The brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors this past weekend during a sanctioned peaceful protest in Moscow was an assault on Russians’ civil liberties. Freedom House condemns the crackdown and urges the U.S. Administration, Congress and other democratic states to support Russian citizens seeking to hold their government accountable to its international and constitutional commitments to respect and protect fundamental rights.
Freedom House condemns the Bahraini government’s sudden and unjustified decision to revoke permission for an international delegation of free expression organizations to visit Bahrain. This decision is the latest example of the government’s lack of interest in addressing the serious human rights abuses occurring in the country.
The conviction today in a Tunisian court of Nabil Karoui, owner of national television network Nessma TV, sends a chilling message on World Press Freedom Day that, despite Tunisia’s historic accomplishments since the country’s 2011 revolution, freedom of expression in the country is not yet fully respected.
A new law adopted by the Mexican Congress regarding the protection of human rights defenders and journalists signifies an opportunity for Mexico's government to deliver on its promise to adequately protect journalists, which the previous mechanism failed to do. Freedom House welcomes the new law and calls upon the Mexican government to ensure that it receives proper funding and broad political support, as well as the swift passage of enabling legislation to ensure proper implementation.
The Middle East and North Africa saw dramatic if precarious gains in press freedom in 2011, and for the first time in eight years, global media freedom did not experience an overall decline, according to a Freedom House report released today. However, due to downgrades in some previously free countries, the percentage of the world’s population living in societies with a fully free press has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade.
The recent attack by protesters against staff of the Wataniya National Television Station in Tunisia, including the stabbing of journalist Walid Hamraoui, is a troubling indication of the deteriorating climate for media and the urgent need for greater government protection of journalists. The violence comes just one week before Tunisia is scheduled to host a series of events for the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
The Egyptian government’s announcement that it intends to review and potentially cancel the licenses of 8 foreign NGOs, including the Carter Center, is another escalation of its crackdown on civil society and raises a red flag regarding its intention to conduct a free and fair presidential election in May.