March 2021

PHOTO OF THE MONTHMyitkyina, 8 March 2021: Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng pleading with the forces of the junta not to shoot demonstrators in Myanmar

Dear friend,

here’s our monthly recap for you: first of all I wish to invite you to sign and share our Appeal for the Right to Know in support of our resolution tabled at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This institutional step will help us shape the global and digital society of the future. Secondly, I’m very glad to inform you that in the morning of 12 April, the PACE Committee on culture will examine the draft resolution “Media freedom, public trust and the people’s right to know” during which three experts will be heard. You can follow the committee live through the website of Radio Radicale.

Now let’s take a few steps back: on February 25th, 2021, the Global Committee for the Rule of Law “Marco Pannella”, in cooperation with the Taipei Representative Office in Italy, hosted an impressive panel of politicians and activists on the front-line in developing global awareness and effective counter-measures to deal with the authoritarian threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party to human rights and the rule of law. A rather timely and premonitory event, if we look at the developments that marked the following weeks. In fact, on 22 March, Beijing announced sanctions on ten EU individuals and four European entities. An act of retaliation for the recent EU sanctions that struck four Chinese officials responsible of human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang. Among the parliamentarians sanctioned by China are members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, who responded by calling these sanctions “an attempt by the Chinese Government to intimidate and silence our parliamentary members and advisors.”

Following the sanctions, several Italian MPs spoke up in support of their European colleagues and vowed to not give in to the silencing efforts of the Chinese Communist Party on their human rights abuses. Among them is our President Giulio Terzi and Paolo Formentini MP, Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Italian Chamber of Deputies and member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), who tabled a motion on the Uyghur genocide in the Italian Foreign Affairs Committee.

Moving to the the United States, we are pleased to draw your attention to an article by Diane Dimond, on the reasons why sometimes it feels as democracy is broken. After discussing with our Secretary general Matteo Angioli, Mrs. Dimond wrote: “Sometimes it feels as democracy is broken (…) we have become an apathetic citizenry, apparently not caring enough to speak up when we do not like how politicians run the government” adding that “we have entered a phase of politics where leading by partisan edict is becoming more frequent. No debate of issues, just politicians who feel emboldened to ram through their ideas.”

That’s all for now. Please visit our website and our social media pages to keep updated and enjoy your Easter holidays!

Asia Jane Leigh
Researcher

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