13 April 2018, 05:08
Freedom House's report angers Georgian and Armenian authorities
On April 12, the Georgian authorities sharply criticized the new report prepared by the Freedom House and voice their disagreement with the thesis about a significant reduction in the level of democracy in the country. The Armenian Minister of Justice reproached the rights defenders of biased attitude. In the report prepared by the Freedom House, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia reached the worst estimates since 2009.
The report entitled "Nations in Transit-2018" was published on April 11 and devoted to estimating the level of democracy in the countries of the former socialist camp in 2017. To estimate the level of democracy in the countries with transitional political regime, the rating compilers used a seven-point scale, where 1 point was the best indicator and 7 point the worst one.
In the new report, the estimation of the democracy level in Georgia decreased by seven points in comparison with the previous year, from 4.61 down to 4.68, to the level of 2014.
The overall rating of Georgia was affected by the worsened indices of media independence and politicization of the judicial system. The main reasons for the above were in the pressure on the "Rustavi-2" TV Channel, critical to the authorities, and the kidnapping of Azerbaijani journalist Afghan Mukhtarly in Tbilisi, the "JAM-news" reports.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, has criticized the Freedom House's report. "The estimation made by the Freedom House is extremely biased. It is based on the absolutely unbalanced information," said Giorgi Kvirikashvili as quoted by the "Sputnik-Georgia".
According to the estimation of the Freedom House, in 2017, the level of democracy in Armenia dropped, and it was rated 5.43 in comparison with 5.39 the year earlier.
In 2017, the rating of Armenia decreased because "of the solidification of systemic corruption," the merging of branches of power and "accumulated evidence of the government's reluctance to eradicate abuse of office at a high level," states the report prepared by the Freedom House.
In Armenia, David Arutyunyan, acting Minister of Justice, criticized the Freedom House's report. He accused the rights defenders of biased attitude.
In the new rating of the Freedom House, Azerbaijan included in the category of "consolidated authoritarian regimes", got the same estimation as the year earlier 6.93. This is the country's lowest estimate since 2009.
The Russia's rating in the Freedom House's report decreased down to 6.61 points in comparison with 2016, when the level of democracy in the country was estimated at 6.57 points. This is also the worst estimate of the country since 2009.
According to the Freedom House's website, the estimation of the level of democracy in the country, also included in the category of "consolidated authoritarian regimes," was influenced, in particular, by the brutal persecution of LGBT community members in Chechnya, "approved by regional officials."
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.