Azerbaijan celebrates the centennial of its progressive, democratic legacy at a time when the government has rejected democratic principles and engaged in a sustained crackdown on human rights.
For four long years, Mohammed Shaikh Ould Mohammed Ould Mkhaitir has been stuck in limbo in his home country of Mauritania, uncertain if he would face the death penalty for publishing a simple blog post. And although execution is off the table, his life is still in danger.
December 8 is the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan adopting its constitution, a document which guarantees the country’s citizens the freedoms of speech, thought, expression, opinion, association, and assembly. President Mirziyoyev should use the opportunity of Constitution Day to continue guiding his country towards a brighter future.
As world leaders gather in Vietnam for APEC 2017, the government accelerates its crackdown on internet activists and online dissidents
While the extent of Azerbaijan’s campaign to whitewash its human rights record in Europe is coming to light, the authoritarian country’s parallel campaign in the United States receives considerably less attention.
Authorities in Baku appear to be newly reinvigorated in their war on Azerbaijani dissidents living in exile. A recent alleged kidnapping and a new report each offer a disturbing reminder of this rising threat to human rights.
President Mirziyoyev’s address before the UN General Assembly will give him an opportunity to address these human rights concerns and clearly set forward a path for reform that leaves the Karimov era forever in the past.
OSCE member states must condemn human rights abuses in Tajikistan publicly and forcefully by call for the release of all political prisoners and respect for Tajikistan’s commitments under international law.
The U.S. must take bolder action if it wishes to combat the deteriorating human rights situation in Azerbaijan
Journalist Mohamed al-Bambary has been imprisoned in Morocco since August 2015. His case is illustrative of the restrictions Morocco places on freedom of expression and association in Western Saharan.
On Tuesday July 25, 2017 the HFAC Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa met to discuss the cases of four U.S. citizens currently imprisoned by Iran, including Baquer and Siamak Namazi.
On April 19, the UN Economic and Social Council approved a resolution to webcast all public meetings of its subsidiary body, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. The vote was a major victory for civil society.
On March 31, 2017, Freedom Now’s Legal Director, Kate Barth, participated in a panel discussion at Vanier College on Pursuing Justice for Political Prisoners. A video of the discussion is included.
The death of Islam Karimov signals a new era for Uzbekistan and hope for thousands of wrongfully imprisoned individuals.
In June 2016, Executive Director Maran Turner participated in the 32nd UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
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.
Letter from over 230 NGOs to the UN calling for reform of the accreditation process
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.
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.
Democracy activist Father Ly was sentenced to 8 years in prison on March 30, 2007. He still has not been released.
Chief Ebrima Manneh, a Gambian journalist, has been detained since 2006. As Gambia celebrates its independence, we have no information about his condition.
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.
Months after President Obama’s trip to Ethiopia, four Zone 9 bloggers are still in prison facing lengthy sentences
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.
The imprisonment of the former president is a tragic commentary on Maldivian democracy.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]