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Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2013


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Report on the Freedom and Democracy in varies countries published by Freedom House. Available at:

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Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2013

  1. 1. Freedom in the World 2013 DEMO CRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BAL ANCE Selected data from Freedom House’s annual survey of political rights and civil liberties
  2. 2. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE by Arch PuddingtonAs the year 2012 drew to a close, events in the Mohamed Morsi that was only partially thwartedMiddle East dramatized two competing trends: by mass protests. Finally, at year’s end the statedemands for change pushed forward by popular prosecutor announced plans to investigatedemocratic movements, and an authoritarian leading opposition figures on charges of treason,response that combines intransigence with and political commentators for allegedstrategic adaptability. defamation.The ambiguous nature of these developments, As in the world at large, more countries in thecombined with either instability or authoritarian MENA region endured declines than made gainsretrenchment in other regions, had a significant in their drive toward freedom in 2012.impact on the state of global freedom. The Aspirations for elections and accountablefindings of Freedom in the World 2013, the government were often fiercely suppressedlatest edition of Freedom House’s annual report through arrests, imprisonment, police violence,on political rights and civil liberties, showed that and in Syria, a murderous war waged by themore countries registered declines than exhibited state against its own people. However, there isgains over the course of 2012. This marks the reason to remain cautiously optimistic about theseventh consecutive year in which countries region’s future. Events in Tunisia and Libya,with declines outnumbered those with im- where popular uprisings before and after Egypt’sprovements. Yet the number of countries ranked had also expelled longtime dictators in earlyas Free increased by three, and now stands at 90, 2011, were generally positive in 2012, even ifsuggesting that the overall ferment includes a each encountered challenges and setbacks.potential for progress as well as deterioration. Moreover, the societal impulse to shake off autocratic rule, pervasive injustice, and rampantDevelopments in Egypt in particular encap- corruption has clearly spread from Tunisia,sulated a pattern in which gains for freedom in Libya, and Egypt to neighboring countries.the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) werethreatened by opposition from governments, Much will depend on the commitment tosecurity forces, ruling families, or religiously democracy of the Muslim Brotherhood and otherbased political factions. In Egypt, the year was Islamist groups that now or may soon findnotable for a flawed but competitive presidential themselves in positions of power. But the pastelection, the withdrawal of the military from its year has provided more evidence that Middleself-appointed political supremacy, and a Eastern countries long subject to the dictator’scontinued assertiveness by popular movements heel are quickly developing resilient andin the face of antidemocratic threats. Despite the informed civil societies willing to push backenergy of civil society and the shift to civilian against attempts to curb freedom of expressionrule, however, the country was confronted by and thought, distort the electoral process, ordaunting problems, experiencing at various concentrate power in the hands of military ortimes a campaign to hobble foreign and local religious authorities. In this context, factions ornongovernmental organizations, the dissolution governments that seek to reduce freedom couldof an elected parliament by the judiciary, a find it increasingly difficult to do so.faulty process to draft a new constitution,resistance to change by entrenched elites, and a Meanwhile, the world’s most powerfulpower grab by newly elected president authoritarian leaders have watched events in the
  3. 3. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEMiddle East with concern. The findings of after the new government quickly arrested someFreedom in the World point to a stepped-up 30 officials of the previous government, raisingdrive by authoritarian governments in other concerns about politically motivated pros-regions to weaken precisely the elements of ecutions.democratic governance that pose the mostserious threats to repressive and corrupt rule: In China, hopes for meaningful political reformindependent civil society groups, a free press, were dealt a serious blow with the selection of aand the rule of law. Indeed, a five-year set of new Communist Party leadership team whosecomparative data show that while the indicators members have generally built their careers onrelated to competitive elections and political hard-line policies. As if to emphasize the pointpluralism declined slightly or actually improved that the new leaders are unlikely to usher in anon a global scale between 2008 and 2012, there era of political liberalization, the governmentwere notable declines for freedom of the press has taken steps in the last two months toand expression, freedom of assembly and the reinforce internet censorship and surveillance.rights of nongovernmental organizations As in the Middle East, developments in Africa(NGOs), an independent judiciary, and equal reflected a combination of gains and declines, aprotection under the law. Of particular concern great deal of volatility, and a disturbingis the ongoing campaign in Russia, Venezuela, escalation in armed conflicts. Rebel groupsIran, and elsewhere to thwart those NGOs whose threatened to overrun government forces in thework is deemed to be political in nature. This Democratic Republic of the Congo and thecan include activism in a wide range of fields, Central African Republic. Mali, a country with aincluding opposing censorship, environmental reputation as a model African democracy, wasprotection, women’s rights, gay rights, battered by a reinvigorated Tuareg rebellion, aanticorruption efforts, and fair treatment for military coup that overthrew the electedminorities. government, and the seizure of its northern provinces by Islamist militants whose crudeSuch repressive campaigns were especially imitation of Islamic law helped to driveapparent in Eurasia, where a number of already hundreds of thousands of inhabitants intogrim settings grew even more constrained. neighboring countries. And in northern Nigeria,Russia took a decided turn for the worse after the Boko Haram sect has prosecuted a reign ofVladimir Putin’s return to the presidency. terror that targets Christians, governmentHaving already marginalized the formal political officials, and security forces. Nevertheless,opposition, he pushed through a series of laws Africa also accounted for three of the fourmeant to squelch a burgeoning societal countries that moved from Partly Free to Free inopposition. The measures imposed severe new 2012, highlighting the continent’s remarkablepenalties on unauthorized political demon- diversity of political environments.strations, restricted the ability of NGOs to raisefunds and conduct their work, and placed new Freedom’s Trajectory in 2012controls on the internet. The number of countries exhibiting gains forAmong other Eurasian countries, Kazakhstan, the past year, 16, lagged behind the numberTajikistan, and Ukraine were evaluated as less with declines, 28. The most noteworthy gainsfree than in the previous year, while Azerbaijan, were in Egypt, Libya, Burma, and CôteUzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Belarus d’Ivoire. While the Middle East experiencedremained some of the world’s most repressive some of the most significant improvements, itstates. This dismal record was partially offset by also registered major declines, with a list ofpeaceful, competitive elections in Armenia and worsening countries that includes Iraq, Jordan,Georgia. Yet even Georgia, which experienced Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, and the Unitedits first orderly transfer of power to the Arab Emirates. Declines were also noted in aopposition through democratic elections, number of countries in Eurasia and sub-Saharanfinished the year on a less than satisfying note Africa. 2
