Freedom House is concerned by a new report detailing the continuation of exploitative and deadly conditions imposed on foreign workers in Qatar. The Guardian newspaper published claims that at least 44 foreign workers have died due to poor work conditions in the past three months alone. In a country where civil liberties and political rights are severely restricted for residents and citizens alike, foreign workers face especially repressive conditions.
Freedom House welcomes President Hassan Rouhani’s commitment in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24 “to promote and reinforce tolerance,” and his desire to bring about a “world against violence and extremism.” But Iran must demonstrate this commitment through more than rhetoric.
Freedom House strongly condemns the arbitrary arrests and use of force by the Sudanese government against demonstrators, and is deeply concerned about a further decline in the already vulnerable state of fundamental freedoms in Sudan.
Freedom House is seriously concerned by a September 23 Egyptian court ruling that banned activities of the Muslim Brotherhood. The ruling, which can be appealed and which the government has not yet implemented, ordered the seizure of the assets of the Brotherhood’s network of charitable activities and social services, which was registered as a non-governmental organization, effectively shutting it down.
Freedom House is participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (OSCE-HDIM), an annual conference for reviewing the human rights commitments of the OSCE's 57 Participating States. Freedom House and its partner organizations will make interventions on topics relating to fundamental freedoms.
The European Union and Ukraine are currently preparing for the Eastern Partnership Summit, which will be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on November 28–29. Among the most important tasks on the agenda is the signing of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and a related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). There have been signs of late that Kyiv is leaning toward closer ties with Europe, and away from the domineering embrace of Moscow, but it remains unclear whether the increasingly authoritarian administration of President Viktor Yanukovych is willing or able to enact the democratic reforms necessary for European integration.
Freedom House urges the U.S. government to put pressure on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to face justice for human rights abuses as he prepares to attend the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place in New York City in September and October. State Department officials have confirmed that President Bashir has applied for a U.S. visa to come to this event.