Poland

38 million people
12,480 USD GNI (PPP)
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Arch Puddington
Vice President for Research

A quarter-century after the 1989 revolutions, freedom prevails in Central Europe, but some politicians are turning their backs on democratic values at home and new liberation struggles abroad.

In a new report, Freedom House highlights Russia's pivotal role in a decade-long decline in democracy among the countries of the post-Soviet sphere.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Elections, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Internet Freedom, Media Freedom, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Eurasia, Europe
Eric Chenoweth
Guest Blogger


On April 30, 1982, in a brief five-minute broadcast, a new, illegal radio station announced itself from a temporary transmitter placed on a high rooftop in Warsaw, Poland. “Solidarity is more than a name,” the announcer declared, “it is a value that cannot be destroyed.” With those words, Zbigniew Romaszewski had done something no one else had been able to do: break through the Polish government’s absolute control over broadcast media after the imposition of martial law.

Arch Puddington
Vice President for Research
Zselyke Csaky
Research Analyst, Nations in Transit

The six countries of the Eastern Partnership program lag far behind their closest neighbors in the EU. But this is a testament to the bloc’s past successes, and a sign that it must help these states build up their democratic institutions.

Experts

Project Director of "Nations in Transit"

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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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