Senior Research Analyst, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press
January 16, 2013
The findings for Freedom in the World 2013, which were released this week, reflect a complex picture for the state of global freedom. On one hand, the number of countries ranked in the Free category increased to 90, an impressive share of the world’s 195 sovereign states. At the same time, more countries, 27, suffered significant setbacks in their freedom indicators than showed notable gains, 16, marking the seventh consecutive year in which declines outnumbered improvements.
Six weeks after a coup ousted the nation’s prime minister and president, Guinea-Bissau’s military junta announced on May 23 that it is returning the country to civilian rule. While the establishment of an interim civilian authority is an encouraging development, Freedom House urges the transitional government to work quickly to set a date for new elections and to take practical steps to rein in military power under civilian leadership.
Freedom House condemns an apparent attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau by military forces who seized control of state media and the ruling party’s headquarters on April 12. Soldiers arrested the country’s prime minister, Carlos Gomes Jr. and interim president, Raimundo Pereira, on April 13.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.