International Day of Democracy: September 15, 2016


In honor of the United Nations' International Day of Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy would like to highlight some of our network's democracy activists whose work reflects this year's theme: Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Hear from the activists who are helping to build a more democratic world in the videos below.



(Activists in videos, in order from left to right)

Igor Blaževič is a Bosnian activist, the founder of the human rights film festival, One World, and is working with political prisoners to help #SetThemFree. Wai Wai Nu is a Burmese activist, former political prisoner, as well as the founder and director of the Women Peace Network Arakan. Both activists have used educational and legal institutions to promote more inclusive societies. 


Fatima Al Bahadly is an Iraqi activist who has engaged youth, women and leaders from the Provincial Council to help rebuild the city of Basra, Iraq. Rather than accept the war-town reality of her home, Bahadly used civic engagement to help transform it. She helped develop a more active community by encouraging others to participate in their local political institution. 


Leah Vidales is a Cuban activist using art to support democracy in her country. She refused to stay silent when fellow Cuban activist, Danilo Maldonado Machado or El Sexto, was imprisoned for peacefully practicing his right to freedom of expression. Vidales released the #FreeElSexto Libertad para Danilo song to express solidarity with him, and promote awareness about the human rights violations in Cuba.


Kingsley Bangwell is a Nigerian activist and director of the Youngstars Foundation. Bangwell's training program, Democracy Series: Participation, Learning Active Youth (DESPLAY), has connected youth from all over Africa to learn about democracy, and good governance.


Emin Milli is an Azerbaijani activist, writer, founder of the news media institution, Meydan TV, and co-founder of the Alumni Network, a grassroots youth movement. Milli was involved in the making of a humor video about the Azerbaijani government, and was attacked shortly after the creation of the video. After filing a complaint, he was then imprisoned by the Azerbaijan government for 16 months. Though Milli is currently exiled in Germany, Meydan TV actively publishes news about Azerbaijan.


Nicholas Opiyo is a Ugandan activist, human rights lawyer, and founder of the Chapter Four Uganda organization. As a lawyer he utilizes legal institutions to advance anti-corruption and pro-democracy causes, as well as protect the human rights of Ugandan citizens. Opiyo played an instrumental role in drafting legislation that calls for the criminalization of torture.