Europe & Eurasia Publications, May 2011

1 06 2011

A list of recent reports on Europe & Eurasia that were highlighted in the May issue of the Democracy Resource Center Bulletin.

Film: Bitter winter in Belarus
The 7 – minute video Bitter Winter in Belarus denounces the violent repression exercised by the Belarus authorities against all the dissident voices that have protested against the rigging of the 19 December 2010 presidential elections. Source: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Interim human rights assessment of the events of 19 December 2010 in Minsk, Belarus
This report is an independent assessment of the events on 19 December in Minsk, Belarus, undertaken by the Special Rapporteur of the Committee of International Control (CIC) over the Human Rights Situation in Belarus. The interim assessment based on available evidence basically concludes that there were no mass riots in the city centre on 19 December 2010. Source: Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus

Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in Turkmenistan
As a participating state in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Turkmenistan has committed itself to implementing OSCE norms and standards to strengthen freedom of religion or belief and other fundamental rights. Yet, the government of Turkmenistan remains one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Source: Open Society Foundations

Inclusion of a publication does not imply ownership or endorsement by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); rather, these are publications that the Democracy Resource Center believes would be of interest to NED staff and others interested in democracy promotion.


The Rise of Political Islam in Turkey.

4 02 2010

URL: Source: RAND Corporation.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, is pivotal to Western security interests in the Middle East. Although Its ruling party, the AKP, operates within a framework of secular democracy, it also has Islamic roots. This monograph describes the politico-religious landscape in Turkey and evaluates how the balance between secular and religious forces has changed over the past decade.

Global Restrictions on Religion

20 01 2010

Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

This is a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that 64 nations — about one-third of the countries in the world — have high or very high restrictions on religion. But because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, nearly 70% of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with heavy restrictions on religion, the brunt of which often falls on religious minorities.

Central Asia: Islamists in Prison

19 01 2010

Source: International Crisis Group

This report highlights the rising number and political significance of Islamists in state detention. It argues that the governments’ tough policy on political Islam only increases the risk of violent militancy. The failure to differentiate between armed Islamist groups and those who oppose the state by political means will deepen the divide between the observant Muslim population and central governments – a particularly dangerous development at a time when the risk of armed Islamist insurgency is growing.

Iran: Freedom of Expression and Association in the Kurdish Regions.

22 12 2009

URL: Source: Human Rights Watch.

This 42-page report documents how Iranian authorities use security laws, press laws, and other legislation to arrest and prosecute Iranian Kurds solely for trying to exercise their right to freedom of expression and association. The use of these laws to suppress basic rights, while not new, has greatly intensified since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005.

Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities.

22 12 2009

URL: Source: Congressional Research Service.

Iran is home to approximately 70.5 million people who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. The central authority is dominated by Persians who constitute 51% of Iran’s population. Iranians speak diverse Indo-Iranian, Semitic, Armenian, and Turkic languages. The state religion is Shia, Islam. After installation by Ayatollah Khomeini of an Islamic regime in February 1979, treatment of ethnic and religious minorities grew worse. By summer of 1979, initial violent conflicts erupted between the central authority and members of several tribal, regional, and ethnic minority groups.

Backgrounder: Iraq’s Political Landscape.

22 12 2009

URL: Source: Council on Foreign Relations.

Iraq has held multiple national and local elections since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein, but ethnic and sectarian violence has impeded political progress. Analysts say the latest round of voting—provincial council elections scheduled nationwide for January 31—could mark a new chapter for Iraq’s struggle with democracy. And while there have been scattered assassinations and reports of intimidation leading up to elections, most experts agree the emergence of hundreds of new parties and thousands of candidates illustrate the maturation of the Iraqi political system. Unlike polls in 2005, major Sunni parties are participating, increasing expectations that as the United States ramps up its troop drawdown plan, a stable Iraqi political scene will emerge.