East and Southeast Europe
The Regional Office FNF ESEE covers 23 countries in East and Southeast Europe. The Regional Office in Sofia coordinates the following Project Offices in the region: Bulgaria and North Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Moldova, Western Balkans, Russia and Central Asia, Ukraine and Belarus, South Caucasus and Turkey.
Hans van Baalen – A great European
Hans van Baalen, ALDE President and member of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom Foundation, passed away tonight. Like no other, he shaped liberalism in Europe and tirelessly carried the message of freedom to the outside world. From now on, as a liberal family, we must continue alone along the path he blazed. His commitment to a united Europe will remain unforgotten.
Prisoner of Conscience: Elchin Ismayilli
Find out the story of the released prisoner of conscience. In March 2021, thanks to a presidential pardon, more than 30 secular and religious opposition figures, have been released from prison in Azerbaijan. Among them is as well the journalist Elchin Ismayilli unjustly incarcerated. In mid-February 2017, police arrested Azerbaijani journalist Elchin Ismayilli and later charged him with bribery, extortion, and abuse of power.
Russian Media and the Rule of Silence
Learn more about how the authorities in Russia are trying to silence independent media. The event “Rule of Silence” was jointly organized by the Kennan Institute and FNF. The distinguished panelists are Pavel Chikov – a Russian lawyer, a human rights advocate and head of the Agora group; Ivan Pavlov – a Team 29 representative; Roman Anin – investigative journalist, ex-partner of OCCRP and editor-in-chief of Important Stories media. Moderated by Sergey Parkhomenko.
Freedom Team Interview with Martin Kothé : Thoughts on Freedom and FNF
Curious to get to know Martin Kothé, our new Regional Director for FNF East and Southeast Europe and Project Director for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Greece? Watch an animation to discover his thoughts on Freedom and FNF.
Prisoner of Conscience: Marfa Rabkova
On September 17, officers from the Interior Ministry detained a Belarusian human rights advocate, Marfa Rabkova, and her husband. A week later, Rabkova was charged with planning to incite riots, an accusation which both Belarusian and international human rights advocates see as unjust and fabricated. If convicted, she faces up to three years in jail.
Defending what is right
Georgian politician and civic mover and shaker Tinatin Khidasheli has been immersed in the fight for justice for 30 years – and is ready for the next 30 to come. Tinatin is the type of person for whom the use of “fighter” in the expression “freedom fighter” is well deserved. In her three decades of civic activism, she has gone from clashing with the Soviet-era militsiya (police) in the final year before the fall of the USSR to defending in court the basic rights of those ostracised by the new Georgian state, from advocating the need for EU integration of her country in Parliament, to reforming its military.
Freedom Team Interview: Martin Kothé in Focus
Meet Martin Kothé, our new Regional Director for FNF East and Southeast Europe and Project Director for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Greece since August 2020. Learn more about his professional journey and personal manifesto. Martin Kothé has joined FNF in early 2020 after 10 years as a Managing Director for FTI Consulting in Berlin, a US strategic communications consultancy. From 2004 to 2010, Martin was working as spokesperson to the German President Horst Köhler during his tenure in office. Prior to that, Martin served as communications director and spokesperson of the German liberal party FDP affiliated to FNF (1999 - 2004). He started his career in journalism, learning the trade in the German Section of the BBC's World Service from 1988 - 1991.