The 57 nations in the world that aren't 'free,' according to an international watchdog

AHMAD AL-BASHA/AFP/Getty ImagesA photo taken on March 18, 2018, shows a Yemeni child looking out at buildings that were damaged in an air strike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez.
  • Though freedom can seem difficult to capture in concrete terms, international human rights watchdog group Freedom House seeks to do just that each year.
  • The organisation’s annual “Freedom in the World” report considers a number of social and political factors facing citizens in countries across the world.
  • The countries and territories that are called “not free” often include oppressive conditions, including lack of fair elections, crackdowns on freedoms of expression, and repressive political regimes.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Freedom House, an independent watchdog organisation, releases its Freedom in the World report each year to compare the political and social conditions citizens face in countries and territories across the world.

Each country’s score is calculated considering a number of factors and assigned a number out of 100, ranking each entity from “free,” “partly free,” to “not free.”

The United States is considered free with a score of 86/100, ranking behind 51 out of the 87 “free” countries that scored up to 100/100.

The countries counted as “not free” are those that fail to hold valid elections, don’t have active independent media, and do not endow their citizens with basic civil rights.

Here are the 56 countries the Freedom House report says are “not free,” and why.


Afghanistan

Daniel Berehulak/Getty ImagesAn Afghan boy climbs a rock fence on November 11, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Islamist militants have undermined Afghanistan’s planned framework of a unitary state with checks on power and inherent civil rights by allowing widespread violence and corruption within ruling factions.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 27/100


Algeria

RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty ImagesAlgerian protesters demonstrate against their ailing president’s bid for a fifth term in power, in Algiers on March 8, 2019.

The ruling National Liberation Front controls Algeria’s politics in controlled elections and repressed protests, legal restrictions on the media, and rampant corruption across politics and the military.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 34/100


Angola

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty ImagesHawkers sell their products in an improvised market across a train track in the Viana district in Luanda, on August 22, 2017.

Political authorities in Angola repress political dissent as corruption, due process violations, and abuses run rampant. Though the country’s rating has improved since the 2017 election due to some checks on corruption and loosened controls on the media and citizens, but abuses in government institutions and society remain.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 31/100


Azerbaijan

Resul Rehimov/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesPeople march during the 23rd anniversary of Khojaly Massacre in Baku, Azerbaijan on February 25, 2015.

Azerbaijan’s authoritarian and corruption-riddled government has largely kept power with Ilham Aliyev, the country’s president since 2003 under which officials have fostered growing repression of civil liberties and political opposition.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 11/100


Bahrain

Bahrain’s monarchy first crushed a popular democracy movement in 2011, and has since cut back political rights and civil liberties across the country, and cracked down on political opposition efforts.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 12/100


Belarus

Natalia FedosenkoTASS via Getty ImagesA monument to Vladimir Lenin in front of the House of the Government in Minsk.

Citizens of Belarus live under relatively firm control by the government, which quashes most political dissent and conducts controlled elections.

The country has suffered damage from war in nearby Ukraine, growing regional tensions, and hurting a struggling economy, which has sparked efforts to improve relations with the United States and European Union to mitigate such damage.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 19/100


Brunei

AFP/Getty ImagesBrunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah delivers a speech during an event in Bandar Seri Begawan on April 3, 2019.

Brunei is an absolute monarchy system whose sultan maintains executive power with no elected officials, allowing for sharp restrictions on freedom of the press and assembly.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 29/100


Burundi

STR/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople gather to attend a ceremony marking the adoption of the new constitution passed in a May referendum, on June 7, 2018 in Bugendana.

Authoritarian politics have thrived in the country since the 12-year civil war ended in 2005 because of repression and prosecution of political opposition efforts.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 14/100


Cambodia

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty ImagesCambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen casts his vote during the general elections as his wife Bun Rany looks on in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2018.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party have held control of the country for more than 30 years. Polls held in 2018 were deemed meaningless because of the “severely repressive environment that offered voters no meaningful choice,” in which the CPP won every seat in the government’s lower and upper house.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 26/100


Cameroon

ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP/Getty ImagesThis photograph taken on October 7, 2018 during Cameroon’s presidential election shows an empty street in downtown Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has been in office since 1982, maintaining power through rigged elections and suppressed opposition efforts.

Violence is rampant as Boko Haram wages attacks on civilians in northern Cameroon, and security forces responding to the insurgency have been accused of committing human rights violations against civilians.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 19/100


Chad

PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty ImagesChadian refugees and residents cross the border between Cameroon and Chad to return to their homes after fleeing fighting.

