News and Notes

Issue Date July 2019
Volume 30
Issue 3
Page Numbers 190-191
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NED’s Democracy Award

On June 4, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) presented its annual Democracy Award to three organizations defending religious and human rights against repression by the Chinese Communist Party: the World Uyghur Congress, the Tibet Action Institute, and ChinaAid.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Liz Cheney, House Republican conference chair, delivered keynote remarks at a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), and Mike McCaul (R-Tex.) gave the awards and delivered remarks.

On June 3, NED hosted a conference entitled “China’s Repression Model: Tiananmen, Today, Tomorrow.” Opening remarks were delivered by Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. The first panel, “Challenging China’s Repression Model: A Conversation with the 2019 Democracy Award Honorees” featured Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, Lhadon Tethong, director of the Tibet Action Initiative, and Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid. Brian Joseph of NED moderated the discussion. The second panel, “Resisting the Spread of China’s Repressive Tactics and Technologies,” featured Xiao Qiang of the China Digital Times, Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch, and Ttcat, a Taiwanese civic-tech activist. Shanthi Kalathil of NED moderated the discussion.

World Uyghur Congress

On June 6–7 the World Uyghur Congress held a conference at George Washington University on “Confronting Atrocities in China: The Global Response to the Uyghur Crisis.” Speakers included David J. Ranz, acting deputy assistant secretary for South Asia at the U.S. Department of State; Randall Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense; U.S. [End Page 190]Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.); and Carl Gershman, president of NED.

Oslo Freedom Forum

On May 27–29, the Human Rights Foundation hosted the annual Oslo Freedom Forum. Speakers included Afghan activist Laila Haidari, Uyghur rights activist Nury Turkel, economist Bill Browder, Russian activist Garry Kasparov, and Burmese journalist Esther Htusan.

On May 29, the Human Rights Foundation awarded the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent to Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani; the Thai rap group Rap Against Dictatorship; and Egyptian musician Ramy Essam.

NED’s International Forum

On May 14, NED hosted a panel discussion on “New Threats to Civil Society and the Rule of Law in Hong Kong.” Panel participants included Martin Lee, founding chairman of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party; Nathan Law, founder of the prodemocracy Demosisto party and former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council; Lee Cheuk Yan, labor leader and former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council; and journalist Mak Yin-Ting. Lynn Lee of NED moderated.

The International Forum hosted several events featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows.

On May 2, Agon Maliqi, (Kosovo), civil society activist, writer, and cofounding editor of the Albanian-language current-affairs blog, delivered a presentation entitled “Building Democratic Resilience in the Western Balkans.” Discussants included Ivana Cvetkoviæ Bajroviæ of NED, Molly Montgomery of the Albright Stone-bridge Group, and political scientist Jasmin Mujanoviæ.

On May 22, Martin Krygier (Australia), professor of law and social theory at the University of New South Wales, delivered a presentation entitled “What’s the Point of the Rule of Law?” Marc Plattner, coeditor of the Journal of Democracy, moderated.

On June 11, Joshua Olufemi (Nigeria), a journalist and program director at the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism in Nigeria, delivered a presentation entitled “The Role of Open Data in Strengthening Nigerian Democracy.” Christopher O’Connor of NED offered comments and Melissa Aten of NED served as moderator.

On June 11, the Forum released a working paper entitled “To Catch a Kleptocrat: Lessons Learned from the Biens Mal Acquis Trials in France,” by Tutu Alicante, lawyer and executive director of EG Justice.

The Forum’s “Power 3.0” pod-cast featured an interview with Alina Polyakova on “Digital Authoritarianism” and an interview with Ronald Deibert on “Social Media and Risks to Digital Freedom,” based on his article in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Democracy. [End Page 191]