PUBLIC DISCUSSION: POLITICAL PERSECUTION, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND DATA PROTECTION IN UKRAINE
Berlin, 18th November: On Monday, 18th November a Public Discussion about „Political Persecution, Freedom of Information and Data Protection in Ukraine” took place in Berlin. Yevhen Zakharov (Executive Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group), Oleksandr Pavlichenko (Head of the Unit on Access to Public Information, Ukrainian Ombudsman Office), Vsevolod Rechytskyi (Constitutional Expert of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group), Viola von Cramon (Former Members of Parliament, Alliance 90/The Greens), Susan Stewart (Sitfung Politik und Wissenschaft) and Stefanie Schiffer (European Exchange) discussed about actual human rights situation in Ukraine and background of lawmaking processes around the Tymoshennko case.
SUMMER SCHOOL AND OBSERVATION OF THE GERMAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
Berlin, 27th August 2013: From September 19-25, 2013 eighteen EPDE election experts will observe the German Parliamentary elections and will attend a summer school on election observation techniques. Topics as mathematical-statistical analysis of election results, electoral legislation and election systems will be on the agenda of the summer school. Meetings with German election experts and election administration as well as the German Foreign Ministry will be held. The Summer School and Observation of the German Parliamentary elections will be organized by European Exchange (Germany).
NAVALNY SENTENCED - URLASHOV SACKED: BAD PERSPECTIVES FOR SELF GOVERNMENT IN RUSSIA
Berlin, July 18th: Aleksej Navalny, Moscow city mayor candidate of the opposition Parnas party has been condemned to five years in prison by the Leninski district court in Kirov. The judges found Navalny guilty of embezzling 400.000 € from a timber firm while advising the Kirov gouvernor in 2009. According to independent experts and lawyers the conviction has to be assessed as a political decision. Aleksej Navalny has become famous as a harsh critic of the endemic corruption among leading groups of the Russian government and has published a series of articles and research about corrupt practice in today's Russia. According to Russian legislation Aleksej Navalny will be banned from participation in the Moscow city mayor elections if the judgement will come into effect. The fairness of the upcoming elections of Moscow city mayor which will be held on September 8th is thereby seriously put under question. European Exchange recalls a similar case where the elected city mayor of Jaroslaw, Evgenij Urlashov who won the seat of city mayor over the candidate of Edinnaya Rossija in April 2012 has been deprived of power by court decision of the Moscow based Basmanny court on July 18th 2013. Evgenij Urlashov is now held under investigative custody in Matroskaja Tishina in Moscow. European Exchange is concerned about the restriction of the voters will which are connected with these court decisions in the Navalny and Urlashov cases.
EU-RUSSIA CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM CALLS FOR MORE SOLIDARITY WITH THE CIVIL SOCIETY IN RUSSIA
European Exchange supports the initiative endorsed by the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum aiming at strenthening the support by the western democratic community towards the civil society in Russia. Please read here the Policy Paper "European Solidarity for Russia's Civil Society" and visit here the official website of the EU-Russia Civil Siciiety Forum for further details.
RUSSIAN EPDE MEMBER GOLOS FACES TO BE SHUT DOWN – EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS ALARMED ON THE CRACKDOWN ON RUSSIAN CIVIL SOCIETY
Brussels, 15 May 2013: The Association GOLOS and other leading Russian NGOs have been declared „foreign agents“ in the past few weeks and are facing now to be shut down. On May 15th in the European Parliament in Brussels a public discussion on the crackdown of the Russian civil society was held on invitation of Werner Schulz. MEP, Green Faction.
Lilia Shibanova, Association GOLOS, Yuri Dzhibladze, Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Stefanie Schiffer, European Exchange, Michael Pulch, EEAS and Jean Louis Ville, European Commission, discussed the actual situation, which emerged with the massive application of the Russian NGO law “on foreign agents” and the possible reactions by the European Institutions. The participants agreed that the crack-down on Russian civil society organisations is of highest priority for the EU–Russia relations, that the ongoing pressure on Russian NGOs is contradictory to Russia’s international obligations in the framework of the Council of Europe, the UN and the OSCE, and that the European Institutions would assess all legal opportunities how to further support the oppressed Russian civil society in the new difficult circumstances. The upcoming EU-Russia summit in Ekaterinburg on June 3-4 represents an important opportunity for the EU to raise these concerns directly with the Russian leaders. The Association GOLOS, Russian founding member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections has been declared “foreign agent” and is facing its closure.
Read more here.
DISCUSSION: "RUSSIAN (CIVIL) SOCIETY - A YEAR LATER. PROSPECTS OF EUROPEAN CIVIL SOCIETY COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA"
Berlin: On 13th May 2013 a disussion "Russian (civil) society - a year later. Prospects of European civil society cooperation with Russia" will be held in the German Bundestag.
Date: Monday, May 13, 2013 18:00 - 20:30 clock
Registration: Please register until 9 May with Name, Surname and Date of Birth to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMINAR RUSSIA 'S CIVIL SOCIETY UNDER PRESSURE - WHAT THE EU SHOULD DO
Brussels: On 15th May 2013 a seminar will be held in the European Parliament. The topic is: Russia's Civil Society under pressure - what the EU should do.
