On the tenth anniversary of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s arrest, Freedom House marks a decade of rampant corruption and political repression in Russia. It is illustrated by a Kremlin policy to silence critics of the regime and clamp down on civil society, while providing impunity for those who engage in gross human rights abuses.
Freedom House led a delegation of civil society leaders and online activists from around the world to Bali, Indonesia for the 8th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the UN's flagship conference for discussing global Internet policy. Following the IGF, 17 organizations and individuals signed on to a joint statement to highlight the concerns they raised throughout the Forum, and to offer recommendations to governments, internet companies, and international organizations on how to better protect internet freedoms. This statement was delivered to the Forum during the Open Mic session on the final day by Bouziane Zaid.
Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, four members of the U.S. Congress who led efforts to hold Russian officials responsible for the death of a whistle-blower, and an American film-production company dedicated to raising public awareness of socially vital issues accepted Freedom House awards October 23 that highlighted their contributions to democracy.
Freedom House featured an interactive map installation at the October 20-22 Google Ideas summit Conflict in a Connected World to show the range of methods used by repressive governments to control online content. The installation highlighted various types of internet censorship, such as filtering, physical attacks, and throttling, used in twelve countries throughout the world.
For some time now, democracy promotion has been under concentrated attack from authoritarian sources ranging from Robert Mugabe and Vladimir Putin to the leaders of Venezuela. More recently, criticism has spread to the democratic world, with the United States front and center.
On October 23, 2013, Mexico undergoes its Universal Periodic Review (UPR), as part of the 17th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The UPR is a process developed in 2006 to review the human rights records of all U.N. member states and assess whether they are fulfilling their international human rights obligations and taking steps to address prior recommendations.