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US Democracy Group Blasts Russia's Political Situation


A U.S.-based pro-democracy group has blasted recent political developments in Russia, saying the country is moving toward authoritarian rule.

In its annual global survey, Freedom House said it now classifies Russia as "not free" amid restricted political rights and civil liberties.

It said a growing trend exists under Russian President Vladimir Putin to concentrate political authority, harass the media, and politicize the country's law enforcement system.

The group says the changes mark what it calls a dangerous and disturbing trend toward authoritarianism in Russia.

In its survey, Freedom House gave the lowest possible score for political rights and civil liberties to Burma, Chechnya, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tibet and Turkmenistan.

It accused Armenia of increasingly unresponsive and undemocratic rule and said Belarus remained Europe's least free country.

The group did note positive political developments in Ukraine and Georgia.

Some information for this story provided by AP.