  4. 4. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEAn assessment of the Freedom in the World expression in online forums. The Unitedindicators over the past five years shows the Arab Emirates was downgraded due togreatest gains in the Asia-Pacific and MENA stepped-up arrests of activists, lawyers, andregions, and the most pronounced declines in judges calling for political reform; thesub-Saharan Africa. The Eurasia subregion passage of a highly restrictive internet lawregistered the lowest scores for political rights, that punishes online activism and freewhile MENA had the worst scores for civil expression; and the dismissal andliberties categories. The Hispanic America deportation of academics who were criticalsubregion also saw declines in most indicators, of government policies. For a second year,especially in the civil liberties categories. Bahrain systematically persecuted oppo- sition activists, handing out extremelyMajor developments and trends include: lengthy prison sentences in some instances. In addition to continuing its domestic Volatility in West Africa: This section of repression, Saudi Arabia has sent security Africa saw major declines in Mali, which forces to help quell protests in Bahrain and experienced both a military coup and the provided assistance to other governments takeover of its northern section by Islamist and parties in the region to counter the militants, and Guinea-Bissau, which has influence of democratic countries. increasingly come to resemble a military narcostate. At the same time, there were  Civil Liberties at Risk in Turkey: During important gains. Côte d’Ivoire, which was his early years in power, Prime Minister only recently riven by internal conflict, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pushed through moved from Not Free to Partly Free due to important reforms that enshrined civilian the peaceful inauguration of a new rule, enhanced fairness at the polls, and parliament and the adoption of laws on made halting steps toward greater minority transparency and corruption. Guinea showed rights. More recently, however, his steady improvements in freedom of belief, government has jailed hundreds of freedom of association, and the right to own journalists, academics, opposition party property or engage in private business. officials, and military officers in a series of Senegal moved from Partly Free to Free prosecutions aimed at alleged conspiracies owing to free and fair presidential and against the state and Kurdish organizations. parliamentary elections that resulted in a Turkey currently leads the world in the peaceful rotation of power, as well as number of journalists behind bars, and nascent efforts by the president to increase democracy advocates are expressing deep government accountability and transparency. concern for the state of press freedom and Sierra Leone moved from Partly Free to the rule of law. Free as a result of a free, fair, and peaceful presidential election in November.  Muslim-on-Muslim Violence: The persecu- tion and killing of Muslims by other Mus- Gulf States Retreat: The past several years, lims on supposed religious grounds reached and the past year in particular, have featured horrifying levels in Pakistan, and remained a a steady decline in democratic institutions serious problem in Iraq and elsewhere. Sufis and in some cases an increase in repressive and Shiites were the most frequent victims, policies among the Persian Gulf states. but members of other sects, local medical Kuwait’s political rights rating declined due workers, advocates for women and girls, and to a parliamentary crisis and the gov- human rights defenders were also targeted. ernment’s attempts to undermine the The growing presence in the Syrian political opposition by revising the electoral opposition of fighters from radical Sunni law. Oman lost ground due to the ongoing groups may pose a serious obstacle to the arrests of human rights and reform activists, creation of a democratic and pluralistic and the increased suppression of free society after the end of the current conflict. 3
  5. 5. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEResults for 2012 East’s perennial antidemocratic currents, Tunisia retained the gains of the previous year, whichThe number of countries designated by Freedom had transformed the country from a showcasein the World as Free in 2012 stood at 90, for Arab autocracy into an electoral democracyrepresenting 46 percent of the world’s 195 whose leaders have pledged themselves topolities and 3,046,158,000 people—43 percent moderation, civil liberties, and the rule of law.of the global population. The number of Free There were, of course, challenges to the newcountries increased by three from the previous order. The constitutional drafting process wasyear’s survey. delayed amid disagreement, a faltering economy and high unemployment threatened toThe number of countries qualifying as Partly undermine popular support for electedFree stood at 58, or 30 percent of all countries government, and Salafi Muslim forcesassessed by the survey, and they were home to demanded adherence to their beliefs, sometimes1,613,858,500 people, or 23 percent of the using violence to punish perceived’s total. The number of Partly Free Nevertheless, the advances of the previous yearcountries declined by two from the previous by and large held firm.year.A total of 47 countries were deemed Not Free,representing 24 percent of the world’s polities.The number of people living under Not Free FREE, PARTLY FREE,conditions stood at 2,376,822,100, or 34 percent NOT FREEof the global population, though it is importantto note that more than half of this number lives Freedom in the World applies one of threein just one country: China. The number of Not broad category designations to each of theFree countries declined by one from 2011. countries and territories included in the index: Free, Partly Free, and Not Free.The number of electoral democracies stood at117, the same as for 2011. Two countries, A Free country is one where there is openGeorgia and Libya, achieved electoral political competition, a climate of respectdemocracy status, while two were dropped from for civil liberties, significant independentthe category, Mali and the Maldives. civic life, and independent media.Four countries moved from Partly Free to Free: A Partly Free country is one in whichLesotho, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Tonga. there is limited respect for political rightsThree countries rose from Not Free to Partly and civil liberties. Partly Free statesFree: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and Libya. Mali fell frequently suffer from an environment oftwo tiers, from Free to Not Free, and Guinea- corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic andBissau dropped from Partly Free to Not Free. religious strife, and a political landscape in which a single party enjoys dominanceANALYSIS OF REGIONAL TRENDS despite a certain degree of pluralism.Middle East and North Africa: Democratic A Not Free country is one where basicGains amid Intensified Repression political rights are absent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematicallyIn a region notable for sectarian polarization, denied.civil strife, and repressive autocracies, freedomscored some grudging but nonetheless For more on how these designations areimpressive gains in 2012. Indeed, despite determined, see the Methodology sectionpredictions that the initial accomplishments of on page 32.the Arab Spring would fall victim to the Middle 4
  6. 6. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEAnother relative success story in the MENA and drew in fighters affiliated with Al-Qaedaregion is Libya. Having ranked among the and other terrorist’s worst tyrannies for decades, the countryscored major gains in 2012, especially in the Sectarian conflict also plagued Lebanon and Iraqpolitical rights categories, and is now ranked as during the year. Lebanon faced a deterioration inPartly Free. Libya continues to suffer from a the security environment and increasing attackslack of clear government control over many and restrictions on journalists, activists, andparts of its territory, a problem that is refugees as different groups took sides in thecompounded by the actions of autonomous local Syrian conflict. Iraq’s political rights ratingmilitias and radical Islamists. But in defiance of declined due to the concentration of power in theforecasts of chaos and failure, the country held hands of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki andsuccessful elections for a General National growing pressure on the opposition, asCongress that included candidates from a range exemplified by the arrest and death sentence inof regional and political backgrounds, while free absentia of Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, theexpression and civic activity continued to grow. country’s most senior Sunni Arab politician. Separately, Jordan registered a decline inEgypt also moved from Not Free to Partly Free, freedom of assembly due to the repression