Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report paints a bleak picture of democracy and human rights in Africa overall, with 88 percent of the population living in countries designated either Not Free or Partly Free. Nevertheless, there were a number of small victories on the continent during 2013, even in countries where the prevailing trend remains negative.
In the latest of a series of government attacks on civil society groups, the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on February 11 raided the headquarters of El-Shorook Forum, which promotes intercultural dialogue through the arts, and halted its operations. It was the 13th such organization forced closed since 2012. Freedom House condemns the government of Sudan for its repression of civil society organizations, and urges the government to allow them to perform their work, vital to democratic society.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by Sudan’s armed forces targeting civilian populations. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has apparently taken advantage of the international community’s attention on fighting in South Sudan to launch a military offensive against civilians in territories controlled by political rivals.
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.
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.
Sudan, North Korea and Uzbekistan are prominent among the most repressive regimes in the world, according to a report released by Freedom House. The study, “The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2007,” named seventeen countries with the worst records for political rights and civil liberties, and pointed to thirteen countries which have been on the list for five years or more.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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