22 July 2007

1825) Turkey & Armenia - Freedom Reports 2007

Freedom in the World - Turkey (2007)
Freedom in the World - Armenia (2007)

Freedom in the World - Turkey (2007)
Population: 73,700,000
Capital: Ankara
Political Rights Score: 3
Civil Liberties Score: 3
Status: Partly Free

Formal European Union accession talks, officially launched in 2005, were partially halted in December 2006; support for Turkish membership continued to fall in both the EU and Turkey itself during the year. Meanwhile, violence in predominantly Kurdish southeastern Turkey grew increasingly out of control, and a new Kurdish rebel group claimed responsibility for bombings throughout the country.

Turkey emerged as a republic following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Its founder and the author of its guiding principles was Mustafa Kemal, dubbed Ataturk (Father of the Turks), who declared that Turkey would be a secular state. He sought to modernize the country through measures such as the pursuit of Western learning, the use of the Roman alphabet instead of Arabic script for writing Turkish, and the abolition of the Muslim caliphate.

Following Ataturk’s death in 1938, Turkey remained neutral for most of World War II, joining the Allies only in February 1945. In 1952, the republic joined NATO to secure protection from the Soviet Union. However, Turkey’s domestic politics have been unstable, and the army has overthrown civilian governments on four occasions since 1960. The military, which sees itself as a bulwark against both Islamism and Kurdish separatism, has traditionally wielded great influence over the functioning of the government.

The role of Islam in public life has been one of the key questions of Turkish politics in the 1990s and early twenty-first century. In 1995, the Islamist party Welfare won parliamentary elections but failed to obtain a majority. Initially, two other parties formed a majority coalition without it, but the breakup of that bloc in 1996 led the True Path Party to form a coalition with Welfare. The army, ever protective of Turkey’s secular identity, forced the coalition to resign in 1997. Welfare’s Necmettin Erbakan was replaced as prime minister by a member of the Motherland Party. The Welfare party was banned in 1998 on the grounds that it was seeking to introduce Islamic rule.

The governments that followed failed to stabilize the shaky economy, leading to an economic crisis in 2001 and growing discontent among voters. The Justice and Development (AK) Party, whose roots lay in the disbanded Welfare party, won a sweeping majority in the November 2002 elections by promising to end governmental corruption and put the country on a firm path toward European Union (EU) membership. AK’s leader, former Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had previously been banned from politics after he was convicted of crimes against secularism for reading a poem that seemed to incite religious intolerance. However, the party sought to distance itself from Islamism. The AK Party’s Abdullah Gul served as prime minister until the Parliament changed the constitution, allowing Erdogan to replace him in March 2003.

Erdogan used his party’s large parliamentary majority to push through successive wide-reaching reforms that were crucial to Turkey’s application to join the EU. Formal accession talks officially began in October 2005 and were expected to continue for at least 10 years. However, difficulties soon arose, especially regarding Cyprus. The island had been divided since 1974 between an internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, populated mostly by ethnic Greeks, and a Turkish-backed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The southern republic, an EU member state since 2004, wanted Turkey to open its ports to Greek Cypriot ships as called for in an EU customs agreement, but Turkey refused, as the EU had not fulfilled its promise to end the economic isolation of the TRNC. Moreover, EU public opinion, and increasingly the EU’s political leaders, were turning against Turkish membership as union officials continued to issue negative evaluations of Turkish progress on reforms. Support for membership among the Turkish population was falling as well, raising fears of renewed Turkish nationalism, although a majority were still in favor of joining the EU. In December 2006, the entry talks were partly frozen due to the Cyprus ports dispute.

The prime minister and his cabinet have experienced tension with entrenched, secularist state officials, including judges, prosecutors, and the military. Government rhetoric appealing to the AK Party’s religious voter base has increased ahead of elections in 2007, while some segments of the bureaucracy seem to be purposefully rebelling against reforms they see as threatening to Turkey’s secular system. This internal tension has jeopardized Turkey’s democratic progress, as well as its EU aspirations.

Also in 2006, violence continued to rise in the southeast, where Kurdish separatists had fought a 15-year guerrilla war against government forces. That conflict had ended after the 1999 capture of the separatist leader, Abdullah Ocalan, but his Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) abandoned its ceasefire in 2004, and fighting has resumed. Although the PKK showed interest in a renewed ceasefire with the government in 2006, a new group known as the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK)—which appears to have links to the PKK—claimed responsibility for a number of bombings across Turkey.
Political Rights and Civil Liberties

Turkey is an electoral democracy. The 1982 constitution provides for a 550-member unicameral Parliament, the Grand National Assembly, which is elected to five-year terms. The Parliament elects the president for a single seven-year term, and the president appoints the prime minister from among the lawmakers. The prime minister is head of government, but the president has limited power, including to veto legislation and appoint judges and prosecutors. Democratic choice has been undercut by the army in the past, most recently in 1997, when the military forced the government of the religious Welfare party out of office. The November 2002 elections were widely judged as free and fair.

A party must win at least 10 percent of the votes cast nationwide to have representation in Parliament. As a result, although a large number and variety of parties participated in active campaigning in 2002, only two—the AK Party and the secularist, center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP)—won seats. Nevertheless, both of these parties had been in the opposition, and the elections demonstrated the ability of the electorate to bring about change. Because of shifts in party affiliation, eight parties now hold seats in Parliament, but opposition parties remain weak. The Motherland Party, which was voted out in the last election, now holds more than 20 seats; no other party besides AK and the CHP has more than 10 seats. AK, which controls more than 350 seats, appears to have abandoned its former Islamist aspirations, but much of its popular base is very religious. Although the party has supported some loosening of restrictions on religious activity, it has not made any attempt to undermine Turkey’s secular underpinnings.

In 2003, legal amendments loosened restrictions on party names and candidates and circumscribed the reasons for closure of a political party. However, a party can still be shut down if its program is not in agreement with the constitution, and this criterion is broadly interpreted. The Communist Party and parties representing Kurdish interests face court cases threatening their closure and can function only minimally.

Recent reforms have increased civilian oversight of the military. The National Security Council, once dominated by the military, had its policy-setting role downgraded to a purely advisory one in 2003, and a civilian was chosen to head the council for the first time in 2004. Significantly, the military did not intervene in 2003 when the AK’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan was chosen as prime minister, despite its known reservations. Nevertheless, the opinions of top generals on subjects well beyond military affairs continue to generate press attention, as with the new hard-line chief of staff’s praise for secularist demonstrations in May 2006. Military intervention in policy making on key topics remains a possibility.

Turkey struggles with corruption in government and in daily life. The AK Party— ak means “pure” in Turkish—came to power with promises to clean up governmental corruption, and it has adopted some anticorruption measures. However, enforcement is lacking, and a culture of tolerance of corruption pervades the general population. Parliamentary immunity prevents the prosecution of many politicians, though there are allegations of corruption against several cabinet members. Transparency has improved through EU-related reforms, but the government seemed to be reversing that trend through 2006 changes in the procurement law that, for example, exempt certain contract award procedures from procurement provisions. Turkey was ranked 60 out of 163 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index.

The right to free expression is guaranteed in the constitution. Legal impediments remain to freedom of the media, although recent reforms have had some positive effect. Publications in Kurdish are now permitted, and television broadcasts in Kurdish began in March 2006. Journalists are sometimes prosecuted under the penal code instead of being sued according to the press law, and a new antiterrorism law reintroduces jail sentences for journalists. Nearly all media organizations are owned by giant holding companies with interests in other sectors, which contributes to self-censorship by journalists. Article 301 of the 2004 revised penal code includes tight restrictions, allowing journalists and others to be prosecuted for discussing controversial subjects such as the division of Cyprus and the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Turks; the article has drawn criticism from the EU and others. Several well-known writers, publishers, and journalists were charged and/or tried in 2006 for crimes including insulting the armed services and denigrating “Turkishness”; very few have been convicted and charges are often dropped, but trials are time-consuming and expensive. Most prominently, novelist and 2006 Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was charged in 2005 for comments he made to a Swiss newspaper about the 1915 Armenian killings; the charges were dropped in January 2006. Article 301 was also unsuccessfully invoked against a Dutch member of the European Parliament and a Turkish work of fiction in late 2005 and 2006. The government does not specifically restrict access to the internet, but it is subject to the same censorship policies that apply to other media.

The constitution protects freedom of religion. Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and much of its population is very devout. Three non-Muslim groups—Jews, Greek Orthodox Christians, and Armenian Christians—are officially recognized, and attitudes toward them are generally tolerant, although they are not integrated into the Turkish establishment. Other groups lack legal status, and their activities are subject to legal challenges. In unusual violence against Roman Catholics, three priests were attacked in separate incidents in 2006.

The Turkish republic was set up on the premise of secularism, in which state and religious affairs are separated. In practice, this has meant considerable government control of religion. Women wearing headscarves are not allowed in public universities and government offices, and observant men are dismissed from the military. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled repeatedly in favor of the headscarf ban’s legality, and AK dropped its attempt to introduce an easing of the ban in the 2004 penal code reforms. Turkey saw mass protests in early 2006 amid a worldwide scandal over the publication of Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The government does not restrict academic freedom, although self-censorship on sensitive topics, such as the role of Islam and the Kurdish problem, is common.

Freedoms of association and assembly are protected in the constitution. Prior restrictions on public demonstrations have been relaxed, but police sometimes monitor public meetings of nongovernmental organizations. A 2004 law on associations was expected to reduce state interference in civil society, but 2005 implementing legislation allows the state to restrict groups that might oppose its interests. Members of local human rights groups sometimes receive death threats. Nevertheless, civil society plays a growing role in Turkish politics. Trade union activity remains restricted in practice, although laws to protect unions are in place. EU-related reforms have improved the legal framework, but implementation lags.

The Turkish constitution establishes an independent judiciary, but the government can influence judges through its control of appointments, promotions, and financing. The judiciary has been strengthened in recent years by structural reforms. The 2004 overhaul of the penal code, which took effect in 2005, is expected to have wide-reaching positive effects on the criminal justice system. The death penalty was fully abolished in 2004, and State Security Courts, where many human rights abuses occurred, were replaced by so-called Heavy Penal Courts. Still, some trials last so long as to become an inconvenience and financial burden for the defense. Amnesty International has accused the Heavy Penal Courts of accepting evidence extracted under torture.

An attacker shot five judges in a committee meeting in May 2006, killing one. The gunman announced that the attack was a protest against the court’s ruling that schoolteachers could not wear headscarves. After the shooting, thousands of people demonstrated in support of secularist policies.

