Freedom House praises the European Parliament’s announcement Thursday that it has awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to human rights activist Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez of Santa Clara, Cuba. Freedom House calls on the Cuban government to allow Mr. Fariñas to receive the award in person this December and to unconditionally liberate all political prisoners.
Domestic blasphemy laws, far beyond their clear violation of freedom of expression, are responsible for broad violations of human rights, particularly when applied in weak democracies and authoritarian systems, according to a study released by Freedom House today.
Ahead of Azerbaijan’s upcoming Parliamentary elections, nine organisations are launching a new report titled Free Expression under Attack: Azerbaijan’s Deteriorating Media Environment. The report findings come out of a joint freedom of expression mission to the country in September 2010 and highlight the Azerbaijani government’s failure to comply with its international commitments to promote and protect freedom of expression.