In a new report, Investing in Freedom: Democracy Support in the U.S. Budget, Freedom House examines the President’s FY 2014 request for democracy and human rights activities and urges Congress to fully fund the international affairs budget to support the achievement of strategic U.S. foreign policy goals.
As Cambodia prepares to hold elections for its National Assembly on July 28, 2013, and following the return to the country of opposition leader Sam Rainsy on July 19, Freedom House joins key international human rights groups in calling on Cambodia’s government to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
Freedom House strongly condemns the Cambodian People Party’s (CPP) decision to expel 27 members of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) from parliament. The National Assembly’s decision to strip opposition members of their parliamentarian status and salary is yet another blatant attempt by the CPP to stifle dissent in the lead-up to national elections on July 28.
Authoritarian regimes around the world are banding together to bypass international institutions and human rights norms that conflict with their abusive practices. Unlike the alliances of the Cold War era, these partnerships have few ideological underpinnings other than a shared rejection of democracy and the rule of law. But such cooperation has offered aid and solidarity to dictators under pressure, and created a marketplace through which repressive regimes can meet their technology, security, and energy needs without the headaches of transparency and accountability. And if the seven-year decline in global freedom recorded by Freedom House is any indication, authoritarianism is, sadly, a growth industry.