At the initiative of the International Institute of democracy and election assistance and the National endowment for democracy, the United States more than 500 world-known politicians, public figures, Nobel prize winners and leaders of human rights organizations signed an open letter in which he warned that authoritarian regimes can use the pandemic to strengthen their own power and suppress criticism. And even some democratically elected rulers today are concentrated in the hands of emergency powers, limiting human rights and increasing public supervision. According to the authors of the letter, the pandemic led to a political crisis that threatens the future of liberal democracy.
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The action was supported by about 70 human rights and civil society organizations, including Transparency International, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and World Movement for Democracy. Also the letter was signed by several hundred political and public figures, including 13 Nobel laureates and more than 60 former heads of state and government. Among the signatories from Russia – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kara-Murza.
“The suppression of freedom of speech, sent to jail peaceful dissenters and the abolition of elections for an indefinite period – all this does not help in the protection of the health,” said the signatories of the letter. They also note that the pandemic is not accidentally started in China, where suppress freedom of speech and persecute those who tried to talk about the spread of the virus. “Called COVID-19 crisis is a Wake-up call, an urgent warning that the freedoms that we value is under threat and we should not take it for granted.”