Report: Tibet ranked the second least free place in the world

11th February 2019

Analysis by Freedom House highlights ongoing human rights concerns. 

Tibet has been ranked the second least free country in the world for the fourth year in a row with only Syria considered to be less free, according to a recent report published by Freedom House.

The Freedom in the World report which is released every year assesses levels of civil liberties and political rights across the world. Countries are given a rating out of one hundred with those scoring zero considered least free. They are then categorised as ‘Free’, ‘Partly Free’, or ‘Not Free’.

Tibet scored 1/100, lower than all the other countries in the world except for Syria which had a score of 0/100. North Korea (3/100) and Saudi Arabia (7/100) were also among the bottom ten, but both were considered freer than Tibet.


China which has ruled Tibet since its occupation of the country in 1950 also received a low score of 11/100 and like Tibet was labeled ‘Not Free’.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has repeatedly raised concerns about Tibet including the High Commissioner who, at the opening of the council’s 36th session in September 2017, highlighted the cases of the late Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk.

Over the past year, Free Tibet has also continued to draw attention to arbitrary arrests, torture and restrictions on freedom of speech and religion in Tibet

This year's Freedom in the World report declared that as a global trend democracy is in retreat for the 14th year in a row. A more detailed report on freedom in Tibet is expected to be published by Freedom House following this release.


Freedom House table, before (with flag) and after (without flag). 

One disconcerting development has been the removal of the Tibetan flag from Tibet’s profile on the Freedom House website in recent days. Although this appears to be the case for other ‘territories’ in the table, thus distinguishing them from countries, this decision marginalises Tibet’s unique culture and long history which is represented by its flag. We hope this change will be reversed.

Take Action

Internet giant Google has been working on a search engine for the Chinese market: Project Dragonfly. Dragonfly would censor information on human rights abuses in Tibet and give the Chinese security services access to the data of people making searches. These dangerous plans have been opposed by Tibetans, Uyghirs, Chinese dissidents, human rights defenders and Google's own employees. Get involved - tell Google's executives to stop Project Dragonfly.