Zambia won international praise in 2011 for free and fair elections that led to a peaceful transfer of power to the longtime opposition party—a rarity in Southern Africa. However, recent democratic setbacks in the country, overshadowed by threats to freedom in larger countries like Mali, Kenya, and South Africa, have yet to attract much attention abroad.
Freedom House has joined the growing chorus in opposition to Zambia’s repressive NGO legislation. Through a petition letter coordinated by Civicus, Freedom House and 111 other organizations from 46 countries call on the government of Zambia to stop implementation of the new law, a measure that limits freedom of association.
Freedom House is concerned about rising inter-party tensions and pre-election violence during Zambian by-elections and calls on all parties to respect the rule of law and encourage their members to engage in peaceful and lawful campaigning. All stakeholders are obligated to ensure the electoral environment is free from intimidation and violence before truly credible elections can take place.
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.
On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. Freedom House and UN Watch evaluated each candidate’s suitability for election to the Human Rights Council by examining its record of human rights protection at home and its record of human rights promotion at the UN.
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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