Maina Kiai - the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association. After six years of service, he leaves in June of this post, making a bitter confession: worldwide civil society losing its way. Interview by the journalist of the Swiss newspaper Le Temps Frédéric Koller.
"More and more countries are adopting laws designed to restrict the access of international non-governmental organizations on their territory. Are we witnessing the great retreat of the international civil society?" - the journalist asked.
"The issue of attacks or restrictions aimed at non-governmental organizations, is not only international organizations, but also to all non-governmental organizations, particularly national. For a whole decade, the government willing to accept international business, but refuse to international ideas. Of Google, Apple can invest in China, Russia or Turkey. But as soon as it comes to human rights organizations such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch, it becomes problematic. Money - yes, the idea - no, - said Kiai. - Take a look at what is happening in Macedonia and Hungary: from George Soros made a target for hatred. Since this is one of those rare people who want to invest in a more open society. The problem is not Soros, and ideas. "
"In the 2011, Russia voted in favor of the law on foreign agents, which is aimed at non-governmental organizations, rather than on business. This trend can be seen now in many countries of the former Soviet space. Some countries create GONGO (government-organized NGOs) for the replacement of non-governmental organizations. Such tactics dates back to the era of the cold war, which makes his big comeback We are entering an era of non-governmental organizations of the crisis ", -. said the UN special Rapporteur.
"Location has its origin in the turning point between the wide wave of welcoming the adoption of civil society and today's departure?" - I asked the interviewer.
"11 September 2001 year marked the turn. Bush's anti-terrorist laws affected the civil society, which had been placed under surveillance, - said the source publication. - Then there were the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some government then made it clear that the United States, after all this is not so powerful, what seemed, since it is possible to throw a challenge. The more that the United States and ethical claims were torn to shreds. The war in Iraq, contrary to international law. If the US can do that, why can not we? Then add the financial crisis 2008 years: then everyone realized that the government does not protect the people, and the banks, business. Not some special event, but a whole chain of events led to the government's desire to supervise and restrict the activities of non-governmental organizations and civil society. "
"To implement the idea of international law and human rights, we need a strong country, it can be not only the US but also the European Union and even Russia and China Everywhere, people want more freedom, more freedom of information -.. This is not Western concept (...) Human dignity -. it is not a western value, "- said kiai.
"Many authoritarian states refer to the culture, history, to justify different approaches, in particular, insisted on the limitations of individual freedom in the face of the need to maintain public order. What would you answer them?" - the journalist asked.
"At the heart of many countries of the world it is a patriarchal society, which is a system of power. In this case, culture is only legitimizes the power structure. Owners of unjust authority tend to strengthen it through a system that they call culture. It happens everywhere, it is a constant struggle, and in the West, and the East ", - said the source publication.
"What do you think about the situation in the United States, where the new president praises the torture and attacks on the independence of the press?" - I asked the interviewer.
"In the US, one of the problems is that people are too trusting, thinking that the war was already won, - said the UN Special Rapporteur -. Another lesson elected Trump is that sometimes we need to shake, to understand how we organize . (...) it is a challenge. Trump is forcing people to think. And look how reorganized progressives, especially the women, it's phenomenal. "
"What went wrong in the old model campaigning for human rights?" - the journalist asked.
. "Elitism in the Human Rights Council here in Geneva, held a lot of discussions, meetings, but who knows about this Council in the world very few, -.? Said Kiai -. We vocationalized work on human rights, we are very well learned to write reports, but we forget that first of all we are talking about human contact. Any serious struggle for change is associated with the communication of one person with another. in a sense, the Internet and social networks help in this. it is not enough to send a tweet, you need to talk to each other, with orit, go to the schools. "
"There is a global recession the world economy, now we have to talk about the global recession of democratic values at all latitudes, it is not just Europe. Yet I remain optimistic, because everywhere in the world I meet individuals who resist and think about the future, about what how to turn the situation around, "- said the UN special Rapporteur.