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Editor, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press

The year ahead may bring significant changes, for better or worse, to these often-overlooked countries.

Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies

Freedom House yesterday released its annual Freedom of the Press report. The findings paint a grim picture of the state of global media freedom, with just 14 percent of the world’s population enjoying a vibrant press with diverse views and minimal state intrusion.

Freedom House strongly condemns a proposal by Kuwait’s government, which if passed, would bar lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals from entering the country. This proposal represents another troubling means of discriminating against and persecution of the LGBT community in the Gulf region.

Government backlash against social media is becoming more common worldwide. In their efforts to control the new platforms, despotic leaders—in the Arab states to Turkey’s south especially—have tried throwing users behind bars, legislating what can be said online, and even arguing that social media should be banned on religious grounds.


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