Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report paints a bleak picture of democracy and human rights in Africa overall, with 88 percent of the population living in countries designated either Not Free or Partly Free. Nevertheless, there were a number of small victories on the continent during 2013, even in countries where the prevailing trend remains negative.
On October 11 and 12, the AU will meet in an extraordinary summit to discuss pulling out of the Rome Statute, the agreement that created the ICC. Such a decision would have major implications both for ICC itself and for accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuses in Africa and around the world. The nearly three dozen African countries that are currently party to the Rome Statute must vote against this proposal and reaffirm their commitment to justice for victims, an end to impunity at the highest levels for the gravest crimes, and an international system that supports the rule of law.
Private media in Mali have continued for a third straight day their near-total ‘media blackout’ in solidarity with top newspaper editor Boukary Daou, who has been detained since March 6, 2013 for publishing an open letter to Interim President Dioncounda Traoré. Freedom House deplores acts of intimidation against the Malian media and urges the Malian government to release Mr. Daou.
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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