Tymoshenko’s prosecution and imprisonment, criticized widely in the West, exemplify Yanukovych’s use of selective justice against his political opponents and the corruption of the legal system. His willingness to play a game of chicken with the European Union—hoping it will back down on its demand that she be freed as a precondition for signing the agreements at next month’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, because Ukraine is “too important” to leave to Russia’s sphere of influence—reflects his determination to place his political fortunes above the interests of his country. Click here to read David J. Kramer's op-ed for The American Interest.
The efforts of China’s leaders to prevent its citizens from circulating information inconvenient to the ruling Communist Party are well known. But while censorship is a daily reality for media outlets inside mainland China, their counterparts abroad are increasingly finding themselves under pressure as well. Click here to continue reading Sarah Cook's op-ed for CNN.
Freedom House featured an interactive map installation at the October 20-22 Google Ideas summit Conflict in a Connected World to show the range of methods used by repressive governments to control online content. The installation highlighted various types of internet censorship, such as filtering, physical attacks, and throttling, used in twelve countries throughout the world.
Revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance activities grabbed headlines across the globe. But while the world’s attention has been focused on the United States, prompting important discussions about the legitimacy and legality of such measures, disconcerting efforts to both monitor and censor internet activity have been taking place in other parts of the world with increased frequency and sophistication. Click here to read Sanja Kelly's CNN op-ed.
The reported execution by firing squad last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s ex-girlfriend, along with 11 others, was a sad reminder that dictators still rule by brute force with little pretense of legitimacy. Most current autocrats, however, take on the trappings of democracy to claim a popular mandate for their regime and their actions, even as they trample the rights of their citizens. It’s time to call them out. It’s time for them to go. Read Dennis Blair and Daniel Calingaert's POLITICO op-ed.