May 2020

PHOTO OF THE MONTH – Teheran, 14 May 2020: a couple kisses on the roof of a building, before ending up in prison a few days later for posting the image on social media

Dear friend,

We wish to start this May update with a piece of news that should make all of us proud of the campaign that the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational Transparty and the Global Committee for the Rule of Law Marco Pannella have been leading for years. We are very glad to announce that the issue of the Right to Know, as an essential tool to promote and protect the respect of the rule of law, democracy and human rights, has been officially introduced in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. It is an intermediate goal that we reached thanks to Senator Roberto Rampi, who was appointed, on 15 May, General Rapporteur on “Freedom of Media, Public Trust and the Right to Know”.

Speaking of right to know, Federica Donati carried out an extensive research on the UK Prime Minister’s questions from 2010 to 2020. She found out that, in ten years, Prime Ministers answered 9770 questions. She also highlighted how may times the Prime Minister received formal prior notice and when s/he was required to give an impromptu response. In addition to that, we found interesting what Tory MP, Peter Bone, had to say to the government in respect of a serious breach in parliamentary code. Mr. Bone criticized the fact that parliamentary scrutiny on government policy, as an essential pillar of UK democracy, was severely hampered when the Prime Minister decided to address first the public on TV and than the House of Commons.

On a different note, while COVID-19 has been continuing to spread worldwide, many aspects still need to be clarified. In this regard, Laura Harth highlighted the delays and gaps of China and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in handling the crisis, by invoking the need to open an independent international investigation in order to shed light on what happened.

Furthermore, while we follow closely how the situation is unfolding in the Unites States, we keep watching the recent protests in Hong Kong against the new law on national security proposed by the Chinese Communist Party. The Global Committee for the Rule of Law supports the initiative of Lord Patten e Sir Malcolm Rifkind to launch an international appeal aimed at promoting a global response in favour of the principle “one Country, two systems” in the former British colony.

In addition, our Honorary members Armando Armas and Norman Baker tackled China in two interviews. Armando, in La Patilla, explained how the country is a valuable trading partner of the Republic of China and how the latter is attempting to increase more and more its strategy of hegemony at the global level. Norman, in the Daily Mail, offered his view on how Chinese aggressive policies should be met by governments and lawmakers across the world.

Lastly, our Cambodian friends reported fresh arrests of opposition members and environmentalist activists without any warrant.

All the best

Matteo Angioli
Secretary general

Federica Donati
Reseacher

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