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Russians protested over the government’s attempts to tighten controls on internet use – around 1,000 citizens took part in the capital city of Moscow in a demonstration against these restrictions, during which dozens were arrested by the police.
In Cambodia, recent developments, such as the suspension of radio programmes, have sparked the United Nations to call on the Cambodian government to guarantee the respect of political and civil rights.
What will it take to ensure press freedom in Azerbaijan? The independent Turan News Agency reported that its director has been jailed by the authorities as a suspect in a tax-evasion and abuse-of-power investigation.
A thought-provoking report developed by V-Dem analyses the progress made by a number of new democracies, which have emerged in the past several decades, towards deepening democratic institutions.
Under what conditions can internet freedom be defended in Thailand? Janjira Sombatpoonsiri of the Thammasat University in Thailand showcases the attempts of the Thai government to control the internet and online dissent.
In the Atlantic, Shadi Hamid looks at the events in Cairo from 2013, which led to the fall of the post-revolutionary government of the Muslim Brotherhood, and paved the way for the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
On 18 September 2017, ECES is hosting a book launch and debate on “Mechanisms of Citizen Participation and Direct Democracy” at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. The main theme of the publication is the different direct democracy mechanisms that have been carried out in 25 countries around the world. A detailed agenda will be available soon. In order to register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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How will the upcoming elections influence Nepal’s turbulent journey to democracy? On Monday, the Nepalese government announced that new general elections will take place this year on 26 November.
Under what conditions can freedom of expression be applied to Myanmar’s military? A former Myanmar child soldier was arrested on Friday for allegedly defaming the military, an act which violates the country’s telecommunications law.
Maldives will reintroduce the death penalty, despite international pressure from the UN and Amnesty International – the Maldivian government argues that this measure aims to tackle the rising number of murders and stop drug trafficking.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) prepared a report on Albania’s parliamentary elections, which took place on 25 June. This document provides an in-depth analysis of the electoral process, as well as the political landscape surrounding these elections.
What will it take to restore democracy in Venezuela? In a statement released on Tuesday, the International Crisis Group emphasises the importance of supporting human rights and democracy activists in the country.
In an article in the Washington Post, Nicholas Danforth discusses the current situation in Turkey, arguing that the ongoing crackdown on those opposing the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left the country unprepared for the shocks it is likely to face in the near future.
On 12 October 2017, ALDA and its partners are organising the workshop “YouthMetre – an innovative tool for e-participation of youngsters across Europe” in Brussels. The event is organised in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, and the European Local Democracy Week. More information about the event can be found here. Registration is possible through this link. Please note that the registration process is open until 30 September.
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Is freedom of expression at risk in Thailand? A Thai student activist was sentenced to two and a half years of prison for violating the country’s lèse-majesté law, after sharing on Facebook a BBC article which was deemed offensive to the king.
The price of providing “misleading information” in Hong Kong – a democracy activist who claimed that he was abducted and tortured by mainland Chinese agents, was arrested on suspicion of misleading the police.
On the National Women’s Day in Tunisia, which took place on Sunday, President Beji Caed Essibsi announced the formation of a committee to study the issue of individual rights, which aims to achieve gender equality in all fields, including inheritance.
A recently released Information Brief, prepared by International IDEA, argues for a new developmental approach to natural resource governance in Africa, focusing on an inclusive, participatory and owner-based socio-economic transformation of African countries.
What will it take to tackle the problem of the shrinking civic space? In its latest report, CIVICUS showcases that the space for civil society is under constant threat in a large number of member countries of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
In a thought-provoking article in openDemocracy, Ziyaad Bhorat discusses the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the judicial decision-making, suggesting that the idea of AI judges may raise important ethical issues regarding bias and autonomy.
Between 30 September and 1 October 2017, Civil Society Europe is organising the European Civic Academy in Brussels. The event will be held under the theme “NGOs as Drivers for Enhanced Civic and Democratic Spaces in Europe”. The agenda of this event can be found here. In order to register, please fill in the form available at this link. Please note that the registration process is open until 5 September 2017.
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In Kenya, protests erupted in several areas of the country following the electoral fraud claims made by opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who said that the electoral commission’s IT system has been hacked to manipulate the results of the presidential elections, which took place on Tuesday, in favour of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was sworn in for a second term on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times wrote that he will have to face mounting opposition from religious hard-liners, who control key centres of power in the country, in order to deliver political and social reforms.
An update on freedom of expression in Vietnam – the Vietnamese authorities arrested a member of an online democracy advocacy group on Friday, on alleged charges of working to overthrow the government.
Under what conditions can decentralisation be successful? In its latest Briefing Paper, Democracy Reporting International (DRI) highlights a series of key factors for designing effective decentralisation reforms.
Freedom House recently published a report, in which it analyses the current state of media freedom in Poland, suggesting that the country has emerged as a battleground for authoritarian-minded leaders, who aim to gain control over the political discourse and erode media pluralism.
In an opinion piece in The Boston Globe, Stephen Kinzer argues that if Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is re-elected next month, the country is likely to follow the path of “development first, then democracy”.
On 11 October 2017, ALDA and the partners of the MEANING consortium are organising the workshop “Metropolitan governments shaping EU Urban policy” in Brussels. The event is organised in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities, and the European Local Democracy Week. More information about the event can be found here. Registration is possible through this link. Please note that the registration process is open until 30 September 2017.
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In a statement released on Wednesday, the EU expressed its concerns regarding the recent events in the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and called on President Nicolás Maduro and his government to suspend the effective installation of the Constituent Assembly.
South Africa’s biggest civil society movements are mobilising for an anti-government march, which is scheduled to be held on 7 August, one day before the parliament will vote whether to remove President Jacob Zuma from office.
In Moldova, hundreds of citizens protested in the streets of Chisinau against the controversial changes to the electoral system, recently approved by the Moldovan parliament, which, according to critics, favour the country’s two main political parties.
How can Georgia remain a success story in an authoritarian neighbourhood? Thomas de Waal of Carnegie Europe looks at the current political landscape in Georgia, and suggests that certain trends, such as the growing xenophobic discourse, can have a negative impact on the country’s recent achievements.
A policy brief prepared by International IDEA focuses on the island nations in the Pacific, arguing that accountability to citizens through democratic political processes is essential to ensure the effective implementation of the SDGs.
In a report published by The Project on Middle Eastern Democracy (POMED), Mohamed El-Ansary analyses the role of the Public Prosecutor in the repression of dissent in Egypt since the establishment of military rule in July 2013.
On 17 August 2017, the Democracy Forum is organising the event “Withered democracy in Pakistan: the role of the Deep State” at the Senate Room in London. Further information about the event can be found here. In order to register, please fill in the form available at this link.