Freedom House’s latest Freedom in the World report paints a bleak picture of democracy and human rights in Africa overall, with 88 percent of the population living in countries designated either Not Free or Partly Free. Nevertheless, there were a number of small victories on the continent during 2013, even in countries where the prevailing trend remains negative.
Freedom House is outraged by the sentencing in Senegal of two men to six months in prison on the basis of their sexual orientation. Freedom House calls for their immediate release without condition and encourages the Senegalese government to recognize its international commitments to universal human rights, and to show leadership in protecting sexual minorities against persecution.
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Human Rights Defense, LGBTI Rights, Rule of Law
Senior Program Associate, Rights & Justice Initiatives
October 10, 2013
On October 11 and 12, the AU will meet in an extraordinary summit to discuss pulling out of the Rome Statute, the agreement that created the ICC. Such a decision would have major implications both for ICC itself and for accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuses in Africa and around the world. The nearly three dozen African countries that are currently party to the Rome Statute must vote against this proposal and reaffirm their commitment to justice for victims, an end to impunity at the highest levels for the gravest crimes, and an international system that supports the rule of law.
Freedom House urges President Obama to address the democracy and human rights challenges confronting Africa in his upcoming visit to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania from June 26 to July 3. President Obama must stress to African leaders that building durable democracies as well as vibrant economies is essential to sustained growth in the region.
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Human Rights Defense, Rule of Law
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.