Freedom in the World 2018 is out now: “Democracy in Crisis.”
Political rights and civil liberties around the world deteriorated to their lowest point in more than a decade in 2017, extending a period characterized by emboldened autocrats, beleaguered democracies, and the United States’ withdrawal from its leadership role in the global struggle for human freedom.
This makes the deep state neocon goons who run that outfit very sad.
My prediction from 2017:
Freedom House lowers United States Freedom Rating [no longer think this will happen. But as promised, carried over as-is from last set of predictions; will know in early February]: 50%
Last minute misgivings aside, this has indeed happened.
While FH still thinks Civil Rights in the US are at 1/7 (where 1 is best and 7 is worst), while Political Rights have been downgraded to 2/7, making for a total score of 1.5/7.
Why? Well, partially thanks to the Russiagate conspiracy theory;
[Electoral Process] Score Change: The score declined from 4 to 3 due to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign and a lack of action by the Trump administration to prevent a reoccurrence of such meddling.
Incidentally, I will note that – and my observations and analysis carry great weight, since I have been officially recognized as a human rights authority by Freedom House itself – that Russia now scores 6.5/7, down from 5.5/7 even just a few years earlier, a score I ridiculed in my 2013 article What I Learned From Freedom House.
Suffice to say that Freedom House now believes Russia is as unfree as the following polities: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burundi, Chad, China, Congo (Kinshasa), Cuba, Ethiopia, Laos, Libya, Russia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
It is also apparently less free than Qatar, Iran (!), Belarus, Egypt, and a plethora of 1980s US-friendly Latin American and Asian juntas.
Crimea, which is treated as a sub territory – like Chechnya was until the late 2000s – scores 9/100 on the Aggregate Score, which puts it on a par with the Central African Republic and Libya. Apparently Freedom House believes Crimeans are as unfree as a country that is in perpetual civil war and hosts African slave markets years after the Americans were done with bombing them into freedom.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine scores a not entirely unrespectable 3.0/7, despite it hosting hundreds to thousands of political prisoners.
Finally, Turkey has declined from “Partly Free” to “Not Free” – it appears that being a record holder in numbers of imprisoned journalists started to matter more after they pivoted against US interests.