Friday, January 21, 2005

Freedom House rankings

Kenya Hudson, over at the excellent Ambiguous Adventure blog, comments on the 2005 Freedom Assessments.

The rankings are issued by the non-governmental organization Freedom House, which calls itself a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world and says it has championed the rights of democratic activists, religious believers, trade unionists, journalists, and proponents of free markets.

It ranks countries' level of freedom based on political liberties and civil liberties. It has three statuses: free, partially free and not free.

There was remarkably little movement as compared to the 2004 survey. Liberia went from not free to partially, after the demise of the dictatorship of indicted war criminal Charles Taylor. Djibouti went in the other direction. All other countries' statuses remained unchanged.

The countries with the lowest numerical ranking were Libya, Somalia (it would be interesting if they'd measured the self-declared Republic of Somaliland) and Sudan. Those with the highest numerical ranking were Cape Verde and Mauritius.

Of the 52 countries in Africa, 11 were classed as free (22 as partially free). 6 of those free countries are in West Africa with 5 in southern Africa (including Namibia, despite its periodic bad press). An observant reader will notice that this means not a single country in East or North Africa was ranked as free.

Telling.

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