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Voices of Kazakhstan #5 post-election review of electoral irregularities

Voices of Kazakhstan #5 post-election review of electoral irregularities

Electoral fraud, obstruction of independent observers & massive arbitrary arrests. Welcome to elections in Kazakhstan Kazakhstan fails to meet OSCE standards for democratic elections – in its statement of preliminary findings and conclusions the observation mission points out to: lack of competition, limiting voters’ fundamental rights & freedoms, and the politicized Central Electoral Commission (CEC). […]

Voices of Kazakhstan #3: pre-election review of human rights situation (23 Dec-3 Jan)

Voices of Kazakhstan #3: pre-election review of human rights situation (23 Dec-3 Jan)

Kazakh regime flexes its muscles in the run-up to the January elections Tightening the authoritarian grip (source: Int. media coverage) Despite the encouraging news of Kazakhstan abolishing the death penalty on Jan 2nd, the wider picture is not all so rosy. With the elections approaching, the authorities put further pressure on the civil society – […]

Voices of Kazakhstan #2: pre-election review of human rights situation

Voices of Kazakhstan #2: pre-election review of human rights situation

Please, listen to the citizens of Kazakhstan January 10, 2021, is upon us, and with it comes a critical time for Kazakhstani civil society. With the parliamentary election looming large, the authorities are trying to ruthlessly silence any voice of dissent. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan plays a deceptive game with the international community by inviting – to […]

ODF amongst the organisations who call on the EU to sanction human rights abusers in Turkey

ODF amongst the organisations who call on the EU to sanction human rights abusers in Turkey

On 15 December 2020, The Open Dialogue Foundation signed a joint statement together with 10 other NGOs demanding relevant bodies of the EU to examine the current situation in Turkey in the context of the Global Human Rights Sanction regime and to impose sanctions on those who violate human rights in the country. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative, a volunteer organisation defending prosecuted lawyers and human rights defenders, initiated the joint statement.

Italian Senator Emma Bonino demands Italy’s MFA to condemn human rights violations in Kazakhstan

Italian Senator Emma Bonino demands Italy’s MFA to condemn human rights violations in Kazakhstan

On 25 November 2020, Italian Senator and Member of the Special Commission on Human Rights, Emma Bonino, submitted a written question (WQ) to Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi di Maio. The WQ is particularly focused on the case of the political killing of Zhanbolat Agadil and the request for individual sanctions on violators of human rights in Kazakhstan.

Italian MPs alarmed by the human rights backsliding in Kazakhstan

Italian MPs alarmed by the human rights backsliding in Kazakhstan

On 25 November 2020, 6 members of the Italian Parliament addressed President Tokayev with a letter, expressing their deep concern about the worrying state of fundamental freedoms in Kazakhstan; the mass repression puts Kazakhstan’s international credibility and its intention of becoming a ‘listening state’ (i.e. open to dialogue with civil society) at stake right before its parliamentary election.

Oppositionist Therefore Extremist

Oppositionist Therefore Extremist

Over the last 2.5 years, the authorities of Kazakhstan have arbitrarily detained over 7,000 peaceful protesters, which is an unprecedented amount in the history of the country. The police used excessive force, including pain grips and asphyxiating techniques. During interrogations, detainees are asked about their support for the opposition movements “Koshe Partiyasy” and DCK, and asked to publicly refuse to support Mukhtar Ablyazov, leader of DCK, the main opponent of the Kazakhstani regime.

ODF and FIDU addresses the Italian Senate on the impact of COVID-19 on human rights

ODF and FIDU addresses the Italian Senate on the impact of COVID-19 on human rights

The Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) and Federazione Italiana Diritti Umani (FIDU) are back on track after the lockdown with a real-life press conference “The Authoritarian Epidemic: Safeguarding Human Rights in Times of COVID-19”. The conference was held on 29 July 2020, at Sala Caduti di Nassirya of the Italian Senate, in Rome, Italy.

Finalising the settlement of the action #PosiłekDlaLekarza: 58,000 zlotys for City Hospital No. 4 in Gliwice

Finalising the settlement of the action #PosiłekDlaLekarza: 58,000 zlotys for City Hospital No. 4 in Gliwice

Today, Rafał Matouszek, Logistics Coordinator at the Open Dialogue Foundation, visited Silesia – his home region. During the special mission, Rafał met with the management of City Hospital No. 4 in Gliwice in order to sign a donation agreement for the amount of over 58,000 zlotys that remained after settlements with restaurants as part of the #PosiłekDlaLekarza (eng. MealForADoctor) campaign. The campaign was carried out together with the FOR (Civil Development Forum) Foundation and the Niskie Składki (Low Contributions) and Spontaniczny Sztab Obywatelski (Spontaneous Civic Staff) associations.

