Sat, Jan 21, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan maintains freedom ranking in watchdog report

EXCELLENT GRADES:The nation received the highest ranking in the category of political rights and the second-highest score in the civil liberties category

Staff Writer

Taiwan ranked among the top “free” nations in a Freedom House report released yesterday.

Taiwan’s overall rating remained the same as last year and the pro-democracy watchdog highlighted last Saturday’s elections in its Freedom in the World 2012 report.

According to the report, the elections showcased the nation’s high level of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. However, it added that complaints about unfair competition and concerns about Beijing’s interference were present throughout the election campaign.

The Washington-based group ranks political rights and civil liberties on a scale of 1 (most free) to 7 (least free) largely by reference to the values of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Among the values examined are free elections, multiparty democracy, rule of law and equality of opportunity.

Taiwan was given a rating of 1 for its political rights and a rating of 2 for its civil liberties, according to the report.

China’s ranking remained as a “not free,” scoring 7 for its political rights and 6 for its civil liberties.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s pushback, which aimed to quash potential pro-democracy demonstrations before they even emerged, reached a crescendo in December with the sentencing of a number of dissident writers to long terms in prison,” it said.

Additional reporting by AP

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