Middle East and North Africa

The Arab Spring of 2011 launched an era of sweeping political changes in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which has historically been the least free region in the world. The fall of longtime leaders and the people's rising demands for a stronger voice in their own governance have brought new opportunities for reform and democratic transition in countries otherwise marked by severe abuses of almost all fundamental political rights and civil liberties. Freedom House is helping citizens to realize these aspirations through a variety of programs across the region. Our work in this region is summarized here.

Asterisks in the country list below indicate a territory rather than a country.

Countries & Territories: 21
420 million people
5% free
Press:
0% free

Percent computed by population. Population source data.

News & Updates

On May 23 resuming an Egyptian court will resume the trial of human rights activists Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, and Bahey el-din Hassan on charges related their work for civil society organizations.

Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power.

Freedom House issued the following statement in response to an Egyptian court ruling that non-governmental organizations can receive foreign funding if officials determine the organizations do not undermine public security.

Today Freedom House and PEN America released a letter calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to push for the release of poet Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia. The letter was signed by a coalition of rights groups including PEN America, Freedom House, Human Rights First, and the Center for Inquiry.

Pages

Experts

Director, Freedom on the Net

Sanja Kelly is the director for Freedom on the Net, Freedom House’s assessment of global internet freedom.

Research Manager, Freedom on the Net

Adrian Shahbaz is the Research Manager for Freedom on the Net, Freedom House's annual assessment of global internet freedom.

Senior Program Manager, Middle East and North Africa

Dokhi Fassihian is senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa. Before joining Freedom House, she led several nongovernmental organizations working in the area of democracy and human rights and promotion.

Issues: 
37 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
82 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
60
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
79 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
89
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
34 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
7.9 million people
Press:
Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
1.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
6.3 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
48
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
2.9 million people
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
5.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.3 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
47
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
6.5 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
48
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
33 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Partly Free
Scores Overview
4.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
44
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
3.1 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
1.9 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
5.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
29 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
72
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
23 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
7.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
88
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
11 million people
Internet:
Partly Free
Press:
Partly Free
Status
Free
Scores Overview
2.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
39
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
8.1 million people
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.0 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
67
(0 = Best, 100 = Worst) / 100 (least free)
Internet Freedom
26 million people
Press:
Not Free
Status
Not Free
Scores Overview
6.5 / 7 (least free)
Freedom Rating
4.3 million people
Scores Overview

Countries We're Watching

un
PAN

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ch
MCC
DPP
IMF
KCK

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UAE
AFP

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OIC
=
IGF
MDC
GNC

Freedom in the World last assessed the Palestinian Authority–Administered Territories as such in its 2010 edition. For a complete...

Serbia and Montenegro was last assessed as such in the 2006 editions of Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press. For more recent data,...

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ICC

Iraqi Kurdistan was last assessed by Freedom in the World in 2004. Please see Iraq for more recent data...

M23

The Falkland Islands are not assessed separately by Freedom House. Please see United Kingdom.

oil

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French Polynesia is not assessed separately by Freedom House. Please see France.

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Yugoslavia was last assessed as such in the 2003 editions of Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, and Nations in Transit. For subsequent...

The West Bank and Gaza Strip have been covered in different ways by Freedom House surveys over the years, as indicated below. In some cases they...

Chechnya was last assessed separately in the 2009 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see Russia ...

CNN

The Arab Spring of 2011 launched an era of sweeping political changes in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which has historically...

Freedom of the Press last assessed the Israeli-Occupied Territories and Palestinian Authority as such in its 2011 edition. For a complete...

Over the past few years, many of Freedom House’s publications, including Freedom in the...

Iraqi Kurdistan was last assessed separately in the 2004 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see...

KMT

Macao was last assessed separately in the 2004 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see China...

French Guiana is not assessed separately by Freedom House. Please see France.

OAS
EU


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NTV

Chechnya was last assessed separately in the 2009 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see...

Over the past five years, the Asia-Pacific region has been the only one to record steady gains in political rights and civil liberties as measured...

PKK
UN

<p>Macao was last assessed separately in the 2004 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see <a href="/country/china">China...

PRI
ISI
STT

Despite being home to several of the world’s worst performing countries in terms of respect for human rights, the region saw overall if...

Most countries in Eurasia rank at or near the bottom of Freedom House’s ratings for political rights and civil liberties. While a few—...

Countries at the Crossroads, published from 2004 to 2012, was an annual analysis of government performance in 70 strategically...

Freedom in the World began assessing the West Bank as a separate territory in its 2011 edition. For a complete explanation of the changes...

Northern Ireland was last assessed separately in the 2004 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see United...

A monthly update of press freedom news and analysis related to China

Freedom...

IFJ

Reunion is not assessed separately by Freedom House. Please see France.

Freedom of the Press 2017

...

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Freedom of the Press began assessing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as such in its 2012 edition. For a complete explanation of the changes...

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Before the 2010 edition, Freedom in the World assessed Kosovo as a disputed territory. For the older Freedom in the World...

Until the 2010 edition, Freedom in the World assessed Kosovo as a disputed territory. For more recent data, see the...

ITU
NGO

West Papua was last assessed separately in the 2004 edition of Freedom in the World. Please see Indonesia for...

AKP
LRA