Freedom House, an organisation based in New York in the United States, has once again placed Estonia among the most free countries in its list of world political and human liberties. Freedom House gives out points from one to seven regarding political rights and civil liberties. The countries that were given one point in each category are the freest and those that were given seven points have the smallest liberties.
Estonia, along with most countries of the European Union, received one point for both political rights and civil liberties. Estonia received exactly the same assessment last year.
There were 195 countries on the list this year. In the opinion of Freedom House there were 90 free, 58 partly free, and 47 non-free countries in the world last year. Freedom House finds that 43% of the world population live in free countries; 23% live in partly free and 34% of the world population live in non-free countries.
Compared with last year’s table Lesotho, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tonga have risen from among partly free countries into the list of free countries. The Ivory Coast, Egypt and Libya climbed from among non-free countries to among partly free countries. Mali made the biggest fall from among free countries into the list of non-free countries. Guinea-Bissau fell from a partly free country into a non-free country.
In accordance with Freedom House a free country has open political competition, an atmosphere of the respect of human rights, significantly independent civil life and independent media.
In a partly free country respect of political rights and civil liberties is limited, a partly free country often has a high level of corruption, weak respect for laws, an atmosphere of ethnic and religious hatred, and one force dominates on the political landscape despite the existence of several parties. In a non-free country there are no basic political rights and civil liberties are violated widely and systematically.
Source: Esatonian Review