New On The Freedom Collection: Ammar Abdulhamid Updates
Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid’s Freedom Collection interview provides a compelling look inside his troubled homeland. We were very fortunate to interview him for a second time and learn about more recent developments in his country. We are now pleased to post a recently recorded second set of interviews with Ammar, to hear his perspectives on Syria’s bloody civil war, steps that must be taken to end the violence, and building a sustainable democracy. Ammar is a Syrian human rights activist who founded the Tharwa Foundation in 2003, a grassroots organization that enlists local activists and citizen journalists to document conditions in Syria. In response to his activities, the Syrian government subjected Ammar to repeat interrogation and threats. He now lives in exile with his family, but remains one of the leading bloggers on events in Syria.
Watch Ammar’s updated interview here.
Christopher Walsh is the Program Coordinator for the Freedom Collection.
Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.
A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.Full Bio
The Death of Uzbekistan’s Dictator: What It Means
Last week—the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence—saw his death from an apparent brain hemorrhage. As the country prepares for its first transition of power since independence, here are a few points to consider.
Cuban Freedom Advocate Returns Home to Harassment from the Regime
Biscet and Morejon were separated and interrogated by security officials for several hours. Their belongings were meticulously searched.
Gold Medal Dictatorships in Rio
The Olympic Games are powerful. Through waving flags and national anthems, they ignite countrywide pride in a way that few things do. Unfortunately, authoritarian leaders can use the spectacle of the Games and its incredible athletes to soften perceptions of how their countries operate. Those of us in free societies have a responsibility to pull back the rosy, Olympic veil and be more discerning of countries competing in the Games that have no regard for freedom, human rights, and global security. If we don’t, these regimes gain a sense of legitimacy within the international community. Each year, Freedom House releases its Freedom in the World report, a comprehensive analysis that grades countries as “free,” “partly free,” or “not free” based on their people’s political rights and civil liberties. Many countries ranked as “not free” are showcasing themselves in Rio and it’s important to see beyond the festi