I wrote another article about the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, this time for Radio Free Europe. I argue that it’s beneficial to hold policy forums like IGF in authoritarian states:
Meetings like the IGF should be held in countries like Azerbaijan whenever possible. Doing so allows delegates attending such conferences — the fabled “stakeholders” — to realize what is truly at stake and local activists get a chance to make their voices heard. Perhaps most importantly, such a gathering holds accountable the claims of all sides — the Azerbaijani government, which proclaims to promote free speech while punishing those who speak freely; the international media, which decries the choice of host country while ignoring it otherwise; and the delegates, whose newfound willingness to help Azerbaijanis needs to be borne out in practice
Read the full article here – and contact Radio Free Europe if you’re interested in writing a counter-argument.