ofthough it experienced jarring setbacks at protests against a new electoral law and the lackdifferent points during the year. Thus while the of meaningful political reform.presidential election was regarded as having metmost international standards, it took place after a Iran’s government stepped up its repression ofnumber of leading contenders had been journalists and bloggers, civil society activists,disqualified. In November, President Morsi academics, and minorities in 2012, includingproclaimed his right to rule without judicial through extrajudicial detentions. The number ofoversight as part of a bid to push through a new executions continued to be among the highest inconstitution, only to step back incrementally in the world, with the death penalty applied for athe face of street protests. Critics warned that the range of political and social offenses. Amongconstitution, which was ultimately approved in a the most egregious cases, four Iranian Arabflawed referendum process, included provisions prisoners accused of terrorist activity werethat could be interpreted to justify restrictions on executed in June following a closed-door trial,freedom of expression and other fundamental and critical blogger Sattar Beheshti died inrights. While the media featured criticism of police custody in November. Parliamentarygovernment policies that would have been elections held in March, which fell far short ofunthinkable during the Mubarak period, there international standards, further entrenchedwere efforts to prosecute journalists and supporters of supreme leader Ayatollah Alicommentators for insulting the president or other Khamenei and ushered in a new generation ofauthorities. Clearly, the future of the Middle hard-liners, all of whom were consideredEast will depend in significant ways on the opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.success of Egypt’s democratic experiment,which in turn rests at least in part on the ruling Israel remains the region’s only Free country. InIslamists’ commitment to democratic norms. In recent years, controversies have surroundedlight of the past year’s developments, the proposed laws that threatened freedom ofoutcome remains very much an open question. expression and the rights of civil society organizations. In most cases, however, theseSyria has suffered by far the worst repercussions measures have either been quashed by thefrom the Arab Spring. In 2011, the regime of government or parliament, or struck down by thePresident Bashar al-Assad responded to peaceful Supreme Court. Israeli politics have also beendemands for political change by waging war roiled by an escalating controversy over the roleagainst his own people. In 2012, amid inaction of ultra-Orthodox Jews and their positions onby the international community, the bloody issues such as military service and genderconflict developed starker sectarian overtones equality. 5
  7. 7. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCESub-Saharan Africa: Coups and ConflictOvershadow Electoral Successes WORST OF THE WORSTIn recent years, sub-Saharan Africa has rankedas the world’s most politically volatile region, Of the 47 countries designated as Not Free,with major democratic breakthroughs in some nine have been given the survey’s lowestcountries and coups, civil strife, and author- possible rating of 7 for both political rightsitarian crackdowns in others. Over the past five and civil liberties. These worst-ratedyears, scores for all seven topical categories countries represent a narrow range ofmeasured in Freedom in the World showed systems and cultures. One—North Korea—decline, with substantial downgrades for those is a one-party, Marxist-Leninist regime.that fall under the umbrella of civil liberties. Two—Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—areThis pattern continued in 2012. While the region Central Asian countries ruled by dictatorssaw several significant gains, especially in West with roots in the Soviet period. Sudan isAfrica, civil conflicts and the emergence in ruled by a leadership that has elements ofsome countries of violent Islamist groups pre- both radical Islamism and a traditionalvented an overall upgrade for political freedom. military junta. The remaining worst-rated states are Equatorial Guinea, a highlyThree countries moved from Partly Free to Free: corrupt regime with one of the worst humanLesotho, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. Lesotho’s rights records in Africa; Eritrea, anpolitical rights indicators improved because, increasingly repressive police state; Saudidespite preelection violence, it held free and fair Arabia, an absolute monarchy with severeparliamentary elections that resulted in a social controls; Syria, a dictatorship in thepeaceful rotation of power. Senegal, after midst of a bloody civil war; and Somalia, apolitical tension and uncertainty in 2011, also failed state. The two worst-rated territoriesexperienced a peaceful power transfer through in the survey are Tibet—under Chinesepresidential and parliamentary elections, and jurisdiction—and Western Sahara, which isbenefited from nascent efforts by the new controlled by Morocco.president to increase government accountabilityand transparency. Sierra Leone, 10 years after An additional 6 countries and territoriesthe end of a brutal civil war, successfully received scores that were slightly abovecompleted its own free and fair national those of the worst-ranked countries, withelections, during which reformed electoral ratings of 6,7 or 7,6 for political rights andinstitutions operated with transparency and civil liberties: Belarus, Chad, China, Cuba,demonstrated the ability to function without Laos, and South Ossetia.undue influence from the internationalcommunity.Côte d’Ivoire showed substantial improvement Unfortunately, these impressive advances werejust a year after a violent civil conflict, moving more than offset by a series of declines, severalfrom Not Free to Partly Free. Two other of which derived from civil conflict. Malicountries, Guinea and Malawi, also showed suffered one of the greatest single-year declinesgains. In Guinea there was evidence of steady in the history of Freedom in the World, droppingimprovements in religious freedom, the rights of precipitously from Free to Not Free. Nigeria,local and international NGOs, and the climate another country plagued by Islamist militants,for small businesses and private enterprise. suffered a less dramatic decline, as did theMalawi underwent a peaceful power transfer to Central African Republic, which at year’s endnew president Joyce Banda, which was followed risked being conquered by a rebel an easing of repression, including Guinea-Bissau’s status declined from Partly Freeimprovements in academic freedom and freedom to Not Free due to an April military coup, whichof assembly. entailed the removal of the interim president, the 6
  8. 8. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEsuspension of the national legislature, the halting restrictions on Russian human rights abusers,of the electoral process, and increased repression Putin signed a ban on the adoption of Russianof civil liberties. The Gambia’s civil liberties orphans by families in the United States.rating declined due to the absence of due processfor defendants, as exhibited by the execution of With Russia setting the tone, Eurasia (consistingnine prisoners who had no access to lawyers and of the countries of the former Soviet Unionwithout notification of their families. minus the Baltic states) now rivals the Middle East as one of the most repressive areas on theIn East and Southern Africa, notable declines globe. Indeed, Eurasia is in many respects thewere seen in Kenya, Uganda, and Madagascar. world’s least free subregion, given theKenya’s civil liberties rating dropped as a result entrenchment of autocrats in most of its 12of increased ethnic and religious tensions and countries.incidents of violence throughout the country inadvance of the 2013 elections. These problems The authoritarian temptation poses a threat evenwere driven in part by the heavy-handed in Eurasian countries with recent histories ofcounterterrorism efforts of the domestic security dynamic, if erratic, democratic governance.forces since Kenya’s incursion into neighboring Thus Ukraine suffered a decline for a secondSomalia in late 2010. Uganda continued its year due to the politically motivatedrecent downward trend, with increased imprisonment of opposition leaders, flawedharassment of the opposition and a campaign to legislative elections, and a new law favoring theobstruct and shut down NGOs that focus on Russian-speaking portion of the population. Insensitive issues such as gay rights, corruption, Central Asia, Tajikistan’s civil liberties ratingterm limits, and land rights. Madagascar