By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, March 5: A US-based human rights advocacy group in its latest report has listed the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as the second least free region in the world.
The Freedom House in its annual 2018 report, ‘Freedom in the World’, continues to list Tibet with a score of 1 out of 100 in the aggregate score of freedom, only behind the war-torn region of Syria with -1 out of 100 in the aggregate score.
A larger aggregate score indicates a greater level of freedom and the status of freedom remains ‘Not Free’. Similar to last year, the Freedom Rating, Political Rating and Civil Liberties all were given a score of 7 with 1 being the most free and 7 being the least free.
Political Rating includes practice of political rights such as electoral process, political pluralism and participation and Functioning of government etc. Whereas, Civil Liberties include freedom of expression and belief, associational and organizational rights, rule of law and personal autonomy and individual rights.
The rights advocacy group marks the year 2017 as ‘Democracy in Crisis’. The report states that political rights and civil liberties around the world has deteriorated to their lowest point in more than a decade last year.
“Today, it is democracy that finds itself battered and weakened. For the 12th consecutive year countries that suffered democratic setbacks outnumbered those that registered gains,” it said in its report, which highlights that 71 nations suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties, with only 35 registering gains.
The report also stressed on how China, ‘one of the world’s leading autocracies’, have used this opportunity to not only step up ‘internal repression’ but also export its ‘malign influences’ to other countries, who are copying China’s behavior and adopting its disdain for democracy.
“A confident Chinese President Xi Jinping recently proclaimed that China is ‘blazing a new trail’ for developing countries to follow. It is a path that includes politicized courts, intolerance for dissent, and predetermined elections,” it said.