None of Chad’s elections since 1996 have changed the country’s ruling powers as state forces quash anti-government protests and any opposition figures face the threat of imprisonment and death, according to last year’s report entry.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 17/100


China

Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesA Chinese soldier stands guard in front of Tiananmen Gate outside the Forbidden City on October 27, 2014 in Beijing, China.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has grown more restrictive with state agencies, the internet, religious groups, universities, and businesses. The CCP leader and state president, Xi Jinping, has consolidated personal power to a degree not seen in China for decades, but his actions have also triggered rising discontent among elites within and outside the party. The country’s budding human rights movements continue to seek avenues for protecting basic rights despite a multiyear crackdown.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 11/100


Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)

JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople look on as protesters burn tires during a demonstration calling for the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)to step down on January 21, 2018 in Kinshasa.

After years of election delays, votes held in December 2018 were marred by fires destroying thousands of voting machines and shortcomings in federal funding for the votes.

Rampant corruption in the government has created harsh restrictions on citizens’ basic civil liberties and widespread opportunity for officials to exercise human rights abuses in addition to violence carried out by militias across the country.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 15/100


Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)

EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP/Getty ImagesSupporters of elected President Denis Sassou Nguesso arrive at a sport field ahead of a party organised to celebrate his re-election in Brazzaville on March 24, 2016.

The Congo’s government is almost wholly disconnected from functions of democracy, as current President Denis Sassou Nguesso has held office for more than three decades by quashing any possible threat of opposition.

Rampant corruption has crippled the Congo’s economy and created a harsh environment for citizens’ rights where human rights organisations and the media are very restricted in their abilities to reach the population.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 21/100


Crimea

Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesArmed men believed to be Russian military stand outside a Ukrainian military base on March 12, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine.

In early 2014, Russian forces invaded the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea and quickly annexed it to the Russian Federation through a referendum that was widely condemned for violating international law. The occupation government severely limits political and civil rights, has silenced independent media, and employs antiterrorism and other laws against political dissidents. Many Ukrainians have been deported from or otherwise compelled to leave Crimea. Members of the indigenous Crimean Tatar minority, many of whom vocally oppose the Russian occupation, have faced particularly acute repression by the authorities.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 8/100


Cuba

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Under Cuba’s one-party communist rule, dissent is stifled and citizens lack basic civil liberties, even in the midst of new leadership as of last year that many doubted would significantly change the country.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 14/100


Djibouti

Djibouti‘s president faces no term limits and has been in office since 1999, where he leads a strict authoritarian rule that quashes political opposition, including critical journalists and activists.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 26/100


Egypt

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty ImagesA picture taken on February 28, 2018 shows a view of the Pyramids of Giza on the southwestern outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo.

After taking power in a 2013 coup, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s authoritarian rule has quashed political opposition, prosecuting and imprisoning activists.

Citizens also live under the fear of terrorism on the Sinai Peninsula and in the country’s mainland.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 22/100


Equatorial Guinea

ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty ImagesPhoto taken on January 25, 2015 show the view of Malabo’s Cathedral in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea holds ineffective elections that have failed to disrupt the current president, who has held power since a 1979 coup. The general public holds little of the oil wealth and political power in the country and suspected political opponents and activists are often detained.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 6/100


Eritrea

STRINGER/AFP/Getty ImagesEritrean women express their joy after crossing the boarder to attend the reopening border ceremony on September 11, 2018 as two land border crossings between Ethiopia and Eritrea were reopened for the first time in 20 years at Zalambessa, northern Ethiopia.

The country is a militarised authoritarian state with no independent media and only one political party that has not held a national election since its 1993 independence from Ethiopia. The report adds that citizens are required to perform national service, in which many spend their entire working lives.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 2/100


Eswatini

Gideon Mendel for The Global Fund/Corbis via Getty ImagesPomp and ceremony at Matsapa airport as His Majesty King Mswati III arrives back in Swaziland from a state visit to Kenya.

