Colombia: Government plans to provide 100,000 young peace managers with economic benefits


An article by Maria Alejandra Uribe in W Radio

In the middle of the presentation of the Youth Employability Program, President Gustavo Petro announced that the Government has been working on a project to take away from delinquents and criminal organizations the young people who work in them and who can become peace managers .

Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia. / Photo Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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“We are preparing, with the experience we have had, a large-scale program, that is why we are talking about peace managers, we want to act with excluded youth in the areas with the highest levels of violence in Colombia such as Urabá, poor neighborhoods in Cartagena, from Montería Barranquilla, Chocó where people are hungry”, said the President.

To this the Head of State added, “we plan to achieve a program that covers 100,000 young people in those areas. It will be linked to education and based on the fact that a young person must receive an income that allows them to live with dignity, a salary that can compete with that offered by multi-crime organizations. The credit can be seen as an instrument to promote studies and work.

It is expected that the rules of the game will be established in the coming days so that this great ‘peace army’ can begin to act in the most vulnerable areas of the country and achieve total peace.

(Editor’s note: This proposal is based on a program of 10,000 peace managers that was implemented in Bogota when Petro was mayor of the city. An evaluation of that program is available in Spanish.)

Rachna Sharma: thought leader for world peace


Special to CPNN by Jalsut Luthra

Rachna Sharma, the founder of Phuro Innovations (India) is a popular political peace expert, social entrepreneur and speaker. 

It was her journey at Harvard Business School that gave her the clarity to articulate her purpose, a place where people empower and peel the onion of self-awareness. That is the most profound thing that ever happened to Rachna. Since then she has been contributing as a thought leader for world peace. 

Rachna has compiled her views and supported them with published research about the nations which received freedom around the same time as India, and how those countries rank on the global indices of Peace. She shows how these nations lifted themselves out of poverty and conflict, and how they participated in global institutions and campaigns to benefit their people. 

World Peace is a very wide subject and one has to take up pressing issues as goals and contribute to it. That is why this year she is focused on South Asia. 

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Question related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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Honours, Awards & Volunteer Work

Rachna was recognized as “LinkedIn Power Profile – Social Impact in 2018” making her amongst the top 73 profiles in India. Rachna has co-authored a book “Globalization and Voices from Indian Practitioners” in 2013 . Rachna also volunteered as ambassador for Pashmina Goat Project of Kashmir Ink foundation. She has volunteered and served on the Board of Gift Foundation an initiative of Mr. Sam Beard who in the capacity of public affairs advisor served several US Presidents from former Presidents Nixon, Ford, Clinton, Regan & Bush 

Rachna was born in Kishtwar Jammu & Kashmir, one of the most conflicted geographies in the world. It was her early life exposure to conflict which launched her interest in world peace.

Amidst the turmoil and migration in Jammu and Kschmir, Rachna finished her Bachelors in Hotel Management from Srinivas University in Mangalore Karnataka India. She began working In India’s tourism and hospitality industry in 2002 and served the industry till 2014. At that point she was a development director in India. 

In 2019, Rachna established Phuro Innovations to promote and further her cause of World Peace by adopting a project called “Political Peace Dialogue SAARC” (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).

The project celebrates United Nations World Peace Day, UN Peacekeeping Day and Peace Education by hosting awareness events, publishing articles, research papers, policy notes, and delivering small projects. Rachna created and delivered several prototypes in India as mentioned in Timeline  and proposed a Venn diagram of Peace   in the capacity of a Thought Leader. She co-chairs the India Chapter for Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs India since 2019, promoting innovation and leadership in India. 

Please read this article in Outlook Magazine  about her work in South Asia.

Colombia: This is how the new Peace and Human Rights Observatory of Armenia will work


An article from Cronica del Quindio (translation by CPNN)

In Armenia, Quindio, the Observatory for the City, Peace, Coexistence and Citizen Culture has been created so that organizations, associations and foundations, public and private entities, as well as members of civil society and victims of armed conflict can contribute to the construction of the peace of the municipality.

It is a program of the mayor of Armenia with 4 lines of work: the promotion of actions and culture of peace, historical memory, human rights, and conflict management. In addition to the lines mentioned, the program willl contribute to the production of knowledge, the investigation and characterization of the victims of the armed conflict in Armenia, as well as the articulation with policies at the national level for the construction of peace.

The Observatory for the City, Peace, Coexistence and Citizen Culture of Armenia began with the issuance of Decree 181 of July 12, 2022, which provides for its formation. “As of this moment, it begins to meet in order to establish the strategic lines for the research and development of peace in Armenia.

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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The objective of the Observatory for Peace and Human Rights is to strengthen research and knowledge management for the production, use and approval of official information on peace processes and citizen culture, linking the participation of related actors and sectors. in the municipality of Armenia, Quindío”, explained Andrés Ocampo, manager of peace, human rights and civic culture of Armenia.

The 18 members of the Observatory will meet in bimonthly sessions. The members include secretaries of Armenia, delegates of the municipal table of victims, delegates of the Ombudsman’s Office and the Municipal Ombudsman, representative of human rights organizations, representative of institutions of higher education, delegate of the youth table, among other actors, to determine the strategic lines of impact on issues of peace and reconciliation.

Likewise, they will provide inputs for public policies, alliances, databases and information that allow the construction of peace and the recognition of the victims of the armed conflict. In the same way, they will realize projects of the national policy Total Peace, an event to recognize peace builders and the realization of a work route created by all the members of the Peace and Human Rights Observatory of Armenia . “We plan to obtain resources to show how many victims of the armed conflict Armenia currently houses. In addition, we seek to articulate with the national government for the implementation and adoption of national policies,” said Andrés Ocampo.

