Around the world, millions of people carried on the struggle for freedom and human rights in 2013. There were gains, to be sure, but unfortunately many more setbacks. Here are some of the best and worst developments in human rights over the past year.
Freedom House released a new guide for athletes, journalists, spectators, and sponsors of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which documents ongoing human rights abuses by Russian authorities, through a detailed timeline and slideshow.
Freedom House is greatly saddened to learn of the death of Ambassador Rich Williamson, a member of the Freedom House Board since 2008. Ambassador Williamson passed away suddenly yesterday, December 8, in Chicago. He was 64.
With a lull in the mass shooting of protesters and the lifting of a state of emergency, the past month presented Egypt’s rulers with an opportunity to return to a democratic path. Instead, the interim authorities have sought to institutionalize their repressive tactics with a restrictive new assembly law and a largely unreformed draft constitution, effectively canceling out the modest gains registered in the latest edition of Freedom House’s Egypt Democracy Compass.
Despite U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s call yesterday to “keep faith” with the Egyptian military’s roadmap to democratic rule, there has been virtually no substantive progress toward democracy in the country during the four months since the July 3 coup, according to the latest edition of Freedom House’s Egypt Democracy Compass.
Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, four members of the U.S. Congress who led efforts to hold Russian officials responsible for the death of a whistle-blower, and an American film-production company dedicated to raising public awareness of socially vital issues accepted Freedom House awards October 23 that highlighted their contributions to democracy.