The Erdogan government has a “zero tolerance” policy concerning torture, backed up by new laws and training to improve implementation. However, while there continue to be reports that torture has decreased, particularly in its harshest forms, rights groups still cite new cases and highlight the fact that perpetrators are not consistently punished. The government has established a variety of bodies to investigate and field complaints on human rights, but so far their impact has been limited.

Prison conditions, including overcrowding, are improving but can still be harsh. Most controversial are the F-type prisons, which are criticized for isolating prisoners. An especially contentious imprisonment is that of Abdullah Ocalan, former leader of the Kurdish guerrilla movement, who is serving a life sentence in solitary confinement on an island off the Turkish coast.

The legacy of the 1990s Kurdish conflict in the southeast, in which more than 35,000 people were killed, remains in the form of discrimination and lingering tensions. At least 15 people were killed in clashes between Kurds and police during rioting in March 2006. Meanwhile, full-scale fighting between the PKK and the government continued to increase in 2006, along with bombings in Istanbul, the southeast, and tourist regions. Responsibility for many bombings has been claimed by the TAK. Ocalan called for a renewed ceasefire in September, but it was rejected by Erdogan and the military’s chief of staff.

Turkey claims that all Turkish citizens are treated equally, but its unwillingness to acknowledge minority differences results in de facto unequal treatment under the law. Because recognized minorities are limited to the three defined by religion and there has been a traditional emphasis on Turkish national identity, Kurds in particular have faced restrictions on their language, culture, and freedom of expression. The situation has improved with EU-related reforms, but official and informal discrimination remains. Alleged collaboration with the PKK can be used as an excuse to arrest Kurds who challenge the government. Human Rights Watch condemned the arrest of three Kurdish activists during a peaceful protest in May 2006.

Property rights are generally respected in Turkey. The most significant problem is the tens of thousands of Kurds who were driven from their homes by government forces during the conflict in the 1990s. While increasing numbers have returned to their homes since a new program to address the situation was launched in 2004, and the first families received monetary compensation in 2006, progress has been slow. Local paramilitary “village guards” have been criticized for obstructing returning families through intimidation and violence.

The amended constitution provides women full equality before the law, but they face discrimination in employment and are underrepresented in government. Domestic abuse and so-called honor crimes continue to occur. The 2004 penal code revisions include increased penalties for crimes against women and the elimination of sentence reductions in cases of honor killing and rape. A delegation of Turkish Parliament members visited the southeast in December 2005 to conduct research into honor killings, and the government has been working to raise awareness about domestic violence. Suicide among women reportedly increased in 2006, possibly stemming from familial pressure as stricter laws have made honor killings less permissible. A national poll in March found that Turks hold deeply conservative values, including disapproval of homosexuality and the cohabitation of unmarried couples.

Freedom in the World - Armenia (2007)
Population: 3,000,000
Capital: Yerevan
Political Rights Score: 5
Civil Liberties Score: 4
Status: Partly Free

Over the course of 2006, the political landscape saw the dissolution of the governing three-party coalition after the resignation of then Speaker of the National Assembly, Artur Baghdasarian. His party, Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law), then went into opposition. Several leading members of his party subsequently joined other parties and formed a new “Entrepreneur” deputy group in the National Assembly. The poor administration of the 2005 national referendum, coupled with previously poorly administered ballots, raised questions about the authorities’ ability to conduct sound parliamentary elections, which are due to be held in May 2007.

After a brief period of independence from 1918 to 1920, a part of the predominantly Christian Transcaucasus republic of Armenia became a Soviet republic in 1922, while the western portion was ceded to Turkey. Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in September 1991 following a nationalist movement for autonomy that had gained in strength when Mikhail Gorbachev was the Soviet president (1985–1991) and became stronger once it became apparent that the USSR would likely disintegrate.

The banning of nine political parties prior to the 1995 parliamentary elections ensured the dominance of President Levon Ter Petrosian’s ruling Armenian National Movement (ANM) coalition. In February 1998, Petrosian stepped down following the resignation of key officials in protest of his gradualist approach to solving the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed enclave in Azerbaijan. Prime Minister Robert Kocharian, the former president of Nagorno-Karabakh, was elected president in March of that year with the support of the previously banned Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Dashnaktsutiun.

Parliamentary elections in May 1999 resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Unity bloc, a new alliance of Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian’s Republican Party and former Soviet Armenian leader Karen Demirchian’s People’s Party, which campaigned on a political platform of greater state involvement in the economy and increased social spending. In June, Sarkisian was named prime minister and Demirchian became Speaker of the National Assembly.

The country was plunged into a political crisis on October 27, 1999, when five gunmen stormed the National Assembly and assassinated Sarkisian, Demirchian, and several other senior government officials. The leader of the gunmen, Nairi Hunanian, maintained that he and the other assailants had acted alone in an attempt to incite a popular revolt against the government. Meanwhile, allegations that Kocharian or members of his inner circle had orchestrated the shootings prompted opposition calls for the president to resign. However, because of an apparent lack of evidence, prosecutors did not press charges against Kocharian, who gradually consolidated his power during the following year. In May 2000, Kocharian named Republican Party leader Andranik Markarian as prime minister, replacing Vazgen Sarkisian’s younger brother, Aram, who had served in the position for only five months following the parliament shootings.

In 2003, Kocharian was reelected in a presidential vote that was widely regarded as flawed. He defeated Stepan Demirchian, son of the late Karen Demirchian, in a second round runoff with 67 percent of the vote. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) described the elections as falling “short of international standards for democratic elections” and asserted that “voting, counting, and tabulation showed serious irregularities, including widespread ballot-box stuffing.” During the runoff, which was held on March 5 of that year, authorities placed more than 200 opposition supporters under administrative detention for over 15 days; the detainees were sentenced on charges of hooliganism and participation in unsanctioned demonstrations. The Constitutional Court rejected appeals by opposition leaders to invalidate the election results, although it did propose holding a “referendum of confidence” on Kocharian within the next year to allay widespread doubts about the validity of the election returns; Kocharian indicated that he would not comply with the proposal. In response to the problems associated with the election, a standoff emerged between Kocharian and the political opposition, formed by two major groups—the Artarutiun (Justice bloc) and the National Unity Party—with opposition parties choosing not to attend sessions of the National Assembly.

Protest rallies were organized in Yerevan from April to June 2004 over the failure of the government to redress the 2003 presidential vote. The authorities responded with violence, using police to disperse demonstrators in Yerevan with water cannons, batons, and stun grenades. After the crackdown by the authorities in April, these demonstrations grew ever smaller. In October, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution expressing concern about the lack of investigation into the flawed 2003 elections and calling for steps to end pretrial administrative detention, physical ill-treatment, and other abuses.

A national referendum held on November 27, 2005, was designed to bring about a clearer separation of powers among the judicial, executive, and legislative branches of government and to create a more even distribution of power between the executive and legislative branches by scaling back presidential powers. In spite of widespread apathy and a sense of disconnection from public affairs among average Armenians, the official results of the referendum showed 94 percent in favor of the referendum; turnout was reported to be 64 percent. The opposition, which believed that the proposed reforms did not go far enough, took issue with these figures, asserting that the authorities had inflated turnout figures.

There were few international observers for the referendum, although PACE sent 14 monitors, who voiced serious criticisms of the way the voting was conducted and suggested that the high turnout figure was questionable. While the monitors concluded that “the referendum generally reflected the free will of those who voted,” they reported “serious abuse in several polling stations which cast a shadow over the credibility of the officially announced turnout.” The monitors went on to say that “in a significant number of polling stations in Yerevan and other regions … the extremely low voting activity did not correspond to the high figures provided by the electoral commissions. There were also clear instances of forged additional signatures on the voters register and of ballot stuffing. The electoral regulations, requiring the stamping of the ballot after completion, created numerous situations where the secrecy of the vote was not respected.” Questions about the administration of the referendum, as well as the poor experience in other recent elections, have placed a spotlight on the May 2007 parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, implementation of the provisions of the referendum in 2006 was slow, raising further questions about the government’s capacity to implement key institutional reforms.

The year 2006 saw particularly active political jockeying in advance of the 2007 parliamentary elections. Artur Baghdasarian, Speaker of the National Assembly, was pressured to step down from the government in May 2006 following a row over his comments about Armenia’s foreign policy orientation. Baghdasarian suggested that Armenia move toward the West and its key institutions, including NATO, a suggestion that touched a sensitive nerve within the country’s leadership, which seeks to maintain a strong relationship with Moscow. Tigran Torosian, a member of the Republican Party of Armenia, was elected Speaker following Baghdasarian’s resignation.

Efforts to address the conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh did not move forward in 2006, although several high-level meetings were held. President Kocharian met with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in February and June of 2006, and mediators acting under the aegis of the OSCE’s Minsk Group undertook renewed efforts to advance a solution to the longstanding dispute but had not made meaningful progress by year’s end. The region, which is formally part of Azerbaijan, is now predominantly ethnically Armenian and effectively under Armenian control.
Political Rights and Civil Liberties

Armenia is not an electoral democracy. The 1995 and 1999 parliamentary and 1996 presidential elections were marred by serious irregularities. The most recent presidential and parliamentary polls, in February-March and May 2003, respectively, were strongly criticized by international election monitors, who cited widespread fraud, particularly in the presidential vote. The 1995 constitution provides for a weak legislature (the National Assembly) and a strong executive, who appoints the prime minister. Electoral reforms enacted in 2005 increased the number of parliamentary seats allocated by proportional representation from 56 to 90 and reduced the number of single-mandate seats from 75 to 41. Ninety-six of the 131 seats in Parliament are occupied by progovernment parties or deputies that constitute the governing coalition. Armenia is scheduled to hold an election for the National Assembly in May 2007. The main contending parties in the parliamentary election are likely to be between the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), the dominant party in the three-party coalition government, and Prosperous Armenia, which was established in early 2006 by Gagik Tsarukian, a parliamentary deputy, who is among Armenia’s wealthiest businesspeople.

The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The next presidential elections are scheduled for 2008.

At the exhortation of the Council of Europe, the Armenian government adopted modifications to the election code in 2005 and 2006. The amended code provides for a more balanced composition of election commissions, yet concerns remain about the potential for fair administration of the election process. For example, the OSCE cited the abolition of the quorum for election commissions to make decisions as a potential concern. Another measure viewed as a step in the right direction is a new vote-tabulation process, involving direct online summarization of preliminary Precinct Election Commission results at the Territorial Election Commission level through a computer network connected to the Central Election Commission.

