Freedom House rates Taiwan free
Source： Taiwan Today
The U.S.-based human rights organization Freedom House released its 2010 Freedom in the World report Jan. 12, listing Taiwan as one of the freest countries enjoying a high degree of political rights and civil liberties.
According to the report, which rates 194 countries in political freedoms on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being the freest and 7 the least freest, Taiwan is ranked on par with South Korea and Japan overall as the freest in Asia-Pacific where modest improvements were seen. This is the 14th running year that Taiwan qualifies as a free country in the annual study.
報告將194個國家在政治自由區分為一到七級,一代表最自由,七是最不自由. 台灣和南韓日本在整體排名上相同,而亞太區域是自由程度改善最多的區域. 這是台灣連續14年來在年度報告中被評為自由國家.
While Taiwan’s overall ranking remains unchanged from last year’s, it registers both gains and losses. In individual categories, its political rights rating improved from 2 in 2009 findings to 1 “due to enforcement of anticorruption laws that led to the prosecution of former high-ranking officials, the annulment of several legislators’ elections owing to vote-buying, and the investigation of over 200 candidates for alleged vote-buying in local elections.”
雖然台灣整體排名維持與去年一樣,兩個指標卻是各有進退. 在政治權利方面,"因為執行反貪污法律,台灣從去年的二級進步到一級, 有數位前朝高官被起訴,還有數位立委因賄選而當選無效,在地方選舉時,有超過兩百位候選人遭到買票的指控. "
On civil liberties, however, the report indicates Taiwan’s rating suffered a decline from 1 to 2 because of “flaws in the protection of criminal defendants’ rights that were exposed during anticorruption prosecutions and a high-profile murder case, as well as a law that infringes on academic freedom by barring staff and scholars at public educational facilities from participating in certain political activities.”
Among the states being reviewed in the report this year, 89 countries were listed as “free,” 58 “partly free” while 47 were ranked “not free." The report concluded that some 2.3 billion people, or 24 percent of the world’s population, are currently living in societies disrespecting basic political rights and civil liberties, with more than half of the population residing in China.
A total of 10 countries and territories received ratings of 6 and 7—or 7 and 6—for political rights and civil liberties, respectively. They are Belarus, Chad, China, Cuba, Guinea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, South Ossetia, Syria and Western Sahara.
Arch Puddington, director of research at Freedom House, noted in the 2010 report that the world continues to see a continued erosion of freedom, with setbacks in Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.
This is also the fourth consecutive year that the organization has seen more declines than gains, Puddington said, citing growing restrictions on freedom of expression and association in authoritarian settings, and a failure to continue democratic progress in previously improving countries due to “unchecked corruption and weakness in the rule of law.”
Under the Freedom House definitions, a “free” country is one where there is broad scope for open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civic life, and independent media. A “partly free” state normally suffers from an environment of corruption, weak rule of law, ethnic and religious strife and often a setting in which a single political party enjoys dominance despite the façade of limited pluralism.
A “not free” country is one where basic political rights are absent, and basic civil liberties are widely and systematically denied. (SY)
Extended reading: Freedom House warns on rights in Taiwan「自由之家」對台灣人權狀況提出示警