Freedom House Annual Survey Released: “Notable Setback for Global Freedom”
|Saturday, January 19,2008 19:16|
Yesterday marked the release of Freedom in the World 2008, the annual survey of political rights and civil liberties published by Freedom House. The survey, published every year since 1972, consists of a 3 to 7 page report for each state and disputed territory in the world, along with numerical scores representing the levels of political rights and civil liberties on a scale from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free).
This year’s report paints a gloomy picture, as it opens by declaring that, “The year 2007 was marked by a notable setback for global freedom.” It also notes that ”In all, nearly four times as many countries showed declines during the year as registered improvement,” and that “The period of modest gains that had marked the political landscape of the Middle East in the post-9/11 period came to an end in 2007.”
The only changes to numerical ratings in the Middle East and North Africa were in Tunisia, where the political rights score declined from a 6 to the worst possible score of 7, and in both the Palestinian Authority-administered and Israeli-administered areas of the Palestinian territories, each of which also saw a one-point decline.In addition, the report noted “backward movement” in Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria, though not sufficient to reflect a change in the overall numerical score.