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Facing a Cascade of Crises; Liberia's Ebola Battle; Containing Ebola; "Pakistan's Hidden Shame"; Imagine a World

Aired August 29, 2014 - 17:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program. As August comes

to a close, guns are still blazing from Europe to the Middle East in some of the most serious global challenges since the Great War 100 years ago.

Ukraine demanded an emergency meeting of the Security Council and NATO also met in emergency session as the week ended with Russian forces

blatantly crossing into the Ukrainian territory. Kiev calls it a full- scale invasion just two days after their presidents shook hands and met to discuss a way out of this crisis.

In the Middle East, ISIS continues to consolidate its vast terrorist grip in Syria and Iraq; dozens of U.N. peacekeepers became the latest

captives of extremists, who stormed a key U.N. crossing into Syria's Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

As the West struggles to find a strategy for pushing them back, President Obama gathered his top national security advisers to mull his

options. Amidst all of this, I spoke to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week about war and peace and also about another massive crisis, this

one gripping Africa: the spread of Ebola.


BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: The excessive worry and fear will really hamper our smooth treatment in addressing these issues.

Therefore, I am urging all the leaders concerned there not to close their borders. The borders should be open and there should be no ban on air

traffic or sea traffic and routes, and traffic.

This will only again impede our effective addressing this issue.


AMANPOUR: The worst outbreak in history began in Guinea. But the highest number of deaths in any one country is right now neighboring

Liberia, nearly 600.

I spoke to the information minister, Lewis Brown, who joined me from the capital, Monrovia.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, Minister. And let me start first by asking you, do you feel anywhere close to breaking the back of this

contagion in your country?

LEWIS BROWN, INFORMATION MINISTER, LIBERIA: Well, let's just say, Christiane -- and thank you for having me -- we will -- do believe now that

we are best positioned than we've been in a couple of months to be able to get a handle on this and hopefully to eradicate it from our country.

AMANPOUR: You know, obviously there's been a certain amount of criticism of the government, of president, for a slow start and a slow


How are you working now?

What are you doing that's different today than it was maybe a few weeks ago?

BROWN: Many things: many things we're doing differently.

First of all, we now have a clearer understanding of this disease, how it spreads.

The second thing is that, given the way we've operated before, we now have a bit more coordinated. There's now a higher level of response have

been coordinated at the level of the international community.

But on the ground itself, we are returning more and more ownership of dealing with this problem to community leaders, communities themselves,

beginning with West Point and Dolo Town and it -- that model has now been spread across the many other communities.

We're pleased with what we're seeing already since communities have begun to take ownership of this fight.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me just say, since you mentioned West Point, the slum area in Monrovia, that is under some kind of a quarantine and yet that

has caused an amazing amount of hardship and difficulty. And experts are saying that mass quarantine is not the way to do it. Isolation of those

infected and those who've been in touch with them and in contact with them is the way to do it.

Why are you quarantining?

BROWN: Well, we heard these experts speak about it from far-off comfort areas. But the truth of the matter is we're not just fight a

disease in isolation; we're fighting the disease with people we know. We're fighting cultural, long-held cultural practices and beliefs.

And certainly we're not the most enlightened society in the world. And we're trying to bring every tool imaginable to bear in helping our

communities help themselves.

And so as you will be able to determine in West Point, and your team might be able to go in there and see the place has been returned to calm,

the people have taken ownership based on what we've done. And if quarantine was not the solution, certainly we believe it has catalyzed it.

People in West Point have now been able to break themselves down into seven different zones and blocks comprising each of those zones. Now they

have not just taken ownership, they're working with health teams.

Health teams feel now that they are in control of the outbreak in West Point and doing the best they can to give the people of West Point -- and,

indeed, the people of Liberia -- the kind of help they so desperately need.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Well, just to focus on that, you know, our team has been in there and has seen lots and lots of people who are in rather

unsanitary conditions, not much running water. So there is still a great big lack. I am sure you would agree with that.

But can I also you ask -- also ask you, because part of this is messaging, as you said. Part of it is education. There are reports that

the president has fired and disciplined a number of officials and ministers who've been abroad and refused to come back out of fear of this disease.

Is that true? And what exactly is the situation?

