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Council of Europe holds annual Conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services

Berlin, June 5.– The Council of Europe annual conference of Directors of Prison and Probation Services will convene on June 6 and 7 to explore innovative responses to challenges such as prison overcrowding, the need to improve living conditions in prisons, the increasing number of people with mental problems in prison and probation and how Berlin-Bradenburg Academy of Sciences & Humanitiesto better help offenders reintegrate into society. This 28th Conference will be held at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jägerstrasse 22/23, 10117 Berlin

Hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Justice, the conference will bring together directors of prison and probation services from the 46 Council of Europe member states, its observer states, and international experts and organizations.

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Defend Our Democracy civil society movement launches in South Africa encouraging active citizenry

Founders of Defend Our DemocracyThis Movement intends to promote human rights and enhance democratic values and processes embedded in the Constitution.

Participants renewed their commitment to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and established Defend Our Democracy as a progressive civil society movement. Issues flagged by those present included local and global threats to democracy, a lack of active citizenry for transformation and accountability, and the problem of young people having no agency to respond to their generational mission.

This is a South African movement officially launched as a civil society movement on May 27 in Illovo, established to defend Constitutional democracy. They issued the Conference Paper for a Democratic Renewal and Change as a discussion document. «This call for comment serves to gather all input made by all members of the public and sectors of society. The discussion document serves to convene and facilitate conversation on democratic renewal and change.»
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PACE Standing Committee met in Riga last Friday

The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which brings together around 60 of the Assembly’s members, met in Latvia. This Committee acts on the Assembly’s behalf between plenary sessions and is made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, the chairpersons of political groups, the chairpersons of national delegations, and the committee chairpersons, totaling some 60 parliamentarians from the Council of Europe’s 46 member States.

Riga, May 28.– After the opening of the meeting by PACE President Tiny Kox, Saeima Speaker Edvards Smiltēns gave a welcome address, and the Standing Committee ratified the credentials of new members of the Assembly submitted by the delegations of Austria, Georgia, Germany, and the Republic of Moldova, followed by an PACE met here in Riga 5/26/2023PACE met here in Riga 5/26/2023exchange of views with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in the framework of Latvia’s Presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

There have been two requests for current affairs debates on “The follow-up to the Reykjavik Summit” (with the participation of Aoife Nolan, President of the European Committee of Social Rights) and on “Excluding athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in the Olympics” (with a statement by Kaspars Cipruss, Secretary General of the Latvian Basketball Federation). Those were the highlights of the Standing Committee meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in Riga on Friday 26 May 2023.

Now we must implement the decisions taken in Reykjavik”, PACE President said

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First Journalist to be arrested on accusations of spying in Russia since the Cold War

Evan GershkovichBrussels, May 23.– On March 30th, journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested by Russian authorities on charges of espionage and was kept in solitary confinement for several weeks.

A Moscow-based correspondent for the Wall Street Journal since January 2022, Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be arrested on accusations of spying in Russia since the Cold War. The arrest took place on March 29 in Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia, and marks further evidence of Putin’s crackdown on independent journalism, both domestic and foreign. His imprisonment “makes journalism a blood sport in Russia” declared political activist Bill Browder.

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1st Convention of the Future Armenian: Over 200 participants defined their vision of future and unity

CaucasusYerevan, May 20 (ARMENPRESS).– The Future Armenian has recapped its 1st Convention which took place in Yerevan earlier in March.

Over 200 participants from around the world gathered at the Convention.

The Convention of the Future Armenian is based on the internationally recognized and widely used “citizens’ assembly” model of participatory democracy. 200 participants were selected from a pool of pre-registered citizens by a transparent lottery drawing with a representative sampling method to ensure the representation in the Convention of gender, age, and educational groups in society, as well as the participants’ countries and places of residence.

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