Kremlin Repression Continues. Letter of support for Open Russia activist

Kremlin Repression Continues. Letter of support for Open Russia activist

The case of Daria El Zhed, a Russian opposition activist, has become one more example of political persecution against members and leaders of the Open Russia opposition movement. This movement was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a long-time opponent of the Russian authoritarian regime. Daria El Zhed asked for political asylum in Austria. Now she may have to face extradition from Austria to Russia, where she will be tortured and subject to unfair investigation and trial.

Observation Mission – Human Rights in Ukraine: Selected cases of persecution of civil society activists since 2014

Observation Mission – Human Rights in Ukraine: Selected cases of persecution of civil society activists since 2014

This report includes, among else, direct observations made during a human rights monitoring mission to Ukraine in the period between 16–19 March 2019. The mission was held at the invitation of representatives of Ukrainian civil society. The mission visited Odessa and Kyiv, where a number of meetings were held with civil society activists, human rights activists, experts, relatives of Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, political refugees, Ukrainian officials, and diplomats accredited in the country. In addition to the meetings, the mission participants monitored a peaceful protest in Odessa on 16 March, 2019 and attended a round table in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 18 March 2019.

“The Wrong Place” –  Investigative Documentary about the Markiv Case

“The Wrong Place” – Investigative Documentary about the Markiv Case

We have always strived to fight against mis- and disinformation and thus counter threats to the proper functioning of democracies, including the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. For this reason we have supported the making of “The Wrong Place”, a documentary on the so-called Markiv Case, in which two journalists were killed in Donbas in 2014.

Kazakhstan: Political Oppression During the Pandemic

Kazakhstan: Political Oppression During the Pandemic

The coronavirus infection COVID-19 has become a challenge not only for healthcare systems, economics, social policy and public administration in most countries of the world, but also to human rights. Human rights have been especially threatened in authoritarian states, including Kazakhstan.

Onet: Grant from the US Embassy in Poland to the Open Dialogue Foundation

Onet: Grant from the US Embassy in Poland to the Open Dialogue Foundation

he Open Dialogue Foundation, headed by Lyudmyla Kozlovska, received PLN 71,000 from the U.S. Department of State for the promotion of the rule of law in Poland. – at the same time, the Onet.pl news site pointed out that the President herself, who is a Ukrainian citizen, cannot come to Poland as her name is on the national list of undesirable persons.

naTemat: The foundation hated by PiS received support from the US

naTemat: The foundation hated by PiS received support from the US

The Open Dialogue Foundation will educate secondary school students in Poland in the rule of law, including the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. It’s a new idea that was funded by the U.S. State Department through the U.S. Embassy.

Democracy Fitness – rule of law education with support from the US Government

Democracy Fitness – rule of law education with support from the US Government

Our new project, “Democracy fitness: transforming citizens into active stakeholders via exercising democracy”, financed by the State Department through the US Embassy in Warsaw, is aimed at secondary school students in Poland. The aim of the project is to strengthen the understanding of democratic values and processes as well as foster civic participation. Emphasis will be placed on educational activities in the area of the rule of law, including the separation of powers and independence of the judiciary. It is planned to start in September 2020.

ODF welcomes former Kazakhstani political prisoner, Iskander Yerimbetov, in Geneva

ODF welcomes former Kazakhstani political prisoner, Iskander Yerimbetov, in Geneva

This morning, 4 July 2020, Iskander Yerimbetov, Kazakhstani political prisoner released on 30 December of last year, arrived at the Geneva Airport, Switzerland, after he was granted a humanitarian visa. ODF, the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) and his family warmly welcomed him at the airport, congratulating Iskander for this long-awaited day. This is […]

“The Toll of COVID-19 on Human Rights” – a joint report by ODF and FIDU

“The Toll of COVID-19 on Human Rights” – a joint report by ODF and FIDU

The coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. As of 22 June 2020, the WHO had reported cases of COVID-19 in more than 216 countries and more than 8,844,171 people infected worldwide. The scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly rises to the level […]

Polish citizens deprived of their “right to know”. Our intervention at OSCE

Polish citizens deprived of their “right to know”. Our intervention at OSCE

Since the Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power in 2015, the Polish authorities purposefully obstruct access to information – either by refusing to provide information, delays in responding or delivering incomplete information. This both unconstitutional and undemocratic practice is yet another example of Poland going rogue under the PiS leadership, stated our advocacy officer, Katarzyna Szczypska, at the Second Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM), and urged the OSCE bodies to take a firm stance and discipline the Polish authorities to comply with the organisation’s principles.

