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The latest from Freedom House:

The detention of Belarusian activist Mikita Kavalenka and journalist Alyaksandr Barazenka during a Minsk protest calling for the release of opposition activists is yet another disturbing example of the Lukashenka regime’s attempts to stifle dissent.

During her 2009 visit to Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the arrest and punishment of militiamen responsible for the widespread sexual violence and broader human rights violations that have devastated the eastern Congo for more than a decade. She described the situation as “one of mankind’s greatest atrocities.” But since flawed November 2011 elections led to renewed violence in other parts of the country, she has failed to defend human rights—and political rights—in the DRC with the same conviction.
 

We write to express our grave concern about the assault last week by the Egyptian authorities on Egyptian and international civil society groups. These latest actions undermine the already unsteady progress toward democracy in Egypt and raise serious doubts about whether the current military authorities will permit a successful transition from Army rule.
 

On December 28, with little fanfare, Russia’s foreign ministry released a 90-page human rights report on the United States, Canada, and assorted European countries. There is no accompanying introduction, preface, or methodology for this rather slapdash document, entitled On the Human Rights Situation in a Number of the World’s States, but the selection of countries and their respective treatment makes it fairly clear that the report is meant to be a stick in the eye of the Kremlin’s perceived enemies, rather than any genuine attempt to promote human rights around the world.

A months-long campaign against civil-society groups by Egypt’s military leadership came to a head Thursday when Egyptian security forces raided the Cairo offices of Freedom House and several other international and local nongovernmental organizations. These attacks were a major setback to the hopes that emerged this year with the revolution in Tahrir Square. If corrective measures are not taken, the attacks will severely damage Egypt’s long-term stability and prospects for a more democratic future.

The raid of Freedom House’s office and those of several other NGOs in Cairo by Egyptian security forces today constitutes an unprecedented assault on international civil society organizations and their local Egyptian partners. Freedom House strongly condemns the raid and calls for authorities to cease the unwarranted attacks and release confiscated property immediately.

A months-long campaign against civil-society groups by Egypt’s military leadership came to a head Thursday when Egyptian security forces raided the Cairo offices of Freedom House and several other international and local nongovernmental organizations. These attacks were a major setback to the hopes that emerged this year with the revolution in Tahrir Square.

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