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MENA worst area for political and civic freedoms

Algeria "is not a free country", according to American NGO Freedom House's annual report on freedoms in the world.

Some 195 countries and 15 territories were surveyed on whether they were "free", "partially free" or "not free" using a "methodology derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

Each country was scored between zero and seven on a set of 25 indicators and an aggregate score of 100 indicating a higher level of freedom. The scores evaluate political freedoms and civil liberties with one being the best score and seven the worst.

Algeria was one of the countries assessed as "not free", scoring an aggregate score of 35, the same score given in 2016, when assessed for its general and press freedoms. Algeria scored 6 for political freedoms and 5 for civil liberties.

The aggregate score awarded to Algeria was followed by Jordan which scored 36.

The freedoms assessed were based on individuals in the "real world", affected by both state and non-state actors, such as rebel groups and other armed entities.

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Morocco was assessed as "partially free", scoring 41 on the scale and 5 and 4 for its political freedoms and civil liberties respectively.

Tunisia was assessed as "free", scoring 78 on the freedom scale and one and three respectively for political and civil liberties.

According to the report, as in 2015, the average of the scores obtained in North Africa and the Middle East were the worst on average, just behind Eurasia.

In total, 67 countries experienced a decline in freedoms according to the NGO, while only 36 countries have gained greater freedoms.

Among the countries with the greatest decline in freedoms over the last 10 years were the Central African Republic, Turkey and Hungary, which despite its status as a "free" is declining annually.

According to Freedom House, this is the eleventh consecutive year in which the overall level of freedom in the world is declining. This is mainly due to the rise of populist movements all over the world, according to the report.

The top free countries are reportedly Finland, Norway and Sweden with a score of 100, followed by Canada and the Netherlands (99) and the United States at 90.

Western Sahara is independently assessed as "not free" among the "bound and disputed territories" group, scoring 7 both for political freedoms and for civil liberties. The Gaza Strip had an aggregate score of 12, West Bank scored 28 and Saudi Arabia was given a score of 10.

Syria was the worst ranked, with a negative aggregate score of -1, followed by Somalia, Eritrea, North Korea and Uzbekistan.

AfricaAlgeriaJordanMiddle EastNewsTunisia
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