- Chad has been placed on a list of the world's most repressive regimes and societies, putting the country at par with China, Zimbabwe and Syria.
A new report released by Freedom House [an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world], "Worst of the worst: the world's most repressive societies 2008", blamed Chad for its increased corruption and controls on nongovernmental organisations.
Worst of the worst examines civil liberties and political rights in 17 countries and three territories. It is taken from excerpts of the upcoming Freedom in the World 2008 report, which assesses the state of freedom in 2007 in every country in the world.
"Life in each and every one of these countries and territories is stifling," said Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director of Freedom House.
"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."
Chad replaced Côte d’Ivoire, which saw an improvement in its status after a 2007 peace agreement brought ruling party and rebel leaders into a coalition government.
Chad's status declines after the government diverted oil revenues away from poverty alleviation toward security and sought to limit the activities of nongovernmental organisations, including United Nations food agency, World Food Programme.
The new report also records downward trends for Burma, Somalia, Syria and Tibet. Worst of the worst contains an assessment of eight countries that have the worst human rights records. They include Libya, Somalia and Sudan. Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and Western Sahara are among the nine countries with slight better status.
"Each of these countries is characterized by widespread human rights violations and the systematic denial of a broad range of freedoms," said Aili Piano, Managing Editor of the report.
"We offer this report in the hope that it will assist the democratic world in pressing the case for freedom at the United Nations and other forums."
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