Freedom at Issue: Insights on the global struggle for democracy | Freedom House

Freedom at Issue:

Insights on the global struggle for democracy

The summary trials, mass death sentences, and other recent events in Egypt should dispel any remaining doubt that the country is not simply returning to the Mubarak era, but well on its way to a new and more virulent form of dictatorship.

This month has provided another good example of the Kazakh government’s tendency—every time there is a decision to be made—to opt for a tighter grip on civil society and public discourse. 

Today’s dictators aren’t going it alone. Whether across the airwaves, on the internet, or at the polling booth, they are assisted by a range of private actors who are based in free countries but sell their services to unsavory regimes abroad.

Although it has been described in the Economist as “Africa’s New Number One,” Nigeria has long struggled with problems of poor governance, corruption, religious conflict, and the persecution of vulnerable groups—notably LGBTI people.

Putin has used control of the media in Russia, especially the national television stations, to build up a massive and thoroughly modern propaganda machine.

What do repression and freedom look like? We asked photographers to show us, and received submissions from 20+ countries as part of our third annual photo contest.

A few weeks before last Sunday’s elections in Hungary, the government there sent out a fact sheet meant to answer critics who have claimed that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his conservative Fidesz party pushed through a series of constitutional changes with the aim of insulating themselves against electoral defeat.

On April 30, 1982, in a brief five-minute broadcast, a new, illegal radio station announced itself from a temporary transmitter placed on a high rooftop in Warsaw, Poland. “Solidarity is more than a name,” the announcer declared, “it is a value that cannot be destroyed.” With those words, Zbigniew Romaszewski had done something no one else had been able to do: break through the Polish government’s absolute control over broadcast media after the imposition of martial law.

It’s no secret that the Pacific Islands will face rising sea levels, coastal flooding, and deadly storms as a result of climate change, a fact reiterated in this week’s report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Unfortunately, few people realize that these island nations are also home to a disappearing press sector.

During the last three months, and especially the last three weeks, Turkey has seen a dangerous increase in political polarization and the intentional deepening of long-standing national divisions. The proximate immediate causes are elections to be held nationwide on March 30.