How is the Refugee Crisis covered in Turkish media?

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

Continued protests in Venezuela

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

JHS follows the developments in Ukraine

Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has for many years been active in support of democracy and rule of law in Ukraine. On our site, we publish regular updates on the situation in the country.
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Copyright Ilya Yashin (Solidarnost)

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 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 (more…)

Hans-Gunnar Adén (left) and Gunnar Hökmark

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.

Read about the contest

During the weekend, two leading Belarusian oppositional activists were released from prison. Both had been detained and sentenced to prison in according with the “mass riots” criminal case after the presidential elections on December 19, 2010. (more…)

It is disturbing that President Aliyev seems to have changed his mind in regards to Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the EU. Earlier he talked about a wish to become members of the EU in the future. Today he wants his country to be an ally of the EU. It looks like he wants to have the advantages of geopolitically belonging to the West but not wanting to abandon the “privileges” of a dictatorship”, said MEP Gunnar Hökmark who recently visited Baku as chairman of the Policy Committee of Euronests Parliamentary Assembly.

He explains that the Azerbaijani government doesn’t want to comply with the requirements the EU imposes on a democracy. (more…)

Russia will not allow Belarusian oppositional politicians, journalists, aso, to enter the country. Up until this time the Belarus opposition  – individuals who are banned from leaving Belarus – have been able to use Russia as transit hub to travel abroad. (more…)