He also emphasized the importance that the victims of the armed conflict, post-conflict actors and civil society know that in Armenia there is a peace observatory that is a pioneer at the national level. “We are the second city with a Peace, Coexistence and Citizen Culture Observatory in a municipal administration. We need everyone to know of the support of the mayor José Manuel Ríos Morales for this entire peace process. Victims will receive guarantees and attention from all his work team, cabinet and offices of the city.

Colombia: Nights of Peace planned for December in the neighborhoods of Cúcuta


An article from Caracol

Achieving peace has been for years the great dream of nations around the world, a collective utopia that includes the wisdom of the ancestors and the hope of the new generations. Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize such as the Dalai Lama, David Beasley of the World Food Program, and even the former president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, have stated in their speeches that there are multiple paths to achieve peace: with access to food for all, with nonviolent actions that generate changes, with the disarmament of illegal groups, and a large number of etceteras that trace an imaginary path of peace and freedom.

With great or little rigor, some countries have been working on it. Some Colombian cities such as Cúcuta, historically affected by armed conflict, are undertaking strategies that benefit collectives, entrepreneurs, diverse population groups, provide individual services such as attention to the victims of the conflict. This leads to mass events such as the Nights of Peace that for the second consecutive year is planned for all the city’s neighborhoods during the month of December.

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Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

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“Recognizing the historical memory of our municipality and understanding the social context in which the different communes live, we decided to continue this year with the strategy called Peaceful Nights. It consists of visiting the neighborhoods of Cúcuta and adjoining rural area for 17 days, with different entertainments including theatrical presentation, puppet shows, musical acts and, of course, the prayer of the Novenas of Bonus. All these are framed under the message of the culture of peace and the promotion of the values of respect, forgiveness and reconciliation”, says Elisa Montoya, secretary of Post-Conflict and Culture of Peace of the Mayor’s Office of Cúcuta.

This year, the strategy began on December 1 and is already on day number 5, in which more than 1,200 people have participated, including children and adults. Juan Santos Omaña, coordinator of the initiative explains that: “So far we have visited neighborhoods that have historically had to face situations of armed conflict; We have reached places like Ciudad Rodeo, Motilones, Simón Bolívar, San Martín and Cuberos Niño, and the acceptance has been surprising. Every day there are more than 250 people who live with us the Nights of Peace”.

In the coming days, this strategy of the Municipal Mayor’s Office will reach the neighborhoods: Nuevo Horizonte, Aeropuerto, Guaimaral, El Bosque, Santa Clara, Pizarro, Manuela Beltrán, Santander, García Herreros, Prados del Este, El Llano, La Conquista and al corregimiento of Banco de Arena. Those interested in participating in this free event can learn about the daily schedule through the social networks of the Secretariat for Post-Conflict and Culture of Peace, which can be found as @secposconflictocucuta on Instagram and Facebook.

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Colombia: In Caquetá social leaders, students and victims of the conflict graduate with a diploma course on transitional justice


An article from Unidad para las victimas (translation by CPNN)

With 45 graduates including university students, social leaders and victims of the armed conflict, the diploma “Transitional Justice: a contribution to the construction of territorial peace” culminated in Florencia (Caquetá). The course started last July for which ten accredited national and international organizations contributed their knowledge and experience.

The diploma was constituted in a commitment to inter-institutional articulation between the System of Attention and Comprehensive Reparation for Victims (SNARIV), the Comprehensive System for Peace (SIPAZ), the Peace Office and the legal office of the University of the Amazon ( UDLA), together with the German international cooperation organization (GIZ).

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(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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The participants learned basic knowledge about transitional justice, with a focus on Caquetá, where, in addition to understanding the processes of care and reparation for victims, land restitution, truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition, they acquired tools in the fields of human rights and international humanitarian law,.

Valentina Almario, future lawyer and leader of women victims of abuse, highlighted the issue of the implementation of the gender approach in transitional justice contexts, as well as the territorial mechanisms for the implementation of the public policy for victims.

“To this must be added the importance of understanding the need for truth as a public good, to contribute to the construction of a culture of territorial peace in Colombia,” she said.

The student José Luis Tinoco Rivera said in this regard that he was particularly struck by the contrast made between the negotiation processes based on DDR -Demobilization, Disarmament, Reinsertion- of the last century, compared to the negotiation processes of this century, which are part of the logic of transitional justice.

The course took place over five months and 160 hours, including face-to-face classes, practical exercises, and homework.

Meduza’s statement regarding the revocation of TV Rain’s Latvian broadcasting license


An article from Meduza

The Latvian National Electronic Media Council has revoked TV Rain’s license. The agency has banned the network from broadcasting on cable and also plans to block access within the country to its YouTube stream. According to the council’s chairman, Ivars Āboliņš, the decision was made “in connection with the threat to national security and public order.”

(Editor’s note: Regular readers of CPNN will know that Meduza and TV Dozhd – “TV rain” in Russian – were two of the independent Russian media that reported opposition to the war in Ukraine and were therefore banned in Russia and forced to move abroad in order to keep broadcasting.)

Logo of TV Rain

We are watching these developments very carefully and with concern.

In the eight years that Meduza has already spent in Latvia, the local authorities have never once attempted to interfere in our editorial policies. We are grateful for this hospitality. We have had no reason to doubt that Latvia, which has become a second home for many here at Meduza, is aware of the vital role that the independent media plays in democratic societies.

After February 24, Latvia welcomed journalists from Russia who risked many years in prison for doing their jobs and resisting the war Russia unleashed on Ukraine. We greatly appreciated the Latvian authorities’ decision, understanding how difficult it was, given the enduring pain this country’s people still experience from Soviet occupation.

