Freedom House

Regional News • Asia • India
"Freedom House rates India as only "partly free"
"Freedom House rates India as only "partly free"
Credit: unsplash.com / Naveed Ahmed

In the world's most populous democracy, political rights and civil liberties have been limited since Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, writes the US government-funded organization in this year's democracy report. There has been a spate of fanatical attacks on Muslims - including lynchings. They account for 14 percent of the Hindu country's total population of 1.3 billion. In addition, there is increasing pressure on human rights organizations and intimidation of academics and journalists. According to the report, the developments in India reflect a worldwide trend towards authoritarianism.

Regional News • World
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Public records: UK has sold surveillance technology to 17 repressive governments
Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

The Independent reports that public records show exports of security technology from the United Kingdom to repressive regimes despite rules to prevent it. Security technology such as wiretaps, spyware and other telecommunications interception equipment shouldn't be exported to regimes that might use them for internal repression purposes.

Public records show that despite the rules exports worth £75 million have been approved to 17 countries including China, Saudia Arabia, the United Arba Emirates and Bahrain. All 17 states have been rated "not free" by the Non-Governmental Organisation Freedom House.