Thirty-seven organizations submitted a joint letter to President Barack Obama calling on the US Administration to update the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list with respect to Burma and implement unambiguous criteria for removing and adding persons to the list. This list maintained by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designates individuals and companies barred from having financial ties with the U.S.
Freedom House condemns the prison sentences handed down to ten activists in Burma’s Rakhine state on September 26 for participating in a peaceful protest. The ten should be released immediately and the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law, under which they were jailed, should be amended to comply with international human rights standards.
The arrests this week of Naw Ohn Hla and Rohingya activist Than Shwe are a continuation of a disturbing trend of the government using the peaceful assembly law to stymie the work of human rights defenders. Freedom House condemns the arrests and calls for the activists’ immediate release.
Lauren Galacia manages the Asia program. Prior to joining Freedom House, she oversaw the development and implementation of citizen engagement programs throughout Asia and Eurasia, with a focus on Thailand and Burma.
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.
Sudan, North Korea and Uzbekistan are prominent among the most repressive regimes in the world, according to a report released by Freedom House. The study, “The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2007,” named seventeen countries with the worst records for political rights and civil liberties, and pointed to thirteen countries which have been on the list for five years or more.