At the same time, we recognized that a mass influx of journalists from Russia in wartime conditions would likely lead to conflicts. After all, the news media created by Russians is almost always focused on Russian problems, viewing the surrounding world through this same lens. This often confuses and sometimes enrages foreign audiences, especially during a war for which Russia bears full responsibility.

Unfortunately, the situation has developed very poorly. We believe that the decision by Latvia’s National Electronic Media Council to revoke TV Rain’s license is unfair, wrong, and disproportionate to the official violations flagged by the agency.

Arguments that these violations pose a “national security threat” are unconvincing. The network’s antiwar position is obvious, as is its critical stance towards the Putin regime. TV Rain’s significance in countering Russian state propaganda is colossal. Roaring about “national security” conceals what is actually a heavy blow to free speech and ultimately to European security, as well. There can be no democracy without the independent media, above all, and an undemocratic Russia will remain a threat to its neighbors and the entire world.

Even if it was reached completely legally, the National Electronic Media Council’s decision is also an incredible gift to the Russian authorities. By banning TV Rain, Latvian officials are helping the Kremlin with something it started: the complete destruction of the Russian independent media’s infrastructure. We believe the political situation in Russia will not change if the country’s inhabitants are abandoned to propaganda. (There’s also the risk that this propaganda becomes the only information source for Russian-speaking EU citizens.)

And it’s important to remember that TV Rain is one of the few truly independent media outlets that retains a large audience inside Russia. Viewers need TV Rain. The anti-war movement needs TV Rain. Watch any of its newscasts, and you’ll see the network’s position on this repulsive war and how it views those who illegally usurped power in Russia.

Were TV Rain’s journalists wrong? Was their wording inaccurate? Yes. But all media outlets, including the highest quality publications, make mistakes, even at critical moments. In times of war, forced emigration, and polarized public opinion, the likelihood of mistakes sadly only grows. Readers and viewers, as well as fellow colleagues, evaluate our reporting, too, and these assessments can be brutal.

Journalism knows no boundaries. Free speech is a universal value, but it’s nothing if we don’t defend it and fight for it, every day, wherever we are.

We stand in solidarity with the team at TV Rain. Dear colleagues, we hope you’ll persevere, and we’ll do our best to help you through this crisis.

Meduza invites other journalists and media outlets to support this statement. If you’d like to do so, please contact us here:

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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This statement has been signed by

