Freedom House condemns the recent escalation in the persecution of free speech advocates in Vietnam, and calls for the release of several bloggers who have been unjustly imprisoned for shining a light on corruption and human rights abuses.
Freedom House condemns the recently passed “Dima Yakovlev Law” in Russia, which introduces new restrictions on Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and prohibits adoptions of Russian orphans by American citizens. The law, reportedly in response to the recent Magnitsky Law passed in the United States, represents an asymmetrical attack against one of the most vulnerable groups in Russian society.
Freedom House condemns new, severe restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression passed on December 26 by the Moscow City Council. The new legislation broadly bans vigils by individuals — so-called “single-person pickets” — if they are “united by a common organizer and goal.” The legislation also bans using vehicles in a demonstration, including driving within the city center while displaying political or protest symbols.
Freedom House is concerned that passage of the draft Egyptian constitution in two rounds of voting will not advance the democratic transition that Egyptians have been seeking since their revolution began in January 2011.
As 2012 winds down, it is time again to reflect on the year’s human rights developments. Unfortunately, the bad seemed to outweigh the good this year, as many authoritarians held on to power and continued upheaval in the Middle East threatened to derail any democratic progress.
Freedom House’s final monitoring report on the trial of Kazakhstani opposition activists Vladimir Kozlov and Akzhanat Aminov, and labor activist Serik Sapargali, documents gross violations of the right to a fair trial.
Weak institutions are a major obstacle for democratic progress in the Middle East and North Africa, said Freedom House executive vice president Daniel Calingaert in a presentation on the Countries at the Crossroads report at the European Parliament in Brussels.