On May 20th, Burmese President Thein Sein will visit Washington, D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama in what will be the first trip of its kind by a Burmese head of state in 47 years. Given ongoing human rights abuses and the sluggish pace of reform, Freedom House expresses deep concern regarding the timing of the visit and the signal this will send to the Burmese regime.
As support for the human rights of LGBTI people expands globally, advocacy groups and individuals have faced pushback in the form of increased violence and stigmatization. Just last Friday in Russia, Vladislav Tornovoi was tortured and killed after coming out as gay. In Kuwait, authorities recently trumpeted the arrest of 215 gay men and lesbians. And in Uganda, the notorious Bahati Bill, which has teetered on the verge of passage in parliament, has now been reframed to outlaw the “promotion” of homosexuality. Today, on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, Freedom House stands in solidarity with all human rights defenders, including those who identify as LGBTI, as we commit ourselves to the pursuit of a world in which human diversity is honored and valued, and human rights are enjoyed equally by everyone.
17 мая активисты-правозащитники и заинтересованные лица со всего мира вновь отмечают Международный день против гомофобии и трансфобии. Однако, в то время как осведомленность и поддержка прав человека для лесбиянок, геев, бисексуалов, транссексуалов и интерсексуалов (ЛГБТ) расширяются в глобальном масштабе, поддерживающие их организации и отдельные люди сталкиваются с неприятием в виде роста насилия и стигматизации во многих сферах жизни, часто приводящим к ужасным последствиям. В минувшую пятницу в России в г. Волгограде 23-летний Владислав Торновой был убит после жестоких пыток, как сообщалось, в связи с тем, что он рассказал друзьям, что он гей.
Bolivia’s expulsion of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) this month is a troubling development on its own, but when viewed in the context of similar actions by other governments, it raises questions about the future of American foreign assistance in the face of authoritarianism.
Today marks the five-year anniversary of the arrest of seven prominent Baha’i leaders in Iran, who are serving prison sentences of 20 years each, the longest term of any current prisoners of conscience in Iran. Freedom House calls for the immediate release of Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm, and an end to the government-sponsored persecution of Baha’is in Iran.
The May 10 conviction of General Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala for crimes against humanity and genocide is a historic and symbolic step towards addressing crimes of the past. Freedom House applauds the conviction, which is the first ruling of its kind against a former head of state by a national court, and hopes that it will help to bring closure for the families of those victimized by his brutal regime.