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The latest from Freedom House:

Freedom House is saddened by the untimely loss of a compassionate advocate for religious tolerance and national unity in Egypt, Pope Shenouda III.

The execution without a fair trial of two men convicted of the Minsk metro bombing and a recent travel ban on human rights defenders and government critics in Belarus point to continued serious repression by the Lukashenka regime, according to Freedom House. The international community must continue to push back against Lukashenka’s blatant violations of fundamental freedoms.

On March 5, the day after Vladimir Putin won a new term in the Russian presidential election, around 20,000 members of the country’s broad-based opposition movement gathered in Moscow’s Pushkin Square to protest what organizers deemed an unfair and illegitimate vote that was marred by electoral fraud. The demonstration ended with nearly 250 arrests in Moscow alone, as a number of the protesters refused to leave the park in an act of civil disobedience.

Freedom House calls for the release of four Jordanian activists detained for criticizing King Abdullah II; if convicted, the activists could face up to three years in prison.

Freedom House is pleased that Igor Vinyavskiy, editor of the Kazakhstani opposition newspaper "Vzglyad," was given amnesty and released from the Committee of National Security's detention center just hours ago.  The district court in Almaty decided to close the criminal investigation against Vinyaskiy.

Freedom House welcomes the Mexican Senate’s approval of a constitutional amendment that would make crimes against journalists a federal offense. The amendment passed unanimously on March 13 after three years of deliberation, and now requires ratification by a majority of Mexico’s 32 state legislatures.

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