Unga politiker från Azerbajdzjan, Georgien, Moldavien, Sverige och Vitryssland

Youth Politicians from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Sweden

March 11-18, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted two conferences for youth politicians from Eastern Europe and Sweden, on the principles for a free society together with Nigel Ashford from Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Basic concepts for a liberal democracy, as private property, free enterprise and toleration where among the issues discussed.

November 21-24, a group of Belarusian opposition politicians made a study visit to Stockholm together with the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation and the American International Republican Institute. Next year, local elections will be held in Belarus and the theme for the study visit was therefore campaigning. (more…)

June 18, the American think-tank Freedom House released this year’s edition of the annual report Nations in Transit.

The desire for democratic change in Eurasia was met with increased repression in most authoritarian regimes during the last year. Increased corruption and censorship of critical media outlets as well as an increased pressure on civil society organisations characterize the developments in a majority of Eurasian countries, according to the report.

Read the report

May 3-6, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged this year’s Spring School, a conference on ideology with young politicians from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Sweden. The conference was held in Nynashamn, south of Stockholm, and topics such as democracy, market economy and human rights were discussed, as well as more practical issues about further EU enlargement and the situation in the Eastern Partnership countries. (more…)

In June this year, the 23’rd session of the UN Human Rights Council will be held. One of the topics that will be brought up at the Council by the EU is the current situation in Belarus, due to the recent violations against human rights in the country.

Read the article from Charter 97

Belarusian freedom activists have always been creative, with everything from ´silent’ protests to ‘toy’ protests. The most recent one is a Facebook photo protest. More and more people are posting photos of themselves holding up photos of other activists holding photos. This action is taken in solidarity with the three people fined due to a photo of them holding a picture of  the political activist Ales Byalyatski.

Read the article from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

A newly published report from the Index on Censorship explores the harsh situation for democracy activists in Belarus and how the regime plans even further restrictions on Internet freedom. By surveillance, blocking of websites and cyber-attacks against opposition websites, the authorities accelerates its oppression of the Belarusian people.

Read the policy paper

Between August 18-22, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged this years second Summer School, an ideology conference for young politicians. Young politicians from four of the countries in the EU:s Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Belarus participated, as did a number of Swedish youth politicians. (more…)

The diplomatic conflict between Sweden and Belarus escalates with the Lukasjenka-regime’s decision to expell all Swedish diplomats from the country. “The purpose is probably to make it as difficult as possible for the various cooperation programs that we have in terms of not least civil liberties” sais the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. (more…)

In newsletter no. 5/2012 you can read about a number of important elections that will take place during the fall of 2012: In Belarus, Ukraine, Venezuela and Georgia.

Hopes run high that the elections in Georgia will be entirely up to international standards. Expectations are also raised that the (almost) united opposition in Ukraine will breathe fresh life into the country’s dwindling democracy and that Henrique Capriles win the presidential elections in Venezuela. Though, the hopes are low for the elections in Belarus, where President Lukashenko is further cementing his authoritarian regime.

Read the newsletter