A modest but potentially significant increase in human rights and democratic freedoms in the countries of the Arab Middle East was the most notable development in the state of world freedom during 2005. This is the principal finding of Freedom in the World 2006, the index of global political rights and civil liberties issued annually by Freedom House. Globally, the state of freedom worldwide showed a slight net improvement from 2004 to 2005. An analysis of regional patterns indicates that the Middle East and North Africa continue to lag behind other world regions when overall levels of freedom are measured.
The 2005 Freedom House Survey: Progress in the Middle East
Issue Date January 2006
Page Numbers 119-124