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Democratic conditions 'fall sharply' in Asia

Region regresses as minorities suffer in Indonesia and Myanmar, says think tank

An Indonesian Muslim holds up a poster during a rally calling for the arrest of Jakarta's then-incumbent governor Basuki Purnama.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Asia witnessed the biggest deterioration in its democratic conditions of any region in 2017, as minorities in countries including Indonesia and Myanmar suffered.

In the annual democracy index ranking, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit think tank, Asia and Australasia -- the Asia-Pacific region -- logged a score of 5.63 on a scale of 0 to 10, falling by 0.11 points from a year earlier. This was the largest fall among the seven regions observed by the think tank, in a year which saw democracy deteriorate in six out of the seven regions.

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