Poland

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Research Director, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press
Editor, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press

The year ahead may bring significant changes, for better or worse, to these often-overlooked countries.

In response to steps altering the procedures and the composition of Poland’s highest court, and increasing government control over public broadcasters, Freedom House issued the following statement:

Research Analyst, Nations in Transit

After years of orderly government and economic growth, a constitutional crisis has thrown the country’s democratic credentials into doubt. 

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, CNN's Global Public Square looks at Freedom House's rankings of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics to see how those liberated countries have actually fared.

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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.

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