Europa United Eurochat podcast – Polish Presidential election special with Martin Mycielski

Europa United Eurochat podcast – Polish Presidential election special with Martin Mycielski

On Monday, June 22nd, less than a week before the first round of the Polish presidential election, our colleague Martin Mycielski was a guest on a special edition of the Europa United Eurochat podcast. The episode was entirely focused on the upcoming election, so after a few questions about ODF and our work Martin dove into the history of the office of the President and its former holders, to then give an overview of the current candidates, their views and chances.

“Authoritarian regimes always strive to leave their victims on their own” – an interview with Lyudmyla Kozlovska

“Authoritarian regimes always strive to leave their victims on their own” – an interview with Lyudmyla Kozlovska

In an interview for the NewsMaker documentary “Moldova 2.0. One year without Plahotniuk”, Head of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska, told her story of becoming a subject of a criminal case in Moldova, spoke her views on the flee of Vladimir Plahotniuk in June 2019, and explained why she considers the changes that have occurred in Moldova over the past year, insufficient.

World’s leading legal scholars in defence of judge Tuleya – ODF’s follow-up letter to the European Commission

World’s leading legal scholars in defence of judge Tuleya – ODF’s follow-up letter to the European Commission

Today, on June 9, 2020, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court is holding a closed hearing regarding lifting the immunity of judge Igor Tuleya. This and other glaring violations of ECJ judgements and EU law have compelled the world’s leading legal scholars to sign a follow-up letter by ODF and Prof. Laurent Pech to the European Commission regarding the deterioration of the rule of law in Poland.

Report: How Hate Kills. Hate Crimes in Poland in 2019

Report: How Hate Kills. Hate Crimes in Poland in 2019

The last five years have been a period of rapid changes on the political scene in Poland – in 2015, presidential and parliamentary elections were held, and the election campaigns often referred to the dangers of immigration, aroused fears of refugees or Islamists, and appealed to anti-Semitic and anti-Ukrainian sentiments. At the same time, Europe faced the challenge of receiving and integrating large groups of immigrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Although this process was not visible in Poland, it became a subject of lively public debate, accompanied by real government action in this field.

Hate unmasked: new report on hate crimes in Poland

Hate unmasked: new report on hate crimes in Poland

Over 70 instances of hate crimes on racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, xenophobicand other grounds. This grim record is a result of Open Dialogue’s latest investigation into hate crimes in Poland. The report covers the period stretching from January to December 2019, and complements the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) annual reporting on “hate incidents” across the OSCE area. Most alarmingly, the report reveals a hate crime-conducive environment with the authorities turning a blind eye, or – worst still – being complicit in endorsing and spreading intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination or even incitement to violence.

MEPs continue to appeal the Ukrainian authorities regarding Zhanara Akhmetova’s case

MEPs continue to appeal the Ukrainian authorities regarding Zhanara Akhmetova’s case

On May 26, 2020, seven MEPs addressed Ukrainian President Zelensky, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and the Head of the State Migration Service Maksym Sokoliuk with an appeal demanding the reevaluation of Zhanara Akhmetova’s asylum application and halting her extradition. Ms Akhmetova – a Kazakhstani journalist and oppositionist – and her 12-year-old son risk deportation from Ukraine as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision on May 14, 2020, which overturned its previous instance and rejected her asylum application.

The Case of Zhanara Akhmetova: Ukraine Is in Haste to Arrest and to Extradite Kazakhstani Journalist

The Case of Zhanara Akhmetova: Ukraine Is in Haste to Arrest and to Extradite Kazakhstani Journalist

A prominent Kazakhstani journalist and opposition activist Zhanara Akhmetova could be illegally extradited from Ukraine to Kazakhstan at any time. According to our sources, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine is already preparing to place her under extradition arrest. On 19 May 2020, Akhmetova got a decision by the Supreme Court of Ukraine depriving her of the chance to be granted asylum. The decision was adopted in haste during the quarantine. It was also adopted without taking into account the arguments of Akhmetova’s lawyers.

Can Rafał Trzaskowski reverse the fortunes of Poland’s opposition?