Russian civil society is today under unprecedented pressure from the side of Russian state agencies. The European Union must set a clear signal of support and solidarity with Russia’s emerging civil society. Actual EC funding for Russian NGOs does by far not meet the actual capacities of Russian NGOs and is not adequate to the political need for the support of democratic movements in the country. EC funding for Russian NGOs must be increased significantly. But we should also think about how to improve awareness raising, political support, speed up visa facilitation and more.The Seminar is organised by Werner Schulz MEP.
"KIEV DIALOGUE" 2013
On 5-6th March 2013 the ninth "Kiev dialogue" on "Gender Policy: Successes- Failures- Prospects" took place in the President Hotel in Kiev. Among the prominent speakers were Ms. Rebecca Harms, MEP, President of the Greens / EFA Group in the European Parliament, Brussels, Ms. June Zeitlin, Special Representative of the OSCE, Chair-in-Office on Gender Issues, Washington, Ms. Dr. Irmgard Schwaetzer, Former Federal Minister of Germany, Lidiya Drozdowa, Deputy Minister of Social Affairs of Ukraine, Lilia Grinevich, MP, Chairwoman of the Committee on Science and Education, Olena (Feodoriwna) Bondarenko, former MP, Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Issues, Anka Feldhusen, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy Kiev, Yuri Andruchovych, Ukrainian writer, poet, essayist and patron of the "Kiev dialogues".
The conference was held with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the International Renaissance Foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Greens / EFA Group in the European Parliament, the German Foreign Office and the OSCE . More information you can find here
EPDE STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN ARMENIA, 18 FEBRUARY 2013
Yerevan, 18 February 2013: The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) has directed a delegation consisting of four experts of the EPDE member organisations Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Swedish International Liberal Centre SILC, Sweden, Association GOLOS, Russia and European Exchange, Germany to the Presidential elections on 18 February in Armenia. The delegation was granted accreditation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia on 16 February and conducted observation of election-day in Yerevan and Lori region. The aim of the EPDE delegation’s visit was to get an insight in the election process and to draft recommendations for the further development of civic election observation in Armenia. This Statement is based on the findings of the EPDE delegation to Armenia from 14 - 20 February 2013 and on the observations of EPDE’s Armenian member organisation Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor HCAV. The elections were characterised by a lack of political competition, low-key campaigning and a relatively low presence of partisan election observers in precincts on election-day. This has to be explained with the decision of the three main opposition parties not to nominate their candidates for the Presidential elections and consequently not to deploy their proxies to the election precincts.
Full report is available here
EPDE PROTESTS DETENTION OF CIVIC ACTIVISTS IN AZERBAIJAN
Baku, 13 February 2013: The European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) condemns yesterday’s incident in Khamaz, Azerbaijan, where a training conducted by representatives of EPDE’s member organization Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) was disrupted by the local police.
"This incident contributes to further raising our concern ahead of the scheduled 16 October 2013 Presidential elections in Azerbaijan", Stefanie Schiffer, coordinator of the EPDE says in a statement today. – "Civic participation in the election process, including training of citizens, are necessary requisites in democratic elections, and this kind of intimidation is unacceptable".
On February 12th 2013, the civil society activists Gunay Ismayilova and Javid Nabiyev, both representing Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) experienced police harassment and were detained while they were holding a training on citizen participation in public policy in Khachmaz region of Azerbaijan. The two now risk further investigation and criminal persecution.
Very recently legitimate protesters were arrested in Ismailly and in Baku. Ilgar Mammadov, a chairman of the opposition REAL Movement and potential presidential candidate as well as Tofig Yagublu, the deputy chairman of opposition Musavat Party were arrested and accused of calling the Ismailly residents to mass disorder.
EPDE demands an immediate end to the harassment of civil and political activists who stand for free and democratic elections in Azerbaijan, and calls on Azerbaijani authorities to guarantee freedom of association and freedom of assembly in the country.
PRESENTATION OF EUROPEAN PLATFORM FOR DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS (EPDE) AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS
Brussels, 31 January 2013: “Civic observation is a powerful instrument for citizens’ control over electoral processes and deserves the attention and the support of the European institutions. We wish the best success for the newly established “European Platform for Democratic Elections” said Werner Schulz, Member of the European Parliament, during the presentation of the EPDE at the European Parliament on Wednesday January 30th.
The platform was established in December 2012 in Warsaw by the twelve most experienced civil society organisations conducting or supporting civic election observation in the six Eastern Partnership countries and in the Russian Federation. EPDE will provide peer learning and exchange of methodologies for the detection of election falsification. “The platform will assist its members in improving their observation techniques and disseminating their findings to the international community” explains Berit Lindeman from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. “The example of Ukraine shows that even in a situation where the quality of the election process deteriorates, citizens’ observation of electoral processes can contribute to more transparency during the elections” comments Sergiy Tkachenko from the Committee of Voters of Ukraine.
Among the planned activities for 2013 are experts’ missions and information campaigns during the upcoming Presidential elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. EPDE is not planning to organise fully-fledged international civic election observation missions but rather to train and to encourage domestic election observers in those European countries that restrict their citizens’ rights to democratic elections.
EUROPEAN ELECTION OBSERVERS LAUNCH PLATFORM IN WARSAW
Warsaw, 13 December 2012: On 12th December 2012, twelve civil society organisations supporting or conducting citizens’ election observation in the states of the Eastern Partnership, the Russian Federation and the European Union have launched the “European Platform for Democratic Elections” (EPDE) in Warsaw. The secretariat of the Platform is hosted at European Exchange, Berlin.
