It is an increasingly common occurrence for repressive countries with dismal human rights records to put themselves forward as hosts for major international forums—whether in the sphere of sports and entertainment or in politics.
Despite a May 2011 ruling prohibiting its destruction, a building in Baku, Azerbaijan that housed three NGOs: the Institute for Peace and Democracy, the Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Women’s Crisis Center, was destroyed on August 11. The demolition was part of a two-year “beautification” campaign demolishing homes and businesses instigated by the mayor of Baku and condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner as well as human rights groups. City officials reportedly did not give tenants warning or allow them remove their belongings before demolition began. Anti-corruption campaigns spearheaded by NGOs could be a potential factor in the demolition.
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan condemns the 26 March 2011 abduction and beating of journalist Seymur Khaziyev. The group is deeply concerned by the cycle of violence against journalists and impunity for those who commit such attacks in Azerbaijan, and calls on the authorities to immediately and impartially investigate all instances of violence against journalists and bring the perpetrators to justice.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
This report evaluates the risks and vulnerabilities of mobile phone services and apps in 12 specified countries, analyzing multiple mobiel technologies to determine their capacity to protect security and privacy and to combat censorship and surveillance.
Download the full report here.
“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.
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