North Korea

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On April 10, more than 200 guests filled the Hillyer Art Space for Freedom House’s Third Annual Photography and Art Auction fundraiser.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Religious Freedom, Rule of Law, Women's Rights
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Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Americas


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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written by
Tyler Roylance
Staff Editor

There are two conflicting narratives that describe the current territorial standoff in the East China Sea. One favors China and isolates Japan. The other, which makes China the odd man out, has been all but ignored by those it would so clearly benefit.

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The reported execution by firing squad last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s ex-girlfriend, along with 11 others, was a sad reminder that dictators still rule by brute force with little pretense of legitimacy. Most current autocrats, however, take on the trappings of democracy to claim a popular mandate for their regime and their actions, even as they trample the rights of their citizens. It’s time to call them out. It’s time for them to go. Read Dennis Blair and Daniel Calingaert's POLITICO op-ed.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Human Rights Defense, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Worst of the Worst 2011: The World's Most Repressive Societies

Freedom House has prepared this special report entitled Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies, as a companion to its annual survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World. The special report provides summary country reports, tables, and graphical information on the countries that receive the lowest combined ratings for political rights and civil liberties in Freedom in the World, and whose citizens endure systematic and pervasive human rights violations.

Worst of the Worst 2007

Sudan, North Korea and Uzbekistan are prominent among the most repressive regimes in the world, according to a report released by Freedom House.  The study, “The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2007,” named seventeen countries with the worst records for political rights and civil liberties, and pointed to thirteen countries which have been on the list for five years or more.

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