declined due to a military operation in Gorno-registered a decline due to increasing repression Badakhshan, which resulted in scores of deaths,and both physical and economic insecurity extrajudicial killings, and a media crackdown.caused by ongoing political instability that Kazakhstan’s media environment deteriorated inbegan with a 2009 coup. South Africa suffered a the wake of a crackdown on labor unrest in latedecline in freedom of association stemming 2011, with authorities banning oppositionfrom deadly police confrontations with striking newspapers and blocking opposition websitesmine workers, and the advancement of the and social media.Protection of State Information Bill through theparliament raised concerns about media freedom There were some positive developments inand access to information. Eurasia. The most notable was in Georgia, which saw an improvement in its political rightsCentral and Eastern Europe/Eurasia: Return rating after the opposition Georgian Dream partyof the Iron Fist in Russia won competitive parliamentary elections. The vote led to an orderly and democratic transfer ofThe return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian power, the first in the nation’s history, and thepresidency ushered in a new period of campaign featured more pluralistic mediaaccelerated repression. Since his inauguration in coverage. In the elections’ aftermath, however,May, Putin has moved in a calculated way to the new government detained some 30 officialsstifle independent political and civic activity, from its predecessor, prompting claims of apushing through a series of laws meant to political witch hunt. Armenia’s political rightsrestrict public protest, limit the work of NGOs, rating rose due to peaceful parliamentaryand inhibit free expression on the internet. The elections in May, which rebalanced the declineregime also forced the U.S. Agency for stemming from the violent aftermath of the 2008International Development (USAID) to end its presidential in Russia, and has severely hampered theability of foreign broadcasters to reach the Two of the region’s breakaway territories alsoRussian audience. At year’s end, in retaliation made gains. Abkhazia’s political rights ratingfor a U.S. law imposing visa and asset improved due to the competiveness of 7
  9. 9. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE highly vulnerable to economic difficulties, the corrupt merging of business and political LARGEST NET CHANGES IN TOTAL interests, and government intolerance of checks AGGREGATE SCORE, 2008–2012 and balances. Romania, for instance, was rocked by the prime minister’s politicized but ultimately Declines Improvements unsuccessful attempt to impeach the president. However, the only significant change was a gain Mali 46 Libya 35 in political rights for Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the long-delayed formation of a central Madagascar 23 Tunisia 35 government and the gradual reduction of The Gambia 20 Burma 21 international supervision. Guinea-Bissau 20 Tonga 18 Asia-Pacific: With Guarded Gains, Burma Leaves China Behind Bahrain 18 Egypt 13 For years ranked among the world’s most Ukraine 16 Zimbabwe 13 repressive regimes, Burma continued to push Ethiopia 15 Guinea 11 ahead with a process of democratic reform that was launched in 2010. While it remains a Not Eritrea 10 Moldova 10 Free country, it registered improvements in both its political rights and civil liberties ratings. Of Rwanda 10 Côte d’Ivoire 9 particular importance in 2012 was the successful Yemen 10 Georgia 9 participation of the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, in Burundi 9 Thailand 9 parliamentary by-elections. The party was allowed to campaign with considerable freedom, Ecuador 9 Tanzania 8 and won nearly all of the seats at stake. Honduras 9 Montenegro 6 Nevertheless, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party retains an overwhelming Sri Lanka 9 Sierra Leone 6 majority in the legislature, and the military’s outsized power is still entrenched in the constitution and in practice. Freedoms of This table shows the countries with the expression and association have improved largest net gains or losses in total aggregate markedly in the last two years, but they depend score (0–100) between Freedom in the more on current government policy than on deep World 2009 and Freedom in the World institutional changes, and the authorities 2013. continue to employ repressive crowd-control measures at demonstrations, violate workers’ See page 14 for these countries’ current rights, restrict the operations of NGOs, tolerate status and ratings. land grabbing, and hinder judicial independence.parliamentary elections held in March, which Moreover, Burma is still plagued by conflictsallowed a shift toward independent candidates between the military and ethnic minorityand away from either government or traditional guerrilla forces. And in 2012, communalopposition parties. Nagorno-Karabakh’s status violence flared between the Rohingya minority,improved from Not Free to Partly Free due to a which is largely Muslim, and the majoritycompetitive presidential vote in July. Buddhist population of Rakhine State.For Central and Eastern Europe, the year For all its lingering problems, Burma has nowbrought few major political changes. Still, a surpassed China on both political rights and civilnumber of countries in the subregion remained liberties. Facing a sensitive leadership transition 8
  10. 10. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEin November, an increasingly vocal citizenry, and an attempt to impeach the chief justice ofand political scandals that revealed high-level the Supreme Court.infighting and corruption, China’s CommunistParty rulers renewed their commitment in 2012 Among the region’s notable improvements,to censorship, suppression of minorities, and Mongolia conducted parliamentary elections thatgrassroots surveillance. Legal amendments were deemed more competitive and fair than inreinforced the ability of security forces to the past. Bhutan’s political rights scoresarbitrarily detain activists, Tibetan regions were similarly rose due to the improved conduct ofsubjected to repeated communications blackouts, by-elections. Civil liberties advanced in Indianand almost daily censorship directives sought to Kashmir after detention laws were relaxed. Andrestrict Chinese citizens’ ability to circulate Tonga’s status was upgraded from Partly Free toinformation on corruption, police brutality, and Free due to expanded media freedom and thethreats to public health. In the run-up to the 18th increased ability of NGOs to form and functionParty Congress, dozens of dissidents, activists, without interference by ruling elites.and religious believers were harassed, detained,or given long prison terms, and Beijing residents Americas: Looking Toward a Post-Chávezendured onerous restrictions on movement and Eraexpression. While some of these measures easedafter the congress, it remains to be seen whether As the year ended, Venezuelan strongman Hugothe new leadership will take meaningful steps to Chávez was in a Cuban hospital attempting todismantle the world’s most complex and recover from surgery for an undisclosed form ofsophisticated apparatus for political control. cancer. The apparent gravity of his condition ledIndeed, despite prominent rhetoric about him to name his vice president, Nicolás Maduro,fighting corruption, the last weeks of the year as his successor should he be unable to serve thewere marked by official speeches, state media new presidential term he won in October.pronouncements, and practical measuresdesigned to justify or implement increased For over a decade, Chávez has been a significantcontrol over online communications. figure in regional politics and has aspired, with less success, to a leading role on the globalThe bright spot in China was the determination stage. He spent his country’s oil revenuesof not only high-profile dissidents but also large lavishly at home and abroad, seeking tonumbers of ordinary citizens to assert their rights propagate a form of “21st-century socialism.”and challenge injustice. Public protests, online Other left-populist governments emerged incampaigns, and underground networks of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, but mostactivists scored many small victories during the countries in the region opted for socialyear, ranging from the firing of corrupt officials democratic models that included adherence toand the abandonment of unpopular industrial democratic norms, broad civil liberties, andprojects to the daring escape of blind activist market-based economies.Chen Guangcheng from extralegal house arrest. Chávez’s reelection in 2012 typified the state ofThe most serious declines in the Asia-Pacific politics during his 12 years in power. On oneregion for 2012 took place in the Maldives and hand, the opposition candidate, HenriqueSri Lanka. The Maldives suffered a decline in its Capriles Radonski, was able to hold rallies andpolitical rights rating due to the forcible removal engage in traditional forms of campaigning. Onof democratically elected president Mohamed the other hand, Chávez benefited from massiveNasheed, the violence perpetrated against him use of state resources that enabled him toand his party, the suspension of the parliament’s dominate media time by a margin of 25-to-1,summer session, and the role the military played distribute household goods to constituents, andin facilitating these events. Sri Lanka’s scores convince many voters that the state could punishdeteriorated because of increasing corruption them for casting a ballot for the opposition. In 9
