The Freedom House organization released its report for 2018 on freedoms of the world, including political rights and civil liberties, focusing on the only country, namely Tunisia, in the MENA region.
The report said that in 2017 democracy faced its most serious crisis for decades while its basic tenets – free and fair elections, minority rights, freedom of the press and the rule of law – have been undermined all over the world.
According to the report of the American NGO, political rights and civil liberties worldwide fell in 71 countries, with only 35 advances registered. This is the twelfth consecutive year of decline in global freedoms in the world, notes the report, underlining that while 113 countries have seen their freedoms retreat, only 62 others have seen a remarkable improvement.
Regarding the Arab world, only Tunisia has distinguished itself by its successful transition to democracy, even though, the report notes, hard-won freedoms are threatened by social unrest. The score of 70/100 was still awarded to it as a country considered “free”. Indeed, Tunisia scored 2/10 on political rights and 3/7 on civil liberties. The report also highlights the first signs of backtracking, including the postponement of municipal elections, the return of some former RCD members who managed to pass a new amnesty law despite strong opposition from public opinion and of civil society.
Moreover, in neighbouring countries, Morocco is part of the partially free countries with a score of 39/100, the same for Lebanon with 43/100 while Egypt with a score of 26/100 and Libya of 9 / 100 are among the countries considered as not free.