From: Alice Taylor
Freedom House: Albania Less Free in 2020 than in 2019

Albanian citizens were less free in 2020 than they were in 2019, according to the latest report from Freedom House.

The Freedom in the World Report is designed to evaluate the basic freedoms of citizens in countries around the world. Unfortunately, 2020 marked the 15th consecutive decline in global freedom, fuelled by the increasing power of authoritarian actors that even impacted larger democracies.

Abania lost one point this year, scoring just 66 out of a possible 100, continuing a downward trend noted over the last few years. This puts the country in the “partly free” category with just 47% democracy, pointing to a lack of civil liberties, guarantees, and respect for fundamental freedoms.

According to the co-author of this report, who spoke to VOA, it is about the protests for the protection of the National Theater and the protests for the murder of Klodian Rasha. 

We saw a decline in freedom of assembly, due to violence between protesters and security forces in May, during the demolition of the National Theater building. Another cause for concern was when in December police killed a citizen who had violated the curfew order. “These contributed to the decline in the category of freedom of assembly, ” said report co-author Amy Slipowitz.

The report for 2019 noted that autocratic leaders in the region are continuing to “pay lip service” to democracy- claiming they act according to the will of the people- but really only doing so to justify their concentration of power and escalating violations of political rights and civil liberties.

Freedom House said these developments have contributed to a “stunning democratic breakdown” in the countries covered in the report.