Opposition parties have pursued a policy of disengagement, including with respect to the 2005 constitutional referendum and the 2003 election, which the opposition has characterized as illegitimate. President Robert Kocharian, whose term expires in 2008, does not belong to any political party and relies on a three-party coalition to rule the country.

Bribery and nepotism are reported to be common among government bureaucrats, and government officials are rarely prosecuted or otherwise removed for abuse of office. Corruption is also believed to be a serious problem in law enforcement. Armenia was ranked 93 out of 163 countries surveyed in Transparency International’s 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index.

There are considerable limits on press freedom in Armenia. The authorities maintain extensive control over broadcast media—which is the chief source of news for most Armenians— including state-run Armenian Public Television (H1) and most private channels, whose owners are loyal to the president and therefore not apt to offer critical comment. A report issued in July 2006 by the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, observed that Armenian “broadcast media can be described as predominantly pro-government, despite the transformation of state TV into a public broadcaster, and the existence of a number of private channels.” In this same report, Haraszti noted that “Armenia has made significant progress in improving media legislation, but media pluralism remains limited to the independent, but financially weak and less influential, print media.” The criminal code still includes libel as a criminal offense.

In 2002, the independent television station A1+ lost its license after the national television and radio broadcasting commission granted a tender for its broadcasting frequency to another channel. Journalists and opposition politicians criticized the closure of A1+, which had a reputation for balanced reporting, as a politically motivated decision to control media coverage in the run-up to the 2003 presidential and parliamentary elections. Following the decision, thousands of people demonstrated in a series of weekly protests over the station’s closure and to demand Kocharian’s resignation. Since losing its license in 2002, A1+ has brought numerous cases before the courts and filed multiple applications to obtain TV frequencies. All applications have been denied. As a last resort, A1+ has lodged two applications with the European Court of Human Rights. The first, which challenged results of an April 2002 tender on licensing, was submitted to the Court in January 2003. The second, challenging the seven subsequent tenders, was filed in September 2004. Both are under consideration by the Court.

Freedom of religion is generally respected, and most registered religious groups reported no serious legal impediments to their activities. The Armenian Apostolic Church, to which 90 percent of Armenians formally belong, enjoys some privileges not afforded to other faiths. While 50 religious groups are officially registered, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been denied registration repeatedly because of the group’s strong opposition to compulsory military service. As of the end of 2006, 43 Jehovah’s Witnesses were serving prison terms for evading military service.

The government generally does not restrict academic freedom. In September 2002, the Ministry of Education ordered the compulsory display of the portraits of Kocharian and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church in secondary schools. The history of the Apostolic Church is a required school subject.

The authorities’ violent response to spring 2004 protests represented a low point for freedom of assembly in Armenia. Authorities also brutally suppressed peaceful demonstrators and political activists following the 2003 presidential election. The PACE in 2005 condemned the use of violence by the Armenian authorities, criticizing them for the continued use of the administrative code to arrest protesters. In response to international criticism, the government in October 2005 adopted amendments to the law on organizing meetings, assemblies, rallies, and demonstrations. These measures took into account most of the recommendations put forward by the OSCE Venice Commission. In 2006, no such abusive behavior was in evidence. Whether this absence of abuse represents a permanent decision by the authorities or more temporary restraint will be put to the test in the run-up to the May 2007 parliamentary elections.

Registration requirements for nongovernmental associations are cumbersome and time-consuming. Some 3,000 nongovernmental organizations are registered with the Ministry of Justice, although many of them are not active in a meaningful way. While the constitution provides for the right to form and join trade unions, labor organizations are weak and relatively inactive in practice.

The judicial branch is subject to political pressure from the executive branch and suffers from considerable corruption. In 2006, Justice Minister David Harutiunian outlined an ambitious proposal to enhance the independence of the judiciary and the country’s law enforcement sector, although these reforms had not been advanced by the end of 2006. Police make arbitrary arrests without warrants, beat detainees during arrest and interrogation, and use torture to extract confessions. Cases of abuse go unreported out of fear of retribution. Prison conditions in Armenia are poor, and threats to prisoner health are frequent.

Although members of the country’s tiny ethnic minority population rarely report cases of overt discrimination, they have complained about difficulties in receiving education in their native languages. The Yezidi community has claimed that police and local authorities sometimes subject them to discrimination.

Freedom of travel and residence is largely respected. However, registering changes in residency is sometimes complicated by the need to negotiate with an inefficient or corrupt government bureaucracy.

Citizens have the right to own private property and establish businesses, but an inefficient and often corrupt court system and unfair business competition hinder such activities. Key industries remain in the hands of oligarchs and influential clans who received preferential treatment in the early stages of privatization.

Domestic violence and trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution are believed to be serious problems. Representation of women in the current Parliament is low: at year’s end, only 7 out of 131 seats in the National Assembly were held by women. According to the election code, women shall now comprise 15 percent of a party’s list for the proportional election and hold every tenth position on party lists, marking an improvement from the 2003 parliamentary elections.

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Ratings Process

(NOTE: see the full checklists and keys to political rights and civil liberties ratings and status at the end of the methodology essay.)

Raw Points – The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions and 15 civil liberties questions. The political rights questions are grouped into the three sub-categories: Electoral Process (3 questions), Political Pluralism and Participation (4), and Functioning of Government (3). The civil liberties questions are grouped into four sub-categories: Freedom of Expression and Belief (4 questions), Associational and Organizational Rights (3), Rule of Law (4), and Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights (4). Raw points are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where 0 points represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The political rights section also contains two additional discretionary questions: question A (For traditional monarchies that have no parties or electoral process, does the system provide for genuine, meaningful consultation with the people, encourage public discussion of policy choices, and allow the right to petition the ruler?) and question B (Is the government or occupying power deliberately changing the ethnic composition of a country or territory so as to destroy a culture or tip the political balance in favor of another group?). For additional discretionary question A, 1 to 4 points may be added, as applicable, while for discretionary question B, 1 to 4 points may be subtracted (the worse the situation, the more points that may be subtracted). The highest number of points that can be awarded to the political rights checklist is 40 (or a total of up to 4 points for each of the 10 questions). The highest number of points that can be awarded to the civil liberties checklist is 60 (or a total of up to 4 points for each of the 15 questions).

The raw points from the previous survey edition are used as a benchmark for the current year under review. In general, a change in raw points is made only if there has been a real world development during the year that warrants a change (e.g., a crackdown on the media, the country’s first free and fair elections) and is reflected accordingly in the narrative.

In answering both the political rights and civil liberties questions, Freedom House does not equate constitutional or other legal guarantees of rights with the on-the-ground fulfillment of these rights. While both laws and actual practices are factored into the ratings decisions, greater emphasis is placed on the latter.

In addition, for states and territories with small populations, the absence of pluralism in the political system or civil society is not necessarily viewed as a negative situation unless the government or other centers of domination are deliberately blocking its establishment or operation. For example, a small country without diverse political parties or media outlets or significant trade unions are not penalized if these limitations are determined to be a function of size and not overt restrictions.

Political Rights and Civil Liberties Ratings – The total number of points awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklists determines the political rights and civil liberties ratings. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total points (see Tables 1 and 2).

Status of Free, Partly Free, Not Free – Each pair of political rights and civil liberties ratings is averaged to determine an overall status of “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.” Those whose ratings average 1.0 to 2.5 are considered Free, 3.0 to 5.0 Partly Free, and 5.5 to 7.0 Not Free (see Table 3).

The designations of Free, Partly Free, and Not Free each cover a broad third of the available raw points. Therefore, countries and territories within any one category, especially those at either end of the category, can have quite different human rights situations. In order to see the distinctions within each category, a country or territory’s political rights and civil liberties ratings should be examined. For example, countries at the lowest end of the Free category (2 in political rights and 3 in civil liberties, or 3 in political rights and 2 in civil liberties) differ from those at the upper end of the Free group (1 for both political rights and civil liberties). Also, a designation of Free does not mean that a country enjoys perfect freedom or lacks serious problems, only that it enjoys comparably more freedom than Partly Free or Not Free (or some other Free) countries.

Indications of Ratings and/or Status Changes – Each country or territory’s political rights rating, civil liberties rating, and status is included in a statistics section that precedes each country or territory report. A change in a political rights or civil liberties rating since the previous survey edition is indicated with an asterisk next to the rating that has changed. A brief ratings change explanation is included in the statistics section.

Trend Arrows – Positive or negative developments in a country or territory may also be reflected in the use of upward or downward trend arrows. A trend arrow is based on a particular development (such as an improvement in a country’s state of religious freedom) which must be linked to a change in raw points in the corresponding checklist question (in this case, an increase in the number of raw points assigned to checklist question D2, which covers religious freedom). However, not all increases or decreases in raw points warrant trend arrows. Whether a positive or negative development is significant enough to warrant a trend arrow is determined through consultations among the report writer, the regional academic advisors, and Freedom House staff. Also, trend arrows are assigned only in cases where increases or decreases in raw points are not sufficient to warrant a ratings change; thus, a country cannot receive both a ratings change and a trend arrow during the same year. A trend arrow is indicated with an arrow next to the name of the country or territory that appears before the statistics section at the top of each country or territory report. A brief trend arrow explanation is included in the statistics section.

General Characteristics of Each Political Rights and Civil Liberties Rating

Political Rights

Rating of 1 – Countries and territories that receive a rating of 1 for political rights come closest to ensuring the freedoms embodied in the checklist questions, beginning with free and fair elections. Those who are elected rule, there are competitive parties or other political groupings, and the opposition plays an important role and has actual power. Minority groups have reasonable self-government or can participate in the government through informal consensus.

Rating of 2 – Countries and territories rated 2 in political rights are less free than those rated 1. Such factors as political corruption, violence, political discrimination against minorities, and foreign or military influence on politics may be present and weaken the quality of freedom.

Ratings of 3, 4, 5 – The same conditions that undermine freedom in countries and territories with a rating of 2 may also weaken political rights in those with a rating of 3, 4, or 5. Other damaging elements can include civil war, heavy military involvement in politics, lingering royal power, unfair elections, and one-party dominance. However, states and territories in these categories may still enjoy some elements of political rights, including the freedom to organize quasi-political groups, reasonably free referenda, or other significant means of popular influence on government.

