Freedom House slightly lowers Armenia’s score, citing Azerbaijan’s aggression

By Mark Dovich

On Thursday, Freedom House released the latest edition of its annual Freedom in the World report, maintaining Armenia’s “partly free” status, while slightly lowering the country’s overall score and warning of the risk of war in the region.

The report gave Armenia a score of 54 out of 100 points, split into 23 points for political rights and 31 points for civil liberties. That represents a year-on-year decline of one point, with the Washington-based non-profit citing a deterioration in Armenia’s “freedom from war” following Azerbaijan’s attack last September.

This year’s report namechecks Armenia as one of 10 countries that “deserve special scrutiny in 2023,” warning that Azerbaijan continues “threatening the democratic government in Yerevan and raising the risk of full-scale war.”

The Freedom in the World report, which assesses rights and liberties worldwide on a country-by-country basis, found that no former Soviet countries outside of the Baltics could be described as “free” in 2022, adding that “this lack of democratic governance has destabilized the region.”

In the Caucasus, Georgia emerged as Freedom House’s leading country, maintaining a rating of 58 points and a “partly free” status from the previous year. Nagorno-Karabakh, which the non-profit evaluates as a “separately assessed territory,” was also classified as “partly free” at 37 points, a one-point gain.

Meanwhile, the report rated Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, and Turkey as “not free” countries, designating Azerbaijan as one of 16 “worst of the worst” countries in the world for political rights and civil liberties.

Overall, Freedom House found that 2022 marked the 17th straight year that global freedom had declined, while also noting that “the deterioration of rights and freedoms appeared to slow substantially” last year.

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