A new report by the pro-democracy watchdog group Freedom House says political rights and civil liberties have improved in Libya and in Egypt, but declined in Russia, Nigeria and 25 other countries.
The annual report to be issued in Washington later Wednesday says that despite the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya actually gained in its freedom rankings over the past year.
In Russia, however, Freedom House said that since the re-election of Vladimir Putin as president, the government has moved to stifle free expression and public protest.
In all, the report says, Freedom House ranked 90 countries as “free,” a gain of three over the previous year. But it says 27 nations showed significant declines in freedom of assembly, expression and the media.
The group says this is the seventh year in a row that world freedom has shown more decline than gain.