The first activities of the European Platform for Democratic Elections are directed towards supporting citizens’ observation during the upcoming presidential elections in 2013 in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as well as towards the regional elections in the Russian Federation and in Ukraine.
The Policy Paper "Domestic Election Observation in Europe - Strategy and Perspectives" is available here.
RUSSIAN NGO LAW "ON INTERNATIONAL AGENTS" IN FORCE
Moscow, 20 November 2012: The new law on "International Agents" came into force in Russia on November 20th 2012. Russian NGOs obtaining international financial support and being "politically active" are forced to register as "international agents". The law contradicts both the Russian constitution and international obligations of the Russian Federation. Hooligans already became active: Here Oleg Orlov before the building of Memorial in Moscow.
SERIOUS IRREGULARITIES DURING VOTE TABULATION IN UKRAINE
Kyiv, 1 November 2012: Almost one week after election day the vote tabulation is still not terminated in some election districts of Ukraine. Irregularities occure in some of the most competative constituencies. OSCE observers and members of the Central Election Commission claim that elections should be declared invalid and be repeated in some of the Ukrainian election constituencies. Find the press release of the Civil Society Election Observation Mission here.
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS INTERNATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO UKRAINE
Kyiv, 29 October 2012: European Exchange with Stefan Batory Foundation and EESC Lithuania have issued the preliminary report of the International Civil Society Observation Mission to the Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections in October 2012.
The International Civil Society Election Observation Mission (CSEOM) is organized by non-governmental organizations from Poland (Stefan Batory Foundation), Germany (European Exchange) and Lithuania (Eastern Europe Studies Centre under the auspices of Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Markus Meckel. The mission is operating in Ukraine from 17 September until 7 November. It includes 15 long term staff (experts and observers) as well as short term observers deployed throughout the country. Two Interim Reports were published on 5 and 23 October. The Final Report will be presented at the end of November.
SECOND INTERIM REPORT – CIVIL SOCIETY ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO UKRAINE
Kyiv, 21 October 2012: European Exchange with Stefan Batory Foundation and EESC Lithuania have issued the second interim report of the International Civil Society Observation Mission to the Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections in October 2012.
The full report is available here.
FIRST INTERIM REPORT – CIVIL SOCIETY ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO UKRAINE
Kyiv, 5 October 2012: European Exchange with Stefan Batory Foundation and EESC Lithuania have issued the first interim report of the International Civil Society Observation Mission to the Ukrainian Parliamentary Elections in October 2012.
The full report is available here.
PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE LONG - TERM MONITORING OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN BELARUS
Minsk, 24. September 2012: The “Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections” campaign comes to conclusion that the election process was marked by serious violations of the principles of democratic and fair elections, as described in the OSCE standards and the Belarusian legislation. The election took place in the atmosphere of political persecution and repression of the opponents of the government; this political environment, as well as the limitations at the stages of creation of election commissions and campaigning had a negative effect on the freedom to make an informed choice. Non-transparency of vote count procedure makes it impossible to state that the election results reflect the will of the Belarusian people.
RADOSLAV SIKORSKI OPENS CIVIL SOCIETY OBSERVATION MISSION TO UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS
Warsaw, 20th September 2012: European Exchange in partnership with the Polish Stefan Batory Foundation and the Lithuanian Eastern Europe Studies Centre launched the Civil Society Observation Mission to the Parliamentary elections on October 28th in Ukraine. The mission was opened by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski in Warsaw and will operate from September 17 till November 7. It will include 15 long term staff (experts and observers) and up to 150 Short-Term Observers, deployed in Lviv, Tarnopil, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Kiev.The launching conference gathered patrons of the mission – Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Poland’s former president and Markus Meckel, former opposition activist and the last Foreign Minister of GDR as well as donor institutions and representatives of other observation missions to Ukraine. Olha Avjazovska (Opora) and Oleksandr Chernenko (Committee of Voters of Ukraine) presented the pre-election situation in Ukraine and results of their work up to date. The mission will present two interim briefs before the election. The preliminary report will be presented one day after elections, on October 29. The final report will be published and presented at the end of November in Warsaw, Berlin and Vilnius. The mission is financially supported through the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation.
Read the full Press Release here.
