AhlulBayt News Agency – Bahrain’s level of freedom continued to deteriorate according to the index of political rights and civil liberties that Freedom House uses to determine the freedom status of countries across the world. For the seventh consecutive year, Freedom House has classified Bahrain as “Not Free”.
This came in the annual report entitled “Freedom in the World” issued by Freedom House on Wednesday (January 27, 2016).
The organization said that Bahrain “with little pushback from its U.S. ally, continued its shameful efforts to silence the opposition by stripping its leading critics, most of them Shiites, of their citizenship”.
Freedom House classifies the countries into 3 categories according to the freedoms they enjoy. The “Free” countries are those that allow freedom of political competition and enjoy civil liberties, political rights and independency of media. The “Partly Free” countries are those characterized with limited respect of political rights and civil liberties and suffer from corruption, weak law enforcement, racial and ethnic conflicts and monopoly of power. However, the “Not Free” countries are those that lack political rights and where disrespect of civil liberties widely prevails.
Each country and territory is assigned between 0 and 4 points on a series of 25 indicators, for an aggregate score of up to 100. These scores are used to determine two numerical ratings, for political rights and civil liberties, with a rating of 1 representing the most free conditions and 7 the least free. A country or territory’s political rights and civil liberties ratings then determine whether it has an overall status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
Bahrain scored 7 full points. This represents a massive deterioration in terms of freedoms.
According to the report, the number of countries designated as Free stands at 86, representing 44 percent of the world. The number of countries qualifying as Partly Free stands at 59, or 30 percent of the world and a total of 50 countries are deemed Not Free, representing 26 percent of the world’s polities.
On the Arab level, the report indicated that Morocco, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain received international attention although they tightened the grip on the already limited political participation and civil liberties. The report considered the evaluations of the Middle East region and North Africa in terms of freedoms the worst this year.