Freedom House to open office in Taipei

07/29/2022 02:41 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Freedom House, a U.S. government-sponsored non-profit organization advocating for democracy, political freedom, and human rights, announced on Friday that it plans to open an office in Taipei.

In a Twitter message, Freedom House said the upcoming Taipei office is expected to become a hub for the organization in the Indo-Pacific region.

"Freedom House looks forward to expanding our presence in Taiwan, which remains one of Asia's most robust democracies," the organization tweeted.

"The (Taipei) office will enable us to expand and deepen our collaboration with individuals and groups supporting human rights and democracy across the Indo-Pacific region," the organization added.

Freedom House was established in 1941 during World War II with a goal of fighting against Nazism and Communism in Europe.

On its website, Freedom House, the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally, said it has advocated for "U.S. leadership and collaboration with like-minded governments to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression, and strengthen democracy around the world."

According to Freedom House's 2021 financial report, the U.S. government was the most important financial sponsor to the organization with about 92 percent of its money funded by grants from the U.S. government.

In 2019, China slapped sanctions on several U.S. pro-democracy and human rights groups, including Freedom House, for their support of protests in Hong Kong sparked by a controversial bill that would have allowed extradition of criminals from Hong Kong to mainland China.

To facilitate democracy, freedom and human rights and assess the degree of democratic freedoms in countries and significant disputed territories around the world, Freedom House has published the annual Freedom in the World report.

In the 2022 edition published in February, Taiwan scored 94 points, unchanged from 2021, and retained a status as a "free" country by grasping the 17th place in the world.

According to the 2022 report, Taiwan scored 38 points out of a maximum 40 for political rights, and 56 out of a maximum of 60 for civil liberties. In Asia, Taiwan only trailed Japan, which scored 96 points and took the 11th place worldwide.

China was rated a "not free" county, again, in the 2022 report and placed in 185th spot with a score of 9 points, the same as for 2021 after scoring minus 2 points in political rights, and 11 in civil liberties.

According to Freedom House, the organization has 12 field offices around the world, scattered in East Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

(By Novia Huang and Frances Huang)

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