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US Human Rights Group Releases Freedom Rankings

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The human rights organization, Freedom House, has counted Estonia among the freest nations in an increasingly undemocratic world. 

Dividing its evaluations into three categories - free, partly free, and not free - Freedom House gave Estonia and 46 other countries a one out of a seven-point system. Estonia's neighbors Finland and Lithuania also received one point, while Latvia was given a 1.5 and Russia a 5.5.

Overall in the world, democracy has been on the decline for a fifth consecutive year, according to Freedom House. Out of 194 countries, freedom decreased in 25 countries, and three EU countries - France, Hungary and Latvia - were moved from the "free“ to the "partly free“ category. 

"While the decline for the year was less extensive than in some  years past, the multi-year spate of  backsliding is the longest of its kind  since  Freedom in the World was  first published in 1972 [...] The past decade began at a high point for freedom and concluded with freedom under duress.  The next decade  could witness  a  new wave of democratic development if democracy’s champions  remember that freedom is more powerful - both as  an  idea and  as the basis for practical governance - than anything its adversaries have to offer,“ wrote the Freedom House report.

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