Freedom House is writing to express our outrage at the targeting of activists, doctors and journalists and their families. We are deeply concerned by the reports of torture, imprisonment and coercion they have faced over the past few months and urge your government to immediately halt attacks on individuals and investigate quickly allegations of torture.
Firstly, we applaud and welcome the report by UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which affirmed human right in the internet. Nothing the important role that the internet played during times of political unrest, the report affirmed it as “an indispensable tool for realising a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress”. We, too, agree that there is enormous potential in the internet in all aspects of human development – from economic and social, to commerce, finance, business, innovation, mobilisation and the attainment and exercise of freedoms. And since the Internet as a source of information is especially crucial in the context of the repressive situation many Southeast Asian countries still find themselves in, we are heartened by Mr Frank La Rue's call that "ensuring universal access ... should be a priority for all states."
Testimony by Freedom House President David J. Kramer before the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights and Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, April 1, 2011
Two Freedom House representatives recently traveled to Liberia on a fact-finding mission to examine the country's pre-electoral political environment and human rights situation after more than a decade of civil war.