Eswatini’s king holds ultimate authority over the country, including national and local governing bodies, through which political dissent and activism are quashed and vulnerable populations including women and LGBTQ residents are targeted for discrimination.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 16/100


Ethiopia

SAMUEL GEBRU/AFP/Getty ImagesSupporters of Ethiopia Prime Minister attend a rally on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa on June 23, 2018.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged political reform in the authoritarian state upon his 2018 appointment, but internal power struggles among political factions and local violence have continued to plague citizens living under rampant corruption and restricted civil liberties.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 19/100


Gabon

MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty ImagesSmoke rises from a barricade as Gabonese police officers patrol from a pick up in Libreville on September 2, 2016 to try to secure neighbourhoods from looters.

Gabon’s current president has resisted the country’s elections after succeeding his father in 2009 to assume the head of the executive branch, under which vulnerable groups including immigrants, indigenous people, and women suffer from marginalization and discrimination.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 23/100


Iran

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty ImagesIranians take part in a rally marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, on February 11, 2018 in the capital Tehran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s elections are undermined by the Guardian Council, an unelected body that disqualifies all candidates it deems insufficiently loyal to the clerical establishment. Because of this system, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is handed total power to systems that suppress political dissent and most civil liberties.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 18/100


Iraq

John Moore/Getty ImagesAn Iraqi Army soldier stands guard atop the Palestine Hotel overlooking Firdos Square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled during the U.S. invasion on April 13, 2015 in Baghdad, Iraq.

Though Iraq holds regular elections that often involve representative groups, the report notes that rampant corruption undermines democracy.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 32/100


Kazakhstan

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty ImagesA picture taken on November 16, 2016 shows a woman walking along a street during a snowfall in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan has been ruled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev since 1991 due to rampant corruption, state-loyal media, ineffective elections, no challenge from other political parties, and the tendency of the state to quash legitimate opposition.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 22/100


Laos

Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty ImagesEvening light on the That Luang Stupa in in Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos.

After a 2014 coup, Thailand is ruled by a unit of military leaders that has suppressed political opposition and exercised “unchecked powers” secured in the constitution that restrict citizens’ civil and political rights.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 30/100


Libya

Scott Peterson/Getty ImagesA boy holds his fingers up in a victory sign in front of a Ghaddafi residence, as Libyan ‘revolution tourists’ continue to celebrate the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi by streaming into the Libyan dictator’s destroyed Bab al-Aziziya compound on September 5, 2011 in central Tripoli, Libya.

The country’s 2018 report entry says the politically fractured state has failed to control the rise of weapons, militias, criminal networks, and extremist groups like the Islamic State, violence from which has displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 9/100


Mauritania

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty ImagesPicture dated on February 07, 2008 shows the big central Saudi Mosque (donated by Saudi Arabia) in Nouakchott.

The country’s current leadership emerged in 2008 after a military coup and has since held power through “flawed” elections, according to the country’s entry in last year’s report. The government often takes political prisoners, including antislavery activists and offenders of blasphemy, apostasy, or abandoning of religion, which are punishable by death.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 32/100


Nicaragua

INTI OCON/AFP/Getty ImagesAn activist holds a flag during during a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, on September 23, 2018.

The report points toSandinista leader Daniel Ortega’s 2006 election victory as the beginning of “a period of democratic deterioration” that included rampant corruption, the choking of basic freedoms, and the consolidation of all branches of government under his party’s control.

This crackdown culminated in a 2018 clash between state forces who issued a violent response to quell anti-government protests, killing more than 300 people in the process.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 32/100


North Korea

ED JONES/AFP/Getty ImagesKorean People’s Army (KPA) soldiers watch a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.

North Korea is controlled by a dynastic totalitarian dictatorship, which maintains its harsh control with extensive surveillance, arrests and brutal punishment for those suspected of political offenses. The report adds that camps for political prisoners often implement “torture, forced labour, starvation, and other atrocities.”

Aggregate Freedom Score: 3/100


Oman

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty ImagesA man waits for the peloton as it arrives in a street of al-Wadi al-Kabir during the second stage of the 2018 cycling Tour of Oman, from Sultan Qaboos University to Al-Bustan, west of the capital Muscat on February 14, 2018.

Oman’s hereditary monarchy has secured power for Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said since 1970, a rule under which criticism and dissent are criminalized and residents lack nearly all political rights and civil liberties.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 23/100


Pakistani Kashmir

SAJJAD QAYYUM/AFP/Getty ImagesPakistani Kashmiris carry the coffin of a civilian, who was killed in a gunfight between Indian and Pakistan troops on the Line of Control (LoC), at a funeral ceremony on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on March 2, 2019.

