Please find hereunder an Al Anwar.com Breaking News :
Lebanon Ranked NOT FREE in Freedom House
Lebanon, which prides itself as the only democracy with a free press in the
Arab World, is ranked NOT FREE in an assessment of 21st century democracies
reported in a survey released by Freedom House in New York.
Freedom House, an independent monitor of political rights and civil liberties, said in its annual survey for 2001-
2002 that Lebanon was FREE from 1973 through 1975. It slumped to a PARTLY FREE category from 1976 through 1988 during the height of the civil war.
Lebanon plummeted to a NOT FREE ranking in 1989 and remained so through 1991. It picked up back into a PARTLY FREE slot in 1992 and held up there through 1995 after which it crashed back to NOT FREE listing for the past six years.
The Freedom House evaluated the various countries in the world according to their political rights and civil
The survey assigns each country or territory under consideration two numerical ratings. One for political
rights and one for civil liberties. These two ratings are then averaged to determine an overall status
of "FREE", "PARTLY FREE" or "NOT FREE."
Obviously, according to the survey, civil liberties and political freedoms in Lebanon have not yet reached the
levels of western democracies which are rated as FREE or even the level of countries progressing towards democracy and which are rated PARTLY FREE.
The Freedom House also claimed countries with a Muslim population majority are far less democratic than the
nations of the west.
The survey found only 11 democratic countries among the 47 nations of the Islamic world, a ratio of 23 percent.It
said, therefore, a non-Islamic state is over three times more likely to be democratic than an Islamic state. None of
the 16 Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa is a democracy.
"In countries where there is an Islamic majority, there is just one FREE country Mali. Eighteen are rated PARTLY FREE and 28 NOT FREE," according to the survey's preamble.
It listed Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey and Morocco as the most democratic predominantly Muslim countries after Mali, all ranked as PARTLY FREE.
The survey listed the 10 Lowest-ranking countries in democratic freedoms as Afghanistan under Taliban, Cuba,
Iraq. Myanmar, North Korea, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan,
Syria and Turkmenistan.
Democracy and freedom remain the least rooted in the Middle East's 14 countries. Israel is the only country rated FREE. Three state -- Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait -- are PARTLY FREE and 10 are NOT FREE. Israel and Turkey are the only electoral democracies.