Mar 4, 2021 - World

Global freedom continues steady decline: report

Freedom in the World index, 2021

The global erosion of democracy has continued for a 15th consecutive year, according to an annual report from Freedom House.

Zoom in: The report calls particular attention to India, which slipped from “free” to “partly free” due to the government's “scapegoating of Muslims” and “crackdown on critics.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is, according to the report, “driving India itself toward authoritarianism.”

What's happening: Governments in several countries used the cover of the pandemic to consolidate control.

  • In the Philippines and Cambodia, authorities cracked down on critical news outlets and social media users in the name of preventing misinformation.
  • In Algeria, the government used coronavirus restrictions as a justification to suppress a protest movement.
  • Perhaps the most disheartening aspects of the report include places like Belarus, Hong Kong and Venezuela where pro-democracy movements rose up in the last two years — only to be met by deeper repression.
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