Freedom House, a U.S. based NGO advocating democracy, political freedom, and human rights, has released their Freedom in the World 2015 annual report, which categorized Armenia as partly free.
Freedom in the World 2015 evaluates the state of freedom in 195 countries and 15 territories during 2014. Each country and territory is assigned two numerical ratings—from 1 to 7—for political rights and civil liberties, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The two ratings are based on scores assigned to 25 more detailed indicators. The average of a country or territory’s political rights and civil liberties ratings determines whether it is Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
Armenia received a rating of 5 for political rights, while a 4 for civil liberties. Among Disputed Territories, Nagorno Karabakh was categorized as Partly Free and received a 5 in both categories, passing both Azerbaijan and Russia which are Not Free, with a score of 6 total. According to the report, Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan are also Partly Free.
Among the states categorized as Not Free are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Iran. Among all the Eurasian Economic Union countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Armenia) only Armenia is Partially Free.
Freedom House stresses that there has been an increase of aggressive tactics by authoritarian regimes and terrorist attacks, which has contributed to the decline of freedom in the world for the ninth straight year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a rollback of democratic gains by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s intensified campaign against press freedom and civil society, and further centralization of authority in China were evidence of a growing disdain for democratic standards that was found in nearly all regions of the world.
In particular, according to the report, “Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev won a landslide reelection victory against an opposition that was crippled by arrests and legal constraints, and the regime stepped up its jailing of human rights activists, journalists, and other perceived enemies.
Despite year after year of declines in political rights and civil liberties, however, Azerbaijan has avoided the democratic world’s opprobrium due to its energy wealth and cooperation on security matters.” stated the report.
Among the 195 states, 89 have been considered Free, 55 – Partially Free, and 51 – Not Free.