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Freedom House Applauds Obama’s Commitment to Democracy as a “Human Right”
Freedom House applauds U.S. President Barack Obama for his remarks today in Cairo, in which he proclaimed that the fundamentals of democracy represent "human rights," to which all people aspire, and stressed his administration’s commitment to support these universal values around the world.
"President Obama took an important step today to reaffirm U.S. support for democracy and human rights," said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. "He clearly and forcefully asserted that all people yearn to speak freely and choose governments that are transparent, accountable and ‘govern with respect for all their people.'"
Obama delivered today’s speech before a crowd that included democracy activists from a broad cross-section of Egyptian society. He was accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who held a side meeting with human rights activists. Last week, Clinton also held frank discussions about U.S. commitment to democracy with a group of young Egyptian activists who were visiting Washington as part of Freedom House’s New Generation exchange program.
Freedom House has been concerned by the administration’s initial reluctance to openly support democracy and human rights around the world, including recently announced cuts in USAID support for democracy activists in Egypt.
"This speech and Secretary Clinton's willingness to meet with activists are promising signs that the Obama administration is finding its own voice and approach to the longstanding American commitment to advancing freedom and human rights," said Windsor. "We hope the administration will take further steps to manifest the important commitments made by President Obama today."
Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties worldwide since 1972.
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.