Freedom House strongly condemns the Chinese government’s conviction of prominent human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” and a court’s sentencing of him to four years imprisonment. Freedom House calls for his immediate release as well as the release of dozens of other activists detained over the past year on similar charges.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by Sudan’s armed forces targeting civilian populations. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has apparently taken advantage of the international community’s attention on fighting in South Sudan to launch a military offensive against civilians in territories controlled by political rivals.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by Ukrainian authorities’ targeted violence against journalists during public protests in Kyiv – demonstrations spurred by President Viktor Yanukovych’s signing into law measures that tightly limit public protests, among other rollbacks on freedom.
New charges by Egyptian authorities against Amr Hamzawy, a former member of parliament, for a tweet criticizing the unjust conviction of human rights activists for their work are dismaying moves against the fundamental right of free speech, Freedom House said.
Freedom House strongly condemns the approval by Ukraine’s Rada (parliament) of legislation that criminalizes libel, imposes Russian-style “foreign agent” restrictions on civil society groups receiving foreign funding, and punishes civic participation in protests. Freedom House calls on the Speaker of the Rada, Volodymyr Rybak, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to reject the legislation, which would violate Ukraine’s commitments to uphold universal human rights.