Freedom House is alarmed by the Ugandan parliament’s decision to reintroduce anti-gay legislation, and welcomes the Ugandan government’s move not to support the parliament’s decision. Rather than contributing to the persecution of sexual minorities in the country, parliament must make every effort to ensure the safety of all lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT).
Freedom House condemns the arrest of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members, including leader Jenni Williams. She was arrested February 6 as she left a meeting with the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) — a multi-partisan panel tasked with implementing the country’s Global Political Agreement.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet today with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev to sign a strategic agreements focused on energy and raw materials. Merkel, whose country has been cultivating access to Kazakhstan’s natural resources for some time, is not likely to devote much of the discussion to her guest’s domestic troubles. Nazarbayev prefers to present Kazakhstan as an eager business partner, committed to its international obligations and open to gradual reforms, and foreign governments and companies often have an economic interest in accepting this image at face value. However, recent events suggest that popular frustration with the country’s authoritarian system is becoming more difficult to ignore.