Can Rafał Trzaskowski reverse the fortunes of Poland’s opposition?

In an interview with Emerging Europe, ODF representatives Katarzyna Szczypska and Martin Mycielski spoke about the strengths and weaknesses of the delayed start of the opposition candidate Rafał Trzaskowski in Polish presidential election, his chances of defeating the current President and also why these elections may be the last fight for the Polish democracy.

Kazakhstani Journalist Risks Extradition From Ukraine

Kazakhstani Journalist Risks Extradition From Ukraine

On May 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of Ukraine, acting as a last instance court, reversed the decision of the previous instance and declined to grant asylum to a prominent Kazakhstani journalist and oppositionist, Zhanara Akhmetova. The hearing was held without the presence of Akhmetova’s attorney. Akhmetova can be extradited to Kazakhstan anytime. If extradited, she faces torture and unfair trial. With all avenues for appeal having been formally exhausted, it is only the international community that can block the unlawful expulsion.

Why the government alone won’t solve our problems

Why the government alone won’t solve our problems

In times of crisis, people often understandably turn to governments for help. And yet while there is an important and crucial role for governments to play during a pandemic, we shouldn’t forget the vital part played by the free market. If both the government and the market are allowed to perform the right functions, together they can help get us out of this extraordinary time.

Polish Radio executes interim measure re. ODF

Polish Radio executes interim measure re. ODF

Due to the decision issued by the District Court in Warsaw on March 13, 2020, state broadcaster Polskie Radio S.A. secured a claim on personal rights protection of ODF, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek. As a result, Polskie Radio updated multiple articles in three language versions (Polish, Russian and Ukrainian) with information regarding pending lawsuits, […]

Letter in support of Global Magnitsky Enforcement

Letter in support of Global Magnitsky Enforcement

The Open Dialogue Foundation continues to reiterate its support in advancing the implementation and enforcement of Global Magnitsky sanctions in Europe and overseas. Therefore, together with other 50 leading human rights organisations, ODF has signed a series of letters addressed to the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of continued congressional funding for this powerful foreign policy tool.

Further erosion of the Polish democracy:  providing feedback for the first EU Rule of Law Report

Further erosion of the Polish democracy: providing feedback for the first EU Rule of Law Report

The Open Dialogue Foundation provided inputs to the first annual Rule of Law Report, the European Commission’s latest oversight mechanism and a part of its wider rule of law toolbox. Together with experts and practitioners from Poland – judges Dariusz Mazur and Agnieszka Niklas-Bibik, as well as former public media employee, Piotr Owczarski – we submitted our feedback on the worrisome developments in the Polish justice system and media sector in 2019 and the first half of 2020. The European Commission’s initiative will result in the “Rule of Law Report”, expected to be published in September 2020.

ODF’s monitoring of the COVID-19 outbreak in Moldova

ODF’s monitoring of the COVID-19 outbreak in Moldova

As the COVID-19 outbreak started to spread in the Republic of Moldova, the Parliament declared the state of emergency on March 17, 2020. Yet, the provided rules, sanctions and restrictions are often unclear and limited.

Decisive phase of the fight for the rule of law in Poland: open letter to the European Commission

Decisive phase of the fight for the rule of law in Poland: open letter to the European Commission

The next few days and weeks will determine the fate of the Supreme Court, a key institution in the Polish legal system that is currently upholding the independence of the judiciary. In 2018 the Supreme Court was attacked by two foreign bodies, the so-called Disciplinary Chamber (ID) and the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs (IKNiSP). Contrary to their names, they do not consist of independent judges, but of party nominees loyal to the current parliamentary majority and the Law and Justice government.

ODF’s recommendations on the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in Australian legislation

ODF’s recommendations on the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in Australian legislation

ODF is a long-standing promoter and advocate of the Global Magnitsky Act. Hence, as a response to the inquiry into whether Australia should examine the use of targeted sanctions to address human rights abuses, ODF submitted its recommendations with the aim of encouraging the adoption of Magnitsky-style sanctions in the national legislation. Our submission, authored by ODF’s team, is available on the Parliament’s website, after becoming an official document of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade – Human Rights sub-committee.

Cooperation with DzialajmyRazem.pl

Cooperation with DzialajmyRazem.pl

As part of the #PosiłekDlaLekarza (Eng. #MealForADoctor) campaign, we are raising funds to deliver meals to healthcare workers. However, we are only one of the many support initiatives that emerged spontaneously a month ago in Poland, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe and in response to the associated restrictions.