BROWN: Well, yes. We can have a good president order all those who are members of the executive branch to be able to return home to Liberia

and to be able to join in this fight. It is truly a difficult fight. We need all hands on deck. We need all those expertise to align behind this

fight as best as we can.

And so many have not returned. And the president has done what many expected that she would do. She warned that if people did not return time

enough, that it would be -- there will have been considered to have abandoned their jobs.

And so she has gone on now, the sequelae (ph), the time has expired. And she's acted properly by dismissing those individuals.

AMANPOUR: All right. Minister Lewis Brown, thank you very much indeed for joining us.


AMANPOUR: And local health workers on the frontline of the battle with Ebola, some in many countries are understaffed and overstretched. But

my next guest says that it's not too late to stop its spreading.

Professor David Heymann co-discovered Ebola in the 1970s and he says despite a slow start tackling it, it can still be stopped with simple but

effective procedures.


AMANPOUR: Professor Heymann, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: Liberia is obviously having a huge problem struggling to contain this Ebola.

What is it that they should be doing?

HEYMANN: Well, you know, it's not a secret what needs to be done with Ebola. There are three things that need to be done. Patients must be

identified, isolated, and health workers must protect themselves as they take care of these patients so they don't become infected or spread

infection to others.

The second is that all contacts of patients should be traced, should be put under what's called fever surveillance, which means taking their

temperature twice a day. If they develop temperature, they're then put into a place where they can be diagnosed and if it's Ebola, they're put

into the Ebola ward.

And the third is community understanding about the risks of how they could become infected and how to protect themselves.

AMANPOUR: It's taken the infection of a couple of Americans to actually mobilize attention in the highest levels of certainly the United


Why is there no prevention? Why is there no drug for this?

HEYMANN: Well, there has been investment by the United States in developing vaccines and developing drugs and also monoclonal antibodies.

That's been grants to private sector. But there's no market for these in Africa. And it's actually very difficult to test these drugs because you

must have a epidemic in which to test them.

So these drugs have -- and vaccines and the antibodies have gone through certain animal studies and shown to be effective in animals. And

now they've been used, for example, in the Americans, the monoclonal antibody hasn't been used.

And hopefully more of these experimental drugs that have been shown to be effective in animals can be used at the outbreak site in clinical trials

that will tell whether or not they're effective.

AMANPOUR: This is a poor people's disease. And therefore the poor people in Africa are not getting the investment in the drugs that may, in

fact, save their lives.

HEYMANN: Well, you know, Ebola has spread into Europe in the past, into Switzerland. And in Switzerland, it was rapidly contained in a

hospital and there were no other infections.

In fact, it wasn't even known it was Ebola; it was a fever from an African country. And it turned out to be Ebola. Nobody else was infected.

Where there's good hospital infection control, there's not a risk that this disease will spread.

But for Africa, and in getting medicines, there are some things that the African nations could be trying now if they decide to do that.

One of those is to look at the blood of those people who have been survivors, taking the blood from those persons, taking the antibody from

that blood and providing that antibody to patients who are ill in the hopes that any antibody would be successful in stopping the infection.

It's a very difficult thing to do in the middle of an epidemic. But it is possible. I myself, after the first outbreak, stayed around to

collect convalescent bloods for 2.5 months from survivors. And that was stockpiled in Europe until it was -- sorry; it was stockpiled in Africa

until it was no longer effective. And then it was no longer used.

But this is something that the African countries could be trying now. And it's something that we would suggest that they consider.

AMANPOUR: This is the worst outbreak of Ebola that's been recorded. How long do you think it's going to take to break the back of this?

HEYMANN: Well, you know, this outbreak began because the initial response was not robust enough. But it's not good to look backwards; it's

good to look forward now.

And what we see now is that the World Health Organization is really stepping up to coordinate activities, especially within countries where

they have now strong WHO coordinators.

And hopefully this will help the NGOs and other groups, who are working in these countries, better work together, better fill the gaps of

what needs to be done and stop this epidemic.

It's very difficult to predict when this epidemic will stop. It depends on how good the activities are, how effective they are in

containing the outbreak. And that depends on how well people work together and trust within the communities where the disease is occurring.

AMANPOUR: How scared should we be?

How scared are you about this, the worst outbreak of Ebola?

