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Germany vs. Algeria
As World Cup soccer kicks off the first knockout stage on June 28, Freedom House takes a look at how teams stack up based on their countries’ freedom scores, as measured in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index.
Arch Puddington
Vice President for Research
Bret Nelson
Program Officer, Freedom in the World & Freedom of the Press

Freedom House yesterday released its annual Freedom of the Press report. The findings paint a grim picture of the state of global media freedom, with just 14 percent of the world’s population enjoying a vibrant press with diverse views and minimal state intrusion.

However, seemingly hamstrung by its limited competencies in this area and preoccupied by the economic crisis, Brussels has been hesitant in its reaction to apparent democratic backsliding. Sooner or later the European Union will be forced to take a firmer stance on the protection of democratic institutions within its member states. Click here to read Sylvana Habdank-Kolaczkowska and Zselyke Csaky's op-ed for the EU Observer.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Human Rights Defense, Intergovernmental Bodies
Regions: 
Eurasia, Europe
Sylvana Habdank-Kołaczkowska
Project Director of "Nations in Transit"
Zselyke Csaky
Research Analyst, Nations in Transit

When a far-right political party with a nationalist, anti-immigration, and Euroskeptic agenda joined a coalition government after Austria’s 1999 parliamentary elections, the 14 other countries of the European Union (EU) balked. The inclusion of Jörg Haider’s Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) challenged an implicit agreement among EU members that extremist parties would be barred from central government positions.

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights

Policing Belief: The Impact of Blasphemy Laws on Human Rights examines the human rights implications of domestic blasphemy and religious insult laws using the case studies of seven countries—Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Poland—where such laws exist both on paper and in practice. Without exception, blasphemy laws violate the fundamentalfreedom of expression, as they are by definition intended to protect religious institutions and religious doctrine– i.e., abstract ideas and concepts – from insult or offence. At their most benign, such laws lead to self-censorship.  In Greece and Poland, two of the more democratic countries examined in the study, charges brought against high-profile artists, curators and writers serve as a warning to others that certain topics are off limits. At their worst, in countries such as Pakistan and Malaysia, such laws lead to overt governmental censorship and individuals are both prosecuted and subject to severe criminal penalties including lengthy jail sentences.

Issues: 
Human Rights Defense, Religious Freedom
Regions: 
Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa, Europe

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