Following the passage in Russia of several laws outlawing so-called homosexual propaganda, the Russian Supreme Court in a decision released today clarified the definition of the term and prohibited some of the most draconian interpretations used by local authorities. Freedom House applauds this small but important decision though calls for repeal of these pernicious laws which restrict harmless speech and violate the fundamental right to freedom of expression.
Five months after the attack on Novaya Gazeta investigative journalist Elena Milashina and Freedom House employee Ella Asoyan in Moscow, Freedom House is concerned with inconsistencies in the official investigation and falsification of facts in the case, and calls on the Russian authorities to conduct a probe into the results of the investigation and to take appropriate measures to ensure that the true perpetrators are brought to justice.
The absence of internationally accepted criteria to define the term “political prisoner” is a critical problem that allows repressive regimes to hide behind ambiguity and hampers the ability of those advocating on prisoners’ behalves. Human rights defenders from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine addressed this issue at a two-day working session, organized by Freedom House and the Belarusian Human Rights House on August 27-28, 2012, in Vilnius, Lithuania.
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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