King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain should rescind a new law imposing prison sentences of up to seven years for anyone convicted of publicly insulting the king or national emblems, a measure that violates fundamental rights of freedom of speech, Freedom House said.
Freedom House condemns Iran’s execution on January 27 of renowned Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani. In July 2013, an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, on charges of “waging war on God,” “spreading corruption on earth,” and “questioning the principle of velayat-e faqih” (the rule of the jurisprudent, Iran’s system of vesting supreme power in an unelected cleric), according to press reports.
Freedom House urges the government of Zambia to postpone enforcement of its draconian NGO Act, which required non-governmental organizations to register with the government before February 5, in apparent violation of the country’s constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association. Freedom House calls on the government to consult with civil society to resolve issues about the legality and enforcement of the law.
Freedom House congratulates the Kenyan media on an initial court victory against two repressive media laws passed in December 2013, and urges the Kenyan government to uphold its commitment to a free and independent media.
Freedom House is outraged by the sentencing in Senegal of two men to six months in prison on the basis of their sexual orientation. Freedom House calls for their immediate release without condition and encourages the Senegalese government to recognize its international commitments to universal human rights, and to show leadership in protecting sexual minorities against persecution.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by Saudi Arabia’s ratification February 2 of an anti-terrorism law that criminalizes certain actions and forms of speech. Anyone committing an act deemed to “undermine” or “destabilize” the state or society could be charged with terrorism. Such acts include calling for regime change, threatening national unity, and “offending the nation’s reputation.”
تنظر مؤسسة بيت الحرية بقلق كبير ازاء تصديق المملكة العربية السعودية فى الثانى من فبراير على قانون مكافحة الارهاب الذى يجرم بعض الافعال و بعض اشكال حرية التعبير . فطبقاً للقانون, اى شخص ارتكب فعل يهدف الى " تقويض " او " زعزعة استقرار الدولة " ، يمكن أن توجه له تهمة الإرهاب. وتشمل هذه الأعمال الدعوة إلى تغيير النظام، وتهديد الوحدة الوطنية، و الإساءة إلى سمعة البلاد.