  11. 11. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEother words, the electoral playing field was 2012. Likewise, the National Front party ofbadly skewed in Chávez’s direction. Marine Le Pen failed to increase its share of the vote in France’s presidential election, which wasThree other countries in the region suffered won by the Socialist candidate, Françoisnotable declines in their democratic per- Hollande.formance. Ecuador lost ground due towidespread irregularities in the constitutionally In general, the countries of the European Unionmandated registration process for political have so far weathered the most serious economicorganizations, and a change to the seat- downturn of the postwar period without aallocation formula for the national legislature serious weakening of their traditionally highthat favors the ruling party. Paraguay level of respect for democratic standards andexperienced a setback due to the impeachment civil liberties. The past year was marked byof President Fernando Lugo in a hurried process demonstrations against austerity measures, butthat deprived Paraguayans of any serious most were peaceful, and the authorities by andopportunity for debate. And Suriname declined large avoided heavy-handed responses. Greecebecause of a legal amendment that granted was an exception; yet again, anarchist elementsimmunity to President Desiré Bouterse and 24 set fires and attacked police, and the authoritiesother suspects on trial for the 1982 murder of 15 in turn used batons and tear gas to restore order.political opponents. As a result, the trial wasadjourned in May and had yet to reconvene by While Europeans have shown a reluctance toyear’s end. elevate anti-immigrant parties to national leadership roles, most have evaded theWestern Europe and North America: Bearing responsibility to implement rational and humanethe Strains of Economic Weakness policies to integrate newcomers from foreign cultures into their societies. Hostility to migrantsWith the rise of the Golden Dawn party, Greece is reflected in actions by parties of both right andhas become the latest country in Western Europe left. While Hollande had criticized thento face a surge in nationalist sentiment in president Nicolas Sarkozy for his abruptresponse to an influx of immigrants and the expulsion of foreign Roma from France, his ownimpact of the financial crisis. The Greek party Socialist government took similar measures oncestands out in the region for its propensity to in power. These problems are likely to worsen instreet violence and its disturbingly high level of coming years given dislocations abroad andsupport, including among police, who have economic woes at home, the continuedfailed to provide adequate protection to ambivalence of European societies toward ethnicimmigrants and those advocating for their rights. minorities, and the unwillingness of EuropeanBut there is evidence that the popularity of political leaders to advance policies that mightnationalist political movements may have meet the challenge.reached its peak in much of Europe. Thus theParty for Freedom, the anti-immigrant group led Great Britain continued to grapple with theby Geert Wilders, fared rather poorly in fallout from the “phone-hacking” scandal, inparliamentary elections in the Netherlands in which journalists stand accused of colluding REGIONAL PATTERNS Free Partly Free Not Free Americas 24 (69%) 10 (28%) 1 (3%) Asia-Pacific 17 (43%) 14 (36%) 8 (21%) Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia 13 (45%) 9 (31%) 7 (24%) Middle East and North Africa 1 (6%) 6 (33%) 11 (61%) Sub-Saharan Africa 11 (22%) 18 (37%) 20 (41%) Western Europe 24 (96%) 1 (4%) 0 (0%) 10
  12. 12. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEwith police and others to abuse privacy rights in his position to do so. And referendum voters inpursuit of sensationalistic stories. The case has three more states approved equal marriage rightsled to the arrest of a number of high-ranking for gay men and lesbians in November.editors from the newspaper empire owned by Nevertheless, most states continue to ban suchRupert Murdoch, and a commission of inquiry rights, including a number that have enshrined ahas recommended the creation of a new, limited definition of marriage in theirindependent body to deal with allegations of constitutions. The Supreme Court is scheduledpress abuse. The plan, which would replace the to issue important rulings on gay marriage in thecurrent system of self-regulation, is sharply coming months.opposed by the press and media freedomorganizations. CONCLUSIONIn the United States, President Barack Obamawon a second term in elections that also saw Bringing Light to the Dark Corners of thegains for his Democratic Party in both houses of WorldCongress. While the Republican Party stillcontrols the lower chamber, its majority has Among the findings of this report, none is moreshrunk, enhancing the prospects for Obama to surprising than the fact that Libya registered byovercome the legislative gridlock of recent far the most impressive gains in its level ofyears. The president won despite a disappointing freedom for 2012. Each spring, Freedom Houseeconomy, persistent unemployment, and a publishes a supplemental report that shines amassive budget deficit. His calls for higher taxes spotlight on the world’s most repressiveon the rich and the protection of social regimes—the worst of the worst. And until theprograms, among other policies, garnered strong uprising in 2011, Libya was a perennial membersupport from the country’s growing ethnic of that appalling group. Now, after months ofminority populations, while his opponent, civil war and over a year of tenuous nationformer Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, building, Libya has an elected government,drew mostly white male voters with his program comparatively wide-ranging freedoms, and aof tax and spending cuts. Romney was notably leadership that seems committed to accountablethe first Mormon to win a major party’s rule and openness. Other postrevolutionarypresidential nomination. The election was by far governments have begun well and ended poorly,the most expensive in American history, with and the Libyan experience with freedom couldboth sides spending billions of dollars raised go awry. Clearly there are forces, both in Libyalargely through special committees designed to and in its neighborhood, that are hoping forcircumvent political contribution limits for failure. But for the time being, the countrycandidates and political parties. qualifies as a success story that deserves the support of freedom’s advocates everywhere.While the Obama administration has institutedchanges in the country’s antiterrorism effort, a Overwhelming credit for Libya’s achievementsnumber of controversial policies are still in must go to those who risked and in many casesplace. The president has been criticized by civil lost their lives by rebelling against the brutallibertarians for the United States’ expansive use rule of Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi. That theof unmanned aircraft to kill suspected terrorists democratic world, including the United States,and allied militants—including U.S. citizens—in played a critical role in the country’s liberationPakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Neverthe- should also be recognized. Notwithstandingless, Obama’s approach to the war on terrorism Libya’s ongoing problems and events like thegenerally enjoys bipartisan support from the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in BenghaziAmerican people and members of Congress. in September, the overall outcome ranks among Obama’s most notable foreign policyThe president endorsed the concept of same-sex accomplishments. Yet the United States seemsmarriage during the year, becoming the first in uncomfortable with acknowledging its 11