HEYMANN: Well, I'm scared because this is a very horrible outbreak for the African continent. It's very terrible to see people dying each day

because there can't be a coordinated response within the country, because there's distrust, because people don't understand.

And it's going to take a major effort of the NGOs and the groups that are trusted by countries, such as the Red Cross and others, to really step

in and help do this job.

But I'm not afraid for myself in Europe or in North America. But I am afraid for the Africans who are, again, suffering from a very difficult

disease in a very difficult situation.

AMANPOUR: Professor Heymann, thank you very much for joining me from Geneva.

HEYMANN: Thanks very much.


AMANPOUR: As Ebola grips West Africa, coming up, we turn to another scourge on our world, the exploitation of children. "Pakistan's Hidden

Shame" is a powerful new film shedding light on a very dark, dark evil.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Now earlier this week we brought you the horrifying story out of Rotherham in Northern England,

where more than 1,400 girls were sexually abused by an organized gang of mainly men of Pakistan heritage.

Now we take a deeper look into the origin of this crime and what is a cultural crisis: the widespread rape and prostitution of underaged boys on

the streets of Pakistan itself. A new film called "Pakistan's Hidden Shame" digs deep into its most core and dangerous corner to uncover this

pervasive and pernicious problem. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Pakistan is also a country in denial, turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of many thousands of

poor and vulnerable children.

It's going on everywhere, in the big cities or small cities or towns. Everywhere this is happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): The first time I sold myself I didn't have any money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): How old were you at the time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Eight and a half. I was little.


AMANPOUR: Jamie Doran wrote and produced "Pakistan's Hidden Shame." He spent time in Peshawar, which is near the Afghan border, in an

incredibly dangerous mission to document this story. The film has already raised a ruckus in Japan and Australia and it premieres here in Britain on

Channel 4 on Monday. And it'll air around the world as well in the coming weeks.

Jamie Doran, welcome.


AMANPOUR: First and foremost, this film dovetails almost perfectly and eerily with the real-time crisis that's happened here in England. This

must be a really big lesson right now, isn't it?

DORAN: A big lesson. I mean, obviously there are differences. But culturally they're the same, if you like. In Pakistan, you're having the

abuse of young boys largely because young girls are not available; whereas in the U.K., of course, that's entirely different.

And if you really delve into the reasons behind this, you will find in such societies that the role of women is so meager, their power is almost

nonexistent and every survey in recent times has linked the lack of female power to pedophilia.

AMANPOUR: And in fact, the U.N., the World Health Organization, all sorts of organizations have talked about that as a problem and the basis of

this kind of problem.

But let's just get back to the beginning. First of all, what made you look into this? I mean, the figures are staggering, something like 4

million Pakistani children are in the labor force -- unofficially, presumably -- and a million and a half are on the streets.

What drew you to Peshawar to document this?

DORAN: Well, obviously in the past light, I'd made a film called "The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan" --


AMANPOUR: Yes, which we saw on this program.

DORAN: -- and the abuse of children in Pakistan, young boys in Afghanistan. And then we did "Opium Brides," which saw the abuse of young

girls. And while we were doing that, we heard about the same situation, if you like, only in a far, far bigger scale in Pakistan itself. And we

traveled to Peshawar; we had great research team. I should say here that apart from me, the entire team was Pakistani.

So you know, I was desperate to avoid any claims of racism or anything else involved. The entire team was Pakistani, led by a fabulous man called

Mo Naqvi, who has an ability to get people to talk.

AMANPOUR: And, boy, did they talk.

Let us play a clip of one of the main characters, who explains what happened to himself, also a social worker who's trying to help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I was sleeping on a bed here once and four people grabbed me and threw me in a car. One was a bus driver.

The other three were heroin addicts. All four of them raped me. After that I was bleeding and I fainted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It's going on everywhere. And people don't believe that when we say something, they say that civil society is

exaggerating. We are not exaggerating. Denial.



It almost, again, has these eerie echoes of what happened right here in Rotherham, England, and may indeed be more widespread in Britain, that

people won't listen to the complaints of these children.

DORAN: That's right. I mean, pedophiles, by their very nature, are in adequate. It's about power over children. And if you look at what's

happened in Rotherham, you look what's happened in Pakistan, it's virtually the same, where these individuals are able to use and abuse vulnerable

children, Pakistan in particular because of the poverty. And that's one of the other factors that really plays here.

