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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%.