PRESENTATION OF MONITORING RESULTS PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS BELARUS IN BRUSSEL ON 26.09.2012 AND BERLIN ON 27.09.2012
Berlin, 18th September 2012: Aleh Hulak (Belarusian Helsinki Committee) and Vladimir Labkovich (Human Rights Centre Viasna) of the initiative "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections" will present the outcomes of the domestic long term election observation of the Parliamentary elections on September 26th in the European Parliament and on September 27th in the German Bundestag. The presentation of the preliminary election observation report will be conducted in cooperation with the European Exchange and with the Faction Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (in the Bundestag Berlin) and the Belarus Delegation (in the European Parliament). More information you may find here http://www.gruene-bundestag.de/news/termin/veranstaltung/belarus-nach-den-wahlen-wahlbeobachter-berichten.html. For registration at the European Parliament please contact werner.schulz-office(at)ep.europa.eu
EUROPEAN ELECTION OBSERVATION - WORKSHOP IN PRAGUE
Prague, August 17th 2012: In the framework of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum European Exchange and GOLOS, the Association of Russian election observers have held a workshop with 22 participants from civil society organisations from Belarus, the Czekh Republic, Germany, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden in order to discuss better coordination and cooperation of civil society organisations in the field of non partisan, domestic election observation throughout Europe. The workshop was hosted and organised by People in Need and DEMAS form the Czekh Republic. A policy paper with the main findings and recommendations will be elaborated during September 2012.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH CIVIL SOCIETY OF BELARUS ON 4TH AUGUST IN BERLIN
Berlin, 4th August 2012: On 4th of August the International Day of Solidarity with civil society of Belarus took place in Berlin. This Day of Solidarity was the occasion to attract attention to the human rights situation in Belarus, and to express solidarity with the belarusian citizens fighting for their civil rights under permanent pressure and harassment. The 4th August 2011 is the day Ales Bialiatski was arrested. Ales Belyatsky, a leading figure in the defense of human rights, was the chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", and the vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights.
DOMESTIC ELECTION OBSERVERS IN BELARUS START MONITORING OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, 23 SEPTEMBER 2012
On 23 September 2012 parliamentary elections are being held in Belarus (second round, if required, on 7 October 2012).The campaign "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections", which is made up of members of the Human Rights Center Viasna and the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, announced the start of its long-term election monitoring mission on 21 June.
Until the end of October, European Exchange will distribute a weekly newsletter in German and English to interested readers across the world. Further information and up-to-date news will be regularly published via the websites of the aforementioned organisations. If you would like to receive the reports please send an email to: email@example.com with the subjects "Subscribe English" or "Subscribe Deutsch".
WORKSHOP IN VILNIUS: "TRADITIONAL DOMESTIC ELECTION MONITORING AND USE OF NEW SOCIAL MEDIA"
Vilnius, 11 June 2012: Members of the Belarusian election observation network "Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections", of the project elect.by and of the project "Election Observation Teory and Practice" together with European Exchange Berlin met on June 11th in Vilnius with Grigory Melkonjanc, vice director of the Russian association on election observation GOLOS in order to exchange experience and to discuss appropriate and effective means how to combine traditional methods of election observation with the use of the new social media. The workshop was hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Vilnius.
EVALUATION OF THE MOLDOVIAN "COALITION FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS"
Moldova, 30 May 2012: On May 30th 2012 thirty out of 70 members of the "Coalition for Free and Fair Elections" in Moldova, a partner of the European Exchange since 2010, have discussed the results of an evaluation of the coalition's work. A debate of the priorities for the further development of the coalition's work was held. The workshop was part of a common project of European Exchange and the Coalition aiming to support and further develop the work of domestic election monitoring on the Republic of Moldova.
LAUNCH OF DECLARATION OF GLOBAL PRINCIPLES FOR NONPARTISAN ELECTION OBSERVATION IN NEW YORK
New York, April 2012: The Global Network of Domestic Elections Monitors has launched the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations. Leaders representing 150 citizen election observation groups joined former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, NDI's chairman; Ambassador Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general; Ambassador Albert Ramdin, OAS assistant secretary general; Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, OSCE/ODIHR director; and others to launch the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations. The Declaration was launched at a ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York hosted by the UN Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD). Ion Manole from European Exchange's partner organisation PROMO Lex, Moldova participated in the meeting. See here
ASSOCIATION GOLOS: PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE ELECTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Moscow, 5 March 2012: In general, the RF presidential elections can be characterized as normal in the context of the past decade of Russian elections, with an insufficient level of competition, government interference with the electoral process, and some degree of coercion to vote. These elections cannot be classified as free and fair under the definitions provided in the Russian constitution and international electoral standards.
Russian version you will find here.
GOLOS REPORTS ON ELECTION MONITORING IN BRUSSELS AND BERLIN
Lilia Shibanova, Director of the Association GOLOS reported on the first results of the independent long term election monitoring of the Presidential elections in Russia through GOLOS on 1st March 1st 2012 in Berlin. The meeting was held on the invitation of Dr. Andreas Schockenhoff, MP and coordinator for civil society relations with the Russian Federation.
On March 7th 2012 GOLOS will report on the first findings of the monitoring of the election day in the European Parliament in Brussels. Find the invitation to the meeting here: www.werner-schulz-europa.eu/wahlen-in-russland/524-anhoerung-wahlauswertung-praesidenschaftswahlen.html
A public discussion on the elections in Russia will be hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Brussels also on March 7th. Invitation and registration: www.boell.eu/calendar/VA-viewevt-en.aspx
SECOND GOLOS STATEMENT ON AGITATION (1.03.2012)
On 1st March, Association GOLOS has published its Second Statement on the agitation period of the presidential campaign. In the report GOLOS states, that "the negative tendencies of the fall 2011 campaign smoothly transitioned to the presidential election campaign, which was compounded by a harsh confrontation between adherents and opponents of one of the candidates and was deprived of normal political debates on the country's key problematic issues".
For the full version in Russian language click here.