the editors of Meduza
the editors of Novaya Gazeta Europe
Sabīne Sīle, editor-in-chief, Media Hub Riga
the editors of Bumaga
the editors of Provereno
the editors of Novaya Vkladka
Irina Malkova and Pyotr Mironenko, The Bell
the editors of Kit
the editors of Signal
the editors of
the editors of Pskovskaya Gubernia
the editors of Sirena
the editors of Proekt
the editors of Dovod
the editors of DOXA
the media project Stradayuschee Srednevekovye
the editors of Mediazona
the editors of iStories
the editors of OVD-Info
the editors of Avtozak Live
Konstantin Sonin, economist
Nikolay Ovchinnikov, journalist; editor-in-chief, Volna | Latvia, a travel company
the editors of Svobodnye Media
the Telegram channel Russian Refugees in Germany
Victor Shenderovich, writer
Stanislav Kucher, journalist
the editors of Rezonans, a Vladimir-based Internet publication
Valeriy Panyushkin, editor-in-chief, Spektr magazine
the Student Anti-War Movement project
Konstantin Gorozhanko, editor, Grazhdane Gdovskogo Kraya
the editors of Vot Tak
the editors of SOTA
Ilya Azar, journalist
the editors of Verstka
the editors of Republic
the podcast studio Libo/Libo
the editors of 7×7 — Horizontal Russia
the editors of Kholod
the editors of Astra
Ilya Krasilshchik, Alexander Polivanov, Igor Safonov, and other journalists at Sluzhba Podderzhki
the editors of Spektr
Mikhail Zygar, writer and journalist
Olga Churakova, journalist
Liza Surganova, journalist
Ilya Shepelin, journalist
the editors of Echo
the editors of RusNews
the editors of Pereulki Lissabona
the editors of Skat Media
Arkady Mayofis, founder of TV-2 (Israel)
Emil Khalikov, co-founder of Pogulyanka media (Lithuania)
the editors of Cherty
the Opyt Svobody project
Lev Ponomaryov, human rights advocate, and the Telegram channel World Progress and Human Rights
the editors of Perm 36.6
the editors of Perito
Mine gåter og spindelsinn, a Telegram channel
the editors of Khroniki.Media
the editors of Daptar
the editors of The Vyshka
the editors of Media Loft
the youth democratic movement Vesna
the editors of Groza
Mikhail Svetov and the editors of SVTV News
the editors of Pezduza
Talking Heads YouTube channel (Latvia)
the editors of Advocacy Street
the editors of Lyudi Baykala
the editors of Otkrytyi Gorod (Latvia)
the editors of February 24 Eyewitnesses
the editors of Govorit ne Moskva
the editors of It’s My City
the editors of The Guide to the Free World
the editors of The Insider and Roman Dobrokhotov, journalist
Yevgenia Albats, editor-in-chief, The New Times
the editors of The Moscow Times
Kirill Rogov, political scientist
Irina Shikhman and the YouTube channel A Pogovorit?
the editors of Re:Russia
Conflict Intelligence Team
the editors of Prodolzhenie Sleduet
the editors of Novaya Gazeta — Baltia
Ksenia Larina, journalist
the editors of The Village and Kirill Rukov, editor-in-chief
the editors of
Maxim Katz, blogger and politician
the editors of Khronika Turkmenistana
Navalny LIVE YouTube channel
Jean-Michel Shcherbak, media activist
Ishchem Vykhod YouTube channel
Alexander Plyushchev, journalist
Tatyana Felgenhauer, journalist
Vitaly Mansky, film director
Natalia Manskaya, film producer
the editors of Poligon.Media
Khodorkovsky LIVE YouTube channel
Ilya Rozhdestvensky, journalist
Ivan Pavlov, lawyer
Ilya Zhegulev, journalist
the editors of Fourth Sector
Ilya Shumanov, director, Transparency International Russia
Andrei Loshak, journalist
Nataliya Gevorkyan, journalist
the editors of ROMB
the editors of
the editors of Popular Politics
Roskomsvoboda, an advocacy organization
Chulpan Khamatova, actress
Antero Mukka, editor-in-chief, and the editors of Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)
the editors of Krautreporter (Germany)
Pervyi Otdel, an association of attorneys and rights activists
the editors of
Masha Phillimore-Slonim, journalist
Kovcheg and Anastasia Burakova, founder
Andrey Pivovarov, political prisoner
the editors of and Garik Chilingarian, editor-in-chief
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) (St. Petersburg) and Elena Mikhina, editor-in-chief
Polina Shilina, journalist, Delfi (Russian edition, Latvia)
Clownstan Today
the editors of Discourse
the editors of Serditaya Chuvashiya
the editors of RSh and Maria Karlin, editor-in-chief (Switzerland)
the editors of Hromadska Pravda (Ukraine)
Russian Libertarian Party
OBC Transeuropa (Italy)
Kometa News (Moldova)
the editors of Telegi i Memasy Telegram channel
St. Petersburg Human Rights Center
the Moscow branch of Memorial, a center for human rights and historical education
Sergey Lukashevsky, director, Sakharov Center
Svetlana Gannushkina and Grazhdanskoe Sodeystvie, a non-profit foundation
the editors of Russians Against the War Telegram channel (Poland)
Russian Independent Media Archive
Russian Canadian Democratic Alliance (RCDA)
Irina Kizilova, journalist, co-organizer of Memorial Israel
Artem Liss, former editor, BBC World Service
Dmitry Elagin, film critic, Snob
Kristina Lunina and Kak Poluchitsya media
Rimma Polyak, columnist, Republic
Alexey Durnovo, writer and journalist
Andrey Novichkov, editor-in-chief, Fronde TV and Nastuplenie na Nasledie
Efim Neizvestny, contributor, Panorama
Lidia Ageeva, journalist
Natalia Galkina, journalist
Oleg Ivanov, photo-journalist
Vadim Kondakov, journalist
Andrey Rebrov, journalist
Olga Leontyeva, journalist
the editors of Equality Telegram channel
Ivan Slobedenyuk, journalist, Belsat
Anastasia Sechina and Chetvyortyi Sektor media
Maria Latsinskaya, journalist
Oleg Basalin, journalist
Nikolay Kandyshev, journalist
Victor Yukechev, journalist
Boris Tukh, journalist and film critic
the editors of TJ ne umer! satirical news
Artem Androsov, news host, RTN (New York)
Afanasy Emelyanov, journalist
Alexander Gerasimov, journalist
Anton Chernin, journalist
Ivan Fedosov, blogger
Pyotr Kozlov, journalist
Vijai Maheshwari, journalist, Politico Europe
Mark Novikov, journalist
Denis Cherdov, journalist
Vasily Zakharko, journalist
Sofia Epifanova, journalist
Kirill Alexeyev, author, Analiteg Telegram channel
Semyon Zelenovich, journalist
Angela Kalsynova, YouTube blogger
Ilya Kozin, journalist
ZIMA Magazine (London)
the editors of Oni za Voynu
the editors of Pravda o Voyne
The Voice of Reason movement
Dmitry Tolstosheyev, journalist
Evgeny Galitsky, journalist
Nina Abrosimova, journalist
Elena Samoylova, journalist
Vera Vasilyeva, journalist
Ivan Makridin, journalist, podcaster
Lev Kadik, journalist
Ruslan Totrov, journalist
Apolitichnost Gubit, a social movement
the editors of Russky Kovcheg Telegram channel
the Vornadzor anti-corruption movement
Dima Zitser, teacher
the editors of Echo of Petersburg (banned in Russia) and Ischem Vykhod, a YouTube channel
Alex Dubas, journalist
Zygmunt Dzieciolowski, journalist (Poland)
Obyektiv YouTube channel
Warsaw Local Anti-War Committee Telegram channel
Dozor v Volgograde project
The Polycrates Foundation
Alexander Artemyev, human-rights advocate
Dmitry Bayandin, attorney
Arseny Lytar, member, Russian State Duma Committee on Science and Education
Ilya Furman
Maria Klementyeva
Polina Shubentseva, activist and volunteer, Memorial
Andrey Yakimovich
Dmitry Simanovsky
Linur Arslanov
Vadim Dmitriyev
Mikhail Biryukov, attorney
Dmitry Gerasimenko
Sergey Kovalchenko
Maria Kabysh, costume designer
Timofey Andropov and the Ochnis movement
Lena Pylaeva and FreeRussiaNL
Olga Chernykova, former faculty member, Moscow State University
Alina Gnatyshina and Rossiya Buduschego (Switzerland)
Sergey Losev
Alexey Shmelev
Sergey Galin
Ekaterina Komissarova
Nikolay Matrosov
Ilya Bobrik
Alisher Artykov
Zhanna Shchukina
Igor Naginer
Alexey Volkov and the Canadian Russian Association Telegram channel
Olya Kazimirchuk
Sonya Blade
Joseph Malkin
Shimon Glazshteyn
Protokolnaya Redaktsiya project
Ivan Romanov
Elena Kvasyuk
Georgy Sushilin
Olga Degtyareva
Paul Robertus
Elena Lukyanova, attorney
Timofey Ilyushin, human rights advocate
Nikolay Golikov, artist
Alexander Kabanov, professor, University of North Carolina
Kirill Povarov
Irina Karpova
Irina Sokolovskaya
Mila Zemtsova
Andrey Kotov
Julia Ioffe, journalist (United States)
Lolita Roze (Latvia)
Mihail Gokhman (United States)
Greg Dolgopolov (Latvia)
Juris Raudulis (Latvia)
Lev Mendelson (United States)
Michael Mamontov (United States)
Eleonora Scheerseu (Germany)
Artur Heidt (Germany)
Marks Lisnanskis (Latvia)
Dmitrijs Krupņikovs (Latvia)
Dmitri Gouzévitch, historian (France)
Herta Hansena
Konstantin Kabanov
Tatiana le Roy (Belgium)
Laure Thibonnier (France)
Gennadi Kreps (Germany)
Natalia Kuzmina (Germany)
Association for Solidarity with Civil Society and the Development of Democracy in Russia, Russia of the Future (Spain)
the editors of
Penguin Travel YouTube channel
Aiza Dolmatova, rapper
Ruslan Sokolovsky, blogger
the Iskra media training team
the KermlinRussia project team
the Smorodina: for Democracy in Russia association (Norway)
Oleksandr Tsyba
Andrey Lukashevich
Vadik Sirekanyan
Oleg Ponomarev
Sofia Gribkova
Alex Zatsman (United States)
Mykola Shpylchin
Marina Polishuk
Vladimir Yurovsky, conductor (Germany)
Olga Deryabina
Dmitry Cherne
Natalia Telegina
Vitaly Bovar
Maria Gabisov
Sofia Pulver
Nikita Petrashen
Lyudmila Kasa (Latvia)
Vladimir Rayevsky, journalist and television host
Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich, artist and curator
and many other journalists and editors.

