North Koreans enjoy the lowest level of freedom in the world, according to Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organisation, which itself claims to be a voice for democracy and freedom around the world. The Kim Jong Il regime maintains a network of prison camps in which thousands of political prisoners are subjected to brutal conditions, says a report in Foreign Policy Journal, a US-based think tank publication.
Myanmar or Burma: The ruling junta, led by Senior Than Shwe, governs Burma by decree, controlling all branches of power. The junta rejected its defeat in the 1990 elections and has kept pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in prison for most of the past 19 years, says the Foreign Policy Journal.
Somalia is governed by the Ethiopian-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG), but its actual control is very minimal. There are no effective political parties, and the political process is driven largely by clan loyalty.
The other countries on the Top 10 list are Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya (Russia), Tibet (China).
Monarch's Mind Games
Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian monarchy in which all political power is held by the royal family. There is no democracy as well, says the report.
The Freedom House status: Not Free
Nepal is being described as partly free.
The dreaded LTTE chief may be killed, but Sri Lanka has been described as a partly-free status.
This may come as a surprise but a progressive Malaysia has been termed partly-free.
Again surprisingly, Israel has been termed a free country despite its long-standing wars with the neighbouring countries.
Thanks to a booming democracy and its billion people -- its biggest asset-- India is termed a FREE nation. If anyone needs proof, look back to the recent polls -- the biggest such exercise in the world.