CONFERENCE ON THE RESULTS OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA, BERLIN, 8th MARCH 2012
On 8th March, European Exchange together with the German Association for East-European Studies, the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Russian election monitoring organisation GOLOS will stage a conference in the venues of the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin. True to the slogan "Every vote counts, but who counts the vote?" the participants, Marieluise Beck (MP), Patricia Flor (MFA), Lilia Shibanova (GOLOS), Stefanie Schiffer (European Exchange), Nicolai Petrov (Carnegie Center Moscow), Heike Dörrenbächer (DGO) as well as Matthias Petschke (EC Representation) will discuss the results of the presidential elections in Russia and their impact on the future political development in the country.
PRESS COVERAGE OF RUSSIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN ON EUROPEAN EXCHANGE FACEBOOK
Two weeks before the election day, European Exchange starts to monitor the world press coverage of the presidential elections in Russia. On the European Exchange facebook we will regularly update the links to the most interesting and meaningful articles considering different aspects of the election campaign. To see what’s new in the election campaign in Russia visit our facebook here.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA: FIRST STATEMENT ON NOMINATION AND REGISTRATION OF CANDIDATES
The GOLOS Association presents its First Statement on the Nomination and Registration of Candidates for the post of the President.
The Association GOLOS highlights the fact that, in spite of multiple criticisms of the undemocratic character of the process currently in place for nominating and registering candidates, and of other procedures related to the election of the Russian President, who will, on 4th March 2012, for the first time be elected for a six-year term, no substantial positive changes of any kind have been made to the electoral legislation. These have only been put on the agenda by the government for the next elections in 2018.
For the full report in Russian please see here
ELECTIONS TO THE STATE DUMA - FINAL REPORT
The GOLOS Association presents the Final Report on the Elections to the State Duma, 4. December 2011
Moscow 27. January 2012 - The election of deputies to the State Duma was neither free nor fair, nor did it meet the demands of the Russian electoral code and international electoral standards. The fundamental principles of elections were not adhered to, namely true competition and the equal rights of all sides involved, a neutral administration, independent election commissions, a vote conforming to the law and a correct vote-counting process. All phases of the election period were marked by a range of violations against the electoral code, which were designed to distort the will of the electorate and thereby remove the possibility of an appropriate representation of citizens’ interests in the most senior legislative organ of the country.
PROTEST FOR FREE ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA
A protest for Free Elections in Russia is planned for the 4th of february. Start: Ost-Ausschuss Breite Str.29 Berlin. Please spread the message!
ODHIR: FINAL REPORT ON DUMA ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA PUBLISHED
ODHIR has published the final report on Parliamentary elections in Russia. Recommendations include better transparency of election results, and separation between party and state as well as a series of amendments to the election code according to the Copenhague documents. www.osce.org/odihr/
GOLOS REPORTS ON ELECTION FRAUD IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
On December 7th and 8th 2011 Maria Lipman from the Carnegie Centre Moscow and Arkadi Lubarev from GOLOS reported on the outcomes of the Russian Duma elections in Brussels. The meetings were held on the invitation of European Exchange, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the EU - Russia Delegation at the European Parliament.
Currently GOLOS is preparing the final monitoring report of the Duma elections which is to be expected by end of January 2012.
Case-by-case documentation of election fraud may be found on the "map of results" of GOLOS - here you get an insight into the falsifiaction factory of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. See here.
PROTEST IN FRONT OF THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY
A protest fpr Free Elections in Russia is planned for the 10th of december in front of the russian embassy of Berlin (Unter den Linden 63). Please spread the message!
GOLOS REPORT: MASSIVE FALSIFICATION AND HARRASSMENT OF INDEPENDENT ELECTION OBSERVERS
Golos presents its draft report on the election periode and reports on massive falsifications during the election campaign. Arkadi Lubarev, GOLOS and Masha Lipman, Carnegie Centre will present the main findings of the election observation and discuss political perspectives during a lunch debate with the Heinrich Boell foundation in Brussels on December 7th at 12.30. See here. A presentation of the outcomes of the Duma Elections through Lubarev and Lipman will be held in the European Parliament on 7th December at 16.00. See here. On 8th December there will be held a public discussion on the elections at the Lew Kopelew Forum in Koeln. For further informations go here.
INCREASING PRESSURE ON THE ELECTION MONITORING OF GOLOS
European Exchange is extremely concerned about the increasing pressure on our partner organization GOLOS. The EU Russia Civil Society Forum which was hold 1 and 2nd December 2011 in Warsaw and where both GOLOS and European Exchange hold membership has expressed its protest against the restrictions of the work of GOLOS and calls on the Russian administration to fully guarantee the independent monitoring of the upcoming Parliamentary elections through GOLOS. The declaration you may find here (in english) and here (in german). The latest monitoring reports of GOLOS you may find here.
See also a statment of GOLOS (only in german available) concerning the spoiling campaign against their organisation.
DECLARATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY MEMORIAL
30. November 2011
Zur Unterstützung der Assoziation GOLOS
Je näher die Dumawahlen kommen, umso größer wird die Nervosität der russischen Machthaber. In den vergangenen Tagen wurde die Assoziation GOLOS, die seit 2000 Wahlen beobachtet und Verletzungen fixiert, beispiellos angegriffen. Die Zeitung «Rossijskaja Gaseta» hat über diese angesehene Organisation einen Artikel veröffentlicht, der sich in keiner Weise von denen unterscheidet, die zu Sowjetzeiten über Andrej Sacharow oder Alexander Soschenizyn geschrieben wurden. Abgeordnete der Parteien Einiges Russland, LDPR und Gerechtes Russland haben dem Generalstaatsanwalt Tschajka eine kollektive Anfrage zugeleitet, in der sie ihn bitten auf die Tätigkeit der Assoziation GOLOS zu reagieren und darauf hinweisen, dass GOLOs angeblich in grober Weise die russische Wahlgesetzgebung verletzt. Der Hauptvorwurf ist in KGB-Tradition einfach: Die Organisation bekommt Geld von ausländischen Organisationen und das bedeutet für die Klage Führenden, dass ihre Arbeit den russischen Staat untergräbt. Genau diese Anschuldigung war auch in äußerst grober Form aus dem Mund von Putin auf dem Parteitag von Einiges Russland zu vernehmen.
Wir sehen keinen Sinn darin von der Staatsmacht zu fordern, die verleumderische Kampagne gegen die unabhängigen Beobachter einzustellen und sich bei GOLOS zu entschuldigen. Solcher Art Hysterie hört nicht wegen irgend jemandes Forderungen auf. Wir wollen lediglich die Aufmerksamkeit der Öffentlichkeit darauf lenken, dass die gegenwärtigen Machthaber sich keinesfalls um eine mögliche Verfälschung des Wählerwillens im Laufe der Abstimmung und bei der Stimmenauszählung sorgen, sondern um Aktivität derjenigen, die diese Verfälschungen bemerken und aufdecken könnten. Die Gründe für solch einseitige Sorge dürften offensichtlich sein. Wir drücken unsere Unterstützung und unsere Hochachtung für die Assoziation GOLOS und für alle aus, die mit Kräften dazu beitragen, die Zahl der möglichen Wahlfälschungen zu verringern. [PDF]
CALL FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE AND REHABILITATION OF ALES BELIACKI
Together with other 75 European human rights organisations, European Exchange resolutely condemns the court verdict to sentence Ales Bialiatski to 4,5 years imprisonment with confiscation of his property. Together with the Human Rights House network we call upon the Belarusian authorities to immediately drop all charges against Ales Bialiatski and stop his criminal prosecution.
More information and the letter sent to the Belarusian Authorities on November 24 you may find on the website of the Human Rights House network see here.
RUSSIAN ELECTION OBSERVERS IN THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG
On Thursday, 24th of November 2011, Lilia Shibanova and Alexander Kynev from the independent election monitoring organization GOLOS, Moscow, presented the main findings of the ongoing election observation to the Duma elections on an experts' discussion in the German Bundestag. The meeting was hold on the invitation of Dr. Andreas Schockenhoff MdB and the European Exchange. Ms Shibanova and Mr Kynev reported on the main manipulations observed during the agitation campaign, the results of the media monitoring of GOLOS and on the political context of the ongoing elections.
For more pictures go here.
BERLIN DECEMBER 13th 2011: ELECTION OBSERVERS REPORT ON DUMA ELECTIONS
The Heinrich Boell Foundation and European Exchange invite to a public disussion on the quality of the Duma election on December 13th 2011, 7 pm - 9 pm at the Heinrich Boell Foundation Berlin, Schumannstrasse 8 with Aleksandr Buzin, GOLOS; Nikolai Petrov, Carnegie Center Moscow; Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag, Green Party; facilitation Walter Kaufmann, Heinrich Böll Stiftung. More information and registration see here.
PRESS RELEASE OF GREENS/EUROPEAN FREE ALLIANCE
Straßburg, 15. November 2011
EU muss im Fall Magnitsky klare Konsequenzen ziehen
Am 16. November jährt sich zum zweiten Mal der Mord am Anwalt Sergej Magnitsky, der 2009 in einem Moskauer Untersuchungsgefängnis wegen unterlassener medizinischer Hilfe starb. Dazu erklärt der grüne Europaabgeordnete Werner Schulz, Vizevorsitzender des Parlamentarischen Kooperationsausschusses EU-Russland, dass die EU dem Beispiel der USA und Großbritanniens folgen solle. Lady Ashton muesse aktiv werden und Initiativen und Diskussionen wie in den Niederlanden und Deutschland über Einreiseverbote und Kontensperrungen der beteiligten korrupten Beamten zusammenführen und durchsetzen.
DUMA-WAHLEN IN RUSSLAND - PERSPEKTIVEN FÜR RUSSLAND UND DEUTSCHLAND
On the 23th of November 2011, 7pm at Tagesspiegel Verlagshaus, Askanischer Platz 3, 10963 Berlin. Participants: Prof. Lew Gudkow, "Levada-Centre", Moscow; Lilia Shibanova, GOLOS, Moscow; Marina Schuster MdB, FDP; Prof. Dr. Hans-Henning Schröder, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. The invitation, the application and the programm can be found here. Please apply till the 21st of November.
ELECTION MONITORING CAMPAIGN STARTS
European Exchange and the Russian election monitoring organisation GOLOS are launching regular coverage of the parliamentary election campaign. In the coming three months, election monitoring reports by GOLOS and expert’s opinions will be published fortnightly as a special category of the Russland Analysen (Russia Analyses), the Russian Analytical Digest and distributed via this online newsletter to an interested public. The coverage is supported by the German Association for East European Studies DGO and the Heinrich Boell Foundation. You may find the reports on this website.
