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Despite advances, democracy in Africa hobbled by 'rigging'

Paris - Across Africa, military coups and election violence are becoming rarer but poll rigging and manipulation remain rife, hobbling the continent's democratic progress, experts say.

Hong Kong student leader pleads not guilty

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong student protester pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple criminal charges over a demonstration against a pro-Beijing figure, a day after the conviction of an "Umbrella Revolution" leader was blasted by rights activists.

Hong Kong 'Umbrella Revolution' leader convicted for protests

Hong Kong - A key figure in Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution' was convicted Thursday of participating in a protest that sparked mass pro-democracy rallies, in a prosecution blasted as a "chilling warning" by rights campaigners.

China warns independence candidates in Hong Kong election

Hong Kong - China warned Wednesday against Hong Kong pro-independence parties running in the city's upcoming elections as the movement gains traction among some young campaigners.

Democracy key to Turkish economy, says IMF

Washington - Following Turkey's bloody coup attempt at the weekend, the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said the country's democratic institutions were crucial to its economic stability.

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker charged with corruption

Hong Kong - A veteran pro-democracy lawmaker was charged Thursday by Hong Kong's corruption bureau over a payment from one of the city's best-known anti-China media tycoons, in a case he described as a political move.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protester tells court of police 'assault'

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong protester told Wednesday how he was kicked and punched during pro-democracy rallies in 2014 as seven police officers stood trial over the attack, which was captured on film and beamed around the world.

Hong Kong police in court over 'beating' protester

Hong Kong - Seven Hong Kong police officers were in court Wednesday over the beating of a pro-democracy protester during mass rallies in 2014, an incident which was captured on film and beamed around the world.

Venezuela leader urges rally after telling OAS to 'shove it'

Caracas - President Nicolas Maduro has called for a demonstration Wednesday against the Organization of American States over what he labels its meddling in Venezuela's political crisis.

Hong Kong democracy protester given five weeks for police assault

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was sentenced to five weeks in prison Monday after he was found guilty of assaulting and resisting officers during mass rallies in 2014 when he splashed liquid on police.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protester guilty of assaulting police

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who was allegedly beaten by police in an attack captured by television cameras and beamed around the world was found guilty Thursday of assaulting and resisting police officers.

Daughter of missing Hong Kong bookseller calls for U.S. help

Hong Kong - The daughter of one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing late last year has called on US authorities to help end her father's "unofficial and illegal" detention in China.

Hong Kong protesters detained after bid to stop China official

Hong Kong - Hong Kong student pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong was among five protesters detained Thursday after they ran onto a motorway to intercept the motorcade of a top Chinese official during a highly-charged visit to the city.

Top China official says Hong Kong autonomy will be preserved

Hong Kong - A top Chinese official said Hong Kong can have "peace of mind" that its autonomy will be preserved, but hit out at independence activists during a highly-charged visit that sparked protests Wednesday.

Top China official says Hong Kong autonomy will be preserved

Hong Kong - A top Chinese official said Hong Kong can have "peace of mind" that its autonomy will be preserved, but hit out at independence activists during a highly-charged visit that sparked protests Wednesday.

Top China official says Hong Kong autonomy will be preserved

Hong Kong - A top Chinese official said Hong Kong can have "peace of mind" that its autonomy will be preserved, but hit out at independence activists during a highly-charged visit that sparked protests Wednesday.

Top China official promises to 'listen' to Hong Kong

Hong Kong - One of China's most powerful officials said he would listen to political demands from Hongkongers in a conciliatory start to a visit Tuesday that has stirred anger in a city resentful of Beijing's tightening grip.

Top China official promises to 'listen' to Hong Kong

Hong Kong - One of China's most powerful officials said he would listen to political demands from Hongkongers in a conciliatory start to a visit Tuesday that has stirred anger in a city resentful of Beijing's tightening grip.

