Freedom Alert

On November 22nd, the Malaysian government announced that it will enact new rules for public demonstrations under the Peaceful Assembly Bill. While the legislation recognizes the fundamental right to freedom of assembly, it will be more restrictive than the current law, since it contains troubling provisions, including a ban on street protests.

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Freedom House calls on the Russian government to investigate the circumstances of Natalya Gulevich’s detention and provide her with the necessary care to return her to health.  The denial of critical medical care to Natalya Gulevich, illegally detained in pre-trial detention facilities since December 2010, renews concerns about the rule of law in Russia and that the Russian authorities are flagrantly violating their responsibility to care for people detained by the government by denying needed healthcare to detainees.

Today, we mourn the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian lawyer who died a terrible death two years ago in pretrial detention after exposing a multimillion-dollar fraud against Russian

Nearly ten months since the start of the Egyptian revolution, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has yet to take basic steps towards establishing a human rights-respecting, democratic, civilian government, according to a statement released today by the Egypt Working Group, of which Freedom House is a part.

Freedom House expressed deep concern about the Stop Online Piracy Act  (SOPA) in a letter co-signed with other human rights organizations to Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) and John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-14).

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Freedom House is concerned by the arrests of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street protests, as well as arrests at “Occupy” protests in other cities, and urges authorities to release all detained journalists without charge and to refrain from restricting media access to the demonstrations.
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Freedom House mourns the loss of Mexican Interior Minister Jose Francisco Blake Mora and Vice Minister Felipe de Jesus Zamora Castro--two of the eight people aboard a helicopter that crashed near Mexico City on November 11. Freedom House sends its condolences to the victims' families, President Felipe Calderon and the Mexican government.

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Freedom House calls for the immediate release of Vu Duc Trung and Le Van Thanh, sentenced to 2-3 years in prison for broadcasting a radio program publicizing human rights abuses in China, including the persecution of Falun Gong, across the China-Vietnam border. The sentences come as a Vietnamese delegation is in Washington, DC for the U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue, during which issues of deteriorating religious freedom, press freedom, and other human rights issues in Vietnam are to be discussed.

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Freedom House continues to condemn the detention of prominent Belarusian human rights defender, Ales Bialatski, and calls for Belarusian authorities to drop all charges against him and release him immediately.

Turkish professor Busra Ersanli and publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu were arrested on October 28 as part of a government operation against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an organization banned by the Turkish government for its alleged connections to the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

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