Guardians of Liberty
Template:Infobox non-profit The Guardians of Liberty is a non-profit organization and a think tank dedicated to promoting human rights throughout Esquarium. Founded in 1953 by Stoyan Karavelov and Stanley Azubah, it is well known for its Liberty Index, which provides an assessment of Esquarian nations based on whether they respect economic freedoms, political freedoms, and civil rights.
Stoyan Karavelov was a noted political scientist who fled Katranjiev following the seizure of power by Huankun Chen in December 1951. After arriving into East Luziyca, Karavelov began advocating for a "global human rights organization" to speak up for victims of totalitarian regimes, mainly communist and Liberationist regimes.
Karavelov's ideas was met with acceptance from the government of East Luziyca, which sought to position itself as a leader of the free world. Thus, throughout 1952 and 1953, Karavelov had countless meetings with the federal government to persuade them to provide funding to a new human rights organization. At the behest of former President Stanley Azubah, Karavelov decided to name it the "Guardians of Liberty."
On September 16, 1953, with a ₤500,000 grant from the federal government to create the non-profit organization, Karavelov formally established the Guardians of Liberty, with its mission to "provide hope to those who have been silenced by totalitarian regimes, and to provide a clear voice to all the democratic nations in the world."
In its early years, the Guardians of Liberty took up the cause of opposing totalitarian dictatorships, to the point that it supported the Knights of Saint Luther in occupied Oteki, and various anti-communist groups fighting for freedom and democracy abroad. It produced radio broadcasts targetting those in oppressed nations to fight for democracy and for freedom.
However, in 1962, Karavelov began publishing reports comparing the freedoms between various countries in South Velkia. Over the next few years, it expanded continent-by-continent until by 1973, the annual Karavelov Index covered the entirety of Esquarium. Believing that "politicians can only lie to promote their self-interests," he intended to ask civilians and send investigators to determine if countries were actually free and democratic.
In 1979, Stoyan Karavelov died and was succeeded by politician (and future President) William Mishnev. Under Mishnev's tenure, the Karavelov Index was renamed to the Liberty Index in 1982, to make the reports "more understandable to the people." However, his tenure was marked with allegations of collusion with the East Luziycan government, especially after William Mishnev became the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in 1988.
In 1991, William Mishnev was fired by the organization, due to a "severe conflict of interest" after he was approved to run for the Luziycan presidential election on behalf of the Whigs. He was replaced by Monica Tamburro, the first female Director.
Under Tamburro's administration, she sought to distance the Guardians of Liberty from the Luziycan government, and become more neutral. To this end, in 1996, she outlined new criteria for the Liberty Index to use that would reduce the allegations of collusion. In response, President William Mishnev threatened to cut off federal funding for the Guardians of Liberty (which at the time made up 75% of their income). Thus, in 1997, Monica Tamburro was forced to resign after a decision to scrap her reforms.
The current Director, Hannes Ahlgren succeeded Tamburro as the Director, and he began implementing incremental changes to "make the results more accurate," but still permit comparison year-to-year. Ahlgren however did not want the Guardians of Liberty to be "too distant" from the Luziycan government, knowing that "our role is to determine the amount of free countries that are part of the free world."
The founding charter of the Guardians of Liberty, first published in 1953 and revised multiple times since states that the intention of the organization is to "provide hope to those that have been silenced by totalitarian regimes" and to "provide a clear voice to all democratic nations in the world." However, in recent years, the first priority has been emphasized more than the latter. It defines human rights by using the Luziycan Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and by using OEN General Assembly Resolution #001 in areas where the former fails to cover. However, it supports a "humane approach" to the death penalty, but it opposes extrajudicial killings.
It quotes Jeremiah 34:8 in the Bible when it says "To proclaim liberty unto them," an excerpt of that verse, and the following verse which explains that the Lord has mandated that the people release the Jewish servants free. It was chosen as a motto to symbolize that the end goal would be achieved when every person is released from the bondage of totalitarianism.
The charter goes on to iterate the methods to ensure that its mission statement is followed, such as providing aid to dissidents and providing recognition to "extraordinary activists."
It also supports independent investigations into genocide and war crimes, and putting war criminals or perpetrators of genocide on trial for crimes against humanity, ideally in an international court.
Guardians of Information
The media wing of the Guardians of Liberty was established by Karavelov in 1960, and was named "Guardians of Information" to promote the aims of the Guardians of Liberty. It is headquartered in Bethlehem, with offices in Askatasuna, Krasimir, Songchin, Pavelgrad, and Minakbir.
It published a monthly magazine, The Guardian of Liberty, from 1961 until 2014 when it was converted entirely into a digital format, updated daily with news concerning human rights. Prior to 2014, it was distributed in several countries throughout Esquarium, and it is known for their Liberty Index, published in the February and August editions.
It has also published an annual white paper since 1964, regarding the state of human rights throughout the world, and often visits various issues, such as human trafficking, child labor, and Nevan racial laws.
Much criticism is levied on its close ties to the Luziycan government: in 2015, out of its ₤20,000,000 in income, 75% (₤15,000,000) comes from either funding from the Department of State or grants issued from the Luziycan government.
In addition, its Liberty Index has been known to portray a "rosier" picture of human rights in Luziyca and its allies, often neglecting human rights abuses in Luziycan prisons like Oksana A1, or police brutality against the Shudri population. Thus, many activists have made claims that the government of Luziyca is deliberately "manipulating" the results of the Index, although the Guardians of Liberty have said that "many strategic allies of Luziyca have poor rankings on this list."