On Monday, South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority announced its intent to investigate President Robert Mugabe’s political party Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) for crimes against humanity, following allegations of a campaign of mass rape during the months around Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections. Freedom House commends South Africa’s demonstration of its human rights obligations in this decision and hopes that the investigation will dissuade further use of violence as a strategy in its upcoming elections.
The killing of Brazilian radio journalist Mafaldo Berreza Goes is the most recent case in a country where murders of journalists have become all too frequent. Freedom House laments his death and calls on authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mansoor al-Jamri, chief editor for Bahrain’s independent Al Wasat newspaper, and his wife Reem Khalifa, an Associated Press reporter, were told by officials at the Dubai International Airport today that they were on a list to deny entry. This incident is the latest in the growing crackdown on journalists and political activists throughout the Gulf region and a sign of increased coordination between governments in the region to stifle dissent.
Freedom House welcomes the re-registration of a prominent Ethiopian NGO, the Human Rights Council (HRCO), by the Charities and Societies Agency. This decision is an encouraging initial step in re-establishing civil society's essential role in the governance process.
Freedom House President David Kramer met with European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, to discuss policies for encouraging greater respect for human rights in Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia.