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More aggressive tactics by authoritarian regimes and an upsurge in terrorist attacks contributed to a disturbing decline in global freedom in 2014. 

As Americans celebrate Independence Day and the world looks nervously toward uncertain political developments in Egypt, it's worth remembering the countries that have little to celebrate.  Click here to see a photo slideshow of the 'Worst of the Worst' countries.

Somali reporter Ali Ahmed Abdi was killed Sunday, March 4 in Galkayo, Somalia when masked gunmen reportedly shot him in the head after stopping him in the street.

Radio station staffer Farah Hassan Sahal was killed August 4 in Mogadishu, Somalia by sniper gunfire. Sahal was attempting to transport radio equipment with two of his colleagues when caught in between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union in Somalia (AMISOM) forces exchanging gunfire with Al Shabaab forces. Sahal had worked for Radio Simba since its formation in 2006. Since fighting restarted in the Bakaraa area of Mogadishu, Radio Simba had been off the air and its staff unable to do their reporting within the last few days.


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Worst of the Worst 2007

Sudan, North Korea and Uzbekistan are prominent among the most repressive regimes in the world, according to a report released by Freedom House.  The study, “The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2007,” named seventeen countries with the worst records for political rights and civil liberties, and pointed to thirteen countries which have been on the list for five years or more.

Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa 2007

Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.


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