Freedom House today released Worst of the Worst 2011: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, its annual report identifying the world’s most flagrant human rights abusers, at a press conference during the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Freedom of Information Bill on Saturday, May 28. The law promotes transparency and accountability in government, giving citizens access to public records and government agencies seven days to produce the information requested.
A group of men attacked the Jordanian bureau of Agence-France Presse on Wednesday, June 15—storming into the office and destroying furniture. The attack came a day after protesters demanded the bureau close its doors due to “inaccurate reporting” on King Abdullah II’s visit to a southern Jordanian town.
Today the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, a landmark move for the council in upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The resolution was presented by South Africa, Brazil and 39 additional cosponsors—23 voted in favor, 19 voted against and three abstained. The resolution will call on the High Commissioner to prepare a study on violence and discrimination and then host a follow-up panel to discuss the findings.
On June 11, 2011, three employees from German television station ZDF were briefly detained and had their video footage destroyed in Equatorial Guinea. The crew was filming a concert at a French cultural center in Malabo as part of a larger effort to capture via film the general state of affairs in Equatorial Guinea. They were taken to TVGE studios where security agents led by the director of the state-controlled TV station, Teobaldo Nchaso Matomba, ordered them to hand over all video footage.
On June 18, reporter Waqar Kiani was beaten in Islamabad, Pakistan after publishing a piece in The Guardian about the abduction and torture of intelligence agents. Men dressed in police garb ordered Kiani out of his car and then beat him.