Kashmir’s freedom rating better than Pakistan’s: rights body

May 8th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by admin  


New York, May 8 (IANS) The Indian Kashmir is only ‘partly free’ given the state of political rights and civil liberties there, but then a human rights watchdog has rated Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Pakistan itself as ‘not free’. India gets ‘free’ rating in the report “Worst of the Worst: The world’s most repressive societies” released Tuesday by Freedom House, a US NGO that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.

The Indian Kashmir gets a score of 5 for political rights (PR) and a 4 for civil liberties (CL) - 1 represents the most free and 7 the least free.

The situation in 2007, the period under review, improved since the previous annual survey.

Pakistani Kashmir’s political rights score is 7 and civil rights score 5.

Pakistan itself fares only a little better, with 6 PR and 5 CR scores. It showed a downward trend in 2007, but the elections this year would improve its ratings.

India’s score is a comfortable 2 and 3. Sri Lanka’s is 4 and 4, a borderline case in terms of being free.

The worst of the worst human rights record, however, belongs to eight countries including Myanmar, North Korea, Cuba and Libya. The citizens of Tibet in China too suffer “intense repression and state control over daily life”, the report says.

China itself, along with countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Zimbabwe, ranks near the bottom of the Freedom House’s list of the most repressive regimes.

“These regimes show contempt for the basic human rights of their citizens and seek to control every aspect of their daily lives, including their movements, political activity and religious beliefs,” said Freedom House executive director Jennifer Windsor.

Questioning the human rights record of five countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Freedom House has called for debarring them from membership of the UN’s Human Rights Council based in Geneva.

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