The use of chemical weapons in Syria and brutal crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives, are deeply disturbing events, yet they are just the most glaring examples of a widespread assault on freedom taking place in countries around the world. At times this assault grabs news headlines, as when Russia’s law against “homosexual propaganda” prompted international criticism or a prominent dissident is put on trial. More often, savvy autocrats misuse laws and administrative procedures to subtly restrict civil society groups and silence their critics. Click here to read Daniel Calingaert's op-ed for CNN.
Compared to the G8 meeting in June in Northern Ireland, when he seemed isolated on the issue of Syria, Vladimir Putin seemed to have lots of company in opposing any possible U.S. military action at last week’s G20 meeting in St. Petersburg. Reasonable people can have legitimate differences over what should be done in Syria after Assad’s use of chemical weapons, but before one aligns with Putin on this issue—or accepts at face value his latest proposal on international oversight of Syria’s chemical weapons—it is important to understand that the Russian leader doesn’t merely oppose use of force against his like-minded Syrian colleague.
While the mayoral election in Moscow on Sunday, September 8th represented an improvement in some respects over previously flawed elections in Russia, Freedom House urges authorities to hold off on declaring outright victory and scheduling the inauguration for Sergei Sobyanin until all outstanding issues are resolved.
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.
No programs have been associated with this content.