The Russian judiciary’s decision Dec. 3 to uphold laws openly discriminatory against LGBT people is new, alarming evidence that the courts are not protecting basic human rights, Freedom House said. Statutes banning "propaganda" of homosexuality among minors are helping create a hostile environment for LGBT people in Russia and are used to justify bans on public events and demonstrations.
Tymoshenko’s prosecution and imprisonment, criticized widely in the West, exemplify Yanukovych’s use of selective justice against his political opponents and the corruption of the legal system. His willingness to play a game of chicken with the European Union—hoping it will back down on its demand that she be freed as a precondition for signing the agreements at next month’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, because Ukraine is “too important” to leave to Russia’s sphere of influence—reflects his determination to place his political fortunes above the interests of his country. Click here to read David J. Kramer's op-ed for The American Interest.
On the tenth anniversary of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s arrest, Freedom House marks a decade of rampant corruption and political repression in Russia. It is illustrated by a Kremlin policy to silence critics of the regime and clamp down on civil society, while providing impunity for those who engage in gross human rights abuses.
As President Barack Obama enters his second term, relations with Russia present him with a set of thorny problems. This package of materials includes policy proposals, a summary of Russian legal restrictions on NGOs, a chronology of repressive actions under Vladimir Putin since 2000, and graphs illustrating Russia's score declines in Freedom House's annual reports.
“Promise and Reversal: The Post-Soviet Landscape Twenty Years On,” marks the 20th anniversary of the failed Soviet coup of August 19, 1991. The retrospective essay examines the changes in the political rights and civil liberties in the former Soviet Union over the last two decades, as well as includes graphs and rankings that illustrate the region's performance in the annual Freedom House publications Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. The report concludes that there is a serious and disturbing failure to embrace democratic institutions in most of the post-Soviet region.