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India drops to 140th rank in press freedom, lowest since 2002

Press Trust of India
Jan 30, 2013 at 06:08pm IST

Washington: India has dropped nine places to 140th rank in the list of 179 countries in the latest World Press Freedom Index, which its authors said is the lowest for the "world's biggest democracy" since 2002.

"In Asia, India (140th, -9) is at its lowest since 2002 because of increasing impunity for violence against journalists and because Internet censorship continues to grow," Reporters Without Borders said in its World Press Freedom Index for the year 2013.

"China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving. Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information."

India drops to 140th rank in press freedom, lowest since 2002

Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list as has been in the last three years.

In 2012, the list was topped by three European countries, Finland, Netherlands and Norway. Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea continue to be at the bottom of the list as has been in the last three years.

"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," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

"In dictatorships, news providers and their families are exposed to ruthless reprisals, while in democracies news providers have to cope with the media's economic crises and conflicts of interest. While their situation is not always comparable, we should pay tribute to all those who resist pressure whether it is aggressively focused or diffuse," he said.

According to the report, in almost all parts of the world, influential countries including India that are regarded as "regional models" have fallen in the index.

Observing that there has been general decline in freedom of information in South Asia, the report said the Indian subcontinent was the Asian region that saw the sharpest deterioration in the climate for those involved in news and information in 2012.

"In the Maldives, which crashed to 103rd place (-30), the events that led to the resignation of President Mohammed Nasheed in February led to violence and threats against journalists in state television and private media outlets regarded as pro-Nasheed by the coup leaders," it said.

In India, the "world's biggest democracy", the authorities insist on censoring the Web and imposing more and more taboos, while violence against journalists goes unpunished and the regions of Kashmir and Chhattisgarh become increasingly isolated," it said.

2013 World Press Freedom Index

1. Finland

2. Netherlands

3. Norway

4. Luxembourg

5. Andorra

6. Denmark

7. Liechtenstein

8. New Zealand

9. Iceland

10. Sweden

11. Estonia

12. Austria

13. Jamaica

14. Switzerland

15. Ireland

16. Czech Republic

17. Germany

18. Costa Rica

19. Namibia

20. Canada

21. Belgium

22. Poland

23. Slovakia

24. Cyprus

25. Cape Verde

26. Australia

27. Uruguay

28. Portugal

29. United Kingdom

30. Ghana

31. Surinam

32. United States

33. Lithuania

34. OECS

35. Slovenia

36. Spain

37. France

38. El Salvador

39. Latvia

40. Botswana

41. Papua New Guinea

42. Romania

43. Niger

44. Trinidad and Tobago

45. Malta

46. Burkina Faso

47. Taiwan

48. Samoa

49. Haiti

50. South Korea

51. Comoros

52. South Africa

53. Japan

54. Argentina

55. Moldova

56. Hungary

57. Italy

58. Hong Kong

59. Senegal

60. Chile

61. Sierra Leone

62. Mauritius

63. Serbia

64. Croatia

65. Central African Republic

66. Tonga

67. Mauritania

68. Bosnia and Herzegovina

69. Guyana

70. Tanzania

71. Kenya

72. Zambia

73. Mozambique

74. Armenia

75. Malawi

76. Republic of the Congo

77. Kuwait

78. Nicaragua

79. Benin

80. Dominican Republic

81. Lesotho

82. Bhutan

83. Togo

84. Greece

85. Kosovo

86. Guinea

87. Bulgaria

88. Madagascar

89. Gabon

90. East Timor

91. Paraguay

92. Guinea-Bissau

93. Seychelles

94. Northern Cyprus

95. Guatemala

96. Ivory Coast

97. Liberia

98. Mongolia

99. Mali

100. Georgia

101. Lebanon

102. Albania

103. Maldives

104. Uganda

105. Peru

106. Kyrgyzstan

107. Fiji

108. Brazil

109. Bolivia

110. Qatar

111. Panama

112. Israel

113. Montenegro

114. United Arab Emirates

115. Nigeria

116. Republic of Macedonia

117. Venezuela

118. Nepal

119. Ecuador

120. Cameroon

121. Chad

122. Brunei

123. Tajikistan

124. South Sudan

125. Algeria

126. Ukraine

127. Honduras

128. Afghanistan

129. Colombia

130. Angola

131. Libya

132. Burundi

133. Zimbabwe

134. Jordan

135. Thailand

136. Morocco

137. Ethiopia

138. Tunisia

139. Indonesia

140. India

141. Oman

142. DR Congo

143. Cambodia

144. Bangladesh

145. Malaysia

146. Palestine

147. Philippines

148. Russia

149. Singapore

150. Iraq

151. Burma

152. Gambia

153. Mexico

154. Turkey

155. Swaziland

156. Azerbaijan

157. Belarus

158. Egypt

159. Pakistan

160. Kazakhstan

161. Rwanda

162. Sri Lanka

163. Saudi Arabia

164. Uzbekistan

165. Bahrain

166. Equatorial Guinea

167. Djibouti

168. Laos

169. Yemen

170. Sudan

171. Cuba

172. Vietnam

173. China

174. Iran

175. Somalia

176. Syria

177. Turkmenistan

178. North Korea

179. Eritrea

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