Freedom House today expressed deep concern over news that the United States Justice Department has seized the records of telephone conversations of journalists at the Associated Press (AP) as part of an apparent broad investigation into the leaking of information regarding counterterror policies. Freedom House calls on Congress to revive a federal “shield law” that would provide journalists with a measure of protection from prosecutors’ demands for information.
Freedom House denounces the violence that threatens to disrupt Pakistan’s general elections on May 11th and urges all parties to halt attacks against political candidates and allow citizens to go to the polls without fear. The National Assembly and Provincial Assembly elections represent the first time a civilian government will transfer power to another civilian government in Pakistan.
Egyptian authorities today arrested Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 Movement, at Cairo airport upon his return from the United States. Freedom House condemns the unwarranted arrests and harassment of Maher and other democracy activists by Egyptian authorities and calls for his immediate release.
Freedom House strongly condemns the violent attack on prominent Kyrgyzstani human rights defender Ulugbek Azimov, and calls for the Kyrgyz Republic to promptly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. Mr. Azimov and several members of his family were viciously beaten the evening of May 9 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital.
Freedom House strongly condemns the recent violence in Nigeria, which includes attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram, as well as reported torture and extrajudicial killings by Nigerian state security forces, and calls on both sides to cease hostilities and take concrete measures to ensure the safety of civilians.
What can democratic countries do to counter recent anti-democratic trends? Joshua Kurlantzick, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tackled these questions at a discussion hosted by Freedom House on his new book, Democracy in Retreat.
Freedom House condemns the decision by Myanmar authorities to re-imprison human rights defender and recently-released political prisoner, Nay Myo Zin and calls for immediate release of him and all remaining political prisoners. In addition, the Government of Myanmar should immediately remove the stipulations placed on all political prisoners freed under Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.