Amidst Global Decline in Freedom, Armenia Again Partly Free in Freedom House Report

On January 16, Freedom House released the findings from the latest edition of Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the survey’s findings, the year 2007 was marked by a notable setback for global freedom. The decline was most pronounced in South Asia, but also reached significant levels in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Despite great political tensions and increased pressure on Armenia in 2007, the country retained its status of a Partly Free country, whereas the neighbouring Azerbaijan and even the “coloured” Georgia saw disturbing declines.

I am still skeptical about the methodology and checklist questions used to compile this research, especially as none of the prominent media experts I know seem to have been approached by the Freedom House to provide answers and expert opinion, or at least to validate the findings. However, the scope of the survey is simply amazing, and despite reasonable doubts, more or less accurate. Overall 193 countries were considered in this report. Of this number, free countries constitute 47%, partly free countries – 31%, not free countries – 22%.

9 thoughts on “Amidst Global Decline in Freedom, Armenia Again Partly Free in Freedom House Report

  1. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 17.01.2008

    Well, it’s true that Georgia has declined in terms of civil liberties and democracy. However, that does not mean that Armenia is faring better. The scores are 5,4 for Armenia and 4,4 for Georgia. However, the trend in Georgia was down whereas in Armenia it was stable. Actually, Azerbaijan was stable too, but worse than both (6,5) and “Not Free.” Probably the methodology was pretty accurate.

  2. Reply

    […] Observer wrote an interesting post today on Amidst Global Decline in Freedom, Armenia Again Party Free in …Here’s a quick excerptOn January 16, Freedom House released the findings from the latest edition of Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the survey’s findings, the year 2007 was marked by a … […]

  3. Reply
    Observer - 17.01.2008

    The thing is – I saw Turkey gain, despite the fact, that Hrant Dink was murdered last year, his son was convicted under artile 301, etc.

  4. Reply
    Observer - 17.01.2008

    And I also don’t understand – who is answering those questions on behalf of Armenia? None of the experts I’ve asked at: Internews, YPC, CMI, Asparez, Helsinki Association seem to know anything. So who is their experts, anyway?

  5. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 17.01.2008

    Well, re. Turkey, there appears to be momentum towards change and remember, democracy, human rights and minority rights isn’t just about Hrant Dink. It’s about government, democratic elections, minority language, moves to change or remove 301 and so on.
    If it wasn’t then every country in the world would slip because ethnically-motivated crimes happen everywhere and in many places even in the West in far greater number than in Turkey today.
    Regarding Freedom House, however, good point about the need for transparency and naming authors although I believe RFE/RL’s Emil Danielyan used to do write for them in the past. Anyway, I can’t personally say that Armenia has gotten worse.
    Indeed, given that the election last year was given a clean bill of health by the international community it’s interesting to note that this didn’t result in an improvement in Armenia’s score. Still, you can still email them to see if they’ll be more open as they probably should be.

  6. Reply
    Vahagn - 17.01.2008

    Not sure what sources they use, but their assessment seems about right. In Armenia, things were not any different (no better, no worse) in 2007 than in 2006, while the decline in Georgia was rather obvious. Don’t know much about Azerbaijan or Turkey, so I won’t say anything about them.

  7. Reply
    H - 18.01.2008

    Lets bring freedom and smile.
    Watch the latest Serj Sargsyan show: http://www.levonforpresident.com/am/160/

  8. Reply
    R - 19.01.2008

    Dude,
    The title of the post says that Armenia is ‘Party Free’. Who knew they banned parties in Armenia.

  9. Reply
    Observer - 20.01.2008

    Thanx pointing out that to me. Silly spelling mistake! I’ll correct it.

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