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“I am an activist and I did not do any wrong”: The Case of Human Rights Defender Zara Alvarez

“Around 30 fully armed men surrounded me and pointed their gun at me. Cases of human rights violations where we documented extrajudicial killings or enforced disappearances came to my mind. I thought, maybe this is the moment, this time it´s me.” On October 30, 2012, Filipino Human Rights Activist Zara Alvarez was arrested by a special action force of the military in her home town of Cadiz, Negros Island. “At the police station I learned that I was arrested for the murder of a first...

Written by Muriel Gahl and published on 27-March-2015

Battling Decades of Corruption in Egypt

November 2014: Hosni Mubarak is acquitted of all charges of corruption… To the dismay of both the international and domestic communities, on 29th November 2014 judges in Cairo vindicated Mubarak from charges of corruption and the murder of 800 protesters during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Great dishonor has been brought upon the courageous people who took a stand against Mubarak’s destructive regime and now, regrettably, they must live in fear of persecution from his supporter...

Written by S. Maraghi and published on 22-December-2014

No End In Sight For Ukraine’s War

On 17th July 2014, 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were killed after the airliner crashed in contested circumstances near the town of Hrabove, inside the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and near the border with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), two breakaway regions engaged in a violent conflict with Ukrainian armed forces that has claimed more than 4000 lives since the insur...

Written by P. Cummins Tripodi and published on 20-November-2014

Pro-Democracy Protest in Hong Kong Swells

Masses of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong in September 2014 calling for free and open election in response to the election package offer by Beijing. The package stated that all candidates running for chief executive must be approved by a pro-Beijing committee. The protest started with student-led class boycotts. Joined by Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a protest gr...

Written by YMB and published on 13-October-2014

Is Kenya on the Brink of Violence?

The largest incidence of post-election violence in Kenya happened in 2007/2008 after a highly contested general election between the major protagonists Mr. Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) and Mr. Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The violence erupted immediately after the Electoral Commission Chairman announced Mr. Kibaki as the winner, prompting supporters of Odinga to protest. The protests which were dubbed peaceful took another twist when supporters o...

Written by Victor Oteku and published on 29-June-2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place part II: The Malawi Elections Revisited

A month after the general elections in Malawi, we can conclude that the many handouts by President Banda to poor rural voters did not make them vote for her. On Friday night, May 30th, right before the constitutional deadline at midnight, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) announced Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika as president-elect after ten nerve-wracking days of mutual accusations ...

Written by Suzanne van Hooff and published on 29-June-2014

Elections Amidst Localized Conflict and Rising Political Tensions in Mozambique

In 2014, the people of the Southern African countries of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique will go to the polls. The general elections in Mozambique will be of particular interest, as they will most likely take place amidst rising political tension between the 39-year ruling party of FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, or Mozambique Liberation Front) and the militarized rebel group turned major opposition party RENAMO (Resistência Nacional Moçambicana, or M...

Written by Suzanne Van Hooff and published on 16-May-2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: General Elections in Malawi Fifty Years After Independence

Living in Malawi’s sprawling capital of Lilongwe as an expat without access to a car is widely considered to be highly uncomfortable. Exactly two weeks before the general elections on 20 May, I boarded yet another minibus that would take me from the chaotic, lively “Old Town” with its local markets, screaming street sellers and rush hour traffic, to the static, international “City Centre”, with its embassies, expat 4-wheel drives and take-away coffees. In a city that is relatively-...

Written by Suzanne van Hooff and published on 13-May-2014

Political Crisis in Thailand Continues

Political conflict continues to prevail in Thailand, despite calls from the country's current Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, for a peaceful resolution to clashes between two groups at odds over leadership in the country. The stalemate continues; spurring outbursts of violence responsible for injuries to hundreds of protesters, demonstrators and innocent bystanders; often not actively involved in the power struggle. More than 20 people have lost their lives since November 2013. The c...

Written by Rebecca Gray and published on 14-March-2014

The Messy Business of Zimbabwean Elections and the Role of SADC Mediators

“The other parties do not want elections, they are afraid of elections” Mugabe, June 2013 Electoral violence is a topic which is reviewed and assessed among many organisations and individuals with the aim to prevent, mitigate and avoid bloodshed and aggression during the electoral cycle. The purpose of the electoral...

Written by Machteld Bierens de Haan and published on 10-July-2013

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