Rating of 6 – Countries and territories with political rights rated 6 have systems ruled by military juntas, one-party dictatorships, religious hierarchies, or autocrats. These regimes may allow only a minimal manifestation of political rights, such as some degree of representation or autonomy for minorities. A few states are traditional monarchies that mitigate their relative lack of political rights through the use of consultation with their subjects, tolerance of political discussion, and acceptance of public petitions.

Rating of 7 – For countries and territories with a rating of 7, political rights are absent or virtually nonexistent as a result of the extremely oppressive nature of the regime or severe oppression in combination with civil war. States and territories in this group may also be marked by extreme violence or warlord rule that dominates political power in the absence of an authoritative, functioning central government.

Civil Liberties

Rating of 1 – Countries and territories that receive a rating of 1 come closest to ensuring the freedoms expressed in the civil liberties checklist, including freedom of expression, assembly, association, education, and religion. They are distinguished by an established and generally equitable system of rule of law. Countries and territories with this rating enjoy free economic activity and tend to strive for equality of opportunity.

Rating of 2 – States and territories with a rating of 2 have deficiencies in a few aspects of civil liberties, but are still relatively free.

Ratings of 3, 4, 5 – Countries and territories that have received a rating of 3, 4, or 5 range from those that are in at least partial compliance with virtually all checklist standards to those with a combination of high or medium scores for some questions and low or very low scores on other questions. The level of oppression increases at each successive rating level, including in the areas of censorship, political terror, and the prevention of free association. There are also many cases in which groups opposed to the state engage in political terror that undermines other freedoms.

Rating of 6 – People in countries and territories with a rating of 6 experience severely restricted rights of expression and association, and there are almost always political prisoners and other manifestations of political terror. These countries may be characterized by a few partial rights, such as some religious and social freedoms, some highly restricted private business activity, and relatively free private discussion.

Rating of 7 – States and territories with a rating of 7 have virtually no freedom. An overwhelming and justified fear of repression characterizes these societies.

Countries and territories generally have ratings in political rights and civil liberties that are within two ratings numbers of each other. Without a well-developed civil society, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have an atmosphere supportive of political rights. Consequently, there is no country in the survey with a rating of 6 or 7 for civil liberties and, at the same time, a rating of 1 or 2 for political rights.

Electoral Democracy Designation

In addition to providing numerical ratings, the survey assigns the designation “electoral democracy” to countries that have met certain minimum standards. In determining whether a country is an electoral democracy, Freedom House examines several key factors concerning the last major national election or elections.

To qualify as an electoral democracy, a state must have satisfied the following criteria:

A competitive, multiparty political system;
Universal adult suffrage for all citizens (with exceptions for restrictions that states may legitimately place on citizens as sanctions for criminal offenses);
Regularly contested elections conducted in conditions of ballot secrecy, reasonable ballot security, and in the absence of massive voter fraud, and that yield results that are representative of the public will;
Significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media and through generally open political campaigning.

The numerical benchmark for a country to be listed as an electoral democracy is a sub-total score of 7 or better (out of a total possible 12) for the political rights checklist sub-category A (the three questions on Electoral Process). In the case of presidential/parliamentary systems, both elections must have been free and fair on the basis of the above criteria; in parliamentary systems, the last nationwide elections for the national legislature must have been free and fair. The presence of certain irregularities during the electoral process does not automatically disqualify a country from being designated an electoral democracy. A country cannot be an electoral democracy if significant authority for national decisions resides in the hands of an unelected power, whether a monarch or a foreign international authority. A country is removed from the ranks of electoral democracies if its last national election failed to meet the criteria listed above, or if changes in law significantly eroded the public’s possibility for electoral choice.

Freedom House’s term “electoral democracy” differs from “liberal democracy” in that the latter also implies the presence of a substantial array of civil liberties. In the survey, all Free countries qualify as both electoral and liberal democracies. By contrast, some Partly Free countries qualify as electoral, but not liberal, democracies.

Freedom in the World 2007: Checklist Questions and Guidelines

Each numbered checklist question is assigned a score of 0-4 (except for discretionary question A, for which 1-4 points may be added, and discretionary question B, for which 1-4 points may be subtracted), according to the survey methodology. The bulleted sub-questions are intended to provide guidance to the writers regarding what issues are meant to be considered in scoring each checklist question; the authors do not necessarily have to consider every sub-question when scoring their countries.

Political Rights Checklist
A. Electoral Process

1. Is the head of government or other chief national authority elected through free and fair elections?

Did established and reputable national and/or international election monitoring organizations judge the most recent elections for head of government to be free and fair? (Note: Heads of government chosen through various electoral frameworks, including direct elections for president, indirect elections for prime minister by parliament, and the electoral college system for electing presidents, are covered under this and the following sub-questions. In cases of indirect elections for the head of government, the elections for the legislature that chose the head of government, as well as the selection process of the head of government himself, should be taken into consideration.)
Have there been undue, politically motivated delays in holding the most recent election for head of government?
Is the registration of voters and candidates conducted in an accurate, timely, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner?
Can candidates make speeches, hold public meetings, and enjoy media access throughout the campaign free of intimidation?
Does voting take place by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure?
Are voters able to vote for the candidate or party of their choice without undue pressure or intimidation?
Is the vote count transparent, and is it reported honestly with the official results made public? Can election monitors from independent groups and representing parties/candidates watch the counting of votes to ensure their honesty?
Is each person’s vote given equivalent weight to those of other voters in order to ensure equal representation?
Has a democratically elected head of government who was chosen in the most recent election subsequently been overthrown in a violent coup? (Note: Although a peaceful, “velvet coup” may ultimately lead to a positive outcome—particularly if it replaces a head of government who was not freely and fairly elected—the new leader has not been freely and fairly elected and cannot be treated as such.)
In cases where elections for regional, provincial, or state governors and/or other subnational officials differ significantly in conduct from national elections, does the conduct of the subnational elections reflect an opening toward improved political rights in the country, or, alternatively, a worsening of political rights?
2. Are the national legislative representatives elected through free and fair elections?

Did established and reputable domestic and/or international election monitoring organizations judge the most recent national legislative elections to be free and fair?
Have there been undue, politically motivated delays in holding the most recent national legislative election?
Is the registration of voters and candidates conducted in an accurate, timely, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner?
Can candidates make speeches, hold public meetings, and enjoy media access throughout the campaign free of intimidation?
Does voting take place by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure?
Are voters able to vote for the candidate or party of their choice without undue pressure or intimidation?
Is the vote count transparent, and is it reported honestly with the official results made public? Can election monitors from independent groups and representing parties/candidates watch the counting of votes to ensure their honesty?
Is each person’s vote given equivalent weight to those of other voters in order to ensure equal representation?
Have the representatives of a democratically elected national legislature who were chosen in the most recent election subsequently been overthrown in a violent coup? (Note: Although a peaceful, “velvet coup” may ultimately lead to a positive outcome—particularly if it replaces a national legislature whose representatives were not freely and fairly elected—members of the new legislature have not been freely and fairly elected and cannot be treated as such.)
In cases where elections for subnational councils/parliaments differ significantly in conduct from national elections, does the conduct of the subnational elections reflect an opening toward improved political rights in the country, or, alternatively, a worsening of political rights?
3. Are the electoral laws and framework fair?

Is there a clear, detailed, and fair legislative framework for conducting elections? (Note: Changes to electoral laws should not be made immediately preceding an election if the ability of voters, candidates, or parties to fulfill their roles in the election is infringed.)
Are election commissions or other election authorities independent and free from government or other pressure and interference?
Is the composition of election commissions fair and balanced?
Do election commissions or other election authorities conduct their work in an effective and competent manner?
Do adult citizens enjoy universal and equal suffrage? (Note: Suffrage can be suspended or withdrawn for reasons of legal incapacity, such as mental incapacity, or conviction of a serious criminal offense.)
Is the drawing of election districts conducted in a fair and nonpartisan manner, as opposed to gerrymandering for personal or partisan advantage?
Has the selection of a system for choosing legislative representatives (such as proportional versus majoritarian) been manipulated to advance certain political interests or to influence the electoral results?
B. Political Pluralism and Participation

1. Do the people have the right to organize in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice, and is the system open to the rise and fall of these competing parties or groupings?

Do political parties encounter undue legal or practical obstacles in their efforts to be formed and to operate, including onerous registration requirements, excessively large membership requirements, etc.?
Do parties face discriminatory or onerous restrictions in holding meetings, rallies, or other peaceful activities?
Are party members or leaders intimidated, harassed, arrested, imprisoned, or subjected to violent attacks as a result of their peaceful political activities?
2. Is there a significant opposition vote and a realistic possibility for the opposition to increase its support or gain power through elections?

Are various legal/administrative restrictions selectively applied to opposition parties to prevent them from increasing their support base or successfully competing in elections?
Are there legitimate opposition forces in positions of authority, such as in the national legislature or in sub-national governments?
Are opposition party members or leaders intimidated, harassed, arrested, imprisoned, or subjected to violent attacks as a result of their peaceful political activities?
3. Are the people’s political choices free from domination by the military, foreign powers, totalitarian parties, religious hierarchies, economic oligarchies, or any other powerful group?

Do such groups offer bribes to voters and/or political figures in order to influence their political choices?
Do such groups intimidate, harass, or attack voters and/or political figures in order to influence their political choices?
Does the military control or enjoy a preponderant influence over government policy and activities, including in countries that nominally are under civilian control?
Do foreign governments control or enjoy a preponderant influence over government policy and activities by means including the presence of foreign military troops, the use of significant economic threats or sanctions, etc.?
4. Do cultural, ethnic, religious, or other minority groups have full political rights and electoral opportunities?

Do political parties of various ideological persuasions address issues of specific concern to minority groups?
Does the government inhibit the participation of minority groups in national or sub-national political life through laws and/or practical obstacles?
Are political parties based on ethnicity, culture, or religion which espouse peaceful, democratic values legally permitted and de facto allowed to operate?
C. Functioning of Government

1. Do the freely elected head of government and national legislative representatives determine the policies of the government?

Are the candidates who were elected freely and fairly duly installed in office?
Do other appointed or non-freely elected state actors interfere with or prevent freely elected representatives from adopting and implementing legislation and making meaningful policy decisions?
Do non-state actors, including criminal gangs, the military, and foreign governments, interfere with or prevent elected representatives from adopting and implementing legislation and making meaningful policy decisions?
2. Is the government free from pervasive corruption?

