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Freedom House downgrades Thailand to “not free”

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US based Freedom House, a democracy advocacy group, has downgraded Thailand from being “partly free” to “not free” in its latest global rankings. The Freedom in the World 2021 report released this week assigned Thailand a total score of 30 out of 100, dropping from 32 out of 100 in the previous survey conducted in 2019.

Before, Thailand was deemed “not free” in the years of 2017 and 2018, but then was upgraded after elections were held after 5 years of military rule. But, the NGO has deemed the election process to be flawed.

The reasoning for the current downgrade is partly due to the court-ordered dissolution of the Future Forward Party in 2020 and the recent crackdown on pro-democracy groups, which have seen young students being charged with lese majeste, or defaming the monarchy, which is a crime in Thailand. As for the elections that were considered as flawed by Freedom House, the NGO issued a statement explaining their take on the supposedly democratic process.

“The results, announced 6 weeks after the polls, were tainted by irregularities, with ballots ‘lost’, and initial vote tallies changed. Additionally, the formula for distributing party seats was altered after the election in order to reduce seats won by opposition parties and redistribute them to military-aligned parties.”

The report also noted that “a combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy” had provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade.

“In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse-majesté charges, and harassment of activists.”

“Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.”

Freedom House rates countries based on 10 political rights issues and 15 civil liberties issues. It gave Thailand 5 out of 40 for political rights and 25 out of 60 for civil liberties in 2020.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Slugger

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Freedom House is exactly what you’d expect. An American NGO which offers nothing apart from biased opinions.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    Elections “flawed”
    Defrauded, corrupted, swindled, would be more suitable words.

  3. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    I’d not give a second thought to any nonsensical babble from a US based group, like these schmucks. Lecture another country on “freedom” after putting that sham “election” on display for the world? That’s as rich as it gets.

  4. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    THIS IS A NATION OF TIMID PEOPLE WHO NEED TO ‘COLLECTIVELY’, FIND THEIR VOICE AND SPEAK OUT…WITHOUT FEAR INSTILLED BY “UNCLE FESTER, BAGS UNDER HIS EYES, CHANOCHA!!!

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    So first Caitlin Ashworth reports this here, now Ann Carter. Who’s next?

  6. Avatar

    Jonty Miller

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 1:24 am

    100% on the mark.

  7. Avatar

    west tiger

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 1:26 am

    Not a good look for Thailand on the international front

  8. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 6:03 am

    Americans judging how free everyone else is, got it.

    Check yourselves before you wreck yourselves

  9. Avatar

    TC

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 7:19 am

    They’ve just lost 2 more points banning protests “because of Covid”.
    Nothing to do with how the military junta is being exposed to the world.
    Failing economy coupled with citizens demanding the most basic freedom of them all – the ability to vote for a democratically elected Govt without interference. Just like what the people of Myanmar want.

  10. Avatar

    denis

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 7:40 am

    This NGO is a creation and is funded by US gov.
    So, their opinion or notation has no value

  11. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    If you cant talk a out the facts in public there is no freedom.
    Even as i write this i have to watch my words…..
    That ahouls say it all!!

  12. Avatar

    Robert Cole

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Freedom House is, in fact, a very reputable NGO founded by, amoung others, Elanor Roosevelt. It gives the US a ranking of 83, the same as Panama and Ghana. Does that sound a tool of government to you? Yes, the US has many many flaws, has invaded almost countless nations, thrown many stones from inside their own glass walls, but there are some very well-intentioned, morally-driven, and just plain GOOD organizations in the US, just as there are in most countries, and i’d venture to say this is one of them.

  13. Avatar

    Wijnschenk

    Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Sorry written whitout my glasses.

  14. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 6:39 am

    If we can’t discuss half the issues the country faces, this is true the country can’t be free.

    You can’t deny it

  15. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 6:42 am

    Robert Cole, google says its a U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization.

    Clear as fucking mud.

  16. Avatar

    Stardust

    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:46 am

    @funny coz it is true that Thailand is no more a free country. And your what aboutism doesnt change that fact! Thailand is just another failed junta dictorship country and all of them failed in the history. Killing people, no free speech, inequality, more poor people, failed economies is what are the results of all these junta dictatirships are.

  17. Avatar

    sam

    Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Who cares about America that is in deep shit.from democracy,free speech,gun violence,police brutality,racism and full of fake news spreading like wild fire ?

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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