Revealing He Too Had Manning Leaks, Ellsberg Dares DOJ to Prosecute Him Like Assange


An article by Jessica Corbett in Common Dreams

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Tuesday dared U.S. prosecutors to come after him like they have Julian Assange by  revealing  in a BBC News interview that the WikiLeaks publisher sent him a backup of leaked materials from former military analyst Chelsea Manning.

“Let me tell you a secret. I had possession of all the Chelsea Manning information before it came out in the press,” Ellsberg said to BBC’s Stephen Sackur in the on-camera interview. “I’ve never said that publicly.”

Assange had sent him the materials—which include  evidence  of U.S. war crimes—in case “they caught him and they got everything,” the 91-year-old explained. “He could rely on me to find some way to get it out.”

Australian-born Assange is currently detained in London and  fighting  in British and European courts against his extradition to the United States, where he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted under Espionage Act charges.

Inviting action by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Ellsberg said that “I am now as indictable as Julian Assange and as everyone who put that information out—the papers, everybody who handled it.”

(Article continued in the column on the right)

Question related to this article:
Is Internet freedom a basic human right?

Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

(Article continued from the column on the left)

“Yes, I had copies of it and I did not give them to an authorized person. So, if they want to indict me for that, I will be interested to argue that one in the courts—whether that law is constitutional,” he continued, referring to the Espionage Act.

Highlighting that the highest U.S. court has never held that it is constitutional to use the Espionage Act as if it were a British Official Secrets Act, Ellsberg said that “I’d be happy to take that one to the Supreme Court.”

The Espionage Act, “used against whistleblowers, is unconstitutional,” he asserted. “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment.”

Ellsberg’s public confession comes after editors and publishers at five major media outlets that collaborated with WikiLeaks in 2010 for articles based on diplomatic cables from Manning  released  a letter late last month arguing that “it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets.”

“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” the letter states. “Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.”

The new Ellsberg interview also follows the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) confirming earlier this month that 51-year-old Assange has asked the tribunal to block his extradition to the United States.

Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton  told  Reuters last week that “I would imagine the U.S. wants to avoid” a case going before the ECHR for “trying to extradite a publisher from Europe for publishing U.S. war revelations when the U.S. is asking Europe to make all sort of sacrifices for the war in Ukraine.”

Nicaraguan regime sanctions audiovisual recordings`


An article by Lorena Baires in Dialogo Americas (translation by CPNN)

The National Assembly of Nicaragua has approved a list of reforms to the Creative Law of the National Cinematheque and to the Law of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, to limit the “development, public exhibition and commercialization of cinematographic and audiovisual products, as well as the confiscation of these”. With them, lawyers and filmmakers warn, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo will control and censor audiovisual productions in the country.

Carlos Guadamuz, defense attorney for the Costa Rica-based NGO Human Rights Collective Nicaragua Nunca Más told Dialogo, “We are concerned about all the attributions of the National Cinematheque, because it places culture and the production of audiovisual material as an initiative of the State and not as an initiative of an individual or legal entity to promote thought. It is a Law that violates the Political Constitution and places freedom of expression and thought at serious risk and vulnerability; as well as the patrimony of all the people who wish to carry out activities in the field of filming and documentation”.

