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Press Releases

Freedom House welcomes the lapse of Egypt’s Emergency Law on May 31, and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces’ refusal to request its renewal by the People’s Assembly, the lower house of parliament.  We hope this constitutes a step forward in the consolidation of Egypt’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.

Freedom House condemns the verdict on May 30 sentencing Thai webmaster, Chiranuch (Jiew) Premchaiporn to an eight-month suspended prison sentence and to pay a fine of 20,000 Thai Baht ($630) for comments posted by visitors to her online forum that were deemed “offensive” to the monarchy. She was convicted under the Computer-Related Crime Act (CCA), which holds internet service and content providers criminally liable for content they host or transmit. The verdict is yet another chilling indicator of the ever-shrinking space for free expression in Thailand.

The massacre of 116 people in Houla, Syria over the weekend is a clear indication that the Annan plan has failed. Freedom House calls for stronger international action, including by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), to intervene and prevent further atrocities against the Syrian people.  We applaud the governments of Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States, for their decision to expel Syrian ambassadors residing in their countries.

Freedom House welcomes the timely visit of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to Zimbabwe, the first ever mission by a U.N. human rights chief to the troubled southern African country, and urges her to use this high-profile mission to call attention to ongoing and escalating human rights
issues.

For the second year in a row, Freedom House has received a generous donation from the Jyllands-Posten Fond to support Freedom of the Press, Freedom House’s annual analysis of global media independence. The Freedom of the Press project draws on the expertise of 50 analysts and experts in assessing the trends and trajectory of press freedom around the world. The assessment provides numerical ratings and analytical reports of media independence in 197 countries and territories.

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.

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