Freedom at Issue:

Insights on the global struggle for democracy

Nate Schenkkan

During the last three months, and especially the last three weeks, Turkey has seen a dangerous increase in political polarization and the intentional deepening of long-standing national divisions. The proximate immediate causes are elections to be held nationwide on March 30.  

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Tyler Roylance

Last week, the chairman of Bloomberg LP indicated that the company is backing away from its admirable investigative reporting on China’s elite, apparently with the aim of protecting its core financial-data business from political reprisals. This is alarming for many reasons. 

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How did Turkish authorities manage to block Twitter?

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As North Korea continues to draw the world’s attention with a combination of missile tests and tearful family reunions, last month’s detailed report by a special UN commission of inquiry has provided a long-overdue reminder that the regime in Pyongyang is not simply a vexing security problem or a bizarre curiosity for the media, but one of the most repugnant human rights abusers the world has ever seen.

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Tyler Roylance

Even if one ignores the troubling developments in Crimea since Russian troops seized control, the recent histories of Russia and Ukraine leave little doubt that Crimeans would enjoy fewer political rights and civil liberties as part of the Russian Federation.

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Aleta Musvoto
David Lindgren


Youth employability in a modern, global economy remains of paramount importance, but equally crucial is affording youth the space and investment in their principled leadership for them to have a greater say over their future.


Freedom House has compiled the following questions for Secretary of State John Kerry, who will appear before Congress this week to discuss the proposed foreign affairs budget for fiscal year 2015.

Joseph Gates


Russia’s natural gas supplies are potent economic weapons in the crisis with Ukraine – and in Russia’s relations with other eastern European countries and the European Union.

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Cathal Gilbert
Juliet Mureriwa


The euphoria that followed longtime Zambian opposition leader Michael Sata’s election as president in 2011 has given way to fear that the country may be returning to the dark days of its less-than-democratic past.

Tyler Roylance



It was reported last week that Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current chair-in-office of the 53-nation Commonwealth, may not attend the annual Commonwealth Day celebrations in London on March 10. A recent UN human rights report and data from Freedom House’s Freedom in the World survey suggest that he has good reason to avoid the spotlight.

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