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(Source: Freedom House)

Struggle for Democracy Nearing a “Turning Point” says Freedom House. Tibet, South Sudan and Syria Least Free

Freedom House  published its 2023 edition of Freedom in the World. The report found that global freedom in 2022 declined for the 17th consecutive year and that the struggle for democracy may be approaching a turning point. Despite the dangers posed by authoritarian regimes, the report sees grounds for hope as “the effects of corruption and a focus on political control at the expense of competence exposed the limits of the authoritarian models offered by Beijing, Moscow, Caracas, or Tehran.”

The annual Freedom House report rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties in 210 countries and territories. Tibet along with South Sudan and Syria were rated the three least free countries and territories in the world with each receiving a total net score of 1 out of 100. Out of a maximum of 40 points for political rights and 60 for civil liberties, Tibet received -2 and 3 respectively for a net score of 1. South Sudan received -3 and 4 respectively for a net score of 1 and Syria received -3 and 4 respectively for also a net score of 1.

China’s total score is 9 out of 100. It received -2/40 for political rights and 11/60 for civil liberties. The overview on China states:

“China’s authoritarian regime has become increasingly repressive in recent years. The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to tighten control over all aspects of life and governance, including the state bureaucracy, the media, online speech, religious practice, universities, businesses, and civil society associations. The CCP leader and state president, Xi Jinping, secured a third term as party leader in October 2022, further consolidating personal power to a degree not seen in China for decades. Following a multiyear crackdown on political dissent, independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and human rights defenders, China’s civil society has been largely decimated.”

Additional excerpts on China includes:

“Chinese authorities have aggressively pursued policies to deliberately alter the demographics of ethnic minority regions, particularly in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia. Authorities in Xinjiang have interned more than a million Uyghurs and other members of Turkic ethnic minority groups in so-called Vocational Skills Education and Training Centers (VSETCs), as well as in prisons and other detention facilities.”

“Uyghur and other Muslim women in Xinjiang, particularly those with two or more children, are subject to a program of forced sterilization. Previous investigations and witness testimony have revealed that Xinjiang authorities have coerced women to accept surgical sterilization, forcibly implanted intrauterine contraceptive devices prior to internment, administered unknown drugs and injections to women in detention, and used fines and internment as punishment for birth-control violations.”

“Increasing numbers of ethnic minority children in Xinjiang and Tibet have been separated from their parents and forced to attend state-run boarding schools, where Mandarin is the sole language of instruction and where students are subject to intense political indoctrination.”

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