  13. 13. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEcontribution to this important step forward for them to suddenly change course and disavow ademocratic values and the transformation of lifetime of commitment to one-party rule. Thesepolitics in the Middle East. countries—Russia and China—have consistently worked together to block international actionSuch apparent ambivalence about vigorously that could, for example, help free the Syriansupporting democratic change bodes ill for the people. But even where such authoritarianregion, which, as this report makes clear, powers do not throw up obstacles, theremains very much in transition and turmoil. international community seems unable orThe old order of ossified dictatorships is giving unwilling to intervene in support of democracy.way to something else, hopefully to While there is general consensus that angovernments based on humane principles and international, principally African, coalition isfree institutions. But there are many other needed in Mali, the political will to plan andoptions available. Although the future of the carry out such a mission has been seriouslyMiddle East will be determined by the people wanting.who live there, the United States and otherestablished democracies have some part to play, There is thus a critical need for leadership fromas they had in major openings elsewhere in the the United States and other democracies. In theworld. United States, the reluctance to provide that leadership represents a rare case of bipartisanFor example, the subregion consisting of Central agreement. President Obama has made clear hisEurope, the Baltics, and the Balkans now enjoys desire to focus on domestic concerns; the Teaa level of political rights and civil liberties Party wing of the Republican Party has fixatedsecond only to that of Western Europe. These on across-the-board reductions in spending,countries endured decades of communist including on foreign assistance; libertarians, alsodomination, often preceded by some other a growing influence in the GOP, are hostile tovariant of authoritarianism. Their free status the very idea of American global leadership; andtoday owes a great deal to the European Union’s even the party’s leaders now seem ambivalentembrace of democratic standards, and its about America’s role in the world. In Europe,imposition of those standards as a requirement the leading states are weighed down by thefor good relations and eventual accession. financial crisis. Meanwhile, rising democratic powers like Brazil, South Africa, and India haveTo be sure, Egypt is no Poland, and there is no shown a profound aversion to condemningregional equivalent of the EU to provide aid and governments in other developing countries,encouragement to changing Arab societies. But including those that routinely commit atrocitiesin its time, the democratization of the against their own people.postcommunist world was understood to becritical to a peaceful and cooperative global The retreat of the leading democracies is takingenvironment, and the same can certainly be said place, ironically, at a time of unprecedentedof the Middle East today. popular resistance to oppression around the world. The dissidents who labored for humanMoreover, the Middle East is not the only part of rights during the Cold War—isolated and oftenthe world where freedom is in the balance. In anonymous—have been replaced by movementsRussia, Putin has launched a new round of that command the support of sizablerepression and heaped contempt on the values of constituencies. Some are focused on singleopen societies. He sets a disturbing example for issues; others seek broad democratic reform.other Eurasian autocrats, and provides Most are pragmatic and skilled in maneuveringdiplomatic backing for dictators confronted by in repressive settings.calls for reform. In China, the new leadershipincludes figures who have been instrumental in The data from this report tell us that civil societybuilding the world’s most sophisticated system is under duress in the countries where it could doof political control, and no one should expect the most good. Though disturbing, this is in fact 12
  14. 14. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCEa tribute to the potency of civic movements. world’s dark corners. And it would send aMany autocrats over the last few decades have critical message to the agents of repression that,offered a tacit social contract whereby they no matter what our various domestic woes maypreserve political monopolies but abandon be, the spread of freedom is still very much ontotalitarian control of society and promise the global agenda.economic development. As a result, theseleaders often have little to fear from theirbattered formal opposition parties, but are hardpressed to staunch the energy and independenceof citizen activists.If the United States and other democracies areseeking strategies to foster reform in the world’sdespotisms, one place to start would be acommitment to bolster and protect thinkers andactivists who are the likely agents for change intheir societies. Among other things, this projectwould require the development of methods toprovide assistance in settings where theleadership has sought to snuff out foreign aid, asPutin has done in Russia.Furthermore, our leaders, including thepresident, should confer with leading regimecritics and activists, and speak out on behalf ofthose who are the targets of persecution.But by far the most important point is for ourleaders, and President Obama in particular, todeclare their determination to support peoplewho aspire to democracy anywhere in the world.The administration has built an uneven record onsupport for freedom to date. There have beensome positive initiatives, but there have alsobeen occasions when the United States stood bywhile those who put their lives on the line forpolitical change were crushed, as with Iran in2009. More recently, the administration utterlyfailed to offer a credible response when theUSAID mission in Russia was abruptlyshuttered by the Putin regime, a step that willfurther weaken a civil society sector that isalready under serious state pressure.A program of support for civic movementswould be just one aspect of a trulycomprehensive effort by the major democraciesto reassert global leadership. But even by itself,support for civil society would have the practical This report was prepared with the assistance ofbenefit of directing attention to those who are Jennifer Dunham, Bret Nelson, Aili Piano, andcommitted to making freedom a reality in the Tyler Roylance. 13
  15. 15. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Independent Countries Country Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowAfghanistan Not Free 6 6Albania* Partly Free 3 3Algeria Not Free 6 5Andorra* Free 1 1Angola Not Free 6 5Antigua and Barbuda* Free 2▲ 2Argentina* Free 2 2Armenia Partly Free 5▲ 4Australia* Free 1 1Austria* Free 1 1Azerbaijan Not Free 6 5Bahamas* Free 1 1Bahrain Not Free 6 6Bangladesh* Partly Free 3 4Barbados* Free 1 1Belarus Not Free 7 6Belgium* Free 1 1Belize* Free 1 2Benin* Free 2 2Bhutan Partly Free 4 5 Bolivia* Partly Free 3 3Bosnia and Herzegovina* Partly Free 3▲ 3Botswana* Free 3 2Brazil* Free 2 2Brunei Not Free 6 5Bulgaria* Free 2 2Burkina Faso Partly Free 5 3Burma Not Free 6▲ 5▲Burundi Partly Free 5 5Cambodia Not Free 6 5Cameroon Not Free 6 6Canada* Free 1 1Cape Verde* Free 1 1Central African Republic Partly Free 5 5 Chad Not Free 7 6Chile* Free 1 1China Not Free 7 6Colombia* Partly Free 3 4Comoros* Partly Free 3 4Congo (Brazzaville) Not Free 6 5 14
  16. 16. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Country Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowCongo (Kinshasa) Not Free 6 6Costa Rica* Free 1 1Côte d’Ivoire Partly Free ▲ 5▲ 5▲Croatia* Free 1 2Cuba Not Free 7 6Cyprus* Free 1 1Czech Republic* Free 1 1Denmark* Free 1 1Djibouti Not Free 6 5Dominica* Free 1 1Dominican Republic* Free 2 2East Timor* Partly Free 3 4Ecuador* Partly Free 3 3 Egypt Partly Free ▲ 5▲ 5El Salvador* Free 2 3Equatorial Guinea Not Free 7 7Eritrea Not Free 7 7Estonia* Free 1 1Ethiopia Not Free 6 6Fiji Partly Free 6 4Finland* Free 1 1France* Free 1 1Gabon Not Free 6 5The Gambia Not Free 6 6▼Georgia* Partly Free 3▲ 3Germany* Free 1 1Ghana* Free 1 2Greece* Free 2 2 Grenada* Free 1 2Guatemala* Partly Free 3 4Guinea Partly Free 5 5 Guinea-Bissau Not Free ▼ 6▼ 5▼Guyana* Free 2 3Haiti Partly Free 4 5Honduras Partly Free 4 4Hungary* Free 1 2Iceland* Free 1 1India* Free 2 3Indonesia* Free 2 3Iran Not Free 6 6Iraq Not Free 6▼ 6Ireland* Free 1 1 15
