News / Asia

Media Monitor Issues Warning on Press Freedom

Activists wearing masks pretent to read newspapers upside down during a silent protest to support freedom of the press, outside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur (File Photo)
Activists wearing masks pretent to read newspapers upside down during a silent protest to support freedom of the press, outside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur (File Photo)

Multimedia

Audio

Rwanda, Yemen and Syria have joined Burma, North Korea and Eritrea in the group of the world's worst abusers of the media, according to Reporter's Without Borders 2010 Press Freedom Index.

Reporters Without Borders says press freedom is getting worse in the 10 countries at the bottom of its index. It says it is becoming hard to tell which country has the most problems, because all are persecuting the media and blocking news and information to their citizens.

Rwanda is cited as one of the 10 worst offenders, according to the report. The research director at the media watchdog, Gilles Lordet, says Rwanda's government cracked down on the media earlier this year during the country's election.

"We had a journalist who had been killed this year. Several journalists have been put in jail," said Lordet. "Newspapers and internet sites have been closed and journalists have been forced to flee the country to take shelter in neighboring countries. And we see that it was directly orchestrated by the president, Paul Kagame."

Saozig Dollet, Reporters Without Borders, discusses media freedom in the Middle East:

Rwanda's government has repeatedly denied allegations it abuses press freedom. The government says it is important for security in the country that the media is not free to incite violence.

China is also on the list. The report calls for the Chinese government to free Liu Xiaobo, a human-rights campaigner who just won the Nobel Peace Prize and is imprisoned in China.

But Lordet says in one respect the situation in China is not as bad as the other countries at the bottom of the index.

"We are seeing more and more mobilization of bloggers, people active on the internet," added Lordet. "The journalists and people who work for information on the internet start to be very, very active."

Asia's four communist countries come in the bottom 15 of the report's list: North Korea comes in second to last, after Eritrea.

Lordet says another Horn of Africa country, Somalia, is among the 20 worst offenders.

"I think about Somalia, about the press and about the journalists in Somalia, we are a bit desperate because it is a war and it is a very chaotic war," said Lordet. "There is a very, very big problem of protection of journalists and I would say that for the time being it seems impossible to solve."

The Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index was first published in 2002. It ranks 178 countries. Six northern European countries - Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland - have topped the index since it was created in 2002. This year, for the first time, Cuba did not come in the lowest 10.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid