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The latest from Freedom House:

"I chose to defend human rights in China simply because I cannot maintain my silence in the face of injustice," states blind Chinese activist and self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng in an interview with Freedom House.

To mark the introduction into the House and Senate of resolutions to condemn the persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran, the Baha’is of the United States and Freedom House co-hosted a conference on Wednesday that featured accounts from relatives of imprisoned Baha’is.

The U.S. government's half-hearted approach to the Syrian conflict will backfire, argues a policy brief released by Freedom House. As nearly 70,000 are dead in a war that threatens to spill over into the broader region, the US has largely stood on the sidelines, contemplating the day after the fall of the regime but doing little to bring it about or influence the long-term outcome.

Private media in Mali have continued for a third straight day their near-total ‘media blackout’ in solidarity with top newspaper editor Boukary Daou, who has been detained since March 6, 2013 for publishing an open letter to Interim President Dioncounda Traoré. Freedom House deplores acts of intimidation against the Malian media and urges the Malian government to release Mr. Daou.

Freedom House strongly condemns the Azerbaijani government’s widening crackdown against civil society and opposition activists, and calls on international organizations and Western governments to speak out firmly against the crackdown. In the last week the government has detained a range of journalists and activists, including an employee of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) office in Azerbaijan.

Freedom House calls on the Zimbabwean government to ensure a peaceful and transparent vote in the constitutional referendum on March 16. This will be the first national vote since Zimbabwe’s disputed 2008 presidential elections.

Freedom House welcomes a bipartisan effort by 62 members of Congress to speak out against two bills proposed by Ukraine’s parliament that would blatantly target LGBT persons and lead to an environment of “state-sponsored” discrimination.

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