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Watch the new interview with Nora Younis on the Freedom Collection. Ms. Younis is an Egyptian human rights activist, journalist and blogger who is now working as the website managing editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily Independent, one of the best known newspapers in Egypt. As a human rights activist, Ms. Younis won the Human Rights First thirtieth anniversary award in 2008 for her work using new media tools to expose human rights violations and police brutality. When she started blogging in 2005, she focused on addressing the information vacuum on protest movements in Egypt. Before Twitter came into being, she was continually sending mass text messages to human rights activists, political groups, and journalists, informing them of rallies, arrests, state violence and police brutality. After Twitter became established among Egyptians, she moved into visual documentation. Most recognized is her video of the textile workers’ strike in Mahalla in September 2007 that soon grew into a nationwide movement known as the April 6th strike. One of her most famous blog posts includes her testimonial about the brutal police raid on a Sudanese refugee protest camp in Cairo in 2005 where at least 27 men, women and children were killed. Her testimonial was translated by fellow bloggers and activists across the world into more than seven languages. It was used in lawsuits and human rights reports condemning the Egyptian government. Nora Younis discusses the tremendous changes underway in Egypt – changes that began to take shape years before the 2011 demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And while much has been accomplished, many challenges remain. As Nora relates in her interview, “I am in a state of optimism and dissatisfaction at the same time. I’m not happy with what we have. We can do more. We can achieve more.” Watch her interview here.
This post was written by Lindsay Lloyd, Program Director of the Freedom Collection.
Lindsay Lloyd is the Bradford M. Freeman Director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, where he manages original research and programmatic efforts to advance freedom and democracy in the world. This includes the work of the Freedom in North Korea project, which raises awareness of human rights violations in North Korea, proposes new policy solutions, and engages leaders to help improve the lives of the North Korean people; the Freedom and Democracy project, which seeks to support U.S. leadership in the world and reenergize our democracy at home; and the Liberty and Leadership Program, which works to equip emerging young leaders in Burma with the skills and knowledge they need to help guide their country’s democratic transition. Lindsay also oversees the Institute’s North Korea Freedom Scholarship, which provides financial and other support for North Korean refugees and their children to pursue higher education.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Lindsay served for 16 years at the International Republican Institute (IRI), most recently as senior advisor for policy. Previously, he was IRI’s regional director for Europe and co-director of the regional program for Central and Eastern Europe, which was based in Slovakia. At IRI, Lindsay worked with candidates, elected officials, political parties, and civil society activists to develop lasting democratic institutions.
Before joining IRI, Lindsay worked for several members and the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, as political director for a political action committee, and for Jack Kemp’s 1988 presidential campaign. He graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.Full Bio
Chinese Prisoner’s Death Holds a Message for Americans and China
Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner died this week. His death holds a message for Americans and for China.
Release of Chinese Political Prisoner a Timely Reminder to Support Freedom Advocates Abroad
More than half the world’s population still lives in countries where basic political rights and civil liberties are only partly respected, if at all.
Bringing Freedom to the Forefront of 21st Century Politics
Is the global liberal democratic order in danger? Purposefully constructed in the aftermath of World War II, this order -- and the American leadership that is central to its success --has contributed to securing peace and expanding prosperity in the United States and around the world. Today, that order appears to be dissolving. This crisis is not new or sudden; it has been mounting for several years. Global challenges like authoritarian capitalism, violent extremism, demographic pressures, and displaced populations have placed global freedom in decline. Fraying traditional alliances united by core values of freedom are increasingly weak to respond. It is alarming that the downdraft in democratic resilience over the past decade or more includes countries that have long been part of the consolidated democratic West. This is democratic deconsolidation. In much of the Western world, we see a rise in demagogic populism, illiberalism, nationalism, protectionism, and waning conf
The Importance of Speaking Truth to Tyrants
What the president of the United States says matters. Even during the realpolitik policies of détente under Richard Nixon, it was still clear that American policy was based on a set of core values. Nixon’s practical goals of reaching deals with America’s adversaries was never based on the “great chemistry” with himself or praising the Soviet or Communist Chinese leadership doing a “fantastic job.” When the president aligns himself with the autocrats and dictators, he aligns America with their oppression. He sends a message that corruption and brutality are not our concern. Contrast that with how Ronald Reagan defied much of world opinion in calling out the brutality of the Soviet system. Natan Sharansky, then a refusenik imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, later wrote for the Weekly Standard of his thoughts on Reagan’s pronouncement that the USSR was an evil empire: “It was the great, brilliant moment whe