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Freedom House: Artsakh clearly stands out from Eurasia’s other self-proclaimed territories

4-03-2020, 12:17 Karabakh, Top News
Freedom House: Artsakh clearly stands out from Eurasia’s other self-proclaimed territories

4 March 2020, 12:17 - NovostiNK
The political opening in Armenia that began with Nikol Pashinyan’s long-shot rise to the premiership in 2018 had a positive effect on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) during 2019, Freedom House said in its Freedom in the World 2020 report.

“There was an increase in competition and civil society activity surrounding local elections in September, and the stage was set for further changes in the 2020 elections for Nagorno-Karabakh’s president and parliament,” the report said.

Freedom in the World 2020 implies that Artsakh clearly stands out from Eurasia’s other self-proclaimed territories, Voice of America’s Armenian service reported.

“Unfortunately, the Eurasia region’s other breakaway territories, which are all occupied by Russian troops, remained locked in a pattern of stagnation or decline in political rights and civil liberties,” Freedom House said.

The largely unfree Eurasia region has a "grim picture" overall in terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The ruling forces in Russia, Belarus and Uzbekistan remained in power as a result of pressures.

Longtime president Nursultan Nazarbayev transferred power to a hand-picked successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, through a rigged election in Kazakhstan and the reforms in Moldova have stalled.

“Despite the grim picture overall, some positive signs were evident in several of the region’s Partly Free environments. Newly elected leaders who came to power on promises of systemic reform – Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, and Prime Minister Maia Sandu of Moldova – took initial steps to uproot the kleptocratic forces that have long stymied their countries’ democratic aspirations,” the report read.

In general, democracy and pluralism are under assault in the world, Freedom House said. Not only authoritarian China, Russia, and Iran, but also a number of countries with democratic traditions have recorded a decline in freedom. In the past decade, Burundi, Turkey, Mali, Venezuela, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and more than a dozen other countries experienced the biggest setback.

The worst “not free” country on earth is Syria, according to Freedom House, followed by Eritrea, South Sudan, Turkmenistan and North Korea.


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