The American non-governmental organization Freedom House has published a report “Freedom in the World 2019”. According to it, Belarus is still on the list of “not free” countries. In the ranking, where the highest level of country’s freedom is estimated at 100 points, Belarus scored 19. The worst Belarusian indicator of “not freedom” is in the area of respect for political rights.
According to Freedom House, Belarus turned out to be the state with the worst freedom index in Europe. The report of the international organization notes that in 2018 “new media laws were introduced in Belarus, which further restricted journalists, whose working conditions were harsh enough”.
In terms of the level of freedom, in the Freedom House study Belarus wa placeds between Viet Nam and Cameroon. In terms of lack of freedom, our country is only slightly ahead of Russia.
At the same time, in 2018 Russia ranked slightly better than Belarus, but was very close with 20 points.
However, in many post-Soviet countries, the rankings are even worse. Among them are Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan took the second place in the “Not Free” rating. Syria’s level of freedom is 0 points.
It is noteworthy that among the former USSR countries, only Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were called “free”. Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Armenia are in the list of “Partly Free” states.
The first three positions in the ranking are occupied by Finland, Norway and Sweden, which scored 100 points each.
“The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 cleared the way for the formation or restoration of liberal democratic institutions not only in Eastern Europe, but also in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Between 1988 and 2005, the percentage of countries ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World dropped by almost 14 points (from 37 to 23
percent), while the share of Free countries grew (from 36 to 46 percent). This surge of progress has now begun to roll back. Between 2005 and 2018, the share of Not Free countries rose to 26 percent, while the share of Free countries declined to 44 percent,” the report says.
Thus, experts note the democratic rollback in the world, which has been observed for the 13th consecutive year.