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Albania and Thailand Rated `Partly Free'

I would like to correct some apparent errors in the opinion-page article ``Fledgling Democracies Perishing at West's Peril,'' Feb. 9.

The author states that Freedom House rates Thailand and Albania as ``unfree,'' by which he presumably means our category of Not Free. Actually, our latest freedom survey classifies both countries as Partly Free.

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He refers to Albania as ``a Stalinist police state.'' Although Albania is a messy democracy with a bad case of totalitarian hangover, the term ``Stalinist police state'' does not apply to post-Enver Hoxha Albania. Like many other Partly Free countries, Albania and Thailand contain mixtures of democratic and authoritarian elements. That is why they are both in that category. Joesph E. Ryan, New York Freedom House Resident Scholar

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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