Georgia ranks second in Eurasia in world freedom report

Georgia ranked highly in the wider Eurasia region, placing second behind Moldova., 25 Jan 2014 - 12:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has been named as one of Eurasia’s brightest stars by independent watchdog organization Freedom House.

Latest information from the Freedom in the World 2014 report revealed Georgia had been ranked "partly free” alongside four others in the Eurasian region.Of 195 countries world-wide, 88 were ranked "free”, 59 were ranked "partly free” and 48 were ranked "not free”.

It was the second time Georgia had been ranked in this category. Georgia ranked highly in the wider Eurasia region, placing second behind Moldova. The report stated an open and less polarized campaign environment and free and fair Presidential elections in October 2013 significantly contributed to Georgia’s high score and subsequent ranking. 

"While there are still concerns about selective prosecutions of officials from former President MikheilSaakashvili’s government, most signs suggested a strengthening of democratic institutions by the Georgian Dream Government over the past year,” stated the watchdog report.  

Furthermore, the repost hailed Georgia and Moldova for resisting pressure and initializing the EU pacts as scheduled. Both countries are said to boast Eurasia’s best rankings on the Freedom in the World scale. 

In the list of the disputed territories, the report indicated Georgia’s two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Freedom House ranked Abkhazia as ‘partly free’ while South Ossetia was ranked ‘not free’. 

In general, according to the Freedom House report, Eurasian countries’ freedom scores have consistently been ranked among the worst in the world, with its political rights indicators being the worst of any region.  Reasons for this included rampant election rigging, media censorship was common, judiciaries were under political control and religious belief was subject to state direction.  

"The region includes three of the worst-rated countries, as well as Russia - a global leader among modern authoritarian regimes,”the repost said. Overall in Eurasia, only five of 12 countries were ranked as ‘partly free’. Nonewere ranked ‘free’.  Three Eurasian countries - Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan –were among the worst-rated countries in terms of freedom. There were no gains in any of these countries over the past 12 months. A decrease was noted inAzerbaijan, which suffered a downgrade in its civil liberties rating due to blatant property rights violations by the Government.