Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) is a series of global conferences run by the New York-based non-profit Human Rights Foundation under the slogan 'Challenging Power.'
One of the key objectives of the conferences is to bring together notable people, including former heads of state, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, prisoners of conscience, as well as of other public figures in order to network and exchange ideas about human rights and exposing dictatorships.
Due to the forum, Russian chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist Garry Kasparov shared Vladimir Kara-Murza’s talk 'Russians Are Ready for Freedom' on his Facebook page:
'Vladimir is a long-time friend and colleague fighting for democracy and human rights in Russia. He is also a recent member of the list of Putin critics who have been poisoned or otherwise attacked. He was in a coma for week a year ago, but his courage has not diminished. It was a great pleasure to see him back in action at the Oslo Freedom Forum and his message is a very important one.
This theme, that 'Russians aren't ready for democracy' is similarly applied nearly everywhere dictatorship exists. It serves as an excuse not only for the authoritarian regimes themselves, but also for the free world nations that love to talk about democracy but love even more to do business with 'reliable dictatorships' like those of China and Saudi Arabia, for example. It's a fallacy, only postponing the eventual uprising or collapse and making it worse when it does happen.
Democracy is possible anywhere, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The Arab Spring proved the demand for it, despite decades of 'Arabs aren't ready for democracy' garbage. But you cannot expect it to flourish easily after so many years of authoritarian rule. That isn't a reason not to try and to keep trying, because it is the right thing to do morally and because it is the best thing to do for security in the long run.'
Vladimir Vladimirovich Kara-Murza is a Russian politician and journalist and, since 2012, Senior Policy Advisor at the Institute of Modern Russia.
An elected member of the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition, he serves on the federal council of the Republican Party of Russia – People's Freedom Party and the Solidarnost pro-democracy movement.
Kara-Murza holds an M.A. in history from Cambridge University.
Kara-Murza is a coordinator of Open Russia, which promotes civil society and democracy in Russia.
Kasparov added: 'Please share and watch his lecture.'