Freedom House: Turkey is no longer a free country

Freedom in the World 2018: Armenia & Artsakh ranked as 'partly free'

USA -based non-governmental organization Freedom House has reduced Turkey's status from "partly free" to "not free" in its latest annual report.

Georgia remains "partly free" in the latest report by independent watchdog Freedom House. It was subsequently extended every three months and allowed the government to "rule by decree".

"Municipal elections were once again postponed, leaving unelected councils in place seven years after the revolution, and figures associated with the old regime increased their influence over the vulnerable political system, for example by securing passage of a new amnesty law despite strong public opposition", said the document titled "Freedom in the World 2018".

There was no immediate response from the Turkish government to the report.

This is not the first year the organization has observed democratic decline around the world.

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It pointed to Russian interference in the 2016 United States election as well as "violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency" as reasons for the USA decline.

According to Freedom House, democratic principles weakened globally for the twelfth consecutive year.

The report estimated that about 39 per cent of the world's 7.6 billion people live in free countries, compared to 24 per cent in partially free countries and 37 per cent in unfree countries. "On a 100-point scale that takes into account many factors, Ukraine scored 62 points", the report says.

Meanwhile, Freedom House says, "autocratic regimes" in Russian Federation and China have "taken advantage of the retreat of leading democracies" and are "acting beyond their borders to squelch open debate, pursue dissidents, and compromise rules-based institutions".

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