"FREEDOM HOUSE": Belarus – A Country of Harsh Autocracy 11:28, 05/06/2003
International human rights organization “Freedom House” published an annual report on the situation in post-communist countries. The greatest progress in the development of democracy, according to this organization, was attained last year by the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, as well as the Baltic states. Belarus is the clear exception from the rule there, being blacklisted as harsh autocracy alongside with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The document is entitled “Countries in transit” and has a different name too: “Democratization’s rating”. This rating is being composed every year on the basis of expert evaluation worldwide. The situation in each post-communist country is assessed from the democratic transformations’ point of view, such as the elections, civil society and free media. Another important parameter is the rule of law, which includes human rights respect and corruption level in the country. Each parameter is assessed according to a seven-degree scale, one being the highest grade and seven – the lowest.
Belarus received 6,63 grades. A lower rating belonged only to Turkmenistan – 6,94. That’s an almost absolute absence of any progress whatsoever. For a matter of comparison, Poland has 1,63, Czech Republic – 2. Along with other neighboring countries they are forming the first group: countries with the developed democracy. Even the very means of information collection here is way more preferable than in other groups.
The report strongly criticizes Russia, which deteriorated its democratic performance since 1997. As a result, it got into one group with the countries in transition, such as the neighboring Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. One can familiarize himself closer with the “Countries in transit” report at the organization’s official web-site: www.freedomhouse.org.