Blog
Sep 8, 2016

A New Era for Uzbekistan?

The death of Islam Karimov signals a new era for Uzbekistan and hope for thousands of wrongfully imprisoned individuals.

Jun 20, 2016

Freedom Now Participates in the 32nd UN Human Rights Council

In June 2016, Executive Director Maran Turner participated in the 32nd UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

May 27, 2016

Freedom Now Joins Call for UN to Reform Accreditation Process

Freedom Now joined over 230 NGOs from 45 countries to call on the UN to adopt an NGO accreditation process that is transparent, non-discriminatory, and apolitical.

ECOSOC NGO Committee Reform LetterMay 23, 2016

Letter from over 230 NGOs to the UN calling for reform of the accreditation process

May 24, 2016

Vietnam: US Must Emphasize Human Rights in New Partnership

The US must make clear that a cozy relationship and the gains friendship might bring to Vietnam are contingent upon the nation demonstrating its newly-declared respect for human rights; Vietnam must make its promises in actions as well as words.

Apr 20, 2016

China: Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Spends His 52nd Birthday Under House Arrest

Gao will turn 52 years old today, six of those past years spent under some form of detention or another, hundreds of those past days spent beaten and tortured, all of that time away from his wife and two children. The international community must keep up pressure for not only Gao’s release, but the release of the dozens of lawyers still imprisoned.

Mar 31, 2016

Vietnam: Pro-Democracy Activist Enters the Ninth Year of His Eight Year Sentence

Democracy activist Father Ly was sentenced to 8 years in prison on March 30, 2007. He still has not been released.

Feb 18, 2016

Gambia: Another Year Passes Without News on Chief Ebrima Manneh

Chief Ebrima Manneh, a Gambian journalist, has been detained since 2006. As Gambia celebrates its independence, we have no information about his condition.

Jan 15, 2016

Mauritania: One Year Since Anti-Slavery Activists Sentenced for Peaceful Demonstration

Today marks one year since the Mauritanian government sentenced three peaceful activists to serve prison sentences for daring to speak out against the deplorable practice of slavery.

Sep 25, 2015

Months After President Obama’s Visit, Ethiopia’s Journalists Are Still in Prison

Months after President Obama’s trip to Ethiopia, four Zone 9 bloggers are still in prison facing lengthy sentences

Jul 23, 2015

A Victory for Civil Society at the UN

On July 20, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) voted to grant Freedom Now special consultative NGO status. The vote was the culmination of a six year application process unnecessarily prolonged by petty politics.

Jun 23, 2015

A Tale of Two Maldives

The imprisonment of the former president is a tragic commentary on Maldivian democracy.

Apr 17, 2015

PEN American Center Honors Courageous Journalist and Highlights Human Rights in Azerbaijan

PEN American Center will be honoring jailed Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova with the 2015 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. This prestigious award is a recognition of her tireless work to combat corruption and defend freedom of expression in Azerbaijan.

Mar 26, 2015

On the Eve of President Karimov’s Re-Election, Thousands Remain Behind Bars

As the old saying goes, there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. The people of Uzbekistan can add a third item to that list: the re-election of President Islam Karimov. The 30 million people of this Central […]

Feb 20, 2015

Bahrain: Four Years of Silence for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja

Four years ago this month in 2011, nearly 6,000 people took to the streets of Bahrain to demand political and constitutional reform and social justice. It was the beginning of the Arab Spring, a period of swift, turbulent change. And […]

Nov 6, 2014

Arbitrary Detention in Azerbaijan 2014

With the rise of the Arab Spring in 2011, authoritarian governments around the world responded by rolling-back civic space; in Azerbaijan, a country situated at the crossroads of Eurasia, the government has continued to silence independent voices instead of addressing the legitimate concerns of peaceful protesters and dissidents. Now, the government in Baku has ensnared the very human rights defenders and lawyers who seek to protect the rights of others.

Aug 15, 2014

Ethiopia: Embracing Development and Security Means Embracing Free Expression

Last week, Washington D.C. hosted the US-Africa Leaders Summit, where over 50 African heads of state discussed important issues ranging from public health to trade and development. I was honored to participate in a parallel civil society conference that highlighted the challenges faced by civic leaders on the continent, including the all too prevalent crack-down on free expression.

May 28, 2014

In Uzbekistan, Yet Another Birthday Behind Bars for Journalist

Salijon Abdurakhmanov, one of Uzbekistan’s most prominent imprisoned journalists, turned 64 today–his sixth birthday spent behind prison walls because of his independent reporting in one of the world’s most repressive states. Abdurakhmanov’s case is a constant reminder of Uzbekistan’s abysmal record on free press and fair trial rights. If the United States genuinely hopes to bolster such values abroad […]

May 13, 2014

Azerbaijan: International PR Campaign Can’t Cover-Up Rights Abuses

For the next six months, the Azerbaijani government will chair an institution tasked with developing and implementing respect for fundamental human rights—the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. Its assumption of this role, however, coincides with a continuous and intensifying […]

Mar 13, 2014

Crisis in Ukraine, But What About the Other Authoritarian State in Europe?

The rapid collapse of the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine and the international crisis now unfolding in the region once again highlights the inherent instability of authoritarian regimes that disregard the legitimate aspirations of their own people. Too often, independent voices […]