Kyrgyzstan downgraded to “not free”, Pakistan remains “part free”
Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev speaks at a meeting in this 2005 file photo. Kyrgyzstan was downgraded from “part free” to “not free” in an annual assessment of freedom around the world.[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
By Tamara Grigoryeva2010-01-12
Kyrgyzstan has been downgraded in an annual assessment of freedom, joining the other Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, already designated as “not free”.
The assessment, contained in “Freedom in the World 2010: Global Erosion of Freedom” by the non-governmental organization Freedom House, annually evaluates 193 countries based on restrictions on freedom and government oppression.
Calling “2009 the year of global declines in freedom for the first time in almost four decades”, Christopher Walker, Director of Studies at Freedom House said no country showed improvement in the latest assessment. Freedom House began their annual freedom reports in 1972.
Walker said 2009 was marked by intensified repression against human rights defenders and civic activists, with the most severe declines in freedom registered in 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the former USSR. The countries represent 20 percent of the world’s total polities.
Kyrgyzstan was moved from “partly free” to “not free” as a result of last year’s presidential elections, Walker said.
“The country was right at the edge of partly free, but during last year, the presidential elections, the pressure of the executive powers, moved Kyrgyzstan to a “not free” category. There were hopes that media freedom will be supported, but on the