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Had enough of ‘alternative facts’ and immigrant-bashing? openDemocracy is different - join us and hear from Elif Shafak, Brian Eno, Peter Oborne, Sultan al-Qassemi, Birgitta Jonsdottir & many more on what we can do together in 2017.

This week's editor

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is junior editor at DemocraciaAbierta.

Anniversary of Aldy Massacre passes in fear and silence

On 5 February 2000, Russian soldiers summarily executed dozens of civilians in the Chechen village of Aldy. Survivors of the massacre have no hope of finding justice, with the authorities doing everything in their power to whitewash this and other tragedies. 

Glimpse of a key debate : deciding the future of Podemos, Day 4

What comes after the “electoral war machine”? Communication strategies for the post electoral cycle. Español

Dreams of Europe: refugees and xenophobia in Russia and Ukraine

Europe’s refugee crisis has affected Russia and Ukraine in different ways — solidifying local hatreds, local hierarchies and varying views of European identity.

Trump on the offensive

A surge in America's military power, led by special forces and new weapons, augurs an even more dangerous era in global security.

How Somali Muslims are raising a 10,000-person anti-hate army

The refugee community in Minnesota is a big target for bigotry, but they have a plan.

US appeals court declines to reinstate Trump’s travel ban

Trump tweets: “SEE YOU IN COURT".

Asylum seekers are left destitute and homeless due to a lack of legal aid

One of the least reported devastations caused by government legal aid cuts has been on asylum seekers. Vulnerable people seeking refuge in the UK are left destitute and homeless.

Ukraine and the cancer of corruption: a conversation with Svitlana Zalishchuk

The rising star of Ukrainian politics tells openDemocracy that deep-rooted corruption is the greatest threat to the nation’s democracy 

Mind the gap between Belarus and Russia

What’s behind the bad blood in today’s Belarusian-Russian relations? Русский

Out of the box: Megan Prescott on Skins, bodybuilding and busting gender roles

Megan Prescott discusses her experiences of gender inequality, public scrutiny and subverting stereotypes as a young actress, writer and competitive bodybuilder.

The decorative deputies of the North Caucasus

As a recent scandal in the North Caucasus shows, there are jobs for the boys at all levels of Russia’s power vertical. Русский

Why the pussyhats are the death of women’s lib

The Women’s March is accused of a lack of self-awareness and worse, widespread co-option by systemic as well as ego-shielding psychological forces.

The polarized politics of Islamophobia

Human rights defenders are out in the cold at this moment: we have compromised allies on the left and the right.

UK's Official Secrets Acts overhaul provides little protection for whistleblowers

Whistleblowers who leak official information could be prosecuted and jailed regardless of the public merit of the information they revealed, or whether any damage to national interests was actually caused.

Chilling effects: the politics of anti-semitism in the UK

A former specialist adviser to the House of Commons Social Services Committee has written a detailed critique of the Home Affairs Committee’s Report on anti-Semitism. We find out why.

140journos: after the coup attempt

An interview with the founder of 140journos about working in Turkey after the coup attempt, and a call to Europeans to provide a platform for the truth. Part two.

140journos: we´ll do it ourselves, then

How the story of one of the few remaining independent media outlets in Turkey began and kept ahead of the game. Part one.

Internally displaced women: social rupture and political voice

Displacement is social as well as geographical. Women’s welfare and survival depends significantly on their social relationships; displacement destroys this resource.

Ecuador elections 2017: A change is as good as a rest?

The governmental candidate is expected to win on February, 19, but the country could be facing a second round of voting. If so, the unforeseen might happen. Español

The curse of apocalyptic rhetoric: why resisting Donald Trump requires prose

Days after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the rhetoric around his presidency on the left remains mostly unchanged: a mix of incredulity and rage, laced with apocalyptic fret.

More mega-prisons won't fix a broken society

The British government is building more prisons to lock up more people in the most incarcerated country in Europe.

An occupation in the heart of Berlin

Why the dismissal of a professor at Berlin's Humboldt University is causing widespread protest among the students.

India's female genital mutilation: a thousand-year-old secret

So little was known, until recently, about the secretive practice of FGM in a small  Muslim community that India is not even on the UN’s list of FGM countries.

Questions of interests: Canada and the puzzle of Fiduciary Obligation

Canada is seeking to move towards a new kind of reconciliation with its First Nations. But what does it mean to speak of the “best interests” of the vulnerable?

Turkmenistan’s electoral denial

trend_luca-anceschi_270415_2_0.jpgOn the eve of another sham election, Turkmenistan’s rulers aren’t taking the need for change seriously. Have they begun to believe their own propaganda?

 

The Arab digital philanthropy and transparency nexus

The growing digital engagement and online presence of the philanthropic sector in the Arab region is playing a growing role in engaging people philanthropically in a context where personalized ways of giving still have a stronghold.

Imagining justice for ethnic communities in Colombia

Reparations for conflict-related harms as set out in the peace accords are only a fraction of many pending debts owed to Colombia’s ethnic communities. Español