For the second straight year, amateur and professional photographers from around the world have submitted images for Washington-based NGO Freedom House's "Images of Freedom and Repression." Out of hundreds of submissions, Freedom House has selected 25 to be auctioned at an event in Washington, D.C. on April 18. Three photos were selected as winners. Here is a selection of the images, which capture the daily struggles and aspirations of people living in some of the world's most repressive countries.
Ahmed al-Fardan: "Political Participation and Toxic Gas"
July 24, 2012
An anti-government protester is shrouded by a cloud of toxic gas shot by Bahraini riot police. Authorities in Bahrain regularly quash protests in support of human rights and democracy with tear gas and other crowd-control methods.
Giovanni Turco: "The Ashes of South Sudan Rise from the Mud"
July 9, 2011
Mungalla, South Sudan
Ash-dressed Mundari child celebrating the first South Sudan Independence Day.
Ute Weinmann. "Stand Up for your Rights"
Sept. 15, 2012
A woman poses in front of police during September's "March of Millions" demonstration. Thousands of people demonstrated for fair elections and against the persecution of protesters. Although the Moscow authorities had sanctioned the march through the city, several people were arrested.
Hanna Lina Frey: "Bears over Belarus"
July 4, 2012
Above Minsk, Belarus
Studio Total, a Swedish marketing and advertising agency, arranged an airdrop of 800 teddy bears carrying slogans in support of freedom of speech in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, in desperation, fired two top generals and the minister of foreign affairs in response.
Prerak Shah: "Slum Life Liberation"
Sept. 1, 2010
Twenty-two thousand children die every day due to poverty. The impoverished are stripped of the most rudimentary of human rights -- the right to nutrition, to shelter, to clothing, to health, to education, and to a future. This homeless slum child symbolically flees his state of deprivation under the watchful eyes of his divine creators.
Omar Balaa: "We (don't) love you!"
April 13, 2011
A poster of Bashar al-Assad looks over children's dolls in a shop in Damascus. The brutality of the Assad regime contrasts with the innocence of children's playthings in a country torn apart by violence.
Mercedes Noriega: "Silence Pact"
Lake Namtso, Tibet
Two children symbolize what Tibet is going through: their struggle, their fight, their will to remain Tibetan above everything.
Marko Rupena: "Day of Global Revolution"
May 12, 2012
An activist wearing a Guy Fawkes mask rests during a protest organized by Group 99% following the 2012 presidential election in Serbia.
Anmar Abdulrasool: "Flower Revolution"
March 13, 2011
A demonstrator offers a rose to Bahraini security forces during an anti-regime protest.
Huy Luong: "Ways to Celebrate Love."
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
A staged photo symbolizing the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to gain acceptance in Vietnamese society. In recent weeks, the country's Justice Ministry has begun discussions over legalizing same-sex marriage.
Basma Fathy: "Women March to Freedom."
Jan. 26, 2013
Women lead the march to El Ethadia, the presidential palace, on the second anniversary of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
Aaron Reiss: "Floating Population"
Sept. 25, 2010
While China's strict household registration, or hukou, system limits the mobility of rural peasants to cities, it has not curbed recent massive internal migration to urban centers in search of economic opportunity. These migrants, known as China's "floating population," face constant discrimination, economic hardship, and a lack of access to basic public services. Here, plainclothes construction laborers from the countryside are seen in front of Guangzhou's glittering skyline.
Sucheta Das: "The Lost Childhood"
West Bengal, India
A child smokes the tobacco he and his fellow workers manufacture as child laborers in the bidi (tobacco) industry in West Bengal.
Bernice Wong: "Destruction"
Oct. 4, 2012
A father and daughter pray amid the destruction in Ramu Upazila, at the site of a torched Buddhist temple. During a series of anti-Buddhist riots, statues were looted or hacked, precious scriptures were vandalized and burned, and homes were razed to the ground.
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