As of October 13, Nicaraguan cinematography will have supervision and control with an article that establishes that “any natural or legal person, national or foreign, who intends to develop audiovisual and cinematographic activities of any kind in the national territory, must comply with the registration requirements before the National Cinematheque and have the proper authorization for the execution of such activities”. The Cinematheque may issue insurance measures to guarantee that nationals or foreigners comply with the regulations “in the making and development of cinematographic or audiovisual products,” reported the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa.

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Click here for the Spanish original of this article.

Question related to this article:
Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

Can “culture of peace” be mis-used?

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Ricardo Zambrano, Nicaraguan filmmaker, director and producer in exile, told Diálogo; “This is what is worrying because, in a context like Nicaragua’s, where it is already known that one cannot publish things against the regime because there are consequences, now there is is a law that not only prevents and prohibits the display of the works, but also their production,” “The filmmakers will not be able to make documentaries or films that criticize the regime. If any person, producer, tiktoker or youtuber tells their stories with a camera in the street in a way that the Cinematheque, considers is not contributing to the peace and well-being of Nicaragua, their production will be boycotted and the material confiscated”.

The Nunca Más Nicaragua Collective emphasizes that these reforms bind and force the development of film or audiovisual activities and the production of documentaries on Nicaraguan television channel 6; a state television station that only reproduces the signal of television channel 4, the main broadcaster of the propaganda system of the Ortega-Murillo regime.

The lawyer Guadamuz added, “We are concerned that these records are carried out before authorities where the processes or guarantees of due process are not fulfilled, and there is no possibility of filing complaints or using judicial instances to ensure compliance with the freedoms and human rights of Nicaraguans” .

Nicaraguan sociologist and documentalist Leonor Zúñiga also highlighted the regime’s strategy of using ambiguous concepts, such as “Culture of Peace”, to justify actions against the freedoms of Nicaraguans.

“This concept has already been used in other post-2018 rebellion laws, to justify the censorship of everything that represents a criticism of power, and therefore threatens ‘peace’,'” Zúñiga posted on Twitter. “With this, they not only control producers that require the support of the State. This authorization to the Cinematheque can prohibit any individual with a camera (Yes, TikToker) to produce something if it does not align with the ‘Culture of Peace.’

Independent Nicaraguan filmmakers shared a press release on social networks, where they call on audiovisual producers and creators in Latin America and the world to “reflect on the importance of defending creative freedom and acting collectively to guarantee that the rights of freedom of expression are respected.” expression and cultural creation that have cost so much to conquer in Nicaragua and Central America”.

The National Cinematheque is in charge of the ex-daughter-in-law of Ortega and Rosario Murillo, Idania Castillo, who would become the new inspector not only of audiovisual products in Nicaragua but also of those who are dedicated to this activity, warned La Prensa

Because ‘Publishing Is Not a Crime,’ Major Newspapers Push US to Drop Assange Charges


An article by Jake Johnson from Common Dreams

The five major media outlets that collaborated with WikiLeaks in 2010 to publish explosive stories  based on confidential diplomatic cables from the U.S. State Department sent a letter Monday calling on the Biden administration to drop all charges against Julian Assange, who has been languishing in a high-security London prison for more than three years in connection with his publication of classified documents.

Demonstration October in Berlin. Photo by Keystone

“Twelve years after the publication of ‘Cablegate,’ it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets,” reads the letter   signed by the editors and publishers of The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El País. “Publishing is not a crime.”

The letter comes as Assange, the founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, is fighting  the U.S. government’s attempt to extradite him to face charges of violating the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. If found guilty on all counts, Assange would face a prison sentence of up to 175 years for publishing classified information—a common journalistic practice.

Press freedom organizations have vocally warned   that Assange’s prosecution would pose a threat to journalists the world over, a message that the five newspapers echoed in their letter Monday.

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Question related to this article:
Julian Assange, Is he a hero for the culture of peace?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

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“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” the letter reads. “Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.”

The “Cablegate” leak consisted of more than 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables that offered what the Times characterized as “an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world.”

Among other revelations , the documents confirmed   that the U.S. carried out a 2009 airstrike in Yemen that killed dozens of civilians. Cables released by WikiLeaks showed that then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh assured U.S. Central Command Gen. David Petraeus that the Yemeni government would “continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours.”

The media outlets’ letter notes that “the Obama-Biden administration, in office during the WikiLeaks publication in 2010, refrained from indicting Assange, explaining that they would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets too.”

“Their position placed a premium on press freedom, despite its uncomfortable consequences,” the letter continues. “Under Donald Trump, however, the position changed. The [Department of Justice] relied on an old law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (designed to prosecute potential spies during World War One), which has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster.”

Despite dire warnings from rights groups, the Biden administration has decided to continue   pursuing Assange’s extradition and prosecution.

In June, the United Kingdom formally approved   the U.S. extradition request even after a judge warned   extradition would threaten Assange’s life.

Assange’s legal team filed an appeal  in August, alleging that the WikiLeaks founder is “being prosecuted and punished for his political opinions.”

How the Islamic Revolution Gave Rise to a Massive Women’s Movement in Iran


An article by Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi in Counterpunch

Let me start with a straightforward proposition that is everywhere on social and mass media these days: The Islamic Republic’s patriarchal repression of women reached a tipping point after the murder in custody of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini by the Guidance Patrol on September 16, 2022. A revolt, led by young women, engulfed the entire country under the banner of women, life, freedom. At the root of this movement is the anti-women core of the Islamic regime and the struggle of Iranian women against it since its very beginning in 1979.

The whole nation — inside and outside the country, the global community, the progressive Left as well as the hawkish Right, stand in solidarity with this movement. The protests that began against the compulsory hijab and the demand for abolishment of the Guidance Patrol, has now become a full-fledged intersectional revolt for regime change in Iran, led by women.