AMANPOUR: And you found that it was around the bus stations where this epidemic really is centered, because that's where men come in and out;

that's where they take their rest; that's where they think they'll have a good time with a boy. Something like 95 percent of the bus drivers said

they abused these boys, have sex with them as part of their entertainment.

Part of what makes this so sensitive is the racial, ethnic, religious aspect of it. Certainly that's causing a ruckus here in England.

Let's play what this bus driver or bus conductor told your team about the religious aspect of it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Is religion important to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Yes, very important, because I'm a Muslim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): But what about using little kids for sex?

Don't you feel back, since that's against Islam?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): What can we do? We know it's totally against Islam. God doesn't like it. But we're helpless against our



AMANPOUR: So there are, on many, many levels, double standards, the fact that religion prevents them from doing that and yet they do it. They

say, hey, we can't help our desires. And also the notion that because girls are meant to be sacrosanct, they abuse boys.

And in England many people believe that it was white girls who were targeted by these gangs of Pakistani heritage men because they wouldn't

dare do it to their own religious group.

DORAN: And the -- obviously we have to understand the position of young girls. There is a value to young girls in Pakistani society, in that

culture. And it's very much about their purity and they have to remain pure to continue to keep that value.

But as young boys, as some of the people say in the film, we can't go near girls but we can take boys any way at all.

AMANPOUR: Now Naeem is the main character; we heard from him. He really is an attractive character. You get into his story. And at the

end, he's actually kind of a good news story. He's taken to a dryout facility. He gets some education and apparently he's now got a job and

people are keeping an eye on him.

But what do you hope this will do inside Pakistan?

How do you hope your film will be received?

DORAN: Well, you know, no Pakistani broadcaster has come forward to take the film yet. And that, if I may, use your program to offer it free

to any Pakistani broadcaster who would like to show it, who has the bravery to show it, because it's incredibly important that Pakistan looks inside


Imran Khan, the public citizen, says it's his country's greatest shame. There are so many others, social workers, human rights lawyers, who

are trying to do their very, very best that are coming up against a brick wall. The society has to look inside itself and actually challenge itself

to change.

AMANPOUR: Do you think Imran Khan has got MPs in government. He's promised you that he'll take this up.

Do you think he will? Is there any chance of accountability for these perpetrators?

DORAN: Let me tell you, and I'm not a great fan of politicians anywhere in the world and I've met far too many of them. There was

something about Imran Khan that struck me when I interviewed him, something of the honesty and integrity. I think he's going to do something. What I

hear in the background it's beginning already.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's hope for the sake of these children and actually for the sake of the whole society there.

Jamie Doran, thank you so much.

DORAN: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: So the exploitation of children as we've seen is now a global crisis. It reaches into the back yards of Britain as we've

explained as well as Pakistan.

Imagine an elusive artist known for his invisibility making a very visible contribution to the welfare of young boys in his hometown.

Banksy to the rescue -- when we come back.




AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, whether it's on the mean streets of Pakistan or here in Britain, young boys and girls continue to be at risk

from sexual predators and other abuse.

Now imagine a world where art can do what governments and town councils often can't. For over 120 years, the Broad Plain Boys' Club of

Bristol, England, has been a safe haven, a place for boys to gather, play games and steer clear of trouble. But it took this work of art by a local

boy made good to keep the cash-strapped club from going bankrupt and closing its doors.

Banksy, the acclaimed graffiti artist, known for his enigmatic persona as well as his unique images, left this calling card outside the Boys' Club

of his hometown back in April, entitled, "Mobile Lovers," the mural was vintage Banksy, a scene for our times painted on a boarded-up doorway. But

it quickly became more than just another draw-and-dash-away work by the elusive artist. He sent a note in his unique signature, telling the club

the mural was theirs to sell and raise much-needed funds. It went for more than 400,000 pounds to a private collector this week. As Bristol's mayor

and the club's leader celebrated his generosity, Banksy, as usual, was nowhere in sight.

But this other example of his work may express how he feels about his hometown, as if we didn't know.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always contact us at our website,, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank

you for watching and goodbye from London.