TRAIL OF VIASNA LEADER ALES BIALIATSKI
The Human Rights Center VIASNA annouced that the trial of their leader Ales Bialiatski is due to start on the 2nd of November at Minsk Maskouski District Court. Bialiatski has been arrested on the 4th of August by Belarusian authorities on charges of tax evasion.
Read the article here
GOLOS PRESS RELEASE
Golos Expresses Concern over comments made by Central Election Commission Chairman (CEC), Vladimir Churov, in a recent interview on Rain TV.
Full article can be read here (in English)
DECLARATION OF THE "EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CONFERENCE" MEETING FOR THE EAP SUMMIT IN WARSAW
The civil society organisations, participants of the Warsaw "Eastern Partnership Conference" 29th September are concernced about continuous human rights violations in the countries of the Eastern Partnership and call for their unanominous condemnation through the EU institutions - see the declaration here.
BELARUS: FREE ALES BIALIATSKI !
European Exchange supports an action of LIBERECO, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ales Bialiatski, Chair of the Human Rights Centre VIASNA, who has been detained by Belarusian authorities on charges of tax evasion.
Sign an appeal and send it to President Lukashenka!
Find some samples here (in English, Russian, German)
EUROPEAN EXCHANGE CALLS FOR FREE ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA, AND FOR THEIR INDEPENDENT OBSERVATION
Stefanie Schiffer, CEO of European Exchange, along with representatives of other organizations, has signed a statement calling for free and fair elections in Russia, and for a monitoring of the upcoming elections by independent domestic observation missions. The statement has been released in the context of the 2011 “Petersburg Dialogue“ (where this issue hasn’t been touched during the concluding session, with President Medvedev and Chancellor Merkel present).
Read the statement here (in German).
EUROPEAN EXCHANGE SIGNS OPEN LETTER PROTESTING MASS ARRESTS IN BELARUS
Europan Exchange has signed as one of 38 Organisations from 16 countries an Open letter to the President of the Republic of Belarus to protest the continuing repressions against civil society in Belarus and the recent arrests of peaceful demonstrators.
See the Open letter here.
LOCAL ELECTIONS IN MOLDOVA
Since April 2011 European Exchange is cooperating with the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections in Moldova.
Local elections of June 5 and 19th resulted with the opposition Moldovan Communist Party (MCP) getting 4.077 mandates of local councilors and mayors.
According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the elected 203 mayors, 434 raion and municipal councilors and 3.440 rural and town councilors are from the MCP. The 2nd ranked the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (LDPM), which has 3.627 thousand elected representatives, including 286 mayors. The 3rd is the Democratic Party – 2.709 thousand (220); the 4th – the Liberal Party with 1.388 thousand and 97 respectively. The new city major of the capital Chisinau is Dorin Chirtoaca from the Liberal Party who had a narrow victory over Igor Dodon from the Communist party with 50,6% to 49,5%.
Please find the monitoring report of the local elections here
BELARUS: MONITORING OF POST-ELECTION TRIALS
10 June, 2011
NEWSLETTER No. 12: WEEKLY REVIEW OF POST-ELECTION SITUATION IN BELARUS (30 May - 05 June)
The trials of the majority of figurants of the “19 December riot” criminal case came to an end in May. 31 people were convicted. However, there remain about 20 suspects and accused who haven't been tried so far. Rodion Marinichev, correspondent for the Russian TV channel Dozhd, was deported from Belarus and banned entry for 5 years. The court left in force the official warning to the private socio-political weekly Nasha Niva. The cassation appeal against the warning issued to the Chair of the Human Rights Center Viasna, Ales Bialiatski, for activities on behalf of unregistered organization, was left standing as well. The Ministry of Justice exercises pressure on lawyers. Convicts make statements about the use of torture during the investigation.
See the full report http://spring96.org/en/news/43867.
POLITICAL PRISONERS, A BOMBING, AND THE ECONOMY IN CRISIS – A BAD START FOR LUKASHENKA
Stefanie Schiffer, CEO of the European Exchange, has published an article Politische Gefangene, Bombenattentat und Wirtschaftskrise – kein guter Start für Lukaschenka [“Political Prisoners, a bombing, and the economy in crisis – a bad start for Lukashenka”] on the situation in Belarus after the 2010 presidential elections in Belarus-Analysen.
Read more here [German].
For subscribing to Belarus-Analysen please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject “Abo Belarus-Analyse”
ANNOUNCMEMENT: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH ALES MIKHALEVICH AND KATYA STATKEVICH AT THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG ON FRIDAY, MAY 13 2011, AT 2:00 PM.
The press conference on the post-election situation in Belarus is being organised by the German-Belarusian Society, in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Bundestag fractions of CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, and Alliance 90/The Greens. The conference will be moderated by Marieluise Beck, Member of the Bundestag.
For further details or to register, click here.
FOUNDING MEETING OF THE EU-RUSSIA CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
On 28-29 March 2011, 57 representatives of the Russian and EU civil societies came together in Prague for the Founding Meeting of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The aim of the Forum is to increase interaction and cooperation between civil society organisations from across Russia and the EU member states and to promote people to people exchanges. Werner Schulz, MEP of the Greens/EFA and an official observer of the Forum, said to Deutsche Welle „The important thing is to support those forces that are promoting democracy and participation and that are very active in terms their involvement in society”. European Exchange is co-author of the initiative and has, from the very beginning, contributed to the preparation of the EU Russia Forum.
