikh Slaves | People and Power

    The vast agricultural plains of the Agro-Pontino in central Italy is now one of the country's main areas of food production.

    Yet it was not always the case.

    This 100 mile-long stretch of land facing the Tyrrhenian Sea was marshland until a century ago when fascist dictator Benito Mussolini organised a mass migration from northern Italy to drain the swamps and turn them into fertile farmland.

    But many of those who live today are not Italian, they are Indian - at least 11,000 of them, and possibly up to four times more.

    Mostly Sikhs from Punjab in northern India, they are economic migrants who have come here to work in local farms and send money home to give their families a better life.

    Some manage to do just that. But for many others, their dreams are crushed.

    Instead, they face abuse and exploitation from both profit-driven agri-businesses and organised crime - labouring for pitiful wages, often without official documentation, and trapped in a system from which there is no escape.

    Filmmakers Alessandro Righi and Emanuele Piano went to investigate for People & Power.

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    • 25 min

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