The raid of several private media outlets by Ugandan police is an unacceptable attack on press freedom, which is protected by the nation’s constitution, and is a clear attempt by authorities to restrict criticism of the president or members of his government. Freedom House calls on Ugandan authorities to allow the media organizations to reopen and to conduct their work without interference.
The Indian government’s decision to restrict foreign funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a blow to civil society in India, and could have a chilling effect on the work of NGOs in the broader region. India joins authoritarian-leaning countries such as Russia and Egypt that are engaged in systematic campaigns to limit the space for civil society by targeting groups that receive foreign funding.
Freedom House is alarmed by the violent attack on journalists covering an opposition demonstration in Kyiv, Ukraine on May 18, and calls of the authorities to conduct a full investigation and bring the attackers to justice. Any further delay in investigating the attackers, at least some of whom are apparently known to the authorities, is an abandonment of the authorities’ responsibility to ensure the safe and unhindered work of journalists and contributes to impunity of those who attack them.
Today marks the five-year anniversary of the arrest of seven prominent Baha’i leaders in Iran, who are serving prison sentences of 20 years each, the longest term of any current prisoners of conscience in Iran. Freedom House calls for the immediate release of Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm, and an end to the government-sponsored persecution of Baha’is in Iran.
The May 10 conviction of General Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala for crimes against humanity and genocide is a historic and symbolic step towards addressing crimes of the past. Freedom House applauds the conviction, which is the first ruling of its kind against a former head of state by a national court, and hopes that it will help to bring closure for the families of those victimized by his brutal regime.
Egyptian authorities today arrested Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 Movement, at Cairo airport upon his return from the United States. Freedom House condemns the unwarranted arrests and harassment of Maher and other democracy activists by Egyptian authorities and calls for his immediate release.