Pakistan

180 million people
1,120 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Partly Free

News & Updates

Freedom House strongly condemns the brutal killing of Governor Salman Taseer of the Punjab Province of Pakistan, who was murdered because of his support for the repeal of the country’s archaic blasphemy law, and strongly urges the Pakistani government to repeal the law immediately.

The recent closure of independent television stations and burning of newspapers in Pakistan signals continued intolerance

Freedom House today held a panel discussion entitled “Free to Express, Free to Believe: The Defamation of Religions Debate” at the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council featuring human rights defenders from Indonesia, Nigeria and the United States who discussed options for combating religious discrimination without restricting free speech. Delegates from the United States, Chile, the UK, Italy, Denmark, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil attended the session, together with about 75 UN and civil society representatives.

Frontline human rights defenders from around the globe met today in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House with President Obama and senior administration officials to discuss ways that the United States can counter the deterioration of human rights around the world. The activists are in Washington, D.C. for a summit hosted by Freedom House and Human Rights First.

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Special Reports

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights examines the human rights implications of domestic blasphemy and religious insult laws using the case studies of seven countries—Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Poland—where such laws exist both on paper and in practice. Without exception, blasphemy laws violate the fundamentalfreedom of expression, as they are by definition intended to protect religious institutions and religious doctrine– i.e., abstract ideas and concepts – from insult or offence. At their most benign, such laws lead to self-censorship.  In Greece and Poland, two of the more democratic countries examined in the study, charges brought against high-profile artists, curators and writers serve as a warning to others that certain topics are off limits. At their worst, in countries such as Pakistan and Malaysia, such laws lead to overt governmental censorship and individuals are both prosecuted and subject to severe criminal penalties including lengthy jail sentences.

Evaluation of 2008-2011 UN Human Rights Council Candidates

On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. Freedom House and UN Watch evaluated each candidate’s suitability for election to the Human Rights Council by examining its record of human rights protection at home and its record of human rights promotion at the UN.

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