News and Notes

Issue Date October 2016
Volume 27
Issue 4
Page Numbers 187-88
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Remembering Boris Nemtsov

On June 12, Russian politican and journalist Lev Schlosberg was awarded the inaugural Boris Nemtsov Prize. The prize honors the late Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of the Russian government who was fatally shot near the Kremlin in February 2015. The awards ceremony, held at the Deutsche Welle headquarters in Bonn, Germany, took place on Russia Day, which commemorates Russia’s declaration of state sovereignty on 12 June 1990. The prize of €10,000 was awarded by Zhanna Nemtsova, Boris’s eldest daughter and cofounder of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, which sponsors the prize.

The Foundation’s Council selected Lev Schlosberg from a pool of candidates nominated for their “special courage in the fight for democratic values in Russia.” Schlosberg is from the western city of Pskov, where he is regional chairman of the opposition Russian United Democratic Party (“Yabloko”) and publisher of Pskovskaya Guberniya. In 2014, Schlosberg was among the first to report on the clandestine funerals held for Russian paratroopers killed in eastern Ukraine, calling into question the government’s denial of the deployment of troops to the region.

Dalai Lama Speaks at NED

On June 15, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama is also a dedicated advocate for the principles of democracy. He presided over a panel discussion on the topic of “democracy and hope” with four young democracy activists: Arzu Geybullayeva of Azerbaijan, Rosa Maria Payá of Cuba, Azaz Elshami of Sudan, and Rami Soud of Jordan.

Following the discussion, NED presented its Democracy Service Medal to the late Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. A follower of the Dalai Lama and[End Page 187] a prominent community activist, Tenzin Delek pursued environmental, educational, and religious reforms in his home province of Sichuan. He died in his thirteenth year of life imprisonment, a sentence criticized by human rights organizations around the world.

The Estoril Political Forum

On June 27–29, the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal convened its 24th annual international political forum in Estoril, Portugal. The theme of the three-day conference was “Democracy and its Enemies: New Threats, New Possibilities.” The conference included a panel organized by NED’s International Forum entitled “The Authoritarian Resurgence.” Chaired by Marc F. Plattner, it featured Lilia Shevtsova of the Brookings Institution, Sarah Cook of Freedom House, and Christopher Walker of NED. Major speeches were delivered by José M. Durão Barroso, former president of the European Commission and former prime minister of Portugal, and Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford University.

NED’s International Forum

The Forum hosted several events featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows. On June 14, Cameroonian journalist Elie Smith spoke on “Social Media and Support for Free Speech and Democracy in Central Africa.” Pierre Tantchou of NED offered comments.

On June 30, Lebanese activist Lea Baroudi presented a screening of her documentary “Love and War on the Rooftop,” which reports on her project using performance arts to deradicalize Lebanese youth. Karen Farrell of NED joined Baroudi in conversation following the film.

On July 7, Zimbabwean women’s rights advocate Nyaradzo Mashayamombe delivered a presentation entitled “Preparing a New Generation of Women Leaders in Zimbabwe.” Natalie Kay of NED offered comments.

On July 12, Afghan activist and public official Fatema Jafari led a discussion entitled “Women and Good Governance in Afghanistan: Barriers and Opportunities.”

On July 21, Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi spoke about his new book The Fractious Path: Pakistan’s Democratic Transition. Comments were provided by Ambassador Robin Raphel, former assistant secretary of state for South Asia, and by Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute.

In October, the Forum welcomed a new group of Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows: Hajar Al-Kuhtany (United Kingdom/Iraq), Glanis Changachirere (Zimbabwe), Michael C. Davis (United States/Hong Kong), Claudia Escobar (Guatemala), Stanley Ibe (Nigeria), Hend Badawy Nafie (Egypt), Ghia Nodia (Georgia), Andrej Nosov (Serbia), Chiranuch Premchaiporn (Thailand), and Ashif Rabi (Bangladesh). [End Page 188]

 

Copyright © 2016 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press