For more information see: EU-Russia Civil Society Forum and Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, Russian Federation
PRESENTATION OF INDEPENDENT MONITORING REPORT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN BELARUS AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
On Thursday, 17 March 2011, Aleh Hulak (Chairman of the Belarus Helsinki Committee), Uladzimir Labkovich (Human Rights Center “Viasna”) and Stefanie Schiffer (COE of the “European Exchange”), at the invitation of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Belarus, presented the findings in the independent monitoring report to the Delegation, chaired on that day by Elisabeth Schroedter and Werner Schulz, both of the Greens / EFA.
PRESENTATION OF INDEPENDENT MONITORING REPORT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN BELARUS IN THE GERMAN BUNDESTAG
On Thursday, 24 February 2011, Aleh Hulak (Chairman of the Belarus Helsinki Committee), Valiantsin Stefanovich (Human Rights Center “Viasna”) and Stefanie Schiffer (COE of the “European Exchange”), on the invitation of Marie-Luise Beck and the Greens Faction of the German Bundestag, have presented the outcomes of the independent monitoring report in the German Bundestag.
The presentation of independent monitoring report in the European Parliament will take place on Thursday, 17 March 2011 in Brussels.
You may get more information from email@example.com
INTERVIEW DW AND TUT.BY: CANCELLATION OF VISA REGIME FOR BELARUSIANS - A QUESTION OF TIME
According to Stefanie Schiffer, CEO European Exchange for Deutsche Welle and tut.by the cancellation of the Shengen visa regime for Belarusians is overdue and a question of time. Read the interviews here:
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS PUBLISH THE FINAL REPORT ON THE 2010 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections campaign presents its final monitoring report on the December 19, 2010 presidential election in Belarus.
Public presentations of the report will take place on
80 long term observers conducted the monitoring of all stages of the electoral campaign since September 14, 2010. Furthermore, 600 short-term observers were permanently present at 300 polling stations throughout the country during the early voting and on the election day. The report gives the campaign's assessment on the election process and provides recommendations on how the election process could be brought in line with international standards.
The campaign is a joint undertaking of the Human Rights Centre Viasna (http://spring96.org) and Belarusian Helsinki Committee (http://www.belhelcom.org), implemented in cooperation with Europaeischer Austausch / European Exchange (www.european-exchange.org). The campaign is independent and politically non-engaged.
Click here to read the full Independent Observation Report of the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections.
ONLY LOSERS: LUKASHENKA, THE PEOPLE, AND THE ELECTIONS
Stefanie Schiffer, CEO of the European Exchange, has published an article on the 2010 presidential elections in Belarus in the Berlin based magazine Osteuropa. The article Only Losers: Lukashenka, the People and the Election concerns the possible rationale for the rigged elections and the violent break up of the peacefull demonstrations on the election night in Minsk.
"Manipulated elections have become the norm in Belarus under Aliaksandr Lukashenka. For a long time, support for the regime was considered so great that manipulation was not needed. That has changed. The people hav lost their confidence in Lukashenka and his regime. The dictator reacted with repression and violence. The regime's brutal actions reveal its weakness. The forces of democracy and civil society in Belarus deserve solidarity and support. Civil society should move to the center of a coherent Belarus-EU policy". (Osteuropa, 12/2010, 224 S., 10,00 €)
Read more here
To order the magazine Osteuropa please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
BELARUS AFTER THE ELECTIONS
Invitation to Public Discussion on Friday January 14 at 6 pm at Heinrich Boell Foundation Berlin
RIGGED ELECTIONS - POST ELECTION PROTESTS IN BELARUS
More than 650 citizens of Belarus who have participated in peaceful protest after the election-day have been detained by riot police on December 19th and have been sentenced to up to 15 days in prison in closed court hearings by Minsk District Courts during December 20th and 21st. Another 18 persons – among them seven Presidential candidates, civic activists and journalists - face high criminal charges for “organising mass protest”. The offices of HR Centre Viasna and Charter 97 have been raided, members of Viasna, Belarusian Helsinki Committee and Charter 97 as well as numerous civic activists and journalists have been detained, websites of independent Belarusian civic organisations have been blocked. You may find regular updated news on the events in Belarus under www.sprin96.org
REPORT ON CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM FOR THE EASTERN PARTNERSHIP BERLIN, NOVEMBER 18 -19 2010
On November 18-19 2010 the second Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership was held in Berlin. The forum has brought together more than 200 representativces of civil society organisations of the six Eastern Partnership countries. The saying of civil society representatives in political negotiations between EU and EaP governmental structures should be gradually intensified, a permanent secretariate for the Civil Society Forum seems necessary, EU funding for Eastern Partnership civil society projects should increase siginificantly. Read more.
PRESIDENTAL ELECTIONS BELARUS, 19th DECEMBER 2010
The Initiative Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections and the European Exchange start domestic election monitoring of the presidential elections
The initiative Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections, in which up to 160 local experts - long-term observers, legal experts, journalists and election experts– are taking part, is announcing a long-term monitoring campaign of all stages of the election.
The Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections will be publishing comprehensive analyses of each stage of the elections, as well as providing daily news from the regions of Belarus. Furthermore, European Exchange will be using weekly newsletters to inform the international community of the most important trends of the election campaign.