Has the government implemented effective anticorruption laws or programs to prevent, detect, and punish corruption among public officials, including conflict of interest?
Is the government free from excessive bureaucratic regulations, registration requirements, or other controls that increase opportunities for corruption?
Are there independent and effective auditing and investigative bodies that function without impediment or political pressure or influence?
Are allegations of corruption by government officials thoroughly investigated and prosecuted without prejudice, particularly against political opponents?
Are allegations of corruption given wide and extensive airing in the media?
Do whistleblowers, anticorruption activists, investigators, and journalists enjoy legal protections that make them feel secure about reporting cases of bribery and corruption?
What was the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index score for this country?
3. Is the government accountable to the electorate between elections, and does it operate with openness and transparency?

Are civil society groups, interest groups, journalists, and other citizens able to comment on and influence pending policies of legislation?
Do citizens have the legal right and practical ability to obtain information about government operations and the means to petition government agencies for it?
Is the budget-making process subject to meaningful legislative review and public scrutiny?
Does the government publish detailed accounting expenditures in a timely fashion?
Does the state ensure transparency and effective competition in the awarding of government contracts?
Are the asset declarations of government officials open to public and media scrutiny and verification?
Additional Discretionary Political Rights Questions:

A. For traditional monarchies that have no parties or electoral process, does the system provide for genuine, meaningful consultation with the people, encourage public discussion of policy choices, and allow the right to petition the ruler?

Is there a non-elected legislature that advises the monarch on policy issues?
Are there formal mechanisms for individuals or civic groups to speak with or petition the monarch?
Does the monarch take petitions from the public under serious consideration?
B. Is the government or occupying power deliberately changing the ethnic composition of a country or territory so as to destroy a culture or tip the political balance in favor of another group?

Is the government providing economic or other incentives to certain people in order to change the ethnic composition of a region or regions?
Is the government forcibly moving people in or out of a certain or areas in order to change the ethnic composition of those regions?
Is the government arresting, imprisoning, or killing members of certain ethnic groups in order change the ethnic composition of a region or regions?

Civil Liberties Checklist
D. Freedom of Expression and Belief

1. Are there free and independent media and other forms of cultural expression? (Note: In cases where the media are state-controlled but offer pluralistic points of view, the survey gives the system credit.)

Does the government directly or indirectly censor print, broadcast, and/or Internet-based media?
Is self-censorship among journalists common, especially when reporting on politically sensitive issues, including corruption or the activities of senior officials?
Does the government use libel and security laws to punish those who scrutinize government officials and policies through either onerous fines or imprisonment?
Is it a crime to insult the honor and dignity of the president and/or other government officials? How broad is the range of such prohibitions, and how vigorously are they enforced?
If media outlets are dependent on the government for their financial survival, does the government withhold funding in order to propagandize, primarily provide official points of view, and/or limit access by opposition parties and civic critics?
Does the government attempt to influence media content and access through means including politically motivated awarding of broadcast frequencies and newspaper registrations, unfair control and influence over printing facilities and distribution networks, selective distribution of advertising, onerous registration requirements, prohibitive tariffs, and bribery?
Are journalists threatened, arrested, imprisoned, beaten, or killed by government or non-governmental actors for their legitimate journalistic activities, and if such cases occur, are they investigated and prosecuted fairly and expeditiously?
Are works of literature, art, music, and other forms of cultural expression censored or banned for political purposes?
2. Are religious institutions and communities free to practice their faith and express themselves in public and private?

Are registration requirements employed to impede the free functioning of religious institutions?
Are members of religious groups, including minority faiths and movements, harassed, fined, arrested, or beaten by the authorities for engaging in their religious practices?
Does the government appoint or otherwise influence the appointment of religious leaders?
Does the government control the production and distribution of religious books and other materials and the content of sermons?
Is the construction of religious buildings banned or restricted?
Does the government place undue restrictions on religious education? Does the government require religious education?
3. Is there academic freedom and is the educational system free of extensive political indoctrination?

Are teachers and professors free to pursue academic activities of a political and quasi-political nature without fear of physical violence or intimidation by state or non-state actors?
Does the government pressure, strongly influence, or control the content of school curriculums for political purposes?
Are student associations that address issues of a political nature allowed to function freely?
Does the government, including through school administration or other officials, pressure students and/or teachers to support certain political figures or agendas, including pressuring them to attend political rallies or vote for certain candidates? Conversely, does the government, including through school administration or other officials, discourage or forbid students and/or teachers from supporting certain candidates and parties?
4. Is there open and free private discussion?

Are people able to engage in private discussions, particularly of a political nature (in places including restaurants, public transportation, and their homes) without fear of harassment or arrest by the authorities?
Does the government employ people or groups to engage in public surveillance and to report alleged anti-government conversations to the authorities?
E. Associational and Organizational Rights

1. Is there freedom of assembly, demonstration, and open public discussion?

Are peaceful protests, particularly those of a political nature, banned or severely restricted?
Are the legal requirements to obtain permission to hold peaceful demonstrations particularly cumbersome and time consuming?
Are participants of peaceful demonstrations intimidated, arrested, or assaulted?
Are peaceful protestors detained by police in order to prevent them from engaging in such actions?
2. Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations? (Note: This includes civic organizations, interest groups, foundations, etc.)

Are registration and other legal requirements for nongovernmental organizations particularly onerous and intended to prevent them from functioning freely?
Are laws related to the financing of nongovernmental organizations unduly complicated and cumbersome?
Are donors and funders of nongovernmental organizations free of government pressure?
Are members of nongovernmental organizations intimidated, arrested, imprisoned, or assaulted because of their work?
3. Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents, and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there free professional and other private organizations?

Are trade unions allowed to be established and to operate free from government interference?
Are workers pressured by the government or employers to join or not to join certain trade unions, and do they face harassment, violence, or dismissal from their jobs if they do?
Are workers permitted to engage in strikes, and do members of unions face reprisals for engaging in peaceful strikes? (Note: This question may not apply to workers in essential government services or public safety jobs.)
Are unions able to bargain collectively with employers and able to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that are honored in practice?
For states with very small populations or primarily agriculturally-based economies that do not necessarily support the formation of trade unions, does the government allow for the establishment of peasant organizations or their equivalents? Is there legislation expressively forbidding the formation of trade unions?
Are professional organizations, including business associations, allowed to operate freely and without government interference?
F. Rule of Law

1. Is there an independent judiciary?

Is the judiciary subject to interference from the executive branch of government or from other political, economic, or religious influences?
Are judges appointed and dismissed in a fair and unbiased manner?
Do judges rule fairly and impartially, or do they commonly render verdicts that favor the government or particular interests, whether in return for bribes or other reasons?
Do executive, legislative, and other governmental authorities comply with judicial decisions, and are these decisions effectively enforced?
Do powerful private concerns comply with judicial decisions, and are decisions that run counter to the interests of powerful actors effectively enforced?
2. Does the rule of law prevail in civil and criminal matters? Are police under direct civilian control?

Are defendants’ rights, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, protected?
Are detainees provided access to independent, competent legal counsel?
Are defendants given a fair, public, and timely hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal?
Are prosecutors independent of political control and influence?
Are prosecutors independent of powerful private interests, whether legal or illegal?
Is there effective and democratic civilian state control of law enforcement officials through the judicial, legislative, and executive branches?
Are law enforcement officials free from the influence of non-state actors, including organized crime, powerful commercial interests, or other groups?
3. Is there protection from political terror, unjustified imprisonment, exile, or torture, whether by groups that support or oppose the system? Is there freedom from war and insurgencies?

Do law enforcement officials make arbitrary arrests and detentions without warrants or fabricate or plant evidence on suspects?
Do law enforcement officials beat detainees during arrest and interrogation or use excessive force or torture to extract confessions?
Are conditions in pretrial facilities and prisons humane and respectful of the human dignity of inmates?
Do citizens have the means of effective petition and redress when their rights are violated by state authorities?
Are there private/non-state actors operating in the country that engage in kidnapping for ransom, murder, or other violent crimes against the general population or specific groups?
Is the population subjected to physical harm, forced removal, or other acts of violence or terror due to civil conflict or war?
4. Do laws, policies, and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population?

Are members of various distinct groups—including ethnic and religious minorities, homosexuals, and the disabled—able to exercise effectively their human rights with full equality before the law?
Is violence against such groups widespread, and if so, are perpetrators brought to justice?
Do members of such groups face legal and/or de facto discrimination in areas including employment, education, and housing because of their identification with a particular group?
Do women enjoy full equality in law and in practice as compared to men?
Do non-citizens—including migrant workers, asylum seekers, and non-citizen immigrants—enjoy basic internationally recognized human rights, including the right not to be subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment, the right to due-process of law, and the rights of freedom of association, expression, and religion?
G. Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights

1. Does the state control travel or choice of residence, employment, or institution of higher education?

Are there restrictions on foreign travel, including the use of an exit visa system, which may be issued selectively?
Is permission required from the authorities to move within the country?
Does the government determine or otherwise influence a person’s type and place of employment?
Are bribes or other inducements for government officials needed to obtain the necessary documents to travel, change one’s place of residence or employment, enter institutions of higher education, or advance in school?
2. Do citizens have the right to own property and establish private businesses? Is private business activity unduly influenced by government officials, the security forces, political parties/organizations, or organized crime?

Are people legally allowed to purchase and sell land and other property, and can they do so in practice without undue interference from the government or non-state actors?
Does the government provide adequate and timely compensation to people whose property is expropriated under eminent domain laws?
Are people legally allowed to establish and operate private businesses with a reasonable minimum of registration, licensing, and other requirements?
Are bribes or other inducements needed to obtain the necessary legal documents to operate private businesses?
Do private/non-state actors, including criminal groups, seriously impede private business activities through such measures as extortion?
3. Are there personal social freedoms, including gender equality, choice of marriage partners, and size of family?

Is violence against women, including wife-beating and rape, widespread, and are perpetrators brought to justice?
Is the trafficking of women and/or children abroad for prostitution widespread, and is the government taking adequate efforts to address the problem?
Do women face de jure and de facto discrimination in economic and social matters, including property and inheritance rights, divorce proceedings, and child custody matters?
Does the government directly or indirectly control choice of marriage partners through means such as requiring large payments to marry certain individuals (e.g., foreign citizens) or by not enforcing laws against child marriage or dowry payments?
Does the government determine the number of children that a couple may have?
Does the government engage in state-sponsored religious/cultural/ethnic indoctrination and related restrictions on personal freedoms?
Do private institutions, including religious groups, unduly infringe on the rights of individuals, including choice of marriage partner, dress, etc.?
4. Is there equality of opportunity and the absence of economic exploitation?

Does the government exert tight control over the economy, including through state ownership and the setting of prices and production quotas?
Do the economic benefits from large state industries, including the energy sector, benefit the general population or only a privileged few?
Do private interests exert undue influence on the economy through monopolistic practices, cartels, or illegal blacklists, boycotts, or discrimination?
Is entrance to institutions of higher education or the ability to obtain employment limited by widespread nepotism and the payment of bribes?
Are certain groups, including ethnic or religious minorities, less able to enjoy certain economic benefits than others? For example, are certain groups restricted from holding particular jobs, whether in the public or the private sector, because of de jure or de facto discrimination?
Do state or private employers exploit their workers through activities including unfairly withholding wages and permitting or forcing employees to work under unacceptably dangerous conditions, as well as through adult slave labor and child labor?


The Freedom in the World 2007 survey contains reports on 193 countries and 15 related and disputed territories. Each country report begins with a section containing the following information: population, capital, political rights [numerical rating], civil liberties [numerical rating], status [Free, Partly Free, or Not Free], and a ten-year ratings timeline. (Beginning this year, data on gross national income per capita [GNI/capita], life expectancy, religious groups, and ethnic groups are no longer included in this section). Each territory report begins with a section containing the same information, except for capital. The population figures are drawn primarily from the 2006 World Population Data Sheet of the Population Reference Bureau.

The political rights and civil liberties categories contain numerical ratings between 1 and 7 for each country or territory, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The status designation of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free, which is determined by the combination of the political rights and civil liberties ratings, indicates the general state of freedom in a country or territory. The ratings of countries or territories which have improved or declined since the previous survey are indicated by notations next to the ratings. Positive or negative trends which do not warrant a ratings change since the previous year may be indicated by upward or downward trend arrows, which are located next to the name of the country or territory. A brief explanation of ratings changes or trend arrows is provided for each country or territory as required. For a full description of the methods used to determine the survey’s ratings, please see the chapter on the survey’s methodology.

The ten-year ratings timeline lists the political rights and civil liberties ratings and status for each of the last ten years. Each year that is included in the timeline refers to the year under review, not the edition of the survey. Thus, the ratings and status from the Freedom in the World 2007 edition are listed under “2006” (the year that was under review for the 2007 survey edition).

Following the section described above, each country and territory report is divided into two parts: an overview and an analysis of political rights and civil liberties. The overview provides a brief historical background and a description of major recent events. The political rights and civil liberties section summarizes each country or territory’s degree of respect for the rights and liberties which Freedom House uses to evaluate freedom in the world.



ABC Color [Paraguay], www.abc.com.py
Africa Confidential , www.africa-confidential.com
Africa Daily , www.africadaily.com
Africa Energy Intelligence , www.africaintelligence.com
AFRICAHOME dotcom, www.africahome.com
AfricaOnline.com, www.africaonline.com
African Elections Database, http://africanelections.tripod.com
Afrol News, www.afrol.com
Aftenposten [Norway], www.aftenposten.no
Agence France Presse (AFP), www.afp.com
Al-Ahram [Egypt], www.weekly.ahram.org.eg
Al Jazeera, http://english.aljazeera.net
allAfrica.com, www.allafrica.com
Al-Ray Al-‘am [Kuwait], www.alraialaam.com
Al-Raya [Qatar], www.raya.com
Al-Quds Al-Arabi , www.alquds.co.uk
Al-Thawra [Yemen], www.althawra.gov.ye
Al-Watan [Qatar], www.al-watan.com
American Broadcasting Corporation News (ABC), www.abcnews.go.com
American RadioWorks, www.americanpublicmedia.publicradio.org
Andorra Times , www.andorratimes.com
Arab News [Saudi Arabia], www.arabnews.com
Annual Review of Population Law (Harvard Law School), annualreview.law.harvard.edu
Asharq Alawsat, www.asharqalawsat.com
Asia Times , www.atimes.com
Associated Press (AP), www.ap.org
The Atlantic Monthly , www.theatlantic.com
Australia Broadcasting Corporation News Online, www.abc.net.au/news
The Australian , www.theaustralian.news.com.au
Bahrain Post , www.bahrainpost.com
Bahrain Tribune , www.bahraintribune.com
Baltic News Service, www.bns.lt
Bangkok Post , www.bangkokpost.co.th
The Boston Globe , www.boston.com
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), www.bbc.co.uk
BruDirect.com, www.brudirect.com/
The Budapest Sun , www.budapestsun.com
Business Day [South Africa], www.bday.co.za
Cabinda.net, www.cabinda.net
Cable News Network (CNN), www.cnn.com
Cameroon Tribune , www.cameroon-tribune.cm
The Caribbean & Central America Report (Intelligence Research Ltd.)
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst (Johns Hopkins University), www.cacianalyst.org
The China Post , www.chinapost.com.tw
The Christian Science Monitor , www.csmonitor.com
CIA World Factbook, www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook
Civil Georgia , www.civil.ge
The Copenhagen Post [Denmark], www.cphpost.dk
Corriere della Sera [Italy], www.corriere.it
Daily Excelsior [India-Kashmir], www.dailyexcelsior.com
Daily Star [Bangladesh], www.dailystar.net
The Daily Times, www.dailytimes.bppmw.com/
Danas [Serbia and Montenegro], www.danas.co.yu
Dani [Bosnia-Herzegovina], www.bhdani.com
Dawn [Pakistan], www.dawn.com
Der Spiegel , www.spiegel.de
Der Standard [Austria], www.derstandard.at
Die Zeit [Germany], www.zeit.de
Deutsche Presse-Agentur [Germany], www.dpa.de
Deutsche Welle [Germany], www.dwelle.de
The East Africa Standard [Kenya], www.eastandard.net
East European Constitutional Review (New York University), www.law.nyu.edu/eedr
The Economist , www.economist.com
The Economist Intelligence Unit reports
EFE News Service [Spain], www.efenews.com
Election Watch, www.electionwatch.org
Election World, www.electionworld.org
El Mercurio [Chile], www.elmercurio.cl
El Nuevo Herald [United States], www.miami.com/mld/elnuevo
El Pais [Uruguay], www.elpais.com.uy
El Tiempo [Colombia], www.eltiempo.com
El Universal [Venezuela], www.eluniversal.com.ve
Expreso [Peru], www.expreso.co.pe
Far Eastern Economic Review , www.feer.com
Federal Bureau of Investigation Hate Crime Statistics, www.fbi.gov/ucr/2003/03semimaps.pdf
Fiji Times Online , www.fijitimes.com
FijiSUN , www.sun.com.fj
The Financial Times , www.ft.com
Finnish News Agency, http://virtual.finland.fi/stt
Folha de Sao Paulo , www.folha.com.br
Foreign Affairs , www.foreignaffairs.org
Foreign Policy , www.foreignpolicy.com
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [Germany], www.faz.net
The Friday Times [Pakistan], www.thefridaytimes.com
The Frontier Post [Pakistan], www.frontierpost.com
Global News Wire, www.lexis-nexis.com
Globus [Croatia], www.globus.com.hr
The Good Friday Agreement [Northern Ireland], www.nio.gov.uk/issues/agreement.htm
The Guardian [Nigeria], www.ngrguardiannews.com
The Guardian [United Kingdom], www.guardian.co.uk
Gulf Daily News [Bahrain], www.gulf-daily-news.com
Gulf News Online [United Arab Emirates], www.gulf-news.com
Gulf Times [Qatar], www.gulf-times.com
Harper’s Magazine , www.harpers.org
Haveeru Daily [Maldives], www.haveeru.com.mv
The Hindustan Times [India], www.hindustantimes.com
Iceland Review , www.icelandreview.com
The Independent [United Kingdom], www.independent.co.uk
Index on Censorship , www.indexonline.org
India Today , www.india-today.com
The Indian Express, www.indian-express.com
Info Matin [Mali], www.info-matin.com
Insight Magazine , www.insightmag.com
Insight Namibia Magazine , www.insight.com.na
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), www.irinnews.org
Inter Press Service, www.ips.org
Interfax News Agency, www.interfax-news.com
International Herald Tribune , www.iht.com
Irish Independent , www.unison.ie/irish_independent
Irish Times , www.ireland.com
Islands Business Magazine , www.islandsbusiness.com
The Jordan Times, www.jordantimes.com
Journal of Democracy , www.journalofdemocracy.org
Jyllands-Posten [Denmark], www.jp.dk
Kashmir Times [India - Kashmir], www.kashmirtimes.com
Kathmandu Post , www.nepalnews.com.np/ktmpost.htm
Khaleej Times [United Arab Emirates], www.khaleejtimes.com
The Korea Times , http://times.hankooki.com
Kuensel [Bhutan], www.kuenselonline.com
Kurier [Austria], www.kurier.at
Kuwait Post , www.kuwaitpost.com
La Jornada [Mexico], www.jornada.uam.nx
La Nacion [Argentina], www.lanacion.com.ar
La Repubblica [Italy], www.repubblica.it
La Tercera [Chile], www.tercera.cl
Lanka Monthly Digest [Sri Lanka], www.lanka.net/LMD
Latin American Regional Reports , www.latinnews.com
Latin American Weekly Reports , www.latinnews.com
Le Faso [Burkina Faso], www.lefaso.net
Le Figaro [France], www.lefigaro.fr
Le Messager [Cameroon], www.lemessager.net
Le Monde [France], www.lemonde.fr
Le Temps [Switzerland], www.letemps.ch
Lexis-Nexis, www.lexis-nexis.com
The Local [Sweden], www.thelocal.se
The Los Angeles Times , www.latimes.com
Mail & Guardian [South Africa], www.mg.co.za
The Manila Times, www.manilatimes.net/
Marianas Variety , www.mvariety.com
Matangi Tonga Magazine , www.matangitonga.to
The Messenger [Georgia], www.messenger.com.ge
The Miami Herald , www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald
Middle East Online, www.middle-east-online.com
Mirianas Variety [Micronesia], www.mvariety.com
Mopheme News [Lesotho], www.lesoff.co.za/news
Mother Jones , www.motherjones.com
The Moscow Times , www.themoscowtimes.com
Nacional [Croatia], www.nacional.hr
The Namibian, www.namibian.com.na/
The Nation , www.thenation.org
The Nation [Thailand], www.nationmultimedia.com
The Nation Online [Malawi], www.nationmalawi.com
The National [Papua New Guinea], www.thenational.com.pg
National Public Radio (NPR), www.npr.org
National Review , www.nationalreview.com
Neue Zurcher Zeitung [Switzerland], www.nzz.ch
The New York Times , www.nytimes.com
The New Yorker , www.newyorker.com
The New Zealand Herald , www.nzherald.co.nz
NIN [Serbia and Montenegro], www.nin.co.yu
Noticias [Argentina], www.noticias.uolsinectis.com.ar
Notimex [Mexico], www.notimex.com
Novi Reporter [Serbia and Montenegro]
O Estado de Sao Paulo , www.estado.com.br
O Globo [Brazil] , www.oglobo.globo.com
OFFnews [Argentina], www.offnews.info
Oman Arabic Daily , www.omandaily.com
Oman Daily Observer , www.omanobserver.com
Oslobodjenje [Bosnia-Herzegovina], www.oslobodjenje.com.ba
Outlook [India], www.outlookindia.com
Pacific Islands Report , http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport
Pagina/12 [Argentina], www.pagina12.com.ar
PANAPRESS, www.panapress.com
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier , www.postcourier.com.pg
The Pioneer [India], www.dailypioneer.com
Political Handbook of the World, http://phw.binghamton.edu
Politika [Serbia-Montenegro], www.politika.co.yu
Port Vila Presse , www.news.vu/en/
The Post [Zambia], www.zamnet.zm/zamnet/post/post.html
The Prague Post , www.praguepost.com
Radio and Television Hong Kong, www.rthk.org.hk
Radio Australia, www.abc.net.au/ra
Radio France Internationale, www.rfi.fr
Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty reports, www.rferl.org
Radio Lesotho, www.lesotho.gov.ls/radio/radiolesotho
Radio Okapi [Democratic Republic of Congo], www.radioOkapi.net
Radio New Zealand, www.rnzi.com
Reporter [Serbia and Montenegro]
Reuters, www.reuters.com
Ritzau [Denmark], www.ritzau.dk
The Samoa News , www.samoanews.com
Semana [Colombia], www.semana.com
Slobodna Bosna [Bosnia-Herzegovina], www.slobodna-bosna.ba
The Slovak Spectator , www.slovakspectator.sk
Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, www.sibconline.com.sb
Solomon Star , www.solomonstarnews.com
The Somaliland Times , www.somalilandtimes.net
South Asia Tribune [Pakistan], www.satribune.com
South China Morning Post [Hong Kong], www.scmp.com
The Statesman [India], www.thestatesman.net
Straits Times [Singapore], www.straitstimes.asia1.com.sg
Suddeutsche Zeitung [Germany], www.sueddeutsche.de
Tageblatt [Luxembourg], www.tageblatt.lu
Tahiti Presse , www.tahitipresse.pf
Taipei Times , www.taipeitimes.com
Tamilnet.com, www.tamilnet.com
Tax-News.com, www.tax-news.com
This Day [Nigeria], www.thisdayonline.com
The Tico Times [Costa Rica], www.ticotimes.net
Time , www.time.com
The Times of Central Asia , www.times.kg
The Times of India , www.timesofindia.net
Times of Zambia , www.times.co.zm/
TomPaine.com, www.TomPaine.com
Tonga Now , www.tonga-now.to
Tonga USA Today , www.tongausatoday.com
Transcaucasus: A Chronology , www.anca.org/anca/transcaucasus.asp
Turkistan Newsletter
U.S. News and World Report , www.usnews.com
U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt
U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Trafficking Reports, www.state.gov/g/tip
U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Reports, www.state.gov/g/drl/irf
The Vanguard [Nigeria], www.vanguardngr.com
Vanuatu Daily Post , www.vanuatudaily.com
Venpres [Venezuela], www.venpres.gov.ve
Voice of America, www.voa.gov
The Wall Street Journal , www.wsj.com
The Washington Post , www.washingtonpost.com
The Washington Times , www.washingtontimes.com
The Weekly Standard , www.weeklystandard.com
World of Information Country Reports, www.worldinformation.com
World News, www.wn.com
Xinhua News, www.xinhuanet.com
Yemen Observer , www.yobserver.com
Yemen Times , www.yementimes.com
Yokwe Online [Marshall Islands], www.yokwe.net


Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, www.aihrc.org.af
Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, www.areu.org.pk
Afrobarometer, www.afrobarometer.org
American Civil Liberties Union, www.aclu.org
Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org
Annan Plan for Cyprus, www.cyprus-un-plan.org
Anti-Slavery International, www.antislavery.org
Asian Center for Human Rights [India], www.achrweb.org
Asian Human Rights Commission [Hong Kong], www.ahrchk.net
Balkan Human Rights Web, www.greekhelsinki.gr
Bangladesh Center for Development, Journalism, and Communication, www.bcjdc.org
British Helsinki Human Rights Group, www.oscewatch.org/default.asp
Cabindese Government in Exile, www.cabinda.org
Cambridge International Reference on Current Affairs, www.circaworld.com
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, www.carnegieendowment.org
The Carter Center, www.cartercenter.org
Centre for Monitoring Electoral Violence [Sri Lanka], www.cpalanka.org/cmev.html
Centre for Policy Alternatives [Sri Lanka], www.cpalanka.org
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, www.csvr.org.za
Chad/Cameroon Development Project, www.essochad.com
Chatham House [United Kingdom], www.chathamhouse.org.uk
Committee for the Prevention of Torture, www.cpt.coe.int
Committee to Protect Journalists, www.cpj.org
Council of Europe, www.coe.int
The Danish Institute for Human Rights, www.humanrights.dk
Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Global Advice Network, www.business-anti-corruption.com
Ditshwanelo – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, www.ditshwanelo.org.bw
Earth Institute Advisory Group for Sao Tome and Principe, www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu
Election Commission of India, www.eci.gov.in
Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, www.eisa.org.za
Eurasia Group, www.eurasiagroup.net
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, www.ebrd.org
European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance, www.ecri.coe.int
European Institute for the Media, www.eim.org
European Union, www.europa.eu.int
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, www.eitransparency.org
Fijilive. www.fijilive.com
Fiji Village, www.FijiVillage.com
Forum 18, www.forum18.org
Forum for Human Dignity [Sri Lanka], www.fhd.8m.net
Forum of Federations/Forum des Federations, www.forumfed.org
Friends of Niger, www.friendsofniger.org
Global Integrity, www.globalintegrity.org
Global Policy Forum, www.globalpolicy.org
Global Rights, www.globalrights.org
Global Witness, www.globalwitness.org
The Government of Botswana Website, www.gov.bw
The Government of Mauritania Website, www.mauritania.mr
Habitat International Coalition, http://home.mweb.co.za/hi/hic/
Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, www.hkhrm.org.hk
Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan, http://mitglied.lycos.de/hrca
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, www.hrcp-web.org
Human Rights First, www.humanrightsfirst.org
Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org
INFORM (Sri Lanka Information Monitor)
Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, www.idee.org
Institute for Democracy in South Africa, www.idasa.org.za
Institute for Security Studies, www.iss.co.za
Institute for War and Peace Reporting, www.iwpr.net
Inter-American Dialogue, www.thedialogue.org
Inter American Press Association, www.sipiapa.com
International Alert, www.international-alert.org
International Bar Association, www.ibanet.org
International Campaign for Tibet, www.savetibet.org
International Centre for Ethnic Studies, www.icescolombo.org
International Commission of Jurists, www.icj.org
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, www.icftu.org
International Crisis Group, www.crisisweb.org
International Federation of Journalists, www.ifj.org
International Foundation for Electoral Systems, www.ifes.org
International Freedom of Expression Exchange, www.ifex.org
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, www.ihf-hr.org
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, www.idea.int
International Labour Organization, www.ilo.org
International Legal Assistance Consortium, www.ilacinternational.org
International Lesbian and Gay Association, www.ilga.org
International Monetary Fund, www.imf.org
International Network for Higher Education in Africa, www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/soe/cihe/inhea/
International Organization for Migration, www.iom.int
International Press Institute, www.freemedia.at
International Republican Institute, www.iri.org
International Society For Fair Elections And Democracy [Georgia], www.isfed.ge
Jamestown Foundation, www.jamestown.org
Kashmir Study Group, www.kashmirstudygroup.net
Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights, www.kchr.elcat.kg
Macedonian Information Agency, www.mia.mk
The Malawi Human Rights Commission
Malta Data, www.maltadata.com
Media Institute of Southern Africa, www.misa.org
Media Rights Agenda [Nigeria], www.mediarightsagenda.org
Millennium Challenge Corporation, www.mcc.gov
National Anti-Corruption Network [Burkina Faso], www.renlac.org
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, www.ndi.org
The National Endowment for Democracy, www.ned.org
National Human Rights Commission [India], www.nhrc.nic.in
National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, www.peace-srilanka.org
National Society for Human Rights [Namibia], www.nshr.org.na
Nicaragua Network, www.nicanet.org
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, www.omct.org
Odhikar [Bangladesh], www.odhikar.org
Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, www.ohr.int
Open Society Institute, www.soros.org
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, www.oecd.org
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, www.osce.org
Pacific Media Watch, www.pmw.c20.org
People’s Forum for Human Rights [Bhutan]
Population Reference Bureau, www.prb.org
Publish What You Pay Campaign, www.publishwhatyoupay.org
Refugees International, www.refugeesinternational.org
Reporters Sans Frontieres, www.rsf.org
Republic of Angola, www.angola.org
Royal Institute of International Affairs, www.riia.org
Save the Children, www.savethechildren.org
Shan Women’s Action Network, www.shanwomen.org
South African Human Rights Commission, www.sahrc.org.za
South African Press Association, www.sapa.org.za
South Asia Analysis Group [India], www.saag.org
South Asia Terrorism Portal [India], www.satp.org
Sweden.se, www.sweden.se
Tibet Information Network, www.tibetinfo.net
Transitions Online, www.tol.cz
Transparency International, www.transparency.org
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, www.mfa.gov.tr
United Nations Development Program, www.undp.org
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, www.unhcr.org
United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, www.unhchr.ch
United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo, www.unmikonline.org
United Nations Population Division, www.un.org/esa/population
United Nations Security Council, www.un.org
U.S. Agency for International Development, www.usaid.org
U.S. Department of State, www.state.gov
University Teachers for Human Rights-Jaffna, www.uthr.org
Washington Office on Latin America, www.wola.org
The World Bank, www.worldbank.org
World Markets Research Centre, www.wmrc.com
World Press Freedom Committee, www.wpfc.org

Survey Team
Contributing Authors

Alexis Arieff is a graduate student in international relations at Yale University and a former Senior Research Associate for the Africa program at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She writes for the Freedom House survey, Freedom of the Press. She served as an Africa analyst for Freedom in the World.

