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Georgia ‘partially free’ says Freedom House report

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 17
The level of freedom enjoyed around the world has deteriorated in the last five yearsr. This is the conclusion of Freedom House, one of the major NGOs for protecting Human rights and freedom. In its latest research dedicated to the issue, there was an assessment given on the situation in 194 countries and 14 territories. Georgia is still listed in the section of partially free countries. However there is a slight improvement in the category of civil freedoms.

The Georgian leadership actually tries to ignore it when any kind of worldwide acknowledged rating shows poor performance of the country. However, immediately boasts when there are some positive figures to broadcast. Well, this is understandable, a country should be proud of its achievements, however it should acknowledge shortcomings as well and target improvement in these areas. Recently, Georgia has consistently been labeled in the section of partially free countries. Of course, this is better than being a non-free country but when you have wide claims and ambitions after the well promoted Rose revolution to establish democracy in your country, 6 years should be enough time to perform better, in particular when you are labeled beacon of democracy.

It was interesting that in the freedom house report there is a small assessment of the so called velvet revolutions, concerning Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The report states that unfortunately there is a certain frustration in those three countries, particularly in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan where the presidents show the tendencies of authoritarian governance. As it was mentioned in the category of civil freedoms, Georgia showed better results. There is yet another significant observation in the assessment concerning the media in Georgia. As an example, its satellite coverage was deemed to have improved with the establishment of the opposition Maestro TV. However the current situation is still very controversial because due to the well-documented financial problems, the satellite coverage of Maestro TV is still limited around Tbilisi.

Two Georgian territories now under Russian occupation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are also included in the report, where South Ossetia is labeled as not being a free territory whereas Abkhazia was given partially free status.

The Freedom House report indicates that apart of the Baltic countries all other post soviet republics are experiencing a decline in levels of freedom and theys were given very damning assessments. The worst performance came from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Tajikistan and Azerbaijan were rated as very poor. Ukraine has lost its position as a free state and moved into the partially free state section. The Freedom House authors express their regret at such tendencies. The Freedom House report is one of the most important researches acknowledged and respected throughout the world. Presumably, the Georgian authorities should pay serious attention to the results of this research.