Every year, Freedom House publishes its Worst of the Worst rankings.
These rankings list the countries with the lowest scores in regards to political rights and civil liberties.
Overall, Freedom House categorizes a total of 47 countries as “Not Free.” The other ratings are “Free” and “Partially Free.”
Freedom House assigns a score to each country; with the best being 1 (most free) and the worst being 7 (least free).
Freedom House explains the rating system in the Methodology section of Freedom in the Word 2011.
“The ratings are determined by the total number of points (up to 100) each country receives on 10 political rights questions and 15 civil liberties questions; countries receive 0 to 4 points on each question, with 0 representing the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of freedom. The combined average ratings of both political rights and civil liberties determines the overall status: Free (1.0 to 2.5), Partly Free (3.0 to 5.0), or Not Free (5.5 to 7.0).”
The “Least Free” Countries in the World
Below are the 10 countries that scored a 7 (least free) on Freedom House’s scale.
- North Korea. Freedom House describes North Korea as “a one party, Marxist-Leninist regime.” Even though the country tries to keep media exposure to a minimal, some news tends to escape, like the fact that Freedom of Speech (a basic right known to many citizens of the free world) does not exist in North Korea.
- Turkmenistan. The State Department states, “Although the constitution declares [Turkmenistan] to be a secular democracy and presidential republic, Turkmenistan is an authoritarian state…” Though the country did have elections, they did not meet international standards, and the government is still focused on centralized control.
- Uzbekistan. In regards to Uzbekistan, the State Department states, “The constitution of Uzbekistan provides for separation of powers, freedom of speech, and representative government. In reality, the executive holds almost all power.”
- Libya. Libya is a mainstay in the news of late. The Arab country’s low rating is approved of by Amnesty International. “Amnesty International has documented serious and escalating human rights abuses in Libya, beginning with the Libyan authorities’ preemptive clampdown on peaceful political activists.”
- Sudan. Freedom House contends that Sudan “is ruled by a leadership that has elements of both radical Islamism and atraditional military junta.” These juntas are military committees that make all of the decisions for the country, whether they are military or civilian. The UN has been reporting human rights violations in Sudan for a number of years. The most recent reports are stating that traditional mass graves are being found on satellite imagery near the NubaMountains.
- Burma. Burma falls short on Freedom House because the organization describes the country as “a tightlycontrolled military dictatorship.” The country’s government is operated by senior members of the military. Though a constitution and an election process was adapted, the November 2010 elections were plagued with flaws and malfeasance.”
- Equatorial Guinea. The oil rich country hascorrupt regime along with one ofthe worst human rights records in Africa. According to Human Rights Watch, the ”dictatorship under President Obiang has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country’s people”. The BBC reported, “Transparency International has put Equatorial Guinea in the top 12 of its list of most corrupt states.”
- Eritrea. It seems that since claiming is independence in 1993, the country has become an increasingly repressive policestate. On top of that, the country was in decades-long military conflicts that lead to more the tens of thousands of soldiers.
- Somalia. Somalia is basically considered a failed state. The lack of any real government in charge has led to the emergence of several Islamic groups attempting to take control. Infoplease.com reported, “Al-Shabab formally declared allegiance to al-Qaeda in February 2010, sparking further concern that the group posed a global threat. It claimed responsibility for the July bombing at a restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, that killed about 75 people who were watching the final game of the World Cup.” This has world leaders worried that Al-Shabab could become a global threat.
- Tibet. The conflict between Tibet and the Chinese has been going on for more than a century. Two has been fighting over Tibet’s independence. As the conflict escalates so do the number of human rights violations; especially torture. According to freetibet.org, “Torture remains widespread in Tibet and is used by the authorities to send a clear signal to Tibetans that political dissent is dangerous and often deadly.”
For more information about these countries and the countries that scored higher on the Freedom House scale, visit the full list.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com