Timor-Leste is the Only Nation Considered Free in Southeast Asia
Timor-Leste is the only Southeast Asian nation considered free, among the 11 countries in the region, according to a report on freedom in the world of the US non-governmental organization Freedom House.
Timor-Leste, the youngest country in the region (you can check more about East Timor history in our website) and the only one not yet a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has received the best rating, 70 out of 100 from the 11 countries in the region, according to the annual report of Freedom House, referring to 2018 and now released.
In the same document released last year, Timor-Leste had moved from the group of countries considered “partially free” to “free”, following “fair elections that led to a smooth transfer of power and allowed new parties and candidates for entry into the political system. “
The five countries considered “partially free” are Indonesia (with 62 points), the Philippines (61), Malaysia (52), Singapore (51) and Myanmar (30), according to the study.
Thailand (30 countries), Brunei and Cambodia (29 countries), Vietnam (20) and Laos (14).
At the broadest level, 39% of the 4.1 billion people in the Asia-Pacific region are considered “free”, 21% “partially free” and 40% as “non-free.”
“All regions except Asia and the Pacific have a lower average value in 2018 than in 2005 [when this study began]. And even [this figure in] Asia and the Pacific falls, if countries with less than one million people [the majority of Pacific states]”, the report said.
Overall, Freedom House said that political rights and freedoms have been falling steadily over the past 13 years, with the number of countries with steadily rising values rising relative to nations experiencing improvements.
The loss of freedoms was more pronounced in countries that were already considered “non-free,” they added.
What is Freedom House?
Founded in October 1941, Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.
Freedom House analyzes the challenges to freedom, advocate for greater political rights and civil liberties, and support frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change.
Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally.
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