News | Freedom House


The latest from Freedom House:

The Turkish parliament’s approval February 5 of legislation allowing the government to block websites without a court order significantly undermines internet freedom and citizens’ freedom of speech, Freedom House said.


Freedom House condemns the decision of Angolan courts and prosecutors to move forward with defamation changes against journalist and human rights advocate Rafael Marques de Morais. Their decision is a violation of the universally-recognized right to freedom of speech and a clear attempt to silence Angola’s independent civil society.

ترى مؤسسة بيت الحرية أنّه على الملك حمد بن عيسى آل خليفة ملك البحرين إلغاء القانون الجديد الذى قام بفرض عقوبات بالسجن على كل من يهين الملك او الرموز الوطنية فى العلن ، وهو الإجراء الذى يمثّل انتهاكاً للحقوق الأساسية لحرية التعبير.


King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain should rescind a new law imposing prison sentences of up to seven years for anyone convicted of publicly insulting the king or national emblems, a measure that violates fundamental rights of freedom of speech, Freedom House said.

Freedom House condemns Iran’s execution on January 27 of renowned Iranian poet Hashem Shaabani. In July 2013, an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, on charges of  “waging war on God,” “spreading corruption on earth,” and “questioning the principle of velayat-e faqih” (the rule of the jurisprudent, Iran’s system of vesting supreme power in an unelected cleric), according to press reports.


Freedom House urges the government of Zambia to postpone enforcement of its draconian NGO Act, which required non-governmental organizations to register with the government before February 5, in apparent violation of the country’s constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association. Freedom House calls on the government to consult with civil society to resolve issues about the legality and enforcement of the law.

The recent pressure on civil society and independent media in Kenya is not only a significant threat to democracy in a geopolitically important country, but also the predictable outcome of the international community’s failure to punish earlier, comparable state-driven repression in Ethiopia, another African nation that is viewed in Western capitals as a strategic partner.