Freedom House strongly urges the Chinese government to drop the possible criminal prosecution of human rights activist Guo Feixiong and to release him immediately and unconditionally. Freedom House further urges the United States and other democratic governments to press Chinese authorities for Guo’s immediate release.
Freedom House condemns an attack on the writer Jevrem Brković, a columnist for the daily newspaper Vijesti, and calls for authorities in Montenegro to investigate the long series of unsolved cases of physical harassment against journalists there.
Freedom House is dismayed that Congress proposes to reinstate funding to Egypt’s military-led government in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill introduced January 13. This legislation overrides provisions that restrict funding to countries where democratically elected governments are overthrown in military coups. Such a coup took place in Egypt in July 2013, when the military ousted the country’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Freedom House joins U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in strongly condemning President Goodluck Jonathan’s signing Nigeria’s anti-homosexuality bill into law on January 13. While traditional values in Nigeria reflect widespread discomfort with homosexuality, the new law ignores fundamental and universal human rights by banning same-sex relations, same-sex marriage and criminalizing participation in gay clubs, societies, and organizations.
Chinese Communist Party repression has intensified under the leadership of Xi Jinping, but has also trapped the party in a vicious circle whereby increasing coercion breeds growing resistance, requiring ever more intense crackdowns, according to a Freedom House report released today, The Politburo’s Predicament.
At the end of 2013, the Chinese government announced an adjustment to its “one-child” policy, allowing couples to have two children if either spouse is an only child. Some commentators applauded the change as a human rights improvement, but a closer look suggests that it will have little effect on the Communist Party regime’s intrusive management of Chinese citizens’ most personal decisions.