Alexievich, Bialiatski sign Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal Document
Dozens of intellectuals, civil society activists and politicians from different countries have joined the Coalition for Democratic Renewal (CDR), an initiative launched to “go on the offensive against the authoritarian opponents of democracy, and to demonstrate solidarity with the brave people who are fighting for freedoms in undemocratic systems around the world.” The official presentation of the Coalition took place in October in Prague during the annual conference "Forum 2000".
The founding document of CDR is the Prague Appeal, issued in Prague on May 26, 2017. The CDR members include Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, writer, political scientist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama, Russian chess grandmaster and political activist Garry Kasparov, French philosopher Bernard-Hénri Levy, Hong Kong student leader and legislator Nathan Law, journalist and author Anne Applebaum, political scientist Ivan Krastev, youth activist Rosa María Payá, and Ivan Havel, a scientist and brother of the late Czech President Václav Havel.
“There is no excuse for silence or inaction. We dare not cling to the illusion of security at a time when democracy is imperiled. The present crisis provides an opportunity for committed democrats to mobilize, and we must seize it,” says the Appeal.
At the time of the launch, the number of signatories amounted to 180.
The signatories include world-famous human rights defenders, dissidents, public and political figures: Karel Schwarzenberg (Czech Republic), Yoani Sánchez (Cuba), Anar Mammadli and Leyla Yunus (Azerbaijan), Yevgeny Zhovtis (Kazakhstan), Maina Kiai (Kenya), Vladimir Kara-Murza (Russia), Robert Hardh (Sweden), Miklós Haraszti (Hungary), Richard Gere (USA), Mustafa Dzemihlev (Ukraine).
There are also four Belarusian names on the list: besides Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, the Prague Appeal has been joined by the head of the HRC "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski, chief editor of the Nasha Niva newspaper Andrei Dynko and journalist Franak Viacorka.
The document says that in the future the Coalition for Democratic Renewal will be a “broad and interactive forum for the exchange of ideas about the best ways to address complex new challenges facing democracy such as static or declining living standards for many citizens, the backlash against increased immigration, the rise of “post-truth politics” in an age of social media, and the erosion of support for liberal democracy.” Such a global hub would also “advocate and promote effective forms of action to revive faith in the efficacy of democratic institutions.”
Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal of 26 May 2017. Full text below
- The Prague Appeal for Democratic Renewal (0.14 Mb)