Afghanistan jumps 22 ranks in press freedom index
“Afghanistan (128th,+22) also registered a significant rise -- thanks to the fact that no journalists are in prison. It is nonetheless facing many challenges, especially with the withdrawal of foreign troops,” the report said.
Reporters Without Borders said Afghanistan had a considerably better rating than in previous years, although violence against journalists did not disappear completely and the government neglected to tackle the issue of impunity.
No journalists were killed in 2012 and arrests of media workers declined, the report said, adding the withdrawal of some foreign troops from the international coalition and deteriorating conditions in neighbouring Pakistan meant the improvements were precarious.
Curiously enough, India is ranked in 140th position and Pakistan in 159th. Last year, the list was topped by three European countries -- Finland, the Netherlands and Norway. Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list.
“The Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general, Christophe Deloire.
In dictatorships, news providers and their families were exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies they had to cope with the media’s economic crises and conflicts of interest,” he said.
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