World's Worst Regimes Unveiled
The report, titled The World's Most Repressive Regimes, 2003, includes detailed summations of the poor state of human rights in Burma, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iraq, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Chechnya, Tibet, and Western Sahara are included as territories under Russian, Chinese, and Moroccan jurisdiction respectively.
The report is excerpted from Freedom House's annual global survey, Freedom in the World. The countries deemed the most repressive earn some of the worst numerical ratings according to the survey's methodology.
Significantly, six of the sixteen most repressive countries--China, Cuba, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria--are members of the Human Rights Commission, representing nearly 10 percent of the 53-member body.
"The presence of these six nations on the Human Rights Commission is, at a minimum, grossly disproportionate. They, along with other member states such as Zimbabwe, are in no position to judge those states which honor and protect human rights," said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor. "The influence of these states on the Commission's proceedings underscores the urgent need for the democratic member states of this UN body to work together as an effective counter-bloc," she said.
The Freedom in the World employs a rigorous methodology to annually measure political rights and civil liberties worldwide. Factors such as free and fair elections, and freedom of speech and religion, are considered in determining a country's freedom rating. Based on its numerical ranking, a country is classified as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.
Freedom House is a non-governmental organization accredited with the UN. It sends a delegation to the Human Rights Commission every year.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.