Gordon N. Bardos is Assistant Director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He also serves as Executive Director of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), the world's largest scholarly organization dedicated to the problems of nationalism, ethnicity, and ethnic conflict-management. He served as a Balkans analyst for Freedom in the World.

Britta H. Crandall is a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where her research focuses on U.S. policy toward Brazil. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was Associate Director for Latin American sovereign risk analysis at Bank One. She also worked as a Latin American Program Examiner for the Office of Management and Budget. She served as a South America analyst for Freedom in the World.

Jake Dizard is a Research Analyst at Freedom House and Assistant Editor of Countries at the Crossroads, Freedom House’s annual survey of democratic governance. His area of focus is Latin America, with a specific emphasis on the Andean region. He is a 2005 graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He served as a Latin America analyst for Freedom in the World.

Camille Eiss is a Research Analyst at Freedom House and Assistant Editor of Freedom in the World. Her research focuses on political and human rights developments in Southeast Asia. She previously worked as Associate Managing Editor of the Washington Quarterly at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She holds an M.Sc. in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics, with a focus on political Islam. She served as a Southeast Asia analyst for Freedom in the World.

Daniel P. Erikson is Senior Associate for U.S. Policy and Director of Caribbean Programs at the Inter-American Dialogue. He has published more than thirty academic and opinion articles on topics in Western Hemisphere affairs, and he is the co-editor of Transforming Socialist Economies: Lessons for Cuba and Beyond. His past positions include Research Associate at the Harvard Business School and Fulbright scholar in U.S.-Mexican business relations. He served as the Caribbean analyst for Freedom in the World.

Thomas W. Gold is a former Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at Sacred Heart University and the author of The Lega Nord and Contemporary Politics in Italy. He earned his doctorate from the New School for Social Research and received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Italy. He served as a Western Europe analyst for Freedom in the World.

Robert Lane Greene writes for Economist.com and The Economist and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Global Affairs at New York University. Previously, he was the Editor of country analyses at Economist.com. He holds a master’s degree from Oxford University in European politics, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He served as a Western and Central Europe analyst for Freedom in the World.

David Hawk formerly directed the Cambodia Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights and Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA. He recently authored a major Freedom House report, "Concentrations of Inhumanity: An Analysis of the Phenomena of Repression Associated with North Korea's Kwan-li-so Political Penal Labor Camps According to the Terms and Provisions of Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the Parallel Provisions of Customary International Law on Crimes Against Humanity." He served as an East Asia analyst for Freedom in the World.

Barrie Hofmann is a Senior Advisor for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where she formerly served as NDI's Deputy Regional Director for Central and West Africa. She completed a number of diplomatic assignments abroad for the Department of State and was an analyst in the State Department's Office of African Analysis. She served as a Western and Central Africa analyst for Freedom in the World.

Karin Deutsch Karlekar is a Senior Researcher at Freedom House and the Managing Editor of Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press survey. She has written South Asian reports for Freedom of the Press and the Countries at the Crossroads 2004 survey of democratic governance, and has been on research missions to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Ms. Karlekar holds a Ph.D. in Indian history from Cambridge University and previously worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch and as an editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She served as a South Asia analyst for Freedom in the World.

Sanja Kelly is the Managing Editor of Countries at the Crossroads, Freedom House’s annual survey of democratic governance. In this capacity, she directs research, writing, and administrative operations for the survey. Ms. Kelly acts as a spokesperson for Freedom House on the issues of political development in the Balkans. She served as a Balkans analyst for Freedom in the World.

Lydia Khalil is a New York-based Middle East analyst specializing in Middle East political reform and international terrorism and is a regular contributor to the Jamestown Foundation publications. She has worked in the United States and abroad for the U.S. government, international organizations, private companies, and think tanks on a variety of international security issues. She also worked in Iraq as a policy advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad and worked closely with Iraqi politicians on constitutional drafting and political negotiations. She holds a Master’s degree in International Security from Georgetown University. She served as a Middle East analyst for Freedom in the World.

Astrid Larson is a Researcher for Freedom House and Office Manager in the New York Freedom House office. She has served as an analyst for Western Europe, Africa, and the South Pacific for Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press. She served as the Scandinavia analyst for Freedom in the World.

Eleanor Marchant is a Research Analyst at Freedom House and the Assistant Editor of Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press survey. Her research focuses on human rights, particularly press freedom, in West Africa, and she has authored a number of reports on countries in that region for both the 2006 and 2007 editions of Freedom of the Press. She holds an M.A. in international relations from New York University and a B.Sc. in economics and politics from the University of Bristol in England. She served as a West Africa analyst for Freedom in the World.

Edward R. McMahon holds a joint appointment as Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. Previously, he was Dean's Professor of Applied Politics and the Director of the Center on Democratic Performance at Binghamton University (SUNY). He has also served as regional director for West, East, and Central Africa at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. He served as the East Africa analyst for Freedom in the World.

Melissa Murphy has been covering East Asian issues for over a decade and is currently based in Washington, DC. She holds an MA from Harvard University and has written extensively on China, Taiwan, and Sino-U.S. relations. She served as an East Asia analyst for Freedom in the World.

Manuel Orozco is Director of Remittances and Development at the Inter-American Dialogue conducting policy analysis and advocacy on issues relating to global flows of remittances. He also heads the Central America program. In addition to his work at the Dialogue, he is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University. He has worked as a policy consultant for various organizations in Central America, the United States, and South Africa developing programs on democracy and governance issues. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Texas at Austin. He served as the Central America analyst for Freedom in the World.

Robert Orttung is a visiting scholar at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and a Senior Fellow at the Jefferson Institute. Orttung is a co-editor of the Russian Analytical Digest, a biweekly newsletter that examines political and economic developments in Russia. His recent books include Russian Business Power: The Role of Business in Russian Foreign and Security Relations (co-edited with Andreas Wenger and Jeronim Perovic) and Counter-Terrorism Strategies in the US, UK, France, Turkey, and Russia: A Comparative Analysis (co-edited with Andrey Makarychev). He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA in 1992 and a B.A. from Stanford University in Russian Studies in 1986. He served as an Eastern Europe analyst for Freedom in the World.

Aili Piano is a Senior Researcher at Freedom House and the Managing Editor of Freedom in the World. She was a country report author for several editions of Nations in Transit, a Freedom House survey of democratization in East-Central Europe and Eurasia, and for Freedom House’s Countries at the Crossroads 2004 survey of democratic governance. Before joining Freedom House, she worked as a diplomatic attaché at the Estonian Mission to the United Nations. She holds a Master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She served as the Baltic states analyst for Freedom in the World.

Arch Puddington is Director of Research at Freedom House and co-editor of Freedom in the World. He has written widely on American foreign policy, race relations, organized labor, and the history of the Cold War. He is the author of Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and Lane Kirkland: Champion of American Labor. He served as the United States and Canada analyst for Freedom in the World.

Sarah Repucci is a Senior Research Coordinator at Transparency International in Berlin. Previously, she was a Senior Researcher at Freedom House. Ms. Repucci holds an M.A. in European Studies from New York University. She served as the Turkey and Cyprus analyst for Freedom in the World.

Mark Y. Rosenberg is a doctoral student of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a former Researcher at Freedom House and Assistant Editor of Freedom in the World. He is the author of the South Africa report for Countries at the Crossroads 2006 and is the Southern Africa and Israel analyst for Freedom of the Press. He served as the Southern Africa and Israel/Palestinian Territories analyst for Freedom in the World.

Hani Sabra is a human rights professional based in New York City. From 2001-2005, he was the Middle East and North Africa researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists. He served as a Middle East analyst for Freedom in the World.

Sanam Vakil is Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her academic research concerns Iran’s domestic and foreign policy, US foreign policy to the Middle East, and Persian Gulf politics. She served as a Middle East analyst for Freedom in the World.

Peter VonDoepp is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont. A specialist in African politics, he has published numerous articles on democratization processes in Africa. He is also editor (with Leonardo Villalon) and contributor to The Fate of Africa’s Democratic Experiments: Elites and Institutions (Indiana 2005). He has obtained research grants from the National Science Foundation and Fulbright Hays Program. He served as a Southern Africa analyst for Freedom in the World.

Christopher Walker is Director of Studies at Freedom House and co-editor of Countries at the Crossroads, Freedom House’s annual survey of democratic governance. He has written extensive analyses of European and Eurasian political and security affairs. He holds a Master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He served as the Caucasus analyst for Freedom in the World.

Thomas Webb is a Research Assistant at Freedom House and a recent graduate of Vassar College. He served as a South Asia and Eastern Europe analyst for Freedom in the World.

Anny Wong is a political scientist with the RAND Corporation. Her research covers science and technology policy, international development, homeland security, and U.S. relations with Asia-Pacific countries. She served as the Pacific Islands and Indochina analyst for Freedom in the World.
Academic Advisors

Jon B. Alterman directs the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
David Becker is an Emeritus Professor of Government at Dartmouth College.
John P. Entelis is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at Fordham University.
John W. Harbeson is Professor of Political Science at The Graduate Center and City College of the City University of New York.
Thomas R. Lansner is Adjunct Associate Professor of International Affairs in the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
Peter Lewis is Associate Professor and Director of the African Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Rajan Menon is Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University and a Fellow at the New America Foundation.
John S. Micgiel is Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Director of the East Central European Center at Columbia University.
Alexander J. Motyl is Professor of Political Science and Deputy Director of the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University-Newark.
Andrew Moravcsik is Professor of Politics and Director of the European Union Program, Princeton University.
Andrew J. Nathan is Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
Philip Oldenburg is Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, and Research Scholar, Southern Asian Institute at Columbia University.
Michael Shifter is Vice President for Policy at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC. He is also Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
Peter Sinnott is Assistant Director, Central Asia Project at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.
Bridget Welsh is Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Production Team
Linda Stern, Copy Editor
Tyler Roylance, Line Editor
Ida Walker, Proofreader
Mark Wolkenfeld, Production Coordinator


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