Pakistan among top 10 worst offenders of press freedom
NEW YORK: Pakistan is among the top 10 worst countries for press freedom, a US-based media watchdog said on Tuesday.
Other worst countries for press freedom are Ethiopia, Gambia, Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Morocco and Thailand. “The behaviour of all of these countries is deeply troubling, but the rapid retreats in nations where the media have thrived demonstrate just how easily the fundamental right to press freedom can be taken away,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement.
The Committee to Protect Journalists assessed countries by looking at government censorship, legal harassment, libel prosecutions, journalist deaths, physical attacks on the press, journalist imprisonments, and threats against the press. Major conflict zones like Iraq and Somalia were excluded because they lacked conventional governance and news gathering.
Ethiopia topped the list with the number of jailed journalists rising to 18 from two and dozens more exiled between 2002 and 2007. In 2006, CPJ said eight newspapers were banned, two foreign reporters expelled and Web sites blocked. In Gambia prominent journalist Deyda Hydara was shot dead in 2004, and leading newspaper “The Independent” was targeted by arsonists and then shut down by the government, CPJ said.
Russia came in at number three because all three national television channels were state run and 11 journalists killed in five years with none of the cases solved, the report said. In the Congo, two journalists had been killed since 2005, attacks on media workers had risen to nine from three and the leaders of press freedom group Â“Journaliste en Danger” were forced into hiding in 2006, CPJ said. “These three African nations, as diverse as they are, have won praise at times for their transition to democracy, but they are actually moving in reverse on press issues,” said Simon. Cuba is number five, Pakistan six, Morocco nine and Thailand 10 on the CPJ list.
Source: Daily times