ODF against Russian propaganda and military presence in Italy

ODF against Russian propaganda and military presence in Italy

In response to the arrival of (inappropriate) medical supplies from Moscow to the Pratica di Mare military airport, Italy, as well as of military means and high-ranking officers affiliated to the Russian Ministry of Defence to cope with the #COVID19 pandemic (March 22, 2020), ODF, together with other fifteen non-governmental organisations, promoted a letter of appeal addressed to Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte.

ODF’s policy paper on Central Asia published by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies

ODF’s policy paper on Central Asia published by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies

The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the think tank of the EPP, has just published a new research paper entitled “EU Human Rights Promotion in Central Asia – Between the Dragon and the Bear”, written by ODF’s analysts Igor Savchenko, Kateryna Savchenko and Andriy Osavoliuk. The research paper consists of six sections, tackling a wide range of topics, from the promotion of human rights in Central Asia from the EU’s security perspective, to China and Russia’s influence in the region, including an analysis of how Central Asian regimes have progressively adopted human rights violations from Russia and China.

#PosiłekDlaLekarza is changing its operating model

#PosiłekDlaLekarza is changing its operating model

The #MealForADoctor campaign has succeeded beyond our expectations. A spontaneous idea two weeks ago has gained unexpected popularity and resulted in over 500 catering establishments from all over Poland volunteering to participate. We also almost immediately reached several hundred thousand zlotys in donations and have so far raised almost 600,000 zlotys. As a result, meals have been delivered to over a hundred hospitals across the country. These are huge numbers! Your solidarity is fantastic, but it also raises some organisational challenges.

Poland’s incredulous presidential election

Poland’s incredulous presidential election

As incredible as it may seem in the current climate, with most of Europe on lockdown and national elections cancelled in Serbia and North Macedonia, Poland appears determined to go ahead with its presidential vote, set to be held on May 10. A second round, if needed, would take place two weeks later

ODF and ‘Themis’ report on the Polish judiciary published by the European Commission

ODF and ‘Themis’ report on the Polish judiciary published by the European Commission

The Open Dialogue Foundation is one of eight European organisations whose comments and report on the state of the judiciary in EU Member States in the framework of the EU Justice Scoreboard 2020 initiative have been adopted and published by the European Commission. Our study was prepared together with the ‘Themis’ Association of Judges and concerned the state of the Polish justice system.

Message for restaurateurs supporting the #PosiłekDlaLekarza campaign

Message for restaurateurs supporting the #PosiłekDlaLekarza campaign

The #MealForDoctor campaign is proving the great power that lies in spontaneous initiatives and the generosity of the Polish people. Even in our most optimistic scenarios, we did not expect that, in less than a week, we would collect more than PLN 500,000 and provide support to almost 500 restaurants – and, as a consequence, the same help to medical doctors themselves. Your participation in the campaign and the trust you have placed in our team – which gave you no guarantees that the initiative would succeed – are extremely encouraging.

Fundraising for the #PosiłekDlaLekarza has exceeded half a million PLN!

Fundraising for the #PosiłekDlaLekarza has exceeded half a million PLN!

There has been great success for the action organised by the Open Dialogue Foundation and Niskie Składki (Low Contributions) and Spontaniczny Sztab Obywatelski (Spontaneous Civic Staff) associations with the support of Patryk Wachowiec from the FOR (Civil Development Forum) Foundation. In the face of the epidemic in Poland, we have raised PLN 500,763 for meals for the health care workers who are tirelessly fighting the spread of coronavirus and helping those infected.

Mukhtar Dzhakishev, a Kazakhstani political prisoner and victim of torture, has been released from prison

Mukhtar Dzhakishev, a Kazakhstani political prisoner and victim of torture, has been released from prison

On March 19th 2020 a Kazakhstani political prisoner and a torture victim, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, has been released from prison. On March 3th, 2020, a court in Semey (Kazakhstan) ruled to free him on parole and under probation supervision. The decision came as a surprise since all previous release requests were rejected. During the past decade, Dzhakishev was denied the right to a fair and public trial, the right to defence, and the right to humane treatment, while the deterioration of his health was reported by international observers.

Bolat Atabayev needs help

Bolat Atabayev needs help

Famous Kazakhstani film director and public figure Bolat Atabayev is in serious condition at a clinic in Munich. For many years, Bolat Atabayev has been suffering from diabetes, and his kidney failure has worsened recently. Last week, the director went through several expensive surgeries. His condition is still severe and financial support is required to cover expensive treatment and rehabilitation.