  17. 17. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Country Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowIsrael* Free 1 2Italy* Free 2▼ 1Jamaica* Free 2 3Japan* Free 1 2Jordan Not Free 6 5 Kazakhstan Not Free 6 5 Kenya Partly Free 4 4▼Kiribati* Free 1 1Kosovo Partly Free 5 4Kuwait Partly Free 5▼ 5Kyrgyzstan Partly Free 5 5Laos Not Free 7 6Latvia* Free 2 2Lebanon Partly Free 5 4 Lesotho* Free ▲ 2▲ 3Liberia* Partly Free 3 4Libya* Partly Free ▲ 4▲ 5▲Liechtenstein* Free 1 1Lithuania* Free 1 1Luxembourg* Free 1 1Macedonia* Partly Free 3 3Madagascar Partly Free 6 4 Malawi* Partly Free 3 4 Malaysia Partly Free 4 4Maldives Partly Free 5▼ 4Mali Not Free ▼ 7▼ 5▼Malta* Free 1 1Marshall Islands* Free 1 1Mauritania Not Free 6 5Mauritius* Free 1 2Mexico* Partly Free 3 3Micronesia* Free 1 1Moldova* Partly Free 3 3Monaco* Free 2 1Mongolia* Free 1▲ 2Montenegro* Free 3 2Morocco Partly Free 5 4Mozambique Partly Free 4 3Namibia* Free 2 2Nauru* Free 1 1Nepal Partly Free 4 4Netherlands* Free 1 1New Zealand* Free 1 1 16
  18. 18. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Country Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowNicaragua Partly Free 5 4Niger* Partly Free 3 4Nigeria Partly Free 4 4 North Korea Not Free 7 7Norway* Free 1 1Oman Not Free 6 5 Pakistan Partly Free 4 5Palau* Free 1 1Panama* Free 1 2Papua New Guinea* Partly Free 4 3Paraguay* Partly Free 3 3 Peru* Free 2 3Philippines* Partly Free 3 3Poland* Free 1 1Portugal* Free 1 1Qatar Not Free 6 5Romania* Free 2 2Russia Not Free 6 5 Rwanda Not Free 6 6▼Saint Kitts and Nevis* Free 1 1Saint Lucia* Free 1 1Saint Vincent and Grenadines* Free 1 1Samoa* Free 2 2San Marino* Free 1 1São Tomé and Príncipe* Free 2 2Saudi Arabia Not Free 7 7Senegal* Free ▲ 2▲ 3Serbia* Free 2 2Seychelles* Partly Free 3 3Sierra Leone* Free ▲ 2▲ 3Singapore Partly Free 4 4Slovakia* Free 1 1Slovenia* Free 1 1Solomon Islands Partly Free 4 3Somalia Not Free 7 7South Africa* Free 2 2South Korea* Free 1 2South Sudan Not Free 6 5Spain* Free 1 1Sri Lanka Partly Free 5 4 Sudan Not Free 7 7Suriname* Free 2 2  17
  19. 19. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Country Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowSwaziland Not Free 7 5Sweden* Free 1 1Switzerland* Free 1 1Syria Not Free 7 7 Taiwan* Free 1 2Tajikistan Not Free 6 6▼Tanzania* Partly Free 3 3Thailand* Partly Free 4 4Togo Partly Free 5 4Tonga* Free ▲ 3 2▲Trinidad and Tobago* Free 2 2Tunisia* Partly Free 3 4Turkey* Partly Free 3 4▼Turkmenistan Not Free 7 7Tuvalu* Free 1 1Uganda Partly Free 5 4 Ukraine* Partly Free 4 3 United Arab Emirates Not Free 6 6 United Kingdom* Free 1 1United States* Free 1 1Uruguay* Free 1 1Uzbekistan Not Free 7 7Vanuatu* Free 2 2Venezuela Partly Free 5 5Vietnam Not Free 7 5Yemen Not Free 6 6Zambia* Partly Free 3 4Zimbabwe Not Free 6 6* indicates a country’s status as an electoral democracy. 18
  20. 20. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Related Territories Territory Freedom Status PR CL Trend Arrow Hong Kong Partly Free 5 2 Puerto Rico Free 1 2 Disputed Territories Territory Freedom Status PR CL Trend ArrowAbkhazia Partly Free 4▲ 5Gaza Strip Not Free 6 6Indian Kashmir Partly Free 4 4 Nagorno-Karabakh Partly Free ▲ 5▲ 5Northern Cyprus Free 2 2Pakistani Kashmir Not Free 6 5Somaliland Partly Free 4 5South Ossetia Not Free 7 6Tibet Not Free 7 7Transnistria Not Free 6 6West Bank Not Free 6 5Western Sahara Not Free 7 7PR and CL stand for political rights and civil liberties, respectively; 1 represents the most freeand 7 the least free rating.▲ ▼ up or down indicates an improvement or decline in ratings or status since the last survey.  up or down indicates a trend of positive or negative changes that took place but were notsufficient to result in a change in political rights or civil liberties ratings.* indicates a country’s status as an electoral democracy.NOTE: The ratings reflect global events from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. 19
  21. 21. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRACTIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Status Changes Improvements Côte d’Ivoire’s political rights rating improved from 6 to 5, its civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5, and its status improved from Not Free to Partly Free due to the peaceful inauguration of a new parliament; the adoption of several important laws onCôte d’Ivoire transparency and corruption; the reopening of opposition newspapers, public universities, and courts; renewed if halting attempts to curb abuses by the military; and a general improvement in the security situation. Egypt’s political rights rating improved from 6 to 5, and its status improved from NotEgypt Free to Partly Free, due to a flawed but competitive presidential election that led to the removal from power of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Lesotho’s political rights rating improved from 3 to 2, and its status improved fromLesotho Partly Free to Free, due to free and fair parliamentary elections and a peaceful rotation of power. Libya’s political rights rating improved from 7 to 4, its civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5, and its status improved from Not Free to Partly Free due to successful elections for the General National Congress that included candidates from a range ofLibya political and regional backgrounds, increased transparency in drafting a constitution, and the proliferation and sustained activism of media outlets and civil society organizations. Nagorno-Karabakh’s political rights rating improved from 6 to 5, and its statusNagorno- improved from Not Free to Partly Free, due to the participation of a genuine oppositionKarabakh in the July presidential election. Senegal’s political rights rating improved from 3 to 2, and its status improved from Partly Free to Free, due to free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections thatSenegal resulted in a peaceful rotation of power, as well as nascent efforts by the new president to increase government accountability and transparency. Sierra Leone’s political rights rating improved from 3 to 2, and its status improved from Partly Free to Free, due to free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections duringSierra Leone which reformed electoral institutions operated with transparency and demonstrated the ability to function without undue influence from the international community. Tonga’s civil liberties rating improved from 3 to 2, and it status improved from PartlyTonga Free to Free, due to an improved media environment and civil society groups’ increased ability to form and operate without interference from the ruling elites. Declines Guinea-Bissau’s political rights rating declined from 4 to 6, its civil liberties rating declined from 4 to 5, and its status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to an AprilGuinea-Bissau military coup that led to the removal of the interim president, the suspension of the national legislature, the halting of the electoral process, and increased repression of civil liberties, including harassment and arrests of regime opponents. Mali’s political rights rating declined from 2 to 7, its civil liberties rating declined from 3 to 5, and its status declined from Free to Not Free due to a military coup that deposedMali the democratically elected president; the ensuing repression of the media, political actors, and freedom of movement in the south; and the occupation of the north by militants who harshly suppressed fundamental rights in areas under their control. 20
  22. 22. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRACTIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Ratings Changes Improvements Abkhazia’s political rights rating improved from 5 to 4 due to genuinely competitiveAbkhazia parliamentary elections that allowed a shift toward independent candidates and away from either government or opposition parties.Antigua and Antigua and Barbuda’s political rights rating improved from 3 to 2 due to a decline inBarbuda corrupt foreign business influence over the government. Armenia’s political rights rating improved due to the absence of postelection violenceArmenia following parliamentary balloting in May and the entry of an authentic opposition party into the legislature. