Freedom House is concerned by Guatemalan security forces’ excessive use of force to repress a social protest in Totonicapán, Guatemala last week and calls for a thorough investigation into the incident. Freedom House urges the Guatemalan government to use peaceful means to maintain order during protests, and to promote dialogue with indigenous communities.
Freedom House applauds Georgia’s recent parliamentary election which international observers have characterized as competitive and respectful of fundamental freedoms. The free expression of the people’s will through the ballot box is a significant step in the right direction towards the consolidation of Georgia’s democratic system.
Freedom House strongly condemns the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which went into effect on October 3, and urges the government to heed the calls of concerned netizens and repeal several provisions in the bill that could curtail Internet freedom.
Freedom House condemns the decision by Egyptian authorities to detain two minors on blasphemy charges and calls for their immediate release. The Egyptian government must respect the right to freedom of religion and free expression.
Freedom House is appalled that a Tunisian woman who claimed she was raped by two police officers has been charged with "premeditated indecency" after a court hearing on October 2. The judge presiding over the case filed charges against her despite her allegations that officers raped her and attempted to extort money from her fiancé, after the couple was confronted in their car on September 3. The court's decision highlights the ongoing impunity and lack of accountability for police in the Tunisian judicial system. Authorities must drop all charges against the couple and hold a fair trial in response to the allegations brought against the officers.
Update: Freedom House strongly condemns the Cambodian Court of Appeals’ decision to deny bail to independent radio station owner Mam Sonando while he awaits appeal. The 71-year-old radio station owner was convicted of sedition in October 2012 and sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite a clear lack of evidence. The charges against Sonando are unfounded and politically motivated, and stem from criticism of the Cambodian government that aired on his radio station in June 2012. Freedom House calls for his immediate release.