The two territories that populate the region lack the political activity and rights of other Pakistani territories, as they are closely controlled to ensure they eventually lead to Pakistan.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 28/100


Qatar

Buena Vista Images via Getty ImagesThree Arab women wearing traditional abaya watching the futuristic skyline of Doha, Qatar.

Qatar’s emir inherits the role that holds all executive and legislative authority, as other political parties are not permitted, and elections don’t affect the highest levels of government.

The report notes that Qatari citizens are among the wealthiest in the world, but the vast majority of the population are noncitizens with no political rights, few civil liberties, and limited access to economic opportunity.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 25/100


Russia

MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty ImagesRussian honour guards march during the military parade at Red Square in Moscow on November 7, 2018.

President Vladimir Putin controls Russia’s authoritarian government and leads its security forces, judiciary, and media to manipulate elections and suppress genuine dissent. Rampant corruption facilitates shifting links among bureaucrats and organised crime groups.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 20/100


Rwanda

The Rwandan Patriotic Front has ruled the country since 1994, which has slightly stabilised its economy and society, but quashed political dissent through surveillance, intimidation, and suspected assassinations of critics and opponents.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 23/100


Saudi Arabia

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty ImagesA demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2018, demanding justice for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia’s monarchy has avoided elections and quashes almost all political rights and civil liberties enforced by extensive surveillance, criminal punishment for dissent, and formalized discrimination against women and religious minorities.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 7/100


Somalia

Since the collapse of an authoritarian regime in 1991, no national elections have been held and the militant ruling party has been superseded by political activity conducted among clans. Amid this fractured power, human rights abuses run rampant, causing the national government to lose territory as punishment.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 7/100


South Ossetia

Jonathan Alpeyrie/Getty ImagesA Russian APC loaded down with supplies is parked, protecting this 20 story building on August 15, 2008 in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia.

Last year’s report entry says the territory, which gained de facto independence from Georgia in 1992, has since largely come under Russia’s control as it is dependent on subsidies from the nearby country, which has a heavy hand in the state’s politics, media, and residents’ civil rights.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 10/100


South Sudan

AKUOT CHOL/AFP/Getty ImagesSouth Sudanese wait for the arrival of South Sudan’s President at Juba International Airport in Juba on June 22, 2018

After gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, the country saw fighting between ethnic groups that descended into civil war in 2013. Amid attacks on civilians, journalists, and aid workers, a 2018 peace agreement further slowed political transformation, delaying national elections and installing a power-sharing arrangement among leaders who have seen corruption and economic collapse.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 2/100


Sudan

ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty ImagesA Sudanese flag is seen waving as protesters chant slogans during a demonstration demanding a civilian body to lead the transition to democracy, outside the army headquarters in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on April 12, 2019.

Sudan’s authoritarian president and his party have repressed the media, political opposition efforts, and regional, religious, and ethnic groups that “do not share its narrow nationalist vision.”

Aggregate Freedom Score: 7/100


Syria

Gokhan Sahin/Getty ImagesAn explosion rocks Syrian city of Kobani during a reported suicide car bomb attack by the militants of Islamic State (ISIS) group on a People’s Protection Unit (YPG) position in the city center of Kobani, as seen from the outskirts of Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border, October 20, 2014 in Sanliurfa province, Turkey.

Last year’s report cited a combination of a repressive regime and ongoing civil war that has crippled political and civil rights in Syria as corruption runs rampant in the government and political opposition is quashed.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 0/100


Tajikistan

Tajikistan Presidency/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesPeople attend the 25th anniversary of the Tajikistan Independence Day at Dusti (Friendship) Square in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 09, 2016.

President Emomali Rahmon, who has served in office since 1992, has led the government in repressing political opposition and dissent.

In 2017, the government solidified hostility against religious expression in the country by taking aim at Muslim citizens, passing a law that requires citizens to “stick to national clothes and culture.”

