Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world. The expansive region includes booming, thriving economies powered by rapid growth. Regrettably, this growth has come at the expense of basic rights. China, in particular, has endorsed a model of prosperity without democracy by lifting million out of poverty while stifling civil society and political freedoms.

Western governments in recent years have sought to fortify economic and military partnerships with Asian nations as bulwark against Chinese influence. Unfortunately, human rights have not taken precedence in the establishment of alliances. For example, Western governments have largely been silent as Vietnam as imprisoned more than 250 prisoners of conscience and as Cambodia has eliminated independent media.

Freedom Now has advocated for the release of 27 prisoners of conscience in the region, 17 of whom have been released. Our work in the region focuses on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and labor rights.

Fighting Wrongful Imprisonment

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Can you imagine a doctor being imprisoned just for treating a patient, or a journalist detained simply for publishing an article critical of his government?