March 21 marked the end of the New York leg of Cuban blogger and activist Yoani Sánchez’s highly publicized international tour. Since beginning the 80-day, 12-country whirlwind of speaking engagements in February, Sánchez, whose blog Generación Y is now translated into nearly 20 languages, has been met with equal measures of protest and warmth in Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and the United States. Arguably the most influential blogger writing within Cuba, Sánchez was denied an exit visa 21 times over the last five years, but she finally received permission to leave the island last month under a broader government initiative to loosen travel restrictions.
Freedom House urges participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to make clear that the decision of Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev to sign a repressive new internet law does not bode well for the success of Kazakhstan’s upcoming chairmanship of the OSCE.
Freedom House condemns the Chinese government’s latest effort to restrict freedom of expression by blocking websites such as Twitter, Flickr and Hotmail two days before the twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Freedom House calls for an independent inquiry into the death of Omidreza Mirsayafi, an Iranian blogger who had just begun serving a two-year prison sentence for posting comments on his blog about Iran's leaders.