The undersigned organisations condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s sentencing of Mehman Huseynov, Azerbaijani journalist and chairman of the country’s leading freedom of expression group, Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety, to two years in jail on defamation charges. He was taken into custody from the court room, without being allowed to speak in his defence.
The undersigned human rights organizations, write to urge The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently and publicly call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender Nabeel Rajab.
As the world celebrates Human Rights Day, Zimbabwe continues to disregard the basic rights of its citizens. In particular, the undersigned organizations take this opportunity to strongly condemn the government’s failure to respect and protect its citizens’ right to peacefully assemble, to express their opinions and to make peaceful demands on their government. An increasing number of citizens in Zimbabwe have been arrested and are facing prosecution for participating in peaceful protests.
Respect for political and civil rights has declined for 10 straight years, as Freedom House has documented. This decline has occurred most sharply in the areas of free expression, rule of law, and freedom of association.
Uzbek authorities should ensure a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the alleged torture of two brothers by the Uzbek National Security Service (SNB), and the death in custody of one of them, Human Rights Watch, the International Partnership for Human Rights, Freedom House, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia said today.
In light of the upcoming review of Azerbaijan's status in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in October, the undersigned organisations call on the EITI Board to suspend Azerbaijan from participation in EITI, due to continuous breach of the initiative’s requirements for fostering an enabling environment for civil society.
Freedom House would like to draw the attention of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the participating States to the continuing crackdown on freedom of the press in Eurasia.