A Call to Defend Democracy

June 25, 2020

Covid-19 Crisis Threatens Democracy, Almost 500 Leading World Figures Warn

Intellectuals, political and civil leaders, Nobel Laureates and pro-democracy institutions are warning that the freedoms we cherish are under threat from governments that are using the crisis to tighten their grip on power.

PRAGUE - Democracy is under threat as many governments around the world assemble emergency powers that restrict human rights and enhance state surveillance without regard to legal constraints, parliamentary oversight, or time frames for the restoration of constitution order.

‘’The current pandemic represents a formidable global challenge to democracy.   Authoritarians around the world see the COVID-19 crisis as a new political battleground in their fight to stigmatize democracy as feeble and reverse its dramatic gains of the past few decades,” the letter says.

“A Call for Democracy“ is an open letter coordinated by 70 institutions and organizations and signed by almost 500 political and civil leaders including 13 Nobel laureates and 62 former heads of states or parliaments. Forum 2000 Foundation is one of 17 organizations that initiated the call. Some of the signatories will be guests of Forum 2000 Conference, which will take place in Prague on October 11-13, 2020.

„In the time of the pandemic, we need to be careful. Governments tend to accumulate power in times of crisis and we need to make sure they renounce it, once normalcy returns. Thus, independent information sources and strong civil society are crucial and need to be vigilant and ready to react,“ says Jakub Klepal, Executive Director of the Forum 2000 Foundation.

If you would like to support the letter with your signature, write an email to signupfordemocracy@idea.int.