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Freedom declines worldwide as terrorism, authoritarianism rise

Freedom House said 61 countries became less free in 2014, while just 31 saw freedoms improve


 

NEW YORK – Global freedom has suffered a disturbing decline with 60 per cent of the world’s population, or 2.6 billion people, living in countries that are not completely free, according to a report released Wednesday.

Freedom House’s annual study which evaluated the state of freedom in 195 countries and 15 territories determined that 61 countries became less free in 2014, while just 31 saw freedoms improve.

The report said terrorism had a devastating impact in the Middle East and West Africa, with groups massacring both security forces and civilians, taking foreigners hostage and killing or enslaving religious minorities.

Syria, where a civil war is in its fourth year and the Islamic state terrorist group has extended its reach, was ranked among the world’s worst countries. But Tunisia was an exception in the region. After holding democratic elections under a new constitution, the North African country became the Arab world’s only country to gain the status of “Free.”

The report also cited Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Crimea, which was evaluated separately for the first time, received the “Not Free” status as Tartars and others who opposed Russia’s annexation were deprived of their rights. Russia itself was labeled “Not Free,” with the report criticizing President Vladimir Putin’s government for cracking down on dissent and vilifying gays.

The report also singled out the U.S. Senate report on the CIA’s torture of terrorism suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and the protests that erupted last year over the police killings of unarmed black men in New York and Missouri. The report noted “the repeated failure of prosecutors to secure indictments of the officers responsible.” However, the U.S. remained among the best-ranked countries for freedom.

In Latin America, Freedom House denounced Venezuela’s mass arrests of anti-government protesters and an increase in the number of political prisoners. It called the country a “textbook case of political and economic dysfunction,” where “toxic mixture of corruption, misrule and oil-price declines brought shortages, rampant inflation, and enhanced repression.”

Freedom House criticized Brazil and other Latin American democracies for responding to “Venezuela’s deterioration with silence.” Likewise, the report denounced Asian democracies like India and Indonesia for failing to encourage a return to civilian rule in Thailand.

Although it praised Western sanctions on Russia and the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, Freedom House said “leaders of democracies compete for China’s favour” and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “is treated as a strong ruler and a partner in the fight against terrorism” even though both countries have cracked down on political and civil rights.


 

Freedom declines worldwide as terrorism, authoritarianism rise

  1. And once again, the Israeli occupation of Arab Palestine is left unspoken despite it being THE most common reason Muslims terrorists give for why they took the action they did. Why is it so taboo for MSM to include the reason given by the actual terrorists for creating a problem our govt. says it takes seriously and wants to bring about it’s end? Could it be that it raises questions powerful forces do not want asked of them? If the sometimes-occupation, other times military-enforced economic blockade of Gaza is as immoral and unjust as has been declared of it numerous times by the UN, including that it is a violation of international law, breaches protocols and treaties banning or severely restricting the use of weaponized chemicals eg. on a civilian population, as well as for human-rights violations, war crimes, etc. etc. etc.? Because that leads directly to the one question neither an Israeli or US leadership want voters to ask of each other in public. That being – Do the Palestinian people have a right to defend themselves with arms if indeed they are being attacked unjustly by the IDF and deprived of basic human rights? And if indeed they can defend themselves using proportional violence (which of course they can), then why is that effort being cast as a terrorist act by Arab extremists whose only thought is hatred anti-Semitism, or to establish an Islamic Caliphate? And if that’s been a lie, then how many of these other examples of supposed Muslim hatred for Jews and the West in general might have very different interpretations for them were a fuller picture being given us by the very people we pay and expect to do exactly that — the MSM?

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