Posted by: APO | 6 May 2008

Chad Joins Ranks of World’s Worst Regimes, Others Decline Further

Chad Joins Ranks of World’s Worst Regimes, Others Decline Further


Washington – May 6, 2008 – Increased corruption and controls on nongovernmental organizations placed Chad on a list of the world’s most repressive societies for the first time, putting the country on par with China, Zimbabwe and Syria. The finding is part of the Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies 2008, a new report released by Freedom House today.


Worst of the Worst examines civil liberties and political rights in 17 countries and three territories. The report is taken from excerpts of the upcoming Freedom in the World 2008 report, which assesses the state of freedom in 2007 in every country in the world.


“Life in each and every one of these countries and territories is stifling,” said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. “These regimes show contempt for the basic human rights of their citizens and seek to control every aspect of their daily lives including their movements, political activity and religious beliefs.” 


Chad replaced Côte d’Ivoire, which saw an improvement in its status after a 2007 peace agreement brought ruling party and rebel leaders into a coalition government. Conversely, Chad’s status declined as the government diverted oil revenues away from poverty alleviation toward security and sought to limit the activities of nongovernmental organizations, including the World Food Programme. Worst of the Worst also recorded downward trends for Burma, Somalia, Syria and Tibet.


The report includes eight countries assessed to have the worst human rights records: Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The citizens of two territories, Chechnya and Tibet, suffer from similar intense repression and state control over daily life.


Only slightly better in status are nine countries and one territory that still rank near the bottom of Freedom House’s list of the most repressive: Belarus, Chad, China, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Zimbabwe and Western Sahara.


“Each of these countries is characterized by widespread human rights violations and the systematic denial of a broad range of freedoms,” said Aili Piano, managing editor of the report. “We offer this report in the hope that it will assist the democratic world in pressing the case for freedom at the United Nations and other forums.”

Freedom House is an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.


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