This indeed is true that the Islamic Republic instituted draconian patriarchal policies after the revolution on 1979 that stripped the very basic formal rights that women had been granted under the ancien régime. These measures formally reduced women to second-class citizens in matters of marriage, custody, inheritance, crime and judiciary, dress code, segregation, and many other spheres of social life.  Yet, despite all this, women’s social mobility and presence in public sphere grew exponentially in the past four decades.  Ironically, this is in part an effect of the unintended consequences of these policies. Women learned very quickly how to navigate the new terrain, push the boundaries of the new institutions, and in practice gain access to rights and privileges from which the Islamic Republic deprived them. The recent revolt could not materialize without the remarkable agentive presence and mobility of women who carved out a space for ceaseless social and political engagement during the past four decades. Women are revolting because they refuse to continue the struggle in a field the boundaries of which are drawn in the dilapidated spirits of patriarchy.  Their gains have reached a hard as well as a glass ceiling that needs to be overcome.

The Iranian revolution succeeded in ending the monarchy on February 11, 1979. On February 26, only two weeks after the victory of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini annulled the Family Protection Law of 1967 and its 1975 amended version, which had given women more rights in divorce and matters of custody under the Shah. Since its inception, the clergy by and large had opposed the law’s basic premises, which they believed violated the Islamic views on women’s role in family.  Khomeini knew that the unity and uniformity that his leadership afforded the revolutionary movement would not remain uncontested for long after the triumph of the revolution. He knew that the spirit of Islam and the symbolic revolutionary language with which it inspired millions of Iranians of many creeds and classes needed to be translated into a body of institutional projects of postrevolutionary state-building.  So, he seized the opportunity to put women under the control of their menfolk.

Despite such overt assaults on women’s rights, most political parties continue to address women’s issues in the frame of revolutionary politics, nationalism, class struggle, and anti-imperialism.  For the first few months after the revolution, except for the National Front, the oldest liberal organization in Iran, and small Trotskyist group, Left and liberal parties remained ambivalent about women’s issues. They failed to recognize the remarkable contribution of women to the revolutionary struggle and the need to check the assault on their rights.  At the time, most of the women’s organization operated as an appendix to different political parties to further the anti-imperialist struggle and tied women’s issues to greater demands for social justice.

The establishment of the Islamic Republic proved inconsistent with fundamental women’s formal and legal rights.  Despite earlier assurances, on the eve of March 8, 1979, less than a month after the triumph of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini called upon the Provisional Government to uphold Islamic dress codes in its offices.  His pronouncement scandalized many who played a significant role in the revolutionary movement, including several members of his own Revolutionary Council.  This was the second time, after the abrogation of the Family Protection Law, in three weeks that issues of women’s right had become a point of contention in the postrevolutionary power struggle. That was why the festive preparations for the first postrevolutionary International Women’s Day turned into a rally with specific women’s rights demands such as the recognition of women judges and, most importantly, a call against compulsory hejāb.  Thousands of women gathered in Tehran University and the next day in front of and inside the hallways of the Ministry of Justice chanting: In the Spring of freedom, absent is the rights of women.

Instituting compulsory hejāb even in the tightly controlled parliament and implementing it throughout the country was not an easy proposition. It took another four years for the mandate to become an enforceable law. Different factions inside the government as well as influential clerics in seminaries raised questions about the wisdom of such a law, its religious justification, as well as its feasibility. Nevertheless, the new law went into effect on August 9, 1983.

The institution of compulsory hejāb and other patriarchal measures in cases of travel, marriage, custody, inheritance, criminal laws, etc. all of which formally reduced women to second-class citizens, gave yet more credibility to feminist concerns that the Islamic republic would entirely force women out of the public sphere. Comparisons were made with Reza Shah.  Some argued that whereas he liberated Muslim women by the “unveiling law” that banned the hejāb in public spaces in 1936, the Islamic Republic was now forcing women back into the private sphere where they would be subjected to the repressive domestic patriarchy.  Yet curiously – these contrasting policies produced paradoxical results on the ground. Reza Shah’s “unveiling” did not liberate women, and the Islamic Republic’s repressive measures did not imprison women at home. Ironically, it was under Reza Shah’s “unveiling law” that a great majority of women in urban areas were forced to stay at home, either because they chose not to appear in public without a veil or were not allowed to leave their homes by their fathers or husbands. Under the Islamic Republic, despite the institution of repressive anti-women laws, rather than being imprisoned in their homes, women gained unprecedented mobility in the country and year after year increased their presence in the public sphere.

These were unintended consequences, but they were quite substantial. As a consequence of the restrictions imposed on women in public places, a new system emerged of what I call patriarchy by proxy. The new laws created the possibility for a great majority of socially conservative Iranian families who were previously reluctant to see women’s participation in social affairs, to trust the new “Islamized” public sphere as an extended domain of patriarchal/religious order. The state became the ultimate guardian of patriarchy and by becoming so, paradoxically, sanctioned an unprecedented mobility among rural and urban women. Despite barring women from entering key political and judicial positions of decision-making, women entered and shaped the conditions of those spheres in significant numbers.

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Question related to this article:
Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

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In practice, gender politics and policy under the Islamic Republic have been far from the mere enactment of literal readings of the Qur’anic verses or a replication of women’s repression in Saudi Arabia. There is no doubt that the postrevolutionary regime instituted formal and legal apparatuses in order to constitute a homo Islamicus. But in its realpolitik, the Islamic Republic negated the anxieties that it would implement a literal reading of the Qur’an and expunge women from the pubic and restrict their lives to the domestic sphere. A quick look at the human development indexes in relation to women’s status in education, health, sports, artistic and cultural production, and civic engagement shows that the women in Iran have the most visible presence in public sphere in its history.  These changes were not the result of top-down state policies, but rather the consequence of a contentious engagement between different factions within the polity, women’s community and civic institutions, and political parties and activists.

