April 2020

PHOTO OF THE MONTH – Hong Kong, 24 April 2020: several Hongkongers gathered at distance at a shopping centre to denounce the arrests of prominent pro-democracy figures

 

Dear Friend,

Despite the restraints and difficulties stemming from the Covid outbreak, the Global Committee and all of their Honorary members remain very active and they carry on their activities undeterred.

As far as the months of April and early May are concerned, I wish to draw your attention to this international appeal launched last 2 May, when Marco Pannella would have turned 90. The appeal calls on national Parliaments and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to work for the recognition of the Right to Know. It would be important if you could pass it on through your social media pages.

In addition to this, the appeal in favor of  have a closer participation between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Taiwan is still ongoing. It was launched in early May on the initiative of Senator André Gattolin and it has gathered many supporters. Amongst them, I’m happy to mention the latest signatories, Andrzej Rzeplinski, former President of the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland whose mandate ended in December 2016, unfortunately leaving the rule of law in his country unshielded. The appeal is available in 12 different languages on the website taiwanforall.org.

Speaking of Taiwan, Laura Harth has put together an insightful article rich in information and providing a timeline questioning the responsiveness of Beijing compared to Taipei’s. Asia and China remain definitely in the spotlight and the Global Committee is observing this region of the world too, with a letter co-signed by our President Giulio Terzi alongside other organizations to express solidarity to journalists, political prisoners and oppressed people in China.

In the meantime, in Hong Kong influential pro-democracy leading figures and journalists gave been arrested as the former British colony undergoes another round of repression which has not gone unnoticed thanks to the South China Morning Post. The Global Committee is siding unequivocally with the Hong Kong democrats under arrest or released on bail.

Coming to a different issue, notably weapons, Norman Baker has written an extremely interesting article on the unimaginable level reached globally in military expenditure in 2019. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) the amount is 1917 BILLION dollars. An interesting piece indeed.

Last but not least, Sam Rainsy writes about the different approaches vis-à-vis Covid19 in Sweden and other European countries.

Please visit our website frequently as we post news also from the Middle East, Venezuela, Colombia, Africa and European countries.

Until next month!

Matteo Angioli
GCRL Secretary General 

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