Onet on supporting those saving our health and lives

Onet on supporting those saving our health and lives

“Poland is fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The number of people who have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 is growing rapidly. There are also fatalities. An epidemic emergency has broken out across the country, and medical personnel are working tirelessly. It turns out that Poles want to support the people fighting for our lives and taking care of us.” Onet.pl announced the launch of the fundraising campaign #MealForADoctor (Pol. #PosiłekDlaLekarza), whose originators want to help doctors, nurses and ambulance crews by offering them free meals from local catering outlets.

Radio Zet explains the #PosiłekDlaLekarza campaign

Radio Zet explains the #PosiłekDlaLekarza campaign

“‘Meal for a Doctor’ is one of the campaigns aiming to support healthcare workers in hospitals and health centres,” Radio Zet reports.“Restaurants and catering establishments from all over the country have already declared that they will provide meals to medical staff for free. Each of us can support them in implementing this idea. We look at what the ‘Meal for a Doctor’ campaign is about, who is taking part in it and how you can join in.”

Interia shares appeal from organisers of #PosiłekDlaLekarza

Interia shares appeal from organisers of #PosiłekDlaLekarza

“‘Due to the coronavirus epidemic, health professionals have a lot of work to do. Let’s help them by paying for meals that they can order for free,’ the organisers of the action ‘Meal for the Doctor’ said in an appeal,”we read on Interia.pl.

Rzeczpospolita: #PosiłekDlaLekarza online fundraising

Rzeczpospolita: #PosiłekDlaLekarza online fundraising

Less than a day after the launch of the spontaneous action aimed at supporting Polish healthcare workers during the coronavirus epidemic. Rzeczpospolita has already covered this topic. The daily magazine reported that 45,000 zlotys have already been collected for meals for doctors.

There is one goal – to help those who are “at the forefront of the fight against the disease”. TVN24 reports on #PosiłekDlaLekarza

There is one goal – to help those who are “at the forefront of the fight against the disease”. TVN24 reports on #PosiłekDlaLekarza

“Doctors, nurses, ambulance crews. During the epidemic, all healthcare workers can count on a free meal from restaurants taking part in the actions #MealForADoctor (Pol. #PosiłekDlaLekarza) and #GastronomyIsHelping (Pol. #GastroPomaga),” reports TVN24, pointing out that although the two initiatives are organised by different people, their goal is the same – to help those “at the forefront of the fight against the disease”.

#PosiłekDlaLekarza: a new ODF and its partners’ campaign in the face of the coronavirus pandemic

#PosiłekDlaLekarza: a new ODF and its partners’ campaign in the face of the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus epidemic is affecting all areas of our lives. However, it is most affecting health care, which is at the forefront of the fight against the disease. Doctors and medical staff are currently working at their best, often at the expense of their families and friends. It is primarily on their commitment that our ability to quickly suppress the epidemic will depend. Those hospitalised, and their loved ones, are also in a difficult situation, and are putting their hopes in the health service.

Exchange of views with DCAS MEPs on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan

Exchange of views with DCAS MEPs on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan

On 17 February 2020, we arranged a visit of Kazakhstani human rights defenders, Bota Jardemalie and Dana Zhanay, to the European Parliament in order to attend an exchange of views with DCAS members on the situation of human rights in Kazakhstan prior to the 17th EU – Kazakhstan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (PCC) meeting in Nur-Sultan on 25-27 February. The roundtable discussion provided a rich exchange of views between the MEPs and members of civil society and NGOs.

Kazakhstan: A dialogue or bluff?

Kazakhstan: A dialogue or bluff?

This report provides an analysis of Kazakhstan’s implementation of the European Parliament Resolution of 14 March 2019 on the human rights situation in the country (2019/2610(RSP).

Statement re. event organised by EU Today in the European Parliament on 23 January 2020

Statement re. event organised by EU Today in the European Parliament on 23 January 2020

We have recently learned of an event held in the European Parliament on January 23rd, 2020, organised by the “EU Today” website. The event’s title, “NGOs: between public good and bad governance”, would suggest the event covered an interesting and important topic, the functioning of NGOs in the EU. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned from one of the unlucky participants of the event, this title was just disguise for another action by “EU Today” founder, former UKIP employee, far-right racist and Holocaust denier, Gary Cartwright, aiming to discredit ODF and our work, specifically in Kazakhstan.

