political prisoner

Is the world turning back to authoritarianism ?

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By Cristina Valdés Argüelles

The 23rd of February 2016, the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy took place in Geneva, assembling hundreds of activists, human rights promoters, former political prisoners from China, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, among other countries, international human rights NGOs and interested listeners. This ceremony is held every year to lay the cards on the table ; to examine the international current situation ; to address actual human rights violations ; to listen to testimonies of true human rights heroes; to promote democracy and freedom ; to join forces so as to find solutions and, most important, to make the world a better place to live.

During the conference, an interesting discussion came up: Over the past decade, totalitarian authorities have raised and gained more power internationally, repressing the growth of democracy and undermining the population’s rights and values. It might be assumable that humanity, after more than three million years of evolution since the Australopithecus apheresis Lucy, has reached a great level of evolution and promotion of the values of human rights. However, the reality of the global arena seems to point into the opposite direction. Is the world coming back to authoritarianism? Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of the press in Burma

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by Ayoub El Moudne, translated by Charlotte Gray

taken from: http://www.burmapartnership.org/tag/media-freedom/
taken from: http://www.burmapartnership.org/tag/media-freedom/

It was during an always unlucky Friday 13th at the Geneva Press Club that Ma Thida’s press conference took place. But who is Ma Thida? She is a surgeon and a writer. But she is also a former political prisoner, and, for some, a hero – and it is impossible to mention heroic political prisoners without remembering the late great Nelson Mandela and the select group that both he and Ma Thida are a part of: people who are improving the world through peaceful action in their own country. Today, her courage, her drive, and her love for an honourable debate can be seen in her two magazines, as well as her radio show for young people. But is the press, which she represents, really free? This is the theme behind the “Freedom of the press in Burma” question and answer session. Read the rest of this entry »