From the time of revolution in 1979 to the latest reports in 2019, women’s literacy rate rose from 36% to 97.93%; share of women students in higher education rose from 15% to 60%; women’s life expectancy rose from 55 to 77; infant mortality decreased from 90 per 1000 to 10 per 1000. None of these could have been possible without a remarkable presence of women in public space and their involvement in policy planning and implementation.

The significant presence of women in the public arena created unanticipated shifts in gender relations in the country, conditions that forced even the most patriarchal factions in power to advocate unlikely propositions regarding women’s role in society. In 2006-2007 school year, women comprised 60% of incoming class of university students, and that trend continues. The conservatives of the 8th Parliament introduced legislation for affirmative action for men to catch up with women in higher education. The conservative parliamentarians, who otherwise insist that the place of women is at home to raise a virtuous family, argued that women who use resources of free public universities had to commit to a 10-year employment (public or private) after graduation. The paradox there is self-evident.

Another measure that contributed to the remarkable shift in family structure and gendered relations in public and private spheres was an aggressive family planning and population control program that was instituted in 1989. Although the Islamic Republic repealed the family planning and protection laws of the old regime soon after assuming power, in a significant shift, in 1988, the government introduced and carried out one of the most efficient family planning programs in the economically developing world.   Dictated by the perceived necessity of containing an unchecked rise in population, the program successfully reduced the population growth rate from the high of 3.4% in 1986 to 0.7% in 2007. During the same period, the number of children per family dropped from 6.5 to less than 2. Before his death in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini endorsed the new program thus affording religious legitimacy to this ideological reversal.  As the Candadian-Iranian anthropologists Homa Hoodfar has shown, without national consensus-building, a massive mobilization of women, both by government agencies as well as non-governmental agents, promoted with effective religious justification, and offered through an efficient delivery service in birth control and contraceptives (such as distribution of free condoms), and premarital sex-education programs, this ambitious family planning project could not have been realized. Called by many “The Iranian Miracle,” the program was so successful that, fearing the emergence of an aging population, the authorities are now trying to encourage families to have more children.

The purpose of this brisk history is not to draw a sanguine picture of women’s conditions in contemporary Iran. The complexities of how government and non-governmental actors interact on these issues, how the expansion and containment of state power shape the social realities of women of different classes and ethnicities, or how religious doctrines and convictions hinder or facilitate women’s mobility cannot be fully detailed here.  Rather, I want to show that the Islamic Republic instituted policies and imposed patriarchal laws that produced unintended consequences in gender relations and women’s mobility. For an uprising to materialize, there needs to be a socially mobile, politically conscious, and subjectively free population. Iranian women have long been the fierce political actors we see on the street, not the oppressed, shadowy, veiled subjects that are the meat and potatoes of foreign misperception and paternalism. Yes, a mighty patriarchy shaped social order in Iran, like many other places in the world, but women were never its hapless captives. That image, the helpless veiled women, while effective in gathering support in global liberal feminist circles who believe that Muslim women need to be saved, does not correspond to the practice of those women’s everyday lives and fails to credit two generations of Iranian women for their political creativity.

At its core, Women-Life-Freedom is a movement for dignity and sovereignty of the subject.  It is a movement that has changed the political culture of defiance and expressions of dissent. Its radical creativity— posters, songs, graffiti, and imaginative forms of collective action, has opened in practice the possibility of thinking of politics anew. The transformative acts of insubordinate bodies and liberated souls has made party platforms and unruffled sermons ineffective and obsolete.

While Iranian women and their male allies fight against the state’s brutal crackdown, their aspiring revolt, with its novel singularities, faces instrumentalization by regional and global actors, facilitated through a misreading of Iranian women’s history of deliberate and agentive action. While the global reach of this movement through the media operates as an instrument of its effective dissemination, paradoxically, it also subjects it to a discursive violence.

We should not misread the core principles of Women, Life, Freedom as being a simple “desire for the west” by a population who are simply fed up.  Under such a misreading, a whole host of unsavory interests, from neocolonial expansionists to ethno-nationalist separatists, from delusional monarchists to all those who still lament being on the losing side of the 1979 revolution, try their best to claim ownership of this movement.  Yet Iranian women on the ground have been the very actors who historically have created the conditions of possibility for their protest.  They have opened space for themselves and their daughters in the face of a state desire for repressive patriarchy. Over decades they have succeeded to take advantage of the unintended consequences of state policies; they are not merely reacting—they are instead determined.

Today’s massive women’s movement in Iran represents one of the great achievements of the 1979 revolution—a revolution that generated hope-bearing, conscious subjects who have perpetuated themselves for more than four decades – despite and in the face of all manner of repression. The paradoxical effects of the Islamic Republic policies brought women to the centerstage of social transformation in Iran. Now that transformation has reached a point of frontal war with the state. Iranian women today hold key positions in journalism, artistic and cultural production, civic engagement, political organizing, higher education, scientific communities, local political offices, etc. Daughters of those women, irrevocably demand an extension and expansion of their mothers’ positions without any patriarchal restrictions, either by the state or inside their homes.

Those demands will only be realized through the transformation of the state, or by rethinking the meaning of the state. How this transformation will unfold and with what means is yet not known, but its inevitability is evident. How fortunate we are that these generations of women taking the lead.

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Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi is an Iranian-born American historian, sociologist, and professor.