Night of the Dictatorships: Strong leaders or dictators?


The Prison Gate Museum will once again be participating in the Night of the Dictatorships, held this year on Friday 8 September. Join us for a moving tour through the centuries-old cell complex of the Prison Gate Museum after dark. Civic activists from Baku, Moscow and Ukraine will share public and private stories about democratic dissent in Azerbaijan, Russia and Crimea.

Azerbaijan and Russia are countries with a very problematic and continuously worsening human rights record. Presidents Aliyev and Putin, respective leaders of the two countries, display increasing authoritarian political behavior, curb electoral opposition, and stifle civil society and media. Following trial proceedings that failed to meet international standards, dozens of dissidents have been given harsh prison sentences on trumped-up charges in recent years. Charges of terrorism are levied against Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists in the Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

Visit an artivist from Azerbaijan, a prominent activist internally displaced from the Crimea, and a civic leader from Russia in the prison cells of the Prison Gate Museum. Experience, meet and get the chance to take action! The three activists will be speaking in English (Dutch handouts are available). The tours take about 45 minutes and start at:

  • 20:15 hrs
  • 20:45 hrs
  • 21:15 hrs
  • 22:15 hrs

This event is hosted by Amnesty International and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee at the Prison Gate Museum in The Hague.

About the Night of the Dictatorships

The Night of the Dictatorships was created as a counterpart to the Day of Democracy, taking an alternative approach to reflecting on the meaning of democracy and the rule of law. The Prison Gate Museum illuminates the history of four centuries of criminal justice. We believe that it is important, wherever possible, to connect this history to contemporary discussions and topical issues regarding criminal justice and the rule of law. That is why we are proud to be participating in the Night of Dictatorships for the seventh time. For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit

Photo: Bart van Vliet