For the fourth consecutive year, global
declines in freedom outweighed gains in 2009, as measured by Freedom House's
annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World
2010. This represents the longest continuous period of decline for global
freedom in the nearly 40-year history of the report.
In a year marked by intensified repression
against human rights defenders and civic activists, declines for freedom
were registered in 40 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East,