The current financial situation in Europe is precarious, to say the least. Austerity measures pursued by different European governments have not been well received by the
young, which Greece is a good example of. Rather, the insecurity caused by high unemployment rates and reduction of wages has created a new wave of public discontent, aimed at government policies.
In Spain, discontented young people formed the Indignados movement, also known as the “Real Democracy Now” movement. The Spanish Indignados have been protesting against the harsh budget cuts implemented by the government and the general public insecurity stemming from the financial and economic crisis, while at the same time demanding a new, more direct and more transparent type of democracy. A democracy based on people assembling. The Indignados movement quickly caught on, with young people camping out in the squares of all the major cities for days, as a peaceful protest.
Last week Hina Jilani was invited by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Lund University to give a lecture in the memory of the late Swedish Foreign Minister – Anna Lindh. Ms. Jilani has been fighting for the human rights for over 30 years, not only in her home country, Pakistan but around the world. She has served as the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008. Her work has been recognized with many international human rights awards. In our interview we paid special attention to the situation of the women rights in Ms. Jilani’s homeland.
The trials of Ukrainian opposition leaders, Yuliya Tymoschenko (Former Prime Minister, imprisoned for 7 years) and Yuriy Lutsenko (Former Minister of Internal Affairs, still on trial), have become controversial not only in Ukraine, but around the world. At the same time the current Ukrainian government expresses a strong interest in the European Union, trying to negotiate free trade and accession agreements to be signed on December 19th. These leave many people question the inconsistent behavior of the Ukrainian government.
A step towards or away from democracy
The ‘Arabic Spring’, also called the ‘Facebook/Twitter Revolution’ brought down many regimes in the Arab World. The wave of revolution started in Tunisia, but spread as a wildfire to North Africa and the Middle East. Protests have taken place in 20 states. However, only two countries overthrew the regimes which have led to elections being held 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt.
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