The one-year prison sentence against 12 Omanis for “illegal gathering” is another troubling sign of escalating efforts by the government to tighten its grip on power, which has been shaken by months of Arab-Spring inspired unrest.
Freedom House finds unacceptable the expulsion of the Swedish Ambassador to Belarus on August 3. Ambassador Stefan Ericsson may have been expelled in what many regard as Lukashenka’s retaliation for the teddy bear drop incident that took place on July 4.
Freedom House is deeply troubled by the reported killing of Colombian activist Luz Neida Gomez Gomez, the treasurer of a local community action council in Vereda Buenos Aires, Colombia. Authorities must conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into her death, and ensure that all steps are taken to hold accountable those responsible for this crime.