Freedom House is deeply troubled by Kyrgyzstan’s proposal to drastically expand the definitions of “treason” and “espionage,” and criminalize “activity directed against the security of the Kyrgyz Republic.” If the draft legislation becomes law, it could be used against anyone producing, storing, or transmitting information that the government believes is harmful. Freedom House calls upon members of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) to reject the proposed amendments.
Large-scale corruption and economic crimes often go hand in hand with mass human rights abuses in authoritarian countries. The two are mutually reinforcing: Dictators gain and maintain power—and perpetuate impunity—through a combination of violent repression and the distribution of patronage and graft opportunities. The plunder of public wealth serves as both an incentive for retaining power by force, and a means of rewarding those who carry out or cover up regime crimes. Despite this connection, the mechanisms of transitional justice have not adequately dealt with the legacy of authoritarian corruption nor remedied its far-reaching socioeconomic effects.
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.
The report “A Chronicle of Violence: The events in the south of Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 (Osh Region)” gives a detailed chronology of the events in the Osh Province from April 29 to June 115. Report prepared by Freedom House, the Memorial Human Rights Center (Russia) and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (Norway).
“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.
Only a decade and a half since the end of the Cold War, freedom of the press for millions of people across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has come nearly full circle. The media landscape across most of today’s CIS in some aspects differs from that of the Soviet era, but in important ways is imposing a no less repressive news media environment. Gone is all encompassing ideological state media control. Russia – and most of the countries on its periphery – today features modern methods of information control that effectively shuts off the majority of people in these lands from news and information of political consequence.
Freedom House enhances the capacity of local civil society groups to rapidly respond to human rights violations, to provide advocates with the skills to defend the right to freedom of assembly, and to equip local groups with the tools to combat gender-based violence and bride-kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan.