On May 20th, Burmese President Thein Sein will visit Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama in what will be the first trip of its kind by a Burmese head of state in 47 years. Given ongoing human rights abuses and the sluggish pace of reform, Freedom House expresses deep concern regarding the timing of the visit and the signal this will send to the Burmese regime.
Bolivia’s expulsion of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) this month is a troubling development on its own, but when viewed in the context of similar actions by other governments, it raises questions about the future of American foreign assistance in the face of authoritarianism.
Freedom House condemns the decision by Myanmar authorities to re-imprison human rights defender and recently-released political prisoner, Nay Myo Zin and calls for immediate release of him and all remaining political prisoners. In addition, the Government of Myanmar should immediately remove the stipulations placed on all political prisoners freed under Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Today, as on March 8 every year since 1911, men and women around the globe celebrate the contributions women make to humankind. Although both egregious abuses and subtle discrimination persist worldwide, real progress toward gender equality, which means progress for humanity as a whole, appears to be gaining momentum.
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.