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political rights rating improved from 4 to 3 due to theBosnia and formation of a central government and the declining role of international representativesHerzegovina in domestic affairs. Burma’s political rights rating improved from 7 to 6, and its civil liberties rating improved from 6 to 5, due to the successful participation of opposition parties inBurma legislative by-elections and the continued easing of long-standing restrictions on the media, private discussion, public assembly, civil society, private enterprise, and other activities. Georgia’s political rights rating improved from 4 to 3 due to the country’s first peacefulGeorgia handover of power to an opposition party after parliamentary elections that were judged free and fair by international observers and featured more pluralistic media coverage. Mongolia’s political rights rating improved from 2 to 1 due to significant progress in theMongolia conduct of parliamentary elections, which were regarded as free and fair. Declines The Gambia’s civil liberties rating declined from 5 to 6 due to the absence of due process for defendants, as exhibited by the execution of nine prisoners—two of whomThe Gambia were Senegalese nationals—without access to a lawyer or a fair trial and without notification of their families. Iraq’s political rights rating declined from 5 to 6 due to the concentration of power by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and increasing pressure on the political opposition, asIraq exemplified by the arrest and death sentence in absentia of Vice President Tariq al- Hashimi, the country’s most senior Sunni Arab politician. Italy’s political rights rating declined from 1 to 2 due to continued, widespread grandItaly and petty corruption, especially in the south. Kenya’s civil liberties rating declined from 3 to 4 due to increased ethnic and religious tensions and incidents of violence throughout the country in advance of 2013 elections,Kenya driven in part by the heavy-handed counterterrorism efforts of the police and security services. Kuwait’s political rights rating declined from 4 to 5 due to a parliamentary crisis and theKuwait government’s attempts to undermine the political opposition by revising the electoral law. The Maldives’ political rights rating declined from 3 to 5 due to the forcible removal of democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed, violence perpetrated against himMaldives and his party, the suspension of the parliament’s summer session, and the role of the military in facilitating these events. 21
  23. 23. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRACTIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Rwanda’s civil liberties rating declined from 5 to 6 due to numerous documented casesRwanda of unlawful detention, torture, and ill-treatment of civilians by military intelligence agents in secret locations. Tajikistan’s civil liberties rating declined from 5 to 6 due to a ban on students attendingTajikistan international seminars and a military operation in Gorno-Badakhshan that resulted in scores of deaths, extrajudicial killings, and a media crackdown. Turkey’s civil liberties rating declined from 3 to 4 due to the pretrial detention of thousands of individuals—including Kurdish activists, journalists, union leaders,Turkey students, and military officers—in campaigns that many believe to be politically motivated. Trend Arrows Up Bhutan received an upward trend arrow due to parliamentary by-elections that wereBhutan judged free and fair by international observers. Guinea received an upward trend arrow due to steady improvements in religious freedom, open and free private discussion, the activities of local and internationalGuinea nongovernmental organizations, and the climate for small businesses and private enterprise.Indian Indian Kashmir received an upward trend arrow due to the partial easing of draconianKashmir detention laws. Malawi received an upward trend arrow due to the peaceful and constitutional transferMalawi of power to new president Joyce Banda and improvements in civil liberties including academic freedom and freedom of assembly. DownCentral The Central African Republic received a downward trend arrow due to the takeover ofAfrican more than half of the country by rebel forces and curtailed freedoms of expression andRepublic assembly in rebel-held areas. Ecuador received a downward trend arrow due to widespread irregularities in theEcuador constitutionally mandated reregistration process for political organizations and a change to the parliamentary seat-allocation formula that favors the ruling party. Greece received a downward trend arrow due to a significant upsurge in right-wingGreece violence, led by the Golden Dawn party, against immigrant groups, their supporters, and the political left, as well as a lack of effective police protection from this violence. Jordan received a downward trend arrow due to the repression of widespread protestsJordan against a new electoral law and the lack of meaningful political reform. Kazakhstan received a downward trend arrow due to the banning of several mediaKazakhstan outlets following a violent crackdown on labor unrest. Lebanon received a downward trend arrow due to a deterioration in the securityLebanon environment and increasing attacks and restrictions on journalists, activists, and refugees. Madagascar received a downward trend arrow due to increasing repression and physical and economic insecurity—including intimidation of journalists, violence in the south,Madagascar and a rise in human trafficking—caused by ongoing political instability that began with a 2009 coup. 22
  24. 24. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRACTIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Nigeria received a downward trend arrow due to continued rampant corruption, the suppression of civil society during fuel-subsidy protests as well as restrictions on itsNigeria activity in the north, and limitations on freedom of movement as a result of violence associated with the militant group Boko Haram. Oman received a downward trend arrow due to arrests of human rights and politicalOman reform advocates and increased restrictions on free expression in online forums. Paraguay received a downward trend arrow due to the swift parliamentary ouster ofParaguay President Fernando Lugo without due process and a worsening press environment under the new administration. Russia received a downward trend arrow due to the imposition of harsh penalties onRussia protesters participating in unsanctioned rallies and new rules requiring civil society organizations with foreign funding to register as “foreign agents.” Sri Lanka received a downward trend arrow due to evidence of increasing corruptionSri Lanka and a politicized attempt to impeach the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Suriname received a downward trend arrow due to an amended amnesty law thatSuriname granted immunity to President Desiré Bouterse and 24 other suspects on trial for the 1982 murder of 15 political opponents. Syria received a downward trend arrow due to rising sectarian violence andSyria displacement, including targeted attacks on Sunni Muslim populations that oppose the regime. Uganda received a downward trend arrow due to increased restriction and harassment of the opposition and a systematic campaign to obstruct and shut down civic groups thatUganda engage the government on sensitive issues such as gay rights, corruption, term limits, and land rights. Ukraine received a downward trend arrow due to a decline in the quality of itsUkraine legislative elections, greater government pressure on the opposition, and a new language law that favored Russian speakers while neglecting smaller minorities. The United Arab Emirates received a downward trend arrow due to increased arrests of activists, lawyers, and judges calling for political reform; the passage of a highlyUnited Arab restrictive internet law that punishes online activism and free expression; and theEmirates dismissal and deportation of academics who were critical of the government or its policies. 23
  25. 25. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Global Data Country Breakdown by Status Not Free 47 countries Free (24%) 90 countries (46%) Partly Free 58 countries (30%) Population Breakdown by Status 2,376,822,100 3,046,158,000 in Not Free in Free countries countries (34%) (43%) 1,613,858,500 in Partly Free countries (23%) Global Trends in FreedomYear Under Free Countries Partly Free Countries Not Free Countries Review Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage 2012 90 46 58 30 47 24 2002 89 46 55 29 48 25 1992 75 40 73 39 38 21 1982 54 33 47 28 64 39 1972 44 29 38 25 69 46 24
  26. 26. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Regional Data Americas Free Partly Free Not FreePercentage of Countries 69% 28% 3%Percentage of Population 71% 28% 1% Asia-Pacific Free Partly Free Not Free Percentage of Countries 43% 36% 21% Percentage of Population 45% 15% 40% Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia Free Partly Free Not Free Percentage of Countries 45% 31% 24% Percentage of Population 28% 18% 54% 25
  27. 27. FREEDOM IN THE WORLD 2013: DEMOCRATIC BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE BALANCE Middle East and North Africa Free Partly Free Not FreePercentage of Countries 6% 33% 61%Percentage of Population 2% 35% 63% Sub-Saharan Africa Free Partly Free Not FreePercentage of Countries 22% 37% 41%Percentage of Population 13% 51% 36% Western Europe Free Partly FreePercentage of Countries 96% 4%Percentage of Population 85% 15% 26