Freedom House condemns the serious flaws in Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections, notably the manipulation of voter rolls and widespread intimidation on the part of ZANU-PF, the party of longtime strongman Robert Mugabe. These elections can be considered neither free nor fair and the United States government, the Southern Africa Development Community, African Union, United Nations and democratic nations should denounce them as such.
Freedom House today launched the Egypt Democracy Compass, a monthly assessment of Egypt’s trajectory toward democracy in the wake of the July 3 military coup. The initial findings showed that, despite the military authorities’ pledge of a rapid transition to democracy, Egypt had suffered declines on six of the eight key indicators measured by the compass.
Flaws in the process leading up to general elections in Zimbabwe call into question the elections’ credibility, according to Freedom House. Tomorrow, Zimbabwe will hold its first election since the violent 2008 elections that left more than 200 people dead and led to the signature of the Global Political Agreement, creating Zimbabwe’s power-sharing Government of National Unity.
Freedom House condemns the excessive use of force this weekend by the Egyptian military and security authorities directed against demonstrators protesting the military coup that overthrew President Mohammed Morsi. The scope of the violence, combined with the campaign of arrests directed against the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, can only exacerbate political divisions within the country and damage prospects for the inclusive political process needed to advance a genuine democratic transition and national reconciliation.
Freedom House strongly condemns the conviction of Russian corruption fighter and opposition figure, Alexey Navalny, in a trial and prosecution clearly staged to derail his political career. Navalny, 37, who became famous for investigations of government corruption on his blog, vocal criticism of the Russian government, and unconventional grassroots organizing activities, was sentenced today to five years in prison on charges of theft.
Freedom House strongly denounces the outrageous verdict of a Moscow court convicting deceased lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on spurious charges of tax evasion. The case against Magnitsky is the first posthumous trial against a defendant in Russia; Magnitsky’s former client, William Browder, head of Hermitage Capital, was also found guilty.