Within the context of the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AAFD) toprepareArabpolitical trainers in communicating conceptsofliberalism, the alliance held the firsttrainingoftrainersinTunisia. The workshop wasattendedbyparticipantsfromLebanon, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, JordanandTunisia. Training was held incollaborationwiththe Friedrich Naumann FoundationandtheDutchLiberal PartyandTunisianRepublicanParty. The trainers came fromEgyptand the Netherlands.
The Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AAFD) along with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and the Dutch Liberal Party (VVD) intends to hold three workshops for training of trainers. This follows from the belief of the AAFD, that building political cadres is one of the most important challenges for strengthening liberalism in the Arab world. The three workshops will be held in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, subsequent to which the best participants will be chosen to attend an advanced training to be held in the Netherlands in November 2013. The successful participants will have the chance to attend trainings and workshops of the AAFD.
Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AAFD) strongly condemns detention of two of the leaders of its member organizations. Alarming news suggested that Dr. Meyada Swar Al Dahab, chairwoman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Sudan and Mr. Ra'efBadway, founder of the Saudi Liberal Network have been both arrested and detained by authorities of their respective countries.
These arrests prove that some Arab regimes still live in the past unaware of the changes that have taken place in the Arab conscience. These regimes sadly ignore the peaceful struggle of the Arab People for freedom and democracy, a struggle that has been dearly cultivated by blood of thousands of martyrs and freedom fighters. The people have spoken and their words were loud and clear, demanding their basic human rights, liberties, dignity and social justice.
We urge governments to take ample notice of the will of their people and deal with the new realities with openness and willingness to accept, in fact embrace, change and reform, as an opportunity to build a new future for their countries where the People are heard and where governments derive their power and strength from the legitimacy of their people's choice and free will.
The Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy demands immediate release of all political detainees and those imprisoned as a result of voicing out their opinions or expressing their ideas. AAFD urges liberals and free men and women everywhere to stand in solidarity with those prosecuted because of their political ideals or expressed opinions. AAFD also reiterates its strong condemnation of the continued massacres committed by the Syrian regime against its own people and calls for an end to violence in Syria and the start of a new era where dialogue and peaceful democratic process will spare blood and lives of the people.
In reaction to the Israeli attack against Gaza-bound aid ships, the Network of Arab Liberals (NAL) publishes the following statement:
NAL – representing liberal parties, organizations, and leaderships from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine – condemns the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla, which led to the killing and injuring of a great number of unarmed civilians in international waters in the high seas. It is indeed an act of piracy, violence, and state terrorism against civilians, whose only crime is seeking to provide medical supplies and food for the relief and assistance of other civilians, who have been under Israeli siege illegally for years in Gaza.
This Israeli assault also indicates the persistence of the continued disdain for the international laws, and the condescension of the international community. This behavior confirms the blind eye the international community turns to Israeli offensive practices; the use of double standards; the failure to take deterring punitive measures against Israel over many past incidents – most recently the Goldstone report on the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 ; act as a sort of implicit permission to Israel to pursue its violations of the international laws and legitimacy, and to disrespect the lives of others in a flagrant manner that hits human consciousness hard.
The Israeli practices are essentially in contradiction with liberal values and human rights, especially the right to life, the right to move, the right to peaceful association, the right to food, health, and education etc. The world today has reached a crossroads: either to stand by liberal values, justice, human rights, and the fair application of international law according to equal standards; or to defeat such values and principles, to give way to the law of blind force and to succumb to the chaos of life in the wilderness. This would ultimately make us live with entailing violence, terrorism, armed confrontations and bloody wars with millions of victims from amongst our sisters and brothers in humanity, and would take us and our civilization hundreds of years backwards.
NAL calls upon the world liberals and advocates of human rights to join ranks with the victims of the flotilla and the detainees in Israeli prisons, and to demand immediate release and reparation for all the victims. NAL calls upon the international community to take appropriate punitive measures against the aggressors, and to end the siege of the Gaza people immediately, as well as respect the right to life through the preservation of the lives of the civilians on all occasions even during armed conflicts.
Cairo, June 1. 2010