PACE adopts resolution on Poland with ODF’s amendments

PACE adopts resolution on Poland with ODF’s amendments

The 2020 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), held on 27-31 January 2020 in Strasbourg, was dominated by two topics: the returning of voting rights to Russia (which ODF strongly campaigned against), which was suspended following its annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, and the worsening situation in regard to the rule of law in Poland.

The Open Dialogue Foundation supports the adoption of Australian legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act

The Open Dialogue Foundation supports the adoption of Australian legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act

Despite the fact that we do not deal directly with issues related to religious freedom, we consider it to be one of the fundamental human rights. That is why we supported activists from non-governmental organisations, associated in the American group called International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, which sent a letter to the Australian Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on the adoption of legislation comparable to the Global Magnitsky Act.

Functioning of democratic institutions in Poland: ODF fights for a resolute PACE report

Functioning of democratic institutions in Poland: ODF fights for a resolute PACE report

As is by now tradition for us, we were proud to be present during the 2020 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, held on 27-31 January 2020 in Strasbourg, France. Our delegation consisted of ODF President Lyudmyla Kozlovska, Kazakhstani activist from the ‘Qaharman’ human rights movement Dana Zhanay and Polish persecuted judge Dominik Czeszkiewicz from the Suwałki District Court.

Zhanara Akhmetova risks extradition: a test for the new authorities of Ukraine

Zhanara Akhmetova risks extradition: a test for the new authorities of Ukraine

In case of the extradition of Akhmetova, Ukraine would violate several ratified international conventions. For the new government, this case would become one of the first serious exams in the observation of the rights of refugees and extradition procedures. Will the new authorities of Ukraine pass the test in the cooperation with dictatorial regimes?

ODF in the EP in Strasbourg: the Fall of Sandu’s Government in Moldova

ODF in the EP in Strasbourg: the Fall of Sandu’s Government in Moldova

On December 18-19, 2019, the Open Dialogue Foundation’s team, together with human rights defenders from Moldova, conducted very constructive meetings in the European Parliament in plenary session in Strasbourg. The delegation consisted of Ana Ursachi, attorney prosecuted for political reasons, Stefan Gligor, co-founder and Justice and Advocacy Program Director at the Center for Policies and Reforms, Stella Juntuan, activist and former member of the Moldovan parliament, Grigore Petrenco, political refugee in Germany and leader of the Red Bloc opposition party, and was led by our colleague Martin Mycielski, Public Affairs Director at ODF.

“Law and Justice’s Campaign against Polish Judiciary” – ODF’s hearing in the European Parliament

“Law and Justice’s Campaign against Polish Judiciary” – ODF’s hearing in the European Parliament

In light of the ongoing assault on the independence of the judiciary in Poland by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party – and especially the recently-exposed hate campaign against judges and prosecutors, orchestrated by the justice ministry itself – the Renew Europe group and the Open Dialogue Foundation have organised on December 12th, 2019, a European Parliament lunch debate with prosecutors and judges persecuted in Poland.

ODF among signatories of the letter to the President of EC regarding the breach of the rule of law in Poland

ODF among signatories of the letter to the President of EC regarding the breach of the rule of law in Poland

Non-governmental organisations (including the Open Dialogue Foundation) and academics specialising in issues related to the rule of law and the protection of human rights, sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, in which they call for immediate steps to stop the rapidly growing legal chaos in Poland, including prompt submission in the European Court of Justice, of an application for interim measures in Case C-791/19 Commission v Poland, pending before the Court of Justice. The full content of the letter is presented below.

ODF welcomes persecuted Polish judges and prosecutors in Brussels

ODF welcomes persecuted Polish judges and prosecutors in Brussels

ODF is proud to have organised a high-level mission to Brussels of the most famous “disobedient” Polish judges & prosecutors – the leading victims of the systemic persecution & defamation of the independent judiciary in the country: judges Waldemar Żurek & Dariusz Mazur and prosecutors Krzysztof Parchimowicz & Ewa Wrzosek.

“Are there any threats to Ukraine from China and how can they be minimised?” – discussion in Kyiv

“Are there any threats to Ukraine from China and how can they be minimised?” – discussion in Kyiv

On 11 December 2019 in Kyiv, within the framework of the IV National Human Rights Non-Conference, a discussion was held on the topic: “Are there any threats to Ukraine from China and how can they be minimised?”. The event was organised by the Open Dialogue Foundation in collaboration with the Ukrainian Free Hong Kong Centre, the Qaharman Human Rights Initiative (Kazakhstan) and the Human Rights Agenda. The discussion was moderated by human rights defender Maksym Sytnikov (Open Dialogue Foundation).