Top China official promises to 'listen' to Hong Kong

Hong Kong - One of China's most powerful officials said he would listen to political demands from Hongkongers in a conciliatory start to a visit Tuesday that has stirred anger in a city resentful of Beijing's tightening grip.

Top China official visit stirs anger in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - One of China's most powerful officials lands in Hong Kong Tuesday in an attempt to build bridges in the divided city, but the trip has already stirred anger among opponents.

Verdicts loom for Hong Kong student leader Wong

Hong Kong - Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong was in court Friday for the last day of a trial over pro-democracy protests, as he faces two imminent verdicts and a possible prison sentence.

Hong Kong independence 'inevitable' says campaign leader

Hong Kong - For the majority of Hong Kongers, the notion of breaking away from mainland China is far-fetched -- but pro-independence leader Andy Chan insists it can become a reality as fears grow Beijing is tightening its grip.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protester stands trial

Hong Kong - A Hong Kong pro-democracy protester who was allegedly beaten by police in an attack captured by television cameras and beamed around the world stood trial on Monday over allegations he assaulted officers.

Hong Kong student leader Wong says HSBC blocked new accounts

Hong Kong - Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong accused HSBC of "political censorship" on Wednesday after the bank rejected his application for a joint account for his new party as well as a personal account for himself.

Turkey's Erdogan rejects 'lessons in democracy' from West

Ankara - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday lashed out at the West for giving Turkey "lessons in democracy", rejecting mounting US and EU criticism over an alleged clampdown on press freedoms under his rule.

Hong Kong activists say pro-democracy protests 'peaceful'

Hong Kong - Two activists took the stand in Hong Kong Thursday over charges relating to mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014, defending the movement as "peaceful".

Hong Kong activists on trial over 'Occupy' protests

Hong Kong - Three pro-democracy activists went on trial in Hong Kong Monday over charges relating to mass rallies in 2014, with the movement's student leader accusing the government of "unreasonable" prosecution.

Hong Kong press freedoms decline in 2015: Report

Hong Kong - Press freedom further declined in Hong Kong in 2015, driven by growing self-censorship and government interference as Beijing expands its influence over the city's boisterous media, a new report said Saturday.

Hong Kong students skip classes to protest at 'pro-Beijing' appointment

Hong Kong - Students protested on the campus of Hong Kong's leading university Wednesday after a pro-Beijing official was appointed to a senior role, as fears grow of increasing political interference in education.

Pakistan PM to visit Saudi and Iran 'to ease tension'

Islamabad - Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will lead a high-level delegation to Saudi Arabia and Iran this week to try to ease tension between the Muslim countries, a minister said Sunday.
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Some of the people attending  Shine a Light on Democracy  in downtown Guelph Tuesday March 2  2010.
Some of the people attending "Shine a Light on Democracy" in downtown Guelph Tuesday March 2, 2010.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Former North Korean prison camp inmate Chol-Hwan Kang attends the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and...
Former North Korean prison camp inmate Chol-Hwan Kang attends the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Geneva, February 19, 2013
Fabrice Coffrini, AFP
It doesn t really matter which way hot air blows. It matters who suffocates as a result.
It doesn't really matter which way hot air blows. It matters who suffocates as a result.
Jerry Prager describes the Mace and its journey across Canada to  Shining a Light on Democracy  part...
Jerry Prager describes the Mace and its journey across Canada to "Shining a Light on Democracy" participants in Guelph, March 2nd.
Protesters who came to participate in  Shining a Light on Democracy  in Guelph on March 2nd.
Protesters who came to participate in "Shining a Light on Democracy" in Guelph on March 2nd.
A view of the people who turned up to  Shine a Light on Democracy.
A view of the people who turned up to "Shine a Light on Democracy."
Great song  but perhaps a bit hopeful.
Great song, but perhaps a bit hopeful.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen s Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.
Hundreds of people gather at Queen's Park in Toronto calling for freedom and democracy in Iran.