The decline in freedom, as reported in Freedom in the World 2008, an annual survey of political rights and civil liberties worldwide, was reflected in reversals in one-fifth of the world’s countries. Most pronounced in South Asia, it also reached significant levels in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. A substantial number of politically important countries whose declines have broad regional and global implications—including Russia, Pakistan, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, and Venezuela—were affected.
[…] Many of the countries that moved backward were already designated Not Free by the survey. The past year saw the intensification of an effort by authoritarian regimes — Egypt and Pakistan are two examples — to consolidate power through the suppression of democratic opposition, civil society, and independent media in their own societies. Especially important in carrying out this assault on freedom of association was a group of market-oriented autocracies and energy-rich dictatorships, including Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and China.
Not one of the countries that registered the lowest possible scores in the Freedom House index — the “worst of the worst” — exhibited signs of improvement. This represents a break from a trend formerly observable even in past years when world freedom stagnated or declined, in which progress was registered in some of the world’s most tightly controlled dictatorships.
Traduzco el primer párrafo porque es el más importante:
El declive en la libertad, según el reportaje anual de derechos políticos y libertades civiles a lo largo del mundo, ha reflejado retrocesos en una quinta parte de los países del mundo. Los más pronunciados en Asia del Sur, pero ha alcanzado niveles significativos en la anterior Unión Soviética, Oriente Medio y el Norte de África, y el África subsahariana. Fueron afectados [por este declive] un número substancial de los países cuya importancia política produce implicaciones regionales y globales (incluyendo, Rusia, Paquistán, Kenia, Egipto, Nigeria y Venezuela).