It was reported last week that Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current chair-in-office of the 53-nation Commonwealth, may not attend the annual Commonwealth Day celebrations in London on March 10. A recent UN human rights report and data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World survey suggest that he has good reason to avoid the spotlight.
Amadou Sanneh, Malang Fatty and Alhagie Sambou Fatty—all members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP)—were arrested in September 2013 by the Gambian government. They have been held incommunicado and without legal representation, amid allegations of torture. They were convicted of sedition and will serve up to five years in prison. Freedom House calls on the government of Gambia to unconditionally release them and end its brutal crackdown on political opponents and freedom of expression advocates.
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.
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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