This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post's website. To read the original, click here.
The current strain in U.S. relations with Russia sums up the challenges of dealing with authoritarian rulers. They vigorously object to any criticism of their human rights record, yet even when such criticism is muted, they may still resist cooperation with the United States on major security issues. The Obama administration has resisted moves by Congress to sanction human rights abusers in Russia, but President Vladimir Putin continues to intensify his crackdown on civil society and block international efforts to stop mass atrocities in Syria. The time has come for the United States to take a fresh look at its relations with Russia and with other dictatorships around the world.
Brutal attacks against bloggers, politically motivated surveillance, proactive manipulation of web content, and restrictive laws regulating speech online are among the diverse threats to internet freedom emerging over the past two years, according to a new study released today by Freedom House.
The death on Monday of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi has been the occasion for fulsome tributes from world leaders, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, European heads of government, and a number of African dignitaries. However, Meles leaves behind a complicated record that includes notable achievements as well as consequential errors, particularly with respect to democracy.
We have compiled an abridged version of the Freedom in the Worldchapter on Ethiopia for the year 2011 in light of Zenawi's death.
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.
Ethiopia has seen dramatic political changes this year, but significant challenges remain. The United States should seize this opportunity to support a genuine democratic transition in a pivotal country.
The environment for civil society in Ethiopia is among the most restrictive in the world. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has overseen a continuous crackdown on opposition, independent media, and civil society. As the EPRDF marks 25 years in power, civil society groups struggle to maintain operations and keep their doors open.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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