Freedom House is appalled by the arrests of 20 Turkish journalists during police raids December 20, and calls for their immediate release. Among those arrested were journalist Sevinç Tuncelli from the pro-Kurdish DiHA, Çağdaş Ulus from Vatan and Mustafa Özer from Agence France Presse.
Freedom House mourns the loss of former Czech president and dissident leader Vaclav Havel, an unwavering advocate for human rights and democracy. Freedom House was fortunate to have worked closely with Havel over the years. He served as Co-Chair of Freedom House’s American Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program in the mid-1990’s and was honored with its distinguished Freedom Award in 1991 for his role in orchestrating the Velvet Revolution.”
On the one-year anniversary of the violent crackdown and mass arrests in Belarus following fraudulent presidential elections, Freedom House remains gravely concerned with continued human rights abuses in the country and calls for increased pressure from the West against the Lukashenka regime and stronger solidarity with pro-democratic actors in Belarus.
At the end of November, a Kenyan High Court judge ruled that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir should be arrested “should he ever set foot in Kenya.” The decision is a welcome sign that Kenya’s judiciary is emerging from its long subservience to the country’s powerful and often unaccountable executive branch, and that international law might soon be catching up with more alleged war criminals.
Freedom House condemns the arrest of three democracy activists during a peaceful demonstration in Bahrain today and calls on authorities to immediately release the two that remain in custody, Zainab al Khawaja and Masooma al Sayed.