In 2020, 78 countries lost their freedom and only 82 countries were considered free, the lowest number in the last 15 years, according to the non-governmental organization Freedom House. In 2020, around 75% of the world’s population lived in a country whose democracy has deteriorated according to the annual ranking of political freedom.
The 2020 ranking, in which more than 200 countries were analyzed using 26 parameters, shows a decline in political freedom that has not occurred since 2005. “The defenders of democracy suffered great losses in the struggle against authoritarianism and changed the international balance in favor of tyranny,” says the annual report, which measures political freedom in the world.
The countries with the best results are Finland, Sweden and Norway, which share first place. Portugal maintains its position in 2019, the 12th position in the ranking, with a score of 96 points out of 100: it is a confirmation from the organization that Portugal is a free country. You will get almost the maximum number of points on the criteria for political rights and civil liberties.
Despite the fact that the country has a parliamentary democracy with a multi-party system, there are some weaknesses related to “corruption, some legal restrictions on journalism, poor or abusive conditions for prisoners and the effects of racial discrimination and xenophobia”.
With the democratic setbacks, the crisis of political freedom worsened due to the crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, it was the keyword of many leaders to “use violence against opponents and settle accounts, sometimes claiming to be acting” in the name of public health “while activists were surrounded with” heavy prison sentences, torture and murder. “Hungary, Algeria, El Salvador and the Philippines are examples of regimes that have taken advantage of the pandemic situation.
Among some democratic setbacks, the decline in Belarus is highlighted, which saw the biggest drop in the analysis, influenced by the repression of the opponents of the leader Alexander Lukachenko and the imprisonment of tens of thousands of people in 2020.
Democracy in the United States also deserves attention, dropping from 94 points in 2010 to 89 in 2020. The invasion of the Capitol in early 2021 is cited as symptomatic of this deterioration, which affects the world as well as the diplomatic and democratic situation of the Landes has interventions.
The US withdrawal was used by China during the Donald Trump administration to increase its influence over institutions like the UN Human Rights Council, according to Freedom House.
China is one of the unfree countries and fell by two points compared to the previous year. One of the examples that explain this decline is China’s relationship with Hong Kong, with Beijing’s controls tightened.
India, once considered the most populous democracy, has also returned to a partially free country under the government of Narendra Modi. Under the leadership of their nationalist Hindu movement, Muslims have been blamed for the spread of the virus and the target of attacks, the report said.
Only 29 countries have turned to a democratic regime while at least 20% of the world’s population lived in democracy in 2020. In “non-free” countries, the values have fallen by around 15%. However, the ranking concludes that “democracy has been surrounded but not defeated”.