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The Authoritarian Epidemic: Safeguarding Human Rights in Times of COVID-19

Upon the initiative of the Italian Senator Roberto Rampi
the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) and the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF)
invite you to the press conference


Wednesday, 29 July 2020, from 11.00 to 12.00
Sala Caduti di Nassirya — Italian Senate — Rome

On the occasion of the publication of the joint report of ODF and FIDU “The Toll of COVID-19 on Human Rights: Selected Countries and Territories” drafted in collaboration with the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) and The Arrested Lawyers Initiative (ALI), representatives of civil society and direct witnesses will gather to discuss human rights and freedom concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak in some of the countries we operate in. Among them are those countries where the anti-crisis measures have become yet other tools to keep the lid on dissenting voices and fundamental freedoms such as China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the illegally occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea in Ukraine.

Moreover, following the legislative proposal of the Italian Senate submitted on 6 March 2019, ODF and FIDU wish to relaunch the adoption and the enforcement of so-called Magnitsky laws in Italy and Europe. As long-standing promoters of a human rights sanctions regime in Europe and overseas, ODF and FIDU will outline how individual sanctions against egregious human rights abusers and corrupt officials can be an effective response to the authoritarian trends that COVID-19 brought to the surface.


Roberto Rampi — Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the 7th Permanent Commission of the Senate

Antonio Stango — President of the Italian Federation of Human Rights, co-founder of the Italian Helsinki Committee (moderator)

Drew Pavlou — Australian student and human rights activist; for one year he has been fighting against Beijing interference in his university, the University of Queensland (video message)

Paola Gaffurini — Advocacy Officer at the Open Dialogue Foundation, a human rights NGO active in the defence of political prisoners and victims of political persecution in the post-Soviet region

Alessandra Fabbretti — Foreign Affairs Journalist at Agenzia Dire with a focus on human rights and international cooperation

Working language: Italian
For more information and accreditation please contact:
Secretariat of FIDU [email protected]
The opinions and content expressed are the sole responsibility of the proposers and the speakers and are not attributable in any way to the Senate or to the organs of the Senate itself.
Access to the room — with proper dress code and, for men, the obligation of suit and tie — is allowed until the maximum capacity is reached. Journalists should demand accreditation by sending a fax at 06.6706.2947.