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Freedom House: South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Russia ‘not free’

31 January 2017
Freedom in the World 2017

Human rights organisation Freedom House has published the latest edition of its Freedom in the World report, which measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world.

‘With populist and nationalist forces making significant gains in democratic states, 2016 marked the 11th consecutive year of decline in global freedom’, the authors of the report write.

Georgia continued to lead the region in terms of civil liberties and political rights, also scoring higher than Eastern Partnership countries Ukraine and Moldova, but still fell short of EU member states. It, along with Armenia and Turkey, and the disputed territories of Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh were all classified as ‘partly free’. Russia, Azerbaijan, and the disputed territory of South Ossetia scored lowest, and were all rated as ‘not free’.

Regional leader Georgia received an aggregate score of 64 points out of 100, where the higher the score, the better. On a scale of one to seven, where one is the best, Georgia scored three in both the ‘political rights’ and ‘civil liberties’ categories — the same result as during the past four years.

Armenia, received 45 points, which marks a small decline in comparison to the previous year. It received five points for political rights and four points for civil liberties, the same as during the past four years as well.

Abkhazia received 41 points — one point less than the year before. It received a score of four for political rights and five for civil liberties.

Turkey received 38 points, which marks the sharpest decline in the region, down from 53 points in 2016. It received a score of four for political rights and five for civil liberties.

Nagorno-Karabakh received 33 points — the same as last year. It received a score of five for political rights and five for civil liberties.

Russia received 20 points — two points less than last year. It received a score of seven for political rights, a decline compared to 2016, and six for civil liberties.

Azerbaijan received 14 points in the aggregate score. It received a score of seven for political rights — the lowest possible score — and six for civil liberties, the same as last year. This year marks Azerbaijan’s lowest score since the survey began.

South Ossetia received 11 points — the same as last year. It received a score of seven for political rights and six for civil liberties.

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