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The latest from Freedom House:

The June protests have opened a long overdue debate on how the government can adequately address issues like healthcare, education, and social services in a way that meets popular expectations.  The magnitude of the protests and the widespread demands they summoned forth suggest that Brazilian institutions have serious flaws and serious change will be required to bring them in line with the country’s new social and economic realities.

The arrests this week of Naw Ohn Hla and Rohingya activist Than Shwe are a continuation of a disturbing trend of the government using the peaceful assembly law to stymie the work of human rights defenders.  Freedom House condemns the arrests and calls for the activists’ immediate release.

Freedom House is deeply disturbed by the escalating violence in Egypt, with at least 149 reported dead and hundreds injured as a result of a crackdown by Egyptian security forces against supporters of ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.  Reprisals against Egyptian Christians are on the rise, and the violence seems likely to escalate unless all parties exercise restraint.

The recommendations by Bahrain's National Assembly to quash the August 14th protests and expand the legal justification for further suppression of political dissent constitute a serious new threat to human rights in Bahrain, particularly freedom of expression and assembly, and are a troubling development in a legal system that already has a substantial record of rights violations.

Caption: Bayard Rustin and Dr. Eugene Reed at Freedom House
Photo Credit: Library of Congress
All who love liberty and equal rights should raise a glass in celebration of Bayard Rustin’s designation as a Medal of Freedom recipient.

U.S. President Barack Obama's decision Wednesday to cancel the planned bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin in early September was the right thing to do for many reasons. It also marked much-needed corrections in Obama's "reset" policy toward Russia. Click here to read David J. Kramer's Moscow Times op-ed.

Freedom House is deeply concerned by reports of mistreatment of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank for allegedly throwing rocks at Israelis. Many of these children reportedly have been harshly interrogated and denied access to a lawyer. Such incidents have been on the upswing in recent months, according to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

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