Kleptocratic regime intensifies repression


Ukraine is haltingly evolving away from a Russia-style, post-Soviet kleptocracy. But the allure of no-strings-attached Chinese cash could dampen the imperative for making reforms that Western aid packages, through their pro-reform riders, have tried to foster, analyst Nolan Peterson writes for Newsweek.

The Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) has condemned the politically motivated sentencing of investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli and is demanding his immediate release:

Despite the completely fabricated evidence against investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli and the outrageous circumstances of his arrest, the journalist, whom Azerbaijani intelligence agencies abducted in the capital of neighboring Georgia and then secretly and illegally transferred to Azerbaijan, was convicted by Balakan Regional Court of resistance to authority (Article 315 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan), illegal border crossing (Article 318 of the Criminal Code) and smuggling (Article 206 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced to six years in jail on January 12, 2018.

“The abduction, arrest and conviction of an investigative journalist living and continuing his professional activities in the territory of neighboring Georgia show that the authorities seek to prevent the exposure of corruption by resorting to blatantly illegal cross-border actions of persecution and violence against journalists,” IRFS CEO Emin Huseynov said. RTWT

The National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies has published a cluster of articles on “The Rise of Kleptocracy” in the January 2018 Journal of Democracy, including:

The Challenge for Democracy” by Christopher Walker and Melissa Aten

The Dark Side of Globalization by Oliver Bullough

Laundering Cash, White Washing Reputations” by Alexander Cooley, J.C. Sharman, and John Heathershaw

Autocrats versus Activists in Central Africa” by Brett Carter

Malaysia’s Missing Billions” by Cynthia Gabriel

Power and Plunder in Putin’s Russia” by Miriam Lanskoy and Dylan Myles-Primakoff

Does China Fit the Model?” by Andrew Wedeman

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