06/13/2003

Freedom House, an organization dating back to 1941, recently released its report on the world’s most repressive regimes. They analyzed all the countries of the world in terms of political rights and civil liberties, assigning scores to each. Then they reported in detail about the dozen or so that were deemed “most repressive”.

The full PDF document is 136 pages long, and I admit that I didn’t read the whole thing. I did, however, read the chapters on China and Saudi Arabia simply because I’ve been complaining about both countries for years now and I wanted to ensure that my condemnation was fair. Apparently it is.

An excerpt from the China section:

“China is one of the most authoritarian states in the world. ¬†Opposition parties are illegal, the [Chinese Communist Party] controls the judiciary, and ordinary Chinese enjoy few basic rights.”

And of course in Saudi Arabia:

“Women in Saudi Arabia are second-class citizens. ¬†Women cannot get an identity card, obtain an exit visa, or be admitted to a hospital without the permission of their guardian. … The penalty for female adultery is death by stoning. The testimony of a woman is treated as inferior to that of a man in Saudi courts. … Although women make up half the student population, they may not study engineering, law, or journalism.”

Yikes.