Central Asia, Caucasus confirm status as mostly "Not free" in latest Freedom House index

By bne IntelliNews January 27, 2016

Central Asian and Caucasus countries maintained their status as largely "Not Free" in the latest index published by the Washington-based media watchdog Freedom House.

As well as Mongolia (which progressed to being "Free" in this year's report) and Georgia (which maintained its "Partly Free" ranking),  the exceptions were Armenia, and Kygryzstan,  which moved to being "Partly Free". 

In the Caucasus, Azerbaijan is the only country that found itself in a group of “Not Free” countries. “Tightly controlled legislative elections in Azerbaijan, which followed another year of intense suppression of civil society, resulted in a hollow victory for the ruling party, with most opposition groups boycotting the vote,” the report says of the oil-rich country. “President Ilham Aliyev’s government used the polls to show its teeth to the democratic world, barring several foreign journalists from covering the process and imposing restrictions on international observer groups that led some to suspend their monitoring missions.”

Apart from Kyrgyzstan, all other Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – confirmed their status as “Not Free”.

“Faced with slumping economies and security threats linked to foreign conflicts, these regimes sought to fortify themselves against any remaining opposition or dissent,” the report says. Authorities in Central Asian countries have been using a threat of terrorism as a pretext to further curtail civil liberties and tighten grip on power in recent years.

“In Tajikistan, for example, the government of President Emomali Rahmon, who has ruled the country since 1992, ensured that the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) lost all of its seats in legislative elections,” Freedom House reported. “The authorities then intensified their assault on the party over the subsequent months, revoking its registration, detaining its leaders, and effectively incapacitating what had been Central Asia’s only legal Islamist political grouping.” The arrest of opposition leaders and a ban on the IRPT violated the guarantees of political pluralism established in the peace agreement that ended the country’s civil war in 1997, the report notes.

 

 

Related Articles

World Bank raises growth forecasts for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan

The World Bank’s latest “Global Economic Prospects” report issued on January 10 offers a mixed picture when it comes to the GDP growth prospects of countries across Central Asia and the ... more

Armenia's outlook remains challenging, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts GDP growth to the tune of 2.7% and 3% in Armenia in 2017 and 2018 respectively, the multilateral lender announced upon completing an extended ... more

Support for democracy in Caucasus declining, finds EBRD survey

Across the Caucasus, support for democracy has declined steeply over the past six years, a survey by the European Bank for ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss