Freedom House applauds last week’s appointment of a UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran and calls on the newly-appointed Dr. Ahmed Shaheed to investigate the condition of Iranian political prisoners as his first order of duty.
Freedom House welcomes recent international actions regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus, including the European Union’s (EU) extension of economic sanctions against the Lukashenka regime and its associates, and a strong condemnatory resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Firstly, we applaud and welcome the report by UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which affirmed human right in the internet. Nothing the important role that the internet played during times of political unrest, the report affirmed it as “an indispensable tool for realising a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress”. We, too, agree that there is enormous potential in the internet in all aspects of human development – from economic and social, to commerce, finance, business, innovation, mobilisation and the attainment and exercise of freedoms. And since the Internet as a source of information is especially crucial in the context of the repressive situation many Southeast Asian countries still find themselves in, we are heartened by Mr Frank La Rue's call that "ensuring universal access ... should be a priority for all states."
Freedom House welcomes yesterday’s statement by the United States at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva listing Bahrain as one of several countries that should receive additional scrutiny by the body and urges stronger U.S. and international action in response to the ongoing abuses in that country.
The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and Freedom House today announced the launch of the Belarus Working Group, a bipartisan gathering of leading scholars, analysts and former policymakers tasked with identifying sustainable and impactful Western strategies for supporting Belarusian civil society and dealing with “Europe’s last dictatorship.” Co-chaired by CEPA President A. Wess Mitchell and Freedom House President David J. Kramer, the findings of the project will provide an actionable policy roadmap for catalyzing democratic change in the country.
Freedom House condemns the arrest and beating of BBC Central Asia radio correspondent, Urinboy Usmonov. Freedom House calls for his immediate release and for authorities to exercise due process and grant him all legal rights while in custody.
Freedom House urges the Saudi government to allow tomorrow’s peaceful Right to Drive campaign to take place without interference and to follow through on past promises to lift its decree banning female drivers as one of many steps overdue to improve women’s rights in the kingdom.