All FSI News News February 8, 2021

Statement from Draper Hills Alumni on Russian Protests 2021

We, the alumni of the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship Program and faculty at Stanford University, strongly condemn the persecution of Russia’s Opposition Leader, Alexei Navalny, and subsequent arrest of thousands of ordinary Russian citizens who dared to take to the streets on January 23, 2021, in mass protests to demand the immediate release of the jailed leader.

From Nizhy Novgorod, our fellow, Zhanna Nemtsova’s hometown to the capital of Moscow, tens of thousands of ordinary Russians gathered in open defiance of government forewarnings that the protests were illegal. It was noted that, in fact, many of the protestors were young people advocating for democratic change and not just in protest against the detention of Alexei Navalny. For the record, President Putin has been in power for over two decades.

We, therefore, as leaders in our respective fields across the world call on the Russian authorities to release all those who have been detained for exercising their universal rights including the right of assembly. As supporters of human rights and the rule of law, we additionally call on the Russian government to stop placing further restrictions on civil society and fundamental freedoms which have been increasingly curtailed over the years. It is also hoped that the authorities’ illegal use of excessive and violent force against peaceful protestors shall cease in future protests planned for the following weekends across Russia.

The cause of and fight for democracy is being taken up all over the world, be it in Burma, Hong Kong, the U.S., or Russia. It is thus our fervent belief that each of us can and must take civic action, be what it may and wherever it may be, in support of democracy, and to ascertain that while ‘democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated’.

Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director, Stanford CDDRL 
Larry Diamond, Stanford CDDRL 
Erik Jensen, Stanford CDDRL
Astrid Escobedo, Human Rights Lawyer, Guatemala
Miguel Bronfman, Lawyer, Human Rights, Argentina
Udo Jude Ilo, Nigeria
Zhanna Nemtsova, Co-Founder, Boris Nemtsov Foundation, Russia/Germany
ElsaMarie DSilva, Red Dot Foundation, India
Nino Evgenidze, Executive Director, EPRC, Georgia
Ivana Djuric, Lawyer, Serbia
Charles Wanguhu, Lawyer, Kenya
Ujwal Thapa, Democracy Activist, Nepal
Olena Sotnyk, Human rights defender, politician, Ukraine
Prateek Pradhan, Editor-in-Chief, Baahrakhari digital news, Nepal
Olga Stuzhinskaya, International relations expert, Belarus
Kasha Nabagesera, Kuchu Times Media Group- KTMG, Uganda
Mustafa Haid, Human rights defender, Syria/ Germany
Eka Gigauri, Executive Director, Transparency International, Georgia
Befekadu Hailu, Executive Director, Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD), Ethiopia
Myat Ko Ko, Executive Director, Yangon School of Political Science, Burma
Iulian Fruntasu, TVR Moldova, author and presenter TV program on foreign policy, Moldova
Jason Hsu, Former Senator, Legislative Yuan, Taiwan,  Taiwan
Mohammed Nosseir, Egyptian Entrepreneur, Analyst & Writer, Egypt
Dmitry Vishnyakov, Russia
Houssem Aoudi, Entrepreneur & Angel investor, Tunisia / UAE
Jay Nishaant, President, Nepal Democracy Foundation (NDF), Nepal
Maja Piscevic, Atlantic Council, Serbia
Yusmadi Yusoff, Senator, Malaysia
Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director, Africa Centre for Open Governance, Kenya
Nicolas Ducote, Director, Inspira, Argentina
Ruby Saakor Tetteh, Deputy Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana
Chandralal Majuwana, Forum for Human Dignity, Sri Lanka
Laura Alonso, 2020-21 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, Argentina
Jana Macedo, Public Policy Specialist, Brazil
Mohamad Najem, Executive Director, SMEX, Lebanon
Bruno Defelippe, Ceo Univ Comunera, Paraguay
Mauricio Alarcón Salvador, Executive Director, Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo, Ecuador
Laura Gil, Director, La Línea del Medio, Colombia
Vugar Salamli, Media consultant, Azerbaijan/USA
Julieta Herrero, Fundación Mauricio Macri, Argentina
David Smolansky, Former Mayor of El Hatillo in Exile, Venezuela
Belabbes Benkredda, Gruber Fellow in Global Justice at Yale Law School, United States
Alla Kos, Independent Consultant, Belarus
Juan Fernando Londoño, JFLO, Colombia/Peru
Nino Chichua, Georgia Healthcare Group, Georgia
Hoi Trinh, Lawyer and Co-Founder of VOICE, Vietnam
Nino Esakia, Government and Public Sector Leader, EY, Georgia
Jovan Jovanovic, President, Civic Platform, Serbia
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Nonviolent Initiatives for Democracy Inc. (NID), Iran
Varvara Pakhomenko, in private capacity, Russia
Wael Sawah, Pro-Justice, United States
Ateki Caxton, Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation for All - NewSETA, Cameroon
Iryna Vidanava, Cofounder, CityDog.by, Belarus
Abdelrahman Mansour, Writer and human rights defender, Egypt/ United States
Kamal Siddiqi, Director, CEJ-IBA, Pakistan
Lisseth Boon, Journalist, Venezuela
Dmytro Potekhin, Founder & CEO, Factology.Systems, Ukraine
Wiem Zarrouk, Independent consultant, Tunisia
Victor Liakh, President, East Europe Foundation, Ukraine