A new report by Freedom House has ranked Tibet as the least free territory among the countries and territories surveyed. According to Freedom in the World 2017, Freedom House’s annual report on political rights and civil liberties, released on January 17, 2017, 67 countries, including China, suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016. The report says, “China received a downward trend arrow due to the chilling effect on private and public discussion, particularly online, generated by cybersecurity and foreign NGO laws, increased internet surveillance, and heavy sentences handed down to human rights lawyers, microbloggers, grassroots activists, and religious believers.”
In its separate ranking for Tibet (which has an asterisk that explains “* denotes territories, as opposed to independent countries”), Freedom House gives it a much lower score than that of China itself. While both China and Tibet are listed as “Not Free” in the “Freedom Status” category, China scores 6.5 in the overall Freedom Rating (with 1 = most free and 7 = least free), but Tibet gets 7. Similarly, in Political Rights and Civil Liberties, China scores 7 and 6 respectively while Tibet gets 7 in both. In the Aggregate Score, while China scores 15, (0 = least free, 100 = most free), Tibet scores just 1.
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Freedom House says, “The report’s methodology is derived in large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Freedom in the World is based on the premise that these standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.”
The full Freedom House report is available on its website.