Iranian activist Masih Alinejad

Activists Sound Alarm On Rise Of Global Authoritarianism

Wednesday, 03/13/2024

Iranian activist Masih Alinejad warned of a surge in global authoritarianism and the decline of democracy with two thirds of the world living under autocratic regimes.

In a Tuesday press conference with the World Liberty Congress, the dissident now living in exile, said the group, made up of dissidents from 56 autocratic regimes, are calling "to sound the alarm on what we see as a rising tide of authoritarianism across the globe."

Alinejad highlighted the concerning state of democracy worldwide, noting, "Democracy is in recession. More than two thirds of the world’s population live under autocratic regimes." The organization called for an end to political detention and dictatorship, emphasizing the need for legitimate choice in elections.

Alinejad also addressed the recent killing of prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, underscoring the heightened danger faced by political prisoners worldwide. "The killing of Alexei Navalny has shown that none of us is safe. Political prisoners’ lives are in more danger than ever since the end of the Cold War," Alinejad remarked.

More than brutal suppression at home, Alinejad, who has been the target of multiple assassination attempts by Iran's security forces abroad, said, "The world’s dictators don’t just repress dissidents internally - they are now murdering on foreign soil, to push the boundaries of what the international community will accept". 

In addition to Alinejad's remarks, Garry Kasparov, a vocal critic of the Kremlin and former world chess champion, also part of the World Liberty Congress, urged for a stronger Western response to Moscow's aggression in Ukraine.

"We’re here today to call for an end for political detention, and an end to dictatorship," Alinejad said. Referencing the recent elections in Iran in which turnout was at a record low, she added, "This year, 2 billion people will vote, but 500 million won't have a free choice. “Elections” in countries including Russia and Iran, are nothing of the kind. We demand legitimate choice for all."

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