December 12, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation and Open Russia hosted a conference in Tallinn on new media and journalism for Russian independent journalists and opposition leaders.

After the conference, an award ceremony was hosted with the aim to honour Russia’s top independent journalists. Elena Milashina of Novaya Gazeta won the award for investigative journalism for her articles about honour killings and persecutions of LGBT-individuals in Chechnya. A topic that JHS focused on earlier this year at a seminar in Stockholm.

During the year, journalists in Russia have been under immense pressure. Many have had to leave the country while others have been attached at their place of work. The same day of the conference, Russian authorities decided to shut down Open Russia’s webpages in the country.

14 December, 2017
15:30till17:00

Please join the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation for a seminar with Alexander Solovyev, Andrey Dmitriev and Gigi Ugulava on the state of human rights in Europe’s East.

Alexander Solovyev

Andrey Dmitriev

Gigi Ugulava

 

 

 

 

 

Blasieholmsgatan 4A, Stockholm
Thursday, December 14 at 15.30-17.00

RSVP: hjalmarsonstiftelsen@moderaterna.se or +46 8 676 81 05

The seminar will also be sent live and can be watched on Facebook and YouTube.

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Vice speaker Oksana Syroid with the journalist Maxim Eristavi, Rostyslav Pavlenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, Alex Ryabchyn, MP, and Inna Borzylo, director of Centre UA.

November 28, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a round-table conference in Kyiv on Ukraine’s European integration. Oksana Syroid, vice speaker in the Ukrainian parliament, took part in the meeting together with a group of reform oriented policy makers, independent journalists and NGO representatives. JHS chairman Peter Egardt participated at the meeting, along with the Swedish MPs Chrisian Holm Barenfeld and Pål Jonson.

The discussions focused on the country’s geopolitical challenges, the relationship between state and civil society as well as the struggle against corruption.

A number of bilateral meetings were held in addition to the conference with the aim strengthen the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s work in Ukraine.

November 6-10 and 13-17 the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation held conferences on ideology for politically active youth from the Balkans and the Eastern Neighborhood in Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm. The basis of the seminars was the book Principles for a Free Society by Dr Nigel Ashford and the lectures were led by leading opinion makers and Swedish politicians. The conferences aim to strengthen the ideological base among the participants with emphasis on understanding of democracy, human rights and market economy.

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June 7, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a conference in Riga on the developments in Russia and its relations with the Baltic states. Mikhail Kasyanov, former Prime Minister of Russia, and Andris Piebalgs, party leader of the Latvian centre-right party “Vienotība,” participated in the discussions.

On May 16, 2017, the Belarusian opposition movement Havary Pravdu (Tell the Truth) was registered after seven years of unsuccessful attempts to gain official status. It was the seventh attempt to obtain the registration and Tatsyana Karatkevich (Co-Chairwoman) was not sure they would succeed this time. Karatkevich said that when the official handed over the registration papers he also warned the leaders (Andrey Dzmitryeu and herself) not to violate Belarusian laws.

Gunnar Hökmark and Maia Sandu during the seminar.

During the Moderate party’s annual regional congress, Sverigemötet, in Karlstad, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged a seminar on the political developments in Eastern Europe and how authoritarian regimes in our neighbouring countries could be prevailed.

The Moldovan Presidential Candidate Maia Sandu, party leader for the centre-right party Action and Solidarity Party in Moldova, was invited to give her views on the recent developments in the region. During the last year’s presidential elections, Sandu claimed 47.89 % of the popular votes in the second round-off. Sandu was the Minister for Education in Moldova 2012-2015 and worked before then as an advisor to the World Bank.

Gunnar Hökmark, Member of the European Parliament for the Moderate Party, gave his views on how decision makers in Sweden and Europe could support democracy and reforms among EU’s eastern neighbours. Hökmark has lifelong experiences promoting freedom and democracy in the Eastern neighbourhood.

The seminar in its entirety is available on YouTube here.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Belarusian President stated that Lithuania and Poland could have been training fighters who were behind provocations in his country.

“The other camps were located in Ukraine (and), it seems to me, in Lithuania or Poland – I won’t insist on this, but somewhere there. The money was coming here via Poland and Lithuania”

Andrey Yegorov, the head of the Belarusian-based European Transformation Center says that by making such statements, Lukashenka is warning protesters not to participate on the protest planned for Saturday 25th (which could bring thousands of people) and also as a justification for possible repressions including use of force. He also says that the administration is preparing for the day by fueling hysteria in the media about alleged fighters.

According to Yegorov, the protests along with these words by the President are a sign for the Western world to revise its policies of resuming the relations with Belarus.

The Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Centre and FIDH (the International Federation for Human Rights) believe that the new repression against peaceful protesters confirms the absence of political change in Belarus. More than 150 opposition activists, journalists, human rights defenders and average citizens have been detained since the protests began. On March 10, Vitali Rymasheuski (BCD), Anatol Liabedzka (UCP) and Yuri Hubarevich (MFF), were arrested and sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest. Pavel Seviarynets (BCD) was arrested on March 12 and sentenced also to 15 days administrative arrest. The same day Valiantsina Ihnatsenka, Chairperson of UCP in Orsa, was threatened with arrest and forced to stay home. The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) reported the arrest of 18 journalists and bloggers on March 12.

This way the authorities wanted to prevent them to participate in the planned and authorized protest of March 15.

On the day of the rally, March 15, people were detained arbitrarily on their way to the demonstration or on their way back home on the streets or in the public transport. The detentions were carried out by men dressed as civilians and people were taken to police stations in unmarked vehicles. Two independent websites operating from abroad were blocked during the mass protest. The protests gathered thousands of citizens in Minsk and other cities.

Arrests have continued after March 15. On March 19 authorities detained Viktar Marchyk from BPF together with 2 other organizers of planned rallies for that same day, Mikalay Charnavus, a local BPF activist, and Ryhor Hryk, an independent trade union leader.

And in addition to the citizens protesting against the Decree nr. 3, others have been detained for their actions impeding the beginning of the construction of a business center in Kuropaty.

As a response, Lukashenko says today that “Western funds under the direction of Western security services” are trying to “inflame the situation in Belarus”.

March 15-17, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a round-table conference in Visby on developments in EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. The discussions focused on the shifting geopolitical landscape, current trends in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. Ukraine’s Vice PM Ivanna Klympush, Estonian Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna, Moderate Party Leader Anna Kinberg Batra and Carl Bildt, former Swedish PM and Foreign Minister, took part in the conference.