Syria has been ranked as the world’s least free country in Freedom House’s World 2018 Freedom Index released on Wednesday. The human rights watchdog’s flagship annual report, assessing the condition of political rights and civil liberties around the world, placed Syria at the bottom of the list of the least free countries for the second consecutive year.
Syria under the Assad regime is the only country to get a negative -1 score in the index.
The report found that 2017 was the 12th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. Seventy-one countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2017, with only 35 registering gains.
A major development of 2017 was the retreat of the United States as both a champion and an exemplar of democracy. While Freedom House has tracked a slow decline in political rights and civil liberties in the United States for the past seven years, the decline accelerated in 2017.
South Sudan, Eretria, North Korea, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, and Turkmenistan came after Syria in the list, with scores between two and four points out of 100.
Last years’ report by Freedom House designated Syria as the world’s worst country in terms of freedom and civil rights, scoring minus 1 out of 100 points. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)