Freedom House laments the death of Cuban political prisoner Wilman Villar, who died January 20, 2012, 50 days after beginning a hunger strike to protest his four-year jail sentence for disrespecting authority and resisting arrest. The Cuban government’s confinement of Villar under extreme conditions, as well as its failure to provide timely medical attention, contributed to his death.
The political uprisings that have swept the Arab world over the past year represent the most significant challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism, according to Freedom in the World 2012.
As we mark the first anniversary of the events that led to the Arab Spring, it is worth highlighting the uprisings’ far-reaching repercussions for freedom, both in the region and beyond. Freedom in the World, the report on global freedom issued annually by Freedom House, found more declines than gains worldwide for 2011, but we believe that the overarching message for the year is one of hope and not reversal.
Foreign Policy Magazine
One might expect, given last year's headlines across the Middle East -- as well as promising political developments in authoritarian countries from Myanmar to Cuba -- that 2011 was a banner year for freedom. The reality is more complicated.
January 17, 2012
Freedom House expressed deep concern about the removal of three members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission – Ahmad Nader Nadery, Ahmad Fahim Hakim, and Moulawee Ghulam Mohamad Ghareb—and called for their reinstatement. The removal of these three commissioners raises serious concerns about the Afghan administration’s commitment to human rights and undermines efforts to hold perpetrators of abuses accountable.