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May 3, 2009

Everybody loves rankings! You love rankings! And fortunately, below the fold you’ll find one list of press offenders from Freedom House, and one list of democracy scores from the Economist Intelligence Unit, from which I have laboriously extracted the Maghrebi and western Sahel countries that may interest you.

Freedom House just released their annual Freedom of the Press report, complete with a ranking of nations from top to bottom. The table itself (PDF) runs from 1 (Iceland) to 195 (North Korea), and our states tend to come in at the lower end of the spectrum. Have  a look:

53. Mali (Free)
109. Senegal (Partly Free)
124. Mauritania (Partly Free)
136. Algeria (Not Free)
140. Morocco (Not Free)
140. Niger (Not Free)
176. Tunisia (Not Free)
190. Libya (Not Free)

Among MENA countries, these figures meant that Algeria entered at fifth place tailed by Morocco at sixth, while Libya is dead last. This is the first time that  can recall seeing Algeria rank above Morocco for many years, although it isn’t by much, reflecting increased press abuse in Morocco rather than any significant liberalization in Algeria. Also note Mauritania’s return to the mid-to-lower end of the table, after the coup and the following clampdown on the press. Apart from MENA and Maghreb concerns, the headline of the report was that Italy, Israel and Hong Kong have all been denoted to “Partly Free” status after a particularly abusive 2008.

Also, the Economist Intelligence Unit has released their own annual Democracy Index (PDF), running from 1 (Sweden) to 167 (North Korea, yay two-for-two!). Here, these same countries score as follows:

83. Mali (Hybrid Regime)
93. Senegal (Hybrid Regime)
118. Mauritania (Authoritarian)
120. Morocco (Authoritarian)
128. Niger (Authoritarian)
133. Algeria (Authoritarian)
141. Tunisia (Authoritarian)
159. Libya (Authoritarian)

A lovely bunch they are. Mali formerly scored in the EIU’s “Flawed Democracy” category, but violations of press freedom and other infractions during the Touareg rebellion in the north of the country has caused a slight drop.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 4, 2009 01:47

    Good work, alle.

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