To commemorate its 70th anniversary, Freedom House this evening will honor democracy activist and leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, with its Freedom Award for her decades-long struggle to bring democratic rule to Burma at a gala at the Newseum.
Recent reforms have brought about visible changes in Cuba’s economy and public attitudes, according to a survey released by Freedom House today. A majority of Cubans (63 percent) view the reforms favorably, and more Cubans say that it is better to be self-employed than to work for the government.
A range of governments are increasingly restricting media freedom using licensing and regulatory frameworks and receive little criticism or attention for doing so, according to Freedom House’s newest report, License to Censor: The Use of Media Regulation to Restrict Press Freedom.
Freedom House is deeply troubled by the recent outbreak of violence in Cairo that resulted in the deaths of more than two dozen Egyptians and condemns the manipulation of the media by the ruling authorities, which directly contributed to the violence.
Freedom House denounces the ruling of a Ukrainian court on Tuesday convicting former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko of abuse of power and sentencing her to seven years’ imprisonment. This conviction will have serious consequences for Ukraine’s international standing as well as for its democratic aspirations to greater integration with Europe. In light of the court’s decision, Freedom House urges the European Union to suspend its bilateral negotiations on free trade and association agreements with Ukraine until the Yanukovych government exhibits greater respect for the rule of law.
Freedom House applauds the decision by the Nobel committee to award the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize to three female leaders from the Middle East and North Africa: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman. All three women played a vital role in promoting women’s rights and democratic change in challenging environments that have been historically hostile to the advancement of women.
A group of seventeen leading non-governmental organizations from around the world today issued a protest to the government of Zimbabwe about the imprisonment, and intimidation of two prominent human rights defenders in the African country.