Aggregate Freedom Score: 9/100


Thailand

Paula Bronstein/Getty ImagesA Thai protester points a finger at the Thai military during an anti-coup protests as General Prayuth receives the Royal Endorsement as the military coup leader May 26, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

After a military force took control of Thailand in a 2014 coup, its crackdown on civil and political rights and perceived opposition has gone unchecked.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 30/100


Tibet

Brian Sokol/Getty ImagesTibetan Buddhist monks are forcibly detained by Nepali police during a pro-Tibetan protest outside of the Chinese consulate March 30, 2008 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The Chinese Communist Party’s rule in Tibet has given Chinese party officials control to deny people of Tibetan ethnicity their fundamental rights in addition to suppressing religious and cultural expression.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 1/100


Transnistria

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Military_people_of_Transnistria#mediaviewer/File:Pridnestrovie_military_parade.jpgA military parade in Transnistria

Transnistria is a state mostly composed of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians but is recognised as part of Moldova, which it broke away from in August 1991. Though technically independent, the state has a Russian military presence and is heavily dependent on Russian subsidies.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 24/100


Turkey

ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP/Getty ImagesTurkish soldiers stand near armoured vehicles as a man waves a Turkish national flag during a demonstration in support of the Turkish army’s Idlib operation near the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Hatay, on October 10, 2017.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party has ruled Turkey since 2002, fostering an increasingly hostile environment for political rights and civil liberties that culminated in a crackdown on opposition following a 2016 coup attempt and constitutional changes adopted in 2017 to consolidate power in the president’s hands.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 31/100


Turkmenistan

IGOR SASIN/AFP/Getty ImagesParticipants release balloons as they parade in central Ashgabat on October 27, 2017, on the 26th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence.

Turkmenistan’s authoritarian control represses nearly all political rights and civil liberties, including controlled elections, economic, religious, and other political activities.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 2/100


Uganda

Since 1986, Uganda has been ruled by the same president and party, the National Resistance Movement, which retains power through the manipulation of state resources, intimidation by security forces, and politicized prosecutions of opposition leaders. Uganda’s civil society and media sectors remain vibrant, despite suffering sporadic legal and extralegal harassment and state violence.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 36/100


United Arab Emirates

Political parties are banned within the seven emirates and hereditary rulers hold all power, with which they sharply restrict civil liberties of citizens and visitors alike.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 17/100


Uzbekistan

SEBASTIEN BERGER/AFP/Getty ImagesA photo taken on October 4, 2018 shows the Registan in Samarkand, south-eastern Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan’s authoritarian regime stands unbalanced by the non-existent opposition and branches of government that are rendered useless as they are forced to follow decrees from the executive branch.

Despite some changes that have resulted in the dismissal of security officials, there have been multiple reported instances of torture and high-profile cases of political and religious prisoners under the authoritarian rule.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 9/100


Venezuela

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty ImagesVenezuelan opposition supporters take part in a a march on the anniversary of 1958 uprising that overthrew military dictatorship in Caracas on January 23, 2019.

Amid declining humanitarian and financial crises, Venezuelans have faced food and medicine shortages, historically high hyperinflation, and rampant crime.

President Nicolás Maduro’s administration has been the country’s latest chapter of rampant federal corruption that has seen over 3 million Venezuelans flee the country and its crippled systems.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 19/100


Vietnam

LINH PHAM/AFP/Getty ImagesVisitors walk along the 150-meter long Cau Vang ‘Golden Bridge’ in the Ba Na Hills near Danang.

The Communist Party’s control over Vietnam has created a dangerous environment for human rights, as citizens and activists alike face restricted freedoms in speech, press, work, and religion.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 20/100


West Bank

The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank territory places harsh restrictions on its residents, particularly on Palestinians in the area, who are governed by the authoritarian Palestinian Authority that provides only a limited set of rights for citizens and harsh suppression of political dissent.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 25/100


Western Sahara

FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty ImagesMembers of the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army parade.

The Western Sahara, a non-self-governing territory has been the site of repeated clashes between the native Sahrawi population and neighbouring Moroccan security forces since the country annexed the area in 1979.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 4/100


Yemen

AHMAD AL-BASHA/AFP/Getty ImagesA photo taken on March 18, 2018, shows a Yemeni child looking out at buildings that were damaged in an air strike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez.

Yemen has been devastated by a civil war that began in 2015, and repeated clashes between foreign powers led by Saudi Arabia and the Houthi rebel movement. Violence has interrupted trade and federal resources, causing hunger and disease that affected approximately 20 million people as of December 2018.

Peace talks, elections, and other normal political activity have failed to proceed.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 11/100


Gaza Strip

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty ImagesFire and smoke billow above buildings in Gaza City during reported Israeli strikes on March 25, 2019.

The Gaza Strip’s functioning as a territory is torn between the presence of Israeli and Egyptian forces, and Islamist political and militant group Hamas, which has controlled the area since 2007. Conflict between the group and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has frozen democracy, stopping elections since the last one was held in 2006.

Aggregate Freedom Score: 11/100

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