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The absence of internationally accepted criteria to define the term “political prisoner” is a critical problem that allows repressive regimes to hide behind ambiguity and hampers the ability of those advocating on prisoners’ behalves. Human rights defenders from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine addressed this issue at a two-day working session, organized by Freedom House and the Belarusian Human Rights House on August 27-28, 2012, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On

“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.

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