- News and Notes
Honoring Abdorrahman Boroumand
April 18 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the assassination of Iranian attorney Abdorrahman Boroumand, a courageous democracy advocate who helped to found the National Movement of the Iranian Resistance (NAMIR), the first prodemocracy movement opposing Iran’s theocracy.
In 2001, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran, was established on the tenth anniversary of Boroumand’s murder. To honor his memory, ABF created Omid (https://www.iranrights.org/memorial), an online memorial dedicated to the victims of Iran’s Islamic Republic that has documented the testimonies of more than 18,000 victims.
On 18 April 2016, Boroumand’s daughters, Ladan and Roya Boroumand, published an eloquent tribute reflecting on their father’s assassination and ABF’s efforts to promote human rights in Iran. It can be found at http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?.
Justice for Chadians
On May 30 in Dakar, former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison, marking the first time a former ruler has been brought to justice by an African Union–backed court in another African country. During his brutal rule in 1982–90, Habré ordered the killing of 40,000 people.
Human-rights lawyer and former Reagan-Fascell Fellow Delphine Djiraibe served for more than two decades as a member of the legal team representing victims’ families.
Global Americans Report
In April, Global Americans, a Brooklyn-based think tank founded by Christopher Sabatini and focused on human rights and democracy, launched a report titled “Liberals, [End Page 190] Rogues, and Enablers: The International Order in the 21st Century.”
This report is the first analysis in an ongoing project to monitor the foreign policies of Latin American countries and their effect on global norms and standards designed to defend human rights and democracy. The report, published on the “Latin America Goes Global” website, can be accessed at http://latinamericagoesglobal.org/reports/tracking-human-rights2016/?.
This spring, the Forum hosted a series of public events to celebrate the launch of the most recent Journal of Democracy book—Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy, coedited by Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, and Christopher Walker.
On April 14, the Forum hosted a book launch at the National Endowment for Democracy. The panelists included Fred Hiatt, editorial-page editor at the Washington Post; William Dobson, chief international editor at NPR; and Christopher Walker. Marc F. Plattner served as moderator. On April 19, Columbia University’s Harriman Institute hosted an event in New York City featuring contributors Andrew Nathan and Alexander Cooley, along with Sheri Berman, Walker, and Plattner.
In May, both Plattner and Walker participated in a series of panel discussions in Europe. On May 2, a session was held in Berlin at the German Council on Foreign Relations featuring Thomas Bagger (German Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Golineh Atai (First German Television); Wolfgang Merkel (WZB Berlin Social Science Centre); and Barbara von Ow-Freytag (Prague Civil Society Centre).
On May 3, a panel discussion took place at the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) in Brussels featuring Jerzy Pomianowski of the EED as well as book contributors Alexander Cooley (Columbia) and Lilia Shevtsova (Brookings Institution), who spoke at the subsequent events as well.
On May 4, the Legatum Institute hosted an event in London, featuring contributor Anne Applebaum. This was followed on May 5 by a book launch at the London-based Henry Jackson Society, moderated by Andrew Foxall.
On May 6, JP/Politiken Publishing House hosted an event in Copenhagen introduced by Jorgen Ejboel of JP/Politiken.
On April 28, the Forum organized a panel discussion on “Democratizing China: Insights from Theory and History.” The event featured Minxin Pei of Claremont McKenna College, with comments by Geoff Dyer of the Financial Times and David Shambaugh of George Washington University.
This spring, the Forum welcomed new Reagan-Fascell Fellows Lea Baroudi (Lebanon) and Raza Rumi (Pakistan), as well as Visiting Fellow Art Kaufman (United States), who join the Spring 2016 cohort of Fellows in residence. [End Page 191]