Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, four members of the U.S. Congress who led efforts to hold Russian officials responsible for the death of a whistle-blower, and an American film-production company dedicated to raising public awareness of socially vital issues accepted Freedom House awards October 23 that highlighted their contributions to democracy.
Freedom House featured an interactive map installation at the October 20-22 Google Ideas summit Conflict in a Connected World to show the range of methods used by repressive governments to control online content. The installation highlighted various types of internet censorship, such as filtering, physical attacks, and throttling, used in twelve countries throughout the world.
For some time now, democracy promotion has been under concentrated attack from authoritarian sources ranging from Robert Mugabe and Vladimir Putin to the leaders of Venezuela. More recently, criticism has spread to the democratic world, with the United States front and center.
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.
As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. This package of materials includes policy proposals, a summary of Russian legal restrictions on NGOs, a chronology of repressive actions under Vladimir Putin since 2000, and graphs illustrating Russia's score declines in Freedom House's annual reports.
“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.
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