The Twilight of the Tyrants

(Christian Science Monitor) Peter Ford - The former Iraqi president's capture, and his coming trial, are doubtless blows to bloodstained autocrats elsewhere. The world is becoming a more dangerous place for despots. But even where the rock of dictatorship has been lifted in other parts of the world, the seedling of democracy often struggles to take root. One quarter of the world's 192 nations are today "not free," down from 43% of countries in 1973, according to a report released Thursday by Freedom House, a New York-based human rights group that has been measuring political rights worldwide for 30 years. "Absolute dictatorship is becoming less and less common," says Adrian Karatnycky, author of the report. "Over the last 30 years, 45 [more] free countries have appeared on the global map."

2003-12-19 00:00:00

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