Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia are “not free”

According to Freedom House’s 2021 freedom rankings, Thailand is described as ‘not free” which puts the country back to the position held during the coup years, Bangkok Post reports. Other Asian countries damningly described as having no freedom at all are Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia while the only three countries considered to afford their citizens complete freedom in the report were Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Freedom House, the US government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights, annually ranks 210 countries and territories in two categories including political rights (40) and civil liberties (60). In the 2021 edition, over 125 analysts and close to 40 advisors gathered and analyzed data from several sources, reviewed it, and published their findings after a consensus amongst the analysts, outside advisers, and staff at Freedom House.

The 2021 report marks Thailand as “not free” with a total score of 30 points which is a setback from 2019 where the country earned a score of 32 and labeled “partly free”. Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia were marked “partly free” gaining 48, 51, and 59 points respectively. Myanmar and other Asian countries under one-party communist systems also scored very low. Laos earned 13 points, Vietnam came in with 19 points and Cambodia earned 24 points.

The topmost free countries in Asia were Japan and South Korea earning 96 and 83 points respectively.

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