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.
Freedom House is alarmed by the closure of 11 media outlets in Cameroon on September 6. To justify the closings, the National Communications Council accused seven newspapers, three radio stations, and one television station of disrespecting “ethics and professional norms.” The shutdown demonstrates Cameroon’s waning support for free and independent media sources, despite such guarantees laid out in its 1996 Constitution, and Freedom House condemns this clear violation of press freedom.
Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Rule of Law
Freedom House is deeply disturbed and outraged by the torture and killing of Cameroonian LGBTI activist, Eric Lembembe and urges authorities at the highest level to condemn violence against the LGBTI community and to take appropriate measures to bring those responsible for this sadistic murder to justice.
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Human Rights Defense, LGBTI Rights, Rule of Law
Freedom House is concerned for the safety of Cameroonian human rights defender, Maximilienne Ngo Mbe, after she has received numerous threats to her life and the lives of her family. Freedom House calls on Cameroonian authorities to protect Ms. Ngo Mbe and denounces this harassment.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
Freedom House’s program in Cameroon aims to promote broader citizen participation in political processes and presidential and parliamentary elections. Freedom House works to achieve this through support to civil society in their election monitoring, civic education and voter mobilization activities.