“Act instead of talking” was the slogan of the Georgian government party, United National Movement (UNM) in the last Presidential election in 2008. Since then, the government has in fact acted. Corruption, which after independence was widespread, has been reduced and economic growth has increased. There is still work to be done in order for the country to become a full democracy and in October it will be determined whether President Mikheil Saakashvili and the UNM will get four more years to approach that goal. The election campaign has already begun and international election observers have been invited. (more…)
JHS is publishing a new report in cooperation with the think-tank Freedom Research Association on how the refugee crisis is covered in Turkish media. Read more
The economic problems are so long gone in Venezuela that debts have become a real threat to the country. The value of the currency decreases rapidly and inflation is going up. Foreign imports have ceased, resulting in empty shelves in stores around the country. Read more
Vladimir Putin has for a third time taken office as Russian president. Though, he is coming back to a country in a very different mood, says Oleg Buklemishev, Economist and Advisor to opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov. “The scene of the inauguration car passing through an empty city is quite symbolic”. Buklemishev is convinced that the authorities’ violence towards mostly peaceful protesters shows that “intolerance towards dissent will only increase during new Putin term. Instead of bridging the national divide he has clearly chosen to polarize society even more”. Her believes that even the “weakest” of Medvedev’s “political reform” can be revoked in this environment (more…)
With almost 98 percent of the votes counted, social liberal incumbent Boris Tadić, Democratic Party (DS) received 25.33 percent of the votes, while ex-nationalist Tomislav Nikolić from Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) got 24.99 percent in the presidential elections on May 6, reported b92.net. It came as no surprise that these are the two rivals that will face each other in the second round on May 20. Serbia won EU candidate status in March and both parties favor EU-membership.
The presidential candidate of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) Vojislav Kostunica won 7.44 percent of the votes, while the candidate of the United Regions of Serbia (URS) Zoran Stankovic scored 6.56%, reported the Serbian government on its home page srbija.gov.rs. The Hajlmarson Foundation is cooperation with both these parties. (more…)
Today Vladimir Putin will for a third time take office as Russian president. At the same time he is facing protests against his command over political affairs in Russia.
“Police on Sunday used batons and charging tactics to break up an anti-Putin rally in the centre of Moscow which had been sanctioned by the authorities but had descended into chaos,” reported British The Telegraph. The opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on his home page nemtsov.ru wrote that “according to the Interior Ministry in Moscow 436 people were arrested”, though the opposition claims that the list is much longer: about 650 detainees. Three key leaders of the protest movement were arrested: anti-corruption campaigner and blogger Alexei Navalny, liberal politician Boris Nemtsov and left-wing leader Sergei Udaltsov. Nemtsov was released after being sentenced to pay a fine. The other two opposition leaders are still imprisoned. (more…)
The Croatian President Ivo Josipovic last week joined European leaders who will not attend a Yalta summit in mid-May. The Croatian president’s office said that one of the reasons for the decision is suspected human rights violations in Ukraine. The news comes after a foreign ministry spokesman in Ukraine said on April 30, that the presidents of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovenia has informed Kiev that they will not attend the Yalta meeting of Central and Eastern European leaders on May 11-12.
The boycott of the Yalta meeting reflects mounting concern over the hunger striking opposition leader and the treatment of her in jail. Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced last fall to seven years imprisonment for abusing power while she was in office. She has denied the allegations. (more…)
General, local and presidential elections will be held in Serbia on May 6. Single national lists will enable voters, for the first time, to cast ballots at any polling station in the country. In previous elections, Serbs could vote only at their registered place of residence. Some 70,000 Serbians have joined political parties since the beginning of this election year, taking the total over the 2-million barrier in the country of 7 million, reports balkaninsight.com. (more…)
MEP Gunnar Hökmark who recently visited Azerbaijan in his role as chairman of the Policy Committee of Euronests Parliamentary Assembly and Hans-Gunnar Adén, former ambassador to Azerbaijan participated on Friday in a seminar on developments in Azerbaijan. An interested crowd of about 30 people had gathered to listen and ask questions.
Hans-Gunnar Adén started out referring to a number of international index that “classify” Azerbaijan as unfree and as a dictatorship. He noted that the Azerbaijani society rather go backwards than forwards in terms such as human rights. (more…)
The Front for Change Party, the Batkivschyna all-Ukrainian Union (prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party) and another four parties today announced their unification for participation in the elections to the Parliament on October 28, 2012, reported the Kyiv Post.
“We have united in order to win the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, [and] to restore democracy and justice in Ukraine,” First Deputy Chairman of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Union Oleksandr Turchynov said, reading out the declaration of unity at a press conference on Monday, Apr. 23. (more…)
On April18, 2012, Azerbaijani journalist Idrak Abbasov was severely beaten by guards from Azerbaijan’s state oil company when he tried to film the demolition of houses by company employees in the village Sulutapa. The demolition seems, as numerous buildings in Azerbaijan, to have been expropriated to make way for new government projects. A number of international journalist organizations, such as Reporters without Borders and PEN, have protested against the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA) of the democratic opposition. NIPA is the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s cooperation partner in Azerbaijan.
For the first time Freedom House is holding a photo and art contest on the themes of freedom, political participation, human rights, and repression. Finalists will be displayed and auctioned as a fundraiser at the June release in Washington, DC of the annual Worst of the Worst 2012 report, which documents political and civil rights conditions in the world’s most repressive regimes.