The protection of political refugees and illegal extraditions: debate in Kyiv

The protection of political refugees and illegal extraditions: debate in Kyiv

On 10 December 2019, in Kyiv, a discussion was held on the topic: “How to protect political refugees from illegal extraditions and misuse of interstate legal assistance?”. The event was held as part of the 4th National Human Rights Non-Conference. The Open Dialogue Foundation, the Right to Protection Charitable Foundation, the Kharkov Institute of Social Studies, and the Human Rights Agenda Coalition were among the organisers of the event.

MEPs welcome Sakharov Prize winner Oleg Sentsov

MEPs welcome Sakharov Prize winner Oleg Sentsov

On 26 November 2019, the Open Dialogue Foundation (ODF) and the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) hosted a European Parliament breakfast under the title “Ukrainian Hostages of the Kremlin: How to Release Them All?”. The event was organised upon the initiative of the MEPs Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe; Lithuania), Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (Greens/EFA, Germany) and Julie Ward (S&D; UK).

PACE adopts ODF’s amendments to its report on INTERPOL reform and extradition proceedings

PACE adopts ODF’s amendments to its report on INTERPOL reform and extradition proceedings

On November 29, 2019, the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met in Strasbourg to discuss, among other items, the INTERPOL reform and extradition proceedings. A delegation of ODF, represented by Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Ana Ursachi, Moldovan lawyer and human rights defender, arrived at Palais de l’Europe to support the debate.

ODF at an OSCE workshop in Prague: how to fight hate speech

ODF at an OSCE workshop in Prague: how to fight hate speech

On 22 November 2019, Foundation representatives took part in the workshop ‘Addressing Intolerant Discourse, Hate Speech and Hate Crimes in the Visegrád Group’ in Prague. The aim of the meeting was to exchange experiences and views regarding combating hate speech in the countries of the Visegrád Group.

China’s Contribution to Human Rights Abuse in Kazakhstan: Event at the EP

China’s Contribution to Human Rights Abuse in Kazakhstan: Event at the EP

Over the past years, China has increased its presence in Kazakhstan, thus making their economic and political relations more robust. Importantly, human rights and the survival of civil society are at stake, as Kazakhstani activists are afraid of the growing dependence onChina, a country which has been often perceived as a bearer of abuse and […]

Unprecedented and unacceptable cooperation between Belgian authorities and Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime

Unprecedented and unacceptable cooperation between Belgian authorities and Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime

On October 1, 2019, at Kazakhstan’s mutual assistance request, Belgian police conducted a warrantless search (sic!) of Kazakh political refugee and lawyer, Botagoz Jardemalie’s apartment in Brussels. The officials seized numerous electronic devices and documents, which included privileged and confidential work relating to her advocacy as a human rights lawyer. One of the most worrying […]

ODF, CCL & FIDU at PACE: strengthening international human rights mechanisms

ODF, CCL & FIDU at PACE: strengthening international human rights mechanisms

During the last PACE Autumn session (30-4 October), together with the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) and the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU) we had the pleasure to host: Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian filmmaker recently released from Russian custody; Kazakhstani human rights defenders Bota Jar

Poland’s PiS prepares ‘failsafe’​ for October election

Poland’s PiS prepares ‘failsafe’​ for October election

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party doesn’t shy away from the authoritarian playbook to secure their power. While the battle with the European Commission over the rule of law rages on, PiS is discreetly trying to tweak electoral law in their favour.

Hate crimes in Poland in 2018: selected cases

Hate crimes in Poland in 2018: selected cases

According to the analysis of the Ministry of Justice, in the first half of 2018, 890 cases of hate crimes were reported to Polish law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, not all criminal acts motivated by racial, xenophobic, homophobic hatred, etc., are reported to law enforcement authorities.

Viral #InterpolNotForPutin Twitter campaign reaches 19 million people

Viral #InterpolNotForPutin Twitter campaign reaches 19 million people

On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president was to be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk had the greatest chances to be elected for this post.

Seminarium: Lustration of Judiciary: Ukrainian and International Practices

Seminarium: Lustration of Judiciary: Ukrainian and International Practices

Agnieszka Piasecka, who on a daily basis monitors the implementation of the lustration reform, including the verification of the justice system, participated in a seminar entitled ‘Lustration of Judiciary: Ukrainian and International Practices’. EU experts, including Professor Lorena Bachmaier Winter, an expert from the Council of Europe and a professor of law from the University […]