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January 13, 2009
Report shows political freedoms declining worldwide

A U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. The country’s status changed from “partly free” to “not free” in a recept report.

Political freedoms declined around the world in 2008 for the third year in a row, according to a report released on Tuesday by the human rights group Freedom House. 

The survey considers events of 2008 and ranks each country as “free, “partly free” or “not free.” 

Conditions in Iraq improved, thanks to a reduction in violence, though the country is still considered “not free.” Afghanistan’s status changed from “partly free” to “not free.”

Countries like Greece received lower ratings than in previous years — Greece’s decline was due to violent riots that broke out after police shot a 15-year-old boy in Athens.  

Freedom House’s blog writes about land reform and the situation in China, where a “self-confident totalitarian spectacle” occurred throughout 2008, according to the report. 

The “Looking for Words” blog wrote about the freedom rating in Singapore, which also deteriorated.

The “BalkanBlog” reviews the report’s conclusions on several Balkans countries, writing that the report’s discussion of Kosovo is worrying

The “Democracy Digest” blog writes that the report may inform the incoming Obama administration’s approach to assisting developing democracies. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr user under a Creative Commons license.

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