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The latest from Freedom House:

Freedom House expresses concern with the deteriorating health of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and calls on Iranian officials, in particular Jafari-Dowlatabadi, the Public Prosecutor General for Tehran, to end the unjust imprisonment of Sotoudeh, cease its harassment of her family, and allow her immediate access to medical care.

Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. As organized crime, drug-trafficking and corruption continue to rise, there has been a spike in murders of journalists who have sought to draw attention to these issues. Since 2000 more than 82 journalists have been killed, and a high number have been kidnapped or disappeared, as a result of their work. Vulnerable journalists, who are increasingly being targeted by drug cartels, have nowhere to turn for help, as government authorities are often incapable or unwilling to protect them, and are sometimes even complicit in the attacks. These factors have instilled a culture of fear among journalists that has resulted in mass self-censorship.

David J. Kramer and Arch Puddington outline what President Obama's democracy agenda should be in his second term in the following Washington Post op-ed.

The UN special rapporteur on torture called it a “widespread phenomenon” in Kyrgyzstan. As part of our work to curb rising torture rates in Central Asia, Freedom House hosted a conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan on November 19 and 20 that brought together local anti-torture organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with representatives from the UN, the OSCE, and international NGOs to discuss new strategies for combating torture in the region.

Inherited cultural norms combined with structural issues such as a lack of rule of law cause women to be marginalized in Egypt and other Muslim countries, observed Freedom House Egypt Project Director Nancy Okail at a panel discussion hosted by the Women’s Foreign Policy Group on November 16.

On the third anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky's murder, Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) co-hosted a panel discussion on new Russian legislation. The panelists, including Freedom House's Director of Eurasia Programs Susan Corke, called for a loud condemnation by the international community of the Kremlin's human rights abuses.